31 Mar Connecting With Audio
Connecting with audio sounds very simple at times but there are other vast technicalities that are attached to this phenomenon. To explore these technicalities, we had our talk today.
In this week’s The Faces of Business episode, our guest speaker was Geoffrey Stern. Geoffrey is the founder and CEO of Voice Express. His company Voice Express produces audio and video-chip sets. Moreover, he is also the President of PEF Israel Endowment Funds since 2010.
The conversation started with Geoffrey sharing some things from his past, including how he got into his business of Voice Express. He said that he worked in the fire suppression business. However, it was ozone-depleting so he left it. This is when he started his current company.
After this, talking about connecting with audio and his whole idea of video chips, Geoffrey shared some interesting points. He said that people like the idea of getting a bouquet of flowers along with an audio message. This is because they generally like the emotions that audio messages express.
Talking about his inventions, Geoffrey also talked about this other invention that they did for the pharmaceutical industry. It was basically about an audio chip that they placed in pharmaceutical cards that let the doctors know about the dosage, the clinical implication, and other messages as such to the doctors.
This saved that particular industry a lot of time and was also more feasible for the doctors. Later in the conversation, Geoffrey talked about his other coming innovations, one of which is an audio chip in the manual of various products that your order.
By the end of the conversation, Damon asked Geoffrey to give the audience some tips on the perks of running a business for 20 plus years. On this Geoffrey said that the first lesson is that you have to be in the game. The important thing for him is to just do it. Whatever it is, even if you are wrong, just do it.
The next tip according to him is about relationships. He said that the people you’re dealing with should have a character and you yourself should also have a character, only then you can work together as a team.
Moreover, he said that even when I retire, the thing I’ll miss the most is the relationships I’ve built over time. In the end, he talked a little more about connecting with audio and his latest projects that he will launch.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking Geoffrey for his time.
Geoffrey Stern is the Founder and CEO of Voice Express Corporation. Apart from this, he is also a pioneer of Voice Chip and Network Computing Convergence. Geoffrey is also the President of PEF Israel Endowment Funds since 2010. Moreover, before this, he was the President of Uptime Technologies.
As for his voice chip command, Stern has been at the forefront in voice commerce. Moreover, his products are used in voice-enabled toys, sentiment expression, photo imaging, direct mail, etc.
Apart from this, there are other new things that Geoffrey is all set to launch. This includes his CONNECT™ a smart-speaker in print and Voice Gift®. He is working on a number of projects that will enable people in connecting with audio.
In education, Geoffrey has a BA in Philosophy and Economics from Columbia University.
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Connecting With Audio
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
people, voice, call, product, technology, gift, patents, ideas, message, business, flowers, customer, thinking, jeffrey, industry, terms, store, express, transact, years
Geoffrey Stern, Damon Pistulka
Damon Pistulka 00:08
All right. Thanks, everyone for joining us once again on the faces of business by exit your way. I’m Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I’ve got Jeffrey stern of voice Express. Jeffrey, thanks for joining us today.
Geoffrey Stern 00:23
Damon, it’s a real pleasure to be here. Really excited.
Damon Pistulka 00:26
Yeah, I am to man I’ve we’ve we’ve interacted a bit on some of our other events and things and learning more about voice express myself, I just thought it would be interesting to have you on and talk a little bit about your background and the company and kind of where you see the voice technology moving and, and just share more about your story.
Geoffrey Stern 00:51
Damon Pistulka 00:53
Yeah. So if you’re listening out there on LinkedIn live, go ahead and let us know where you’re at, and where you’re coming in from where you’re watching from, and like to hear that, and we’ll stop throughout the presentation or the interview here, and give you a chance to ask some questions. So Jeffrey, tell me a little bit about your background. I mean, you you’ve had voice Express now for about a little over 25 years, 26 years now. I mean, voice Express, explain a little bit about the company. And then let’s go back to the beginning, because that was bleeding edtech bleeding edge technology in 1995. Yeah, voice
Geoffrey Stern 01:32
has become very sexy and exciting recently, and a lot of people come to me and say, Wow, you’re in the right place at the right time. And I think I’ve been in the same place for a long time. But it is an interesting story. And I think maybe today we’ll explore a little bit how things have changed, and maybe have also stayed very much the same. I, I can’t say I’m a serial entrepreneur, because I’m more like a dog with a bone. I pick on one industry or one product and stick with it for a while.
