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Feb. 3, 2023

Ep.217 w/ Scott Wright of NextGem..An app for Collectors

Ep.217 w/ Scott Wright of NextGem..An app for Collectors

Scott Wright is first and foremost a collector and he knew if he did an app it would be geared towards collectors. That's just what he did with his NextGem App which has many bells and whistles to make it appealing to the hobby. He joins us to tell...

Scott Wright is first and foremost a collector and he knew if he did an app it would be geared towards collectors. That's just what he did with his NextGem App which has many bells and whistles to make it appealing to the hobby. He joins us to tell us what it does and what it so will do.

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all right real happy to talk to my next guest on the sports card shop at Moco
guest line he's the creator of the next gem app but done a lot more than that
too I want to talk about uh various things this next gentleman has done and
hey he's a collector as well too so without further Ado Scott Wright welcome welcome to sports car Nation
thanks so much for having me John I really appreciate it well thanks for being here we're going to get into uh
next gem here but I want to talk about you know it's like I told you even before we start recording Kennedy the
standardized you know first time on the Pod kind of question like kind of your start uh in the hobby with baseball card
sports cards uh kind of take us back uh uh to the to where it all started for
you yeah absolutely so I was born in 1979 so I started collecting cards in the late
80s um and I was that that classic case I was the kid setting up as 10 12 years
old I was setting up at the VFW buying cards for a quarter selling for a dollar and kind of funding my hobby that way
um and you know whenever the family went on a trip out of town or on a vacation you know I was finding that local card
shop to stop into so I was just uh cards were my life as a kid uh and then
towards the end of high school like I'm sure you've heard a million times before the common story I kind of fell out of
it as I started to go to college I continued to buy a little bit in those early days of eBay just kind of Personal Collection stuff but unfortunately in
the late 90s I wasn't collecting those precious metals gems credentials rubies all these super rare uh valuable cards
uh I wouldn't have pulled them from a pack anyways back then but uh but yeah I got out just before that time but uh and
then I got back into the hobby uh back in just about five six years ago so I my
career was I covered the NFL draft and through that Panini America actually sponsored my Senior Bowl coverage which
is a big All-Star Game down in Mobile Alabama every year so what they would have me do is open packs of cards and
shoot videos with Josh Allen Daniel Jones Debo Samuel Justin Herbert
um about 100 of these types of guys I got to open paths with talk about cards and and through that I kind of
rediscovered my passion so that's how I kind of got back into the hobby but really my roots go back to uh pretty
much mid to late 80s yeah I'm gonna make you feel a little bit younger and myself feel a little bit
older you talked about being born in 79 that's when sort of my hobby Journey
started on on my side of the fence now I was young at seven years old uh but I I
actually you mentioned something I want to also touch on too I did my first show at 15 and I was looked at as like you
know I got a lot of weird looks and people would come to my table and say hey I'm interested in this card but let
me know when your dad's back I'd like to negotiate a price and yet it's my stuff and I just heard you mention you were am
I right you were setting up 10 11 12 years old I did yeah absolutely and and you know
one of my proudest moments is my Dad we owned a variety store when I was little Ben Franklin so my dad was you know a
businessman and you know he knew I collected cards but up until a certain point he was always like oh it's a fun
little hobby but then we went he went with me to one of these card shows where I set up and he saw me go to one side of
the room and buy just a big lot of cards for a quarter each and then like an hour later some for a dollar each and as a
kid you know 10 12 years old I still remember being how impressed he was like how proud he was like oh it's like a
light went on for him and that's what I always say too like when I see all these young people at card shows and at card
shops it it absolutely warms my heart because it's it's teaches such incredible life lessons and I'm sure you
agree with all this too John I mean it teaches you how to talk to people teaches you how to negotiate manage
money um the lessons just go on and on and on so I love it when I see these young
people uh wheeling and dealing at card shows and especially when I see the parents following around who have no idea about cards but they're they're
supporting their kids because my parents did the same thing for me so I always make sure to stop those parrots and let them know that it's going to pay off
those kids are going to appreciate that yeah and I'm a huge I'm people listen
you know I'm a huge kids in the hobby uh guy uh I think it's it's that's where I
started and you you you made some great points in the fact and I'm I I'm a school teacher too there's stuff you can
learn you know being a dealer at a young age that uh you know I hate to say it but school doesn't teach you all all
this stuff uh so well socialization they do but maybe you know making change uh
