Grind and Gravy – Ep 33. – Joe Graves

Audio file 

Grind and Gravy – Ep. 33 – Joe Graves.mp3 


00:00:00 Joe Barhoum 

I had the pleasure to sit down with my good friend Joe Graves, the founder of Workshed, an the founder of Hiva, a social purpose company, that we started together. Last year. We helped a lot of small businesses in the Northwest raise money during difficult times when they were partially open, or sometimes not open at all, and Joe’s mission in life is to help people be more mindful about where they spend and invest their money as well. Save their money. 

00:00:22 Joe Barhoum 

It’s a really interesting conversation. 

00:00:23 Joe Barhoum 

Definitely gets deep and philosophical at times. 

00:00:25 Joe Barhoum 

There’s some laughter and joy. 

00:00:26 Joe Barhoum 

It’s not all you know, heavy in the brain, but it’s good stuff. 

00:00:29 Joe Barhoum 

So I really do think you’ll enjoy the episode. 

00:00:31 Joe Barhoum 

Take the time to watch. 

00:00:33 Joe Barhoum 

And if you haven’t already, go out to Amazon and pick up my book. 

00:00:36 Joe Barhoum 

The great sellers playbook. 

00:00:37 Joe Barhoum 

It does help me continue to do this, and I know that there are quite a few of you out there who enjoy it. 

00:00:41 Joe Barhoum 

So thank you for all of your comments. 

00:00:43 Joe Barhoum 

Thank you for the likes and thank you for. 

00:00:44 Joe Barhoum 

Listening and watching cheers. 

00:00:46 Joe Barhoum 

So finally. 

00:00:47 Joe Barhoum 

After two years, maybe a little more here we are, I finally got you on the grinding Gravy podcast. 

00:00:53 Joe Barhoum 

I think you were scheduled. 

00:00:54 Joe Barhoum 

Like a year and a half ago or something, right? 

00:00:56 Joe Barhoum 

And then it just fell through. 

00:00:58 Joe Graves 

That’s right, well, I think. 

00:00:59 Joe Graves 

Yeah, it was supposed to be over at the front of the building. 

00:01:03 Joe Barhoum 

Or remotely. 

00:01:04 Joe Graves 

Yeah, there’s going to be an in person one. 

00:01:05 Joe Graves 


00:01:06 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, that would have been a lot better honestly. 

00:01:08 Joe Graves 


00:01:09 Joe Graves 

Maybe I mean you’re a big time, so it took us like months out. 

00:01:13 Joe Graves 

You had all these guests scheduled your. 

00:01:16 Joe Barhoum 

We were knocking those out. 



00:01:17 Joe Barhoum 

There’s a lot of fun. 

00:01:18 Joe Graves 

Yeah, it’s been a long time. 

00:01:19 Joe Graves 


00:01:20 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, this is fun too. 

00:01:22 Joe Barhoum 

I I enjoy this. 

00:01:23 Joe Barhoum 

You know people who are watching this may not know that you and I actually go back a while now and we actually we worked on a project together. 

00:01:31 Joe Barhoum 

We’re still working on it right, but it had a big peak during the spring and the. 

00:01:35 Joe Barhoum 

Summer and then kind of, you know, settled down as we retool our products. 

00:01:39 Joe Barhoum 

But you know, I thought just for the viewing audience. 

00:01:41 Joe Barhoum 

I would just kind of let them in on this. 

00:01:43 Joe Barhoum 

I don’t normally undress during a podcast, but I am wearing one of our products. 





00:01:49 Joe Barhoum 

So it’s a good opportunity for me to have a comfy podcast instead of being buttoned up. 

00:01:53 Joe Graves 

That’s where you should. 

00:01:54 Joe Graves 

I wonder what I meant. 

00:01:55 Joe Graves 

You should have let me in on the Oh yeah, I got. 

00:01:57 Joe Graves 

My jujitsu one. 

00:01:58 Joe Barhoum 

Alright, alright that’s not on the website. 

00:02:01 Joe Graves 

Now it’s not. 

00:02:02 Joe Barhoum 

No, but there’s a connection here, so hyvaa right which is a social purpose company you founded. 

00:02:08 Joe Barhoum 

It’s it is. 

00:02:09 Joe Barhoum 

Designed to help organisations raise money, but for good causes, right? 

00:02:15 Joe Barhoum 

Socially infused socially purpose infused. 

00:02:19 Joe Barhoum 

Revenue generation tell us about it. 

00:02:21 Joe Graves 

Yeah, well, the idea is to just obviously, as you well know, to tie economics with causes, right? 

00:02:27 Joe Graves 

So while we didn’t set out last year to be T shirt consultants, T shirts were a very interesting way to connect communities and causes. 

00:02:36 Joe Graves 

And everybody likes T shirts. 

00:02:37 Joe Graves 

So it was kind of an easy entrance into getting things off the ground. 

00:02:41 Joe Graves 

Obviously, the mission’s a lot bigger than just T shirts, but. 

00:02:45 Joe Graves 

Really aligning economic decisions with things that we care about and should care about was really kind of a. 

00:02:52 Joe Graves 

If we want to get into the meta, what what? 





00:02:55 Joe Graves 

That was all. 

00:02:55 Joe Barhoum 

About, well, the connection between Hiva and specifically the shirt you were wearing is that sort of where the Genesis of the T shirts began, not necessarily the company itself, right? 

00:03:06 Joe Graves 

That’s right, yeah, actually yeah, I guess. 

00:03:08 Joe Graves 

So it was last March at at the gym I train at in campus. 

00:03:14 Joe Graves 

The city that I grew up in. 

00:03:16 Joe Graves 

My professor wanting to do something for at that time it’s kind of crazy. 

00:03:20 Joe Graves 

It’s been almost a year now, but you know, Covid lockdown had just hit an it. 

00:03:26 Joe Graves 

Streets were vacant, right in in a town that’s normally vibrant and he just wanted to do something that would help the other merchants that weren’t able to stay in. 

