Are you someone who has created several successful business ideas? I am always impressed with people who are able to change industries and repeat success over and over again. If you find that interesting too then you are going to love this episode.
Our guest today is David Selinger. He was an early employee at Amazon, working directly under Jeff Bezos. He led the R&D arm of Amazon’s data mining and personalization team.
He co-founded Redfin (now a multi-billion dollar company) and founded RichRelevance, a company that offers personalized shopping experiences for large retail brands, including Macy’s, Barneys New York, Office Depot and others.
He is now inventing the next BIG thing in home security – Deep Sentinel, an AI-based home protection. And he shares with us his journey in creating his new company.
LINKS FROM THE EPISODE:
- You can visit our guest’s website at: https://www.deepsentinel.com/
- If you are ready to franchise your business or take it to the next level: CLICK HERE.
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
David Selinger was an early employee at Amazon, working directly under Jeff Bezos. He led the R&D arm of Amazon’s datamining and personalization team. He co-founded Redfin (now a multi-billion dollar company) and founded RichRelevance, a company that offers personalized shopping experiences for large retail brands, including Macy’s, Barneys New York, Office Depot and others.
He is now inventing the next BIG thing in home security – Deep Sentinel, an AI-based home protection. The company’s intelligent crime prevention transforms home security from false alarms and ineffective after-the-fact crime alerts to real-time crime prediction and prevention. With Deep Sentinel, Americans can gain a reliable, cost-effective way to protect their homes and stop a burglary, mail theft or driveway break-in before it happens – and feel dramatically safer at home, at work and on vacation.
ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:
This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team, and as we open today, I’m wondering if you happen to be someone who has taken ideas, new business-formation ideas, and turned them into a business and then been able to exit, whether you sold it or developed it into the market. I’ve always been impressed with people who are able to do that, especially when they change industries and they’re able to repeat that success over and over and over again. And if you find that interesting too, then you’re going to love today’s episode.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:43):
Our guest is David Selinger, and he was an early-on employee at Amazon, and he worked directly for Jeff Bezos. He led the research and development arm of Amazon’s data mining and personalization team. He also then co-founded Redfin, which is now a multi-billion-dollar-a-year company, if you’re not familiar with that, in the real estate industry. And he also founded RichRelevance, a company that offers personalized shopping experiences for large retail brands, including companies like Macy’s, Barneys New York, Office Depot, and others. He’s now reinventing himself with the next big thing in home security called Deep Sentinel, which is an AI-based home protection. And he shares with us his journey in creating his new company and referencing these things back. It’s an exciting story with a great background. You’re going to love this interview, so let’s go ahead and jump right into it.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (01:41):
Sure. My name’s David Selinger. Right now, I’m the CEO and the founder of a company called Deep Sentinel. It’s still a pretty small company. We’re in the early phases. But if you haven’t heard of us, you should have, especially if you’re a small business owner or if you own a home or have a family. Those are the only things that make it so that you should know about Deep Sentinel. We’re a security company that uses cameras to actually stop crime. So I’ve spent a lot of time watching all the Ring videos. Like, “Hey, I caught this guy stealing my stuff on my front doorstep,” realizing that the verb caught there was quite bastardized, and you didn’t catch anything, amigo. All you have is a video, and you don’t have your stuff. So I built a system that uses AI, and it stops that stuff. Want a quick background? Is that helpful?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:27):
Yeah, I would love that. Yeah.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (02:29):
Sure. I’ll go all the way back. I grew up in a little town in southern Oregon called Merlin. If you haven’t heard of that, it was right next to the really, really big town of 20,000 people called Grants Pass. Because you probably also haven’t heard of that, it’s next to nothing, and it’s four hours south of Portland. That’s where I grew up, kind of in the middle of nowhere. Merlin has a population of, I think, 300 or 400 people right now. So it’s truly kind of a neat, rural, growing-up experience.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (02:58):