But I had another business I was in the fire suppression business, we made fire suppression systems for computer rooms and MRI stations. And that’s a whole story in and of itself, why I exited it from that it had to do with the fact that the gas that we used was an ozone depleting. And the Montreal Protocol came along. And it’s an unbelievably successful story about how industry can get together and solve problems. In my case, I moved on to another career. So it that’s a story in and of itself. But I was looking for something else. Because the government told me I had to sell half as much gas every year as I did the year before.
And that’s not a growth strategy. So I was brainstorming with my brother, who was a party planner, and my dad had a floral supply business. So we were thinking, Okay, how can we take advantage of his knowledge and his connections? And my brother said, well, wouldn’t it be cool if you could send a bouquet of flowers go into the store, record a message onto a cassette, and they can go ahead and deliver the flowers with that cassette. And I said even back then well, it’s not going to be a cassette, it’s probably going to be a voice chip. And you’re probably not going to have to go into the store.
This is when 800 flowers was just launching, you’ll be able to call this new technology called an 800 number, and be able to record the message over the phone. So that’s how we started, I filed some patents from the previous fire suppression company. While I’m not an engineer, I had learned to work with engineers. And I had some patents that I had developed under that company. So I had that kind of technical background, I knew that you had to create a competitive advantage.
And we filed patents got the patents. And like any true entrepreneur, we follow the money, we still haven’t done the flowers in a big way, but Valentine’s around the corner, so you never know. But the idea was to enable people to express themselves by recording a voice message into some sort of chip and animating a product. And one of the first ideas that I had was okay, well, let’s put it into a plush teddy bear. So we kind of combine voice and the voice print with something tactile that you can hug. And then I said, well, let’s bring another sense here. And let’s get little t shirts that you can print an image on. And it wasn’t that easy to find a T shirt manufacturer for small t shirts.
I found one in St. Louis and they said, Can we show this to another customer? And lo and behold, the other customer was Maxine Clark, who at that point had three bill to bear stores. They now have 400 plus stores around the country. And with trepidation in her voice, she said, Do I have to buy the bear from you? Or can I just buy the voice recorder and I said if I never see another bear again, I’ll be a happy guy. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship, we’ve probably sold them over 50 million sounds with licensed music with effects. And obviously people will cork. And that’s a really a short intro to my career path in terms of the voice space.
Damon Pistulka 05:18
Yeah. So when you’re that, that, wow, the intersection of the things that you just talked about that with the one 800 flowers and being that being new, the idea of a chip or some sort of recorded message along with flowers, all at the same intersection is pretty interesting.
Geoffrey Stern 05:38
Well, it’s, it’s, it’s really fascinating what I was thinking about over the last week or two, because we put out a blog. And I said, let’s do something around flowers. And I started thinking about the floral industry. And this company called FTD, had a floral wire services 120 years ago. So that means all they needed for the technology was a telegram. And the idea was that you could order a bouquet of flowers in a New York florist. And same day, it could be delivered in San Francisco. Now what they had going for them was flowers, or flowers, or flowers, or roses or rose. So it was a generic product that could be duplicated easily.
But in a sense, they are all the way back then had a very early form of bogus buy online pick up in store. And if you think about it, the technology has really just caught up so that now we can do that much more easily. But the the the concept of being able to express yourself, not only with a beautiful gift, but with in those days was a dictated chord that you would dictate to the New York florist and they would then transcribe to the other florist.
But that you could do it quickly. Because when we talk, I like to say something and hear you back. If it takes a week to get there. It’s not quite the same effect. So in a sense, while everything that we’re doing today is brand new, it’s really kind of circling around old primal themes. People like to express themselves exchange products and gifts, and have mementos that somehow trigger emotions.
