The Origin of Please Advise Hats and Discord Communities with Reed Loustalot
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Reed Loustalot, founder of LOST FR8, joins to discuss building community and technology in freight. He talks about starting the ‘please advise’ hat trend, growing an engaged Discord group, and his vision to enable rapid product iteration for logistics. Listen to learn how Reed is fostering unique conversations and driving innovation in the industry.

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics. I am your host, Blythe Brumleve, and I am happy to welcome in very special guest Reed Loostalow, founder at and maker of the popular "Please Advise hat and if you are watching on YouTube then you see that hat in all of its shining glory and you've probably seen it on various different social media platforms. You know, for this conversation I'm not exactly sure what direction we're going to go in, but I think we're going to talk a little bit of freight tech, a little bit of freight marketing, and then see where the conversation takes us.

Reed Loustalot: 0:44

What's up First of all? First of all, hold on when the heck is your hat. This is BS.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:52

I tried to look for it. It's in the closet, I think.

Reed Loustalot: 0:57

I need to make more and this has been a focus of well focus I use that term loosely. I need more female friendly hats because I have to beg the women in my life to wear the trucker hat. Not a lot of them are super inclined to wear it or purchase it, so what will get there? You can be a consultant for me on that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:22

Yes, I know that Kaylee Nix was Freightwave's host, Freightwave's now host and she was very persistent on getting the dad hats and so I thought to myself, shoot, I should have waited to buy that one, because I think I was in your first run of hats that I purchased one and then I didn't really know what the heck was going to come from it. But it looks like it has fostered this sort of beautiful community of freight brokers and truckers and everybody kind of in between, a lot of people from the tech space. So you started a little bit of a movement.

Reed Loustalot: 2:00

Yeah, I mean, it's all. It's just a vibe, Maybe it's a movement, maybe it's a community, maybe it's a bunch of other things. I don't know what word we want to use, but we can get into that. But yeah, no, it's definitely been cool and was not on my bingo card for this year, I'll be honest. But yeah, we can get into it. So what do you want to start with?

Blythe Brumleve: 2:26

Let's start with the folks who probably saw you like pop up on LinkedIn within the last couple of months and have no idea where you have come from. They're probably like raising one eyebrow up very high. I can't do it myself, but for folks who may not know anything about you and wonder where the hell you came from. Give us a sense of what your back story is.

Reed Loustalot: 2:51

Am I like? I am making a concerted effort to not curse all the time.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:55

You can curse.

Reed Loustalot: 2:58

Okay, I might let flip a couple.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:59

This is podcasting. We can do whatever we want.

Reed Loustalot: 3:03

Okay, we're not on some other people's shows. Yeah, okay, I was at a college. I started a job as a carer sales rep at Echo. That was in 2016. Graduated like a lot of people who get into this industry, graduated from college. I have a philosophy degree. I like wasn't really sure what I wanted to do and you know, it's probably overthinking everything and was just kind of very aimless and obviously I needed to make money somehow. So I had a buddy who had graduated here before me and he was like, hey, like I can get in, you know, why don't you come work in freight? And I was like, oh okay, so I applied and I had moved to Boston my now wife was living there and so I moved out there after college and got a job at the Echo Boston office and ended up spending five years yeah, five ish years there, mostly in Boston, and then I moved to Chicago in September 2019. Then COVID happened and I moved back to Boston. So I spent five years in the brokerage side and then after that I left and went to Trimble, big CMS company, which most listeners probably have interacted with in some way, shape or form. I would assume I was there from January of 2021 until March of 2022 and I was working on a bunch of stuff. Don't need to really get into that, but I was.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:40

I got laid off.

Reed Loustalot: 4:41

March of 2022. I had been looking to build my own thing, whatever that meant, for a while and knew kind of I wanted to, but didn't have any good ideas. I was always writing ideas down, getting super excited about an idea and never actually doing anything about it, so I did that for years. But I started teaching myself how to code, got okay at that and then when I? got laid off, I was like, okay, I can either like do the sensible thing and go get a job, because if I just found out my wife was pregnant and yeah, so I could do the sensible thing. But I just didn't. And it's been like a year and a half and I've got a kid now and I've got a couple different things going on. So back story that's kind of my back story fell into freight on accident and I've just kind of ran with it.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:40

So were you a broker at echo.

Reed Loustalot: 5:42

Yeah, yeah, I was. I was a care yeah, care sales.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:44

So like I looked at the big list of shipments and went out and found trucks for him, so was it one of those situations where you come right out of college, they sit you down and tell you to start smiling, dialing?

Reed Loustalot: 5:57

Uh huh, yep, exactly. Yeah, it's really. It's a very simple job. It's gather, figure out where the trucks are, match it to loads, offer the loads to the carriers, book the loads, track and trace them, deal with all the nightmares that arise in that process. So I don't know how many loads I did when I was there was probably north of like 15,000. I think I did the math one time. It was a lot. So I was a decent. I was a decent rep. I wasn't the best, but I was. I was pretty good.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:30

So what was it like? I guess maybe going from like the freight broker or carrier sales role into like tremble, because that's a selling back into the audience like kind of like yourself yeah well, I was.

Reed Loustalot: 6:43

I was. So tremble had acquired this company called Cubix which was a shipper TMS and it was the first shipper TMS they had really acquired, to my knowledge at least, and I was kind of joy I joined because my former boss, the guy who had hired me at echo, had since left and started working at tremble. So he was like, hey, I'm doing this thing. We're kind of like trying to connect this shipper TMS with all of the carriers are using the tremble carrier TMS is and build like kind of like a marketplace type thing, and I was like that sounds cool, like I wanted to get in technology. I was just generally very interested in getting out of the kind of the day to day broker role which is very, very I'm sure all the listeners will not along and say that you know it's very stressful to do that for a long time and it's hard to. Sometimes when you're in it and you've been doing it for a long time, it's very easy to be kind of grass is always greener like I will literally go do anything else but this, even if you're making good money. So I that's basically where I was at. I was like I'm going to go do this new thing and see what happens. I was just looking for something new. I had moved to Chicago actually because I was interested in figuring out, like where the headquarters was at. Echo is interested in kind of trying to sink my teeth into some bigger stuff outside of just pure sales, and would say that I didn't really actually try that hard to do that when I moved there and just thought it would just naturally happen, which is not how things work. So so yeah, I was, I was looking for more and I certainly found something different Not going to speak ill of my former employer, but did a bunch of stuff and learned a lot of things, things you should do, things you shouldn't do, kind of saw the inside of a technology company, which was interesting and yeah, so how did you?

Blythe Brumleve: 8:42

I thought you were West Coast based.

