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Moe Jafari , Chairman of EX1 Holding Company
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Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: All right. Well, we’re here with Mo Jafari executiveone holdings chairman, we got connected with Jeff Jones, decorate a vet founder
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: that’s correct
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: We want to make sure we give Jeff A.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: we’ve got to give him kudos He just gave out thefinal check after 11 years. To a high school scholarship. fund. So that wasgreat.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: First I want to talk about Jesse Itzler. So, what wasthat experience like for those.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Steroids. I mean, he’s got a, he’s got apersonality that is just unbelievable off the wall. When you think about hisbackground, he went from, wanting to be a rapper, which how many people do wewant to hear about that? He didn’t do great, but he did. Okay. And he admits itand but then he goes on to build businesses and just is not only inspirational,but then takes the fact of the money that he made in tries to inspire others todo more. So, I think he’s a heck of a human being in that. regard.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And how did you get connected with him or in touchwith him and make that happen
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: you know, it’s So, one of those things I guess inlife, just like you fill up your you just kind of keep yourself open toopportunities that are out in the market and sometimes they just, they find yourather than you finding them.
And Jesse Itzler was One of those that found us and through oneof the folks as COVID was heading decided that they wanted to give back to thecommunity. And she said, hey, I met him. I wonder if he’ll return my callingMasha was just an unbelievable personality in herself, reached out.
And next thing you know, we’re we got him online and he’s givena great bit of advice to, just under a thousand people. And we even had some ofthe capital’s coaches on listening and, just to take that inspiration and riseabove.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: I first heard about Jesse Itzler from doing, I did aTony Robbins event in 2017 and there,
yeah, I did.
We walked across fire, you know, it’s funny 14,000 people tooktheir socks and shoes off at two 30 in the morning and walked outside to walkacross hot coal in Newark, New Jersey. So, you can, you can imagine how, hetalks about peak state.
We were all in peak state and, and to, to be a person that caninspire someone to do that just fascinates me. That’s what brought us here tothis, to this podcast in the first place.
I mean the technology industry, government contracting, but itjust, it excites me every day to talk about people’s mindset, the shift andthought processes, the, those psychological changes that you go through whenyou go from being an entrepreneur or having an idea, being an entrepreneur,getting out there, doing it, and then eventually having to grow through yourleadership skills to actually become a CEO.
And I’m sure that there’s a whole mother layer. Once you gofrom that to becoming a chairman and kind of removing yourself from theday-to-day operations from each individual entity, and being able to do that,having the awareness, to know that you’ve empowered people around you and thatyou have the decentralized command when big Jocko Willink fan, if you can’ttell.
And that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about. I want togive you an opportunity to kind of tell us all a little bit about what it isthat you do in your three entities and how it rolls up into the one. But then Ireally want to just understand how you got started, right? Are you firstgeneration American?
When did you get started? Like all of the life story, just butreally so that we can know that if you’re feeling unsure of yourself orvulnerable, that might be just a part of the process. It’s not a reason to quitor stop.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: No, I’m not. First-generation my Company: dadbrought us here. I was four years old, when I came here from the middle east.Just outside of Jerusalem. So, one Palestinian. But so, my kids arefirst-generation basically,
is kind of strange but being four years old, that’s don’t, I’mthe only one that’s. immediate family without an accent.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Was your dad and entrepreneur also
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: somewhat? Yeah. I didn’t realize that until afterhis passing. He hit it a little bit at least for most of the family becausebeing a Muslim and owning a liquor store, probably using the greatest thing in1950 something, so 56, 57 when he owned a liquor store, he didn’t really wantthat information to go back to the rest of the family. So, he stores, hid thatcomponent and became a, stayed with a profession. He was a barber by trade.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Okay. But did he have his own shop or like, were
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: no, he didn’t. No, he didn’t, he, he worked for,worked for others and my uncle was probably the, the biggest inspiration. Hewas an entrepreneur he got into import export business. And then from there gotinto property management and he owned quite a few homes in Omaha, Nebraska thathe when I say quite a few over a hundred, so and he had them all rented out forthe last 40, 50 years until about last year. When he passed away.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: What do you think that that did like for you now, doyou look back and say like, it was his influence around me and those things inmy life that really kind of influenced what I do now.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Yeah. It was kind of negative influence. though.Yeah. I mean, it was, a, you may not be, smart enough. so, it was reversedmotivation. And so, and truly, I think most entrepreneurs have, a, factor intheir brain that says, I’m not going to listen. I’m going to go do. And being alittle hard of hearing especially, you’re in sales being hard of hearing is thegreatest thing that gets you to a yes. And for an entrepreneur or businessowner, you have to learn how to just not hear everything that it’s around. you.And that’s really hard because a lot of what you hear around you is always goingto be very negative.