Damon Pistulka 07:26
Yes, yes, that is that is for sure. So you know, you mentioned build a bear. And I familiar with that, because my kids have a few of them, if not more, I don’t remember how many they went through as they were growing up. But what are some of the other applications that you’ve had for your product throughout the years that have been kind of unique or interesting that you got? Ah,
Geoffrey Stern 07:53
so we about 15 years ago, maybe 10 years ago, we got approached by a publication that service to the pharmaceutical industry. And they said, you know, these cards that like Hallmark has that play 10 seconds of music? Could you make a card that could play two or three minutes of audio? And I said yeah, technologically we could but who would want to listen to that? And they said, Well, here’s the deal. The the rep can no longer get to the doctor, doctors are too busy, busy, they used to do something called a mini detail where they would sit down, they’d explain about the beta blocker that they were offering.
And, and so what we did was we created these cards for that industry that literally had audio relating to packaging, to medication to dosage to clinical studies. And the pharmaceutical companies are really good in tracking efficacy. And so they saw that doctors who received one of these things, actually wrote more script, they they felt more comfortable with the, with the medication. And then we showed them and I’d like to think we were the first to do that. And then we showed them a similar card that had a little LCD screen inside. And instead of saying how much they said, How big can you make the screen?
I mean, money was really not an objection because that you can’t you can’t put $1 sign on what it takes to to sit in front of a prospect and to convey information. And so we did that now that we have a lot of competition. So it was time to innovate. And about a year ago, I said, you know, this whole voice recognition thing with Alexa and Google Connect. Why don’t we make a call that can do the holy grail of marketing. It can not only talk but it can listen to and it can respond and probably answer most of the frequently asked questions that either a prospect or a client might have on their mind. And that’s what we’re launching now.
It’s called connect and we’d like to say it’s a smart speaker in print. And it’s it’s really amazing. It’s good for direct mail, in store shopping, doesn’t use a screen you don’t have to talk Anything. And after sales engagement? I mean, how many times do you get a product, whether it’s a printer or a blender, and it has so many features, that if you don’t discover them in the first week or two, probably never going to discover them. So to have a welcome message where it asks you questions and answers your questions seems to us to be something that’s very exciting. So we’re excited about that technology?
Damon Pistulka 10:24
And I would think so you’re exactly right. Because if I have that new blender, say, or bring my my brand new juicer home that I’m really excited about using, and I want to understand features better looking through the manual, could be tedious, or just something that most people won’t do. But asking a an interactive piece of media like that would be really nice. Because you could Yeah, you can program the most common questions that you’re gonna get and or just the actual features to be able to explain those.
Geoffrey Stern 11:02
Yeah, I mean, it shows in, in ways that Words cannot express that the brand not only wants to talk to you, but it wants to listen to you too. And that’s a powerful statement that it’s implicitly making. And the you know, the thing is, people always ask me, so what do you do and what combines all of these products, and I and I recently realized that you we’ve all heard of this Internet of Things, IoT, what I’ve been doing and continue to do is vo T the voice of things, I put the ability for products themselves to help you guide you and interact with you. And none of them need a Wi Fi connection or Bluetooth. That’s very important.
Because, you know, you could say it’s pretty easy to pair a device with your phone. It’s easy, but none of us do it if somebody would just hand us a mailer, or walk into a store. So it has to be something that you can do on impulse, and in an unmediated fashion.
Damon Pistulka 11:56
Yeah, that’s for sure. Because you’re right. Some technologies, you can connect up to them and do those kinds of things. But to to make things simpler, effective for more people, quite honestly, is something that has to be standalone and, and very easy to operate. Like you’re saying no touch, and no screen needed and those kinds of things.
Yeah, that’s cool. So when you look at when you look at this technology, then what are some of the interesting applications you’re seeing of this because I think of things when I back in the retail days, helping them in store operations and stuff like that, you know, just explaining products in a store, I think this would be a really cool application.
Geoffrey Stern 12:44
But absolutely, and you know, it’s low cost. And so it almost can be self liquidating meaning to say that you could put it on an end cap or as a shelf talker. And when you sell through the product, you can almost throw it away. So you know, what you’re seeing in a lot of stores today are fairly expensive, screen based things screens are not what they used to be, no one wants to touch a screen anymore.
Yeah, but they also not only are expensive, but they take a valuable shelf space. So all things are very discreet, you know, this has all of my technology right inside of it. And it could be a male or it can be a shelf talker. So I do think that’s important. But I think that, in many ways, the opportunities that technology such as mine are introducing a less technological, and more personal.
