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Scott Lawin, CEO of Candy Digital, on the Intersection of Web3, The Sports Industry, and Community

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Scott M. Lawin, CEO/COO of Candy Digital, talks about the intersection of Web3, the Sports Industry, and the impact of NFTs on fans in the digital landscape.

About Scott Lawin

Scott M. Lawin is CEO/COO of Candy Digital, Inc., a next-generation sports and culture digital asset platform, providing authentic objects and experiences that deepen fan engagement and connect people to their passions.

Before launching Candy, Mr. Lawin founded Parametric, LP, a private investment and advisory firm focused on early-stage opportunities in blockchain, fintech, art, and real estate. From 2010-2017, Mr. Lawin was the Chief Operating Officer of Moore Capital Management, a $15bn global alternative investment management company. Prior to joining Moore, Mr. Lawin served as Chief Operating Officer of the Liquid Markets business at Fortress Investment Group following a 12-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Mr. Lawin serves on the Boards of Art Money and Srinidhi Investment Group and is an Advisor to the MIT MET Fund, Stonyrock Partners, Dore Partnership, 24/7Office, and Streetlinx. He is the Founder of Museum of the Street, Vice-Chairman and Director of Hudson River Park Friends, and an Advisory Board member of JUST Capital and The Kitchen.

Mr. Lawin earned his BS in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993 and is a Founding member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. He and his family reside in Tribeca in New York City.

Scott Lawin gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • Building businesses and connecting with communities
  • Partnerships and collaboration in the Business of Content and IP Ownership
  • Exploring the impact of NFTs on fans in the digital landscape
  • NFTs and their influence on content creators and monetization
  • Forming and developing partnerships
  • Collaborating with brands and institutions
  • The intersection of technology and finance
  • NFTs and digital innovations
  • Mainstream adoption
  • Unlocks around crypto and web3
  • Democratization and participation of artists

 

 

 

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We are buzzing, as always, and I am super pumped to have today’s guest on the show. This lad is done it all. Today we have Scott Lawin, the CEO and COO of Candy Digital, a next generation sports and culture digital asset platform, providing authentic objects and experiences that deepen fan engagement and connect people to their passions. Sure you guys have seen Candy Digital blowing up online with the likes of the MLB, bunch of other sports as well. Before launching Candy, Scott founded Parametric LP, a private investment and advisory firm focused on early stage opportunities in blockchain fintech, art, and real estate. Did a whole bunch of everything, including running Moore Capital Management, a $15 billion global alternative investment management company. We can get into all the rest of that stuff, too, but this is a big old intro. Scott, welcome to the show, my friend. Pumped to have you on. 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, thanks so much, man. Really excited to be here today. 

Matt Zahab 
Pumped to have you on, man. When I get someone on with your background, your pedigree, it’s always a treat and truly an honor to have you on. And I’m pumped to have you on so many different avenues we can take this. I’d love to start with your sort of sports background as you are now running the show at Candy Digital. And for those at home, if you guys don’t know what Candy Digital is, you ought to go check Candy Digital out. Think of a I don’t want to say competitor, but very similar to Topshot in some regard, taking the best parts of sports and the things we love and digitizing those. We’ll get into that later. But before we get into everything, tell the listeners a little bit about your sports background and why it’s such a perfect fit for your position at Candy. 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, absolutely. So I think, like many people, certainly our customers and your listeners, I’m sure I was really active in sports as a kid. I played lots of different sports. Tried my hand at baseball, at volleyball, at track, became a big skier, snowboarder, etc. But baseball was my passion. My dad was born in Chicago on the South Side. He was a lifelong Cubs fan, which for a long time was a really tough guy to be. But I grew up in the Midwest, in Illinois and Minnesota, in Wisconsin so whether it was the Bears, the Packers, the Vikings, whether it was the Twins, the Brewers, the Cons, the White Sox, my childhood was about following sports, being part of that community, and then playing them as well. And so I think my takeaway from that, the same way that most people do, is you understand what it is to be part of a team. You understand what it is to sort of follow athletes and the arc of people’s career, those unbelievable moments that bring people together, that energy of being at a live event. And so when we got started with Candy in 2020, and we were really thinking about where did we see the opportunity to start to bring people into the world of Web3 and digital assets, sports was a really natural place to start from kind of my co founders personal passions to the idea that there are billions of sports fans around the world. Those fans are really communities that are sort of following the same stories, the same narratives, and that sports is ultimately about people’s identity. And so digital assets can play kind of a really interesting role in the future of what it means be a fan and how that fandom can be enhanced and extended. And so that sort of completes the arc of my early passion to how we got our business started. 