00:03:36 Joe Graves 

That’s not go out of business, but at that you know there was a lot of uncertainty at that time, and I had some ideas about getting shirts printed. 

00:03:44 Joe Graves 

So we just let’s do it, and that’s where we got started and there was a lot of let’s do it and figure it out on the. 

00:03:50 Joe Graves 

Yeah, on the way, but that’s where that’s where we got going. 

00:03:54 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, definitely a lot of that. And then we moved from campus to Happy Valley, which is why I’m wearing the happy Valley together. Shirt was pretty cool. We were on the news rather I’m coin or K2. 

00:03:58 Joe Graves 

Which is true? 

00:04:02 Joe Graves 


00:04:05 Joe Graves 

K2 yeah, that’s right. Or five interesting, yeah. 

00:04:06 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, every day here is. 

00:04:08 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, that was pretty fun. 

00:04:09 Joe Barhoum 

We got to shoot a little segment with our masks on and then you know fist bump or elbow bump or something where the protocol 

00:04:14 Joe Barhoum 

Was at the time, yeah? 

00:04:15 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah yeah, then then, when the lights were off. 

00:04:19 Joe Barhoum 


00:04:19 Joe Graves 

Yeah yeah, yeah I. 



00:04:21 Joe Barhoum 

Think nobody has to know. 

00:04:23 Joe Graves 

What happens off camera stays off camera. 

00:04:26 Joe Barhoum 

Like I’m being bombarded by. 

00:04:27 Joe Barhoum 

One of my kids in the middle of a recording that’s always fun. 

00:04:31 Joe Barhoum 

But anyhow, so so, aside from the shirts, though, tell us about yourself because you’re you know, no offense Joe, but you’re not right out of college. 

00:04:40 Joe Barhoum 

You done some other things. 

00:04:42 Joe Barhoum 

What have you done? 

00:04:43 Joe Graves 

Yeah, well, a little bit of everything, but I think you know if you look at my career or whatever you want to call that, I’ve always. 

00:04:49 Joe Graves 

I guess I’ve tried to not separate career and personal life and not necessarily fuse them. 

00:04:54 Joe Graves 

But this is just an aspect of my life. 

00:04:57 Joe Graves 

My my economic life my. 

00:04:59 Joe Graves 

Civic life you know? 

00:05:01 Joe Graves 

I spent 12 years as an investment advisor, so that sort of gave me a perspective on the economy and our communities and people, and in a bunch of different dynamics that you maybe wouldn’t expect from the research side, it exposed me to ideas and concepts. 

00:05:17 Joe Graves 

Like I said at the sort of macroeconomic level, and then at the really practical level, what happens with? 

00:05:23 Joe Graves 

Our investments how do they help or hinder our communities? 

00:05:27 Joe Graves 

And then I left that went to work with my dad who owned a trucking company. 

00:05:31 Joe Graves 

So I got to see a whole different aspect of of Commerce. 

00:05:37 Joe Graves 

Actually, that’s that’s in reverse. I left my dad’s trucking company didn’t get into investing. That’s funny, but anyway. 

00:05:43 Joe Barhoum 

That’s a small detail. 


They got it. 

00:05:45 Joe Graves 

Yeah, I guess that’s a. 

00:05:46 Joe Graves 

A you know a part of being Gray at this point is you invert your storyline, but at any rate. 

00:05:53 Joe Graves 

So I in trucking went into investing, started my own firm after I was at a low income or the regional national firms and then from there ultimately left investing. 

00:06:03 Joe Graves 

Just getting the feeling that increasingly so we made it through 2008. 

00:06:09 Joe Graves 

Protected clients money. 

00:06:10 Joe Graves 

That type of thing, but just feeling like kind of part of the problem as a systemic problem where if you think about investing in mutual funds in the stock market, it’s really just kind of an abstraction of businesses like Boeing doesn’t care if you own them right? 

00:06:24 Joe Graves 

They don’t get any benefit if you own the stock or don’t own the stock and yet all around us, you know our small businesses that are largely. 

00:06:32 Joe Graves 

You know the heart of our economic health? 

00:06:34 Joe Graves 

They create the jobs. 

00:06:35 Joe Graves 

They make life better in communities. 

00:06:38 Joe Graves 

You know, maybe they have trouble getting financing. 

00:06:40 Joe Graves 

Maybe they have trouble scaling. 

00:06:41 Joe Graves 

Maybe they have troubled operations. 

00:06:43 Joe Graves 

It just wasn’t healthy, and so you know you have this globalism movement that’s been happening for the last 20 years, and as I just looked around it was like this system is. 

00:06:52 Joe Graves 

I’m not gonna say it’s flawed, but it’s the system we’re operating under and we can use capitalism. 

00:06:57 Joe Graves 

If you want to call it that. 

00:06:59 Joe Graves 

For a variety of outcomes and right now, we just seem to be optimizing for. 

00:07:03 Joe Graves 

Short term. 

00:07:03 Joe Graves 

Short term economic ones as opposed to more holistic hey, how can we use the system we have for health and Wellness for as many people in species as possible? 

00:07:13 Joe Graves 

You just get different. 

00:07:14 Joe Graves 

You know decision making frameworks when you do that. 

00:07:16 Joe Graves 

And so I left that and kind of spent the last. 

00:07:19 Joe Graves 

Six or seven years on a variety of projects trying to learn one aspect or another about what can we do? 

00:07:25 Joe Graves 

How can we leverage technology? 

00:07:26 Joe Graves 

How can we make better decisions around our communities and using? 

00:07:31 Joe Graves 

Ultimately, I my decision or my my. 

00:07:34 Joe Graves 

Conclusion was that we all make thousands of economic decisions a year. 

00:07:38 Joe Graves 

It might be. 

00:07:39 Joe Graves 

Where do I get gas? 