you can’t start a business because you it’s the wrong time yougot a kid coming on, the way you got this, you got the, it. There’s no greatertime than right now.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And do you think that that can be developed, is thata skill set to build upon being able to work?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I think all this is learned. I think it’s justthe hardest thing to unlearn is fear. So how do you go beyond it, it, it’s notlike fear is not there. The fear is there. It’s just a matter of kind of getthrough it., One more set.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Is that how you, are that how you think of it?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: One more set., I don’t look at doing 10. I lookat. doing one. Then I go to, two because when you look at 10, 10 seems daunting
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: one day at a time, but what, like what are you doingon a daily basis to kind of reinforce that on you and kind of think about that?Cause that seems, it sounds like it’s a muscle memory thing. And so, we can’tjust think up in the moment when something difficult is happening, like, oh,let me just get through it. You’ve got to kind of program that in yourself,right?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Yeah. I mean, there’s definitely a lot of nuancesthat you program on a daily basis. And the hardest thing is to remove thenegativity and bring up as many positive things as you can. Jesse Itzler is agreat example of that. Listening to him is inspirational. But also look atprevious leaders, if you read some of the classic books out there think andgrow rich, or, you talk about having the mental, mine mastery and that mentalmind mastery group. And I think too often people think that it has to be a naturalliving individual. But you can get so many inspirations out of great leaderslike George Washington or Churchill, or, the list goes on and on, Roosevelt andwhat did they have to go through? And, and a lot of times we, I look at thatand whatever I’m going through is nothing compared to what they had to do. So,one more.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: I agree. I talked to this, I talk about this withmultiple people on the, on the show that some of my mentors are people I’venever even met. They’re just people, either that I read or that I follow. And Iuse it for that purpose and I have multiples. It sounds like you do too.
You get your influence from multiple people, whether it’s,I’ve, I’ve got people in my life that are a few years older than me marriedwith kids. So, they’re sort of like my family mentor. I look to them to watchhow they’re doing, what they’re doing with their family. Same thing, financialbusiness.
Are you similar?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: very similar? I don’t think anybody. I thinkwe’re all human beings. So, I, I don’t think. there’s a magic formula. I thinkthe magic formula is just get up and do
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: right. Well, let’s talk about what you’ve done.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I got it. I got a great bunch of people aroundme. They.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Well, well, so what are the three companies that wrapinto your holding company?
How did you let’s talk about some of that stuff?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: so many years ago, I learned that you don’t tryto recreate the wheel that most times a non-I’m not the smartest guy in thefricking room and, and I don’t care. I don’t need to be, I can take a perfectlygreat idea. That’s been developed over the years, look at the mastery and thentry to implement it.
Even though I’m tiny comparatively Carlisle and Blackstone area great example of that. And that’s where Ex1 one holding really is based upon.It wasn’t anything great that I did. I’m just the model was there. It’s now canI implement that model and how do I do it? And now you’re talking about, okay,so I found step one, go do it. Step two is getting the right people around youto help you do it.
And then three is implement. And so that’s what we did. So, welooked at implementing the idea of having a holding company with several othercompanies underneath it, and that’s where it grew out of
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: but what’s that one and doing that, I mean, you’ve,so you’re taking the venture capital approach, right?