Reed Loustalot: 8:45

Well, I well. So I went to college in Milwaukee and Marquette. So I lived in Wisconsin for college and then I moved to Boston immediately post college and then spent between there in Chicago seven years and then move back to Scottsdale where I grew up. Arizona is where I grew up. I moved back there in April of 2022. So, like literally right after I got fired, we I found I got fired, found out that we were going to have a kid and move across the country, Like so so yeah, now I now I have my residence is now in Arizona, but I've been in California all summer, so not being Arizona because it's hot as hell.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:32

You have to be really close to water during these hot as summers.

Reed Loustalot: 9:36

Yeah, 100%, hopefully. Hopefully that makes sense. I think I've just kind of said a lot. I don't know if I made. Anyway, I'm like I'm just some guy who you know worked in, worked in pray for a while, you know booked a lot of trucks. I spent a brief, a very, very brief amount of time as like a cradle grave, like independent agent at Armstrong transport. Like after I got fired I was like I had a buddy who runs an office for Armstrong. He's like hey, you want to come broker some freight? In the meantime I was like, yeah, sure, screw it. So I, yeah, I did that. So I've done. I've kind of worked in the split model. I've worked in the very briefly in an agent model. So I've kind of seen the brokerage role pretty, pretty good. But yeah, I don't know, I'm just figuring it out as I go.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:21

I think that's sort of the life of any you know entrepreneur, especially when you get into freight and you, you in, you go through like the entry level positions, because that's how I got started. I was an executive assistant, so I guess pretty much entry level, but then I also got to hear everything that was going on and like the broker floor, because my desk was right next to it and it was one of those things that as soon as I heard people like slamming the phones down, I was like that's a job I never want to do. So kudos to you guys for actually doing that job day in and day out, you know, for five years, like you said. But there comes a time, you know, when you you probably want a little bit of a change and then you know it just kind of happened, I think, maybe all at once for you. And so for the entrepreneurial side of things you also own, or you co founded, I believe, lost freight or you are the founder of lost freight. Can you tell us a little bit about what was the, I guess, the catalyst of wanting to start that company based on your? You had had experience at tremble, you had experience at echo. Why start lost freight?

Reed Loustalot: 11:26

Yeah, so I guess I'll get into it. So I, like I said, I started, I got fired, knew I wanted to do my own thing. That was March or 2022. Didn't know what that thing was or what it was going to be. All I know is that I wanted to do my own thing. Quote, unquote right, whatever the heck that means. So I I flew out to Chicago to visit my buddy who runs the Armstrong agency that I was gonna go, you know, work with, and so I was just gonna go out there and spend some time with him, learn the system, just kind of hang out and Figure it out. And I, in the background and previous to this is, like I said, been learning how to code. And when I was out there, he was like, hey, like you know, I know, I got a code, you know how to code, like, can you build this very basic like tracking portal and I won't get into the details I want that even means, but just just take it as that. It was a very like dumb as rocks tracking portal for Shipments that they wanted to be able to give tracking information to to some, some of their customers, and I was like, sick, yeah, I can build that sure, I've never built anything that anyone actually uses, but like I'll figure it out, so I.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:45

I.

Reed Loustalot: 12:45

Basically did it, built this thing myself, started the company lost freight, which is the name. Lost freight is just literally my last name LST like my last name is loose to low, but my dad's family pronounces it lost a lot and I built this, this moniker I I kind of claimed this moniker read is lost as like an email that I'd used for years before that, and so I literally was just like every you know endeavor that I would spin up, I would just use the word lost in the name, and so I was like, oh sure, lost freight. And then I spelled it fr8 because the domain was cheaper, so so that's why it's called lost freight. So I started that it was gonna be the tracking portal. I was like I'm gonna go find some more kind of like SMB brokers, smaller brokers who, might, you know, want to subscribe to this little tracking portal I built, and so I signed my buddy as a customer and they started poking around with it and I very quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing with regard to like Actually running a software product that people use for anyone who's built like actual, like written code and, you know, tried to stand up like a Kind of a more modern web app. It's like there's a lot that can break and you press a button a thousand times, yourself, you know, and it works. And then somebody knew presses it who's not you and everything breaks and you have no idea what's broken. So I that was basically me I had no, no clue what I was doing. These guys were trying to use this thing I was building and there are all these issues, but I'm not. I don't even want to sell myself short because I Tend to do that like it was pretty cool. Like what I was able to build myself and I learned a fun, but I spent a so much time doing it and I was basically learning from scratch. So it was. It was very informative as a good experience. I didn't know what that I was doing was way over my skis, and I had previously met probably Ten months before that I had met my now co-founder on Twitter talking about golf and crypto, and he turns out he was a, like a software engineer. And so just Previously, over the last ten months, we every time I would work on a project and it would like get stuck or I would break something. I would always just kind of put up the bat signal and be like hey, jake, can you come help me? Like, can you fix this for me? And he would come in. He would be like read this is like You're, what the hell are you doing? Like this is all fucked up. Like what is this? And I would be like, oh, whatever, just fix it. Like. And so he did that with the tracking thing. He basically was like, hey, I'll fix this, but like, what are you doing? Like, tell me about what you're doing. So I Told about what I was doing. At that time I'd also realized that maybe this product wasn't you know what I was going to inevitably build and stick with. So we kind of put our heads together and came up with this new direction. I was thinking about capacity and I was thinking a lot about the experience that I had had when I was a carrier sales rep and Just things I could build for carriers because a lot of my friends are carriers. And so we landed on this new idea, which is the current iteration of the business, which is a tool for carriers to kind of house How's capacity data and then share with all the brokers and shippers they work with. Well, you can get into what that means briefly, but we want. We settled on that idea in October of last year. Jake was like you're not doing any more coding. I was like, all right, good, that's, that's probably for the best. So I kind of have since just done everything else and he, over October to January, basically built the product and then we launched it in January. I'm kind of the rest is history, and all the, all the other BS that I've done since then that we'll talk about has just been a Result of me just doing stuff online, trying to market, without really knowing how to do it and without having really any resources to do it either.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:50

So because we've raised no money, like we've just dropped everything and just kind of figuring it out, so are you in freight Sales with a book of business, looking for a new home, or perhaps you're afraid agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the freight agent trenches, sponsored by SPI logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. I want better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI. Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI 3, plcom and and for folks who I guess maybe a little bit of a back story. So back when I was an executive assistant, I was also in charge of all of the marketing and one of my biggest like a heavy list still to this day that gives me a little bit of PTSD Is trying to get brokers to use an email marketing platform in order to send out their available loads and available equipment every day To their targeted base, and so it was always a pain in the butt. Some of them did it, some of them didn't, but for your product in particular, you actually help carriers. I incorrect me if I'm wrong, but you help carriers send out their equipment list to their broker connections. Right, exactly, yeah.