00:07:41 Joe Graves 

Where do I get this sandwich? 

00:07:42 Joe Graves 

You know? 

00:07:42 Joe Graves 

Where do I invest? 

00:07:43 Joe Graves 

My money would be kind of like the end game, but many many, many, many decisions that lead to either improving our economies and our our communities or or taking away from and lots of good people make decisions that are really. 

00:07:57 Joe Graves 

I’m gonna say exploitive, but it. 

00:07:59 Joe Graves 

Maybe that’s a little extreme for you know some of these decisions, but at a minimum they are detrimental. 

00:08:04 Joe Graves 

To our to our communities when you aggregate them over thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of decisions, so that’s really what I’m focused on now. 

00:08:12 Joe Graves 

And you know, the T shirts were an expression of that. 

00:08:15 Joe Graves 

Maybe you know a very benign one. 

00:08:18 Joe Graves 

But the goal is to really shape and and reshape how people you know, make these decisions. 

00:08:24 Joe Graves 

You know, daily basis to optimize for health and Wellness. 

00:08:28 Joe Barhoum 

Well, nothing that you’re saying is political, but ultimately I think a lot of when issues like this take center stage. 

00:08:37 Joe Barhoum 

They tend to become politicized sure, and follow me on. 

00:08:41 Joe Barhoum 

This is my. 

00:08:41 Joe Barhoum 

Hopefully I don’t trip over my own feet, but well, I think I think there are people who want to do good things, but but perhaps. 

00:08:48 Joe Barhoum 

The mindshare is in the battle for mindshare, ends up being highly polarized, right? 

00:08:53 Joe Barhoum 

It’s like, well, if you want to have health care for everybody, then you’re on this side of the aisle. 

00:08:58 Joe Barhoum 

And so you must also believe these things. 

00:09:01 Joe Barhoum 

And then it’s really hard to have to find middle ground, have conversation actually make change. 

00:09:05 Joe Barhoum 

One of the things I love about your mindset and the things that you actually have done, and you’ve given me an opportunity. 

00:09:10 Joe Barhoum 

The same things is, you’re actually just doing stuff, right? 

00:09:14 Joe Barhoum 

It’s not really about we’re going to create this like special interest Group, and we’re going to raise all kinds of money. 

00:09:19 Joe Barhoum 

And then we’re gonna go talk to this person in politics. 

00:09:21 Joe Barhoum 

And then this elected official, we’re going to make all these things happen. 

00:09:24 Joe Barhoum 

And hopefully within 20 years. 

00:09:26 Joe Barhoum 

Damn, you’re actually giving small businesses you’re helping put money back in their pockets during a time when they were struggling and there’s a lot of them are still are struggling and you’re giving you. 

00:09:36 Joe Barhoum 

Also have your ear to the ground in terms of technology so you know which way the winds are blowing and the best. 

00:09:41 Joe Barhoum 

I would imagine the best of your ability, right? 

00:09:42 Joe Barhoum 

You’re trying to make some assumptions about what people can do with technology to make. 

00:09:46 Joe Barhoum 

To have their everyday change choices have actual impact and then for them to know what’s happening with that impact, like what they’re doing with that with those transactions in. 

00:09:56 Joe Barhoum 


00:09:57 Joe Graves 

Yeah, well I think. 

00:09:58 Joe Graves 

Whether you’re talking about investing or economic decisions, or really anything we do as humans, there’s some patterns that we adhere to, right? 

00:10:07 Joe Graves 

So so one we kind of default to easy, so that’s where the politicization comes in is we can make our brains make easy choices by just sort of associating. 

00:10:18 Joe Graves 

But just what I’ve experienced is that doesn’t often lead to the best outcome in any given situation, as opposed to using design thinking or something and say OK, this is the way the situation is. 

00:10:28 Joe Graves 

So capitalism, for example we’ve got. 

00:10:30 Joe Graves 


00:10:31 Joe Graves 

Metaphorically, the haves and the have nots but is that? 

00:10:35 Joe Graves 

Is that a like predetermined outcome as a result of the system or is it just the way the system begin to be used and then as a consequence of that we’ve sort of ended up in this spot an I largely try to stay apolitical, you know, I grew up sort of super conservative and we were. 

00:10:50 Joe Graves 

I was joking my wife about this. 

00:10:53 Joe Graves 

And I’ve gone not. 

00:10:55 Joe Graves 

I would say liberal necessarily, but like like just there’s certain things that I’m more OK with as a sort of matter. 

00:11:02 Joe Graves 

Freedom, like personal choice. 

00:11:05 Joe Graves 

Personally, I may not agree with it, right? 

00:11:06 Joe Graves 

But to the extent that I’m going to tell other people what to do, I I sort of I stop trying to do that and so. 

00:11:13 Joe Graves 

Back to your point of, you know we get in these highly politicized discussions. 

00:11:17 Joe Graves 

I find that a lot of times you know doing something as you said, is when you get feedback, right? 

00:11:23 Joe Graves 

Like, OK, I’m doing something I actually know I’m actually hearing back from real people as to whether or not this works, and you can kind of make better decisions. 

00:11:31 Joe Graves 

But you know the phrase the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

00:11:36 Joe Graves 

That’s, I mean that happens a lot. 

00:11:38 Joe Graves 

Where hey, we think. 

00:11:40 Joe Graves 

This is going to happen or or we think that we’re going to accomplish this thing. 

00:11:44 Joe Graves 

It’s a long road, right like? 

00:11:45 Joe Graves 

And if you don’t get in there and do stuff and actually try to create the change, you miss out on a lot of the feedback mechanisms of. 

00:11:53 Joe Graves 

OK, that’s not working. 

00:11:54 Joe Graves 

This is we could do other things. 

00:11:55 Joe Graves 

There’s way smarter people than me that have great ideas. 

00:11:58 Joe Graves 

We just need to figure out so. 