You’re looking at other businesses that can use an investmentin fuse it with that investment and then grow that before.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: So, the, the initial, to be honest with you I’mreally, really ADD I have a hard, hard time even doing this with you right now,because I’m going to jump out of my seat. But the reality is, is that I didn’twant to be in just one company. I had other interests when we first startedhuman touch, human touch started off as a as a staffing company. I mean, I wasjust getting. Former clients to come in and they would look for staff executiverecruiting from executive recruiting., clients would call up and say, hey, Ineed you to, I need you to take care of this whole damn thing. for me. So, wegot into the outsourcing component now outsourcing, became consulting, add afew more people to the mix. And next thing you know, we’re going after governmentcontracts because the marketplace in, in telecom and at that time telecom and,dot com we’re imploding.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: That was like, what mid-nineties?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: No, that was late early mid-nineties, 2000 20022003. Prior to that, I mean, to be honest with you, and we were we were doingso well in executive recruiting and staff recruiting had no interest in doinganything else.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: What were you doing before you launched human touch?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: getting fired.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: All right. But I mean like, what were you technicalin your experience? Like, did you have
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I just, know I chameleon eyes myself. I was ableto, I brought in some of the best technologists to teach me what it is and Iwould beg them to help me. Right., five to seven sentences. That made sense. So,when I talked to somebody else’s I was recruiting them or I was talking to aclient that I could just, rinse and repeat.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: I was like, you’re talking about,
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: So yeah, and once you get the lingo down, thenthey, there were fabulous. And the fact that they took me, not only fromwriting down four or five sentences, but then they would help educate me on awhiteboard and say, this is why this works. This is what our relationaldatabases. And then you would take the time. This was, it wasn’t pre-internet,but it was very hard to find that information at your fingertips. So yeah. youstill use the payphone, you, you got your pager, you stopped, you use your pay
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: we had changed in our pocket. No one has changed.People barely have dollar bills now, but,
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company : absolutely was,, So , I mean but they werefantastic and being able to communicate those individuals, learn from them, godo my own research to, to formulate how it looks in my mind, because I thinkwhen you develop, a, when someone gives you a concept, you’re developing apicture in your mind and it’s helping you to develop that picture, but thatpicture is ever evolving on what that concept is, whether that’s a rationaldatabase or an artificial intelligence, what, what is it that clicks in yourmind as you, as you bring those. Concepts and technologies in. and, and for me,it’s my mind’s eye has to see. it.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And it sounds like you had some great mentors aroundyou or people that can advise you. Did you, when you got those relationships,how did that work? Did you just simply ask them, like, I would like your help.It seems like a lot of times my experience has been, it’s been, that easy.Right? How do you do this? I wrote a business plan. Can you help me review itkind of thing in those early days? Cause I’m assuming until you hire your firststaff member, right. Whether you’re on or maybe you’re on retainer, I don’tknow. But how are you making it day to day? Where did you have savings?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: no, no. I mean, I had some savings. We had; adaughter was being born. So, you’re married at this time. We had just gottenmarried. This is we’re. We got married in ninety-five, ninety-eight. Mydaughter was born. My daughter was born in July of 98. I quit my job in August ninety-eightslash September of 98. And had my first client at the end of that month I wasjust miserable.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: So, you were miserable in your, and your wifeobviously knew that or like, what was that
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: everybody knew that I’m, I’m not, I’m not shy tolet everybody know what my feelings are
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: when you’re, unhappy. All right. So you go to yourwife, you say, hey, I’m going to quit my job, by the way. We’ve got this two-year-olddaughter. Not really sure what I’m going to do.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: That went over well with her
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: I can imagine.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: And her father.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: So, so you started this company and then it just, itsounds like it just kind of took off.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: did, like any company has an ebb and flow. So,the ebb and flow are the market economy and the market economy in 2003, 2004. Imean, we went from living pretty high off the hog in 99 through 2002 businesswas before. I mean, doing really, really well ended up almost with almost 70people at one client that, we were consulting to and that was a telecom clientin less than a year, we were down to zero, And, so as I say, the train stoppedand but my legs were still moving. so, I got to do something. So, the markethad to change. Clients had to change. We started really focusing in on the fewpeople that we had left during that era.
