Incredible conversation with an incredibly impressive human. Chris and his team created not only a new sport, but a whole new market. From a rural CT town to hustling CROSSNET on the beaches of Miami to being in 3000 big box retailers. Living the American Dream 🇺🇸!#ROAS
Rabah Rahil (00:12):
All right, folks. We're back with the man with the plan, the innovator, the entrepreneur, Connecticut to Miami folks. We're here with the co-founder and CMO of cross net. Chris Mead. Chris, how goes it?
Chris Meade (00:25):
How are you?
Rabah Rahil (00:27):
Oh, fantastic. Uh, we have a little different setup today, as you can tell. Um, I'm actually at HQ, uh, working with the team here in Columbus, obviously joined with my, uh, co-host in partner in crime, max blank. And this is the first time I said your name, right? Can you folks believe he didn't correct me for five podcast. His last name? I love this guy. Okay. So I wanna kind of just jump in because Chris I've been longtime listener first time caller, and I've just your story's so cool. And one of the biggest hacks in life for podcasting is I get two non crudely asked really smart people who I want to be like and admire onto the podcast. So I wanna give you a quote for yourself just to start off where we can jump off there. So quote went to film. School wanted to be a movie director, graduated with a hundred K of debt, had a shitty ass job, and one night had a crazy good idea. Quit. My job broke up on my GF, moved to Florida with two K to my name. Haha sold one net bought two, did that until we buy 5,000 at a time paid ourselves 18 months later. And now we're in 300 stores.
Chris Meade (01:30):
That sounds accurate besides 3000 stores. <laugh>
Rabah Rahil (01:35):
Whoa, let's 10 exit baby. Let's 10 exit. Um, that's great. Gimme some context in that, that it gets that's a lot going on going to, I know some creatives in the film and that is so far from like an entrepreneurial capitalistic type of mindset. Yeah. So give some, our listeners some color there.
Chris Meade (01:53):
I think the world's kind of fucked, right? Like you, you stress people to go to college and then you don't even know what you're signing up for. Especially if your parents aren't like, I love my mom to death, but like she's not too financially savvy. So if you force your 18 year old kid to go into college with a $50,000 a year, like program, how the, how the, you coming out, how the hell are you gonna pay that off? When you coming outta college and you're making 12 bucks an hour, I might as well working at McDonald's like, it just doesn't add up. And it's backwards. Like, I mean, I've made an incredible connections at college. I had the best time in my life. Like I don't regret it, but if I didn't invent, crossing that I would be still so damn screwed, you know?
Chris Meade (02:36):
And uh, yeah, I went to film school. I grew up in a, a small farm town in Connecticut. Always wanted to get out of that farm town. And I thought, yo, let me be a film director. Right. Cause I could be rich and famous and it'll be easy. Um, got onto film sets and it sucked, dude. It was so bad. I was literally on the set like 12 hours a day, like blending people like beat juice and then like them getting pissed off that it didn't taste good <laugh> it was just a terrible job. And like, I'd be waking up at three in the morning, like commuting to Chinatown and then getting home at 11 o'clock and then wake up and do it all over again. And I was 21. I was like, yo, this sucks. Like what did, why did I want to do this my whole life? And I'm sure had I stuck with it and had I progressed, like it actually became a director. I'd be loving life just as I'm loving life now. But like, I didn't have that grind in me, especially when I could barely afford food.
Rabah Rahil (03:29):
Yeah. And kind of to your guys' point too, even making the economics even more pernicious, you ain't shedding that student loan debt, baby there's taxes, child support and student loan debt, no matter what you do, you ain't getting rid of that. So like that even compound, like you take out a credit card, loan, business loan, whatever you go bankrupt. Yeah. Shed it 10 years later, you can live your life. Like you can't do that with your, uh, college debt. I'm totally with you. So what was it? I'm from the Midwest. So is that kind of the same vibe in terms of like rural Connecticut? Like very like you need to get out if you want to, if you don't fit in the X or Y box, it's kind of challenging to live your live your life or your best life, if you
Chris Meade (04:07):
Will. Yeah. I mean, I don't think a lot of people like really got out of the town. I mean, all my friends from back home were still there, no knock to them. Like they, they love life and they just, they just had different, uh, different things. You know, like I was just in Italy, like Italy would be a pipe dream for a lot of people. And if it is what it is, um, but for me, I, I just knew, I always wanted to get out of the town. I mean, it was 25 minutes to go get gas to go to the movie theater was 55 minutes. Um, there's one restaurant that only sells chicken tenders. Like it was just like super, super small farm town, which is cool because then like I do miss the days where yo going out to dunking donuts was like the biggest thing of my day. And like that ice tea was like amazing and worth a half an hour drive. But now you bang that out in Miami in 15 seconds, you get on with your day. Like, so it's just a, it's a, a shift in perspective. Um, I definitely miss when times are slower, but at the same time, I love having the world as a resource. Like in seconds I could do anything in Miami.