00:12:00 Joe Graves 

Using design thinking and starting sort of with like how might we accomplish this end goal without like some sort of supposition about what? 

00:12:07 Joe Graves 

You need to do to get it first. 

00:12:09 Joe Graves 

I think that’s how you maybe miss some negativity or sidestep it if you can. 

00:12:15 Joe Graves 

’cause if you start with the answer and sort of force the question into the answer. 

00:12:19 Joe Graves 

You’re you’re immediately limited on what you might have come up with, especially when you start talking about collaborating with really smart and cool people. 

00:12:26 Joe Graves 

That’s what’s been amazing about our journey with some of the stuff you just meet, like super brilliant people that have. 

00:12:32 Joe Graves 

Amazing ideas and amazing thoughts and then you can kind of have these jam sessions about. 

00:12:36 Joe Graves 

How can we so it’s just what are you solving for? 

00:12:38 Joe Graves 

I guess at the end of the day and if you’re solving to have a great place to live, a great place to work so you don’t gotta drive in traffic for an hour. 

00:12:46 Joe Graves 

What would that have to look like for that to be true, right? 

00:12:48 Joe Graves 

And so then you work up from there. 

00:12:51 Joe Barhoum 

Well, I remember when we first met. 

00:12:53 Joe Barhoum 

We were you and I are both from a career perspective in totally different places, right? 

00:12:57 Joe Barhoum 

I mean I had launched my consulting practice, but I was doing different things. 

00:13:00 Joe Barhoum 

So I’m doing now and we had this opportunity to work together. 

00:13:03 Joe Barhoum 

And it you know it, it didn’t work out in that regard, right? 

00:13:06 Joe Barhoum 

But now, we’re yeah, we’ve been doing other things together. 

00:13:08 Joe Barhoum 

We’re doing other things apart and we’re always trying to help each other out, even on things that aren’t in alignment with hiver or any any other projects we work on together. 

00:13:16 Joe Barhoum 

Like each worldwide and but the cool people part is something that I want to talk to you about for a moment here. 

00:13:23 Joe Barhoum 

Because one of the things that you’ve done for me, in addition to all this stuff I’ve mentioned so far, is introduction to some really cool people, right? So Alex Boyd’s name that comes up very often. 

00:13:33 Joe Barhoum 

Then on my podcast, because Alex is, I mean for a number of reasons, but among them, Alex not behaving right. 

00:13:39 Joe Graves 

Yeah, right? 

00:13:40 Joe Barhoum 

He’s he’s Alex and so Alex. 

00:13:43 Joe Barhoum 

You introduced him to me because you had considered doing business with him in your previous role at different company. 

00:13:51 Joe Barhoum 

And then you know then you and I start talking about doing that stuff together. 

00:13:54 Joe Barhoum 

So once you started kind of notice that Alex and I do different things like let’s talk to Alex and then Alex and I start doing stuff and then you know, kind of all went from there and I there was a moment, I mean several moments in the last couple of years since we’ve never been like, OK, Alex is 1, but there are so many people I’ve met. 

00:14:11 Joe Barhoum 

That who are in a similar position to us, just high level independent and as a result it’s like man, like there’s that’s that’s my kid over there who just ran in my bathroom and used it in the middle of the recording. 

00:14:22 Joe Barhoum 

So and asking me funny look, you gotta wash your hands. 

00:14:26 Joe Barhoum 

Right, but she’s. 



00:14:28 Joe Barhoum 

Not gonna be so nice, but anyway there’s so many cool people out there that think once it is not for everybody, right? 

00:14:35 Joe Barhoum 

But when you’re independent and you have to know what your own killers they say, but you also are free to just kind of do whatever makes you happy at that. 

00:14:42 Joe Barhoum 

Also pays the bills right? 

00:14:44 Joe Barhoum 

But there are some people who have a lower like you know, our standard of living has gone down since I wanted it, but. 

00:14:49 Joe Barhoum 

Where super. 

00:14:50 Joe Barhoum 

So so yeah, I mean, there’s just so many people that that we’ve gotten to work with together, and people you’ve introduced me to, and ET cetera, so I’m curious about the people part, because when I think about Haiba, I and I think about how like there’s things we’ve done that will never do again. 


Uh huh. 

00:15:07 Joe Barhoum 

There’s things were done with like that was awesome and pretty. 

00:15:09 Joe Barhoum 

Early on, one thing that we identified and we were going city to city spinning up these programs is how we have to have a navigate like we have to have a person, someone who gets it, we’re doing who has access. 

00:15:20 Joe Barhoum 

The people are trying to do business with not gonna do business trying to help him out and is willing to actually do it right. 

00:15:26 Joe Barhoum 

These three qualifications and. 

00:15:28 Joe Barhoum 

When we had them, we had success and we didn’t have them. 



00:15:32 Joe Barhoum 

We struggled so so much of I think people creating businesses and trying to accomplish things or solve problems or whatever. 

00:15:39 Joe Barhoum 

I think sometimes it’s over engineered like sometimes in the absence of the best technology in the world or the best process in the world. 

00:15:45 Joe Barhoum 

Or or, you know, product market fit all these different things. 

00:15:49 Joe Barhoum 

People make up for it. 



00:15:52 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, so So what do you think of that? 

00:15:55 Joe Graves 

Well yeah, people and I think that goes back to doing stuff right, like oftentimes I do some coaching for small businesses or local businesses or whatever size they are and sort of the bias is to like, make something perfect and to use your assumptions to figure out the problem and try to build something. 

00:16:14 Joe Graves 

Whether it’s a website or a. 

00:16:16 Joe Graves 

Mobile app or some sort of experience? 

00:16:19 Joe Graves 

As opposed to like immediately or as soon as possible, talking to people about the thing you think is going to be the thing so we could spend a bunch of time with the shirts, devising all these mechanisms. 

00:16:30 Joe Graves 

And in the beginning it was a bunch of things that you could never scale, right. 