And that was. gov con. So, we became an instant governmentcontractor, but there were some pieces that were missing. And so, some of themonies that we had saved up, we utilize to reinvest in ourselves. And by 2005,2007, we, really did very well One, a few contracts, 2009. We hit a lot biggercontracts and 11, 12, and 13 maybe got even bigger. And so, then the marketchanged again.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: So, the market is changing in the years that you’requoting or like the years just before an election year where there’s a changein administration or continuance of administration, did you have a strategywhere you looking at the, it sounds like you were kind of just rolling with alot of things. Cause I don’t think you could have predicted that the telecomfall would have happened the way that it did
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: No, I So, early in my career, I was I was reallyinfluenced by a couple of folks. One of them that I was just reading PeterLynch from fidelity and he wrote some unbelievable not only books, but his hehad a very contrarian view and I didn’t realize that a lot of my views were notfar off of that. So, I been following a lot of the contrarian views because, asthey say, when no, the train’s full and you’re still trying to get on.
Sometimes you don’t want to be on that train because there’sjust, a, there’s one, there’s no more room and two it’s being weighed down. So,look at other avenues that aren’t being weighed down. So that’s what we startedto do was to look at the industry, when LPTA hit and how are you going to winon lowest price, technically acceptable? that was also at the time when we saw telecom,10 years prior they were looking to outsource everything overseas, in early2000, 2001. And that was our bill rates went from, there were being there whilethey were trying to cut our bill rates, to less than a third of what they were,because that’s what the overseas markets were providing, we couldn’t survive.So how do you survive? So, you have to look at markets where, not only can Isurvive, but how do I thrive, how do I thrive in this market coming up? BecauseI’m not. going to succumb,
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: How many employees were you responsible for at thistime when, when these things are going on and going through your head,
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: it ranges at the time, during the telecom boom,we had a bout well, we had 70 at one client. So about 85 in total. So, when thetrain stop, it was rather rough. But it was I think in 13 we were we’re on agrowth pattern. And as I’d say during that time at El PTA, the majority ofclients were moving out of the DOD market. We started to move in. That was agood bet. And I think a few years back we were looking at, how to distinguishourselves from the pack. Not only on gov con, but we ended up buying a SAS softwarefirm and re-investing in it. They were in an older technology. now they’re not,which is great.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And what’s the name of that firm
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: a that’s called
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And so, at this point, you diversified into thecommercial markets, so that all your eggs weren’t in the government
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: No, not. Well, see, I took, the whole idea was todo that originally, what ended up happening was, is that we took a lot of theinformation that course was building upon and changed it. We took it off of theMicrosoft platform. We own the entire stack. Now. We learned some very hard lessons,during that period of time, I learned the fact that you can’t run a governmentcontractor and a software company in the same manner, even though they’re bothspecialized in technology I equate it to one’s a sprinter and the other one’s amarathoner.
Well, they both run. The training is very, different and so weseparated those companies out. We concentrated on what we knew best, which isthis particular area. So. we really Initiated the core software to be veryfocused on decision management and all around the decision makers within theDOD. So, we went for a very pinpointed set of clienteles. And so, we help someof the largest I would say decision makers in the world track and own theirdecisions and, and show how the data’s coming in for accountability. And thenbasically giving them confidence in the decisions that they’re making, basedupon the data that they’re seeing which brings us into looking at all the datathat they have and adding an artificial intelligence to it, And that’s whereour comp plasticity.