Matt Zahab 
I can’t wait to take a deep dive into Candy and how you guys are using NFTs blockchain tech digital assets to deepen sort of your fans and just sports fans connections to their favorite teams. But before that, Scott I got to ask and it’s a cliche question of mine, but you were running the show at multiple private investment boutiques, firms, companies, whatever you want to call them, all very successful, did very well. This seems like a huge risk. So not late, but this seems like a risk to take on the back nine of a career. Why take the huge risk and jump to Web3, if you don’t mind me asking? 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, no, it’s a great question. Certainly when my wife asks me from time to time when I’m working around the clock. But, I mean, all seriousness, I started out actually not in sports or in finance. My background is in architecture. I’m an MIT grad who graduated with a degree in architecture and then ended up in finance. And so my finance career, I did a number of different things, was always kind of around building and so building new products, helping to create new markets, finding new opportunities for people to participate in the business. And so that idea, or I guess my initial passion for architecture and building was also based around curiosity. And for the bulk of my career, that was around curiosity of the intersection of technology and finance. And when I learned about blockchain, kind of 2012, 2013, that was the lens that I was looking at it through. What did this mean for finance? Was Bitcoin going to be a new currency? Was it a new store of value? Was it a transaction processing network? Was it a scam? Um, you know, was it a capital raising tool? And so, you know, that curiosity around ultimately, you know, what role would blockchain play in finance extended to this idea of in 2020. What we had seen was institutions increasingly moving into the space, big pools of capital, whether those are the fidelities of the world or hedge funds or high net worth individuals. And so my curiosity and kind of my own investment activity sort of led me to the place to say, this is really powerful and transformative technology. Whether it’s around digital collectibles, whether it’s around store of value, whether it’s ultimately around distributed world computers, there are many different places where the idea of applying blockchain, the idea of authenticated ownership, the idea of composability decentralization, are going to have a profound impact. And I couldn’t not get involved. I’d been an active investor, but I missed being a builder. And so that was really sort of what brought me back, was wanting to get into the space and build something that hadn’t been done before, that I certainly hadn’t done before. 

Matt Zahab 
I love that. It seems there’s so many similarities between business and sports. It’s crazy. You were sort of like the coach, which I find is more of the investor, where you’re sort of picking and choosing and now you’re back in the GM role, where you’re literally building the whole team. It’s always so cool. Let’s get into Candy for a sec, I got to ask, before we jump in, how much did you guys snag the domain name for? Because that is a world class domain. That’s candy.com that doesn’t grow on trees. 

Scott Lawin 
That is a closely guarded secret. Let’s just say that one of our early board members was sort of instrumental in helping us to acquire that. Got excited about it. And I think as we were thinking about what the company was going to be about, what we were going to call it, how it was going to be positioned, we spent a lot of time thinking about fan, we spent a lot of time thinking about some of the things that connect were recognizable in the blockchain space. And ultimately, when we really thought about what the future of digital assets were, our belief is that they’re going to become ubiquitous right over the next ten plus years. Digital assets are going to connect content, they’re going to connect brands, they’re going to connect products to customers. And so while sports is where we’re starting, the idea of an NFT as something that should have broad appeal. And so a name like Candy is one that can be applied in lots of different places. It’s something that everyone has generally a pretty positive affiliation with and so it made sense. And the domain was available. It wasn’t free, but from a brand value perspective, it’s pretty important. 

Matt Zahab 
At least give me one thing here, Scott. How long was the previous owner sitting on that for? I feel like that’s got to be like a 20 year legacy domain. 

Scott Lawin 
Well, no, the previous owner actually was a candy company, so they’d had that domain for quite some time. I think we’re probably a little surprised when they found out who ended up buying it that we weren’t hershey’s on the other end.