I then got to go to Stanford, where I studied artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. That was, as you might imagine, a pretty stark transition in my life. A really amazing experience. I got to study with some of the world’s most renowned scientists and philosophers and physicists, Nobel laureates and things like that. It was really insane and awesome. I then went on to run the first AI team at Amazon, working directly with Jeff. Started a company called Redfin, which used to be about an $8 billion publicly traded company, and now it’s about a $1 billion publicly traded company with the market where it’s at these days. And then I started another AI company called RichRelevance, which we sold about four years ago. And then about seven years ago, I started… Six years ago, I started Deep Sentinel.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:49):
Wow! Well, you have a phenomenal background with everything that you’ve done and produced here. And by the way, with Deep Sentinel, in your current enterprise, it’s interesting you bring that up just as a… And by the way, for anyone, when they listen into this, this wasn’t preplanned. Ironically, in our neighborhood, in several neighboring communities, within the last few weeks, there were some drive-by folks that were driving through neighborhoods pulling mail out of their mailbox.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (04:18):
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:19):
So exactly what you said. Police reports were filed. And a whole bunch of neighbors, including our home, that had a… We had a great video of it, but they were long gone before anything happened. And at that juncture, who knows if the police will ever be able to track these folks down by the time it’s all said and done? So to your point, if someone had a vigilant eye on what was going on, police would’ve been notified, and that person probably… I don’t know if they’re apprehended, but they’re at least circumvented, right?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (04:54):
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:54):
They’re stopped from what they’re doing.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (04:56):
The biggest observation we had is that if you can intervene in real time, it makes all the difference in the outcome. If you can intervene before someone breaks your back window, you can stop them from doing any damage to your property as well as threatening your sense of safety. And that’s really what this business is about, is intervene in 10 seconds or less and bring the ruck if we need to. We can talk about that more kind of as we get through this, but-
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:20):
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (05:21):
Yeah, I mean, it’s just such an important sense. I mean, I’ll pivot a little bit in terms of the personal nature of this. I’ve been involved in a bunch of nonprofits as well. I’ve been on the board of probably six or seven nonprofits. I started two of them. And it’s just hard. It’s hard to bring together these tenets that we learn in business, how to run things well, how to do them efficiently, how to do them effectively, how to hire, how to fire, and do that in a way that makes the world a better place. And that’s one of the key things about Deep Sentinel to me, is that I don’t have to do a for-profit and do nonprofit on the side. I’m running a business that is the only company like it, first of all, which is really neat by itself. But then secondly, it’s truly mission driven, and that’s been really amazing for me.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:06):
Well, I love it. And certainly, our audience tend to be folks who are successful business owners. They’ve got businesses they’re running. So you have residential and commercial services too. So if someone’s running a restaurant or a retail outlet or some kind of fixed location… And certainly, that’s the bread and butter for most folks. They have a location or two or three or for their franchise network. How do you work in that scenario?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (06:31):
Yeah, so I mean, let me go back to just the really core of what it does. What we do is we have an array of cameras around a property, and instead of just recording, those cameras run a real-time AI that then detects anything suspicious. And when it detects something suspicious, it doesn’t just send you a notification. It actually sends the live feed instantaneously to a professionally trained guard, whose job it is to intervene over a two-way audio, sirens. We’re actually testing other types of interventions, like physical interventions, smoke, flashing lights, all kinds of different things, sirens. And we’ll contact the police. And all of that will happen in under 30 seconds.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (07:11):
Again, let’s take a restaurant, right? Restaurants tend to have big plate-glass windows. Unless you run a restaurant, you may not know that those things cost upwards of $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $10,000 for that piece of glass, for crying out loud. Right? So the act of stopping someone from breaking that is, in and of itself, a huge deal. Again, if you haven’t been through this, which unfortunately most business owners are not in that position anymore, just because crime is massively up and to the right. Even violent crime for the last three and a half years has been up and to the right, which is the first time in 25 years in America we’ve had violent crime increasing year over year. It’s really disheartening as an American. It’s great for my business, but it’s not… Again, this is a mission-driven thing. What’s great for our business but bad for our country isn’t really a huge win for me, to be honest with you.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (08:03):