00:16:33 Joe Graves 

It was like door to door phone call personal relationships just to get going and as a result of that. 

00:16:40 Joe Graves 

We learned some things about OK. 

00:16:41 Joe Graves 

How can we maybe automate or how can we do some things? 

00:16:43 Joe Graves 

But at the core of that are people that care about something that are. 

00:16:48 Joe Graves 

Like figuring it out right? 

00:16:50 Joe Graves 

So if you have somebody that cares about the outcome that’s aligned with what you’re working with, it seems like it works really well because they may not know everything that you know you don’t know everything that they know, but you’re pulling. 

00:16:59 Joe Graves 

In the same. 

00:16:59 Joe Graves 

Direction what I found is when you don’t have that alignment with directionality, right? 

00:17:04 Joe Graves 

Like their goal is over here and your goal is over there, you’re not pulling in the same direction they might be. 

00:17:10 Joe Graves 

Perfectly legitimate an and self justified you know endeavors, but it’s not. 

00:17:15 Joe Graves 

You’re not creating that collaboration, you’re out creating that forced multiplication because the people aren’t aligned with. 

00:17:21 Joe Graves 

A common outcome. 

00:17:22 Joe Barhoum 

Right and we might be talking about. 

00:17:23 Joe Graves 

So for us. 

00:17:24 Joe Barhoum 

Sorry to interrupt you, but it’s not really about personalities incompatibility. 

00:17:29 Joe Barhoum 

It’s it’s really just about knowing the goal and having conviction for it. 

00:17:33 Joe Graves 

Yeah, and caring about it, that’s right. 

00:17:34 Joe Graves 

Like what do you care about is that align with what we care about. 

00:17:36 Joe Graves 

Again passing no judgment on what that particular thing is. 

00:17:41 Joe Graves 

I think that’s. 

00:17:42 Joe Graves 

That’s the most important thing, because if people care about stuff you’ll learn, you’ll adapt you’ll create, you’ll do whatever right to get it done if you if you don’t care or don’t care at a level that’s necessary to do those things, then it’s you know it’s hard to get things. 

00:17:54 Joe Graves 

You know, it’s hard to. 

00:17:56 Joe Graves 

It’s done so. 

00:17:58 Joe Barhoum 

About what’s next and that you’re able to talk about. 

00:18:03 Joe Graves 

Yeah well, so the goal, that sort of meta obviously. Moving beyond T-shirt consulting is to really affect the trillion dollars for good by 2050. That’s a massive number that’s not assets under management or T shirt sales. That’s saying, how can we in some way influence? 

00:18:20 Joe Graves 

People’s decision making. So yeah, maybe we’ll sell a million shirts raising funds for important causes working right now on a community based real estate fund, so that instead of people that don’t live and care about our neighborhoods and our communities, owning the property and sort of short term optimizing for whatever cap rate they can get, or or. 

00:18:42 Joe Graves 

Uh, you know rental income. 

00:18:44 Joe Graves 

They can get or or convert a piece of land into some other use. 

00:18:47 Joe Graves 

That’s you know more valuable. 

00:18:48 Joe Graves 

At this time we started to look at elongated timeframes like what’s best for the Community 30 years from now. 

00:18:54 Joe Graves 

That does include a financial component, and I think that’s where maybe a lot of people talk about. 

00:19:00 Joe Graves 

You know impact, investing or those types of things. 

00:19:05 Joe Graves 

Sometimes that gets lost in translation like sustainability is super important, but it needs to be sustainable financially of course. 

00:19:12 Joe Graves 

Environmentally, but then also socially like what is the consequences of this decision investment? 

00:19:17 Joe Graves 

Whatever The thing is that you’re doing. 

00:19:19 Joe Graves 

I kind of view those three. 

00:19:21 Joe Graves 

Vectors, and you measure them right? 

00:19:22 Joe Graves 

Like OK, it has to work economically. 

00:19:24 Joe Graves 

Otherwise we don’t have something that’s viable. 

00:19:27 Joe Graves 

It can’t ruin the environment because then what’s the point, right? 

00:19:30 Joe Graves 

We’ve we’ve made some money, but now we’ve had this. 

00:19:32 Joe Graves 

Yeah, you know negative outcome. We can’t live there anymore because we ruined it and then and then socially like great we have all the money and nobody else has anything. So those things really need to be balanced and considered and then not just over the next three months. Three years. You know if you start looking at 3200 year timelines, especially when it comes to real estate, you start probably making. 

00:19:53 Joe Graves 

You know different decisions as a community, so I just started thinking like. 

00:19:57 Joe Graves 

How wonderful would it be if the people that live in the Community own the properties and the the. 

00:20:04 Joe Graves 

Real estate around them as opposed to having all their money in Goldman Sachs or Vanguard or wherever it is they happen to have it. 

00:20:11 Joe Graves 

We have more influence over what happens. 

00:20:13 Joe Graves 

I suspect people would care more about you, know the neighborhoods in the streets and all that, and then having maybe a larger voice with the city to be able to push things in certain directions so that we’re actually. 

00:20:25 Joe Graves 

You know, like I said, optimizing for health and happiness as opposed to to just short term financial gains. 

00:20:31 Joe Barhoum 

Very good now how about this Canvas app? 

00:20:33 Joe Barhoum 

Talk to us about that. 

00:20:35 Joe Graves 

Yeah yeah, who would have thought so? 

00:20:39 Joe Graves 

We built an app for the City of Camas where the shirts started and that was really just born out of like an idea. 

00:20:46 Joe Graves 

I had probably six or seven years ago where I thought there’s no like local. 

00:20:50 Joe Graves 

Directory that’s sort of curated by local people. 

00:20:55 Joe Graves 

Of course you’ve got Google and you’ve got Yelp, and you’ve got all these sort of tech companies that built these platforms where you can, you know, complain about the service or give him five stars or whatever, but. 