the business knowing hey I've got a buy at the right price to to come out here
okay and and stuff you know you know that or either they don't teach in school or they don't spend as much time
on it as they could and I think it's uh it's a it's a great lesson uh to to
learn and and socialization is a big one and I'll tell you the truth when I did my my first show was 15 and I've said
this on this show is I was a shy kid so I I didn't have a lot of bedside manner
or you know salesmanship if you will I was fortunate I just had a good enough
inventory where I still did okay were you kind of a quote were you an outgoing kid was it did it come naturally to you
as as a young dealer like that yeah I always call myself an introverted
extrovert I I put on a show but I am kind of quiet by nature but um but you
can't be right when somebody comes up to your table you hey how's it going you know and you kind of strike up that
conversation so and I think too like you say they teach you some of that stuff in schools and stuff but it's different
when it's something you're passionate about right that you love that you're out in the real world doing it's kind of a different type of experience too so
obviously great things at school I mean school teacher John I mean can't give enough credit to you
um one of the most underappreciated professions and which shouldn't be but yeah I mean it's it's a great uh it's a
great tool for young people and and anybody who says the hobby is dying go to a card show and look at all the young people that are there yeah no it's it's
you know it I I think you know we do have people leave but for for everyone that leaves there's two people coming in
so it's it's it's like a Turn Style right uh and the hobby the hobby will never die we'll have its Ebbs it will
have its Ebbs and flows and it's always it's always that's not a new phenomenon so
um you know technology's a kind of new phenomenon we're going to talk a little bit uh what you're doing on on that side
of things but I want you know you mentioned uh you know covering the draft for for the NFL I'm a huge NFL guy I
definitely want you to you know highlight some what what you did there because it's very cool like you said you
even got to do a little work with panini uh opening some stuff with some of those players what kind of talk about your
career on on the football side of of things as well yeah the other great Passion Of My Life
along with cards has been the NFL draft and back when I was in high school in the late 90s I started one of the first
NFL draft websites out there and at that time it was just on an American online a website address now it's draft countdown
uh and I was able to run that for 20 years and and I had no intentions of it going that long when I started I knew I
was going to go to college for sports journalism so it was just a way that I could put my mock drafts out there and practice my writing and I vividly
remember my very first mock draft that I published was for the 1997 NFL draft and I had the Jets taking Peyton Manning
number one overall of course Peyton Manning went back to school for a senior year the Jets traded that pick and the
rest is history but um just to kind of put in perspective yeah 97 was the when I first started the website and I kept
it going all throughout college and by the time I finished college at that point in the journalism field what you
would do is you'd go work in a newsroom at a newspaper in the early 2000s and I kind of saw the way the newspaper
industry was trending and I thought well the website's gotten popular enough maybe I could do this website and I did
it for 20 years and I was I was living the dream right I was watching talking writing about football for a living
um so it would have taken something pretty special for me to kind of pivot uh but when the opportunity for next gym
came along to to go back to my first love and come full circle and get back into cards officially
um it was it was like probably the one opportunity that would have pulled me away from the NFL draft
yeah that's cool I I'm a little jealous of you getting the dude I'm a football guy now you know I'm going to ask you a
question I kind of think I know the answer to football fans including myself can be very passionate that might be a a
nice way of putting it in in some cases did you get a lot of people when you
maybe you published a mock draft or an opinion on a player did you get a lot of
people like come at you like you know oh man that's all messed up they're not gonna they don't need wide receivers as
bad as you think or that guy's not as good as you're touting them did you get a lot of that kind of uh stuff from from
being a you know like I like I know happens every single mock draft but that's part
of the fun of it too right because nobody has the answers right we don't get the answers for five years after the
fact so everybody's kind of guessing and I always said you know to be like cover the NFL draft you have to have a certain
degree of self-confidence right that that you're right even though you're not gonna get the answer for a long time and of course I had my my hits and misses
just like everybody else but um I did pretty well uh if I if I was an NFL GM my track record would have been
better than most uh uh but but you learned right even the ones you miss on you've learned lessons from it and you
don't make those mistakes again but uh yeah absolutely you've seen a lot of prospects and a lot
