This is the 2point5, a podcast that connects innovators through conversations.

My name is Klaus, I am located in the South West of Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In the podcast I will talk to innovators from around the world about their motivation, ideas and creative passions as well as their favorite methods, tools and conferences. We will discuss the ups and downs, successes and failures on the way to put their ideas into reality. But foremost we will talk about their vision and what drives them to follow their hunches into unknown territory and to essentially shape the future.

This is also an adventure for me. So come along and join the 2pt5. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to new episodes „fresh” from the studio.

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The American Innovator Paul Akers about the thrill of creating and sustaining

In the world of Innovation Paul Akers is a Star in his own right. He is an entrepreneur, author, teacher. And a lean-maniac (his own words).

After setting up a business for (wood) workshops (FastCap) he discovered the Toyota Production System (TPS) and was blown away by their lean principles. He has now written several books on Lean and he travels the world to educate & speak about Lean principles & Lean manufacturing. Paul has a podcast called The American Innovator where he shares about his Lean & travel adventures. Today Paul is using his lean principles in business and in life.

His podcast, YouTube channel and books have been watched, heard- and are read by millions. He has his very own way of building and more importantly sustaining his business. Paul is very intense about lean principles which he applies to the business world as well as his private life. It helped him to built a company with sought after tools as well as train for two Ironman runs in his fifties.

At its core, FastCap is a Lean company, determined to continuously improve everything, every day. FastCap’s products reflect the idea that everything can be improved and the best ideas come from the shop floor.

Ever wondered how an innovation culture is being built and sustained?

This episode is for innovators that want to build an innovation culture.

Find more information here:

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If you have liked the show, give it a review on PodchaserApple Podcast or Spotify.

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Stuff mentioned in the episode


Baden-Württemberg, where the podcast ist hosted


Black Forest Schwarzwald


Bob Taylor Guitars

TPS – Toyota Production System

11 Points that hinder innovation (German, PDF)


One of Paul’s videos: Creating an Innovative Culture

Who are the 2%? video

1. They are incredibly humble and give others credit.

2. They love people and put others first.

3. They get excited about the simplest improvement.

4. They give credit to others and acknowledge their achievements.

5. They acknowledge the workers for the smallest improvement.

6. Chaos drives them CRAZY!

7. They love to learn.

8. LEAN is the essence of their success.

9. They live a life of urgency not emergency. Fix it now.

10. They are willing to do the hard work. LEAN is simple, but it’s hard work.

11. They listen up to what others are saying.

12. They relentlessly challenge themselves and their people.

13. They see LEAN as finding a hidden treasure.

14. They see a rainbow when there is no rainbow. They see the possibility in every situation.

Kaizen Foam 

Open Innovation at FastCap

Share your product idea with Paul Akers at FastCap

More links

Dr. Thomas Sowell Wikipedia

Everest Basecamp 

Mount Kilimanjaro

Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath

The American Innovator on Apple Podcasts 

Podcast resources


Listen Notes 


The American Innovator, music by Alan Feinberg, on Spotify


This transcript was automatically created, is not edited and will have faults.

[0:09] This is the 2.5 conversations connecting innovators. My name is Klaus.
Ever wonder how an innovation culture is being built and sustained over a long time.
In the world of innovation. My guest today Paul Akers is a star in his own right.
He’s an entrepreneur author teacher and a lean maniac.
His podcast YouTube channel and books have been watched heard and read by millions.
He has his very own way of building and more importantly sustaining his business.
All is very intense about lean principles which he applies to the business world as well as his private life.
It helped him to build a company that sought after products for woodworkers as well as trained for to Iron Man runs in his 50s.
Paul sat down for a conversation with me an opportunity which I enjoyed tremendously.

[1:12] Music.

[1:18] Paul Akers the American innovative welcome to the 2.5 All right.
I’m really happy to have this conversation with you.
And I know you speak some German souls or if I don’t really know the English words I will a bit.

[1:37] Chin my Deutschland is good but I love speaking it.

[1:42] But so I say How come you speak German.

[1:46] Because I went to school in Germany when I was in college in nineteen eighty.
There was an abroad program I had a professor named Dr. Reinhold plus in the United States and he was from Germany.
He got his Ph.D. in literature German literature and he operated abroad program so I studied German or participate in that.
So I went to school in Germany for one semester and I fell in love with Germany the culture and the way of thinking and I came back and named my first company.
An hour even though it’s not technically correct. European cabinets because they started building European cabinets in the 80s when nobody in America was building them.
So the Germans influenced me a lot.

[2:28] Wow. So do you have like any favorite German food place or whatever you are you’d like to look back to.

[2:37] Oh my gosh I have so many. While I love schnitzel so I love to go.

[2:43] I love to go there. I love going to Nuremberg and eat a little.
I think we call schnitzel but I don’t know what the correct name for. But I love to eat that.
And I love Nuremberg I love Heidelberg. I love Nords von Stein.
I love you take. I mean I’ve been everywhere in Germany. I spent more time in Germany almost than the United States.
So I know it backwards and forwards in every inch of it. It’s beautiful.
I love wandering just through the countryside on the freeway just wandering and meandering.

[3:12] It’s beautiful there.
I don’t know if you’re aware of that but where I’m hosting this podcast in the state of Baden voting block which is just next to Bavaria.
Can you pronounce Bonneville and back.

[3:28] Biden good. Oh great guy right. Yeah. EISENBERG And bob. Bob and bob.
Biden is one of my most beautiful cities in the world. You know you know this city. Yes. It’s like a..
Like a capital or. It’s like is it a capital or.
No it’s not a capital I no Berlin’s a capital but isn’t it a capital city state or no.

[3:48] Yeah it is actually very very close to where where I live.
And it’s close to the Black Forest. And it used to be i o some years some hundreds of years back it used to be some sort of capital status because to the like the Dukes of Bodden started out from Baden-Baden.

[4:09] All right. It’s one of the wealthiest places in Germany I know that correct.
Yes if you have something. Yeah. A king you go back to Barton Barton and there’s water that cures everything basically.

[4:19] And I’ve been in the hot springs there and the spores as beautiful. I love it.

[4:23] OK. Well thank you Paul. Having a conversation with you is a real treat.
You’re doing a lot of videos. You’re doing a lot of podcasts.
You’re doing a lot of blog posts. I have counted more than sixteen hundred videos on fast cop which didn’t create all by yourself.
There’s other authorized you have like more than 800 videos on your Web site on your YouTube channel and you have created more than 500 ish episodes of The American innovator podcast right.

[4:59] Wow that many I didn’t even know that. That’s a lot.

[5:02] Yeah. That’s a lot. So you don’t need much sleep.

[5:07] Well I do. You know I get about eight hours of sleep every night.
I’m just very intense and very deliberate about what I do every day.
I’m very organized in the way I do it.
But most importantly my practice of lean in the implementation of eliminating waste out of my life allows me to get done three four five times more than the average person.
If you hang around with me you go. How did you do all that.
And the answer is because I took time to slow down fix all the processes that I was engaged in on a daily basis so I could work in low.
And that’s why I get so much done and it appears like I’m living for lifetimes in one. But I’m really not.
I’m just using my brain OK so it’s not a Jedi trick it’s.
It’s organization. It’s continuous improvement.

[6:08] It is. And you know the funny thing about this Dr. Ragan that I was going to say was you know most people think that the key to success is being really smart you know or having advanced degrees and all that other stuff.
And it really is not. Life is so simple.
It’s unbelievable. But most people like to complicate things so I’ve my whole persona my whole,
concept in life is how do you simplify things so that everyone can access it quickly and easily.
And this is my mantra in life the way I approach it.

[6:49] OK so what what you’re saying is that there is something that you do but that’s also affecting others that’s also asking something from others also,
to support you here or to to do it the same way so you can work well together for example right.

[7:11] Right well I definitely am very deliberate to as well about the people that surround me so I don’t.
This may sound very harsh but I don’t associate with people that are not passionate about continuous improvement so nobody works for me and my company.
I don’t hang around with people my friends. Everyone is passionate about continuous improvement because if they’re not they drag me down,
and most people tolerate a lot of low level performance from the people in their sphere of influence and I don’t.
And that’s a very unusual characteristic okay.

[7:51] Is that is that helping you creating friendships.

[7:56] Everyone wants to be my friends. I have thousands of friends all over the world. I answered 300 communications every day.
I’ve already answered ones from probably 15 countries this morning.
Everybody wants to hear my breath. Everybody wants to come into my life my universe but I don’t let you in unless you’re passionate about continuous improvement.
And you said that very clear in your various videos that you put out there showing your company.
You said your welcoming people that you have to be on a certain level to understand also the improvements that you’ve made the accomplishments that you have made in fast cup.

[8:35] That’s right. Because here’s what happens. So everybody looks at what we’re doing and says Oh that would be great to be that way but we can’t do that because we’re we’re German or we’re Americans or we’re from Brazil. Our culture doesn’t support that.
And I just go get the hell out of here.
You’re full of dicks you’re full of excuses it doesn’t matter who you are where you’re from.
It’s all up here the minute you say I’m going to improve I’m going to eliminate waste and I’m going to solve the problems that I’m responsible for not to say I can’t do it because Bob and Mary or Gretchen doesn’t want to do it.
You have a sphere of influence. You need to work on your sphere of influence and forget about everyone else.
And that is a correct attitude and those are the people I’m looking for to bring in and say OK let’s work together.

[9:28] Does that help you to grow yourself.

[9:32] Oh my gosh I’m challenged nonstop. I mean every day is literally a tsunami of change for me.
I mean just today what we’ve been doing tween for 21 years we have the biggest companies in the world come here all the time. Amazon is here all the time to us baby to here Boeing’s here.
Bombardier is here. You couldn’t name Toyota is here. Everybody comes to fast cab to learn from us.
And yet today we’re going through one of the biggest transformations. Just today implementing one of the biggest changes we probably ever made in the history of our company because we’re growing nonstop.
It’s just it’s endless. What we’re learning.

[10:11] I’ve seen that you’re very open to new ideas.
You’re open to your own ideas you you could you open to external ideas you ask people for ideas you support people that have ideas.
But some people say you only learn great things by mistake.
And I was wondering when I read about you about the first fast cap was that a mistake.
Did you screw up really badly in your wood workshop so that you had to fix something very quickly.

[10:45] Oh very good boy. I never thought about it that way. Yeah I’m sure I was covering the deep back.
Yeah I was covering screw holes that screws that work put it perfectly in the melamine had cracked a little bit around the edge and it didn’t look good to the customers I had to put a cover over it that covered feedback.
I guess in reality yes that is not that is accurate. Yeah. It was.
It was I was covering a mistake or something that was not very appealing to look at because maybe my craftsmanship wasn’t at the highest level.

[11:16] So that was approximately is what’s the end of the 90s. So that’s more than 20 years ago ninety.

[11:22] Yeah. 97 97 is in basically August of 97.

[11:27] Did you have at that time already that enthusiasm for that lean innovation thing for that improvement did you know about lean innovation at that time.

[11:38] Well that’s a great question and this is something that I talk about a lot when I speak all over the world and this is the point.
So you take someone like me who’s naturally curious who loves to experiment who is OCD loves organization and you would say oh oh Paul you’re naturally lean.
Well maybe but not really because people who are highly organized people who like to experiment people who are always looking for better ways to do good things they’re not necessarily lean thinkers.

[12:12] And this is the big deception that’s going on. And this is what I had to be careful with myself because I had all those attributes.
What makes a lean thinker is someone who realizes that it’s not enough just to improve and find better ways but a lean thinker understands,
that most of everything they do is wakes,
a lean thinker understands that there are eight different kinds of waste and those ways are intersecting every thing they do every day.

[12:50] So if you’re OCD and you’re always improving you don’t really understand me.
You don’t really understand the depth of what Lean is all about.
You don’t really understand that this word mood or waste. The Japanese word is mood.
You don’t really understand the little tiny word m you D.A.
Packs so much power that it could literally rock your universe.

[13:16] Most people don’t understand that they are way others ways. Oh yeah. Get rid of waste all the time. None and you don’t understand that little word moved out,
is so powerful. It’s like a new killer reaction. And the minute you understand that it’s intersecting Every Breath You Take.
And your job in life is to eliminate it.
So instead of getting one lifetime you live 10 lifetimes that elite thinker or you do the work off of 10 people at the same time you got.