Rabah Rahil (05:04):
Totally. Yeah. It's uh, the give and takes. I, I love that. Um, so outside of just economic pressure, why did you start crossing net or like, like give this is just like a little think vape session and then it just comes to light or like how, what cause essentially for people who don't know or, and who are just listening, um, how would you describe cross net almost like a, a four square volleyball vibe mix or, or you could probably put it better.
Chris Meade (05:29):
Uh, the world's first four way volleyball game, uh, it's essentially four square plus volleyball together. Keep the ball alive. Don't let it land near your square. You could be as competitive as you want or as lazy as you want and do it with the beer in your hand. But, uh, yeah, we're one of the fastest growing backyard games on the planet and it all happened one night. We were just, wow, brainstorming some ideas and we wrote it down and it was essentially, if we don't do this, somebody else is going to do it, cuz it's such an obvious idea and we Googled it and we assumed somebody else was already doing it, but there wasn't a thing on internet for it.
Rabah Rahil (06:04):
I, I love that.
Maxx Blank (06:06):
I find they're fascinating most from my experience thinking of eCommerce entrepreneurs, just like a lot of people don't invent something new, you know what I mean? They just kind incredible find something that yeah. Find something that's already out there and
Chris Meade (06:18):
Which makes it tough because there's no road there's, there's really no map for me. Right. There's no, I can't call somebody up who sold his four way volleyball business and been like, yo, how did you do it? I'm like far than a new path, which is cool because it, like, we have endless potential, but at the same time I'm going up against shit of building a brand from scratch. Right. Like if, yeah, I was selling coffee, like I don't need to educate you on why coffee's cool. Like, you know, you know? Right. So it's, it's, it's pretty tricky. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (06:50):
I love that. So speaking on kind of that rocket ship up into the right growth, um, when did you have that like aha moment that you were onto something because one of the bigger things for me was when you guys were featured on sports center, that was just such a, like, that's
Chris Meade (07:04):
Rabah Rahil (07:04):
Right? That has to be the that's the pinnacle, right? I mean, I don't know. Maybe, maybe Olympics is next level, but I mean, I don't know. It's just, that's as big as it gets for me in terms of the Zeit guys. So before that happened, was there any kind of like, obviously you don't want to count your chickens before they hatch sort of vibe, but there had to be some time where you were looking at the metrics like, Hey, we, we really might be on to something. When did you have that epiphany? Or when did that
Chris Meade (07:31):
Happen? Of course. It's also funny before we get into that, like as much as you say, like ESPN and all that is the pinnacle and Olympics, it is, but it it's an ego move. It's not a financial move, right? Like you don't make money from that shit grow. And, and most people do not understand this cuz they're not in the sports world, but growing a sport is typically a money loser. Selling a product is how I get rich. Right. So I need to sell the product. Yeah. It'd be amazing to have a thousand leagues out there and everyone playing cross in it. That's just burns cash and I'm not trying to like no cash on fire. I wanna make money. So I care more about selling the product than building the leagues. But the building, the leagues will create organic traffic and create organic eyeball.
Chris Meade (08:11):
So it's a fine balance. Um, back to your question, dude, honestly like the first day we made it like just bullshitting in the backyard playing for eight hours. It was so much fun. And as soon as we took it to Florida in Miami, when we moved here, we'd go to the beach every day. And I, I wish I would still do it. I, I do miss those days when I could do it, we'd sit on the beach for eight hours and we would just holler at people, get 'em to play and we'd have 50 people play and somebody would buy it and then we'd take that cash and we'd buy two more. And we just kept doing that.
Rabah Rahil (08:43):
That's the OG gorilla marketing. I love it. I mean, that's the, that's the pit bull equivalent, right. You're going out there with your CD list to my CD. Um, I love that. And, and also to your point about the economics, you're absolutely right. I was, uh, heavily involved, not in cross fit directly, but peripherally with a lot of boxes. And that's essentially their same model where the CrossFit games loses them money, but it's this kind of prestige credibility indicator and they make money off of boxes, training, uh, affiliate fees, that kind of stuff. But the actual contest. Exactly.
Chris Meade (09:12):
Rabah Rahil (09:12):
You, or, or at best break,
Chris Meade (09:13):
Even maybe too much of that, you don't have enough gas in the tank to actually fund your business. So it's like a, a constant balance beam.
Rabah Rahil (09:22):
Yeah, exactly. You're getting some cash flow issues that, uh, absolutely. Yeah. That's amazing. Um,
Maxx Blank (09:27):
From when you, uh, let me jump, let me just ask quick, quick question from when you first had the idea, right? How long was it till you had the prototype?
Chris Meade (09:35):
Oh, gross. Six hours later. I went to bed. I went to bed at, uh, like four in the morning we woke up, we drove to Walmart 30 minutes, 30 minutes back texted our friends and yeah, we were good to go the next afternoon. It wasn't, it wasn't the real prototype. Right. It was two volleyball nets cut out in the middle and Jerry rigged it up in the backyard, but it, it worked.