of things in in 20 years with the draft but um but yeah it was it was a blast and uh in fact the Senior Bowl is coming
up it's it's draft season now the NFL season's wrapping up and everyone's going to turn their attention to the draft now it's draft season
yeah yeah and I I'm uh you know like I say with football there is no off season there's there's game there's the season
where games are being played and then there's the other part of the Season where rosters are being formulated and
made in in the future foundation uh being laid and I'm a I'm a huge Steelers
guy not a not a great year for us and now like you said Democrats are starting to to trickle out and anytime I see you
know the Steelers guys do their their version of the Steelers draft I always open those up most of the time I'm I'm
shaking my head like either I hope this is not right or I don't know how close
this person really covers the Steelers and the holes that they have because you know I saw one in particular that had
them like picking three wide receivers uh I'm not saying they won't pick a wide receiver but I'd be beside myself if
they actually picked uh three uh in this coming draft but that's the beat you know that's the fun of it right is kind
of comparing notes or opinions and you know the fact that I disagree with that
particular mock draft means to to that the gentleman that wrote it means I read it and he's probably at least happy you
know maybe not to Shake in my head part but the fact that uh I read it and gave them all the time so awesome like you
know awesome that you get to do that and uh very very cool and I know before we get into next gym one here I know you're
a big Chuck knoblock guy kind of talk about uh you know how did that uh happen
yeah that that was my guy as a kid that was my favorite player um and and I tried to emulate him in
little league and as a big guy I didn't quite have that range to be a second baseman like Chuck but um but yeah he
was my guy and uh um and when I think of collecting cards as a kid the card I think of is that
1990s score Chuck knoblock rookie card that's the first thing that comes to mind I have the PSA 10 of that and
actually at the he was he signed autographs at the national a couple years ago in Chicago so I got to meet Chuck and I had a shirt made wearing my
PSA 10 rookie card to his and I so I got a picture of him holding the card then me with the shirt with the card and he
probably thought it was a stalker or something but uh but yeah it was definitely a fulfilling a childhood dream to finally meet Edward Charles
knoblock and cross that off the list what was it I mean what was it that Drew
did you know asking that question what was it that Drew you to him and why he stood out and
became that guy yeah you know that's a really good question and I don't know if I have a
perfect answer for it I definitely had to type like scrappy little players like I also like Bobby Hurley and basketball
at Duke so I definitely had a type but I think just two as a young kid Chuck knoblock was he was a little smaller
player he's kind of squatty when he batted he got really down low so maybe that was part of it but yeah for
whatever reason like I was just drawn to him and and of course they won the World Series his rookie year in 1991 when I
was 11 years old so it was just kind of that perfect timing yeah yeah and yeah
makes sense and uh Scrappy guy a heck of a player and uh you know a hitter uh
defensive player too A lot of people sort of Remember The Yips part but he was a heck of a defensive player but you
know you take yeah sort of at that time frame away um he was he he could he could he could
feel and hit so uh you know uh not not a bad guy to look up to and I saw the
picture that you mentioned and you know uh you know you might have looked up to
him during his playing days but he was looking up to you uh in the picture so I
thought that was that was uh interesting to say the least but it's those stories right so why we have certain players or
athletes or people that we admire or look up to and uh I love those those
stories because you know a lot of times the hobby stories itself are some kind of similar how we got in the hobby maybe
go away from it for a little bit then come back but the the players we admire those stories are all all individual and
I love asking when someone has a specific player I always I always like to ask so uh yeah you know and I tell
you what that 1990 score PSA 10 I have it's you know it's a 50 card but that's my coffin card right I'm never partying
with that thing yeah and and I always say this on the show there's something about rookie cards where they have those
big facial close-ups like the Griffey the maddenly 84 Donruss to Griffey Upper
Deck um you know there's that there's a little more besides being their rookie
card and there's a little more lore because you don't you don't see those all the time A lot of times you see the
further away or on the field action shots but to get that close up you
almost feel like you get to know them a little bit like the 52 mantle kind of too right yeah almost icon
said yeah there's there's something to be said about you know Walter Payton in
football with his rookie is is with his helmet off and you can see you know his whole face and I think there's just an
Allure and then you add the fact that this also is rookie card and so it's already sort of in demand on that alone
I I I just think that it brings even more uh attention to it so I I gotta ask
you you got next year it's doing a lot of things I I want to start with like