So, the idea of building. So, I had a bet with the with thepresident, of CORAS how long would it take us to build it and or can I go andfind a company. And so, accurate hire
so, we fast tracked it, by being able to acquire the sotechnology. And we love this technology because not only is its artificialintelligence, but it’s different than the way everybody built. It’s a companythat’s not built on what I would say. The rest of them built, on, which is opensource. This is a proprietary C plus it’s it’s down at the machine andbasically the majority of what’s out there in the marketplace is, open source.If you equate it to, you’re going to make chili and you’re going to start with Hormel,you’re starting with a can, give that to Gordon. Ramsey, see what he tells you
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: I mean, and, but, and that’s a big business, right?We’ve had some people on the show that specialize in low code software therethey’ll get, you started, they’ll get you the can of Hormel and then you can dowhatever you need to
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: And for some things, for some applications, thatof course has a lot of that. It’s, it’s great because for applications, Wellit’s business, but., on a business side, it’s great. But for when you’re reallylooking at for intricate values and intricate details to those values, you needto understand the recipe and to understand the recipe and how it was built andwhat was put in it. You need to have that. And so that’s what makes an AI they,the term is called explainable. So that’s why we bought plasticity. It is anexplained. piece of software that they can go in and actually get to the rootand make adjustments versus the open source where they just keep adding morethings. If you have too much salt in your Hormel, you add a potato and then youhave adding’s which means that you’re, you’re doing more consulting and you’re doing,that’s what the client’s paying for versus. paying for software.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: So, you started the recruiting company, human touchby yourself,
With your wife. At what point did you start adding employees?Because CORAS has a president., plasticity. Has a President Right. not yourhuman touch is run by who is that still?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Hill
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Okay So it has a President
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: that’s correct.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: At what point did you start implementing that? As anentrepreneur, where do I know that? What, what are my, what are my inflectionpoints? What Company: am I looking for to know that that’s the time?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: So, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do isactually teach our own leaders and teach myself. this. There’s never a time notto do, it. even when you’re first starting out, who’s going to report. If youthink that you’re going to be better than anybody out there that’s, you’ve justbuilt a lifestyle business. If you’re looking to build a bigger business you cannotbe at the, at the big charge. You may have to be for a while, but you do needothers to do it. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself in a position of. I would sayyou’re putting your own ceiling. in place.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: How do you, how do you make, so it sounds from thebeginning you wanted to be, you were emulating Carlisle group and people thatare VCs. So, you can tell that you didn’t want a lifestyle business from thebeginning. how do you make those relationships? How do you know that you’reworking with the right person? Where do you even go to find that? Well, how didthese come about? How did you meet these people? Just trial and error?
Did you go through some others before?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: oh of course it’s sometimes the magic formulajust go do. And I know some people would, read, we go through this as amanagement team right now. We’ve read, interviewed, and you get, you get athousand resumes a week and you can go through all those resumes on eachindividual position. You’re looking for the perfect person. And then you getsomebody who doesn’t have any experience in what you’re doing, but they havethe personality and having that personality is just an amazing thing, eventhough they’re outside your industry we’ve taken that bet in the last threeyears, more often than not. And every time it has been extremely, successfulsome of those individuals have stayed with us, some of them have moved on,they’ve moved on because they were, it was time, but I’ve been very proud ofthat factor.
And so, we’re starting to change our mind, of, having to lookinside the industry, Our, our chief legal counsel is a great example. She cameout of a different industry, didn’t understand gov con really. She had to, sheunderstood enough. Now after three years, she’s probably one of the mostprolific people out there in the market.
And, but when she first started, she just had the rightpersonality and the right attitude. And, and frankly, that’s exactly what we’relooking for. I wasn’t looking, I was looking for someone to help me, and tohelp. the companies. But also, somebody that I knew and felt comfortable enoughin if they didn’t have any answer, they were going to go get it. And without also,reservation.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: What have you done during the time on yourself tobecome the different person you needed to be as your company grew, and then youhave to grow as a person? Is it coaching? How do you become this person thatyou need to be in order to keep going?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I mean, I think that there’s a lot of greatexamples. and in the marketplace from, whether, discuss Peter Lynch or You saidTony Robbins and there’s plenty of CEOs out there that you could emulate? Ithink a lot of the times, it’s just the if you’re sitting in the employee shoesand they’re the customer especially in a consulting firm or even in arecruiting firm, they are the customer. So, what is the customer getting fromyou? And at the end of the day, the only thing you have is the person in themirror and that person in the mirror, how would you judge them? And how wouldyou want them to be judged? So, I, I think there’s a lot of I think there’s alot of what we were taught as, growing up from moms and dads, which is not onlytreat everyone well, treat them extremely well and make sure you So, checkyourself at the door when you do that, did you do that. And so, I try to keepthat and be as grateful as I can.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Well, the most recent company that you have acquiredyou mentioned was plasticity. What are they up to, and you said AI, but whatdoes that mean? And what are they actually learning from us? The artificialintelligence.