Maxx Blank (10:00):
Rabah Rahil (10:01):
MVP, baby MVP. That's incredible. So you're super young where you, I think my notes say you're 28, 29 now. So 28, you're our second Forbes. 30, under 30 as well. We had, uh, Josh as well. So you know, the prestigious, uh, you're not your RO as podcast here. Um, but <laugh> what would you say, like the key to your success was like, obviously you were in, you know, uh, a unique place starting out, you had some financial, um, headwinds, you necessarily, weren't doing the things you wanted to do in that director kind of film school role. Um, what what's, how did you get to where you
Chris Meade (10:38):
Are now? I just wanted a better life for myself and like, I think we just grinded hard, bro, but it's also like, I'm sure as you guys can relate, like it's so much fun when, when your work is fun. Like I take working on shop. If I build and shit over, going to the bar a hundred nights out of a hundred nights, like it's just fun. Especially when the money starts to come in. Right. Like it's a great time when you're hanging with your boys and you're inventing something cool. Um, and you're, you're passionate about it. So I think we just had like a relentless hunger and, and growing up, like how we grew up. I just, I wanted better for myself and for my family and to retire my mom and do all that shit. Like, and I don't need a lot of money.
Chris Meade (11:17):
Right. Like I could survive on 20 bucks a day if I need it, but it's cool to, uh, it's cool to see how fast it's grown, but just keep doubling down. And, and we've never been the type of people. Like we could have tanked the business so many times we bought stupid Ferrari and all the stupid shit you see on Twitter. Like all the money goes back into the business every time <laugh>, um, but pay ourselves salary. We go on cool trips. I live a great life, but like, I'm not cashing out. Like if I cashed out, I wouldn't have PE I wouldn't have the money to fund the purchase orders for the Sam's club and the Walmarts and all that stuff. So a lot of people right. Try to reward themselves too early, just so they could flex and then they can't even build their own business or they have to give up all your equity. So yeah.
Rabah Rahil (11:55):
Yeah, yeah. No, that's, that's so precious. I, I absolutely love that. The, the other thing too, I kind of want to touch on. So one the, the old Conley Kanye line, like I don't do this to push a RAV4. Right. So I love that I'm with you there. Um, but uh, at the same time you have a very unique, uh, structure, right. Cause your little brother runs the ship and then your best friend is also heavily involved.
Chris Meade (12:17):
Correct? Yeah. I childhood friend. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (12:19):
So, so yeah. Yeah. Trusted friend. So gimme some color into that. Like, uh, cause some people have different views on, you know, hiring friends and family and stuff like that. How has that worked out? That's good. Oh, obviously it's worked out well, but you know, has there been any like challenging moments in, how do you navigate those business relationships that also, you know, ultimately will spill over into, uh,
Chris Meade (12:40):
Personal relationships? Yeah, I think it's, uh, it's a good balance. Um, it's definitely had its challenges here and there, but I think the most important for us was that all three of us had a different skill set that complimented each other. Well, I think when you have two founders or three founders that all do the same damn thing, it's just gonna create conflicts of interest with also like our founding story. Right. Like I was the salesperson, uh, after the movie world I got into like, uh, I was a SDR, which was like a sales rep, just bugging people through email. And then I was a account associate over at a Uber, like help launch Uber eat. So I had like really good, really good. I, I had pretty decent like sales experience, like reaching out to people who shouldn't be responding back to me. And that's what I brought to the table. And then my brother was really good on the social side and he was the marketer back then. And then our other friend, Mike, he was the engineer. So all three of us coming together, ah, created a business. Uh, and we all had our own different skills and as much as we could communicate and collaborate and all that, the business would run because we were all doing our own thing. And together we were all elevating together rather than stepping onto each other's toes.
Chris Meade (13:49):
So that's how, but I mean on, on a negative side, uh, for being honest, like there's definitely times where it's hard to shut off the cross net and I'm sure you guys understand that too. Like there's a, there's a time to be brothers and there's a time to be friends and there's a time to talk business and it sucks when it all kind of spills over. Um, so we've definitely tried to make a conscious effort re as of late, especially to be like from here to here, you do not talk about business. Like we're brothers, like this is brother conversation. And so pros and cons, but I, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Rabah Rahil (14:22):
That's great. That's amazing. I love it. Well, you made it through our first main segment. Dope, but this is why people bought the ticket. We're gonna jump into the value add segment. Um, so you are titled as CMO, obviously co-founder as well. What's the hardest part of being CMO for cross net. And what's the easiest
Chris Meade (14:39):
Part right now. It's uh, seasonality sucks. It's uh, October. Yeah. Whom the red mine wants to buy a volleyball net unless you live in Miami. So it's uh, how do we prepare for the future? Get, get the team ready for black Friday and how do we keep more Al high when we're in the slowest season, like of our business? Cause you, you got tons of wins in the summer and it's great, but it's like set it and forget it. Right. USA volleyball, dope or official partner, but that was in July. What, what have you be done for me recently? Yeah. Uh, so those are things like I'm working on personally. Like right now we're about to launch a new website within the next three weeks. So that's been keeping me busy. It's not a, a sexy thing behind the scenes, but when it launches, it's gonna be great. So yeah.
