Jul 22, 2020 | 4 min read

Conversation with Willy Schlacks

Podcast #101: Industrial Sharing

Willy Schlacks is the Co-Founder and President of EquipmentShare, a company providing industry disrupting, tech-enabled solutions designed for the modern contractor since 2014. Building off their experience starting numerous companies over the previous decades in construction, technology and services sectors, Willy and his brother Jabbok have scaled the company to 48 full-service facilities across the U.S. and into several global markets. As President of EquipmentShare, Willy leads the Technology division for the company and also serves as Head of Product. 

In our conversation, Willy takes us through his early entrepreneurial experience and how these early lessons converged to inspire them to create EquipmentShare. He outlines how they’ve moved from providing asset vertical level visibility to orchestrating all aspects of a jobsite. Willy shares advice for entrepreneurs on his life-long entrepreneurial lessons. 

This podcast is essential listening for any emerging disruptor. 

 

Recommendations:

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin 

 

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Good day, and welcome to episode 101 of our Digital Leadership Podcast, produced by, for, and about Digital Industry leaders. Today I’m pleased to introduce Willy Schlacks, Co-Founder and President of EquipmentShare, a Momenta Ventures portfolio company providing industry disrupting, tech-enabled solutions designed for the modern contractor since 2014. Building off their experience starting numerous companies over the previous decades in construction, technology and service sectors, Willy and his brother Jabbok have scaled the company to 48 full-service facilities across the US and into several global markets. As president of EquipmentShare, Willy leads the technology division for the company, and also serves as Head of Product. He oversees the engineering business intelligence, marketing data science and robotics teams.

Willy, welcome to Momenta Partners Digital Leadership podcast series.

Thanks, great to be here.

So, as always let’s start with your professional journey, and I really like yours, you are truly a serial entrepreneur. So, tell us a bit about your background and how it has informed your views of digital industry.

My brother and I, we started companies fairly young. We had a slightly atypical background environment where we grew up, and so the first company we started I was about 9 or 10 years old; my brother was certainly the responsible party, he was five years my senior. We started a few companies and one was within the construction space, and one was in the technology space building computers back when that was a thing. We would jump on our bikes and ride to the local library, and that was our window into the world. We grew up back in the days when technology was fairly nascent to most people’s lives, and certainly ours even to the extent TV and phones were pretty uncommon.

We would really explore and satiate our curiosity in this poor little world at the library. We’d take out a bunch of books and read up on several of these industries, and of course became fascinated with the whole sector, back when building computers was a thing, and this is when there was a 286 chip and 386 chip, and 486. I’m sure you’ll remember this, and then they had the chip wars and all those things, when a megabyte of RAM was 100 bucks. So, we started the business, slapping together computers, and ordering parts through the mail, and then trying to sell those. We ultimately very quickly grew that into some sizeable jobs that honestly, we had no business doing. One of them was setting up a massive projects setting up a 911 call center. Literally I wasn’t even a teenager at that point.

But long story short, that industry very quickly imploded as it should, because everybody and their uncle trying to build a computer was a pretty non-scalable methodology, and Dell came around. But it was a great foray into the technology world, particularly coming from the environment that had absolutely no level of technology that we would interact with. At the same time we started some businesses, our first construction business was we built sheds, again we were kids, and we thought this was absolutely brilliant in our mind, and we didn’t realize that half the world already did this, but we thought this was pretty clever, we would do this rent-to-own methodology with sheds, we’d build sheds. So instead of somebody having to pay for the shed, we rent-to-own it type of thing.

Being kids, people didn’t necessarily take us that seriously as we hoped, and we found ourselves in the repossession business pretty quick, because what we thought was a lot of people just saw a free shed that they could buy from us. These things were actually pretty massive with building codes, which we didn’t realize either, the reason why there was a lot of demand for our product; with building codes you could get away with building pretty much anything, as long as it was considered a moveable shelter, so people would order pretty sizeable buildings, and if we slapped skids on it they didn’t have to get permits or comply with any building codes.

As we grew up through the years we moved into some larger businesses, got into government contracting, and started a couple of construction companies and service industries, started up a number of real estate companies, ecommerce, a restaurant, just all over the map. EquipmentShare was really born out of our experiences that we had started in those early days when we were pretty young boys starting construction companies. Fundamentally, particularly as we grew some larger companies, it was about our inability to really react to things that were happening within our companies, specifically within the construction sector. It felt like we were always managing off the back of an ERP, it was always six months down the road we’d figure out what was happening, and that frustrated the hell out of us, because we were pretty ambitious around scale and growth, and being the best at whatever it was we were engaging on.

So, that’s a quick synopsis. It brings us to now, where we’ve launched EquipmentShare as a result of all those experiences.