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: They, they actually understood that a machine wasnot, the artificial intelligence was not really reading like you and I do. Youcan put data into a structured environment much like a Wikipedia, that littleright side of the page that has all the boxes on it. When you go to looksomebody up in there, no matter who it is you look up Herschel Walker. It’llbring up that he was a national football player. Now that he’s living inGeorgia, blah, blah, blah. All those little details on Hershel will show up andSiri or whatever mechanism you’re using. We’ll also bring that information up.What it won’t bring up is all the other details. Let’s say he gave a speech orsomething to the effect of how he grew up, all those the other 10 pages thatare along that Wikipedia that’s not structured. The AI simply takes you to a.website Versus doing what plasticity does. Plasticity actually reads each andevery verse puts the words together, whether it’s a verb, adverb, preposition,distinguishes them from the other. So, it reads like you and I do that isreally the power behind plasticity is being able to read like a human. So beingable to take they call it dark data. Dark data is very similar in everyindustry. If you’re a doctor and you’re writing notes or typing notes into asystem, those notes actually are not structured. Data what’s structured is thatit’s Philip. And he, he weighed this much as height as this much and he came inor for this issue, but all the other notes that the doctor took on you andtyped in, or had someone else type in that’s unstructured, data. So, Looking atit from a legal document.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: E-discovery is what I thought about when you saidthat when you mentioned what it was doing, that’s the first place my mind wentto e-discovery these large thousands of pages of legal documents, but you’relooking for just the few things that have to do with this one topic. Your, yoursoftware could go find all of those.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Exactly. Well, actually finds a relationshipbetween the words. So, it’s not just a topic, I think too often the topic is,is just that it’s the structure component that a lot of these AIs already findout NLP. And the fact that we wrote our own code allows us to actually, make itmore explainable in how it found. it. And the beauty of when we looked at plasticity,they have them versus us. The competition is right on our website. So, peoplecan actually put phrases in and see how well it does versus the other.technologies That have been utilized by others. And so, it it’s actually beingused in the Intel community. And then the DOD looking for disinformationactually plasticity did a full disinformation campaign on the last election.And you can go see, that YouTube had to shut down certain videos that werebeing done and promoted by others. And for both parties, not just one,
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: and what’s NLP stands for
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: natural language processing
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: and you guys have a patent on that.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Oh, we do in process, yes.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: did you ever foresee that, like you would be runninga company that now has IP and that it’s something
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I have three companies that have IP, which isn’tsomething that I can’t, I couldn’t have, a., you always want it. You alwaysthink about it because you hear and you dream about others doing it. And youbut no, I, to be honest with you when I was recruiting, I had no fricking ideabut it was interesting while we were recruiting for that one telecom, we hadmost of those 70 people that were working on that telecom.
We’re building something that is now ubiquitous and that’s calleda nap on a phone. And before those apps were actually being just utilized bythe engineers, as they were fixing that wireless communication company. So, andwho would have thought, that one day I’m recruiting and the next day we’rerunning one of the largest contracts in that telecom? human touch just recentlyfrom being created their own IP as well. I, I don’t think it’s a simple idea,but it seems simple when somebody explains it to you. And they basically tookthe idea of getting customer service during a COVID time, put it into a kioskand then took the kiosk and added a whole bunch of lockers to it.
And so now you can, actually, if you’re working at an agencyyou can walk up to the kiosk get immediate service, big difference between thatkiosk and the one at the airport. You get immediate service; a person pops upand helps you through what is wrong possibly. with your computer. And also, ifthere is something wrong with your computer, they give you a locker to go putit in and if they can fix it, they’ll fix it. If they can’t, they have anotherlocker for you with a new one with all your data already on, it. so, you canswap them in and out. So, from an executive standpoint, who’s traveling evenduring COVID the connection. IT kiosk, which is what human touch created isproprietary and it is sold as a service. to the government. So, it’s a kind ofa. another IP unit, which has
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: it’s a physical kiosk that you walk up to and whatlog in, or you type in some sort of credential that it knows that you aresecure with, like you work
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: You bring in your cat card and if you’re workingwithin DOD, you bring in your, or another federal agency, you put your cat cardin a, to your computer. You’re connected up and pops in attendant. Theattendant says, Philip, how are you? And ensures that you are who you are.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: This is a real person, or
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: is a real this is a real live person on the otherside of that on the other side of that screen. And they have all your login,credentials and everything else. there. They’re going to verify that it’s youthen they’re going to look at you’re going to give them a descriptive of what’swrong. They’re going to go through and say, yep, I see you’re right. You are,you’re having the blue screen we think it’s something that is fixable or not.And if it’s not, we have another computer ready and waiting. So. Giving back alot more time in a day and also removing the fact that you, you may have towait for service and, or have somebody come to your desk.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: What’s your family life. How old are your kids now?Cause we talked to; they were two months old when you started this whole thing.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: One was, he had three kids now. Two boys incollege, a daughter, a daughter that graduated from university my daughtergraduated from Loyola university last year. I have a son the eldest son he’s
he’s in his junior year finishing his junior. year. I hope. Andthen I have a freshman at the university of Miami. in Ohio.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Were you tough on them at all? Or like, was yourdinnertime conversation centered around entrepreneurship or like you want themto do something? I mean, what was that like? What do you think you’reinfluencing your kids with by being the person?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: You Know, I think you’d have to ask them that.Was I hard on them? I wasn’t easy? I don’t think I really brought the businessside into it. I think it was more the attitude, you know, when, when I did seethem not trying hard enough, I think my old football coach and my old wrestlingcoach came out in me. And, so I’m, I, I was, a little, I guess, a littletougher on them when I coached their teams.