Reed Loustalot: 18:28

So basically my what I realized just reflecting on my experience as a broker, working and interfacing with carriers was a big part of my day as a as a carrier, sales rep and brokerages. You know Employee armies of these. Of these you know I was gonna say kids they're obviously not kids, but like armies of reps who just literally call carriers, ask, discover it like a little, uncover their capacity, call them and ask them where their trucks are, enter it into a system, get it matched with loads and then offer loads like that's what a book like. So the first portion of that just gathering capacity info Is was the vast majority of my day. It was like I was like I was like I was the vast majority of my day. It was like I had my carriers, the guys I was working with who I'd worked with forever, and then I would always be looking for new ones and I would just ask them a very basic set of questions every single day, multiple times a day when are your trucks? Where are your trucks? Where do you? Where do you, where do you need freight Right? What do you want me to look for? Like whatever permutation of this question. And so I was like you know it'd be. There were some carriers who were proactive about sharing that info with me, like they would send me an email truck list or Like would be on Google chat or or they would text me like hey, I've got a truck here, whatever, whatever form this took. Like the ones to proactively shared that info were way more I was way more likely to work with them and I was way more likely to spend time to go find them free because they made my life easier, like if I didn't have to pick up the phone and call them to get this info that I needed to go find them loads. Then I was Like I could just passively scroll on their email or or whatever. Like I was, it was better for them, it was better for me and it was just kind of the, the water, so to speak, of the relationship. Like if our relationship care, broker care relationship is like a seed, like that was like watering the seed, essentially, to use a use a kind of a metaphor. So we really we do provide a platform for carriers to house capacity data and then share it right, and one of the ways they can share it on the platform is with an email truck list, and I've kind of backed into the the understanding that this is like email marketing for a carrier, you know. So we've got a nice clean, kind of pretty simple way for a carrier to build like a profile, like a company profile, and one of the things that I think is a component of the profile is their capacity, their truck list, and they can share it on their public profile. That exists, like you know. It's just a link they can share with whoever they want, and then the other way that they can share it is the truck list, so they can go in and build an email list as many brokers as they want and, you know, when their truck list is up to date and they want to send it out, they can press like two buttons and send it to their whole list. We've also got a list of like preferred brokers that are people that they don't know but have signed up to like receive truck lists. So it's like just a very simple way for them to introduce, get introduced to new people through the platform. So that's a new thing. We're we're not new now, it's like a month or two old and that's been really cool. But yeah, I mean it's. It's really really simple and I guess you know from a, from a tech standpoint. It's like you know, we didn't reinvent the wheel, you know. I mean, it is very, very, very simple and I wanted, I was very purposeful about wanting to go from. You know, for a lot of carriers, this info capacity lives in their head. It doesn't really live anywhere. Like I want to go from it lives in their head to it lives here and we'll figure out what to do with it. Now that it's here, we'll figure out ways to share it. We'll figure out ways to integrate it into other people's systems. But like I'm not obsessed with integrations like off of that, right, we got to have it here first. And If it's too much, if it's too like tech pro-y, like you're never gonna get carriers anyway. So, yeah, what do you think it is? Because it sounds like such a beneficial thing for both sides to do.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:23

But I guess, with the context of Brokers versus carriers, like the dynamic of that relationship, we all know that like a good broker carrier relationship is best for every single person, broker carrier relationship is best for everyone involved. But it seems like there's a lot of like stuff boiling underneath that's ready to sort of like explode out with like truckers verse or carriers versus brokers. Why do you think that is when there are tools and solutions like yours that that exists to make that relationship a little bit smoother?

Reed Loustalot: 23:03

There's a lot. There's a lot that goes wrong and there everybody's kind of constantly at each other's throats in this world and there's a lot of people who aren't. You know. Carriers have a bad taste in their mouth a lot of times when they're talking to brokers that they don't know you know and and it's, I think, also their suspect of technology, because so much of the technology that does exist is for the benefit of brokers and shippers and is kind of For carriers, is like an afterthought or like their presence on any platform is more for the benefit of the people who actually write the big checks, which are brokers and like if you look at the tech that's built like and people say this to me all the time and they could very well be right, but it's like most of the stuff is built for brokers because brokers are the ones who pay for technology. You know name like that's, that's the mark, that's the market. So if you want to make money and you want to be able to charge people like, go after the customer that writes big checks that doesn't churn, that that is Open to technology, right. Don't go to the customer that is penny pinching, is churns a lot, that is high maintenance and that ultimately has a really low like LTV, like they're not gonna pay you a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. So I Think carriers are suspect of technology and so I mean, man, there's just so much that goes into it. But just I think really what I was fool maybe foolishly, depending on you ask trying to do is like I really don't want to worry about brokers. Like brokers receive these truck lists, brokers can go on a carrier's profile and consume the info passively, but like we have no product for brokers right now, it's all carriers. The funny thing is the as I get way more inbound from brokers than I do from carriers. So like everything's, it's all, it's all screwed up, I mean it's it's. It's just interesting to me and I'm very much like I try not to get like Jaded about, like how, how that actually is, like it's just frustrating that I'm trying to do something for carriers but sometimes they just are like they just assume that it's not for them even though it is so. It's an interesting it's just an interesting family. It's been a very it's been a.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:26

It's been a A journey full of learning so far and I think, too, we're almost like scurrying around the, the topic of like just technology and trucks in general, and I think that it's sort of almost like left drivers with a bad taste in their mouth of like adopting any kind of technology and Because of how they've been kind of like screwed over in the you know the autonomous trucks or ELDs or you know Cameras that are facing them while they're driving, you know things like that. Yes, the the mass surveillance, not respecting of their time. You know, I I think Gord who is Twitter. He was Twitter famous. He's not on Twitter anymore, but you might have read a stub stack or listen to his podcast. He's one of the voices that I really tried to listen to as far as like the driver perspective, and it feels like there's just almost like a resistance to a lot of transportation tech. Do you get that feeling too? Yes, 100%.

Reed Loustalot: 26:25

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I think that you know if we can lump, very crudely, lump, the existing tech into buckets, it's like, and then how it relates to carriers or how they view it. It's a lot of it is surveillance to them, right, like ELDs, even if you can make the argument that it's not, or you can paint a picture where it benefits them great, like I'm not saying that there's not those cases, but like surveillance, like tracking, visibility stuff, like all of these things that all these products that all the brokers use that carriers end up having to interface with. I just think that they have a bad taste in their mouth about it all, for better, for worse, whether it's a deserved or not, like that's just the reality. And when you build something new and you go out and you try to sell the carriers, it's hard to avoid getting lumped into that bucket as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:20

So, yeah, so I think that's probably a lot at one time, though, too, because a lot of these, I think. What was it? The ELD mandate went into effect? What? Maybe? Two years ago, a few years ago?

Reed Loustalot: 27:34

So it's all still 2018.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:36

Yeah, but it's still. It felt like a lot at one time. So it's the ELDs, it's the, the tracking, it's. Install this app on your device and install this app in your truck. It feels like a lot all at one time, where it almost, you know, is maybe just a tech overload problem, where you have five different apps for one job, functionality to work with ten different brokers.