when did the idea first and you know when did you first come up with like hey
I can do this and I can probably do it better than what stuff that may already
be in existence when when did that first thought first cross your mind so the very first kernel happened kind
of late 2020 we were up up north as we call in Minnesota for a guy's weekend at the cabin and a bunch of us were
collectors and we're talking about our cards and we were kind of just ruminating about some of the problems
and and troubles we were having in the hobby that we were experiencing um and a lot of them had to go back to Tech um
you talked about how it's it's kind of a different world than when we were collecting as kids back in the 80s and 90s and but we're starting to see Tech
leverage for the card world but not fully yet especially back then a few years ago so we thought man maybe
there's some of these problems that we're experiencing that others are experiencing what as well and maybe we could address them so at that point we
kind of just started researching we started talking to others and just kind of validating the idea to make sure that others were experiencing similar
problems and uh we officially started next gym in uh I think March of 2021
um so yeah now we've been going for a couple years now we've been in the App Store uh since July 2022 open y for
anybody to download an Apple app store and just make a really good progress we're really proud about not only the
number of cards that we have coming onto the platform I think we're coming up on 60 000 cards but just the degree of
quality um we have some really special cards that you won't see anywhere else we have a Michael Jordan one of our members on
the app has a Michael Jordan ultra 101. um just on and on uses special cards a
lot of these fresh smell gems we have a grippies precious smell Jam so we're really proud of not only the cards that
are coming onto the platform and it's fun to look at them but the people who own those cards and and we're really
been focused on on building this community and ecosystem of awesome people and their cards
yeah it's awesome you know and one thing I I know I mentioned this to you before we we went uh live with recording you
know everyone thinks like that you know you get a thought or an idea in your head uh and and that's
awesome right more people you know uh should do that and and dream big and be
ambitious but when you come up with a great idea right I mean it's it's great but there's a lot of work that goes into
it it's not always uh smooth sailing talk about you know what you can share
some of those difficulties uh you've had uh uh in getting to where you are at
this point that uh that you can yeah absolutely and it's difficult with startups so early on we were very
deliberate with our research and kind of measuring twice cutting once and uh so
so absolutely we're definitely focusing on that and and you know we can talk about some of our features and some of
the tech we've developed but I guess I would point to that you know early on uh some of the frustrations were just the
technical you know we wanted things to go faster we wanted to have working perfectly right away but it takes time
um I think back to the national uh in Chicago back in 2021 at that point we got one of the first versions of the app
and my colleague and I were in our hotel at the national get ready for the national start and we're in the gym
because that had the best lighting and we're on the mat in the gym taking pictures with our phone testing the app the very first version of the app so you
know those are those moments are always special I'm going to look back at those and um even though they were maybe a little
bit more lean times and frustrating but I mean that's part of the journey and what makes it so fun and it helps you
appreciate when things start go so well like they are now and you start to get that traction so but but no question you
know it's it can be a roller coaster and uh you're right it's not always puppy dogs and ice cream every step of the way
but at the end of the day I always say it's not like I'm out digging ditches right even the worst days are the best
days for most because I'm working in carts yeah no doubt and you're passionate uh it comes across uh you
know this is a space let's be honest I'm not going to mention any other names but it's a space with some other entrants uh
by jacking for position if you will or competing in the space I I guess two two
prong question here Scott is is is that make it difficult but I've heard other
people answer that question and say you know what now that pushes us that drives us to to be better makes us more
competitive keeps us more focused if we were sort of the only one doing things
like this so maybe we get complacent or a little more laid back when we didn't
need to be so that I guess that's my question to you as well is it difficult
it's a space that sort of seems like there's a new entrant every every few weeks if not every week and you know
your thoughts on on that that you know I've often said on this show you know
you know I don't know if everyone makes it you know you I don't root against anyone obviously but there's only you
know it's it's like a pie and you want to get the as big of the cut of it as you can just kind of you know along
those lines with you know other other companies trying to to get a a foothold
here and what you're doing you know some of the the thoughts on that
yeah you're definitely right a lot of companies are coming into the market now and I think it's great I think there's