I’m sure they will be the first kids to tell you that dadyelled at us more than he yelled at everybody else. It wasn’t because I wantedthem to do better. Cause I knew that they knew better. So, when my daughter wasseven and running her mouth in basketball practice, she did. labs. And when So,my son did the same thing and you know, coach the soccer, he had to run lapsbut you know, all the kids did and but you know, I, I think that was one of thegreatest compliments I ever got was I didn’t want to coach any of them. Butwhen you have them and their friends call you coach versus Mr. Jafari, that wasthat was very heartwarming. I enjoyed that.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Do they ever come to the, did they ever come to theoffice when they were younger and be around and.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I mean, D us move things, clean up stuff you know
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: I think that, that, you know, there’s this, we can’tbe what we can’t see. Right. Like if no one ever had a podcast, I wouldn’thave, I mean, why would I ever think of that? Right. And just being around inthat environment, I think is probably influencing them. Just like someonesimilar to you, you got some influence from your uncle, right. Who was in business?And some of it was negative in that. I think that I’ve talked to a lot ofentrepreneurs because there’s two types of leaders that I’ve run acrossspecifically within the ones that we’ve been chatting with, there’s the sort ofhired gun C-suite leader that has moved through the ranks, whether it’s aladder or a jungle gym, or, you know, whatever it’s called to get to the top,or to understand the skill sets and to build those skill sets, to be able tolead a company that’s a different type of person than someone who’s juststarting a company. They’re both leaders. One is an entrepreneur. One is, youknow C-suite and they go from company to company to do that from period oftime, and then it’s sold and that’s their skill set. That’s what they
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Matt Curtis is a great example of that. he’s Company:absolutely phenomenal if you ever, you know if you’ve met him, you know God’svery, you know, very put together mentally. He gets, you know, if you, youknow, our companies are 200 million. I want them to grow to 2 billion maxes,you know, I don’t think I could ever afford him, but, you know, especially now,but he did it the right way you know, former military guys as well. Soobviously there’s some there’s some identities that really come into play toidentifying that individual. Right. That, that can do that.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And I think a lot of the people that areentrepreneurial like yourself, this is going to sound negative, but have a chipon their shoulder and it sounds like you want it to create something that youhad ownership over that was yours, that existed because you did it.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Yes. and then I also learned you know, it, it’sgreat to take others with you so you can grow. Because if I didn’t then myworth is limited.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Where are some of the places you were getting firedfrom?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: You know, I worked for a, a gov con you know, I,I had when I first started off in my career, I was really I was in college andI was, paying for college. so, I was in the restaurant and nightclub business.And I went from working at the door to working you know, as a bar, back toworking as a bartender, to managing
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: where you promoting parties. Cause you’d be thefourth person that’s now the. Entrepreneurial leader of a technology governmentcontracting company that started in club promoting.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: I was definitely promoting the club. We ran, youknow, I worked for a small little consortium around here that owned. nightclubscalled champions. And so, we were out, you know I went from running one torunning two and I worked around some guys that, you know, some owners that werevery, you know, they were very good at what they did. So, you learn a lot. AndI grew up, you know, going and working for Marriott and Hilton. So, I had someproper training in hospitality and customer service and understanding, youknow, hey, it doesn’t matter. You know, if that beer glasses if that beer glassis empty, you’re hey not making more money. And if that steak doesn’t tastegood, you’re not, they’re not coming back. So, and applying a lot of that samelogic into this industry is really not that different. It’s just. It’s aconsumable. That seems to be different, but it’s still consumable.