Excellent, what a great story already. My, there’s so many parallels and I always like to ask how this converges to EquipmentShare, you’ve laid out a pretty good story there, bringing all this together. Congrats, 9 to 10 years old, wow, my son is 13 and I wish he was as motivated at 13 as you guys were clearly at 9 and 10, but difference in generations perhaps.

You are the very definition of a serial entrepreneur, and I have to imagine there’s some DNA in all of this as well. What is you and your brother’s inspiration to create, where does it come from?

Well actually I think it has nothing to do with DNA! Sorry to contradict you so quickly! That’s probably because we’ve made so many mistakes through the years, and those mistakes have been enormously valuable, we keep chalking them up on a daily basis certainly. But one primary lesson that we’ve had to learn many times is really around, what is a core critical ingredient when you are building and scaling a company; assuming you get certain things such as product, direction, and vision, that makes sense in the compass that you’re heading towards, but from there what are the core ingredients.

If not the most critical, but certainly closest to it is simply the people you hire, and the ability to hire the right people. From there we spent years trying to figure out how we could do better at that. We shifted from simply trying gut-check responses of what feels right, to very data-driven approaches and an enormous amount of testing and profiling around strengths, like a DISC or Myers-Briggs, etc.

Then ultimately where we are now, and this is certainly still an evolution, we feel it’s still down to simply one attribute, that attribute has nothing to do with DNA or anything that you could perceive as part of one’s environment. In other words, nobody has a leg up on this. The one attribute we see that is critical ingredient to successful people that work well within the environment of an entrepreneurial company is simply humility. Humility defined as, it’s not a false humility or a personality, or persona, it’s simply the ability to assess data and other opinions in equality of your own, because you’ll never really in this context, you’ll never be able to suppress your opinion, or perceive it as lesser than others. You feel and you know yourself more than anybody else in the world, and that gives you a subjective viewpoint that is critical and powerful, when you’re thinking about a team perspective.

But the ability to simply weigh that inequality with other opinions and other data is absolutely essential, and in our minds its linked directly with intelligence. IQ has far less of an impact than the ability to acquire new data, and the ability to acquire new data and learn is simply the ability to keep your own opinions and prospective and subjective viewpoint in check, because it’s always seeking to surmount reality and the world around you.

Ultimately, success is the biggest inhibitor to that, because success really starts to give your brain this mentality that somehow your viewpoint, somehow your perceptions are absolutely the direction to go. The brain is a very prejudiced thing, which is great, it helps us make decisions very quickly, ‘It’s hot!’, and suddenly you don’t have to think about it and weigh that decision. It’s like a pretty advanced neuron that once it’s trained it’s trained, and it can take a while to retrain that. But it’s interesting looking at people who are successful, it’s not that they lose intelligence over time but almost feels like it because their success breeds, their brain is telling them, ‘Well this is the path that always makes sense’, and that becomes more and more entrenched.

I say that for myself, and really trying to be self-aware of the fact that the biggest inhibitor to future success is simply success, and the way to counteract that is only through that level of humility that you assess opinions and data within the same spectrum, and equality as others, and level that playing field for your brain.

That was a pretty longwinded answer to your question there, but my point being my brother and I were very fortunate, the environment that we grew up in was a bit odd, atypical. We didn’t spend our summers off, we never had a TV until we were probably in our late teens, so we had to occupy ourselves in other ways, and our outlet was starting companies, and we thoroughly enjoyed that, but I wouldn’t say I’m any better than your 13 year old son. It’s the environment we were in, we were fortunate enough to have that outlet where we could really dig in and build companies at a very young age.

I think I’ll tie it all down to the fact you didn’t have a TV set until late in your teenage years! It’s always a good simplification.

Exactly. I’ve got three kids now and my wife and I are huge believers in struggle, and the psychological nature of struggle, and we’re constantly trying to fabricate struggle for our kids. Our kids have grown up in a nice middleclass life, have a lot of things we never dreamed were possible that children would have when we were growing up! We grew up on a farm, both her and I grew up in a farming environment. So, it’s ironic we live in this neighborhood with all the neighborhood restrictions, and she’s literally trying to recreate a farm in the backyard. She’s got chickens, ducks and she wants to get a goat, and sheeps, and all these things, and the neighbors just think we’re crazy! Every time they go by they sort of roll their eyes, but it’s interesting watching my wife parent, and I don’t know if you grew up on a farm or not, but it’s interesting when you’re at a young age, and you have the lives of animals in your hands, and you experience life and death at a pretty high cycle, these things die frequently. Kids have rabbits and all these animals, and occasionally one gets eaten by the fox if it’s in the neighborhood, or whatever. So, it’s interesting seeing those things, but it’s our little attempt at what we knew and creating that struggle, but we still have a TV so maybe all was lost!