Reed Loustalot: 28:03

Yeah, I mean everybody that's. That is another problem. That fatigue is real and and and you If we're talking about capacity posting your trucks or a loadboard type stuff all the major brokers, all the big ones at least, are all working on or already have their own proprietary private loadboards. And then there's a bunch of companies that have risen to the task of providing that same sort of feature set to SMB and mid-market brokers. So everybody wants their own app, and for good reason, because if you're a big broker, you don't want all your freight posted on a board where your competitors can go and search for it or where you're not able to tightly control who can access it, because you're opening yourself up to fraud, like somebody might be able to piece together who your customers are. I mean, there's just a bunch of different reasons why you don't want that and why you would prefer to just have your own experience. So the byproduct of that, the end result of that, is everybody's built their own thing and all the carriers are on 100 different apps and each app is asking them to provide the same basic set of data, which is what lanes do you run, where are your trucks, where do you need freight? How do I get in touch with you, all this basic stuff and everybody wants it, but at the same time, nobody is going to share it with each other. You know what I mean. If I'm a carrier and I download CH Robinson's app and I can enter my capacity in there, like CH Robinson's never going to be, like oh yeah, sure, echo or Coyote or TQL, here's this capacity data that this carrier entered into my app. Oh no, they're not going to do that. Why would that? And so really, at least in theory, in an ideal world, I would very much, and what I've been envisioning from the beginning is a carrier who has this one to many platform to just house this very basic set of data in and maintain it in lost freight, and then we can dig the channels to share it in other platforms. I mean, that was like a very obvious idea from the start, and other people I mean that's not a new idea either. People have tried that. But really, what you're trying to solve for is okay, and what you need to be able to say to carriers is hey, you're going to come here, you're going to log in here, you're going to put this data here, but it's going to benefit you in your relationship and your interactions with all your other brokers. This isn't just you enter it here and it only benefits one person. It's you enter it here and you can add all your brokers to your email list and interface with all of them. But funny enough, even that that message is lost on a lot of carriers too.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:46

That's what I was going to say how are you combating the messaging to carriers? Knowing everything we just talked about, it's probably got to be a challenging sell to them.

Reed Loustalot: 30:55

It's really hard. I mean, it's on the one hand, there's just generally carriers and truckers are everywhere, they're across all social media platforms. They're not in very well concentrated in any one place. And then with regard to what I'm selling like the product I'm selling I don't necessarily want to just sell it to a driver, I'm trying to sell it to a fleet owner, and so I've been thinking a lot about this. I have no formal marketing training. I'm figuring it all out on the fly for better or for worse, and I've also been allergic historically to just marketing in general, naively, not for any good reason. I've realized In many ways selling to carriers, especially small carriers, is not just B2B. In many ways it's kind of like B2C. So it's got this weird kind of hybrid thing going on that just makes it extra challenging. So just get a message, even in front of them, is hard.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:03

Have you had any sort of like lipo moments while you're figuring out? Because I think that was definitely the case for me. I have no formal marketing training outside of going to conferences. I was a waitress that my boss invested in me and sent me to conferences to learn. So that's the extent of my training, but it was learning by doing and let's throw something up against the wall and see if it sticks. That's sort of been my go-to method for 10 years. It sounds like it's a little bit of what you're focusing on doing right now, but have you had any like light bulb moments that you've said to yourself like, wow, this is really working.

Reed Loustalot: 32:44

I wish that I could say I have, specifically within the domain of getting carriers to sign up for and pay for loss for it. I am still searching for that, honestly, and I don't know if, like I know, it will come, and there's a ton of things that I need to be doing that I know I need to be doing to further push that product. That I'm just not doing because I'm, for better, for worse, a very kind of distracted person and I do and run around and we'll probably get into this. But I've done a lot of other things since I started trying to sell this to carriers too, and so my attention is all over the place and I've raised no money, so I've not been able to hire anybody to do the things that I'm not focused on doing that I should be. So the light bulb will come. I have some ideas about what the light bulb is like where the switch is. It's just doing the work. To flip the switch is like I need to do that more. Yeah, if I'm honest with myself, I feel you on that.

Blythe Brumleve: 33:56

Because it's when you're an entrepreneur, when you're a founder, like you're, the ideas are so easy and writing them down is, you know, one of those things where it's like, wow, look at all these great ideas, but if you don't actually execute on them, like nothing comes from those ideas.

Reed Loustalot: 34:12

Yeah, I do. They're stupid. These are cheap. That's where I show People are like, oh, if you're listening and you're like, oh man, like I don't want to share this idea, somebody's gonna steal it. No, one's gonna steal your idea. Your idea sucks, like I guarantee you, your idea sucks. All my ideas suck, like. Anyway, sorry, go on.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:29

Well, I was gonna say, well, speaking of ideas, maybe ones that don't suck, let's get into a little bit of the please advise hat phenomenon. How did it get started?

Reed Loustalot: 34:45

Well, I mean, when you're a broker and when you're in this world, we send a lot of emails and stuff's always going wrong and we would very much like to, in many situations, say a lot of things that we can't say, and so, in lieu of saying to a carrier, or saying to a coworker, or saying to a customer who has done something wrong or is doing something wrong and you're trying to figure out what's going on like, you would probably prefer to say, hey, like what the fuck? Like what are you doing? But instead you just say, please advise. So I've always enjoyed the phrase. It's a good phrase, stripping with meaning. You can use it a lot of different ways. It's like a Swiss army knife. I love it. It's a good phrase and so that, put that over here. In February, I built, so put that over there. I like the phrase put over here. I like building shit. I like buildings, I like building. The idea of building something very, very simple, like a very simple website, and then getting it to go viral and Just like using social media and using just like word of mouth to like try to spread something is like. Also something I'm interested in just the general idea of like virality and so in. In February I built this site called pleaseadviseai, which was used the GPT API from OpenAI and prompted users for a warehouse name and would generate and the idea was I was gonna get. I was like what's the most useful thing I can use AI for for truck drivers? I was like excuses. Like these guys are late, like they're too busy to like come out with an excuse, so like we'll just let AI do it. So you type in if you're gonna try it. It doesn't work because I need to refresh the API key, so you'll just watch Braveheart spin for Anyway, sorry. Yeah. So I built that in February and just kind of like Cut it out there and just made like a stupid tick tock. That was like hey, do you need an excuse? Like here you go. And so that was cool. And then I was like I don't know, I just like this phrase. So I wrote it on a piece of paper and Cut it out. Like well, now you can cut it out. Like ripped it apart and kind of made and then taped it on top of a hat I already had, which maybe, maybe you've seen pictures of that. So I did that and then I wore the hat on the first time I ever went on what the truck with doon or which was maybe in March, I think. So I wore it there and Just for fun, I guess, just because it's outrageous, and and and. Then I actually initially I found I last night I was scrolling through LinkedIn. I've to see, when I started posting on LinkedIn, one of the first things I said was like hey, like what, anybody want a hat that says please advise on it, and like one person this might have been like March. One person was like yeah, like, sure, like, and the funny thing is that person hasn't even bought one of the hats yet. So it was literally like nobody, ever nobody said anything because I had nobody following me and it was just like a very stupid thing to say like in this professional setting. And so, anyway, I hit up this hat company and was like I'm just gonna make these hats, so I made 12 and I put them on Twitter and like a stripe link and Sold 12 of them, and then I ordered some more, and then I ordered some more, and I ordered some more and I've sold a lot of them.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:23

So and you've also built like this community too around it where we've talked about it on Freight friends with great. She comes on once a month but we were we were talking about the to be able to see Other people that work in freight who have bought this hat and to see it on a map. It's just really fun to it, almost like it. Like you can all how do I say this? You can put a face like with social media, we have faces to names, but you don't, I guess, grasp the entirety of sort of like a freight friends group Until you see it like laid out on a map where it's like wow, there's, there's ten of us.