So, you know, I sold stocks, I sold bonds, I sold insurance. Ithink I just had a gene to be able to sell. But when I didn’t like it, I didn’tsell it.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: You’re a great example of the fact that you don’thave to be a technical person to do technical things or to run a technicalcompany. There are core competencies that are based around customer serviceobviously consistency and hustle, like showing up every day and doing the thingthat needs to be done and not necessarily, or finding the people that can helpyou do the technical portions of it. What There are advice can you give tosomeone who is, let’s say they’re more of a technical person right now, they’rethat code or that wants to be in a position similar to yours.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: talk to the customer.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: And then what, once they give you the, theinformation how does you get over to a leadership role?
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: You know, you have to have the ability just takethe risk. I know for a lot of people that’s unappetizing it was, it is foreveryone. Some people We’ll go and do it and it didn’t work out as well as theythought it would. And they still have a great skillset and to go back in and doother things for other companies. So, I don’t I don’t fault them. I, I So, takeaway that I would fault them for his not trying. And I think, you know, youhear that over and over. Is, do you want to, do you want to wake up, you know,on your death bed, knowing that you did it and it didn’t work out or do youwant to always think I woulda, I should’ve.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: What are you working on now for that next level, sothat you don’t have to, you know, you don’t have to get to your end days andwish that you could’ve done or done, or would’ve done something
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: No, we’re definitely looking at other companiesfrom an acquisition standpoint, we’re looking at, you know, whether, you know,even if you know, if we make sense for others to acquire.
So, it’s I think at the end of the day, we’re Company: buildingan opportunistic organization. We’re looking at what other value we can bringto our clients, you know, not just in the current technologies, but what’s thenext kiosk that we’re going to build. What’s the next NLP that we’re going tomake happen?
What are we going to do that is going to give us even a betterdecision management program? What are we going to, you know, is it, you know,what’s that going to look like? And so, you know, having great leaders withgood I would say processing capability to look at the marketplace and seewhat’s out there I’m having fun.
You know, it was when we found plasticity and we had that bet,I think I talked to about 300 companies, and to come up with three out of 300and then getting into serious discussions. I mean, that was, that was a lot offun nerve wracking, but fun. So, I, I think I enjoyed that you know, causeagain, brings me back to meeting. people.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: What about your reading lists? Who you’re reading?Who’s your face? Like what, what’s you’re reading right now? That’s kind ofinfluencing
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: it’s you know, because we got into an artificialintelligence company and an NLP company, I’m doing this. What I would say isresearch and gaining as much knowledge. As I possibly can, and there’s no wayI’m going to be able to get through that. So, I would say, you know, for myhealthy reading list lately, I’ve been, a lot more rereading some of the oldclassic business books and things I mean sometimes I’ll just, instead ofreading it back-to-back, I’ll, you know, I’ll just pick up the book andwherever my thumb or finger hits that page, I just start and an, and it’sinspirational and you know, I think from a relaxation standpoint, it it’s beenit’s been a little crazy, so. I definitely need to get back into that.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Well, this is awesome. You know, it’s been reallygreat getting to know you anyone who’s listening who wants to get on the team,you know, whether it’s chorus, human touch, plasticity, that wants to reach outto you to either learn more, learn from you, what, who, how do they reach
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: So, I’m going to give a, the PSA for LinkedIn. Ifyou’re not on it. you’re crazy. If you don’t have a good profile, you shouldtalk to our marketing folks. You should get a great profile from CCM and getthem to help you out. Because at the end of the day we’ve seen too many peoplewith it is, not only a resume It’s not only a business card. It is I think oneof the strongest tools if you’re going into. business ever.
Phillip K. Naithram, Host DCLocal Leaders: Thank you for making time. I appreciate it.
Moe Jafari, Chairman, Executive1 Holding Company: Well, thank you for help. I appreciate theopportunity to have this conversation with you.