00:21:05 Joe Graves 

It’s always lagging, and it’s never 100% accurate ’cause there’s nobody there, that’s yeah, you can suggest updates and there’s things that you can do, but ultimately people making decisions about what is or isn’t in that app, or what you do or don’t see. So coming around to like why this ended up happening is as we started it, kind of as an idea. 

00:21:25 Joe Graves 

I found my kids working on it were going around getting addresses and taking pictures of businesses. 

00:21:31 Joe Graves 

I started to see with Google that man they’re not showing me results even on a map like where we had gone and taken a picture of a business. 

00:21:39 Joe Graves 

But unless you type that exact address in, it wasn’t showing all the you know, no matter how far you zoomed in, it was curating it. 

00:21:47 Joe Graves 

And I’m like, well, that’s disconcerning, right? 

00:21:49 Joe Graves 

Like so now, Google Maps is even like sort of algorithmically showing me, or more importantly, filtering something there so that discover ability aspect of. 

00:21:59 Joe Graves 

Looking for businesses now. 

00:22:00 Joe Graves 

Been filtered by something that I didn’t have a say in. 

00:22:04 Joe Graves 

So that was that was a concern and so that was a little well. 

00:22:07 Joe Graves 

You know, little question Mark or something that ended up in the back of my head and then you know the stuff with Facebook and an YouTube filtering and D platforming people for a variety of reasons, I don’t really. 

00:22:19 Joe Graves 

I mean it doesn’t matter to me like what they were saying, but the fact that you have business that could be censored right for something you say so if your entire. 

00:22:28 Joe Graves 

Audiences through a social media network and they do. 

00:22:31 Joe Graves 

Side that something you said or did is now not OK. 

00:22:34 Joe Graves 

You you lost that ability to have happen an and at the same time I had an issue with Amazon SES where they thought I was. 

00:22:41 Joe Graves 

You know, sending out spam emails ’cause I I moved email services and I just had like this. 

00:22:46 Joe Graves 

Those things happening all at once. 

00:22:47 Joe Graves 

I was like this is a real risk right? 

00:22:49 Joe Graves 

Like the fact that? 

00:22:51 Joe Graves 

Some global tech company could impact. 

00:22:54 Joe Graves 

Fact whether you go. 

00:22:56 Joe Graves 

To Starbucks or the local coffee shop just based on what they want to show, is a is a problem, right? 

00:23:01 Joe Graves 

So then I was some side projects we had worked on on some other apps. 

00:23:06 Joe Graves 

Just, you know, building some things and kind of experiment I’m I’m super curious about stuff so I’ll just try things. 

00:23:11 Joe Graves 

And so I was aware of some platforms and. 

00:23:14 Joe Graves 

So that’s why we decided we start building it like I think December 6 was when it’s. 

00:23:20 Joe Graves 

Red we officially launch, you know, two weeks ago or something like that and really, the whole purpose of the app is to connect visitors and residents with local businesses. 

00:23:29 Joe Graves 

No filtering, right? 

00:23:30 Joe Graves 

If you want to look for a place to eat, you go to eat and drink category. 

00:23:33 Joe Graves 

You’re going to see every single business that we’re aware of, right? 

00:23:36 Joe Graves 

Or the state of Washington is aware of and the same thing for all the other categories and. 

00:23:41 Joe Graves 

And you know it’s been interesting, early testers of it have said, like, oh, I forgot about that place or oh, I’ve learned about some places I didn’t know about. 

00:23:50 Joe Graves 

I mean happy values by the same way where? 

00:23:53 Joe Graves 

Depending on your traffic patterns, if you don’t go a certain way, you have no idea what is down there from. 

00:23:59 Joe Graves 

From a business perspective or a housing perspective, either in canvas is a little bit like that, depending on where you live, you know your path of the freeway is here. 

00:24:09 Joe Graves 

You’ll miss companies and so that’s that’s what we did is. 

00:24:13 Joe Graves 

How can we connect those people? 

00:24:14 Joe Graves 

Well, with local businesses without, you know, global financial tech companies intervening in that connection. 

00:24:22 Joe Barhoum 

So with the listings, is it just alphabetical or is it promoted? 

00:24:26 Joe Barhoum 

How’s that work? 

00:24:27 Joe Graves 

Yeah, so we got a variety of ways that so we buy category primarily and then we bias towards shopping. 

00:24:34 Joe Graves 

At least from the layout and the UX. 

00:24:38 Joe Graves 

Shopping and eating because that’s the most I think discoverable, right? 

00:24:42 Joe Graves 

Like you don’t often go downtown. 

00:24:44 Joe Graves 

You’re walking around like you know I need some insurance. 

00:24:46 Joe Graves 

I I better get a home loan that’s so but those two things you might be down like man I’m hungry we went to the movie theater let’s look for a place to eat. 

00:24:55 Joe Graves 

So by categories we have tiers of. 

00:24:58 Joe Graves 

So we’re not going to filter anybody. 

00:25:00 Joe Graves 

Any business can be in there. 

00:25:01 Joe Graves 

They’re they’re all free listings. 

00:25:03 Joe Graves 

We do have some premium options to help the economics of maintaining the app be sustainable. 

00:25:08 Joe Graves 

And then with that comes some. 

00:25:10 Joe Graves 

Added benefits where you can put offers on your page, for example, or you can you know, create videos and things like that and put them on your profile so that they might be more appealing and then you know we do things like daily deals and special offers where allow the merchants in the businesses to put an offer in front of whoever logs into the app that day. 

00:25:30 Joe Graves 

Again, trying to like you start to think about how can we promote this discover ability? 

00:25:35 Joe Graves 

An remind people that these businesses are here just taking the knowledge we have about running some campaigns of our own and like sharing that so that we can get it in front of in front of people. 

00:25:45 Joe Barhoum 

Are you going to offer reviews? 

00:25:47 Joe Graves 

Well, no reviews, so that was a very conscious decision. 

