May 10, 2022

499: Capitalizing on the Parallel Economy & Defeating Wokeness (with Michael Seifert of PublicSq)

There is a whole separate economy emerging for the people that are just tired of the wokeness. And they just want a break.

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On today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, I'm joined by Michael Seifert (CEO + Founder of PublicSq.) joins the program to introduce PublicSq - a platform that is connecting freedom-loving Americans with local community, reliable information, and the businesses that share their values.


"There is a whole separate economy emerging for the people that are just tired of the wokeness. And they just want a break.


And they want to support businesses that make them proud to be an American. That's what people want to feel. And for us, you know, the goal is, let's capitalize on that.


Let's actually build that community with that mission at the forefront, especially for the small businesses and local communities. Our kind of mission is how can I help the one location coffee shop feel that same sort of magic, And it's been pretty cool to see that come to life."


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Brian Nichols  0:04  
The focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, happy Tuesday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on for another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. And today, we're gonna be talking about actually bringing business owners bringing the entrepreneurs, the sales folks out there, and also the members of the community who have been too afraid to speak their minds for fear of societal repper retribution or financial retribution. What if they had a platform that gave them the chance to have what we'd much considered to be like that of the old days a true public square will join me today is CEO of public square, Michael ciphered. Michael, welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Michael Seifert  0:58  
Max Bryan, glad to be here.

Brian Nichols  1:00  
Glad to have you, my friend. And I'm so glad to see that you are out there helping lead the charge and building solutions and solutions sell. And right now the solution that we're looking for is an opportunity to bring, I would say a large group of people who have traditionally been silent, they've been afraid of having their finances hit by having relationships shattered by seeing the world that they knew maybe be cracked and fragmented. But what we've seen over the past two years is a lot of those people. They're at a point now that the they're on their last straw, and they're really ready to stand up and try something different looking for real, different ways of doing things, alternative solutions. And Michael, you're presenting that here. Talk to us what is public HQ, and if you'd be so kind, introduce yourself to The Brian Nichols Show audience,

Michael Seifert  1:48  
I love to Yeah, so my name is Michael ciphered. I'm honored to serve as the CEO and founder of public square public sq. And you can find us at public s Or you can head to the App Store or Google Play. And you can download us on iOS or Android, we have a mobile app there. Or if you prefer to use desktop, again, public will give you full access to the experience. We are an app and a website dedicated to connecting freedom loving Americans, to their local community and all of the businesses in your local community that share your values. So our whole goal is to create this parallel economy where small businesses are able to thrive, businesses that love our country, love our freedoms, love the Constitution, and the rights that it protects. And it's been amazing. We've watched this community just blossom. We started here in San Diego, California, which is my home, people always think we're crazy when we say we started in San Diego, but that is indeed true. We started in California, and we are now in 17 states around the country will be completely nationwide by July 4, this platform is growing tremendously. And and it's an honor to get to meet incredible business owners and consumers every day that are finally feeling like they're getting to incorporate their values in every transaction.

Brian Nichols  2:55  
So that's that's what we've been looking for. We've been looking for solutions out there that actually make the things that we say, you know, you're sitting there having a couple of drinks and you sit back and you say, okay, you know what, if we can make a perfect solution? What would that look like a kind of your group think you know, the well it could be, and then you kind of snap back to reality. Okay, now that was nice to think about. But this is actually real life, Michael, and this is the thing that I get excited about this is the thing I think my audience is gonna get excited about is that you're now answering that question and let's talk about you. You differentiate. There's two from parts here. You have the community and the marketplace. Let's start with the marketplace. So what does the marketplace looked like? You mentioned business owners, you mentioned freedom loving business owners, specifically, what was the inspiration for this to start? And number two, I have many members of my audience who are I would say consider themselves part of this freedom loving business community or entrepreneurial community, what can they do to get involved