Matt Zahab 
Not a competitor. Yeah, I love that. Let’s jump into the Web3 side of things for a second, and before we get right into Candy, I’d love if you could take a deep dive on sort of the intersection of Web3 and sports and how Web3 in particular can elevate the sports industry. We’ve seen some incredible companies like yourselves, like Candy, who is coming in and have found a bunch of really interesting ways to create that overlap. A lot of, obviously, digital collectibles, authentication, fantasy stuff, ticketing watch to earn, ownerships, the whole nine yards, popes, what are some of these areas that tickle your fancy the most? And what are areas that really haven’t popped up yet that you hope to see in the next couple of years?

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, I think there are unlimited is maybe too many, but there are a huge number of places where NFTs can play a really meaningful role in sports. We obviously got our business started in the digital collectible space, and when we started Candy. It really at the end of 2020 I like to say at that point, very few people knew how to spell NFT. Right? Unless you were in the crypto community, you didn’t really know what an NFT was. Certainly the broader market, sports leagues teams, etc., were talking about it. And so our vision when we started was that we knew that digital assets were going to be really important components, but we also felt that there was going to be a longer run up. And so as we kind of thought about what Candy was going to be, we really thought about this spectrum of physical collectibles, the fractionalized ownership of physical collectibles that could be on chain, and then ultimately digital only collectibles. In the beginning of 2021, suddenly the shot heard around the world was Topshot catching fire. Right. That really accelerated our plans around, okay, yes, we see that spectrum of physical to digital, but we really need to lean into the digital space and make sure that we’re having conversations with leagues about not just what a digital collectible is, but our broader vision for what a connected fan experience is through NFTs. And so digital collectibles are kind of the on ramp because there’s an obvious corollary to somebody who has been a baseball card collector or a basketball card collector, someone who has signed memorabilia, somebody who watches old highlight reels from the NFL. Suddenly this idea of being able to own those, having the scarcity and rarity characteristics, getting connected to that community, is a pretty good on ramp. Not just for crypto native folks, but for people kind of coming in at the at the first time. Our vision, though, really, from the jump, was this wasn’t just about minting a moment you could own, and that’s all that it is. Our vision was really looking at what is the fan experience of watching a game on television, going to the stadium. Collecting a card, connecting to a community, owning a piece of memorabilia. And where can a digital asset enhance and extend that experience so that at the end of the day, yes, scarcity and rarity, something that connects you to that story and maybe more valuable over time, is a really important component of the entire collectibles market digital physical. But really, our view you was this was a new way to actually measure fan engagement. Because if you go to a game and give a digital ticket, that’s a measure of your engagement. Right. If you own that team’s digital trading cards right. That shows that you’re a fan and a collector, if you participate in an online trivia challenge right. That’s, again, a record of who you are and your connection to the sport, the team, the individual. So that information actually doesn’t exist anywhere. Right. And the power of having that tokenized it on blockchain really becomes the underlying infrastructure of what kind of the new fan club is. Right. Because now, as more people enter the space, as more people start to engage with these assets, whether they purchase them or they get them for a Pou app, from their experience or a digital ticket, you’ve got a direct measure of who those true fans are. And so I’m sitting in New York City, and so let’s say that you’re a Mets fan. The Mets can now see through our partnership with Major League Baseball, who are the biggest owners of Mets NFTs, who’s gotten more Mets digital tickets to the game. And so the next time that that person goes, they might have an opportunity to go to batting practice early. They might have an opportunity to meet a player that new kind of one to one relationship and that sort of true record of fandom and engagement, we see that as the future of sports. 

Matt Zahab 
That is so true. Again, I’m looking at the Rogers Center right now. Toronto Blue Jays home stadium. I’m trying to think of how many games I’ve probably been to a couple hundred games in my life. Like, no one knows how many games I’ve been to. I don’t get a nice little pat on the back. Do I deserve a pat on the back? That’s up for debate. But, I mean, if I did get a pat on the back, I’d probably be more inclined to buy a new, you know, Boba Shed or Vladi Grow Junior jersey. So it’s it’s so true. And yeah, I feel like a lot of consumers don’t really look at it like that. Right. Which is very well. 