room for everybody in part because it is such a large community of card
collectors there's a lot of pent up demand because as I said you know from say the like the mid 90s to just
recently the companies that you thought maybe would have been innovating and and doing some of this stuff simply weren't
you know I always go back to what's the biggest Marketplace for cards eBay what's the biggest social media
Instagram neither of those were developed for cards they were just co-opted by us because there weren't
better Alternatives right so there's plenty of room for everybody out there to to to to to have a place here but
also too I think we have a pretty different approach which which I think
than a lot of people which I which makes me feel really comfortable despite a lot of competition you know we're really
leaning into the social aspects um you know a lot of people are working on market price and or marketplaces
vaults things of that nature but we're really kind of helping people optimize some of these other avenues whether it
be selling off a major Marketplace maybe it's leveraging the the incredible deals
and cards that are available on social media if you can get them in front of the right uh big enough audience and the
Right audience so we're kind of focused on helping people do that and and and you know even though you have all these
different platforms nobody's really kind of focused on maximizing what can be
done on social media and I mean you know as well as anybody John lots of cards get sold at card shows and on eBay and
all the different marketplaces but just as much if not more happens off eBay and we want to kind of help the people are
doing those deals and and not even just do deals just manage their collection in general just have one source of Truth
where if you're trying to make a trade here's my link here's what I got it's fully searchable sortable filterable no
more paging through your camera roll endlessly trying to find that one picture of a car that you're looking for
so those are a handful of the problem homes we're trying to solve but at the end of the day everything that we're
doing just comes back to being a hobby helper we're kind of agnostic we want to help people if you want to succeed on a
Marketplace we want to help you do that if you want to succeed selling on social media we want to help you do that we want to be kind of the tool in the
community to help you thrive in the hobby you mentioned something I think that I I
definitely want to you know it kind of goes without saying but you know for as big as eBay is and like you mentioned it
I mean we it's not a debate and the number one Marketplace just in general not just the sports cards but definitely
in that space too but what's you know what's the big complaint with eBay right when you when you sell something right
uh the fees right that come out of uh of your sale right and people you know it's
like everything else in life going up right now and and so anytime you can
make a a sale on a platform where you know 10 15 20 gets taken out where that
doesn't happen right that's that's a great uh alternative and uh you know I
think if if more of these sort of offshoots you know without these fees
you might see eBay it's have to make a decision hey we need to lower we're not
getting as many cards listed here we might have to lower our sellers commission uh down you know so it
competition brings out the best and ultimately the consumer uh hopefully the
way it should work the consumer uh wins the day but uh free is is always uh you
can't get any better uh than that as I always say so I I you know I've heard yes one other thing John sorry not to
butt in but you know just one other aspect of that too is is finding these cards right I mean right now all the car
if you add up all the cards that are on a major Marketplace for sale right now it's only a small fraction of the the
universe of cards if you're looking like for example I'm collecting this clear Brilliance gold set and there's 99 of
each card and I'm not going to get them if I just wait for them to pop up on eBay I'm having to get proactive message
people and um so you know having a place where you can find these cards they might not be
available they might be in somebody's Personal Collection but just kind of surfacing this this um this stock that's
maybe sitting in somebody's shoot box or maybe in their safe and it's not technically available you know whether
it's for somebody to make an offer on or just to enjoy in general we want to kind of make bring those cards out of your
closet and shoebox and bring them into the app for everybody including yourself to enjoy yes that's a great Point too for as big
as as eBay is I've bought stuff not on eBay that had zero listings on eBay so
you know for being a the big boy on the Block there is stuff that's not always
uh available on it and this gives you uh and the users right another another
chance to acquire that card like you said that 101 Ultra Jordan right it's
it's only on your it's only on uh next year so uh there's a perfect uh example
of that uh you know I I've heard you speak about it you know before but for
those listening uh today on this podcast kind of go through all you know the
bells and whistles of what next gem uh can offer users uh you know that uh and
some of it's uh not being done I'll I'll say it that way but you don't want to
hear from me you rather hear from from Scott so go go right ahead all right so it all starts with imaging