Michael Seifert  3:58  
would love to share So, Brian that the idea really spawned out of quite a few observations that I've had over the last few years? I'll never forget, it was 2014. And there was a big protest Chick fil A day. People were very angry that Chick fil A had taken a stand for their traditional values around marriage. And they were just getting absolutely reamed in the media. And this protest Chick fil A day ended up my local Chick fil A I drove by it and I witnessed this protest Chick fil A day ended up to be a massive surge of consumers heading to Chick fil A. It was the longest line and the Chick fil A drive thru I've ever witnessed. Turns out it was one of their greatest days of sales that they had had of all time. So I was confused. How come protest Chick fil A day ended up leading to their greatest surge of sales have ever had. Right? There's clearly another market out here that we have been lied to about because there's clearly a group of consumers that saying we did not want whatever those protesters are selling. We actually love Chick fil A and we love what they stand for enough to the point that we're going to go wait in line for an hour or two Get a chicken sandwich simply to show our support for this institution. And for me, that was a big lightbulb moments, if there's something here, whoever can capture that market one day and allow for events like that to happen all the time for these businesses, is going to lead to a really amazing, profitable liberating experience for the businesses for the consumers involved and for us, as the brokers have that on this platform. And so that was kind of the first notice observation I'd ever had about this sort of parallel economy that was beginning to emerge. Years go by and I witnessed Corporation after Corporation come out and weaponize their progressive values against the values that 10s of millions of Americans, largely conservative minded, still held, dear. And so you watch Nike kowtow to China, you watch Airbnb, and Starbucks, and Yelp and Amazon fund abortions for their employees. I mean, you you witness, these two worlds starting to diverge, we had a coffee shop in San Diego County that had about five or six locations. And after the George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020, they actually refuse to serve police officers for the entire month of June. And so for us, I was heartbroken watching that and really drawn to create a solution like you described. And so therefore Public Square came out of a real need, I had this list of businesses, my wife and I did have all the businesses that we would go to in our local area that we knew we could feel confident in supporting, because we knew the values of the owner and we knew that they aligned with ours, then we thought, Okay, what if we could give everybody their list and so the marketplace was born. So when you go to the app, you'll see there's a shop local and a shop online option. When you shop local, you'll see that there's a map and a search bar and a category list if you scroll down, and you can find all the businesses, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, electricians, plumbers, you name it in your local region that share your values, and those lists are growing every day. And then you can also shop online, well, you'll be exposed to another 1000 businesses where it's all online clothing stores, virtual services, accountants, I mean, you can find everything on there of people that want to serve you in that way to across the nation. So we've got this multifaceted marketplace that was really born out of the need to feel like our values weren't under assault by the World of Work corporatism. And instead we could actually mobilize for the causes we believe in with the simple purchase of a cup of coffee from a shop that shared our values. So it's been so cool to watch how it's played out. We have 7000 businesses on the app today and growing every day. And we just launched a few months ago.

Brian Nichols  7:22  
Wow, 7000 businesses, that's pretty darn cool. And you are across the geographic United States,

Michael Seifert  7:28  
we're in 17 states 17 largest states, and we are going to be across the entire United States by July 4. But even if we're in a state that you are not in, if you're not in one of the 17 Do not fret, we're launching in another 10 Next week. And if you go to the app and you sign up, you can still be deposited into a waitlist and we'll keep you engaged, we'll show you some of the businesses that you can start interacting with, it's really neat, and then you'll have full access once for live in your area. And it's totally free by the way for the user and the business, we will never ask you for money, the experience is completely free.

Brian Nichols  7:57  
Okay, I curious myself, this is just my inquisitiveness. So how do you make money from the platform yourself? Or is there a money making entity to this?