Reed Loustalot: 39:08

Yeah, no, no, it's, it's. So I guess the thread that connects all the things I'm doing is just like Just literally making it up as I go, like I have very like I Maybe I can in hindsight draw a strategy, you know, kind of try to Pull the thread through all the things I've done. But I just really have, for better, for worse, just figured it out with a bunch of other things and I'm realizing now in hindsight that it's cool and there's a lot you can do with it and a lot will be done in the near future to try to take what I've done and turn it into something more formal and Try to do even more cool shit. So that's vague, but that's vague, but we'll get there, but oh, go ahead. Go ahead.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:10

I was gonna. That was a really good lead into the discord community because I don't know that a lot of folks in freight were Familiar with discord but now like 500 of them are and you've built up this community. How did you? Did you start this specifically for lost freight and then it kind of evolved into something more? Or or did you start it with it bringing the whole sort of freight community together in mind?

Reed Loustalot: 40:35

No, no, I started it because initially, Well, jake and I used it personally amongst ourselves to communicate about just like building the damn thing Back. So we I started it. I think I started it September 13th and it was just that whole time was just me and him and then like a private channel, just talking. And then I thought, okay, maybe I'll like invite some customers used and use it as like a feedback channel. But very quickly, as soon as I started getting more active on Twitter, I Just started inviting people to it and it's just just kind of taken on a life of its own. I Haven't really, yeah, just in just only recently, I've started to do more like actual formal stuff within it, but historically it's just been kind of a chat room and whenever I talk to people who are, who seem interesting, I have a lot of conversations, like for better, for worse. I'm super, like I said, I'm distracted person. So somebody reaches out and they're like hey, you want to talk? Like, at least for now, like I've been sure, yeah, why not? Like I like talking to people. So, and usually the end result of that is me inviting them to the discord and then buying a hat or they may be a vortibund hat. They just want to participate. So, like I think it's, it's. It was not on purpose. I had no intention of doing the things I've done from the beginning, and but we have whatever it is like 400, almost 500 people in there now and we're doing formal events and there's a lot of good, there's a lot of good conversations that are being had and there's a lot of things. Yeah, there's a lot of good conversations that I don't think are really happening Anywhere else.

Blythe Brumleve: 42:28

Yeah, I would agree because it the free community. Especially with as long as I've been doing marketing in this space, it has always been so fragmented it's it's always been challenging to try to do something a little bit creative. I always thought, you know, I come from the sports and entertainment world too. We're like sports and entertainment kind of set the bar so high as far as like how entertaining you can be, but then on the freight side of things, it was always like, well, this is what everybody else has been doing, so I guess I'll just do some of the same. But it really wasn't until 2020 when COVID hit. Those conferences that were in person first went Digital, and so that's where, like a lot of social networking started, especially on LinkedIn within the freight community. But it was always on LinkedIn and it wasn't on any other platform. And but now, with Twitter, slash X starting to grow, now discord is in the mix. It feels like there are starting to be like these solidified places where some of those in my opinion, more interesting Conversations are happening, because for folks who who may maybe I should back up a little for folks who don't know discord is almost like a reddit. It's almost like a slack, kind of married together and for that, I guess, sort of the user experience, you can have different discords that you're a part of, but then within each Discord like the lost freight discord you can have different channels, like one is for tech, one is for AI, one is for truckers. Then you also, like you alluded to, you have these different events. You have Tech bro Tuesday, you have freight therapy sessions. I believe you also have Regular like AI sessions where if you're working in any capacity or interested in AI whatsoever, like I've learned, I feel like I'm pretty in that community, like the freight AI community, and I've learned things that I never even thought about just by simply joining the discord, because you can host audio events. Last week, there was one of your discord members, garrett. He was actually showing how to build AI tools and if you're interested halfway interested in any of this, like this is the place to Go and learn and to talk about it, which I think is really cool and no one else has done Until you guys. So I mean, obviously, like kudos to you. Did you think any of this was gonna come out of it or it was just kind of like rolling the dice and seeing what's gonna stick?