But again, as a restaurant owner, you also know that if that glass breaks, you’ve got to fix that today. Otherwise, you’ve got people coming in. And you’re not going to see a dime from your insurance company for six months, one year, and you’ve got to do it today. So you’ve got to pick your contractor. You’ve got to get someone to go out there. You know contractors are a pain in the butt right now to get ahold of. Materials are a pain in the butt to get ahold of. You may have plywood up for six months in front of your storefront. It’s just super, super damaging. The other thing that we’re seeing is that that trend in crime is also making employees harder to retain.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (08:36):
So for single businesses and franchises, what we do is we stop those crimes from happening. For franchises, we can establish deals with the franchise or the franchisee. Bottoms up or top down, we work in either of those different frameworks. We’ve got quite a number of multinational companies, where we do one or two things. We have smaller companies, where we do every single one of their properties. And what we’re seeing in terms of vertical, where crime is happening… You mentioned restaurants. Where we’re seeing a lot of crime, though, is warehouses and kind of Class C real estate, construction, auto shops, where in order to make that business work, you’ve got to be running in a Class C type environment from your real estate perspective. You can’t be paying $40 a square foot or $50 a square foot a year for your property. You’ve got to be paying 15, maybe 15, maybe less in order to run your warehouse. But those are inherently in the areas where it’s higher crime.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (09:38):
So we’re seeing where the ratios are wrong. Let’s look at an auto shop. You’ve got a, call it, 12-bucks-a-year-a-square-foot auto-shop warehouse, but you have $1 million, $3 million, $4 million of automobiles on the lot at any time. So you have this massive amount of liability in a high-risk area. And again, as the crime trends change, that risk profile goes through the roof. So one of the towns that we wouldn’t think of as dangerous would be Denver, Colorado. Everybody kind of thinks Denver’s sweet, right? Fresh mountain air, awesome people, hunting, fishing, all that stuff out there. What do you think the crime rate is for auto burglary in Denver, Colorado?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:29):
I’d have no idea.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (10:31):
In the course of four years, you will have a one-in-five chance of getting your car… One-in-four to one-in-five chance of getting your car broken in. In five years, one in four-
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:41):
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (10:42):
Or one in five. Every single year, you have a one-in-18 chance of getting your car broken into if you live in Denver, Colorado. Are you kidding me? It’s just ridiculous. And again, if that curve were going down and the police were doing something about it and it was kind of working, that’s one thing. But as we all know, that’s not the trend that we’re on as a country. Our law enforcement is, whether right or wrong, is having to be constrained a bit. Crime is on the up and to the right. We’ve got release of criminals from our prison systems. We’ve got looser laws there. So in the middle, you’ve got us. You’ve got us kind of dealing with the realities of this, and we’ve got to protect our family. We’ve got to protect our businesses.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (11:30):
What we find is pretty consistent. Most criminals don’t want to get caught. Even if I know I’m only going to spend six months in jail for a low-level felony, I would still rather not spend six months in jail. And that’s why you see people when they’re coming… These videos you’ll see on Nextdoor, they come up to the door, and they’re looking around. Yeah, I’m going to break in, but I don’t want to get my butt caught and thrown in jail tonight. I want to go home and have a beer at the end of my workday, right?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (11:59):
So what we do is we change that whole equation. We tell them, “Hey, get away from the door. Stop what you’re doing right now. The police are on their way.” And that’s the Deep Sentinel story in a nutshell. All that comes down to that 10 seconds where you’ve got some jerk with a crowbar coming up to your door, and bam, we tell them to go away. Most of the time they do. If they don’t, when we call the police, “Hey, I’ve got some six-foot-tall white male wearing a black hoodie. He’s got a crowbar. His buddy’s in the getaway car. It is a Buick, and it’s sitting on the road at this location.” We just gave every police department in the nation exactly what they’re looking for: the crime, description of suspect, weapons, and exact location. That means they get to turn their lights on, go flying, and get themselves a little notch on the helmet and arrest.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:52):