[13:53] Music.

[14:00] So Lena’s really simple super simple really simple and super powerful.
It’s that little tiny word but yet at home it’s massive.
When you really capture what’s going on.

[14:17] OK but now you’re talking about it’s not at the end but after more than twenty twenty five years of a journey.
What was the like the initial thing for you to look into,
into the lean in. What was that like. There was some initial phase or spark for you.

[14:40] Yes. Here is what happened. OK. So I talked about this in my book quite a bit but here is what happened.
Essentially it takes someone like myself who I wasn’t a good student and I really struggled in college even though I got straight A’s or I was just the dumbest kid out there.
But the bottom line is everything I did in life pretty much.
I was very successful at I invested the real estate a very early age I became very wealthy at a very early age.
I had a beautiful home. You know I I knew how to put one plus one together and make something significant.
I was trained by Bob Taylor the world renowned guitar. He’s a very close friend of mine. I talk to him every night every day but I talk to him regularly.
And I’ve been surrounded by very smart people my dad was an engineer.
John dynamics f cruise missile F 111 Atlas missile project.

[15:35] I had a lot of people around me that influenced me to make me very successful.

[15:41] So you got the picture here and then I went business of the year and then I was making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year my company was very successful.

[15:48] I was like one of those guys you look at and say Damn that dude’s good,
and then the Japanese came in and looked at my operation after I’d won,
business of the year and the bank told me they would give me any amount of money I wanted because I was so good and the Japanese said you suck,
and then when I went to Lexus and I went to Toyota.

[16:17] And I saw them I go. I saw.
That’s when I read. That’s when the light went on.

[16:24] That’s a very similar story. Like Porsche had in the beginning of the 90s.
And this was probably wasn’t as hard for you to hear something like that as it was for them.

[16:38] Well I wasn’t as good as Porsche. So you know it was easier for me. It was easier for me to know.
There were there were world renowned acclaimed car manufacturers. So no it was much more difficult for them.
You know they had a lot that a lot more history than I did. But I’m sure there were similar similar difficulties that they had to overcome.

[17:00] Yes they are basically just around the corner from us here.

[17:03] Yeah. Well I drive I just say you know I everything I have is Toyota even even though I drive a Porsche I have one course and the most beautiful Porsche in the world.
A limited edition spider. You know 918.
It’s outrageous. But the only reason I have that car is because it’s a Toyota I mostly that because Toyota help Porsche rebuild and re,
that’s why I was I had never own it I’d never own any other car because Toyota is the best in the world.
Well Toyota came in you know the story with Porsche and the rest is history. Now they build extraordinary quality.

[17:43] Okay. So if you complete that sentence the Toyota Production System is.

[17:48] The greatest philosophy of how to organize people and resources in the world.
OK. How’s that. How’s that.

[18:02] It sounds good to me. That’s what it that’s what it is.
It’s it’s not the best car maker. Detroit is not the best carmaker in the world the best manufacturer in the world.
And they’re not perfect and they think they’re terrible and I work with Toyota and Lexus all the time in Japan. I mean Toyota all the time.
I work with the vice president elect says they think they suck and that’s why they’re so good.

[18:26] I think you have to have a sense that certain being humble about what about your achievements.
And there’s always room for improvement if you understand something like that. It’s you will get everywhere.
I think yeah one of the philosophy one of the principles from the president of Toyota is that the moment you think you’re good that is the beginning of the decline.

[18:49] Yes. I see what you mean. I also see a lot of parallels between like the production system or lean,
which is very much oriented on organization and manufacturing to the stuff that I do which is like focused on product creation service creation business model creation,
which has lots of overlaps with because there’s organizational parts.
You have to do continuous improvements all the time because. And listening to the customer all the time outside is no innovation possible.
Right. I feel a lot about these things and I’m using some of your videos in my workshops as examples I’ll show people but tell people to watch that,
because you have such an intensity that helps people to understand these things. Quickly.

[19:42] Well I’m in Kansas because I love it. I’m intense because it improved my life. I mean because every day today I’m going to have a better day and tomorrow.
So why wouldn’t you be happy about that what’s what system or philosophy can systematically produce that outcome. I don’t know of any.

[19:59] OK but see you are very intense. At least that’s what comes across in the videos.
Do people feel like volume next to you sometimes.

[20:09] Yeah yeah yeah yeah people yeah yeah yeah. People.
Yeah. Exactly. People get wound up when they’re around. Yeah. If that’s what you’re asking.

[20:17] OK. So you like the fast fast charger also for a lot of people.

[20:23] And I I like and I like that and I enjoy that because of people around me. People are you know people are hyped up. People are really paying attention.
And I love it when you have great ideas or when you have a cost that you want to deliver and that want to people to pick it up on it.
You have to be driven in a way. Is it Is it possible or is it necessary for such a driven this to be trained as a woodworker.
Have OCD get a degree next vacation.
Having worked as a minister and teacher is playing the guitar and stuff like that to do something like that to be such Drew so driven.

[21:04] I mean that’s a mix of skills mix of skills that will probably just because everything fascinates me.
I mean everything I look at I’m curious about.
I don’t know why. I just maybe because no one ever slap my hand.
You know when I was trying to figure something out and if people ever do try to slap my hand I slap back because I think it’s very important for people to experiment.
So this is the culture that I’ve created vast job is everybody is running experiments all the time and nobody gets their hands slapped.
OK. Very important so we don’t. I understood that my father and my mother allowed me to run an experiment I’m very lucky.
And so I allow my people to run the experiment and anybody that kind of tamps that down or dismisses that idea.

[22:03] They’re not going to be on my good side for very long. They certainly won’t they certainly won’t last very long around me if that makes any sense.

[22:12] Yes I understand. I’ve written a short list of eleven points that hinder innovation and that what I did is I simply,
use all these examples all these sentences that you know we have never done that before. That will never work and stuff like that.

[22:28] Right right right right right. You want to know the biggest thing.
I’ll tell you the biggest thing Dr. Reichman that it limits innovation more than anything else is just one thing.
If you were to get rid of this one thing everything would go crazy.
Ego ego. Yes.
I’ll explain. So when one were innovating here at Fast camp,
and we come up with an idea and let’s say one of my associates my engineer or whoever it is comes up with an idea as the very first thing that will come out of my mouth is that’s a great idea. I didn’t think of that.
Your ideas better than my if the leader always feels like they have to be the smartest when they have to come up with the idea you will kill innovation so bad.
But we have fostered this culture where everyone’s always giving credit to the other person.
And it’s just explosive.

[23:23] I’ve seen the video that you created. Who are the 2 percent.
And right. And it has. I will link that in the show notes.
I like that listed. It is so perfect.

[23:34] Music.

[23:42] But still if you are if you have if you want to do something if you have to convince something you have to be convincing yourself.
You have to have some sort of ego so that is possibly some sort of balance between summer.

[23:58] Well I’m a very competent person.

[24:00] I’m very very competent but I think I understand I literally understand the physics,
of what happens both chemically emotionally psychologically and physically when a human being hears the words.
That’s a good idea.

[24:28] And I will take my ego or my need to be the one and push it aside so they can see and experience,
that that element wife,
you even take these things to such a level that you use these concepts and and discreet use that for private life lean the lean lifestyle let’s put it that way.

[24:57] You’ve written books about it. Yeah.
I’m gonna transform leaned into let’s say the private life right.

[25:06] Well let’s let’s let’s go back a little bit. So lean is not a lean. It’s like the simplest concept in the world.
We wanted his back outlets much back out 5000 years.

[25:15] OK lean is not something that’s new necessarily.
It is really what I call historical principles of greatness. These are this is the wisdom of the age.
And it really is can be summarized with one simple concept,
mankind was made very very special and unique.
We have this massive computer up here and this ability to solve problems and be created which is very unique.
There aren’t any other species like us and I would I believe personally that we were designed and made,
this special way and our purpose was to solve problems and improve and and understand and reason,
and all lean is is a focus on maximizing our purpose our real design,
so all Leon is doing is creating a culture or an environment where the very essence of why we were created is,
utilized and supported.

[26:31] That’s all it is. It’s such a simple concept.

[26:35] So everybody is an innovator.

[26:39] Everyone is an innovator. Everyone. Oh my gosh everyone.
We have special needs people that work here. We have blind people we have people who are quadriplegic. We have people that have.

[26:53] Every last one of them are just incredible OK. Yes yes. Every one of them.

[27:01] And if you break this down this continuous lean process and if you transfer that also to a continuous innovation thing is what I understand from you is you.
You do that in very very small steps. So to second line culture.
But two seconds every day is one of the most important things for you to fix what bugs you.

[27:26] That’s right. We’re just developing a habit. We’re just just like you get up in the morning and you walk into the bathroom and you grab your toothbrush toothpaste and you brush your teeth because that makes sense to do that.
Right. But that’s a habit or you get up in the morning and you make coffee every morning. It’s a habit.
All we want to do is create a small habit. It’s like making coffee as a small habit or brushing your teeth.
Small habit the habit of looking at something and say How can I make that better.
That didn’t work very well that bugs me.

[27:56] And then stopping and doing something about it that’s all too second mean suggesting,
OK I sometimes talk to two directors CEOs and they say oh no I have to invest time people don’t do that work.
If they do something better if they make that if they think about improvements.
That’s called a big contract victory right.

[28:23] Well well well that’s true.
You do have to invest time and money and do it all before but then then this is the other distinct feature or characteristic of a lean thinker vs.
An average person a lean thinker is long term,
they think long term they understand that there’s an investment up front but in the long term things are going to be way way better and they have a totally comfortable with spending money now knowing that they’ll be a perpetual,
or a return in perpetuity over and over and over again.
Nay nay nay. Wholly understand that math equation a lot of people are short term quarterly earnings.
You know all the other stuff and got to look good for the board and all that I could care less buying stuff.

[29:15] Oh yeah I see what you mean.
And especially if the argument is it’s two seconds a day I’m going to improve something that will over time be an hour save an hour for example.
But the investment is also very very small but in the end after a year or several years there will be huge huge savings nature’s right.
So give me what happened to me yesterday. So for the last four weeks we’ve been going through a transformation here at Fast cap and I have spent what eight hours a day for four weeks.
My time is very valuable you know trying to solve some problems.
And yesterday on the shop floor at 5 o’clock in the afternoon I was watching someone do something and I and also I had an epiphany. You know we don’t need to be doing that.
And then we ran a tests and indeed the test proved out what I was saying. So I spent four weeks of my time eight hours a day trying to solve a problem.
And yesterday we had the solution the problem and the problem will increase productivity by three hundred percent for 10 people a day.

[30:31] That’s substantial.

[30:33] That’s that’s staggering.

[30:36] Now this is not from a neophyte company this is from a company that again everybody comes to watch and learn from.
This is from a company has been doing lean the Toyota production system for 20 years.
This is from a guy who works in Japan who lead study missions who works with the top leaders in Japan Toyota Lexus.
You would think I would have had it figured out by now. Right.

[30:58] Well nobody’s perfect but that’s how radical that’s how radical of a transformation that can occur on a regular basis with everyone in perpetuity.
Yes I’m very lonely. You really stepped shot at staggering now.

[31:17] I can’t wait till the interview is over with. Even though I’m totally enjoying the interview with you because I’m a run out there we’re going to start implementing you know what I mean.
I’m so excited I can’t stand it.

[31:27] Yeah especially if you know that it’s going to help and it’s going to be a bit a lot of fun also doing it and seeing the results.
Yeah I see what you mean so let’s hurry up.

[31:39] No no no no no no. You know what I’m saying. I’m just saying yes that’s what’s on my mind. I can’t wait to go out there. Try it. It’s going to be incredible.

[31:46] OK. And but that that is sort of something that you have built on and over time you start collecting people around you that feel the same or something similar that do something similar that react similar if they are not the same.
I suppose nobody can be driving force up that’s cost us as much as you are.
You sort of in invite these people into you into your company as visitors as potential,
potential people that work for you that participate in the company and you even take people on on large tours you even have video is taking people on your tour of the company.
I’ve checked you had more than six hundred thousand YouTube views for your production to us.