and digitizing your cards and uh so with your phone you get HD 4K images uh we
automatically crop them up so you get quadrant picks of the front and back so you only take two pictures you get a 10 picture output we automatically extract
all the data off the slab right down to the certification number so you don't have to do that on the newer PSA slabs
there's that QR code on the back with a link to the population we extract that link and make it a clickable link in the
card so if you want to know what the population is you can punch that and see it uh for each we automate an eBay comps
button so for each card so you can press that button and it'll take you to show you the latest sales on that card on
eBay uh and and for each card that you scan it also gets a web page and we're
going to optimize those web pages for search engine to make sure that when somebody searches for that card on Google or wherever it might be your
listing is gonna be one of the first ones to come up so people can find that card so we're doing a lot of cool card
specific Tech um we extract right uh we're extracting information from raw cards and starting to enter that with a
pretty high degree of success rate not perfect yet but it's getting better uh and then we're also coming out with the
image upload feature so if you don't want to take a brand new picture with your phone let's say you have a card in the vault you can take your picture and
upload it and it'll go through the same process it'll be process crop and one other cool thing we're doing with the
imager that's I think really important is it's hard to get card picks sometimes especially on these newer cards that are
so reflective you get the light burst you get the glare so what we've done is you can actually take the picture of the
card at a little bit of an angle you can go to the left you can go to the right you can go this way and it'll automatically adjust it and make it
straight so you can get that perfect angle to not only eliminate that light and glare but also get the right
reflection so you it's looking as pretty as it can uh that reflect that refractor really be popping with all the colors so
a lot of cool card specific Tech we develop to image the cards and get that
digital record and then you have that one source of truth I talked about that one collection it's fully searchable sortable
filterable you can share that link you can put it in your social media bio so somebody stumbles across you on Twitter
Instagram there's your link they can click it and if they have the app they'll be taken to the app otherwise they'll be taken to the webview and they
can look at all your cards and I mean I personally found this really handy when making deals
um you talked about the camera roll in the past you'd be looking for different pictures somebody's like oh well what do you have anything else now I just give
them my link and they can see everything and they can tell me what they're interested in so it really saves a lot
of time and just have General Hassle and back and forth when trying to make a deal to have that that collection in one
place and then kind of the third prong is the sharing we want to make it really easy to share your cards once you have
them all digitized so for each card record there's a button you click it and it opens up share Builder you can select
I want a Twitter post I want an Instagram post I want an Instagram story I want to send it in a text email know
whatever you have you let's say you want to send it on Instagram we have a custom builder with different templates for every for each type of
card so you can pick the layout that fits it best front only front and back fronts vertical backs horizontal Etc uh
and then we also for Instagram we automatically generate the most relevant hashtags for each card for your post
which is so important and we're seeing results uh as low as 30 but up to 70
percent increased views on posts with our hashtags and it's so important not only just to get the most views but
relevant news so to make sure if you post a Chuck knob block card I want Chuck knoblock collectors to be able to
find that card and as we know with Instagram the search can be so inefficient even if you know a post is
there it's hard to track it down but with our hashtags it's easy to find them so uh we're really making it easy to to
share those great images once you've captured them foreign just the integration right from two
photos you have in a sense 10 photos and corners and and even no matter what I'm
almost what angle you take the photo to avoid that dreaded glare that we've all
dealt with at one time or another that your your app actually kind of corrects
the orientation I mean that's just cool and then the hashtags right which uh I hear here on that we we all know that
that's important I mean you have to do I have to type them unless I like save you
know for some of the show promo I kind of save them and copy and paste but the fact that you've sort of built that
baked that kind of into the app that's just one less hassle for someone to worry about uh manually you kind of
you're doing uh the hard work for the user and uh that's that's I mean that's
just cool right uh it appears you know it's one less thing for that user uh to
worry about I like to hear what you say too this has more more than one purpose isn't that just selling this is you can
just share your collection you can just strike up a conversation and the social the social aspect of it but also if you
if you can make a deal or trade uh potentially uh that option is there so