Rabah Rahil (15:21):
Yeah. I love that. What's the easiest part
Chris Meade (15:25):
Work easiest part to set in my own schedule. Right. Like I don't have to lie to my boss and like come in late and like <laugh>, it's sick. Like I can just do whatever I want when I want, as long as it's I work, which is awesome. And nobody could tell me otherwise then that's priceless. Um, it's awesome. Having a great product. Right. I'm sure it sucks being an entrepreneur with a shitty product and just like,
Rabah Rahil (15:47):
Chris Meade (15:48):
For the, yeah, right. Like we have a dope product and nobody could tell me it's not dope. And like, it's not fun cuz it is fun. It's a great time. Um, you may suck at it, but that's not my fault, but like it's a great fun product and it's easy to sell and easy to market. And we kind of hit a gold mine and I don't feel bad for it. Like just blast it up. Keep going.
Rabah Rahil (16:09):
No, I, I love that. And honestly too, I think people have a really highly tuned bullshit detector. I think charisma can kind of cover that. But at the end of the day, like you can tell your enthusiasm for the product is sincere and you can tell for us, you know, if you're product sucks, that was one of the hard things where even if you're a great salesperson, you feel almost swindling, right. When you're, when you're hustling
Chris Meade (16:31):
Rabah Rahil (16:32):
Where's like, oh man, I'm trying to hit my commissions, but I know this car is gonna break tomorrow. Block that number. Yo.
Chris Meade (16:38):
Rabah Rahil (16:40):
Yeah. That's fantastic. Okay. So tell me, cuz you have a fairly complex business in terms of distribution channels because you are DTC, but as well as in stores and then as well, wholesale or as
Chris Meade (16:53):
Well and distribution. Yeah. Everything. How do you, it's a lot.
Rabah Rahil (16:56):
Everything. It's a lot. Yeah. I mean it's full fledge as you get, how do you balance all that? And then how do you, in terms of marketing resources, capital, um, so on kind of what does that marketing mix look like in terms of deploying? Does
Chris Meade (17:11):
That make sense? Yeah, just complete sense. And I think we'd be on a 10 hour podcast if we went through it all, but um, essentially cross net 20 17, 20 18, majority of 2019 primary DDC, um, which has its benefits, cash flow wise, building an audience, all that gets stuff. Uh they're co
Rabah Rahil (17:31):
Margins are better. I'm guessing. Right.
Chris Meade (17:33):
Okay. Uh, depends on how sh how shitty Facebook is that day. Um, <laugh> um, cross net 2019. We'll call it cross, cross net 2.0, you start to not wanna be the cross net that's shipped out of Chris's mom's basement. Right? We wanna be the world's fastest growing backyard game. We're legit. How do we do that? We're sold in big box stores. It's no longer go than some drop ship company. This is a legit product and a legit sport. So we, we, uh, we partner with shields, which is a Midwest store. I'm sure you guys are familiar with, uh, 30, 35 locations. Uh, we then got, I took that and I went, yo Dick's we're in shields. Let's get in Dick's we got nationwide with Dick's and then we got nationwide with academy sports. Uh, so that was like over, within the span of like five months, we went from zero stores to like 1500 stores and that's tough. It's really tough. Uh, especially when,
Rabah Rahil (18:30):
How do you keep up with that supply?
Chris Meade (18:31):
So like I said, we weren't buying Ferrari, we were building cash <laugh> so we had, we had cash and we had resources and I didn't have to sell the company. How
Maxx Blank (18:39):
How'd you get into
Chris Meade (18:40):
The buyers linked LinkedIn DMS, bro, LinkedIn DMS. And, and just, just me. All I had to do was I, I had, I added all the buyers when I started crossing it. I, uh, I'm starting to get more active on my, my Twitter account got banned, so I had to remake it, but my LinkedIn account never got banned. So I, uh, we'll talk about that later, but I added all the buyers and all the marketers at every store and I wouldn't DM them right away, cuz that's annoying as hell, but I would just post, cross Nett every day. And I would post interesting content. I mean, I, my LinkedIn following is like really good. And eventually the buyers would start liking it, like liking the cross net stuff. So then when it was time to make a cold introduction, it wasn't like, Hey, my name's cross net.