[32:33] Oh yeah it’s crazy. It’s crazy. He has millions and millions of people have watched our videos.
It’s it’s incredible. And everything shot with the iPhone.
We have no film crew. We have no video production. Everything is just go by my boat instantly. Boom boom boom.
It’s unprecedented what we’re doing because it’s so simple.

[32:53] I’m using these examples. Also you’re not only a lean maniac you’re also a video maniac.
And I think it’s so important to document these things and to quickly quickly sort of transfer these ideas and and stuff like that via video and the iPhone is very very simple to use.
I use it myself all the time for everything. I’m preparing an online course right now with my iPhone.
I have a very lean setup for the for the podcast and stuff like that so I know that is important.
Oftentimes people don’t understand that even when I’m showing them your example it’s crazy because it’s so simple.
The simplicity and here frightening them.

[33:35] But but here’s the key in my mind.

[33:41] We should not spend very much time trying to convince those people we should put the message out there and find the people that get it and spend all of our time working with them,
otherwise we spend so much time and energy trying to persuade people.
And I made this mistake. I never do that. I just Look I’m. Oh you don’t get that. Get out of here.
When you when you when you wake up when you figure it out. Come on back. I’m happy to help you but I’m not going to. You can’t beat someone who’s not hungry.

[34:13] Yes I understand and you’re very vulnerable and open about that in the video and I think that’s great because you attract these people that are on that level that to understand the accomplishment right.

[34:25] Absolutely. And the beautiful thing is I had thousands of those people around the world. I mean I can’t keep up with the number of people contacting me all day long.
So it’s not like I don’t have people that want to learn. There’s so many people so I focus all my time and energy so I’m not wasted on the people that want to learn and not the people that want to tell me all the reason why they can do it.

[34:41] OK. Ben you’re a teacher you had a also a trained teacher but you’re also an entrepreneur.
Now you’re showing everybody the way your company works.
So you’re not afraid of competition you’re not afraid of losing somebody stealing these ideas.

[35:00] No I’m not. I’m not at all because first of all there are a couple things people that would steal the idea don’t have the right.

[35:14] Ingredients to compete with me. Right.
Because my whole philosophy is to get everybody’s participation.
People who steal other people’s ideas are about themselves. They’re not about everyone working as a team.
So I’m not threatened by them. Number one. And then the second point is the people who see me and see what I’m doing.
They have a certain level of moral turpitude and character.
And those people tend to be attracted here so they’re not out to be nefarious towards me. Does that make any sense.

[35:57] It doesn’t seem to fully understand what you’re saying. But it’s not that often that people are so subtle so open about their ideas about the way they do things and about their solutions,
because again in my eye I approach life very philosophically.

[36:17] I’m not.

[36:19] I really thought deeply about what’s going on in life and how the universe works.
And I understand that you could you could perpetrate all the evil in the world but good prevails.
And it is way more powerful than evil.
And so I choose to be on the side and doing the right thing and helping other human beings and helping them improve their life.
And so far in my life and fifty nine years old that’s worked out pretty damn good.

[36:52] Did that flying help you with that with that thoughts with these thoughts.

[36:59] Well wine wine had such a huge impact on me in many many ways.
Number one again I told you I wasn’t a very good student and it really is the very intellectual pursuit.
Flying is very difficult. The kind of wine I was used as instrument rated flying at twenty nine thousand feet.
Fly I flew to Germany I’ve flown all over the world are flown to Rome crossing our land three times.
So the answer is fine develop my my my intellectual acumen developed my ability to be very precise and not screw up my client.
Also allowed me to see the world and there are a lot of people in the world.
I mean it looks like there’s a lot of people in the world but the world is wide open. I mean I can’t even tell you.
It’s just so wide open people say we’re overpopulated. I’m glad you’re not a pilot because there’s nobody. The place is empty.
I mean it’s just vast empty empty everywhere.
You know not to mention the oceans. I mean but it make makes you really realize how small you are and how insignificant we are. That’s my perspective.

[38:11] I’m enclosing that sort of capsule of high above the ground.
I remember in my private pilot’s lessons flying from 12 to Maui and there was just water everywhere around us.
It was credible and there was just a little boat somewhere underneath me which I circled around and it was it was just a vast openness and which was very eye opening to me.

[38:40] Also I think you know I was very you know exact you know exactly what I’m talking about. And I’ve just flown across the United States and just open there’s no one. And I’m just like.
It’s incredible incredible.

[38:52] I drove across the United States many many years ago and it was just cornfields for a long stretch of this trip.

[39:02] I know I know. I mean certainly there are pockets of density of people and I’m not that I. Not at all but it’s it’s wide open.

[39:11] OK so you recommend learning how to fly or at least using the Microsoft flight simulator for having some ideas about flying.

[39:20] I think keep yours if you take aviation seriously.
I think it’s one of the most wonderful things you could ever do in your life.
It puts you in a whole different state of mind you know because you’re a pilot and you would probably agree with what I just said right.
You’re not the same person after you’ve learned how to fly a plane. It’s a different world.

[39:39] It gives you also a different sense of confidence about yourself I think.

[39:42] Absolutely. So but you need to take him seriously. I would never tell you when to dabble in it.
It’s a very serious thing. It’s very safe when you do it properly and that’s why I sold my plane to Why don’t fly anymore because I was flying two times a week incinerated in a very very adverse conditions you know lots of icing lots of bad weather.
And as soon as I started flying once every two weeks once every three weeks it became so dangerous.
And even now he’s very experienced with thousands of hours and you know flown in the most difficult situations 500 airports I mean that I knew oh I’m going to kill myself. So I sold the planes.
So it’s a flying it’s also about repetition of certain things you have you on it all you have to be very current.
We call it as a pilot you have to be current you have to you have to be very fluid because I’m fortune in my case my plane is gone almost three miles an hour the second you make a mistake it only takes two or three seconds for everything to pile up on you and it’s over with.
So you have to know what to do when to do it. You have to be very fluid and not like oh what would I do there.

[40:48] It’s too late. OK. I’m very much with you. I had some of these similar experiences also.
I didn’t fly that much and after I saw that it takes so much experience and keeping up with new regulations and technology and stuff like that I quit because I didn’t have the time to do it anymore.

[41:09] Do you see that’s all you that’s really the measure of your intelligence because most people aren’t smart enough to realize you know this is really dangerous right.
Most of it was of the ego you know because even people said to me Paul how can you quit. Why.
Everyone knows you as a pilot. You know you’re renowned for that. And I said I don’t care. I want to kill myself.

[41:31] Yes I see what you mean. It’s also an ego thing.

[41:34] Music.

[41:42] But I have such deep respect for the amount of diligence it takes to go on and get a matches and a page there.
It’s a big deal so I and I learned also just so you know from my German culture my German training that the Germans with junior teachers they have a deep respect for teachers.

[41:58] So I I I learned that deep respect for the professor the teacher and I learned that from Germany.
And so I always want to be respectful of that because I think it’s a big it is a big deal. Whether you say it is and it’s a very big deal.

[42:15] Yes. And but you also uses yourself you get a lot of respect for being a teacher coming,
through a very intense school of your manufacturing your company your dry Earl Germany also which makes it even more credible.
I think yeah I think I think experience is the most important thing.
Ultimately I think what you can marry good knowledge and experience together you have the magical alchemy that’s very important have good good underpinnings and understanding of the way systems work but then habit.
Married with real world experience and I think that’s why I’m so passionate because I’m not talking goes theories right now.
I’m out on the shop floor doing this every day and it’s the most incredible experience to be able to do what I do.

[43:06] And it took me a while to figure out what is so special about the things that your company does what it manufacturers,
and when you when you look at it very closely you find out that it is important that there is a measuring tape that has similar in LA some several things to,
be adjusted or to put it on the on the wood or whatever so.
So everything that you do or your company does is about nifty features and great times saving tool right.

[43:36] You got it. Exactly.

[43:38] Exactly. We’re just solving the things that bug us. That’s all we’re doing.
You know you put your tape measure on your side and you have to struggle with that split second to get the belt clip the clip.
So we put a thumb. We put a thumb release on there saying just press that it opens up every time.
Nobody is nobody did it but we did it.

[43:56] I don’t know what Wildes was thinking but I think there’s also a special way of how you create that.
OK. The first things you you created yourself the fast cap as a as a major idea and you’re still expanding on that as far as I can see.
Right. But then you started to ask your your people for ideas they came up with ideas but you also put out of web page and you say if you have a great idea that would fit with fast cup submit this get it.
Give me an idea of it. I will. Well from progressing the idea together.

[44:32] Yeah oh all day long. I mean and betters all day long. That’s all I do. I mean it’s just interfacing with these people all the time with their great ideas.
I mean we have a I have a on what ZAP.
I have something called a beta tester channel and I have all these woodworkers from all over North America who are who have become friends of mine.
And they’re also experts in their industry. And every time an Inventor Sends me a new idea I give it to the beta testers and I asked them what they think about it,
and so I’m just total connectivity with my customers in the real world.

[45:09] And I think that’s very very important. So you are connected to creators you are connected with potential customers and they are open to you and help you with their advice.

[45:19] Yeah. So another big thing here Clowes that’s so important is that is the way people access me.
So if you go on my website my phone number is right there.
I mean my cell phone number and no I mean we’re a big company we were 40 countries we do tens of millions of dollars with a business.
Nobody would. No president would ever put their cell phone on the website. I mean it’s just insane.
But yet I know I do it because I understand the principle and that is I want to be in touch with the real world.
I don’t want anyone filtering anything from me ever.
So everyone can get a hold of me so simply nobody ever struggles to get a hold. Did you struggle to get a hold of me.
No it’s easy peasy. It was pretty easy wasn’t it.
Yes and I answered right away. No assistant came.
Well or much drinkers will talk to you on this shirt I got calls. What’s up.

[46:13] Yeah and you react right away. It starts a conversation starting right away and it’s very easy to start to get into that conversation.
And if it leads somewhere that’s good. If it doesn’t lead anywhere.

[46:24] No no no that’s the end. So of course let’s go back. Let’s try. Let’s digress just a bit with that.
So the people that want to rip me off. Do you think they have. You think they’re doing this.
You think the people who want to steal my ideas are are that fluid and that open to new ideas from all these people.

[46:45] Oh it’s they their system is ripping stuff ups off so they know where to check for new ideas where some like certain patents and stuff like that and then ripping right patents. That’s their system.
Your system is different. The whole system is being open being open to this and starting a patent and process bringing that on the market right away and not wait for six months and stuff like that which I think is very important.

[47:12] It’s just difficult to compete with someone that is that agile.
I mean I’m not saying you can’t but our agility the speed the fluidity in which we move is pretty daunting.
Yes and then if anybody ever did rip me off would you people have we just we just out innovate them so much that their products become irrelevant literally we put people out of business people have ripped us off,
and then we just innovated so quickly they just quit Yeah.
That’s the best thing I think to do. Then see what you do in this situation also that you create several win win situations.
It’s for your company is for you it’s for the inventor it’s for the people working at the company for the partners for all these vendors that are connected to you and for the customers in the end that know how where to go for the good stuff.

[48:04] Right. So it’s a it’s a it’s a network. It’s a win win win win win whatever situation that was created.
And I have a theory about Westinghouse and Westinghouse sort of performing over Edison using actually the same thing that you do here.

[48:23] OK. I didn’t know that. Go ahead tell me your story.

[48:25] OK. If you’re talking about innovation and innovators and stuff like that we always talk about Edison we use Edison as an example he has 14 hundred patents in his name and stuff like that.
And we hardly ever talk about Westinghouse. His company developed AC and I think EDISON DEVELOPED DC right.
So that was a test test. Tesla was Tesla’s Westinghouse right.

[48:51] Tesla was working with Westinghouse and lots of other people were working with Westinghouse so Westinghouse himself had like 500 patents or something like that on his name.
But his whole network had at least 14 hundred network patents in their name.
And so what he did he was sort of helping the others to do something that he could do himself basically. But he would let them have the glory. Let them have part of the action and stuff like.

[49:21] I need to study that cause I didn’t know that. And that’s powerful because that’s exactly what my model is. He goes all the way with what the political will stop you. Let’s go. One more thing I could say the reason why I do that is because my target is to have a good life to be happy.
I’m happy when other people succeed and everything is just about me and me getting all the glory. It’s not really happiness.
Does that make sense. So great. Let somebody else get the credit. I don’t care.