So if you think in terms of the last eight months of Corona, we all thought that the emoji had killed the telephone. But lo and behold, people are talking on the telephone like never before, and they’re not necessarily transacting, they’re really just talking. And so my cards, you know, we were worried about having all of our eggs in one basket in terms of build a bear. So we said, let’s open up an Amazon account. And And literally, I’m having trouble keeping up with demand in terms over a 62nd card that we have called voice gift, because people are recording messages and giving it to their grandparents and parents who are isolated alone.
And just to be able to hear a familiar voice becomes magical, and a way of communicating. And so I started looking at what happens in the builder beer store, because if you don’t learn from your customers, you don’t learn from anything. And what happens is a kid comes in and they first they pick the skin, the type of animal they want to stuff. And the second thing they do after the Choose me station is they go to the HMI station. So it probably came from a practical point of view because our little sound goes inside of the band before the stuffing, but what it does on a mod deeper level is it says, first you put a voice first you provide a message.
And then you can go ahead and accessorize, if you will. And I started thinking about that in terms of the gift pocket. And I said, you know, today we all in every society, this was an expression that says, it’s the thought that counts. And if it’s the thought that counts, one has to wonder, why is the thought always an afterthought when you’re in e commerce. At the very end, it says, Is this a gift, and, and then hopefully, it gives you 120 letters that you can wait. And if you’re lucky, they’re gonna print that on a card and not on the shipping label where it gets lost.
So what we’re trying to do with this voice gift product, we’re selling it on Amazon, now you buy it, you record a message at home. But the next step is that you’ll be able to buy a gift and start with the message. Start with picking the right music that conveys the message of the moment recording a voice dedication, doing an old fashioned shout out like you would on the radio in the old days. And then magically, we’ve done focus groups, once you have the right message, all of the angst and the pressure of picking just the right gift vanishes. And it’s not that there it trivializes the gift. But ultimately, the gift is a token of your message.
And if you get the message, right, you know, already you can imagine it becomes a vicarious thrill because you already imagine the smile on her face when she hears your voice and that you pick the US song. So though that’s not so much a technological advance, it’s using the technology that we have. But it’s a paradigm shift in terms of how attract how do we transact and what is important in a transaction, such as gift giving, it could also be for direct mail and contacting a customer may be the most important thing is listening to the customer, not speaking to them. So these are all ideas that I find very exciting.
Damon Pistulka 16:56
No doubt. I mean, when you when you think about the way that an e commerce brand could change their perception in the market, and also their perception on the receiver of products from them if I can send a gift through a company and I can personalize the message. And and the music and the whole audio experience. When they open the gift, they opened the audio card or or whatever, however it’s delivered. And say this is gift is from me, it’s from my heart, this is what I was thinking about when I bought it for you.
Or when I when I found it for you. I hope you enjoy it. I plan some nice music in the back. That’s a completely different experience, then Amazon delivering a package and dropping it off of your door and opening up the box. That is cool. Because I see I feel it when I talk about that. You can feel it and you feel the emotion when you’re doing that.
So that’s really interesting. And it does, as you said, it makes the the gift a token of the message you’re trying to send. That’s cool. And that’s really cool. So you know, you’ve been in business a while now. So what are some of the things that you’ve learned? Because this is obviously not been a constant uphill? Great, you know, always always succeeding, succeeding, conceding every success, you’ve got to have some bumps along the road. So what are some of the things that you’ve learned having this business for, for 20 plus years that that you can tell somebody out there today that’s, that’s rolling down the road with their business?
Geoffrey Stern 18:39
Well, I think the first lesson is you got to be in the game. And you know, you have a good idea. And unless I had gone ahead and made that teddy bear in order to contain with teddy bears and looked for the T shirt, that wasn’t the direction I was going to end up going. Because I ultimately am a technology enabler. For the most part, I’ve been most successful, helping brands enhance their own products. But the point is, I had to be in the market. And you never know where the market would would lead.
I think Steve Jobs always said, in a famous speech, you know, you can’t connect the dots going forward. But if when you look back, you you definitely can. So the main thing is, you know, for especially for entrepreneurs, you know, don’t just think it, do it and do something and you’re never going to be right and you’re always going to have to pivot, but at least do something.