Reed Loustalot: 44:57

I Think I started in February or yeah, in like February, what right when I started selling the hats, which I think was April, I think I that's right. When, when I sold first of all, when I stole, like when I told my wife, when I told, like my partner Jake, like I'm gonna go sell these hats, like everybody was like you're insane, that's not gonna work. Like what are you talking about? Like that is like the dumbest thing I've ever heard. And I was just like, okay, whatever, like maybe it is. And so, right in April, when I sold, when I put the first link up, like when I put, when I first Ordered the first 12 and I put a stripe link up that didn't have a picture of the hat at all, like I I didn't know what it was gonna look like, and and I just said, hey, if you want a hat, like buy one here. And I sold them all on the first day. I was like, oh, this is like ha, ha, like jokes on you guys, like this is gonna be sick, and and still, like I sold whole hats, you know, I mean like it's not like whatever it is it's. I was a three-figure e-commerce founder. That's what I. That's that's what I titled myself, um, anyway, yeah, so around that time is when the discord started to like kind of tick up a little bit. I that right then and there I was, like this is, these are like three different businesses that are like right here in front of me and I had, I kind of started thinking, pie in the sky coming up with all these probably horrible ideas. But some of them won't be and some of them become true and some of them already have. That like when you know, when you get a group of people together in in a very like informal setting that's Driven by kind of jokes and fun and just like good vibes, like there's a lot of cool things you can do, but but that environment is very hard to foster and it's really easy to ruin. And companies it's just companies are, I feel like especially in freight are really boring and are not equipped to do something like that, for better or for worse. And if you set out with the explicit goal of like, oh, we're gonna build a community or whatever it's like when things are forced, it like it doesn't work sometimes. So I I've taken a hands-off approach, but at the same time I've been like, okay, I know, we're gonna be able to do cool stuff, but like I can't force anything and so I'm just kind of like Stir in the pot, so to speak, and I'm letting it tell me what is possible and I'm doing what I can to kind of nudge it in the direction of what I think is gonna be possible as a result. I know this is all vague, but like I think that's a good way to put it. So I mean, we've got the tech pro Tuesday event. I started I it's only been a month since I started doing that like and we've got, like yesterday I don't know how many people, like 30, some odd people, like it's like almost midnight on like a work night and people are talking about like EI, like In a discord group, like and we've got people who are, like you know, equipped to actually do something about things right, people who can build stuff, and so I already know there are people in the discord who are like building their own products, like they're already demoing them in the, in the event, so long term, I mean, who the hell knows what's gonna come out of this like, but it's gonna be really cool and, at the same time, like, as time goes on, the bigger the group gets. The bigger our distribution is as a group, the bigger my distribution is. I'm just gonna be in a position to say to people hey, you, if you've got a good idea, here's a group of people who are users, here's a group of people who are potential customers. Here's a group of people who are like, maybe there's a fuck, maybe there's there's partners or employees or Integrations or whatever all here and you can just come right here and, instead of starting from zero yourself, you can plug into this platform I built and Everything's there. And if you have an idea and you want to build it, like, I can help. You know, like I don't want to do it myself, but I can help you, like I can send a couple tweets. So you know, we started with the tech pro Tuesday thing. That was super cool. I mean, we've been doing freight therapy, which is a Twitter space. We've been doing that for a couple months. That's just been. That's just like memes, like screw around, like have fun on Thursday nights. So we're still doing that. But I kind of put the, I kind of put the call out to the group, maybe like a month ago, and said, hey, if you have an idea for an event, like here's a space to host it in. I'll help you market it, but it's your thing and I Because I can't do everything myself, you know. I mean, I can't do everything myself and I don't want it to be about me. You know it's not about me, and and so I kind of put that call out there and Garrett Answered it and started his like AI thing. He's like an engineer I Don't know if he wants me to say where, but he works at a big company as an engineer professionally, and so he, he started his thing. We're playing with the name I think he's still calling it a I take over but I think somebody else suggested the name dot AI boys, which I thought was just like really funny, like all these companies who use the domain like the domain dot AI I. Just that's pretty funny. But anyway, yeah, so he started that and I was like hey, like I'll do some tweets, like but you, this is your thing. And so I think the first time he did it he had like almost as many people as we get on tech pro Tuesday. So like that's pretty damn cool.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:31

And these are all people in the trenches, like at various sectors of the freight industry. So you have drivers, you have engineers, you have executives, you have just brokers. It's you have a good mix of a variety of the community.

Reed Loustalot: 50:50

Yeah, I mean, the whole point and that's really what I wanted from the beginning was like I don't, I mean you, it's so cliche to say that the industry is siloed, but it's so true. I mean it's like and it's very. You see that online too, right, you've got all the brokers and all the tech pros on LinkedIn just like hitting each other with these like gobbledygook, buzzword, six paragraph posts that say very little. You got that and they all like it. I'm not even shitting on it. They all like it and it works for them. Great, but there's no drivers hanging out. Maybe there's a couple, but they're not like. It's not like going to Facebook, to a Facebook group, where all the drivers are talking about broker transparency or whatever, right, and so drivers in Facebook, for better, for worse, brokers and tech people on LinkedIn, and then Twitter has just always been this kind of whatever, just very amorphous thing. But I always wanted from the beginning to try to just get people from every group right, because when you can do that, when you can get people talking to each other and all kind of bought into the same vibe and under the same umbrella, so to speak, like there's a lot of cool things that can probably happen as a result of that. So a lot of these engineers like a lot of the tech, a lot of the people in the tech chat like are building stuff for drivers or brokers and have literally like never talked to one you know, Like it's crazy and you'd think you know if you're building for somebody, you would talk to them, but it's not always that simple, for better, for worse. So, like we had a guy last week, I've been Kevin Rutherford, who's got his stuff. I participate in a decent amount of his Twitter spaces and so I've met a ton of drivers in there. He's got a huge driver audience on a Rapsamunli, and so a couple of those guys have trickled into the tech pro chat and are just like I don't know what the hell you guys are saying, but I'm gonna sit here and listen, and so you just never know what will happen when you can do that.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:49

There was one during the, because I was in on the AI takeover session and there was one moment that it just it stood out to me as far as, like, the power of this community, because there you know, you got Garrett that's building an AI tool like right in front of your eyes, but then you also have a driver that's talking about how some of her drivers are going to. The English is not their first language, and so they're going to a lot of these different truck stops. Everything is in English. And so she was like I need an AI to help my drivers understand what's going on at these different locations, and I thought why hasn't anyone? It seems like something that is so simple, a simple tool to give to your drivers, and that is one thing that I was like wow, where else in online are these conversations happening?

Reed Loustalot: 53:43

And I don't think there are. I think that's the only place. I agree, I agree and the conversations are good, but what I really want to be able to provide is a place to really tighten and expedite this like iteration process to where somebody who's got an idea can come here and, in one place, get access to feedback, users, distribution, so that they can go quick. And because right now it's like it's hard to go fast in this industry when you start from zero and you're building a piece of tech, even if it's super simple, lost race really. I mean, it's a very simple idea, but I started from zero and it's hard to start from zero, especially without raising money. And so what you see is in the startup scene and Frade is like, for better or for worse, a lot of people starting from zero, and the end results of that is like you have to go and raise a bunch of money, you have to like, maybe do things the way you wouldn't want to do it to be attractive enough to go and raise money, and there's a lot of stealth mode stuff and there's a lot of just not rapid iteration and I just want people to be able to. If you ask developers and engineers who hire engineers for the logistics base, they're all just like yeah, it's hard to hire the best talent because it's not sexy or it doesn't pay what it does if you go work at Google and all that stuff. I think a lot of it in another question I guess I've asked a lot of the engineers, especially the ones who have hired people for these roles or have teams manage teams is how often do you have an employee of yours who comes to you and says, hey, I built this thing for Frade in my spare time. Can we build this product or can we do this Cool ideas? And most of them have said never. That's never happened. And to me that isn't just because everybody's lazy and we have no good people in the industry. Clearly that's not true at all. I just think it's like you need the environment to do to launch those sorts of things, and in other industries that exists and there's very. If you talk about developer tooling or if you talk about crypto, for better or for worse, crypto, being a very open and composable system, allowed people to come in and really sink their teeth into and build shit quick and iterate quick, and there was kind of a right market. That's a good environment for people to latch on and start to try stuff and I know this is super messy, but what I'm saying. But really I want to try to bring that same sort of thing and make it possible in this world. I don't know if that makes any sense.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:45

Well, there was this article in Business Insider this week that was talking about how a lot of millennials and Gen Z they are not posting to traditional social media platforms in a traditional sense. So, for example, instagram, the picture that you post, there's probably 30 other pictures just like it and you picked the perfect one in order to post. And so for a lot of millennials and Gen Z, they are now avoiding posting altogether and instead moving to these smaller niche communities. They're moving to group DMs on these platforms and that's where the growth is happening in the social space. And so, as you're talking, it makes a ton of sense why the community has grown so much and these conversations are taking place. It's because there hasn't really been another form for them to have that a little bit of an outlet, whether it's their current job or their current social media landscape. It feels like that maybe this community is giving that to them.