[49:51] OK. And since he made sure that you have people around you that sort of tick the same way as you.
They sort of understand this message and they pick up on their opportunities on the way to do something.
The possibilities to do something themselves in this context.

[50:08] Yeah. And ultimately the target is to make the world a better place.
Who doesn’t want the world to be more peaceful more happy more people give it a lot more people collaborate in solving more problems so people can live a longer and more healthy and more prosperous life. That’s ultimately the target here.

[50:24] And by spreading a philosophy that enables that and fosters that is very very satisfying.

[50:33] OK. Well the cynics would say something very very different but it’s sometimes very hard to fight these cynics or these cynical comments.

[50:43] For now I ignore I ignore. They’ve always they’ve been they’ve been. I’m a student of history.
Those cynics have been around forever and they always lose.
Ultimately though they win if they win short term but they don’t win.

[50:57] Okay. I mean you just kind of look at the world today. I mean would you would you not take the world today over the world 200 years ago. Come on.
I mean we live in the most epic time. People say oh my gosh we have all these problems I’m gone.
You have no frickin clue what problems are you need to read history.
I mean you were lucky you lived at 30 years old just 80 years ago. Yes.
And today we had the most advanced medicine in the world. They could do remote operations people are living longer.
I mean we have capitalism and the free markets are spreading worldwide.
What is the wall came down. I didn’t come out. I mean it’s just like look at me and I’m I go to Vietnam you know in the 60s and 70s we were battling and killing each other over there.
You go there now. It’s the most incredible example of the free market that I’ve ever seen in my life.

[51:50] You know I mean Nancy credible was going on everywhere this channel has been almost everywhere.
There’s lots of opportunities opportunity for opportunity everywhere every everywhere.
Yeah. OK I’m with you.

[52:05] So the cynics are there that they don’t understand history they’re on a student history of a student describe it.

[52:11] It’s hard to go anywhere in the world. Certainly there’s bad things going on.
But there’s a very important phrase and this is the where this is really one of the driving things in my life compared to what I learned this from Dr.
Thomas Sole professor from the Hoover Institute at Stanford.
He’s a he’s an economist and he’s brilliant. And I read his books all the time and the big concepts compared to what. So.
So you talk about all this stuff. But compared to what.

[52:44] Compared to 80 years ago compared to 30 years ago where 40 years ago we’re living in paradise.
This is unbelievable what’s happened. The advancement of man.
You want to make it sound like we’re a bunch of what we’re we’re destroying everything.
You have no clue about history and what has transpired.

[53:02] OK so compared to what I always think that like dead trees and dinosaurs have really propelled this this,
this development and this good lifestyle that we’re having right now,
we need to sort of find new ways to decarbonise and still keep the lifestyle.

[53:27] Sure sure. We will and we will be it because if people are free to think about and solve problems we have innovated ourselves through just about everything that’s been thrown at out so far.
We’ll work it out. I don’t get all stressed out about it we’re gonna figure it out but everyone wants to wring wring their hands and we have all the.
And like just give it just give it five years. You won’t believe what will happen.

[53:54] OK so but actually to say something like that you have to be really really crazy about the possibilities of big ideas of knowing that big ideas can change things and end or that people,
really working on something can change can change things. So we’re back to the crazy I think.

[54:13] Yeah. But again big winner winner big ideas. So in reality clubs big ideas are just the the accumulation of small improvements.
So every day you are Musk wakes up and he makes all his thousands of engineers are making all these little improvements and then all of a sudden he announces we’ve got a new way to make solar panels. We’ve got a new way to launch someone to the moon.
We’ve got a new way to land a rocket back on Earth that isn’t just a big idea.
That’s accumulation or the aggregation of marginal gains every day.
Everyone working together to fix all these little things and all said boom we’ve got it.
But there is no such thing as a big idea in my mind. It’s really the aggregation of marginal gains.

[55:00] Is that did that help you to train for stuff like your two time iron man runs to lose weight.
I get a lot of hits and stuff like that. Absolutely.

[55:12] Luli Oh my gosh. That’s exactly how I did it. You know when I looked at how most people train for an ironman I thought I don’t have the time to do that.
But if I get up every morning and I do 50 pushups or 100 Barbies and I don’t go to bed until I’ve done that I’m going to be in a whole nother level of fitness.
Then if I worry about whether or not I ran five miles by 20 miles and swam one mile I wouldn’t worry about that.
I just focused on doing a minimal amount.
And then if I could work on extra things beyond that I did it but and then it was the aggregation of all the all those small little all push ups and herpes and everything I do.
I’ve been to Ironman and I’m old guy that used to be fat and overweight.

[56:04] He’s.

[56:05] Just such a video maniac that you post the videos of you being bit chubby and being ripped out.

[56:14] Yeah I know big guy but I want people to see what can happen. I mean my transformation has been nothing but I mean it’s unbelievable.
I can’t I well I can’t believe it now because the reality of my transformation was so simple healthwise. Here’s how simple it was.
Stop eating sugar sugars in everything. It’s in salad dressing. It’s an everything you put in your mouth.
It’s got a package around it read the ingredients on the back.
There’s sugar in it. So get rid of the sugars. That was the one thing and then started eating real fruits and vegetables every day and that’s it.
That’s all you. But you look at what most people eat it’s all crap.

[56:50] Right. They’re not eating real food. As soon as you start eating real food and get the sugar out of your diet you get thin and ripped. It’s that simple.

[56:57] It’s that simple. What made it that simple. What made you understand that.
Was there something special in your life that said open like a heart attack or something that changes now.

[57:07] Well what. Well the story is very simple I can tell it in 60 seconds. I had just an Everest base camp in Mt. Kilimanjaro.
I worked for a year and a half to get in shape to train to do both those mountains.
It was very difficult. And I thought Wow I’m pretty I’m pretty but now I’m pretty I’m in pretty good shape.
I didn’t want to lose that that that physical prowess that I just accomplished and so I happen to happenstance read a book called Eat Sleep move by Tom Ross.
I think it was Tom Roth wrote it and basically he said what I just said you.
He said there’s sugar in everything. Stop eating the sugar and start eating real foods.
So to recover from Mount Everest base camp I went to Thailand for a week because it was so you read my book you know I had to.
There’s a big disaster at Everest when I was there. Fifty people died in avalanches and stuff.
And I got flown out in a helicopter from Everest base camp. So I flew out.
I was out early like five or six days early. I want to recover I was cold. I went to Thailand.
I read this book on the plane when I got landed in Thailand. I woke up in the morning went to the breakfast bar and I only put fruits and vegetables on my plate and an egg. But I didn’t do any sugar no bread not all of the crap that everybody else.
And in one week I’d lost like 45 pounds.
And I go I’ve never lost four pounds that fast in my whole life.

[58:25] And I thought maybe there’s something to that. So I just kept sticking with not opening packages and eating real fruits and vegetables fish things like that. And I just kept losing weight.
And I go oh my gosh this is like brain dead simple. I just kept doing it. The rest is history.

[58:42] Now you have even more energy to be driven and follow more of what is driving you and Mom What’s your passion.

[58:51] Two or three acts more. Because when you when you’re physically fit and you’re not overweight.
Oh my gosh it’s it’s insane what you can do.

[59:03] Not to men not to mention just the way people look at you.
I mean when I walk into a room and people see me as old as I am and then I’m fit and my tone they go how do you do that.
Nobody looks like that 59 years old. Well you know it’s really simple.

[59:19] You stand in for this for this passion for this driven.
It’s for you. Is there something where you say I don’t want to do this anymore is there a certain place where you say you want to stop.

[59:31] Not for me. My my my target is just to train up more people around me who carry on the vision and so succession is is is really,
powerful so I see all these people helping other people living a life that’s full and meaningful.
That that’s that’s my end game right there. It’s not for me to sit back and I’ll guide you at all. No. I love being pushed.
My target is that my target is the ski when I’m 100.

[1:00:02] You were talking about succession and what you’re also saying is that you sort of trance you built a culture of lean,
which could be trends which is a culture of innovation in your company and in that work and people around you you’re picking up off things from others. You’re you’re giving back to others.
You’re supporting them so you sort of you have shaped this culture right.
Is that always the the job of the boss to shape the culture of innovation in a company.

[1:00:36] You know the number one goal for the leader of a company is it’s not the CEO it’s the chief culture officer.

[1:00:45] The culture is everything. And that is something that the top leader must nurture and protect jealously.
Is there other people that are as crazy as you around and fast cap that that will sort of,
carry you may maybe not as crazy as me when I’m in the facility but close when I’m out of the facility.

[1:01:13] That’s the honest answer. I mean there are people very very passionate here.
There’s no question about it but when I’m in the facility I’m kind of the leader. So you know that that.
That kind of takes over but they’re all crazy and they’re all doing it just like me.
But as crazy no maybe not as crazy when I’m here but when I’m not here.
Yes they become the leaders and they become the crazy ones.

[1:01:43] You are crazy.

[1:01:43] What went wrong in your childhood.

[1:01:51] No don’t worry about it.

[1:01:53] No it’s a great question what went wrong in my childhood. I think if there’s one thing I wish would have been different.

[1:02:04] I see you have to remember my pet my mother is very poor right.
My dad was raised in a farm in Colorado. Farmer lost the bar.
My mom was 1 9 9 sisters immigrants from from Greece lived very poor couple bedrooms nine girls.
You know it is difficult life right.
And so what they provided for me is a solid middle class foundation to improve upon.
I mean to go to the next level. So I don’t fault them for that.
But if I said if they did one thing differently I wish they would have spent more time nurturing me educating me refining me exposing me to,
two more things to be more deliberate about the way they developed me.

[1:02:56] For what. For where they came from. Compared to what. Remember. Compared to what they had.
They did a spectacular job obviously.

[1:03:05] I I would I would have loved to have gone to a military school I would have loved to have been gone to a refinement school.
I would have I would have loved to to have been coached to go to Harvard.
You know I would have loved to to be involved in politics at an early age to be exposed to political people. So I could understand that world.

[1:03:29] But they did with the means they had a very good job.

[1:03:36] Does that make sense. Yes it does. Paul we are.

[1:03:41] You have. You have given so much of your time for this conversation. I am very thankful for this. I’m very grateful for this possibility.
I owe it to you to sum up Otto to end this conversation. I have some some questions.
It is like from your own products. Do you have a like a favorite tool a favorite product that you prefer over all the others.

[1:04:08] I’m just thinking I use them all every day. What. What is my favorite. Oh yeah. Yeah absolutely.
Yeah. I had to think about it because I have 800 products so I had to think about Which one’s my favorite example.
Without a doubt Clydesdale came into the baths.
It’s so huge. It’s the biggest selling product we have and it’s something that I interface with every day and I interact. I mean everywhere I go it’s in front of me everywhere I go it makes my life easier it’s in my car.
It’s in the drawers in my office it’s and I don’t have an office but at my desk like stand up that it’s on my scooter. I have it on my scooter for all my tools. Yeah. Kaizen.

[1:04:47] It really grew on me. It took me a while watching some of your videos to understand the case and foam.
But I think it’s very very very good idea.
And in the end I think it would be even better if it didn’t read too much foam. But you had smaller cabinets so that way it would be even more lean right.
But you have to start somewhere you probably have drawers and you start with the case and foam and at some point of time when you recreate the facilities you start including small items.

[1:05:21] I think the beautiful thing about Kazan and it actually is a reduction product because yes in order to put everything in the foam you have to lay everything out that you have and you find that you have six nights to four screwdrivers and three pairs of pliers and you really are a what.
So you sort all that stuff out of it and now you just have one of everything you need. So it really is a great elimination towards great reduction too.

[1:05:43] I think that’s perfect. So the elimination and reduction is a very good tool for you as in your life.
Do you have like another favorite innovation tool.

[1:05:57] Well anything to do with the fast cap. The original product is really really cool because we used fast cap.
It’s this vinyl material with this really amazing adhesive for everything from making labels to covering screw holes to putting striping on flooring.
For I mean we use it for everything.
It’s just it’s everywhere OK.
And to get to something like that I have to think that you probably like the morning meeting a lot to transform things to to communicate and,
and have a great innovation tool that doesn’t take much time but is really really really important.