Scott Lawin 
It’s interesting, right? It you know, people don’t think about it this way, but sports teams are brands, right? They’re brands that represent entertainment. They’re brands that represent a business, they’re brands that represent a community. And most of the big brands in the world want to know who their customers are. They want to reward their best customers. They want to provide opportunities to their customers. And so we really see blockchain as the way to unlock that for fans on a global basis. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. Very good point. Yeah, I can’t wait for that. That’s got to be, what, five to ten years out when physical tickets are sort of gonezo? When you go into the stadium nowadays anyway, whether it’s hockey, basketball, sports, event, concert, you don’t even use physical tickets. It’s literally just you download the ticket from Ticketmaster or game time or wherever, and then double tap your wallet, app, and boom, you let you and your friends and you’re off to the races. How far out are we from the whole NFT blockchain tech really digitizing and taking over traditional ticketing methods? 

Scott Lawin 
So we’re getting there. There are a number of smaller companies that have been playing around with NFT tickets for smaller events, music performances, nonprofit events, etc. At the large scale sport teams, leagues, mega concerts. You have some pretty big incumbents there who aren’t ready to move in that direction. What we’ve done is we’ve said, listen, what did it mean to get a ticket to an event, right? When I grew up, I got paper tickets. When I went to ball games, right? And I would take those paper or I went to a concert, I’d take those paper tickets, I’d put them in my bulletin board or in my shoebox, right? That’s part of my story, that’s part of my identity. And as you just referenced, when it’s a QR code on your phone or it’s a printout from Ticketmaster, there’s no real sentimental value there. And so we’ve created digital commemorative tickets. And those digital commemorative tickets are dynamic assets. They update with the outcome of the game, the box scores of the game. They are multimedia. There are images and in some cases, video from those games, from the teams, etc. And again, they become a much more interesting asset to tell your story as part of your overall collection. Over time, we see that ticket ultimately becoming part of that same ticket that gets you into the stadium, but we also see it as something that can become this kind of interesting communication device, as I said, that record of your experience. But it also could be something that gives you an opportunity for a discounted jersey, right? You went to ten Blue Jays games, and now your 10th digital ticket, you get 20% off a jersey, right when you’re in the stadium. It’s also something that can become much more dynamic in real time. Let’s say you’re sitting in the bleachers and your favorite player hits a home run. Your digital ticket now has a video of that home run. So when you’re thinking about it, right, as part of your journey, not only do you have that information, you actually have that moment that you were there for. So we’re really excited about that future. 

Matt Zahab 
Super cool. We’ve discussed a good amount on the qualitative aspects of NFT tech, what you guys are working on, of course, and the intersection with sports. I’d love if we could jump more to the quantitative side. Quantitative and finance are sort of just hand in hand. They’re synonymous to each other. When you’re pitching the MLB or a different sports league or an individual team, or let’s just say athletic stakeholder X like anything else in life, usually there’s two aspects to the decision. There’s the qualitative and the quantitative. Most of the time, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the quantitative reasoning does outweigh the quality. It’s like, how much money am I going to make? All right, Scott, if you and your team can make me a shitload of money, I don’t really care. That’s just sort of how it works in life, right? Price, service, expertise, the three big things in which almost every single decision are made in. How do you and the team pitch financial upside, how do you and the team pitch monetizing opportunities within athletics, for sports team leagues, the whole nine yards. What do those conversations sound like? How do you and the team go through that workflow? 