Wow, that’s incredible! How have things been growing so far with everything you’re doing and expanding? Is this available in select markets, select areas, or is this available anywhere?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (13:05):
It’s all over the US. We’re in every one of the 50 states. We’ve been really focused on some of the hotspot areas in terms of our marketing and stuff like that. And we have customers in northern Alaska, seriously in northern Alaska. It’s crazy. We have this map, like all tech companies that have where are all your customers? And there’s this one shining light on the northern tip of Alaska, and you’re like, “Whoever that dude is, first of all, congratulations for surviving, and we’re glad we’ve got your back, amigo. You are out there.” The hotspots that we see, though, in terms of crime are New York, Florida, California. Texas is huge. All three of the major metros in Texas are crazy with crime right now.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (13:54):
And a lot of the things that I just said you could interpret as being a little bit right leaning. This isn’t a political thing. Crime has been up during Trump’s administration, which is a mostly Republican administration. It’s up in Biden’s administration. It’s up in California. It’s up in Texas. It is up in Colorado. It is up everywhere. This is an American problem, not a liberal problem, not a conservative problem. We have tons of customers who are not gun owners. We have tons of customers who are gun owners and like, “Look, hey, I don’t ever want to have to use this, so if you can prevent me from having to do that.” That’s life changing. Ask any of your friends who’ve served. They know for a fact: When you fire your weapon at another human being, it changes your psychology. We’ve got gun owners who are like, “Look, if I do have to do that, I would way rather have the extra one and a half minutes or two minutes that you buy me so that I’m prepared. I’m getting in the mode. I’m getting my weapon out. I’m arming, and I’m checking it.”
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (14:48):
So again, one of the neatest things about us is that in this day and age where we get pulled kind of one way or the other, we serve everybody. I mean, we serve all races, all ethnicities, gun owners, anti-gun owners, right, left. They’re our customers, and we make all of their lives better. We protect. One of the coolest things that we do is we protect judges and police officers too. We have a whole bunch of judges whom we protect and police officers and their families. Again, if you’re a cop or your friends are cops, your family is a cop, you know that they come… They get threats all the time. Most of them aren’t credible, but they still can get under your skin. They can especially get under the skin of your family. And one of the neatest things that we do is we provide a lot of protection for cops that receive threats.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:35):
Yeah, well, I think your point is well taken. At the end of the day, whatever the cause is for the increase, the bottom line is that crime is going up. At the end of the day, that’s the direction that it’s going. And unfortunately, it seems like even just the example I gave early on in the episode, just even in our own little suburban community here, it’s like, well, there’s proof just locally here. It’s just something you wouldn’t think is going to happen, but it’s going up everywhere, not just any one spot. It’s everywhere.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (16:10):
We have a customer who is a reviewer. He does kind of YouTube reviews, and his name’s Mike Benson. And Mike Benson, I met him when we were just launching the product. He was like, “Oh, this is kind of cool, but I don’t need it. I live in a gated neighborhood, and I’m in Florida, and our cops are awesome.” I was like, “All right, cool, Mike.” And he left my booth. I was at CES back when you could go to CES. I loved that, by the way. So I was at CES. And then two months later, Mike Benson emails me. He’s like, “Hey, I’ll do a review. Just send it to me. I don’t need it, but I’ll do a review.”
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (16:42):
Dude, I would swear with my hand on a Bible… I’m Jewish, so the old Bible, the Old Testament. Hand on the Bible. I want to say within two weeks of him installing this, he called me at 5:00 in the morning Pacific. And I’m like, “All right, dude. I gave you my personal cell-phone number. Don’t make me regret this. What’s going on?” And he’s like, “Dude, you will not believe what just happened.” And I was like, “Okay, well, it’s 5:00 in the morning, so I’ll believe whatever it’s going to take to get you off the phone right now.” And he said, “Dude, my wife left her keys in the car.” And he has a nice car, like a nice, nice car. And she left the car unlocked. I was like, “Well, that’s not my fault, amigo. What happened?” “You will not believe this. An hour ago, these two guys walked down my driveway, opened up my wife’s car door, and Deep Sentinel scared them away.”
