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In 2011 Peter Epstein, CFA, left a $3 billion hedge fund where he was a senior analyst to help increase awareness of a number of small cap companies in which he's invested in. Please see: epsteinresearch.com On TWITTER: @peterepstein2 Mr. Epstein formed MockingJay, Inc., a consultancy for... More
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  • Video Interview Of Craig Goodwin At Naturally Splendid (NSP.V)

    (NSP.V) (OTCPK:NSPDF)

    This is a stock that ran up to $1.06/shr & is back down to $0.58/shr, a good one to watch. I am not a technical chart reader, everyone should do their own due diligence and consult with an investment advisor before buying speculative stocks.

    Please click on video..

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO9vwZLLEZ8

    Apr 23 12:40 PM | Link | Comment!
  • SoMedia Networks, Ready For Lift Off, Tipping Point Ahead?

    The following interview of George Fleming of SoMedia Networks (VID.V) & (SMDWF) was conducted by phone and email in the week ended April 12th. Subsequently, SoMedia announced the launch of a full service YouTube Video Ad production platform for Google Partners. As of April 16th, Peter Epstein has no prior or existing relationship with any company mentioned herein. Prospective investors should conduct their own due diligence including consulting with their own investment advisors. A good place to start is at SoMedia's Investment Center, where one can find an informative video by President & COO Ben Pickering.

    Please tell readers, in a single paragraph, what exactly SoMedia does?

    SoMedia provides access to professional, full-service video production everywhere in North America. Through the use of cloud-based platforms and sophisticated crowdsourcing management systems, SoMedia has solved the challenges of scale, volume and reach in video production. We enable digital agencies, online marketers and large advertising and marketing platforms to seamlessly offer access to video production to their clients, with guaranteed quality and consistency, no matter where they are located. [Note: Please click here for Sample Video Ads]

    New online technologies come and go. Sometimes being a first mover backfires. What makes you think that SoMedia can compete with the likes of Google & Yahoo?

    The companies you mentioned are getting more serious about video ads but none are focused on production. Companies like Google/YouTube, Facebook and Yahoo! are focused on monetizing video ad content, not creating it. Partnering with SoMedia enables them to offer affordable and accessible video ad creation to their advertising clients, which fuels their business.

    Some might still fear that competition is too big a risk. Is SoMedia viable as a standalone company if giant(s) enter the space?

    Video production has existed for a long time as a fragmented market of small production companies and a few larger agencies / studios. SoMedia is disrupting this space and will put a lot of the independents out of business as we consolidate market share. The total addressable market is in the billions of dollars and certainly large enough for SoMedia to thrive as a standalone company. There are no big players that seem likely to enter the space and if they wanted to do so it would likely be through partnership or acquisition. We have a big head start and the validation of industry leaders.

    What would a new entrant need to accomplish to unseat or under-price SoMedia?

    SoMedia has invested significant resources in developing not only its large, vetted network of videographers, editors and creatives, but more importantly in the technology to manage this distributed workforce across large volumes of projects. Significant capital, know-how and time would be involved in replicating what we have developed. Moreover, we have integrated with 20+ leading SaaS platforms as the only scalable video production solution available to their clients, and we have developed a large reseller channel to aggregate demand plus developed an ad production platform for Google partners. A new entrant would not easily be able to recreate this critical foundation.

    SoMedia is enjoying positive buzz, its stock price is up and it has been written about in flattering articles & interviews. What are the key risks?

    The risk is simply being able to continue to execute on the opportunity and to access the capital necessary to do so. Video marketing and advertising is rapidly evolving and we need to continue to keep pace and deliver unique solutions to marketers.

    Do you envision a tipping point in video ads this year? Next year? Has it already happened?

    Calling a tipping point is like trying to call a market top or bottom. We are definitely on the upswing in terms of demand for video and the need for a scalable solution to production challenges as the use of video continues to accelerate. A number of articles such as this one support the idea that the tipping point is near if not already upon us.

    What needs to happen to make SoMedia a HUGE success? What would that look like in terms of business metrics / growth / market penetration?

    Becoming the go to source of video ad production or marketing video production for agencies and internet marketers and by partnering with large video ad networks and content marketing platforms. By continuing to grow our base of resellers we are on our way while accelerating the rate of repeat video purchases by these resellers is on ongoing effort that is accelerating on its own as video marketing and advertising adoption speeds up. The biggest immediate opportunity in front of us is to capitalize on integrations with the 20 leading SaaS platforms we've already completed and begin initiating content marketing and demand generation programs - so beginning to look at customer / partner acquisition through these platforms can provide huge upside.