Chris Meade (19:23):
I'm the founder of like of cross net is like, yo, what's good. I saw you like that. Like you like that we should put it in the store. Right. So, um, it was easier to have those conversations when they're aware of who you were and you don't come in like a robot on LinkedIn cuz nobody likes that. Um, so eventually that's exactly how it happened. And then I mean six months of setting up paperwork and all that fun stuff. But uh, yeah, we got into those stores and you just leverage it, right? Like Dick sporting goods. Okay, cool. Let's take that logo and let's get into Walmart. Okay. Walmart, let's take that logo and go here. So, uh, that's how we've progressed. Our sales have a hundred percent shifted from a hundred percent D TOC to like 60, 40. Um, and then we have Amazon as well and uh,
Maxx Blank (20:06):
Oh wow. How does that fall? How does that fall into
Chris Meade (20:09):
It's fun wise? Um, I wouldn't even be, is that FBA? So, or are you guys shipping? We have a distributor, uh, shoutouts, retail. Uh, they're like one of the biggest Amazon distributors. And so what they do is they, uh, here's a good anecdote actually. So they bought from me back in 2019, they bought 25 units, uh, which was great money back then when we were just starting, uh, the lady called me up over the weekend and said, Hey Chris, we just got 'em in stock on Friday. And they sold out on Sunday. I was like, oh damn, okay. She's like, I know you have a container. And I, I remember I had one foot into the bathtub. Like I was about to walk into the bathtub <laugh> and I was on the phone with her and she's like, I know you have a container on the water. Can I buy this entire container? And that was like that's 20, 2500 units. Um, so it was like
Rabah Rahil (20:58):
Chris Meade (20:59):
X. It was like a, uh, well over a quarter of a million dollar order, which for us was everything at that point. And uh, don't track track the phone, bro. So yeah, that was our, our partner. And now they buy, uh, 10, 20,000 units at a time. It's amazing. So they're a really good partner for us. They handle all of our Amazon, all of our PPC and they also get us onto, uh, like walmart.com, target.com. I mean, Walmart, obviously Walmart has their own platform now, but back in the day that wasn't an option for sellers. Um, so they manage all that. Right. And they manage all the customer service, we just drop them product. Uh, it's a really good relationship. So I consider that a wholesale, uh, relationship, even though the margins are a little bit different. Uh, but yeah, that's a wholesale part of our business. So yeah, 60, 40, 70, 30 depends on the season. But uh, it's, it's a fine balance because you, you want all the customers to come to your site, but you also wanna make them happy. Yeah.
Maxx Blank (21:54):
Do you find that a lot of your traffic is pouring over to their Amazon sales and allowing
Chris Meade (22:00):
Yeah. AB absolutely. Bro. Um, it's tough. We've tried to combat it recently. We've combating it with free shipping on our site, which each our margins, cuz historically we've never done free shipping. Um, but now in the cold winter, uh, which is our October, um, you want cash flow, you want cash flow for your biz, so right. We've kind of shifted to free shipping for a little bit to help with that conversion. And uh, yeah, but the, the entire marketing messaging is cross net game.com. You go to our website, we don't advertise Amazon, but um, you'll see the logos there. And it's it's exactly. I mean, when's the last time you guys went to, to target and bought something for 150 bucks that you didn't know before. Like you had to get an impression before, unless it's a TV, right? Like, like you're not blindly spending 150 bucks.
Maxx Blank (22:49):
So that mean that pours over like your ads been pours.
Chris Meade (22:52):
Exactly. That's why we use triple whale. I mean, Hey a plug, there's a quote. There's a quote. Nice plug.
Rabah Rahil (23:00):
Here we go. Here we go. Um, so as you're building your balance sheet starts to get big. You're starting to build out this war chest. Um, how are you recruiting talent? Like how are you building your team?
Chris Meade (23:13):
LinkedIn? Um, friends of friends, Twitter, um, yeah. Company. Culture's super important for us. Um,
Rabah Rahil (23:22):
Oh yeah. Talk about that. Talk about kind of your, how do you set your company culture? What is your goal or like what's the ideal company culture at
Chris Meade (23:29):
Promise? Yeah. I mean, I don't think there's a, we don't have some structured, rigid thing. I think, uh, at least me personally, like I've clearly covered it in the last 20 minutes. Like I come from a, I came from a very Cy background after film school and like where I'd have my manager text, like email me saying, yo, your shirt's partly untalked or yo you no dead acid. You don't have
Rabah Rahil (23:48):
Enough pieces of swag.
Chris Meade (23:50):
You got, uh, the, the senior manager saw you in an elevator at 5 0 2. Uh, which means that you had left your desk before five. O'clock cool. <laugh> I am so serious. So like, yeah, I'm, I'm building a company that like, I don't care if you go to the, like, I don't care if my team's at the gym right now, as long as they're being productive and not missing meetings, like I want people to work for more of the hell. They wanna work, have a great time. If your work's getting done, I don't care. I want you to have fun. I want it to be the best job you've ever had. And I hope everyone building a company would want the same thing for their employees. Um, and I want, I really respect when my team calls us on our shit. Like I want us to be the best company ever.