Michael Seifert  8:06  
There is. So we, we have advertising packages that are in a subscription base. So you actually we don't have to sell user data, we don't have to share user data to make money. That's not how we make money. It's against our ethical code of conduct, the way we make money as businesses that desire to pay more for increased advertising exposure, they can buy things like push notifications, they can buy things like increased ad exposure and larger profiles. So that's how we make money. Now, we also have a business brokerage side of things that's beginning to stir up where we're actually going to connect the businesses in our platform that are looking to sell their business or for investors to actually connect with similar values aligned investors or buyers. So that's really exciting, too, we're launching into that. And then we have a few other little revenue streams that come through allowing for businesses in the next few months to actually have reservation set through the app and to link their open tables account and things like that. So really, really exciting there. But we are funded by invested capital to get this this thing in flight. And all of our investors are like minded. They're all accredited investors that share our values, they actually had to sign off about their values and each investment, that they would agree with all of our different core values and our stance about political issues and where we're going with this mission. And they're as excited about the return on impact as they are the return on investment. And that's really, really a neat miracle.

Brian Nichols  9:23  
Two things kind of strike me, I'm hearing you go through that the one first hit me was like this. I've seen, I've seen it. I've done so many interviews in the past with, you know, a lot of tech solutions and such and they're great ideas, but they ended up being more great ideas, and they were actual great solutions. This is this is high level stuff that you're bringing to the table that's going to compete with the top, you know, the top apps that we could think out there for any name the community building or local business entity building organization that's out there for the app, this this is going to rival that and that's awesome because you Part of what's held I think a lot of technologies back from taking a stand taking a step forward is just been their physical limitations as the technology or the UI, whatever it may be. So that was one number two or this is is very similar it feels in your mission. And correct me if I'm wrong and kind of what Ben Shapiro Jeremy boring the crew over the daily wire are doing trying to build this this almost sub economy outside of the traditional mainstream. And they use the example and I talked about this in the show easily one of the best commercials ever. It was the the Jeremy's razors commercial. And, you know, they're saying, Hey, we didn't want to go into the razor game, but you decided that you want to make it work. So now we have to play your stupid game. And we have to make a razor company. And that right there, I think speaks to why you're having the success you're having. And while you already have 7000 businesses who have signed up, because so many people are tired of this. I mean, they're just exhausted, of not just being made to feel bad, but then seeing a direct impact on their their front not only their financial ability to survive, but also their overall family's ability to survive their business's ability to survive. It's hitting them across the board. So I think people are fighting back now. And they're actually putting their money where their mouth is. And that's something that you mentioned that those investors actually signed off on their values. That's huge.

Michael Seifert  11:25  
Yeah, amen. You're spot on. And people, you know, it's interesting, Brian, a lot of people don't realize how many of us there truly are out there that feel this way. And it's not like we're all in one industry, either. I mean, it's amazing. I think that we are surprised every time that people hear that there are actually quite a few engineers and product designers and investors and entrepreneurs that actually have this deep love for country love for kind of conservative values love for a traditional way of life. I mean, these these, these people spawn 1000s of industries around the country. And we are really lucky because we're getting to be, you know, relevant in an industry that is often marred by the opposite the antithesis of our values. And so it's really fun to surprise people and to see the look on their faces when they realize Yeah, there are a lot of people that are looking to invest in projects that are capitalizing on this idea of the parallel economy, because they recognize like de yr did, that there is a whole separate economy emerging for the people that are just tired of the wokeness. And they just want a break. And they want to support businesses that make them proud to be an American. That's what people want to feel. And for us, you know, the goal is let's let's capitalize on that let's let's actually build that community with that mission at the forefront, especially for the small businesses and local communities. I'm all in favor of daily wire and Jeremy's razors. Jeremy boring, the CEO going and creating a big corporate razor company 25,000 subscriptions in the first three days. I mean, that's amazing. Go for it. Our kind of mission is how can I help the one location coffee shop feel that same sort of magic, and and it's been pretty cool to see that come to life.

Brian Nichols  13:07  
Hey, Mike, one thing that popped up so there's no I just I'm full of questions. I'm a sales guy by trade. So just naturally, questions just pop up. So two questions that pop up one. Is this exclusively b2b I'm sorry, b2c, or is there a b2b element to this as well, number one. And number two? I'm asking the question, assuming the answer, but have you prepared for tech limitations? And we look at parlor, right? They were running on AWS servers exclusively. AWS gets pressured, they pulled the plug all sudden parlor is literally without servers, and they can't support any of their infrastructure. And now they're a show the former self. So those two questions back to back if you would be so kind.