Scott Lawin 
Yes. I guess what I’d say is that the pitch is very different today than it was two years ago, right? In the beginning of 2021, when the market was kind of catching fire and you sort of said, okay, what’s the TAM of the NFT space? Right. Total Addressable Market. It’s really hard to put a number on that. Right. One answer, which is a little cheeky. It’s what’s the TAM of culture? Right. Because if you think about how big the sports industry, the entertainment industry, cultural and arts industry are, those are all opportunities for NFTs to play a role. Obviously, the numbers that we saw in the beginning of and over the course of 2021 and the early 2022 have come down dramatically. Right? By some measures. Some projects and volumes are down 95, 97%. Right? We were pretty, I would say, circumspect, even at the height of the market, saying that we didn’t think those numbers were viable for the long term. And to your point about quantitative versus qualitative, what happened very quickly in the sports space? Was when we would go in and have the conversation about, this is the future of fan engagement. This is going to be digital assets are going to be the glue that binds connected communities together. Sports teams and leagues understood that very quickly. The conversation moved to, okay, but how much are you going to pay us? Right. And so because the market caught a lot of the tension, a lot of players, a lot of capital into it, the conversation very quickly moved to how many millions of dollars the minimum guarantees could the leagues and the teams get for their license rights? I think in this market, a lot of those deals that got signed were sort of on trees growing to the sky forever. And a number of those deals are going away or being renegotiated because they were off by hundreds of millions of dollars. Today, leagues and teams are still interested in revenue. They view this as a new licensing stream. But I think that they’re starting to understand that the businesses like Candy that are sort of still around and sort of thinking about this more broadly, maybe a different perspective on what long term partnership is as opposed to let’s drop a collection and see how much money we can take off the table. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said there. It’s like, as big and valuable as these organizations are, and by organizations, I mean these world class sports leagues, it’s like, there aren’t a lot of experts like your team who can come in and move and groove and ship and execute at the speed in which you guys do. And I feel like those partnerships in and of itself are extremely valuable, where you guys can come in and not only sort of advise them, but give them the game plan and then partner and make the most out of their IP. And we live in such a digital world nowadays where it’s like, if you’re not taking advantage. If your not getting the most every ounce out of your IP, like you’re hooped. Like you’re literally just shooting yourself in the foot. We live in a digital world, and I’m sure you and I both spend way too much time on our phone more than we should. And we’re not even the worst. Look at the young ins. They’re living on their phone. It’s like if you can get your product out to the masses and keep recycling that and putting value on that, the rest it’s going to take care of itself. But yeah, crazy. I just think back to 2021, just like what you discussed when I know you guys were really popping off Topshot was popping off like the valuations on these NFT companies, it was absolute bananas, right? Like even was so rare and everything else. It was insane. It was money printing season and population us. It was crazy. 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, I mean, I think what you saw back then, and this sort of goes back to my finance days, was no one saw the NFT market coming. Obviously, the dedicated crypto investors had been investing during the previous crypto winter, right? Sort of 2017 to 2020. But the traditional VC community didn’t even know what an NFT was for the most part. Right. And so suddenly, when you see companies doing hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue at a particular month, that gets a lot of people’s attention. And the VC community said, hey, we’re massively underexposed to this space that could be huge. And then you have a bit of a feeding frenzy of people who want to invest, right? And that pushes valuations up and a bunch of businesses that aren’t real businesses get funded. And so all the excesses of a bubble happen pretty quickly. 

Matt Zahab 
No, it’s so true. I want to go back to you and the team shipping things incredibly quickly for 1 second. We can give bunch of examples, but like Anthony Volpe’s, first hit shortstop for the Yanks. Absolute stud. But yeah, there’s so many instances over even, just this MLB season where I’m following you guys and your team comes out with a new NFT literally like 12 hours after this event happens. I’m so impressed by that because again, in this industry, and furthermore, in a crossover industry of sports and NFTs, if you’re not shipping shit at an just absolutely absurdly quick speed, you’re going to fall behind. You guys do that time after time. What’s the secret sauce to this? Do you guys just have a bulletproof workflow? Like, how quickly are you talking to the MLB to get those digital assets? I’m so curious and intrigued to how you guys just ship things at a lightning bolt pace all the time. It’s crazy. 

Scott Lawin 
Well, I’m glad you noticed that and appreciate that because a lot of work goes into it. But I think it goes back to kind of our fundamental view what the value in these various collectibles and assets are. We took a different approach to video than some others did. Right? We certainly see video as an important dynamic element in a collectible and in our core product, our digital icon cards, video is a component of those. But we also really believe video is about capturing the excitement of that moment as close to what had happened as possible. Right? And so when we built out our tech platform and the tooling that we used, it was very much with the idea that how can we ultimately get to the place, as I said, where you’re sitting in the stadium and an event happens, how quickly can we get that moment to you as an opportunity to commemorate that? And so we’re at the place now where we can kind of do that at the end of the game day, when MLB determines its play of the day after the last game, that’s generally somewhere between like 10 p.m. and midnight. We can turn that around, then mint that the next morning. Right? And so really being able to offer the fan the ability to own that exciting moment and we’re continuing to try to push that. Right? We want to make that as real time as we ultimately can, but it’s very much part of the design of our tooling and our process. 