[1:06:44] Yeah the morning meetings. It’s the it’s the cornerstone of who we are. It’s how we create it.
It’s how we sustain is very important.
It’s how we sustain this culture. Most people don’t understand the importance of sustaining something.
So anytime you start anything in life it is a absolute total waste of time.
If you’re not capable of sustaining that so we started leaving and we were not able to sustain it.
It was in and how we did the morning meeting that we put in place the habit that would help us sustain what we were trying to do.

[1:07:30] Paul that is a perfect ending.
Thank you very much. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you very much for taking the time for this conversation.

[1:07:42] Good luck with the next project you’re working on right now. And I know you can’t get wet hit back. Yes.

[1:07:49] Perfect. Great. Thank you very much.

[1:07:53] My pleasure. Clausen was a pleasure. I love how wide ranging that subject was and how long it was because we really got to talk about a lot of different things. So is it my pleasure completely.

[1:08:04] Music.

[1:08:11] That was my conversation with Paul Akers.
He’s putting out there a lot of videos and books. I posted links in the show notes.
Subscribe to the podcast for automatic updates and your favorite app. And please leave a review at Potts Chase or dot com slash the 2.5 you’ll help others to discover the show.
Also check out listen notes dot com podcast resource. I have just discovered.

[1:08:44] Thank you to music producer emacs for creating the music for the show.
My name is Klaus the 2.5 conversations connecting innovators is being hosted in Baden-Württemberg in Germany thank you very much Paul Akers for the time and dedication.
Run the experiment, you never know what’s going to happen.

Music by

Immex – Soundcloud & conversation


Run the experiment, you never know what’s going to happen.

Paul Akers

Music Producer Immex – about finding new beats, honoring tradition, Unbox Therapy and Mark Knopfler

The very first episode, enjoy!

Music Producer Immex - about finding new beats, honoring tradition, Unbox Therapy and Mark Knopfler

This time I am going to talk to musician and music producer Hristijan Ivanovski from Macedonia also known as Immex about his music and the process to create his work.
We are talking about his love for Mark Knopflers music, the influcence of Jedi Mind Tricks and music producer Gramatik on his development as a musician. Immex is a self taught guitar player, that started with passion for music and with the help of his community as he has a lot of friends in bands, a network he draws upon often.
He likes hip-hop and rock’n’roll and is situated in between genres. He actually prefers this sometimes uncomfortable place between two chairs and accepts it as a source of inspiration.

As an Innovator Immex is switching between classical Guitar and a Laptop as his favorite instruments to create music. Today he is multi instrumental, playing also drums, base guitar, keyboards and even sings. His beats are used on major Youtube channels such as Unbox Therapy with more than 15 mill. fans. He is a master of the computer as a complex instrument but he loves playing the guitar and keeps one around all the time.  

He again supports his friends bands regularly in their shows. He has build his own style as a musician and a producer and believes he is still on a journey with more to come. Immex is using the digital platforms to his advantage to address a global audience from his hometown in Macedonia.

In our conversation Immex also talks about the right place and time to be creative and about the Vision that starts his projects.

His dream is to play with Mark Knopfler from the Dire Straights.
Immex is also the creator of this show’s theme song.

the start

Starting the podcast with a conversation with a musician seemed appropriate. The bandwidth of the creative as well as the commercial process a musician has to cover is enormous and serves as a good example for innovators I think.

find Immex on






Unbox Therapy


Mark Knopfler

Jedi Mind Tricks


Mark Knopfler Song mentioned in the conversation: “Boom, Like that”

Listen on Apple Music & Spotify


This is an automatic transcription which was slightly edited. The text is raw and might contain errors.

This is the 2 point 5 conversations connecting innovators. Welcome to the podcast. To the very first episode actually my name is Klaus. This time I’m going to talk to musician and music producer Hristijan Ivanovski from Macedonia also known as Immex about his music and the process to create his work. We are talking about his love for Mark Knopfler for his music. The influence of Jedi mind tricks and music producer Gramatik on his development as a musician a is a self-taught guitar player that started with passion from music and with the help of his community as he has a lot of friends in bands and network. He draws upon often. He likes hip hop and rock and roll and is situated in between genres. He actually prefers this sometimes uncomfortable place between two chairs and accepts it as a source of inspiration. As an innovator Emacs is switching between classical guitar and a laptop as his favorite instruments to create his music. Today he is multInstrumental playing also drums bass guitar keyboards and he even sings his beats are used on major YouTube channels such as unboxing therapy with more than 15 millions fans. He’s a master of the computer s a complex instrument that he loves playing the guitar and keeps one around all the time. He again supports his friends bands regularly in their shows. He has built his own style as a musician and a producer and believes he is still on a journey with more to come. He makes is using the digital platforms to his advantage to address a global audience from his hometown in Macedon younger Europe. In our conversation he makes also talks about the right place and time to be creative and about the vision that starts his projects. His dream is to play with Mark Knopfler from dire straits it makes is also the creator of this shows a theme song. This is the first episode starting the podcast with a conversation with the musician seemed appropriate. The band with the creative as well as the commercial process and musician has to cover is enormous and serves as a good example for innovators. You can find all the links in the show notes below for more information visit the 2 point 5 dot net.

Here’s my conversation with Immex

Well I was quite unprepared for a pro that I think will be okay for the next time. This is my first podcast and recording actually. So okay.

You said that you’re not good with words so you normally don’t sing but you make music.

Yeah I know I actually sing but the album is called I’m not really good with words because of I’m better with music than with words.

So actually music is some sort of like your words.

Yeah yeah yeah I’m actually trying to say things through my beats and through my music.

I think that’s an interesting start since I myself I don’t play any instrument at all. I’m not I’m listening to music I’m a consumer of music so it’s you’re quite on the opposite end. You’re producing music. What is your background. What made you start producing and making music.

Well I started playing guitar like almost 10 years ago. My my cousin was a drummer. He’s older than me. So he bought me a guitar an acoustic guitar and I really loved the guitar and I wanted to learn to play. And I’m a self-taught yet there is so that’s actually the first instrument I’ve learned. Then I started producing beats. I really liked hip hop and rock and roll. So I’m still in between. I can pick one. So I started producing beats. I was but inspired by Jedi mind tricks. If you have heard of the it’s a hip hop group from United States that’s that was the inspiration mainly and a few years ago I started playing drums and bass guitar and a little bit of keyboards.

So as you play the guitar bass guitar drums keyboards. Yeah yeah. And you’re playing. Let’s put it that way. The computer you’re able to mix all that on which is sort of a different instrument by itself. Yes. And I think as well. OK. So. So basically your own band yeah.

Yeah I was. I’m being told that very often.

So do you actually do all the different instruments on your own on your music yourself or do you work together with others.

Well most of my hip hop beats are sampled but when I do other kind of music like classic music or I don’t know rock I play the instruments mostly on the keyboard or if I have a guitar. So I play the guitars and that’s my workflow basically.

OK. Because you could you could basically go into any direction you wanted to. You could do the like the electronic stuff. You could go into like instrumental stuff. You could do some classical music also. I mean that’s quite a range of music that you’re able to produce to do.

Yeah. I also fit in many bands so they they’ve been calling me to play in electronic bands in rock and roll bands and I don’t know punk bands because of the variety of instruments I can play and also because of the electronic mullets.

So. So you’re actually well connected with your colleagues. People come to you and ask you to participate in their bands produce their music. Yeah. Wow. How come. Well how did that start for you. I mean 10 years ago that’s about 2000 and 9. It started somehow. What made you.

I was I was in eighth grade. Actually I was very young. So I don’t know I kind of liked producing and I was back back in the day I was producing like 10 beats per day. Yeah. Well they were not as good as today’s music but. OK. It was something and then I started looking into recording and microphones and software engineering like mixing and mastering. So I was recording some demos for me and my friends I have a lot of friends who are in bands. So that’s how I started and I don’t know I guess that’s it. Yeah.

It’s normally if you start something that you’re not and you’re not at your very very best. But actually somehow inside yourself you normally know how it could sound or how it should sound or how the results should be at some point of time. Did you did you have like an idea of of what you sound like when you started.

Even you have didn’t have the abilities to bring it out into the world yet well in the beginning I was actually trying to copy the producer of Jedi mind tricks. He’s called stupid or stupid. I don’t know how they’re saying his name and I was actually trying to sound like him but I guess after three or four years my style has changed and actually many people have told me that they recognize my beats even if they don’t read the name or the tag you know. Okay yeah. So I’ve built kind of my own style with the textured bass that I use with the drum kits that I use with the style of sampling that I do I guess.

But so basically you had something in mind that was sort of always playing with you in the background and and that sort of gave you a kick to start your own stuff.

Also yeah I guess you could say that because even now when I’m listening to music if I hear something that could beat up a sample I’m already hearing the drums and the bass that would fit with that sample. So I’m basically I’m listening to hip hop beats in everything I hear.

That’s incredible because listening to say your hip hop beats and I’m I’m not really familiar with all that music and all that of the variety that is out there. I’m a consultant right. So I mean in a different scene normally but when I listen to your stuff I can hear so much complexity there’s so much stuff going on at the same time. Sometimes it’s very quiet also but most of the time there’s just stuff going on all the time.

I’ll mostly do beats as I feel in the moment. So if I’m sad the beat is kinda down tempo. It’s sad. If I’m happy the wind will be uptempo it will be like groovy I don’t know if I’m hyped up the bit will be hyped up. So that’s kind of what I do. I can’t just if I’m not feeling like making a beat then I can cannot make a beat. I have to be in the mood to make music.

Okay well that’s kind of a good thing isn’t it. Since you’re here you have to have some sort of starting or initial point to start something new and and if you’re feeling nothing at all what. There’s nothing that you can transport in whatever you’re doing.

Yes yes I need to have a drive to make a beat if I don’t have any kind of drive I cannot I cannot force it it will not sound good. It will not sound like me.

So that’s something that you have discovered about yourself that you have to have something that starts you’re sort of the creative process. Yes. Is there anything you. I mean you can’t force a creative process but is there anything that helps you to start this process.

Well listening to music helps me a lot. I listen to jazz and blues music so it can get me in the mood ok.

So so so you might listen to some upbeat jazz and still do something say something sad or something completely different since hip hop beats are far away from blues music.

Well yes but I’ve been jazz I don’t mean that it can always set you in a good mood maybe there’s some melody that can actually sound sad even though the whole song is like groovy and happy. So basically I don’t know. It’s just how I feel it you know.

And sometimes the beats that that you’re working on. I don’t I don’t understand words. If there was any word since it’s a it’s a different language right. I speak German I speak English I speak some other languages so. But sometimes there is something also is maybe very very strong in this music. Is this what kind of initial reactions or starters do you need to do something like that.

I’m sorry I didn’t. Yes it was. It was a difficult question I think because I just remembered.

Now maybe. Let’s let’s put it another way for for this podcast. I have to you as a mix you are the creator of of the music that I am using in the podcast. And it took me a long time a really really long time to find music that I really liked that I really cared for that sort of had the right impression for an innovators podcast something that was relaxed at the same time as it was. It had a certain energy and and there was also a sense of suspense. Also in the music so we’ll play a bit of this music later on. And then I think it’s quite obvious what I liked it was like there was a pause in the music and read that really made me think of this piece as very very special. But at the same time I thought it was very complex and and I was. My question is how do you make out you. What is what. How can you create such a suspense type of thing. I’m copying the link to the music. I’ve selected them in our chat window so you can you can play it and you can hear it because I don’t think there’s any other way to do that. And I read I’m really impressed by such a suspense thing. It’s sort of you’re leaving in the.

Leaving the music in the air. I know this bit. I saw the name and I remember what this is so. Well to be honest it’s mostly to be honest it mostly depends on the sample but I’m always trying to make it not to you know I don’t want to just throw things on my beats just to sound rich. I wanted to kind of keep it simple but the melody I want the melody to to tell something. You know it will be a sharp melody but it will be something like you know intense. It will be maybe dramatic may be happy may be playful.

I wanted the melody to how to say this to lead the beat the instrumental if you would it would be a head of of the middle of the beat Yes I always do melody first.

Then I do the drums and less. I do bass and percussion and effects but first I do the melody.