And, you know, the other thing is, well, the trite and obvious thing is character. You have to have character and the people you deal with have to have character. I have a very small operation. But the people that I’ve been dealing with, I think I’ve been dealing with 20 plus years. So if I need stuff programmed, I have a program or a go to programmer, the factories that I’ve been working with for 20 years. All of those relationships are so important. And, you know, truly, even when I think someday I’ll retire, what I’ll miss most is those relationships.
And when I, when I, when I slack off a little bit, it’s a question of what they they’re depending on me to deliver this stuff. I mean, you don’t know how important a licensed sound for a movie is until build a bear launches a product based on that license. And if the sounds are late, that’s a real problem. So your your little component is a part of a bigger marketing campaign, but it’s critical. And so I think character, your word has to be your word, and long term relationships and they pay off whatever sacrifices you make, in order to fulfill your word, I think you gain back in, in, in multiples, and then just, you know, keep young and keep asking.
And, you know, don’t say why say why not that type of thing. I must say that during the last eight months, I’ve never been busier. And I’ve never been more creative. And and the coolest thing for me is because so much of my life I’ve spent behind brands, whether it’s for the pharmaceutical industry or for the toy industry, with Amazon, I mean, we can talk about Amazon all day in terms of what they enable a small operator like me to do, in terms of I could never sell directly to the consumer, I could never handle the customer service, I could never handle the shipping and all that all that Amazon takes care of.
And what I get in return is not only sales, but I get comments from my customers every day, every day before I go home, I take a look. And you know, there’s some other wonderful story, but also ideas. And, you know, if they ask enough, how long is the recording? How long can it be, you start to hear a message that his voice becomes more important. People have user generated content that they actually want to archive and they want to share. So the product that I came up with literally in the last month because of a request from a customer, it looks pretty much like your old CD jewel case. But instead of having a CD inside, it really opens up and there’s a chip inside.
And it can play up to two hours of audio. Meaning to say a guy like you who does a really good podcast one day, and you want to share it with a new sponsor, or you want to show somebody what you’re doing. And yeah, they could download it, they could turn on the the iPhone app and all that. But you know, there’s nothing like being able to hand something to somebody. And what happens if you have a wedding and you have the toasts and if you have a favorite playlist or your comedian, there are so many things that I think I’m really excited about this product because again, I can’t wait to see how people use it.
But you know, we can call it voice LP for like LP the long playing records. Yeah. And I just, I mean, my newest toy is Oh, now I forget the name. What is the new thing that everybody’s doing online? with voice? It’s clubhouse clubhouse? Yeah, unbelievable. And it’s all about voice and it’s all about interacting. So I think the volume of audio that we are going to have, there’s something special about it. I mean, it’s the first way a kid interacts with a parent the world it’s a it’s an exciting time, like I said to be in the voice space.
Damon Pistulka 23:40
No doubt, no doubt. And I think your voice LP I mean, there’s some some of the things I think grandparents the grandchildren, and and even leaving messages for them beyond them would really be something as well. Yeah. That’s That’s so cool. Two hours is a lot of time to be able to, to really engage with somebody or tell him a very nice story. Well,
Geoffrey Stern 24:04
the cool thing is you can put it in tracks. So literally, you could you could put and we can go even beyond two hours. So why would you want 10 hours? Well, you know, there are these companies that give courses. Yeah. And you could literally have hand somebody the from the Great Courses catalog, something that he can just kept putting in her purse or whatever and have it and it has a headphone jack. So I it’s gonna be interesting to see how people use it. And that’s the most fun part of my job.
Damon Pistulka 24:36
Very cool. Well, I’ve got to ask you, you must have a lot of patents or you’ve gotten patented products. How many have you have you had?
Geoffrey Stern 24:46
I think I have about five issued patents and about five that I hope to be issued. So you know, something like the things that we’ve described today, you can’t get a patent for the whole thing. But if you just pick out a little area that you find is critical. And it gives you you know, a way of protecting the investment in time and effort that you’ve done. On the other hand, you want competition.