Matt Zahab 
I love that. Scott we ought to take a quick break and give a huge shout out to our sponsor of the show. And when we get back, we are going to talk about what is next for Candy Digital and we are going to take a deep dive into Scott’s and got to get at you for some advice. Too much good stuff to not be picking away there. Huge shout out to PrimeXBT. We love these guys at Cryptonews. They offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. PrimeXBT is also running an exclusive promo for listeners of the Cryptonews Pod. The promo code is CRYPTONEWS50 to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account that can be used as additional collateral to open positions. Again, that is CRYPTONEWS50 all one word to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Scott, before we get into you, give me the TLDR on what is next for Candy Digital. Again you guys are popping off with a bunch of things. Heck, every day it seems like you guys are releasing stuff. You guys always have the place of the week. The MLB showstopper packs. You celebrated the first MLB hits of Jordy Walker and Anthony Volpe. I mean, I love Volpe but I hate him because I feel like he’s going to be a menace for the Jays for the next 20 years to come. But nonetheless, what are you and the team currently building and planning on shipping over the next couple of months and a couple of years? 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, so I guess a couple of things. Major League Baseball is our biggest partner and so we’ve been very focused with the start of the season on getting our 2023 products out. We have other great partners as well. In March we launch launched our partnership with Getty Images. Getty Images is the largest image archive on the planet. 477,000,000 images that really track back to the invention of the camera and some of the most important events in the history of the world. And so bringing some of those important and culturally relevant images on chain we’re really excited about. We did our WrestleMania activation with WWE a few weeks ago when that was happening out in LA. And so bringing wrestling fans into the space. We’ve got some plans for our next iteration with NASCAR and the NASCAR racing teams coming up. And so baseball is kind of our first and most significant partner, but we’re really excited about continuing to build with our other partners as well. On the platform side, we also have been really focused on increasing our engagement, our tooling around challenges and gamification. And so we launched a few weeks ago our code breakers product. And so that gives any owner of our MLB assets on a weekly basis the opportunity to complete challenges. Those are trivia related challenges, puzzle related challenges, earn points, increase their position on the leaderboard. And so it kind of goes back to the idea that as a collectible, listen, we absolutely want our collectibles to be important to our customers and more valuable over time, but we also want them to be able to engage with them, right? We think they’re beautifully designed dynamic assets, but it’s more fun to be able to play a game or complete a challenge with them as well. So continuing to build on that front and then as we sort of look forward over the course of the year, we are even, despite the challenging market, excited about connecting back to the broader Web3 community in many ways when we launched our platform, we sort of positioned it to bring the everyday fan into the space. Just bring an email and a credit card and you can own your first digital asset on Candy. But ultimately, it’s important to connect back to the broader Web3 ecosystem, allow people to connect a wallet, start to self custody those assets. Think about composability across platforms. And so we’re going to start to release some of those features over the course of the next couple of quarters as well.