Reed Loustalot: 57:51

Yeah, no, I agree, and I think really, when I started in the industry, I was looking for if what I'm building now in this group existed and I could have joined it in 2016. When I started, that's really what I was looking for and I was looking to sink my teeth into it and interact with people in informal setting, to learn more and talk about ideas and do all this cool stuff. And it just doesn't really existed. And maybe it has, and I don't know about it. I'm open to that idea, but I don't know if it has, so I'm yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 58:30

Would you have been nervous to share your idea?

Reed Loustalot: 58:35

Probably because I had never built anything and I didn't know, I wouldn't have known that the idea is essentially meaningless. Ideas are just there, are no, really there's probably no idea we could come up with in this industry that hasn't been thought of, or it very, very likely hasn't been tried. So the idea is not. And I'm not even being cynical. I don't think Ideas are fun. I love ideas, but the hard part and the hard part isn't even building a product. We talked about this a lot yesterday. The hard part about building a product and launching a company and growing it, the hard part is distribution. The hard part is selling it. The hard part is bringing it to market. The hard part is getting people to understand what it is, getting people to use it. That's the hard part. The hard part's not building it. We got plenty of engineers. You can hire a dev team for wherever to build product for you and people do that and great. But that's not the hard part. Yeah it's definitely the execution of a consistent. People need to share too. So just on this point generally it's like man, I know that in, I know that I can say confidently now that I owe every bit of success quote unquote I've had so far to just sharing and oversharing. Really, I try to encourage people to tweet Because even if the tweets are stupid, it literally doesn't matter. Just everyone's going to forget. If you say something stupid, nobody's going to remember.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:10

And the algorithm isn't going to show it to anyone anyways.

Reed Loustalot: 1:00:13

Yeah, and especially if you have no followers, I encourage everybody to overshare, literally, because you just never know what's going to happen. It's like the internet is very magical and it's hard for us to it's. Sometimes it's easy to forget that whoever is on the other side of a chat or on the other end interacting with one of your tweets or scrolling past whatever and email newsletter, whatever, a piece of content, those are actual people. And if you do that enough and you put ideas enough out there, somebody's going to latch onto it and find it and say something to you. And you do that enough, crazy magic happens. It's just reality. So if you're listening, you should start tweeting or exing, whatever the hell we call it.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:01:00

Now we're going to stay calling it tweeting, I refuse to call it exing or whatever you're posting, I think is what Elon prefers us to call it. But Twitter is just so iconic brand, iconic verbiage If you invent a verb, you should use it forever.

Reed Loustalot: 1:01:20

I tend to agree with you, although I and I'm not like an Elon stand by any means, I do, but I am interested. I don't think it's going to matter in the long run. I think it's going to be fine, but we don't have to get bogged down on that. But let me say this I am in the process right now and this is some alpha for the show I'm in the process of putting some stakes in the ground and launching the please advice thing as its own thing, and so there's going to be basically a media company, honestly. So more to come on that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:01:59

I know what else do you got to share about that. You can't just leave us hanging like that.

Reed Loustalot: 1:02:03

Yeah, no, I mean, I think that there's a lot of good conversation and conversations can be good content and a lot of times the conversations are about content. And there's this little loop in this situation that I want to tap into, because there's a lot of good, there is good freight content out there.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:02:28

You know what?

Reed Loustalot: 1:02:29

I mean, like there's you, there's insert other podcasters, insert other. You know, gord, you mentioned Like there's a bunch of people kind of bubbling under the surface and I very much would like to be able to lend the platform that I'm building to them and create almost just like, yeah, just lend the platform to them. So I have a bunch of ideas for that and we're going to be doing more events in the Discord. We're going to be figuring out new and interesting ways to kind of package the conversations that are being had as content. I think there's going to be a lot of opportunity for to do some cool stuff that you can't really do anywhere else. So that's probably a little vague still, but we're going to do more events, mostly online. But I mean, I've been traveling a decent amount lately and I've been doing these kind of like get-togethers. I've done two of them. I guess I should say so it's not a lot, but you know, last week on Tuesday, I had a meetup with Mike Bush and Long Beach and we got like seven people to show up, just you know, but from us just posting, like we didn't send out an invite or anything, we literally just posted, and I had a couple dudes show up from Twitter, which was sweet oh no, yep. Yeah, and then last week I was in Chattanooga doing some stuff and we did one on Thursday and had some freeways for people to come, and you know. And then a couple people from Twitter, including a trucker, parked his truck with his girlfriend that the truck stopped nearby, went out a route, parked his truck, ubered to meet us at the bar which was sweet and hung out with us all night. So I'm really interested in just gathering all these different people together and that could be in Discord, that could be in real life, it could be whatever, all over the place, or to come.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:04:25

Yeah, that's definitely really cool to see almost like the growth of it where it happens in these. I call them like digital handshakes, but then they turn into real life relationships that can only be enhanced further by those digital connections, because we're, you know, we're all busy, we all have things to do, our attention spans are, you know, 30 seconds, if that, and so where we choose to spend our time online and then where we choose to spend our time online, that moves in person. I think that that, you know, somebody might hear, like an executive might hear oh, only seven people showed up, but, like you said, there was no marketing behind it. A couple people from Twitter showed up Like you can't measure the ROI of that because it's going to just continue to snowball on top of each other. But you can't build the snowball without getting started at first.

Reed Loustalot: 1:05:15

Yeah, no, that's a very good point. I think it's going to be, especially in the beginning, a lot more figuring it out and how we inevitably are able to monetize it is. I mean, there's going to be kind of the more traditional ways you monetize media. But, like I do think that there is a serious opportunity for me to be providing a very engaged and bought-in group of people Like this audience is not just, like you know, newsletters, like a newsletter audience. These are people who are like bought into the brand, like are there, participating right and are super engaged, which is awesome, and you can't have that unless there's like actual good energy. And so really I just want to continue the energy we have and just the good vibes and just figure out how to grow it, not for not growth at all costs. It's not just a numbers game. Numbers is like a vanity stat and in many ways it's hard to measure. You can't measure vibes. You know what I mean. How the fuck do you measure vibes? And I've been joking around with the sonar people from the beginning. Like the Pleasad Vibes index, like put that in sonar and it's always up and to the right and it never goes down. Literally never goes down. I joke about that. But it's like, how the hell do you measure that? I don't know. How do you benchmark that? How do you chart performance? Like you're an advertiser and you want to advertise in this space? Like how do I go and say, hey, we've got 400 people, but they all love each other. You should pay me more because of that. I don't know, I'm going to figure it out. I'm not naively. Maybe I should be more worried about it, because I do need to make money. I need to make money somehow. I don't have a job. I've been doing all this stuff for a year and a half. I feel like I've delivered some value, hopefully, to people and they tell me every day that I do, which is cool, but I need to. There's a lot you can do when it's more formal, but always we need to maintain the vibes.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:07:33

For sure I think that is a pretty good well. I would end it right there, but I have these questions that I typically ask at the end of each interview, and I got to ask you some of these, so one of them that I have on my list is who are the most interesting companies and freight to you?