And that’s a another message you asked me about? What lessons have I learned? If you don’t have competitors, you probably don’t have a market. So, so there’s nothing wrong with having friendly and I am with most of my competitors, I’m very friendly. And they will call me and I will call them if I’m low on a chip, or if I need a solution from a good customer. And that’s the way it should be. Because, you know, I think we’re still the voice industry is still an emerging industry. And when you’re at that level, you’ve got, there’s a great camaraderie and people share ideas. And you know, it’s the height the rising tide raises all boats.
Damon Pistulka 25:58
Yes, yes. Well into I think, a lot of times in business, we may get caught up in the scarcity mentality. But honestly, in most industries, there’s plenty of work for everyone, if you’re doing a good job and doing you know, solving truly solving your customers challenges, and helping them live better lives.
Geoffrey Stern 26:18
I mean, absolutely.
Damon Pistulka 26:19
That and I think you that’s a great example of that. So when, when you’re not working, so it sounds that you’ve got a great business, you’ve been doing this stuff, what are some of the things that you do when you’re not working?
Geoffrey Stern 26:33
Well, I love to play tennis and ski, I love the outdoors, I have a shop, I love to fix things and build, I love to work with my hands. I love not to look at a screen all weekend. And I think doing COVID, you really have to have discipline, you have to set boundaries. Because otherwise, you know, we can just work 24 seven, and it’s at the end of the day, you can’t be creative if you do that.
So you can call it a day of rest. You can call it whatever you want. But I think really one thing that we all should be learning and a takeaway is that you have to have cycles, and that you have to be able to refresh and recharge. And, you know, luckily, I have a wonderful wife and we enjoy each other’s companies. So you know, I can’t complain, there are many people who are really being challenged doing COVID. And our hearts go out to them. And those of us who, you know, spend time thinking up ideas and sitting at a desk and go about our way and it’s almost a very productive time, we have to watch ourselves that we don’t overwork
Damon Pistulka 27:48
that. I think that’s 100% because as I look at, you know, last year in 2020, and COVID, and the devastation that it caused myself like you being someone that can do a lot of creative work behind the screen and and for businesses. I it was a it was a great learning year. It was a great learning year. You know this as far as how to connect with people across the globe and come up with new ways to help and work with people.
It’s it’s fantastic in those regards. And I also see what you I’m a tinkerer as well, I like to work with my hands. And I’m not doing things like this or helping businesses, business people. Just because I think that using your hands and your mind and in different birds allow you to be more creative when you’re when you come back in front of the screen or in that business situation for sure. It’s always nice to disengage that part of your mind for a while and let it go out there and just find the solutions while you’re not using it.
Geoffrey Stern 28:50
Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.
Damon Pistulka 28:52
Good stuff. So do you. I see
Damon Pistulka 28:56
you work for the is Israel endowment funds. You’re the president of that. So can you tell me I was reading a little bit about it on on LinkedIn. And man, it sounds like you people, you the fund is giving money towards education and just a whole bunch of cool stuff. What What’s that about?
Geoffrey Stern 29:17
Well, that’s a great segue. And it ties into my earliest story about FTD because p f Israel endowment funds, which I’m the president of is also 100 years old. And what it enables is for US taxpayers, who want to give money to charities that are in Israel, for the whole population, whether they’re Jewish, Arab, Christian, Muslim, or whatever any any charity that’s in the State of Israel. They were run by volunteers. And they they make the donation we don’t charge any fees. And by US tax law, if you give to a foreign country, you need to have what they call an equivalency to termination.
So we go ahead and determine that had any one of these organizations been in the States, they would be equivalent to a 501 c three. But but but the tie in to what we were discussing before, is as old and as archaic as it should be. What it really is, is direct to consumer, because we don’t do any fundraising. And we bring in $130 million a year. It’s It’s, it’s, it’s an enigma. And how it happens is the donors go and they do their own research, and they find an organization that they want to help. And they say to them, how can we support you and they say, well send the money through this organization called PDF.
And we’re transparent, and we’re frictionless. We send the money electronically, over the last five years, no more checks. We translate it into currency, at the most competitive rate, because we use the fact that we’re sending so much so many funds to to Israel. But if you think about it, it’s direct to consumer, there’s no fundraising, there’s no middleman, there is no. And and so as we should be archaic and out of style. And in fact, we are exactly appropriate to the time we’ve come to our own, so to speak, so that people can literally transact directly from here to a country 1000s of miles away, and do it transparently, and also do it without any friction.