Matt Zahab 
I love that. Yeah you got to go back to the classic Web3 degens. It’s such a crazy sort of paradox between the 16 hours on NFT Twitter folks like the Purebred degens versus someone like my parents, who would perhaps get one but would take a bit of convincing, would definitely be down to provide an email and credit card if you told them to sign up for MetaMask or Phantom or any other Web3 wallet to self house their beautiful Candy assets, they’d tell me to fly kite. But it’s interesting, I guess. Just a quick follow up and before we get into you, how do you and the team sort of decide on that from an outsider’s perspective with your tech stack and how seamless it is and how little friction there is? It seems like the obvious choice is to go after the larger part of the market, which would be the non Web3 folks. But again, it seems like the 80 20 rule, like everything else in life, it feels like those Web3 folks perhaps are the ones that could be bringing in all the dough. How do you and the team sort of decide and choose which avenue to go? 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, well, I think we sort of made the strategic decision out of the gates to say we were going to build something that was much more Web2.5 to start. Right. Much more of a traditional ecommerce experience, particularly with our partners. Right? Major League Baseball had experimented a little bit with blockchain, but a much more crypto native way. They were excited about how do we expand this to a much broader universe of fans and customers. And so making that really easy was important for some of our other partners. This was their first foray into the Web3 space. And so making sure that what we were presenting was something that resonated with them and their customers. Again, that kind of seamless experience was quite important. That said, we spend a lot of time listening to our customers and our customers and our collectors are not shy about what they’d like to see on the platform, new ideas, different ways to improve. And probably my biggest frustration, and our team’s biggest frustration is we, you know, we’d love to make as many of those improvements, enhancements and features available as quickly as we can. It’s only so many hours in the day. But we do know that some of our biggest customers are active in Web3. Right. They are crypto native. And so that’s an important component. And so I think we started down the path with an eye to always opening up and now we’re getting to the place where that connectivity and that composability is the next step. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. Let’s jump into Scott for a second. Scott, you’ve had obviously an incredible career and it is not over yet. On paper, it seems like heck, you’ve probably achieved everything you wanted to. Again, this is me looking in from the outside. I could very well be incredibly wrong there. I feel like a lot of young men and women would aspire to have a career like yours working through the sort of TradFi route and then take on their own fancy little later on in life, joining something that’s a little unorthodox. And then well, on top of that, also on the same side, rather also hitting something that you’re very passionate about in sports and baseball. What advice would you give to maybe a 20 year old, 21 year old grad getting out of school who’s got a 40 year career ahead of them? You’ve seemed to done it the right way. What advice advice would you give to someone new 20 year old or perhaps 20 year old Scott? 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, it’s an interesting one. Maybe this is controversial, maybe it isn’t right. I think the easy answer for a lot of people is follow your passion. And I think that sounds great. But I’m not sure that people necessarily really think through what that means. And I guess what I would say is absolutely follow the things that you’re passionate about and invest the time in exploring those understanding sort of where they fit in your life, but make sure you’re structuring your life in a way where that can be sustainable. I think everyone aspires to get to a place where what you’re doing to earn your income doesn’t feel like work, right? It’s an expression of who you are. It aligns with your interests, your values, your community, etc. But it takes some trying to get there. And so the way that I thought about my career, as I said, I went to school to be a nuclear physicist. I graduated with a degree in architecture, and I became a finance guy. That wasn’t necessarily because I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do. I came from a very sort of humble background. I paid my way through college. I worked five jobs. I knew that in order to do the things that I wanted to do, to travel, to get involved in the arts, to go see sports, to do those things, I needed a stable income and a job that challenged me and excited me. And the world of finance is sort of where I found that. I figured I’d try that for two years and then come back and be an architect or do something different. And 25 years later, I was still doing it. The reason I did it is because it was super dynamic. I worked with amazing people. It was incredibly competitive, which appeals to my nature, and it was at the forefront of how the world was changing in many ways from a technology and an economic perspective. And so that worked for me, and that’s not going to work for a lot of people. But what I would say is, as you think about how you’re going to experiment, what you’re going to put your time in, give yourself a base, put yourself in a position where you know, you can carve out the space. To explore those different things. And when you find that thing that really captures you, you’re in a much better position to do that than kind of throwing yourself out into the wind and then having it not work out and being in a tougher position going forward. Maybe that’s old guy wisdom, but those are certainly the lessons I have taken away. 

Matt Zahab 
It’s very well said. I also think that the advice of follow your passion is just I think it’s bollocks and nonsensical because a lot of times what people are passionate about, they aren’t good at. And if you’re not good at something, you’re probably not going to do. You know what I mean? I love golfing. Could I ever go pro? I mean, probably not. You know what I mean? Is it my passion? Yeah. But am I going to give up my whole life to try to join the tour or live not a chance that’d be nonsensical, right? 

Scott Lawin 
Well, yeah, and I think that’s exactly right. And I think another way to think about it is when you say follow your passion, it’s to understand why you’re passionate about a certain thing, right? Is it the thing itself or is it the competitive nature? Is it the intellectual challenge? Is it the people that you encounter when you’re doing those things. Right? And so if you sort of break it down, it can go from being one thing to being many things. Right. And it sort of opens up that window. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. A couple more questions here, Scott, on the hiring. You obviously hired and fired probably hundreds of people, which is never a fun thing to do. What are your favorite interview questions? Or if you just have, let’s say you are in an elevator with a potential candidate, or at dinner, whatever, what’s your one go to question to sort of see what’s truly inside of someone? What are their moral fibers made up of? What’s their composition? What’s that one question that you always ask to sort of hit someone where it matters? 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah, I don’t know that I have one particular question that sort of unlocks the key to each person. I will say there are probably two questions that I ask pretty frequently. After. I kind of get through people’s backgrounds and why they did what they did and what they learned and what they accomplished and which they wish they did better at, which is outside of work, what are you passionate about? What do you get excited about? Who are you as a person? Right. We all bring different things to the job and so that’s important. And then the other one is if I bumped into your friends walking down the street and I said, tell me about Matt, what would they say? And that’s a really interesting question because people interpret it different ways. And so I think those two things tell you a lot about who that person is and how they’re going to be his colleague. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. Yeah. Again, very similar to sports. How you make that team a lot of time, the culture sort of outweighs everything else. Crazy. Last question Scott hot take factory, you and me jumping in, put our shit kicking, boots on, knee high, getting down and dirty. Give me a couple Scott hot takes before we let you go. It doesn’t have to be sort of Web3 related or crypto related. Can be health, wealth, happiness, sports, politics, if you want to get super spicy, anything but give me a couple of Scott hot takes before we go. 