Michael Seifert  13:46  
Yeah, so if you can reiterate the first question. Yeah. b2b b2c is exclusively b2b. Yeah, so we are, we're not exclusively b2c technically. But that is the essence of our product, we're actually building an entirely separate b2b marketplace. And that also, you know, business to seller as well, or excuse me, business to buyer. So right now, yes, we are primarily b2c focused. But we actually have already begun product design and building of a separate b2b marketplace. And many of the businesses that join the app today, utilize it for the purpose of connecting with other businesses. So for example, I'll never forget it was about three or four months ago, we were just into this. We were brand new, we were still just in California, and we had a homebuilder reach out that's on the app, and he said, Hey, I just want to let you know that I actually found my concrete guy through your app, and other guy found his granite guy through the app. And so it's neat to even see service providers and different industry leaders connecting with other people in their same industries through the app kind of naturally and that's what spawned for us. Hmm, maybe we should actually structure this and make this a place for businesses to connect with other businesses. We've been compared kind of like to like a local LinkedIn because a lot of people are free. I think that it's very, you know, network industry marketplace style conversations even in the community sections of the app. So that's, that's really neat to see emerging in a greater way. And that will only become more prevalent within the app experience of the next few months. The second question you asked related to our security infrastructure. You know, we were well aware of the parlor stories. And part of the, you know, part of the inspiration for us spending a lot of time money and resource on ensuring our longevity as a platform and utilizing strategies that would lead to that longevity has been because we watched, you know, the unfortunate effects of AWS as your as these, these, these server solutions, heavy hands that they have toward companies that would disagree with their political views. And not only that, but also the App Store, Google Play. Obviously, we're a mobile app, we're a web app deployed to mobile, and we have, you know, over 20% of our users use the platform just on desktop and never touch the app. So we certainly don't rely on Apple or Google on the store side, which is helpful because you know, we've built our desktop just as intentionally as we have the mobile environment. On the server side yeah, we utilize an amazing company called Hydra for our server solutions, they're doing really technologically innovative cutting edge stuff, which we're very excited about. And again, we've we've spent a lot of time money and resource connecting with a lot of consultants in this space as well that have really been on the forefront of this kind of alternative tech movement to get us away from AWS and as your as many as possible and kind of the the typical monopolies in the space. So it's sort of the Wild West and technology right now. But I'm excited because it's like we all see gold over the hills. You know, we see the gold rush we see what's possible out there, it's just let's let's get through the Oregon Trail and let's build and let's put these planes in flight and build them while they're in flight and be amazed at kind of how not only do we feel liberated in the process but also Amazon begins to suffer because they see that their their bet that they took on on progressive woke ism didn't work how they thought it would

Brian Nichols  16:58  
it my initial glance, it was like I kind of viewed public squares like the the non woke LinkedIn, Yelp, talent. Right. And you mentioned the community aspect. And that's actually where I wanted to kind of go next. And you saw this, this desire, especially over the past two years really got ramped up with the war on disinformation misinformation. And it's it's only gotten worse. Over the past 510 years, we've seen people being banned from platforms left and right. So talk to us, Michael, what does the community platform look like over a public square? And then number two? What are you doing to help with safeguards for free speech? This has obviously been a big topic of conversation across the board here. Do you guys have a you know, a free speech absolutist approach, much like our new CEO of, Elon Musk?