    Does SoMedia need additional equity capital this year? If so, might that be the last raise required before achieving self-sufficiency?

    SoMedia will continue to raise capital when its attractive to do so. As the first mover in a new category that is growing rapidly our shareholders expect us to capture as much market share as possible and grow the potential of the company.

    Might there be a benefit derived from making acquisitions of select private companies?

    Yes there are opportunities for us to make acquisitions that broaden the breadth of video content production we can provide or to expand to add video marketing solutions together with video production

    Are you're healthy margins destined to slip? Perhaps due to increased infrastructure, competition or higher SG&A?

    We have healthy gross margins on a per video basis and we actually have room to bring our costs down further by potentially offshoring editing, so we don't foresee gross margin deterioration. SG&A expenses affect operating / net margins, but over time, as revenue accelerates, our SG&A as a % of revenue will decline and we forecast a healthy net margin as well. At this point the company must invest in sales in marketing to grow the business and capitalize on the market opportunity.

    Is there a way in which SoMedia could be sued? Most Independent contractors probably do not carry insurance of their own.

    Although there is never any certainty we have developed layers of contracts and agreements between clients and between creative designed to protect us. We don't do any work without these agreements being signed first.

    In other interviews, SoMedia has been compared to Uber. Is there a comparison you can make other than Uber?

    The Uber comparison is a good one to explain how we leverage technology and act as the interface for end users to access a distributed network of service providers. Another comparison drawn in the Cantech interview was to WordPress, the website development platform. This is an apt comparison in terms of how we are disrupting the market for video production in the same way WordPress did for website development by making it no longer a requirement to have highly specialized skills (html, etc.) in order to build a website. Likewise we have made the traditionally complex and expensive process of creating video something that is now accessible to businesses of all sizes and budgets.

    Are there misconceptions about SoMedia that you would like to address?

    While our business is all about scalable solutions for video production, SoMedia is a lot more than the world's largest video production company. To enable scalable video production it requires a sophisticated SaaS front end tied to an advanced crowd sourced management system we call Crowdsource Workforce Management. We also provide sophisticated tools - video players and analytics - to assist with online video marketing and we have developed integrated solutions for video production and deployment to the largest online marketing and advertising platforms.

    For more information on SoMedia, (VID.V) & (SMDWF) please click here for a corporatefact-sheet

    Thank you Mr. Fleming for your time.

    Apr 16 9:23 AM | Link | Comment!
  • CEO.CA Founder Tommy Humphreys Perspectives On Life

    The following interview with CEO.CA Founder and over eater, over achiever, Tommy Humphreys was done in a top secret manner and location to avoid any front running. To be sure, it has been released after market hours. I can't even begin to tell you how many emails and phone calls I get each week asking me about, "the real' Tommy Humphreys. Peter Epstein, CFA, MBA (the interviewer), has no prior or existing relationship with Tommy, except that Tommy greatly helped Mr. Epstein in building epsteinresearch.com. Little did Tommy know that this piece would end up resembling a roast.

    The tone of the interview is entirely the interviewer's fault as he thought this piece should be overtly promotional-like the man himself! Natural Resource investors desperately need some jocularity, so please read on. Tommy bravely answered each and every question I threw at him.

    Do to time constraints, I regret to inform readers that there was no opportunity to mention Tommy's newest venture, chat.ceo.ca. Check it out at the following link. chat.ceo.ca

    Tommy, how long have you been operating website(s)? Are you comfortable naming some or all of the websites that you're behind?

    I've been making websites since 1995, when I was 9 years old. I used an alias then, "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" and my first web page was dedicated to the Eagles song - Hotel California. (with lyrics!). Today, I am mostly focused on CEO.CA, my primary business.

    Please tell readers how / why you got into this line of work?

    I was addicted to tech as a kid and can remember tripping out about CD Burners in 1996. When I later graduated high school, I realized baby boomers had all the money, and I wanted to tap into that. Web sites were something they needed, so I set out to learn everything I could about building them.

    Is Tommy Humphreys all natural resources all the time?

    In 2010, I made a conscious decision to focus my internet marketing business on the natural resources sector. I had spent a few years being a generalist web designer, and wanted to focus on a sector that had equity upside in addition to consulting opportunities. As you know, there's a lot of mining and energy startups in Canada. Long term, I am very optimistic for commodities.

    Are you at liberty to explain the arrangement you made with well known natural resource expert Lawrence Roulston?