00:25:52 Joe Graves 

What we’re biasing towards is look if you have a good or a bad interaction with the business, call them and tell them you know. 

00:25:59 Joe Graves 

I’ve seen Yelp. 

00:26:00 Joe Graves 

I’ve seen Google reviews and they can be great, but there’s also this sort of toxic environment where you can say whatever you want. 

00:26:07 Joe Graves 

You know even the validity of some of them. 

00:26:09 Joe Graves 

You know? 

00:26:10 Joe Graves 

I mean, I’m sure you’ve heard of people like behind reviews or or you know, kind of stuffing the ballot box with reviews that are not real reviews. 



00:26:18 Joe Barhoum 

Not that anybody ever stopped the ballot box. 

00:26:18 Joe Graves 

And our point is. 

00:26:20 Joe Graves 

Maybe bad and out yeah yeah. 

00:26:21 Joe Barhoum 

We don’t get taken. 

00:26:24 Joe Graves 

At any rate, you know some of them are questionable. 

00:26:27 Joe Graves 

They can be great when you hear from somebody. 

00:26:28 Joe Graves 

It’s a great review, but I think if you’re having experience and you’re trying to make a business owner, I mean you’ve had bad experiences that companies you’ve maybe. 

00:26:36 Joe Graves 

Maybe we’ve underperformed at some point, right? 

00:26:38 Joe Graves 

Like having the ability to call somebody and say, hey, I was at your restaurant last night. 

00:26:42 Joe Graves 

You know you weren’t there. 

00:26:43 Joe Graves 

This is what upset me. 

00:26:45 Joe Graves 

I think that’s far more productive from a community perspective than just some. 

00:26:49 Joe Graves 

You know, anonymous review blasting them because the. 

00:26:52 Joe Graves 

You know the hamburger was cold or whatever, so no reviews. 

00:26:55 Joe Graves 

Specifically, you can like you can save places that you want to go. 

00:26:59 Joe Barhoum 


00:27:00 Joe Graves 

No places you’ve been an. 

00:27:01 Joe Graves 

Then we built some some gamification tools into it. 

00:27:04 Joe Graves 

I hate that word, but basically when you do things that are beneficial to the community, we’ve got badges. 

00:27:10 Joe Graves 

We’ve got rewards and things that we can. 

00:27:12 Joe Graves 

We can look back and say thanks and then. 

00:27:14 Joe Graves 

Ultimately, our hope is that as we. 

00:27:17 Joe Graves 

Grow will come up with some ideas that are actually really, you know, real rewards that aren’t just psychological for shopping in our community. 

00:27:25 Joe Barhoum 

So other than liking a location, what else can you do that benefits the community that has this gamified effect? 

00:27:33 Joe Graves 

Well shop, I mean ultimately the primary desired outcome is that you spend money. 

00:27:38 Joe Graves 

In the community living right. 

00:27:39 Joe Graves 

So if you’re a resident and, for example, you’re thinking about getting coffee, you’ve got Starbucks as an option, of course. 

00:27:46 Joe Graves 

But maybe you’ve got out here. 

00:27:48 Joe Graves 

Hidden River Roasters or cafe piccolo. 

00:27:50 Joe Graves 

There’s a bunch of other places that are locally owned, so we’re trying to have people spend money on campus, but then also spend money at locally owned businesses over. 

00:28:01 Joe Graves 

You know, national champions. 

00:28:03 Joe Barhoum 

So is there a payment capability through the app? 

00:28:07 Joe Barhoum 

And that’s how you know. 

00:28:07 Joe Graves 

Not no, no, not yet like where we’re trying to stay out of the the payment possibilities. 

00:28:12 Joe Graves 

Right now we are working on connecting some past technology. 

00:28:15 Joe Graves 

We were working on that would allow you to easily track where you spend your money, right? 

00:28:21 Joe Graves 

Use to authenticate and then it will just say oh great, you spent. 

00:28:25 Joe Graves 

$750 in canvas. And that’s where I was talking about with the rewards. Well then we can like say, OK, maybe you get discounts, maybe earn discounts at local businesses that have opted into being able to be a part of that pool or I. I mean, it’s hard to say where it sort of evolves too. It’s very organic. And really we’re just looking for will try something with the intention of it to to do that to get more business in town. 

00:28:47 Joe Graves 

Uh, and then whatever we think of tomorrow in two weeks from now, we’ll just keep trying to to roll that out so that people enjoy it and they use it. 

00:28:54 Joe Barhoum 

So is the app in beta at the moment. 

00:28:56 Joe Graves 

Well, no, we’re open in life to the public right now. 

00:29:00 Joe Graves 

We did build it as a progressive web app, you know, which means you don’t have to go to the App Store, in part because we were moving so fast that we didn’t want the delay of sort of submitting to the app stores. 

00:29:09 Joe Graves 

But in hindsight, you know they take a pretty significant percentage of anything that processes through the the app. 

00:29:17 Joe Graves 

Which obviously paying 20 or 30% to Google an Apple for the for the privilege of being on a platform is not option one. Then we’re not. We’re not really accessing any of the phones native functions really either. 

00:29:28 Joe Graves 

Unless you want to use the map function, but that’s pretty benign, so we don’t need to have all those permissions and things like that. 

00:29:31 Joe Graves 


00:29:34 Joe Graves 

It really is designed to be super lightweight. 

00:29:37 Joe Graves 

We don’t want to track you or not, you know, running around trying to sell you ads or things like that, or passing and selling your data so it was a good fit with the exception of most people think I’m going to go to the App Store so. 

00:29:48 Joe Graves 

There’s been a little bit of an education piece, but I mean go to the website. 

00:29:51 Joe Graves 

You download it, you’re done. 

00:29:53 Joe Barhoum 

Very good, very good. 



00:29:54 Joe Barhoum 

So how many people have downloaded it so far? 