That sounds like a lot like a really special thing to do because it’s so easy to start with the beats. It’s basically a machine that you sort of fine tune but if you start with a melody you have to do something extra. You have to do the like keyboards or or two. I don’t know how you create the sounds but that’s more difficult right to start with.

Yeah so. Well yeah you know what’s even harder that I don’t know if you know what sampling is is like using an old piece of jazz music and like basically it’s just slicing the piece into your own melody. No. Like it has no horns pianos guitar. I don’t know what. But you kind of chop the the the melody and the sounds and you know like scramble all those notes and instruments and create your own melody out of that piece okay.

Sounds difficult.

Well I mean after 10 years of working it really isn’t. So I guess for a beginner it it really is. You have to hit the right notes you have to maintain the right pitch. You have to make all the instruments clear and curable so if it really is so.

So what are you actually doing is you have some sort of melody in mind and you’re creating that melody also by picking up bits and pieces and changing and working with these pieces from other pieces of music.

Yes. And also adding my own instruments on top of.

We are talking it right now we are talking about music but this is also the way that we produce for example a new product or a new service as a as an innovator so I like the parallel here.

OK. Well I don’t know maybe that’s just how things work maybe right but still so.

But for you it’s it’s something that you get used to of over time you’re working on on these on your beats for four 10 years you’re doing live music I suppose also. So so you work with lots of different musicians. You pick up melodies and beats. That’s something that if you listen to them it says something to you I suppose.

Well yes you could say that. Let’s say I’m at a restaurant or at a nightclub and I hear songs and I hear the songs different than the other people I guess because I hear melodies that sound like something else. I hear drums that could some something else and some else music you know like I could use or I could change to be better or you know. I constantly hear music in my mind like I’m remixing it.

Do you also do some when you hear something interesting do you like pick up your phone and do some recording of it right away or how do you keep note of that.

Well I tried to find it through Shazam or the Google app. Who is you know like detecting the song and then I listen it at home.

But I’m trying to remember the moment and the feeling I felt at the moment when I was when I thought of the melody and the you know what it could be what you’re actually doing is also you transport the feeling of that same evening of that dinner with friends in a special atmosphere listening picking up some of these elements that you’re listening to and transform that into a new song and a new piece of music. Well you could say so yeah but you wouldn’t tell anybody or maybe you would pick for example the title of the song but else nobody would know what’s behind where these things came from.

Well my closest friends you know they they know I produce music a lot so I actually I’m sometimes annoying annoying by telling people hey look this is a sample. Hey here this is a sample. This could go like this. You know they’re just having their beers and I’m like listening to them you dig very carefully. So yeah they they might know what’s what’s coming up with that piece of music that we’re listening to right there. And then OK.

So it’s like positively annoying since they’re always expecting something new right now from you.

Yes yes yes.

Well that’s I think that’s really really nice is the wrong word but for other words for the lack of words I kind of like that right now because it shows that you have that that passion for what you’re doing for what you’re creating and you do it in a way that your friends are sort of participating in that passion also right away so they would understand right away in what position or in what place you are when you listen to a good beat and then tell them.

Well yes. My friends are actually very supportive and they sometimes even they send me songs that I could sample you know or I could find inspiration from. Sometimes they are with me while I make beats. I guess they’re being pretty supportive. Yeah okay.

Do you also participate sometimes with play some instruments or add a loop of say something that you sort of change and put it in.

Well. Well yes I guess so because some of them are music and musicians also. So they maybe find the drum set not be fitting with something I do so they would recommend me something else. And yes I actually I’ve been doing music with a bunch of people lots of times when you do this music.

Is it’s that you could would you do that with your save with your guitar or would you be able to do something like that with using your computer since it’s it might be not as spontaneous to use the computer.

Well well I guess it depends on the situation. I have guitar laying all over where. All right go great. I have dozens of guitars. So that’s it. I guess I could pull off a guitar right or anywhere anytime Yeah.

Yeah but but OK I understand the guitar like an acoustic guitar. You can pick up right away. It’s kind of like a pencil that you use and a piece of paper too to dry a beat or some sort of tune. And the more advanced instruments that would be like your or your laptop you couldn’t pick up right away and do something.

Yes. Well I mostly keep my laptop at home or at my studio. I don’t have a real studio but I have something going on. So basically. But anytime any way. Me and my friends very often gather at my house or they’re in the studio so however I’m I’m always available for music.

So you’re doing like these spontaneous jam sessions basically.

Yes yes yes yes. Would you always record these or is it just sometimes just for fun.

No I actually very rarely record my jam sessions and sometimes I’m sad that I didn’t because sometimes a jam session turns out to be epic and you cannot recreate that kind of stuff. You know it just goes. It flows for some time for a period of like maybe half an hour. We are jamming superhot and then when we find to record we lose the sense and the feeling of the grooves that we have so so you basically should have like a set of microphones and and assume recorder with you all the time. Basically yes because I pick up my guitar literally everywhere I go and every year I see a guitar. I also play guitar on other people’s live shows like I go to the stage and I’m like OK can I play one song you know. Well most most most musicians from my town know me. And sometimes even they invite me to play some songs on their show.

So basically it is I think it hasn’t been a day that I haven’t played at least one note on the guitar and the acoustic guitar is for me who who is not into music that much is so far away from the electronic hip hop beats. How do you how do you make sure. I mean it works well for you obviously but it’s incredible to see that large distance between these two instruments.

Well I like to consider myself as a musician not just as a beat maker or as a get there is but a musician in you know that can do a wide way. The styles of music you know like I do classical music I can make punk music metal music rock music hip hop I don’t know if electronic music. I’ve literally tried every genre that I could.

So OK. And which one do you prefer the most always said like depends on on your mood on a certain day.

Well I could say that hip hop is like my main genre then Rock is the second genre and everything else comes third. I can do dubstep. I can do. I don’t know house music side trance music all kinds of stuff depending on the mood.

Yeah that sounds really great so. So you’re actually you’re into music. You started that a long time ago. Basically it’s cool. You have a lot of friends that support you and you also support them when doing music and with them together you also get into that flow type of thing when you’re when you’re jamming and trying something new also.

One of my friends is managing my Instagram and my Facebook page and they like to be involved in the you know in in the mix. Think so.

So how did you come up with Immex. You have your normal name your Christian name or your birth name and and then you came up with Emacs. How did that start for. It’s like a personal branding thing.

Well this is funny because I don’t remember how I got my my artistic name. I’m always thinking that it came from some sort of cartoon that I cannot remember it. And from what I remember it was a core of some crystal that was named Emacs. So maybe if someone can tell me if they’ve what’s the cartoon they can message me. I don’t know. I actually don’t know what it means.

OK. But it has a certain vibe to you. It’s if you like the sound of it it looks good. It was available I suppose. Yes yes yes.

So how much how much extra time and effort did you put into into establishing a sort of a brand around your music.

Well to be honest I started to put extra time into branding into making myself a brand not longer than one year ago. I was just you know I was one year ago I was just doing music and that’s all it was a mix but I was like There’s there must be something more. People started reaching out to me. Book Therapy has used many of my instrumentals in their videos so shut out Tom book therapy for you know being here for me anyway people started reaching out and I was like maybe I’m not just a small hometown producer maybe I could be something more you know so I am actually still trying to make a brand out of the emacs name and music as every innovator knows.

This is kind of hard to to start a new brand. It takes a lot of time and effort and it takes good friends and but at the basis of say talent or a very well something that people like and that people care for. You just mentioned on box therapy which is huge. Let’s put it that way. Video channel with originating from Canada but watched all over the world with several millions of subscribers. You are not in Canada. You are in Europe. So how did that come along. I mean that’s sort of a global corporation that you’re having going on.

Yes. Well. About two and a half years ago I think Lewis Hilsenteger dagger the CEO of Umm book therapy contacted me on my soundcloud. He wanted to buy Beats from me to use as a background music and I back in the days. I didn’t even know who he was and what book therapy was but he was buying a batch of beats from me and I was like one day I was like hey man like you really bought at least 20 or 30 beats from me like What do you do with them. I want to hear the product you know. And I guess he sent me a link or something to the channel I don’t remember. So that’s when I found out where my music was going and why the people were commenting on therapy and maybe.

So you weren’t aware of the success of Unbox Therapy at the time.

No no I didn’t even know them.

Basically everybody knows you did did that sort of change how you produce your music or how you produce the stuff and how you put it out.

Well I wouldn’t say so. I think I can. I listened to my beats from let’s say four to five years ago when I was when I wasn’t producing for I’m book therapy and I still do the same workflow. I was doing them the beat sounds similar. I don’t know maybe just quality wise I’m I’m getting better like better at mixing and mastering both producing my music but the workflow and the feeling are the same.

OK. So even starting a song or a new beat. Forgive me if I used the wrong words like maybe it’s not a song that you’re doing. So you basically still relying on your mood on these impressions that you get from from the outside to start something new. And if you think that’s good enough you start producing something something.

Yes yes.

So in it it doesn’t matter if I’m doing a beat for a rapper if I do a b for youtube video or for a podcast I just make this.

And people who like to buy them buy them. So that’s how it goes for me. I don’t make specific beats for you know people because I guess It’s what it wouldn’t sound like me. People will ask something that would fit them and not that would fit my style of working. So I rarely do those kinds of stuff I mostly just make a beat put it out on Soundcloud or YouTube and if there is someone that likes it they contact me and I can sell it.

Yeah OK. Actually I think it’s kind of a scary thing to put out your work into the world and because you’re then you start to be confronted with feedback with sort of criticism with positive and negative things. How you know how to address it. I mean the world is full of haters. Also there’s people that appreciate good work and others they just don’t see good work. How do you how do you get these feedback good and bad real original feedback is good and it can be critical also but it also always helps to to improve getting to know from your customer. Let’s put it that way are you from your fans is important but how do you treat the stuff that is sort of less supportive.

Well I am mostly trying to you know make fun out of it of the people who were being hateful.

I mean not making fun of the people but of the comments they they make on my pages. So I don’t hold a grudge for anyone that doesn’t like my music it’s OK I don’t like somebody else’s music and that’s okay. But I guess most people are being supportive because let’s say that most of my recent fans are from um books therapy and basically they love the music that is being featured on book therapy so much that a you know tried to find me. They look in the comments section et cetera so I guess most people that come to my page really liked my music because if they wouldn’t they wouldn’t be bothering to you know find out who I am and find the music that I that I make since people are coming via unboxing therapy.

There’s sort of have a have an expectation of what you get from your from your music what your music is all about.

Yeah yeah. But it’s mainly people that like my music in the first place because if as I said if they didn’t they wouldn’t even come to my mates base. I will say I don’t have many haters that come to my profile. I may have haters that don’t bother to come or comment on my music. So basically I don’t know if I have haters but yeah they don’t.

They don’t reach out to me so. So you actually you’re picking up good vibes from your fans. Yes. Yes. Basically people are listening to your music they’re connecting with you via Soundcloud for example. But is there any other ways people connect to you or what is your preferred way to connect to your fans to your audience.

Well SoundCloud is my main platform. I have most so most of my fans on soundcloud. And there is a god put most of my music out on soundcloud. I don’t have all my beats on YouTube or other platforms as I do on soundcloud.

So I’m actually I’m dependent on Soundcloud.

I’m told it’s a German I think a Berlin based platform that allows musicians artists podcasters also like me to bring their music that sounds to the world. It’s easily embedded bull the beats or the songs are easily embedded in other Web sites. You can comment ask questions while listening to to the music and also you can comment at it. A very special section of a music you prefer something a lot. I think that’s a very nice feature also.

Yes well as I’m using Soundcloud for nearly 10 years now I didn’t have any kind of major problem. I see people hating on soundcloud for I don’t know copyrights or whatnot. I’ve never had a problem with some call about copyright infringement or anything. Oh wait. But I don’t know. Sometimes just fits for me. OK. Some people doesn’t like it and they post music on click track or bandcamp soundcloud works really fine for me.

Do you look at the analytics of SoundCloud. Is that something that you do that is important for you to make decisions which track your sort of pushing or further developing.

Well not really because I bought the premier account not too long ago.

It’s like being a month or so. So I’m just what I’m doing now with some cloud analytics.

I can see which countries listen to me the most and which be they listen to the most but I put the beats in my spotlight that I feel that they should be brought to attention.