    Yes. Mr. Roulston had been running Resource Opportunities since 1998, and it was beginning to conflict with his new mining private equity firm. I had wanted to get into the newsletter business for a while so we jumped into bed pretty quickly together, working out a three year deal for me to take over the letter. Almost a year later, I have decided to concentrate on CEO.CA and chat.ceo.ca, and have appointed James Kwantes, an objective and passionate mining reporter with Vancouver Sun, to be the new Resource Opportunities editor. Both Lawrence and I are helping James with due diligence and ideas, but he has the final say now.

    Is there another person(s) that helps you with your online empire?

    Tons of people help me. Three exceptional Vancouver-based web developers. Several editors and writers, plus dozens of friends and mentors provide ideas and inspiration, yourself included. Although what have you done for me lately? Oh right, this.

     

    IMG_9935Mobile screenshot from chat.ceo.ca - real-time insights and chat with top CEOs and investors

     

    I recently saw a curse word on your fairly new platform Chat.ceo.ca, Obviously, I can't repeat it. Do you have the ability to permanently banish cursers?

    Drone strikes.

    Is anyone making a decent living doing what we do? It feels like minimum wage, although it adds up at 16 hours per day!

    Blogging about the resources sector? Bob Moriarty of 321Gold.com is loaded, but he has some gifts that make him a millionaire blogger: duration, he's been at it since gold was $250 an ounce, and he's visited hundreds of projects, so he knows a thing or two. Plus he understands the internet and the importance of creating a simple product. He's also super witty, opinionated and experienced. And he can sell the shit {I apologize for the language} out of banners.

    Timothy Sykes, as well, I think does bear raids on pump and dumps but through internet marketing has built up a huge franchise selling his educational products. Although his marketing is over the top, Sykes is relentless and not afraid of anything, which makes him a good entrepreneur. Selling newsletters seems to be the most scalable business model, rather than selling advertising. However selling newsletters requires efficiencies of scale. You need a big list and several disciplines to monetize, not to mention a big ad budget. It's one thing to make great content, it's another to make people money, and a whole other unrelated skill set to make a viable business around those things.

    Speaking of Chat.ceo.ca, without revealing names, describe the typical, "chatter" and perhaps hint at the big fish that have signed up?

    There are some influential bankers, brokers, analysts, geologists, fund managers, web developers and wealthy individuals using Chat.ceo.ca, and some turds as well. We discuss real-time investment news with a focus on junior mining and discovery. Every day there are a few insights shared, ranging from summaries of investment research to personal opinions about exploration stocks, that make me keep coming back. The search results are also beginning to provide valuable context on Canadian stocks.

    Are you happy with the level of discourse on Chat.ceo.ca? Are there any hacks and pump & dump artists?

    There's a high quality user base now, and of course the site gets better the more quality people are using it. That's why I hustle from 4:45am each day to post relevant, valuable stuff in the chat, and am funding the development personally. I want to connect with other resource investors on my internet devices, and no tool lets me do that like Chat.ceo.ca, despite the fact that we're only four months into the development. Stay tuned for more useful features and quality content.

    The world wants to know, needs to know, demands to know, are women allowed on Chat.ceo.ca ?

    That's a great question, I get asked that a lot. Of course. Haven't you seen my mom in there?

    Many who know you are well aware of how hard you work. Do you have time for anything but work?

    If you want to achieve much, you have to run. In my case, talk. But I do always have time for burgers.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 50 years? 100 years?

    CEO.CA platform useful to 500k+ people. Proud of and enjoying the content I'm making. An early backer of several major discoveries, ideally gold in Canada. To build an important two way business financial information channel, and participate in some mining and energy discoveries… That would be nice on a professional front. Personally, I look forward to having a family and losing my freshman 50…{is that pounds or kilos?}

    You're clearly a handsome young man. Is there a special lady, or man in your life?

    Coming up on two years with Chelsea (Chig for short). She's a marketing co-ordinator with a childcare company and we have lived together for about four months now. That's going really well, so thanks for asking.

    Here's a tough question for you… Can you name any competitor website(s) that you are impressed with?

    Keith Schaefer of Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin has an ugly web site but it's a workhorse and he measures everything. There's no ego marketing in Keith's program, it's all results-based and I respect his program. He could definitely do better with design, but unless the numbers say it's a priority for Keith, he couldn't be bothered to pretty it up.

    Stockwatch.com as well, I would be lost without.

    What advice would you give to newbies looking to enter our line of work?

    People climbing the ladder are cutthroat. Expect a lot of pushback. Accept it as valuable feedback. Finally, share your stuff in Chat.ceo.ca, there are some good people paying attention.

    Thank you for your time and cooperation Tommy… release him, he's free to go now.

    Apr 10 9:30 AM | Link | Comment!
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