Chris Meade (24:29):
If there's something that's broken that I don't have like visibility on, call it out and improve it yourself. Um, for example, we just had one employee just had a great idea, um, happens to be my fiance, but she runs all of our marketing and I'm like, yo, you can either talk to me for 30 minutes about it or you can just go get the shit done yourself and then tell me how good of a job you did. So like go do it. You know, like I trust you, you have full autonomy. I love it. So that's the, that's the org we're running. I mean, we sell volleyball nets, so it's not like we're changing the world with apple, but uh, we want everyone to have fun.
Maxx Blank (24:58):
Rabah Rahil (25:00):
I, I love that. Yeah. I mean, that's kind of similar to, uh, triple, well here at two are, uh, max and AJ. So I'm CMO max COO president co-founder and uh, AJ CEO. And they're basically like, dude run. Yeah, go run. If it breaks, fix it, but like get we're not in the way, like the reason you're on board is because we want you to drive, you know, own your, exactly.
Chris Meade (25:21):
Maxx Blank (25:22):
I love that the way the more in the way we are the worst. Exactly. You know? Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (25:27):
<laugh> oh, I love that. Um, okay. Let's jump into one last question. Before we get into the rapid fire, um, what would be one tip you would give people to, um, basically improve their brand's perception? Like how, how cuz you like, you really are a DTC. Darlan like, I mean, it's almost past DTC now you're in 3000 stores. So I mean, you're just a darling in terms of, uh, growth. How, how did you like, is it just keep pounding the PA and hit these compounding and you just finally, now that you've planted all these seeds, that's come to roof.
Chris Meade (25:59):
Yeah. It's funny bro.
Rabah Rahil (26:00):
How have you kept such a cool,
Chris Meade (26:01):
I feel like Carl side doesn't get any, any love at all. It's so funny you say that like, like, I mean the DC role. I see the same it's I see the, the same damn sparklings you got the same love every damn day. It's so annoying.
Maxx Blank (26:16):
Chris Meade (26:17):
Like, come on. It's just like this little, like little village of people talking about the same brands every day. No, I mean, I think it's just happened the credibility in the winds, right? Like we've been, we've been at it for four years. We've been hustling, uh, we've aligned stuff with the, the top volleyball players in the world, which I mean, most people don't care about that, but they create great content, which people wanna watch. Um, the USA volleyball logo, which is great. We're official partners with them. I think you gotta, I think you gotta give kids respect when they're 28 and their products in a thousand Walmart stores. Like you gotta, and, and it's not like, uh, some shark tank thing where they're just like spending cash overnight. Like we built this all from scratch. Um, I think I do it pretty deep.
Rabah Rahil (26:58):
Yeah. You guys never took money,
Chris Meade (26:59):
Still haves. Incredible. And uh, I think just a level of humility and honesty of us and like, I'm just, I think I'm a real person, right? Like we're, uh, we did it all ourself and I don't have no mommy and daddy money. Like my mom drives Uber and she loves it and she has a good time. She's delivering GrubHub orders this morning and her son's back at home, flipping volleyball and that's on the internet. Like it's just a, kind of like an American dream kind of story of other people have said. So it's fun. It's it's been really fun. I love
Maxx Blank (27:25):
Rabah Rahil (27:27):
That's so cool. I love it. That's so cool, man. You've giving me so much energy. I hate to throw you in meat grinder now, but max is gonna take you through a rapid fire where we just kind of ping with some questions and then, uh, yeah, max, take it away
Maxx Blank (27:40):
Guys. It's definitely not root grinder. Uh, we're fun with it. <laugh> here we go. All right. To school overrated or
Chris Meade (27:48):
Maxx Blank (27:51):
<laugh> hiring. I hear that. I'm gonna add another one there. Uh, on my I'm just gonna take this one, but college overrated or underrated
Chris Meade (27:59):
College, 10 years ago, underrated college, overrated,
Maxx Blank (28:05):
Hiring friends and family overrated
Chris Meade (28:08):
Underrated dude, my boys coming down on Wednesday and he works for me and we're gonna have the best damn time. And then like we're gonna grind, but then we're gonna sit by the pool and drink and like we'll still talk about work and it's great. So underrated,
Rabah Rahil (28:19):
I love that
Maxx Blank (28:21):
End caps overrated or underrated,
Chris Meade (28:25):
Underrated, underrated, especially when you don't have
Rabah Rahil (28:29):
For people that don't.
Chris Meade (28:30):
Yeah. When you don't have to pay for them. Sorry
Rabah Rahil (28:31):
To cut you off, but for people, right. For people that don't know, the end cap is the, the end part of the aisle. Um, when you're walking through a store and it's the most prominent placing essentially. Mm-hmm <affirmative>
Maxx Blank (28:44):
Yeah, that's good. Miami overrated. Underrated.