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (17:36):
And again, this guy was the highest of the high of this is all BS; we don’t need it. And in the middle of his video review for us, he has an actual legit break-in. The police come. We’ve got police all over the scene. And he converted from this just, “Security doesn’t matter. I’ve got a gun, and I’ve got my family,” into “Wait, you’re right. At 2:00 in the morning, yeah, I have my gun, and I’m sound asleep, and I cannot protect my family. And yes, sometimes my wife leaves her car unlocked, and yes, she put the keys in the freaking glove box so that someone could borrow her car.” And again, it’s that sensation of we live in a society, and in a society, we have interdependencies. And as kind of the sole American breadwinner approach that we have to our lives, we’re connected to all the people around us. And one of the key things to being connected is being safe, right? Great walls make great neighbors.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:33):
Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that story. Well, David, one of the things I’d love to do here while we have you, before we let you go, is we ask every guest the same four questions. And the first question we like to ask every guest is about a miss or two that you’ve had along your journey. You have a decorated career with a bunch of things that have gone well for you. Has there been a miss or two and something you learned from it?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (19:01):
I’m going to answer this a little bit differently. I tend not to live with many regrets in general in my life. I think my perspective in the world was very highly informed working with Jeff Bezos, where everything in the past is essentially information and data, and you can choose to regret that and create emotions around it. You can choose to analyze it and learn from it and use that to affect your future. He was so rigorous and disciplined about making sure that everything in the past effectively transformed into data from which we made our future decisions better. And that perspective I find to be just amazing.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (19:42):
I will share a couple of, let’s just call them purely financial mistakes. Although I have achieved great financial success outside of Amazon, just doing the really simple math, had I stayed at Amazon, no one knew it was going to grow whatever, like 500X in the stock from when I was there, or maybe even more. Maybe like 1,000X from the stock, in fact. So with that knowledge, I certainly would have made more financial return had I just stuck with Amazon and stayed there for the rest of my career. But I also love that I got the opportunity to spread my wings, build and grow on my own. And I think, as a human being, I’m much happier having done that. But just purely financially, I would imagine I would be literally 10X more wealthy had I just stayed at Amazon.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:32):
Yeah. Wow! Thanks for sharing that. And let’s talk about this idea of a make, the other side.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (20:38):
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:38):
You shared some general highlights, but I’d love for you to talk a little bit more about one or two.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (20:45):
Yeah, sure. So again, I’ll give kind of a side answer for me, which is the way that I look at my career is deeply integrated with my life. And I think most of your listeners, who are probably small business owners, you’re only doing the business that you do because you love it, and I hope you do. If you don’t, then I’ve got different advice for you here.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (21:05):
But the thing that I have found to be the greatest reward in terms of my career was making sure that I change the way that I evaluate what I’m doing on a daily basis, such that it works with my family. And the observation I had… So my last company, I was the CEO, and it was an enterprise sales company. Because of that, I was traveling 200,000 to 300,000 miles a year. For those of you that have never flown 100,000 miles, that is around the Earth four times. So I would fly around the Earth between eight and 12 times a year, all the way around. All the way around.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (21:49):
So I was flying between three and four times a week. I had offices in Tokyo, London, Paris, Sweden, somewhere in Brazil that I never even visited, New York, San Francisco. And I was always gone. I would typically leave either Sunday or Monday, and I would come back either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. And I missed the first three years of my daughter’s life. And one of the biggest decisions I made was really simple, two things: have dinner with my family at least five nights a week, period, full stop. I can do everything else I want. I can frame my work and bust my ass till 1:00 in the morning as long as I have dinner with my family, and I’m just fully present for that dinner.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (22:34):
And that leads to the second thing, which is that when I’m doing family things, I will not answer the phone unless it’s my assistant, because my assistant will only call me if it’s an emergency when I’m doing family things. And if it’s anybody else, they can call my assistant if it’s really an emergency. And that makes it so that I am not, again, not living with regrets. I can work an 18-hour day and know that I was 100% present for my kids when they needed me. No regrets.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:04):
I love that. Thank you. And let’s talk about multiplier. You’ve grown a bunch of companies. You’ve definitely multiplied things at different businesses and things that you’ve created. The name of the show is Multiply Your Success. Is there anything that you’ve done that stands out as a multiplier for growing yourself or businesses that you’d like to share?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (23:26):
Yeah, sure. So I thought about that question a lot, and I think some of your other guests have offered much more insightful answers than I will currently share. But I’ll offer mine, which is that I mentioned Jeff Bezos’s perspective, that looking at everything in the past as data and letting go of it, and analyzing it honestly, objectively, and then projecting it onto the future. Okay? So I learned that if I do these three things: here are the ones that succeed, and here are the ones that fail, and here are the reasons why.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (23:57):