00:29:58 Joe Graves 

I think we’re nearing 400, maybe, and we haven’t really done any marketing at all. We haven’t tried to build it like again, we. We started with 20 or 30 people that were beta testing. It got good feedback, made some changes. This is kind of the next layer of the onion. Kind of getting more people on it. We’ve got some good feedback already. 

00:30:00 Joe Graves 


00:30:17 Joe Graves 

We’re continually making changes every day and then. 

00:30:20 Joe Graves 

Can you know will start promoting it today? 

00:30:23 Joe Graves 

I just funny you should ask him. 


Well, I asked. 

00:30:25 Joe Graves 

We went full analog full analog and made some some tent cards here. 

00:30:30 Joe Graves 

You know so that the merchants will have these in their stores. 

00:30:31 Joe Barhoum 


00:30:35 Joe Graves 

So as people come in they can sign up for the app and know that the merchant has offers or page deals that they can see so. 

00:30:43 Joe Graves 

Starting to do stuff like that will probably make some yard signs, and you know eventually I’ve tried to stay away from using the major platforms for marketing. 

00:30:51 Joe Graves 

We don’t have social profiles for the app on anything. 

00:30:55 Joe Graves 

This is really trying to keep it out of there. 

00:30:59 Joe Graves 

Greedy little hands you know and keep it as a community effort, so we’ll see. 

00:31:01 Joe Barhoum 


00:31:05 Joe Barhoum 

Very good. 

00:31:05 Joe Barhoum 

OK, so you got a lot going on and I’m curious what’s next. 

00:31:12 Joe Graves 

I think the next thing obviously we’re getting the app going. 

00:31:14 Joe Graves 

We gotta keep keep doing that. 

00:31:17 Joe Graves 

You know, as part of this project is really made me think about apps. 

00:31:22 Joe Graves 

Six months ago you asked me about mobile apps. 

00:31:24 Joe Graves 

You know businesses having their own apps. 

00:31:27 Joe Graves 

I was. 

00:31:28 Joe Graves 

Probably not super thrilled about doing that, it just didn’t seem like it was really relevant. 

00:31:34 Joe Graves 

But again, with this idea of, you know, having Facebook or Instagram or YouTube or Google in between you and your customer provided there’s a use case. 

00:31:44 Joe Graves 

I mean, I’ve gone out and invested in platforms to be able to build them now. 



00:31:49 Joe Graves 

Just because I think it’s becoming increasingly important for you to be able to maintain that direct relationship and then. 

00:31:56 Joe Graves 

Offer value so I think what we’ll do. 

00:31:58 Joe Graves 

Some of that as an aside and then the main project outside of that kind of technology. 

00:32:02 Joe Graves 

Sort of day-to-day is getting the the real estate fund up so that we can get it work again. 

00:32:07 Joe Graves 

It will follow the same template, right? 

00:32:09 Joe Graves 

Well, do it here in Clark County and then we figure out what all the you know major hurdles are. 

00:32:14 Joe Graves 

Will roll that out to some other community, find people as you already mentioned in. 

00:32:18 Joe Graves 

Other cities, other states to basically just repeat the blueprint, have that ownership. 

00:32:24 Joe Graves 

Be local to them and and then you know 50 years from now. 

00:32:28 Joe Graves 

Who knows, maybe we’ll be looking back and have made some dent in our communities and it would be cool to have a community and not have to go to some big City to get good places to eat. 

00:32:38 Joe Graves 

Or decent places to shop. 

00:32:40 Joe Graves 

And maybe even you know, good jobs that aren’t just service level jobs where you’re working for some giant Corporation. 

00:32:48 Joe Barhoum 

Exactly, so we’re working on an app, but we can’t talk about it yet. 

00:32:52 Joe Graves 

Yes, that’s true. 

00:32:52 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, you help me with something. 

00:32:53 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, I’m very excited about what you help me with, so maybe I want to come back in six months and talk about that. 

00:32:58 Joe Barhoum 

Maybe sooner. 

00:32:58 Joe Barhoum 

Just depends on. 

00:33:00 Joe Barhoum 

You know when we get launched, but. 

00:33:02 Joe Graves 

Off to interview you. 

00:33:03 Joe Graves 

At that point I’ll be guest hosting and then we’ll bring you on grinding gravy. 

00:33:06 Joe Barhoum 

Or call gradient graph. 



00:33:08 Joe Graves 

There we go. 

00:33:09 Joe Graves 

Yeah, that’s that Oh yeah, yeah. 

00:33:10 Joe Barhoum 

Yeah, special episode. 

00:33:11 Joe Barhoum 

It’s like the backwards episode of Seinfeld. 


Yeah, exactly. 

00:33:14 Joe Barhoum 

Well, I think. 

00:33:15 Joe Barhoum 

You know, thanks for coming on. 

00:33:16 Joe Barhoum 

How can people reach out to you if you’re interested in learning more about all these various things you’re doing? 

00:33:21 Joe Graves 

Yeah, George, work sheds probably the the place to find me. 

00:33:25 Joe Graves 

Don’t go to website ’cause it’s purposefully devoid of information. 

00:33:30 Joe Graves 

But Joe work should be a great place to connect on LinkedIn. 

00:33:33 Joe Graves 

I’m pretty much connect with anybody there. 

00:33:35 Joe Barhoum 

Awesome, and you’re posting regularly too. 

00:33:38 Joe Graves 

Semi regularly not, not as much as our front. 

00:33:40 Joe Graves 

Alex would have me posts and Alex. 

00:33:43 Joe Graves 

I’m sorry but I’m trying to do a better job of, you know getting semi regular post so. 

00:33:45 Joe Barhoum 

Watch it. 

00:33:51 Joe Barhoum 

Alright, right on well thanks Joe. 

00:33:53 Joe Barhoum 

Appreciate you coming on Bout time we finally did. 

00:33:55 Joe Barhoum 

It we’ll do it again soon. 

00:33:57 Joe Graves 

Alright man, thank you.