Chris Meade (28:48):
Depends what you're here for. I, uh,
Rabah Rahil (28:51):
Chris Meade (28:53):
For, I was here to sling volleyball nets on the beach. Like I've never been to club live. I've never been to the strip clubs. Like that's just not me. Right? Like I'm watching Netflix with my girl at nine o'clock and we're going to bed by 11 and I'm waking up to take a Peloton thing on the, on the balcony. Like I'm here for the beautiful views, the great the people here. Shit. I'll tell you that. So overrated
Rabah Rahil (29:12):
Sh shout out recently engaged, right?
Chris Meade (29:14):
Maxx Blank (29:16):
You guys realize congrats. French bull.
Chris Meade (29:19):
Oh, come on. Overrated. Underrated. Where's my guy he's around here somewhere.
Rabah Rahil (29:24):
Maxx Blank (29:29):
Chris Meade (29:29):
Rabah Rahil (29:33):
Oh no. So I shouldn't go.
Chris Meade (29:35):
I mean, all right. It depends. It depends on along the floor.
Rabah Rahil (29:38):
Your picks were social
Chris Meade (29:39):
Picks were cool. I also all preface. I was on day 12, uh, 15 day trip. So by the time I got there, I was a little bit burnt out. Um, so had I had I gone there with fresh blood, I may have enjoyed it a little bit more, but at that point I was like on Airbnb number nine and I was just tired. So, uh, my brother's there now. He's he's having a decent time.
Rabah Rahil (30:05):
I'm crushed. I have to read,
Chris Meade (30:07):
Stay in Oya. If you do go, you have to stay in Oya.
Speaker 4 (30:10):
Chris Meade (30:11):
Okay. That's the best part. Okay.
Maxx Blank (30:14):
Favorite New York sports team
Chris Meade (30:17):
Nicks by far
Maxx Blank (30:21):
Favorite meal. Why
Chris Meade (30:26):
Damn bro? Uh, ribs. I, I love ribs so much.
Speaker 4 (30:30):
Rabah Rahil (30:31):
Pork or beef, pork.
Maxx Blank (30:36):
Um, best movie ever made.
Chris Meade (30:40):
Oh, that's a tough one. I mean, for me, like my personal, my personal classic is my personal Classic's hardball. Uh, I've seen hardball so many times, uh, then I'd probably go like semipro semipro is great. And uh, I mean, I've probably seen Euro trip so many times too back in the day. So those are my, those are my D3. Oh, accepted Justin Long dropped off, but Justin Long could have been such a good actor. I don't know what happened to that dude, but yet accepted was a great movie.
Rabah Rahil (31:11):
Maxx Blank (31:12):
Amazing. Best the best band you've ever seen live. Good.
Chris Meade (31:16):
I've probably been to, well over 2000 concerts in my life. Um, I've seen every band I care to see, or I, I fuck
Rabah Rahil (31:31):
2000. That's incredible.
Chris Meade (31:33):
A tweet I go to, I go that's I used to go three concerts a week, like when I was living in New York city. Yeah. Like concerts are like all I do. So like when people go to like the club in Miami, like it'd be concerts like every weekend. Um,
Rabah Rahil (31:46):
Did he come to
Chris Meade (31:47):
Austin know, um, best stand I've ever seen really memorable. I don't know why this is, uh, TA and Paula was really me memorable a few years ago. I saw, um, Radiohead was really memorable. Um, yeah. Yeah. I'm a,
Rabah Rahil (32:06):
Any particular venues you like, you've been to red rocks or
Chris Meade (32:09):
That's one I haven't checked off. I need to get to red rocks. Um, I used to love like going to terminal terminal five in Brooklyn steel in New York. Uh, the smaller, smaller venues too, like tows place in new Haven. Like that's where I grew up. So yeah. Music's always been a huge part of my life. And now it's to Fillmore down here in, uh, revolution live in Fort Lauderdale, so yeah.
Maxx Blank (32:31):
Okay, cool. What's the favorite place you've ever traveled to
Chris Meade (32:34):
Wyoming? I love Wyoming so much. Yeah. Wyoming's my favorite place on earth. Um, Switzerland was really dope. Um, Switzerland was amazing. We went to the matter horn, uh, which is, is like really cool snowboarding spot. Uh, but whenever I sell this damn company, I'm buying a house in Wyoming and I don't care what the girl says. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (32:57):
Yeah. I like that.
Maxx Blank (33:00):
<laugh> uh, what's your, your favorite follow on Twitter?
Chris Meade (33:08):
Probably just bleach your report. I mean, that just gives you my news. Um, I don't know. I feel like all this D to C and NFT stuff just kind of blends into one account these days. So I think the sports, the sports stuff is kind of cool. <laugh> it sucks because like we have a, we have a responsibility as like entrepreneurs to like engage in that community and there's a lot of value there, of course. Yeah. But there's also just a ton of noise. Um,
Rabah Rahil (33:33):
Oh, there's a lot of,
Chris Meade (33:35):
A lot of ask and so, uh, I mean, you gotta do it. Um, but it is what it is, but I will say underrated is connecting with other founders. I will add that. Um, I used to think it was such a waste of time and I started doing it like over the last three years, more and more. And the network of people that are just the text away are just mind blowing to me. Uh, and I don't, I don't mean that like, yeah, like selfishly or like cocky, but it's like, it's crazy. The people that are in my phone that I could text and they'll actually send me a text back. I'm like, damn, this person's actually talking to me. So very underrated.