you sort of of covering a lot of the basis sometimes with these you know apps
or or things like that they're sort of there's just one mindset in mind and uh
it's it's nice to hear you you like sort of do the the 360 and think of all all
that's uh it can Encompass and you know not every collector is the same some
people don't sell their cards some people do yeah some people only sell cards they buy new cards so you know
it's all different ways to the Hobby and you're you're it sounds like you're trying to cover as many of those bases
uh as you can and that's refreshing to hear there really is a use case for any type
of collector we have PC collectors where they're trying to get every card of a player well this is a catalog right when
they see a card like do I have that one or not what one quick search they can check if they have it on the app
um talked about a card shops we have a card shop where they had some trouble with lighting some of their autographs and their cases were fading they're like
oh I don't want to have these super valuable cards exposed so they have a setup on an iPad on their counter these
beautiful 4K pictures somebody can come and look at their inventory and then they want to see it they can pull it out but you know one other point I'd make
too is early on you know I'm not necessarily a social media like I've never aspire to be an influencer or like
have a million followers or anything like that but I've really come to see the value of like having somewhat of a
following on Instagram because the Cards start coming to you right people get get to know what you're looking for and they
start messaging you when they see it so I mentioned that set i'm collecting and I'm having to kind of go Dick Tracy to
look for these cards and track them down and because I post everyone I pick up on Instagram I've kind of become a little
bit known for that and now when somebody sees one they message me so there's definitely real value in having that
following on Instagram and people seeing your posts Beyond just maybe the vanity of it yeah no doubt I was smiling when you
were talking about scrolling through your your camera roll on your phone to find that one card I can't tell you how
many times I had to find a picture of a card I took to the show or send somebody and so you know when you have a lot of
stuff like you match it can be almost like a needle in the haystack right or you think you see you stop nope that
ain't it and sometimes you get disoriented like I think I went too far now I gotta go back now I think I went
back it's so you almost get lost in your own phone um and so it's nice to uh sort of
eliminate there that's a that's a huge I can tell you that's a a Time suck when you can't find something especially when
you need to find it quick uh and it doesn't work out as planned so and all
these things are little things but they add up right going through your camera roll going back and forth with 20 messages trying to work on a deal
instead of just sharing a link um you know all these little things hashtags trying to figure out which hashtags you
use you know these little pieces of chunks of time they add up real quick over the course of weeks and months
yeah now you don't have to be you also it sounds like you don't have to be a professional photographer taking uh a
pic uh you know of your card that there's some you know now next if you tell me it takes out red eye then we're
really in business we definitely help you get a good picture a certain level of effort is
required in terms of the lighting obviously but but we're going to help you get there get the best one possible
well awesome man it sounds like you really did your homework and trying to
make it the best uh user experience I mean uh I'll put you on a spot I mean
you know what would you say your user count is approximately I mean I know it's it's changing by the day but uh
where where where are you around yeah absolutely I think we're closing in
on 10 000 members right now and like I said we only opened wide in the App Store in July and partly because we kept
it closed beta early on while we worked out the Kinks so yeah we've only been about six months now let people through the doors wide and and we're excited to
expand to Android too that's the number one thing we've heard there's a huge demand all the Android users are asking
us when can we get on next jump so sooner rather than later um you're talking you're talking to one of
those uh guys there too so I'm an Android guy even after talking cards on
there yeah and uh even here like I I you know I knew a lot about it before bringing
out but uh and then hearing you talk about some of the other stuff too I can't wait to to play around with the
app and and you know it's like a car right you want to take it out uh for spin you mentioned uh the Nationals kind
of where you you launched uh in Chicago uh in uh 2021 I mean how how helpful was
that was was was going there like uh good for for next gen was it uh uh and
and I guess a piggybacking off that I'm assuming we'll see you uh in Chicago again uh in in this year coming up here
in July yeah absolutely we uh we will be there again uh and and absolutely I mean I
mean what else can you say about the national it's it's just a truly rare experience to get that many of our people together in one place and as an
app Atlantic City was a little challenging with the internet um as anybody that was there can attest to but um it's the understatement
of tonight's uh conversation to say stop touch on that was being nice yeah