So it’s kind of exciting. I was a board member for many years. And then I missed one meeting, and they made me the president. So there’s got to be a lesson in there somewhere. But it takes up much more time than I ever expected. But it gives me more satisfaction than I ever imagined. So I think I think I know you’re in the in the retirement or the exit strategy business. I don’t know when and if I retire. But the point of that exit strategy has to be that you need other interests, you need and you can’t start with those other interests when you’re 75 and retiring.
So so I feel very fortunate that way that I’m I’m really very deeply involved in this. It I meet different people from, you know, whether it’s organizations that are working in the Bedouin community to make sure that they get vaccines, and there’s a whole educational process involved there. Whatever it is, you learn about people, and you’re approached and meet people that are philanthropic entrepreneurs, people that on both ends, who are creating new ways of helping people and donors who have had successful lives and want to contribute and make other people’s lives better. So it’s, it’s it’s a fun and a satisfying part of my life.
Damon Pistulka 33:05
That’s awesome. Because I, obviously, not obviously, but I had no idea that the being able to donate to charities outside the US and the way that you have to do the equivalency on them. But that’s quite a that’s quite a valuable service. Because there are so many good charities around the world. And to be able to do that for people in Israel. That’s, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And I’m sure that that allows people a conduit that they would not be able to take advantage of otherwise.
Geoffrey Stern 33:38
Damon Pistulka 33:39
Yeah. Good stuff. That that is that is very cool. And in an awesome way to round that out of it. Really round that out of it. So yeah, any parting thoughts, Jeffrey, I was
Geoffrey Stern 33:57
not really, I just feel very fortunate to be in doing stuff that every day kind of excites me and still inventing and coming up with new ways to help people express themselves and I just your wish that your audience and those that are listening, have the same thrill from whatever they’re doing. And if they have any good ideas, how to use a voice chip, they should look me up on LinkedIn.
And we we get calls all the time from people who have who have ideas that you would never think of my favorite is a fisherman who called me and said he was convinced that if he could put a voice chip inside of a lure that had the sound of a particular cricket, he could attract the fish and he filed a patent. And I mean, he was from down south and he had a he had an accent to prove it. And I don’t know if I have a sample. Yeah, here we go. That is so he made a product called croaker. lures.
And you had he has a checkbox here for pug, fish frog or cricket. And he told me he used to go to country fairs. And they would have these big like pools out, you know, out of ground pools and they’d stocked them with fish. And people would showing their lawyers and their fishing rods. And he’d go ahead and put one of our products in, and all the fish would come in his direction. I he passed away before he could make it win the lottery. But we get we get people calling all the time with different ideas about how to use our technologies. And that keeps me young in puts a bounce in my step and keeps me going from day to day.
Damon Pistulka 35:40
No doubt, no doubt, Jeffrey, well, that’s a great example. And that man, you can hear it in your voice. Just love what you do. And that’s awesome. That’s, that’s the guy and you’re the kind of person that that I like to talk with. Because this this energy that comes from myositis inside of us. And the desire to do this and the passion behind it is really how people are driven to do great things.
I mean, it doesn’t happen just because you, you you follow some some plan or do something, you really have to have that passion that’s going to lead you to the right path because you do get knocked down once in a while you do stub your toe, you do have some challenges that are gonna make it tough, but that passion and that real desire to to see what you can do with something like that is what we how you make great athletes.
It’s awesome to have you on today, Jeffrey, and if people want to look you up, it’s Jeffrey Stern, GE o FF r ey. Why stern on LinkedIn and they can reach out to you that way, or voice Express it’s voice hyphen, express.com I believe and reach out there or talk to me and just get a hold of me and I can get you in touch with Jeffrey. But Jeffrey stern from voice Express with us here today on the faces of business. Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.
Geoffrey Stern 37:05
Pleasure to be here. Thanks, Damon.
Damon Pistulka 37:07
Alright, everyone that’s listening out there on LinkedIn and other places. Thank you for being with us today. And we will be back again next week with other great and interesting people walking about life in business.