Michael Seifert  17:53  
Yeah, you know, we do AI. And that's a whole separate conversation. You know, it was announced yesterday that the nation of Qatar is, is investing in this deal with with Elon. And, you know, they're obviously not a free speech, respecting nation. So I'm hoping that, you know, again, it really is important, who you allow on your cap table. And I'm hoping that some of that financial support doesn't sway Elon away from that free speech absolutist message that he really has been preaching for us. Absolutely. We really have wanted to press in on the free speech side of things for those that engage with the community side of the platform, which is to answer your first question, what does the platform actually look like? It's when you enter the app experience, you put in a new username, your email, you do your SMS verification, you drop in, and you're immediately exposed to your local square. This is your state square, where you can have conversations about the issues that are important to you. You can share the business that you went through this morning, you can ask questions, you can engage with our community ambassadors, you can post your thoughts, feelings, whatever you want to talk about. You can do that there. And you can trust that your freedom of speech will be respected and protected if the First Amendment allows that we protect it. That's that's kind of our motto around the speech that takes place on the platform. There's also a section on the app called our community, it's our group section where you can actually go and you can join groups that are about certain topics. So for example, you know, we have groups about businesses that are made in the USA, and really trying to support manufacturers that are trying their best to make their products here. We also have groups on the app called front yard farms, which is a group that has almost 1000 people in it and all they do is talk about farming in your backyard or in your front yard and utilizing your real estate even if you've got you know, just a few square feet, utilizing it to make some produce of your own. So we've got this this lifestyle feel for people to have their conversations as well as obviously the strong marketplace tilt, where your freedom of expression and your freedom of commerce are prioritized in both engagements So yeah, that's that's certainly at the forefront of what we do.

Brian Nichols  19:50  
Here you go. That's what you like to hear. All right. So we're unfortunately already towards the last back half of the episode here more than back half back five minutes or so. So Michael, what we want to do is give equal a call to action because I think everybody listening to this, they're like, Okay, this, this is the thing we've been waiting for to be able to actually find these these businesses who align with our values who are not perpetuating the woke narrative. It's just, it's tiresome, we're all exhausted of it. So let's get our not just the members here, The Brian Nichols Show audience, but let's get everybody else out there on board. So what can people do? If you are a consumer? What can you do to go ahead and find the non woke businesses? If you're a business owner? What can you do to say, Hey, I'm a non woke business owner. And of course, if you want to go ahead and invest or support through advertising dollars, and you mentioned that, what does that look like as well?

Michael Seifert  20:42  
Right, great question. Thank you. So the best way to get started is public. That's the best place to get started. You can if you're the consumer, you can log in there and begin your journey. If you're a business owner, I like to tell business owners had to business dot public So for the consumer had to public If your business had to business dot public And you can easily create start your business journey there. That's, that's the best way to get started. If you go to public, you'll also see links that will take you to the App Store Google Play. So if you really want to use it in a mobile environment, that's a great place to get started. Share it with your friends, that's the best way that this thing continues to spread. post this on your social media. If you are someone that wants to factor in their values in the marketplace, the best way to get started is by heading to the app, checking it out yourself and then sharing it spreading the word. We would love for you to join us. And it's really been an honor to talk to you, Brian.

Brian Nichols  21:37  
Absolutely. Well, there you go, folks, there's your call to action, and we'll make it very easy for you. We'll include all those links, right there in the show notes. All you got to do click the artwork on your podcast catcher for The Brian Nichols Show, it'll bring you right to Brian Nichols where yes, you can find all the links plus you can find Michael's bio, you can also find the entire transcript of today's episode. And by the way, you can find all 499 episodes yes here of The Brian Nichols Show, Episode 500 coming up here tomorrow. And with that being said, Michael, thank you for going out and building solutions. And also thank you for joining us here on today's episode. Folks. If you enjoyed the episode, please do me a favor make sure you go ahead and give it a share. And when you do make sure you go ahead and give yours truly a tag at B nickels liberty. With that being said, thank you for joining us on of course another fun filled Tuesday. With that being said it's Brian Nichols signing off your honor The Brian Nichols Show for Michael ciphered from public square. We'll see you tomorrow.

Transcribed by

Michael SeifertProfile Photo

Michael Seifert

CEO + Founder of PublicSq.

“For far too long, tens of millions of liberty-minded Americans have needed a platform where they can engage with community, find reliable information, and connect with the businesses they can feel confident supporting—so we created one.”
- Michael Seifert, CEO + Founder of PublicSq.