um well I will you know I I was talking to a dealer who's like it was a big big sale and he said luckily I had help
there because I had to leave the building with the with the customer to get the transaction to go through and it
was uh yeah it was a five figure it was a high five figure sale that uh almost
didn't happen because of of the internet hopefully and I think they'll they'll work out though you know it's like
anything else I'm you know I'm picking on them a little bit but um you know every every new venue you
can sometimes present different challenges so I think I'm sure they've probably learned from that on their end
and I I'm assuming uh that won't be a repeat uh thing in uh here in July so
and even with those challenges it was an invaluable experience you know to kind of get the word out and let people know
what we were doing at next gen we we had some members who were kind enough to let us bring with some of their ridiculously
rare cards so we got to kind of flex and show off some of the cool cards that were there on the app so it was an in
total a great experience I'm counting the days till Chicago here and I think we're going to be doing an event one of
the nights John I'll be sure to follow up with you you're officially invited we'd love to have you there I appreciate details to come all right well Scott
awesome stuff man it sounds you know it's you're coming at it I think from the right perspective right sometimes
with some of these apps or or businesses or platforms right it's sometimes comes
from people maybe not in the space originally that don't sort of have their finger on the pulse of what collectors
want or need or like to see I don't think that's the case here uh with you
you're you've you've been in the hobby uh a long time you kind of know it's
like you said it kind of was born from like your own hey we we need something like this I'm you know I would love
something like this and and and here we are right a few years later and and yeah
you put it into existence but I I think I think it's different when someone from
the space already creates something then I'm not saying it can't happen it does
happen but I think there's a little little more Credence and a little more uh you know or you know Grassroots with
it when it's someone who already knows kind of what people are dealing with
what people want and need um and I think you come at it from from that angle and I think that's a that's a
Difference Maker and uh and it sounds like you know you're not resting on your laurels you're you're thinking hey how
do we even as we go on how do we make this even even more uh improved and better that's uh that's refreshing to
hear so enough for me let me let I want you to give out your your social medias
websites where the app can be downloaded uh no rush take your time give out all
the stuff that you want to get out there well and thank you so much for those kind words and it warms my heart that
the fact that we're collectors and passionate about the hobby ourselves comes through because that's very important to us because I mean we love
cards I I live this car's life so uh um that that means a lot so yeah you can
check us out you can download the app on the Apple App Store next gem go check it out right now um you can also find us on
social media um and we are at nextgem app on Twitter on Instagram uh so you can definitely
check us out there and you can also go to the website nextgem.com and a few things you can do there you can learn a
little bit more about the app but there's also a link to our webview so even if you are on Android John you can
still check out all the cool cards on our platform you can search sort and filter so uh you can do that and then we
also have some educational aspects on the blog with some tips for how to get those best pictures how to how to
maximize your social media presence so we have some uh some use cases to kind of show how some of our members have
have taken advantage of the tools we offer so uh yeah absolutely but please check yourself the app is 100 free
there's no cost to download it there's no subscription fees or anything eventually we're going to look into some ways to monetize down the line but we're
just focused on building this awesome ecosystem of great cards but more importantly the people who own them um
so please uh check us out and we're excited to have you awesome Scott uh continued success and
and uh look for I'll check out the website for sure uh and uh anxiously await uh that Android uh drop and uh
definitely let me know when that's imminent so I can I can get that uh in in my phone uh as soon as uh as soon as
possible and and take it out for a spin and uh definitely we'll talk about that experience uh on this show and social
media as well again thank you for your time I know you're a busy guy and and
again continued success and it's going to be interesting uh to see where the app goes uh from from here as it as it
grows and it's user base grows and hope to meet you obviously uh as well uh in
Chicago here uh I'm counting the days two here as we uh approach July
and thank you so much for having me and thanks for everything you do for the hobby too John um you know we talked about before you know we're you're one
of those people who are in it for the right reasons you're a True Believer and and the hobby can never have enough of people like that so thank you
well I I appreciate you saying that so uh thanks Scott we'll have we'll just
we'll have you on again too can't wait