And what I have learned in my career that I have found to be just massively outsized in its return is helping my direct reports make that same transition in the way that makes sense to them, meaning that we each hold onto our past differently because of our upbringing, because of the way our parents treated us. We all have some sort of daddy or mommy issues, whether we admit it or not. We have boss issues. We have traumas. We have all these different things that we bring with us to work. And even the most successful executives that have reported to me have some version of this, and we all do, right?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (24:41):
Again, if you’re watching Jeff Bezos, for example, the dude just got divorced to one of the most amazing women. She just got divorced. Again, stuff happens, right? We’re not amazing. We all have our weak spots. We all have our blind spots. Elon Musk has 17 kids and doesn’t know the name of 16 of them because they were the past kids. We all have these blind spots, right? So really embracing what those blind spots are in order to achieve this view of how do I remove the emotion and subjectivity in analyzing the past? I can still put myself in that. Like, hey, I know that I, as a person, don’t have the ability to deal with this type of situation. That’s an objective statement. All those things cloud your judgment for the future.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (25:28):
So helping people take whatever their traumas are and their background is, to be able to just fundamentally have the most direct and aggressive conversation about what just happened, why did it happen, and how do we use that in the future? How do we prevent it? How do we expand on it? How do we accelerate it? How do we multiply it? There’s a thousand different things you can do, but you can do none of them if you’re viewing that through the lens of a personal, subjective trauma.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:57):
The final question we ask every guest, Seli, is what does success mean to you?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (26:04):
I’m going to project this one back onto my family. I think everyone listening here has reached some level of financial success, and when you do that, you go through this really non-linear transition. And that non-linear transition is that before you reach that level of success, the most important thing in your life is money, because you need money to feed yourself, to feed your family, to clothe your family, to put shelter over your heads. And then you reach some point, whether your number is 100,000 bucks in savings, half a million bucks, a million, 10 million. Whatever that number is, there’s not a gradual transition around that number. It is literally from number one to money becomes number 999,000. And making that transition was one of the hardest things in my life for my family. Again, I mentioned changing the way that I interact with my kids.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (26:58):
And again, I want to be careful because for some people they haven’t reached that point yet. And when you haven’t, then it is the number-one thing. And people that say money isn’t important are full of crap. Money is the single most important thing to most people, period, full stop, and don’t forget that. Don’t belittle people that are there. Don’t forget that you were probably there at one point, if you’re not anymore. But recognize that once you are there, it is really important that you put it in its place in the context of your broader happiness.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (27:26):
In the last five years, I have resigned from every single board-of-directors and board-of-advisors position that I held in my career so that I could focus on the one or two things that matter. I started Deep Sentinel. Deep Sentinel embodies the values of my family. We are helping people feel safe in their homes, and that is something that we believe is really important. My family has had foster… We’ve been involved in the foster care program. I talked about my nonprofits. Giving back to society and being integrated into society, creating, even if it’s in a for-profit context, value that benefits your fellow man, your fellow woman, your fellow child, your fellow family, that is so freaking important.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (28:10):
And the third part of this is not just doing that for yourself. My greatest success with Deep Sentinel is doing that with my family. My kids helped design our logo. If you’re watching the video here, you’ll see all the designs of potential cameras. They helped give feedback on that. My kids feel like Deep Sentinel belongs to them in the deepest parts of their essence. They understand that what we do matters to people. I had a bad day once. I came down to dinner, and my little daughter, Cecilia, who’s my younger daughter… She just turned 11 yesterday. She said, “Daddy, you don’t look like you’re very happy. Is everything okay?” And I said, “I just had a rough day.” And she said… It was right at the beginning of the pandemic, so I had a bunch of rough days at the beginning of the pandemic. And she said, “But Daddy, did you save anyone’s life today?” And I was just like, “Bam!” Right? That’s why we do this.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (29:01):
So that’s why that’s my biggest success, was starting a business that meets my needs. I’m intellectually challenged. I’m building a meaningful business in a multi-billion-dollar market. It’s doing well. It’s aligned with my interests. I’m doing a business that benefits society because no one else has ever started a business that can stop crimes before. Like, hello, let’s go do this. And then number three, it’s aligned with the values of my family. I’m teaching my kids the value of work. I’m teaching my kids the value of giving back to society, and it aligns. So finding that synergy, man, I feel so blessed and lucky to have been able to do that and still live kind of a reasonably balanced life for an entrepreneur.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (29:46):
What I’d love to do before we close out here is… You’ve shared a lot about the business. But what’s the best way for someone to find out more? How can they get in contact? What’s the website? How do they get in touch?