So you’re using these these things to connect with your audience and you’re sort of looking at analytics also. But basically what you do as an innovator and I’m calling an innovator here is you rely on on on moods on your ideas of a special day or based on a special moment to produce your product let’s put it that way.

Yeah I’m not sure why I’m there still. Good question.

Yes. It wasn’t I was just trying to to sort of create put to your situation and transform your situation to the situation say of a product manager of a person that starts a new product that way it’s always important too to look at your audience look at your fans and your customers and get their reactions. But actually it’s so much more important in many cases to not simply look at what your customers ask you to do but what you think the customers would like if they knew what that what they would like to have yeah.

So yeah ok. I think I can. I understood. Now basically I don’t I don’t do music specifically for what customers want.

I still do music that I feel like doing. No. And since people loved my work so far I guess I’m basing my music on that because I was always doing what I do and I continue to do what I do because people love what I do. I guess even the next songs that I’m realizing they are going to lay them since they’re based on what I was doing before.

To put it that way.

Yeah but I understand that since Sperry is this Since there’s similarities or it’s it’s sort of grounded into what you’ve done before but it looks to me that you are always evolving that you do new things that you don’t do the same thing twice.

Well yes I am I guess so many of my beats are different but there they have does this immense vibe that you can feel like I don’t know. People have been telling me that if they played a bit that they couldn’t see my name on it they could guess that it was my beat based on the you know the production and the feeling I am kind of evolving. I didn’t like trap at the beginning right away. I started doing trap like not more than half a year ago I like the innovative process process of doing trap music because I always play the the tramp beats on keyboards and that’s what that’s when I actually if I’m feeling like playing keyboards then I will do a trumpet.

If I’m feeling like sampling that I’m doing old school hip hop beat and I guess trap beats are kind of evolving for me and also the electronic music is evolving. If you could put it that way. I don’t know. But yeah.

OK so. So what you’re also saying is it’s not that you’re just evolving but there’s some you’re in very close contact and you’re paying attention to what other people are producing and making.

Yeah I’m trying to keep pace with the time the more their music I guess but I’m also doing the old school the 90s vibe. Beats on the side.

Actually I do the 90s vibe as a main genre but I do the modern music on the site which adds lots of more complexity and I’m quite fascinated by a by that. If I look at that. I mean you’re an artist you’re a producer you create music in different ways. You play the computer you play the guitar you play keyboards and so on. In the beginning you said that you do all these different instruments in a way I thought I considered the computer also as an instrument since it creates a different style of music or different type of music or brings at least everything together in one piece. Do you consider it like the producing time also as playing an instrument or is that something completely different for you.

Well it is different unless I’m using a keyboard because when I sample beats I don’t use a keyboard. I use just the mouse and the computer. And if I’m using a keyboard then then you could say that I’m playing music because I’m thinking of my card’s progressions of melodies of scales etc. And when I’m sampling I’m just listening to the music that’s already there and trying to rearrange it to make to make it sound like more like me. And it’s a different process.

It’s interesting that for you there is so much difference between one instrument and the computer because from my point of view I saw I thought it was just another let’s put it that way another instrument with different sounds different possibilities.

It’s good to hear your point is it’s just the it’s two different things. I think it’s two different things. Actually when I make beats I’m composing and when I play music I mostly play music that’s already there old rock songs or something I don’t know whatever I feel like playing. So it’s it’s the differences.

One is composing and the other is just you know playing and practicing witch and composing would be the instrumental part or the computer part the computer part actually.

OK then the instrumental part is practicing for the composing.

So so what you what you’re also seeing is it is really important to know your tools really well like you inside your computer you need to know how it works how the software works so you can sort of stretch the things out go to the limits also.

Well yes because basically I sometimes make a beat in 15 minutes all from scratch to you know to the finish what where it’s done it can be posted on the Internet like 15 minutes and that’s all based on the door I’m using I’m using a full studio and I’ve literally learned the door as the palm of my hand you know OK if I have a vision of a bit of a melody that you know I’ve heard then all I need to do is just open up the door and I already know what’s where and what should I do. And I just assemble the things in the door and that’s it. The the beat is made in in my head before I open the door.

OK. How do you perceive see that vision of a piece of music. How is it do you see like colors or do you see do you hear tones. Is it likes. How do you what is the first thing that you perceive of your vision.

Well I hear a loop and I kind of big box to it in my mind. OK well like I’m I’m I remember lots of sounds of the drums you know like they’re in my mind and I just I’m changing the drums and the melodies right then and there. And when I when I hear the final product I just open up the the door and put it as I as I hear it.

OK. And since you know you’re like I think I need to explain that the door is like the DAW Which is your software that you’re using to jam. Yes. OK. And since you know you’re your tool so well you simply know what to pick in terms of beats and other things and where you loop stuff or where you sort of change things around easily.

Yes exactly. When I opened the door I already know what kick to use. Where do my bass come from where do my melody come from. No I don’t search through things to find what kind of bass to use. I already have in mind what kind of base to use and what kind of dances you know so. So that’s I’m saving a lot of time on that.

So. So you have a really straightforward process here. Straightforward creative process. You have something in your mind. You hear all these different bits and pieces it becomes life inside your head. Let’s put it that way. And once things are very clear to you start working on it and then it’s basically a very straightforward thing without lots of experimenting.

Well yes I. I already do the beat in my head as I said this and then I just need the door to you know make an audio file out of it. I already have the audio file. He might you know in my head. Yes. And I just the door is kind of an instrument to let you know how the audio file sounds in my head.

Yes. So wouldn’t it be great to have some sort of special helmet with electrodes and stuff that would simply pick up the sound from your head.

Yeah I guess then I would be able to make beats in like two minutes.

Well but you still have to do the experimenting in your head before. So once you have recorded everything. Is that something that you sort of put out in the world right away or do you wait like for another day or two until you publish it.

No I’m publishing it right. Right away. I export I have a I have an artwork that I use on my sample on all the songs and that’s it.

So no looking back. Yeah. You have everything made up right. Ready made in your hand you have recorded it you bring it out into the world and that’s it. There’s no experimenting and working on that recorded file. He has basically I’m pretty sure that.

It is what it is. It is the best it can get.

Where do you get that feeling that tells you that it is the best you can get here.

If I’m working on a B for too long I’m starting to lose you know my my my feel for the beat.

You know if I’m listening to because when I’m making a bit I have to listen to it every time I put something new in it. Like if I change the snare I have to listen to many part of the bit. And if I do that like two hundred times in a day then the beat will become boring to me and I won’t like it even if it’s if it’s good you know. So basically I like to do things faster and I don’t. Really. Rarely listening to my beats I hear it as as the final product when I export it. If there is any mistake or I don’t know some problems during the export and once I publish it I listen to it very rarely.

OK. It’s like many actors say that about themselves that they say they never really watch the movies they’re in because they can sort of can’t stand listening to looking at themselves on the screen. Do you like to listen to yourself or you just don’t you just want to go on and proceed to the next piece.

There are beats that I like to listen to. And there have been beats that I had in my phone like when we beat 24/7 the that happens very rarely.

No OK so.

So what you basically do is you produce something. It’s in your head. You bring it into the world via software and and then you go onto the next beat you go onto the next idea you guess his death which is based on the last product on the last song and the last piece but it’s still something different something new since it’s created for example in a different mood that you’re in on it.

Well it’s it’s it’s not really. I’m sorry for interrupting you about it. It’s not really based on my left b it’s more like based on my last two or three years the years of working so if you take a listen on my Soundcloud you will you will see the beats that are put in in a narrow time.

They say this it might be you might have recorded something two weeks ago and it might be completely different yeah.

But also these that are published a fast one after the other let’s say in a period period of like six months they will sound very similar. All all of them not just the last two but I would say so all of that because my new music is based on the last let’s say 20 beats. Not just the last one.

Sometimes you probably have the ideas or have for more than one piece and so you sort of stretch it this idea or that theme or that vision across several pieces. Yeah maybe to even tell a story.

Yes. Well mostly of my. I do my albums like that. My instrumental albums I’m releasing an instrumental album very soon. I have nine out of 10 tracks finished. So I’m working on the 10th song and the album will be on all platforms like SoundCloud YouTube. I think Spotify Bandcamp these are etc.. So when you can hear my first album you will see that the the theme is very similar. Well for most of the tracks and in the new album it will be like the same feeling in all 10 tracks is just a different melody and vibe. But it will be like a chill hop beat album OK.

I’ve seen that you’re working on the new album and if you have nine songs out of 10 already in the can that that should shouldn’t take too long and until you publish it is it something that will be more acoustically or or will you rather use the computer.

I would say it’s more organically not acoustically OK. Because it’s all done on the computer. I haven’t played much on the last album but I was trying to find organic sample from the sounds to use and most of the Beats feel like nature if I can put it that way. No OK I’m using the nature sounds and no chill sounds like I guess you could say if you listen to it you would feel like you’re in a forest or by a river you know that kind of stuff.

OK. So it will be your next album. It’s like your next big project will be a new album that will be available on all the major outlets have you ever thought of bringing all your music your stuff to places like I Tunes. People can actually buy the music and listen to it say on their smartphones.

Well yes then the next album is is going to be on all of them. OK. Even you I even on iTunes I forgot to mention it. I tunes. How was it Amazon music. Like literally almost every major platform. It’s incredible how these platforms allow us to as say as creators to be globally available without.

Investing in the business. Well yes but it’s really hard to get through on all of them. Like if I’m famous on some thought it doesn’t mean that I will be famous on Spotify or other platforms maybe my soundcloud fans don’t use spotify or don’t use Amazon music or ITunes so they will just continue to listen to me on soundcloud. Basically I don’t know if the market will accept my new album. I. I could say my fans will because I’ve released few singles and they accepted them. Really nice they like the songs and I don’t know. We’ll see.

Yeah. So. So yeah actually I mean the album is a it’s a way to package also your product the product of your creativity your music and and tell a story or or allow you to communicate something that is important to you at this certain time. You can sell it via the major outlets which is quite simple to do right now but you still have to do it of marketing around the project about your new product about your new album. You have still that tension will it fly Oh. What will people say and I think I think sometimes that’s that’s most one of the most important things that key holds you back to do something new. Do you feel. Do you think that. Does it hold you back. Also to to do something new right now or are you well there’s insecurity about is it sick. Will it be some sort of success.

Does that hold you well I wouldn’t say so because I still can post my music on my main platforms which are Soundcloud and Youtube. So I hope I’m not like too too worried about will the Spotify audience accept my music or not. I’m just. Let’s say I’m interested in seeing how the the people that listen to music only on Spotify will react to my music. Many of my fans have commented that my music will blow up on Spotify. I don’t know I. The thing is it puts me back actually is my country. Because I’m still Spotify isn’t available in my country. OK so the album will be released by an record label from Serbia and I guess I’ll see from there for you know for the future. If if they accept my music like if Spotify accepts my music. Nice I guess I will continue to to put my other stuff on Spotify.

So does that mean that Spotify is not available in your country. So it’s like geo blocked or something.

Yes I am. If I want to listen music to Spotify I have to use a VPN. Because I can. When I log in it says that I’m not you know I can’t even listen to previews of songs. So that’s like. The down bar. But actually if I don’t use VPN I wouldn’t be able to listen to my own beat. That will be both posted on Spotify. That’s the. Irony.

Yeah and even your friends wouldn’t be able to listen to your music. Yeah. If your feedback and and yeah that’s that’s kind of odd but still the rest of the world is able to listen to it. Most of the rest of the world. So I think this is also this is an incredible thing an incredible possibility for a creator to do to reach fans so there’s something great happening to you right now with a new album that you’re working on. You’re also working on different beats and you’re bringing out once in a while. Also you can’t live without music.

Basically yeah. Yes. Yes that’s very true. Well I’m already thinking about my next album which I would like to involve the guitar a lot. OK. Like it it would still be kind of like jazzy type of instrumentals but with lots of guitar maybe I’m quite inspired by the old dramatic songs. If you listen to romantic note anyway here’s a producer from Slovenia I think and he is doing. Many genres as well. And I’m producing my next album will be kind of inspired by him.

I’ve seen that you’re that you’re also like Mark Knopfler.

Oh I absolutely love Mark Knopfler is my favorite guitarist and Dire Straits is one of my favorite bands so maybe Mark Knopfler is more like favorite get there is done in dire straits is my favorite band.