Scott Lawin 
Wow, this is a new one. I say my hot take right now is AI. Not that this isn’t on people’s radar screens, but I don’t think people are quite ready for how fundamental the changes are going to be over the course of the next 12 to 24 months around the impact of AI. And that’s everything from stock prices to the websites that we use, the tools that are available, the new business opportunities, the businesses that are going to fail because they’re impacted. I think we’re just getting started seeing what that looks like and I think it’s going to happen a lot more quickly than people expect. I think in the crypto and NFT space, unfortunately, I think things are going to be tougher, longer things like Pepe and meme coin of the week or whatever it is, we’re going to see these blips. But on the back end of this you’re going to have a much more stable, much more, I would say, sort of optimistic next phase of this, that’s going to be a lot more broad beyond traditional crypto native folks brands, IP owners, businesses are going to adopt this next wave in a really significant way. I think that will also surprise people. And then I’d say the next election cycle is going to be a pretty tough one. So buckle in. 

Matt Zahab 
Yeah. If you could expand on the last point, that’d be great. 

Scott Lawin 
I think there’s a reasonable chance that we see a third party candidate that turns our traditional two party system upside down, because I think people are frustrated whether you’re a Democratic or Republican, I think people are frustrated and uninspired by the two inevitable choices. And so I think you might see a fundamental shift in the way that American presidential race is run, which I think is going to be exciting and yeah, bananas. 

Matt Zahab 
You’re bang on about that, though. There’s a couple of people that come to mind, one being Tucker, who has the following. It’s crazy nowadays how I feel like unless you’re a traditional legacy candidate like Joe Biden, I feel like you can’t even really run unless you’re stupid popular. It’s almost like a popularity contest nowadays. It’s crazy.

Scott Lawin 
No, that’s a whole another podcast. The system is ripe for change. 

Matt Zahab 
That is it’s truly bonkers. Scott, really appreciate your time. This was an absolute treat of an episode learned a ton. We’ll definitely be re listening to this and super proud of you and the team at Candy. You guys are moving and grooving and absolutely tearing it up. Before you go, please let our listeners know where they can find you and Candy Digital, online and on socials. 

Scott Lawin 
Yeah. So you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter and Candy www.candy.com. Come check out our MLB products or Getty products or WWE products. Get connected with the community on discord and help us build the future fandom together. 

Matt Zahab 
You got it. And that is @CandyDigital on Twitter and on most other socials as well and as everything. I will include all of the good stuff in the show notes. Huge shout out to Scott for coming on the show and dropping knowledge bombs left, right and center. A chiseled exec who is moving and grooving with the team at Candy Digital creating a bunch of next gen sports and culture digital asset platform. We love to see it do. Do go check it out guys. They are such a cool company and have some incredible stuff on the back burner. Go check them out. As always to the listeners love you guys. Thank you so much for listening. To the team appreciate you as always. Justas my amazing sound editor. Appreciate you and back to the listeners. Keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy, and happy. Bye for now and we’ll talk soon. 

Written by Ninja News

Me llamo Martin y escribo en actucrypto.info. Me apasionan las criptomonedas y Defi en particular. Me encanta aprender cosas nuevas sobre este tema y siempre estoy buscando la información más reciente al respecto. Empecé a invertir en criptomonedas hace unos años y me gusta la idea de poder invertir de forma fácil y barata en activos digitales. Por eso paso mucho tiempo aprendiendo sobre criptomonedas y escribiendo sobre ellas.