Rabah Rahil (34:12):
That's so cool.
Maxx Blank (34:14):
Love that. That's huge. That's huge. Oh, here's the last one. If you could have dinner with any, any three people that are alive, who would be,
Chris Meade (34:21):
That are alive. I think mark Cuban would be pretty dope just cuz who he is.
Rabah Rahil (34:30):
I you alum. Oh yeah. I mater that's what
Chris Meade (34:32):
My mater he'd be cool. Um, Anthony Green, uh, cuz he's my favorite singer of all time. Uh he's from a band called circus survive and uh, I mean pretty cliche, but I think having dinner with Elon would be pretty dove. Right. So yeah, I put those three in the room, especially Anthony Green, like all tatted and like drugged up talking to Elon Musk would be pretty funny.
Rabah Rahil (34:59):
Definitely company would get birthed outta that for sure.
Chris Meade (35:02):
Rabah Rahil (35:03):
Um, well that's amazing Chris, you made it through the rapid fire. Incredible. Um, okay, cool. So tell us how people get more involved in cross net. How can I grab one? Uh, take it
Chris Meade (35:12):
Away. Yeah, support local business, go to cross net game.com. Uh, you can also get it at pretty much any retail store in America that sells sporting goods. Uh, so buy it have fun. Wow. Um, you could follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter at curse Mead and uh, yeah. I hope you like it. I think you'll have a good time playing it.
Rabah Rahil (35:29):
Don't forget about your amazing newsletter. Oh, it's been fantastic. It's been such a good, the five things, dude. I have that print on my wall. Like it, it really hit me cuz I, I, I have that same vibe too. Like without my fiance, dude, I'll just work into oblivion and pretty much like that's not life, right? Like there's a certain aspect of you need to grind, but there's a certain aspect of dude you need to, you know, explore and enjoy and kind of meander outside of just that grind. Um, so yeah. How do people get involved in
Chris Meade (35:57):
This is a Google link where you could sign up. I gotta make it more professional. When I have some time, we'll pretty show I'm gonna build a personal website. I had somebody building it for me and it came out here. This is your, this is your yes. I started it three, three months ago and I send one out every, every Thursday. And it's literally just cold, hard facts cuz I'm so sick of like the gurus and all the people posting screenshots of companies they've never built before. And it's really going back to our point of, I don't have any role model to follow. That's built a four way volleyball game before. It's really hard to find somebody who is selling their product in 3000 stores. That's bootstrapped that doesn't just have Fey money, an original concept. It's an original concept, an original concepts like I'm doing exactly. And so it's really hard to find people that have done what I've done, which is cool. So if I could share all the mistakes that I've made and I could help somebody along the way, why not? Uh, it's been fun and I get a lot of great connections from, and of course we will attach a revenue stream to it eventually, but uh, for now it's great. Yeah,
Rabah Rahil (36:58):
Chris Meade (37:00):
Rabah Rahil (37:00):
Great. I love it, Chris. Thank you so much for your time, man. You were just so much so impressive. I, I love everything and uh, whatever we can do to help out go by the cross net, go by 10, go gift them. Really fun game. Super cool. Go check it out. Uh, and then are you, so are you at a Twitter jail
Chris Meade (37:18):
Or yeah, bro. So, alright. I'll tell that story real quick. Okay. Follow him on yeah. Twitter Chris MEJ yeah, your feed's fantastic. Thank it was more fantastic. I, uh, I got locked out of Twitter and that, you know how they send you the reset password? Like the, the number I had blocked Twitter, I don't know why the hell I blocked Twitter. Like I blocked their short code number and so I kept resetting the password. I never got it. So I, I sent it to myself like 35 times and I never got the text and I'm like, yo, I never got the text. I go through my blocked contacts. I found Twitter. And at that point my account had been suspended and permanently banned for trying to like break into my own account. So I had, oh man, I had to take my, my girls' Twitter and look rebrand it from scratch over the last few months, which sucks. Cause I worked hard on that thing. <laugh>
Rabah Rahil (38:08):
Oh man, nothing's easy with you, right? No, nothing's easy. I love it. Um, well thanks again, Chris, if you're ever out in either Columbus or Austin, give us a shout. We really appreciate the time. And like I said, go buy some cross net support at awesome dude and awesome team. Um, that's it folks, we'll see you on the flip. If you wanna get involved with triple well try triple well.com to get an invite code and then follow us on the Twitters at try triple well. And then we also have a newsletter called whale mail that you can get involved with Tuesday, Thursday, we drop it. Um, that's it guys. Thanks so much. Enjoy your Thursday, Chris. Bang it out in Miami and we'll talk soon. See everybody on the.
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