But anyway I really like Mark Knopfler also and you’re probably aware of the movie the local hero. Yeah and and he made the soundtrack for this movie and in the summer I traveled to Scotland and to visit the place where local hero was shot and OK. I always had the soundtrack in the back of my mind when when I visited the place and the best thing was in Arbroath there is a a fish and chip shop. And when we entered the shop people were so nice and and they were humming things music and so on and one of these people working in the shop preparing fish hummed music from the local hero soundtrack from Mark Knopfler. So that was really cool and I could tell right away and we got into a discussion and it was an very simple way to get into contact by other music with this person. And he loved the plays. He had never been to to the place where local hero was shot but he loved the music and he he’s a big fan of Mark Knopfler.

Also the power of music is absolutely beautiful. It’s you know if it’s a language that everyone can understand.

You know I think you’re onto something but when you when you try to speak to somebody else from another country you need to speak basically English because that’s like a common language. But it’s still limited in a way but music isn’t music works basically globally as a leg.

Yes well I guess some of my songs can inspire the feeling that I had when I made them in other people like I could tell other people what I feel without saying anything you know just you just listen to the music and you I guess feel pretty much the same as me so music is like really really beautiful thing. And I can understand music. I can understand people then that don’t listen to music. I’ve seen people that say that they don’t listen to music. That’s I don’t know. That’s impossible for me.

So if you if you’re looking into into what would you dream about professionally what would how would you what would be a professional dream that you wanted to achieve.

Well I guess playing in a large venue is what every musician is working for. What would you know is just what where and what would you play. Oh what would I play. I guess I would probably play a solo guitar. I just love the sound of the acoustic guitar you know. And I don’t know. I would probably compose something myself for for some acoustic pieces and with whom would you play together with.

Do you have like an ideal person.

See if I could choose that would be Mark Knopfler.

He has. Well they’re not really acoustic tunes but it’s rather acoustic sounding like clean guitars.

Maybe if you know the song my brain froze moving. You.

Sing it like that boom boom like that. It’s called boom like that. I want to do that kind of stuff. That kind of music and I don’t know Mark is just the best out there doing it. I can tell you the story behind this behind the song. The song is actually about the fast food man. Crock If you rate dropped you heard. Yes. Yeah. The song is about crock. So this man made such a song about a person who makes fast food you know just the music in the song is telling you much more than fast food. You know if you don’t search for the lyrics or for the meaning of the song you wouldn’t have the idea that it’s written about a fast food restaurant. No it’s just too beautiful to be a fast food piece of commercial. To say which is not. But you get what I’m trying to say.

Mm hmm. So so you use one of your videos or one of your pieces is called I’m not good with words but actually what you do is you communicate via melody melodies important for your melodies speaks melody transports emotions and what you actually want to say.

Yes yes. Yes. Yeah you could probably hear that the most in my composition which is called Homeland. Mm hmm. It’s a classic. I mean it’s or gestural computer composition and I don’t know that that song is something that I was feeling very strongly you know when I was making it. I was feeling like sad and enthusiastic in the same time because my country was going through some problems back then I’m not too much of a patriot. To be honest. But I was I was feeling that way back then. And I don’t know. Maybe that’s the song that you can feel the most I guess.

OK so it’s something that deeply moved you that deeply sort of changed. There was something outside of your soul outside forces that sort of changed the way your country was existing or your country was.

I mean it. And I see you very much May I’m.

I don’t understand what you’re talking about right now but I understand that a lot of things have happened in your country in the past. And I guess it’s very very difficult not to realize what has happened to people that lived there before you. So you’re a young person maybe you haven’t realized all what happened but through your father’s or your other people you understand what what went What’s going on.

Yeah well I was driven by the patriotism that that’s in me for that piece. That’s why it was called common. Actually the music I didn’t feel too much sad or you know like too much how to say down. But I was just thinking about my country when I was making the music like I was thinking about my country in a artistic way as to how to put melodies in this song that would represent how my country it is at the moment how I feel about my country at the moment.

Like that’s what it was for me I guess few people that a few of my friends that have heard the piece said that it really is sort of like that maybe stuff they’ve felt it quite differently. All of them but it it brings out the the field that I that I felt when I was making the song.

Well I’m as I told you before I’m not that much into music but I’m fascinated of how you are able to transport your mood ideas via music instead of words. And I’m quite quite interested how this works. And. I’m really happy that that we have this conversation right now.

Well I like to think in melodies you know and liking instruments like a violin can be a very sad instrument and it can be a very happy instrument. So basically for me it’s more sad than happy.

I don’t use violence and happy music but so if I’m feeling sad I’m trying to make a melody that represents what what I would say with words you know as much as a painter would do something like that and present what whatever he or she wanted to say in a painting in an image in I suspect that even in the very beginning where you didn’t know how to use your door that easily you still had all the things in your hand and wanted to get it out the same way as it is today.

Yes yes yes yes yes. OK. So that’s it. And you sort of you will evolve also

And the big dream would be played more acoustically you know in a big venue with something that you would compose of. Especially for such a venue ideally as well.

I would like to hear my pieces played by or just dress or by events you know like even my hip hop thinks because I tried to make them as much organic as I can. I’m not using too much electronic sounds. Mostly it’s pianos it’s guitars it’s violins you know. So I would love to hear some of my pieces played by an artist.

You dream big you probably envision also how these pieces sound like in your head played by an orchestra.

Well yes I try to imagine the way that that would sound but I still want to hear and feel you know the the the sound you know big venue or a whole especially on my on my homeland beef I would like to hear it played by an actual or just because yes I composed it and played it on a keyboard on my door but I think it will be a totally different feeling when you know the piano player puts his emotion into the composition the violin player puts his emotion into the you know violence and the whole orchestra putting their emotions into playing you know I guess it would sound a bit more authentic.

It’s like a multiplication of emotions and energy. Since you have not just one person during the music that you have say 20 or even more people doing music.

Yes yes yes yes exactly like I would love to hear a violinist to try to play the piece that I composed exactly as I’ve imagined it because maybe my door doesn’t allow me to put that much feeling into an instrument you know like If I get my guitar to play I probably can play dynamics and you know the feeling of my left and right hand like the peaking strength you know like if I’m thinking soft or if I’m picking strumming hard. So I would like to see how an orchestra would perform that that piece to you write the notes. No I actually I don’t know theory musical theory. OK. I’m as I literal know zero musical theory I have most of the theory I know is based on the guitar because I know the strings as they are the root notes and the positions of the notes are basically like a piano. Let’s take for an example the sixth string on the guitar it’s an E. So all the frets down to the 21st fret are semi tones. If the open string easy the first fret is f the second fret is F sharp the third fret is g et cetera. So that helps me into producing but I don’t read notes as in a sheet.

It’s impressive that you still are able to do such great stuff without knowing all these things of without having formally studied all these things. Do you think that’s that’s an advantage would or would you want to study that form part. Would you want to pick up studying the form.

You know why I don’t like studying musical theory is because I think that it might it might redefine me as a musician OK. But in a bad way like I would compose as a robot. Because this way I don’t know what is right or what is wrong you know with my scales and with my nose and I’m doing it by ear. So it’s just it’s like an open thing I can think of on all sides. And if I knew music theory then I would be like oh maybe this doesn’t fit here. You know it’s not like in that scale or in this scale.

And I would maybe worsen the composition does it allow you to break rules even better if you don’t know about the rule.

Yes I guess so because I if I knew I guess if I knew music theory I would stick to one scale and this way I could change scales and you know melodies so I actually didn’t want to learn musical theory because of this and some of my fellow friends guitarists have told me that maybe it’s better to stay that way because when you learn music theory you’re composing like this you know you’re just thinking once what’s wrong and what’s right in theory.

It’s a bit like jazz music I think. I’m not really into jazz music theory but from what I remember is that it was people that started playing music for let’s say the joy of music and some doubting to to mix new things new instruments new together in a completely new way without paying attention to the rules.

Well yes. Jazz music is really hard to learn and to play because every every participant in the music like in a band they’re playing they’re their own thing you don’t have rules. The Beat the drums doesn’t have to go like you know that. There isn’t that just. I mean it’s probably there is a jazz groove that you could say it’s. I don’t know. It’s universal. But you don’t hear a same groove into just songs. It’s always different even if it’s a ghost note on the snare note on the cymbals or you know.

It’s a bit like what you said in the beginning when you ever you start jamming with your friend. It’s hard to reproduce whatever place you where just now again. And it also shows that when never never disconnected from our surrounding what happens around us moves us deeply or is actually affecting what whatever we doing whatever we are producing whatever we are creating a lot even even on a on a scale that that do you do you’re sort of you’re rooted in your country but you’re reaching out into the world to. Fans to supporters to people that to an audience that that appreciates what you’re doing.

Yes. Well I guess this piece is something you didn’t expect from a producer like me who’s making hip hop.

No because I guess that’s what you’ve heard of me so far but yeah I did hear homeland before when I was researching you and I was impressed by by that range off of your off off your of your language is let’s put it that way. Right. It’s a musical. Yeah. Three musical languages of your musical KIPP complete cap capabilities and of your musical interests also. And I kind of like that because in terms of somebody who is actually seriously creating something these people you people you usually have a very broad base very broad interest in and are good in different type of things and not just in one thing in one area.

Yes I guess that’s true.

I mean I think musicians feel things differently than you know people who don’t make music or don’t listen to music.

I think we can feel things a bit more deeply as to say because most of what we do is based on a feeling if you’re a construction worker you don’t you know you don’t have to feel things to make a wall or foresight or I don’t know a bench. I don’t know if that makes sense but you. I’m trying to tell you what I mean by feeling things deeper you know it’s the product that you’re creating as such.

Such a personal thing. The process to get to this product and let’s put it that bluntly as a product is also a very personal thing. So every musician probably has their own way to get to to their music or do you see that there are similarities between you and other musicians that you work.

I guess I guess so I’ve never thought of it that way but it makes sense. Now that you’ve mentioned it. No. I mean everyone has their own approach to making music but to be honest most of the musicians base their music on except for the commercial music is based on money.

But ideally everybody has live right. So everyone you find somebody that resonates with the feelings that you create in music and gives you money.

Yeah. I mean money is good and all but I think it has to have a point. It has to have a feeling. No. OK.

That’s what music is all about for me at least since you have driven so much by music. I suppose there’s nothing other that sort of moves you in such a deep way. But is there anything else that you’re also passionate about.

I guess not. Not as much as music.

Well I guess that’s OK. Some people don’t have a single one thing that they’re passionate about. And if you’re on a such a level of passion for your music as you are. That’s a good thing. Thank you.

Well if it’s in your mix I’m very thankful for you to have taken your time to talk with me about what ever drives you whatever moves you with what brings you to create your music. And. I think for me that was very that was an insight into a different world.

Thank you very much.

Thank you for inviting me.

After our conversation we listened to beats of a mix and he gave me more insight into his thinking. What I think is fascinating that in his mind is creating beats in everything he hears. He’s a musician that tries to do his thing in a very challenging environment. He mix is using the digital possibilities the Internet offers to create distribute and market his work. I’m thankful it took the time for the conversation as a side note. This is the first episode of my podcast after years of learning and preparing the show got off the ground at last. My name is Clowes. I said I’m an innovation coach and located in the south west of Germany in the state of Barton Guttenberg the 2.5 innovator podcast.

It’s an idea more than three years in the making. This first conversation is the beginning and I have a long list of innovators I’d like to have a conversation with.

This is the 2 point 5 a podcast that connects innovators through conversations the development of the 2.5 was supported by many people to thank you.

Here’s to it makes for the great music and the time it took further conversation. Alex De Palma from the podcasting fellowship the other aspiring podcasters of the fellowship. David Nebinski. Colin Grey from and Andreas Urra from the University of Constance and my wife Barbara. And thank you for listening. My name is Klaus. This is the 2.5 conversations connecting innovators.

thank you to

Immex for his music and time

David Nebinski

Alex DiPalma and Seth Godin from The Podcasting Fellowship

Andreas Urra from the University of Konstanz

Colin Gray from the Podcast Host com

Niklas Leck von Start Summit St. Gallen

Peter Frischknecht und Timur Sagirosman von Startfeld St. Gallen

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