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (29:59):
Sure. So our website’s deepsentinel.com. D-E-E-P S-E-N-T-I-N-E-L.com. The best way to learn more, though, you can go to our website. It’s great. The guys that designed it are awesome. The gals that designed it are awesome. But the better way to learn about Deep Sentinel is go to our YouTube channel, go to our TikTok channel, go to our Instagram. Holy smokes! If you liked Cops, if you like what I said, “Hey, get away from there,” if you like seeing someone with a crowbar not get to break into somewhere and you like seeing someone get put into handcuffs for being a bad guy, dude, go to our YouTube channel. Go to YouTube; search for Deep Sentinel. We publish our best of the best every single week, and it’s awesome. It’s just hard-hitting every single week. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And that’s what we do. So that’s a great one. If you’re interested in my political musings and ramblings and concepts and feedback on business, you can follow me on LinkedIn. Just go to LinkedIn. Type in Dave Selinger, and you can follow me there as well.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:03):
That sounds amazing. Well, thank you. And I know we didn’t get a chance to jump into our franchise conversation, so that may be a follow-up conversation for another interview post. So I’d love to do that at some point in time.
David Selinger, Deep Sentinel (31:17):
I would love that. Yeah. I mean, I didn’t even mention, I was involved in Dutch Brothers really, really early on, and they had an amazing story as how they explored and grew at that stage, and franchising was one of the things that they evaluated. So I think that’d be an awesome discussion.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:33):
Seli, thank you so much for a fantastic interview. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. So takeaway number one is when Seli just gave some basic facts about crime, and he said violent crime is up and up pretty significantly over the course of the last three and a half years. That’s just a fact that maybe I’m not surprised by, but I am. That seems startling to me.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:57):
Takeaway number two: He said that he views the past as information and data and that he can learn from that. How can you learn or change and improve from the past? So it’s not really necessarily a regret or maybe something that he felt like he said he missed. Rather, it’s information to take and make future decisions based off of that. And he said he learned that from Jeff Bezos when he was working at Amazon.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:27):
And takeaway number three is when he started making that transition from when money was the most important thing to him to it becoming maybe one of the least important things to him and how it helped him reprioritize his own life. And I don’t know if you’ve gone through that. I know that I certainly have, as he described it, at some point. It’s a natural thing to think that money is most important. And at some point, folks make a transition.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:57):
And now it’s time for today’s win-win. So today’s win-win is when Seli shared with us how he saw a need in the market with the video surveillance or the video doorbells, like a Ring doorbell. And he saw that those cameras were catching crimes on video, but they weren’t preventing it. And he said, “Well, it’s great that you caught the crime on video,” like we saw in our own neighborhood. And yet, those crimes were still happening. So now with what he’s created, he created a business with his family, this family business, to try to give back, to help prevent those crimes or deter those crimes from happening. And I just thought that was a great takeaway.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:45):
And maybe you started your business the same way. You saw a need in the market or a problem that you fix. And I just love that concept of entrepreneurial activity and thought process that goes into it. So it might be a good time just to reflect back on what problem or new problem can you solve in a new industry or a new problem that’s faced by your customer. And it’s also just a reaffirmation about how the market can solve difficult or complex problems. So I just thought that was a great takeaway and a great win-win.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (34:20):
That’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.