Reed Loustalot: 1:07:55

So there is this company called Genlogs. He has a couple of other co-founders who I haven't met, but his name is Ryan. I met him at Freight Waves in Cleveland at the Future Supply Chain Show. They are doing some interesting stuff. They are kind of bubbling under the surface, Genlogs. I like them a lot. I am super interested in this product that Garrett is building. He is in stealth mode right now but he has actually demoed it. He has demoed it a decent amount in the Discord. I am bullish on that. Beyond that, for better or for worse, I am much more interested in the low-key stuff. I am more interested in Garrett building something on the side in his spare time than I am in some company that has raised $100 million at some crazy valuation that hasn't got a product. I like those two.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:08:57

I will stick with those two Good answers for that Next one Favorite social media platform and why.

Reed Loustalot: 1:09:08

It is no question I am a Twitter guy. I love Twitter. I think it is the best thing ever. There is why I just think it is the most disorganized and it is in most chaotic. I just am a potster. It is just way better. I don't even have a good reason. It is also the hardest to grow on, in my opinion. I make memes. I have made some memes just in my day, just for fun. I started posting them on Twitter. We get a couple likes. I am now friends with Paul Krikaviar. He was like you should make an Instagram and post these memes there. I was like okay, screw it. I have got 1,500 followers almost on Instagram for doing nothing. I have got 2,000 or 2,200 followers on Twitter. That has taken me so long and so much work to do. I think Twitter is way more intimate. I just like it way more.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:10:20

I feel like you can definitely tell people's personality way more by their tweets and what they like. Back when I used to do sports interviews, I would never I would see the PR list of questions from the teams that they wanted us to ask, but I would skip all that. Go right to their Twitter and see what have they liked in the last six months. That is going to tell me a lot more about that person. It is going to be way more interesting than if it is the PR questions. It has been a little bit challenging to use that same strategy and freight, but hopefully with more and more people joining the platform. We are going to get more people.

Reed Loustalot: 1:10:57

We are converting people from LinkedIn. Come on guys. What are we doing here? Come over Back.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:11:05

LinkedIn is one of those. I have just shit-talked so many people on Twitter for so long that LinkedIn felt like my professional rebrand. Now it is at times where I just want to bring that Twitter energy over to that platform, but I get a little nervous to do so because what my persona, that I built there is professional, that mindset, whereas Twitter it is just. I am throwing grenades, leaving for a few hours and coming back and seeing if I exploded anybody's brain.

Reed Loustalot: 1:11:40

I echo that sentiment. I used to hate LinkedIn. I thought it was stupid, but now I have realized that it is like damn. I have sold so many hats on LinkedIn I do not know how many, but it is just because, since I am not employed and I can just say whatever I want for better or worse, I can go there and just do outrageous things. People are going to be like what the hell? I do not mind being the circus clown at all. It is a useful thing to be able to do. I will go to LinkedIn and post an unhinged meme. I do not give a shit. Anyway, I like LinkedIn. I probably put that number too, to be honest.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:12:17

Really Okay. We got X's, the first one. Then LinkedIn. Do you do anything on TikTok or YouTube?

Reed Loustalot: 1:12:23

I have tried. I do have a TikTok and I tried to make it for lost rate to share the message. I have not taken it seriously. This media deal is going to change all that YouTube, all that stuff, but it is probably not going to be me doing it.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:12:46

Well, that is good, then you can at least have some help, because media is so much work and it never stops. It is a hamster wheel. If you start off from a good place, an organic place, I think that people resonate a lot more with the message than just starting out with a bunch of VC money and you are just going to pump it into some targeted ads. That is, I think, the old way of doing things. I think the new way is by starting with community first and starting with a purpose first.

Reed Loustalot: 1:13:17

If you want to sound smart, you can say that. I agree, though. You are right. You are right. Everybody's community is like a huge buzzword these days.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:28

But, it is what people are looking for I do not think it is any secret as to why your community has grown versus other areas of the freight web of where people are hanging out. Conferences are a huge deal. There are thousands of people that go to them every year, but what happens afterwards? How does that conversation continue to flow? I think that platforms like what you are building is where those conversations can continue to flow after the fact.

Reed Loustalot: 1:14:00

Let me say one thing real quick on that note. There is going to be a lot of freight waves in this whole domain. If you are on the fence about going to that, you should go. I do not even mean just you. I am assuming you are going to be there.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:27

I am going to be there.

Reed Loustalot: 1:14:30

Did you get a ticket for me?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:33

I got to talk to Bradford. David Bradford, I do not know if you are listening.

Reed Loustalot: 1:14:38

We got to talk. I put the bug in his here. I buzzed the tower the other day to get him to resend him. There is going to be a lot of. Please advise hat owners there. The vibes will be very high.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:49

Up into the right for the vibes at F3.

Reed Loustalot: 1:14:51

Exactly.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:54

I think that is a pretty good place to end the show. Anything else you want to let the people know about or highlight?

Reed Loustalot: 1:15:04

Hold on, let me see if something is up. Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come. We are going to do some more cool shit. If you are a carrier, you should go check out Lost for 8 and you should send some truck lists. That is cool. Please do that. That is messages for carriers. I know live at pleaseadvisorycom have thrown up this newsletter subscription. There is going to be more there soon.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:15:41

We will make sure to include that in the show note, pleaseadviseai. We will also include all of your social channels. Anything else that we should include Probably a discord.

Reed Loustalot: 1:15:56

I will send you the links to put on there. Perfect, we will go from there.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:16:00

Cool. If you heard that, you should probably check out the show notes or the show description in order to find out more of what Reed is talking about. This is a cool conversation. I am glad I did not really prep for this. I am glad we just took the conversation where it wanted to go. These are my favorite kind of interviews. I appreciate your time and appreciate more what you are doing as well.

Reed Loustalot: 1:16:22

Next time we do this, we will do it in front of a live audience in the discord.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:16:27

Let's do it.

Reed Loustalot: 1:16:28

Let's do that, nice Cool.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:16:32

Alright. Thank you, reed. I hope you enjoyed this episode of Everything is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at Everything is Logisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let you all know about another company I operate and that's Digital Dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at Digital Dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and get potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on DigitalDispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Well then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan.

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.