Very insightful on the struggle. My wife and I actually have similar discussions relative to my son quite a bit, because in our own ways, though we didn’t work on farms per se, we did go through some form of struggle that I think is character defining in the end. The question is, in today’s prosperous society, I live in Switzerland and so it’s pretty safe and prosperous; how do you define that character, right? So, I give you a lot of credit for asking those questions.

Tell us a bit about your founding of EquipmentShare, a company as you describe as now disrupting even the largest construction rental companies, what problem were you trying to solve, and why?

Initially we were heavily focused on the asset vertical within construction, disruption is maybe the three primary verticals, its assets, people, materials, actually those are the only verticals. And out of that you’ve got between $11-14 trillion depending on if you include industrials within that. So, being focused on the asset vertical, which includes equipment, vehicles, etc., that’s where the name came from. We had this vision and idea of ultimately trade connectivity on the jobsite and having that fluid transfer of asset ownership on the jobsite. Most people think that EquipmentShare harkens very directly to a peer-to-peer mentality, that was our naivety in naming this, we were actually more comprehending like an on-premise jobsite sharing, which is really what we’re excited about, less so peer-to-peer. Peer-to-peer is still rental, it’s all rental, it’s just a sexier way of saying it I guess, maybe helps you raise money or something!

But anyhow, the reason for that is because the construction environment is very job-based, which is interesting, it’s the only industry that I think has a transient nature where you can have this environment that lasts for four hours a day, or ten years and everything in-between. Every time a job commences the environment is new, you have different players, different location, material, subs, assets, everything is a mix of new ingredients there, or different quantities and variables, and that makes it hard to measure. So, EquipmentShare initially started with the focus on the asset vertical of connecting consuming data, and leveraging distribution to deliver that value, and that’s all we really honed in on, the equipment rental side, because that was the beachhead into the job side, and really for us a perfect platform for distribution, because no-one made money but also it let us reach customers which was critical.

Within a matter of months, we realized, ‘Wait, we’re building the ecosystem, we can’t stop at the asset vertical, we have to do the whole thing’. It can’t just be equipment, it’s got to be assets, people, and materials at the end of the day, or else it’s not worth it, we’re going to stop short of building value. So, really our vision since pretty early in the beginning did encompass the whole industry, and building the ecosystem is what we’re excited about in that an ecosystem is simply the marriage of technology or connectivity at its core, so connectivity and distribution. The more mature the connectivity the less control or ownership you need of a distribution, and vice-versa. So yeah, it was really about solving problems that we experienced as contractors, everything from access control, take a Bobcat, Genie or what have you, take any machine globally, you can buy a key off eBay and it starts every machine in the world, and that leads to theft, theft of materials, and safety issues, and on and on. It would be as if you had your sports car parked on the street that somebody could walk up to, just jump in, and drive off, because they’d got the key that starts every car in the world. But that’s the way it is in construction.

So, things that were so obviously painful to us as contractors, things like that, all the way to just not having visibility, because that’s what it starts with; if you don’t have visibility and data at your fingertips you can’t make decisions. So, it’s a broad vision of an ecosystem, but at the same time if you don’t have that broad vision, and you don’t tackle the whole problem, then it’s hard to say if you’ll solve anything at the end of the day. If you measure partial data, is it any better than simply no data? Because it will lead you to the wrong assumption. The whole strategy is about connecting to consuming data, and then leveraging that data. We’re in a real world industry, so in order to distribute our product, in order to meet that customer where they need it, that distribution is physical and that’s where we have physical yards, and sights, we have tens of thousands of assets that we deploy on a monthly basis, and focus very heavily on incumbent rental as our distribution source.

When you mention an ecosystem, you have actors being in that system that comes to mind, and in this case as I understand it, and certainly for the audience’s perspective, if I’m a construction site operator I will order a Bobcat essence by the hour, but if I’m that Bobcat owner how am I engaging with you guys to make that asset available to the construction owner?

Yes, it’s up to you as the owner. If you think about the asset vertical, it’s all about the life of the asset, extending the life of the asset and reducing the cost, and the financial utilization of that asset. What that means is, usage usually reflects finance utilization, so increasing utilization is essential to that certainly, but that’s often a choice that you need to make around ownership, or renting, or a mix of both, which we enable all of that on our platform, but it’s a data-driven approach, and we have different programs that enable that.

But it’s interesting when you look at the largest impact to that, from a monetary sense the bottom line service events are probably one of the largest impacts in owner, so far as the bottom line to their asset, because it is a cost, assets that depreciate are costs, period. It’s unlike real estate where it’s an asset that potentially appreciates in value substantially, and then you have things that are on the real estate that then potentially do depreciate, but still it’s mixed at the overall investment or asset does appreciate. Whereas, equipment assets depreciate, so that’s cost, it’s all about reducing that cost, which is like I said, focusing on those three variables.

One way we really impact that is the digitization of service events. Service events is probably the biggest impact to the cost of an asset, and that’s just simply things that happen to the asset, cost to breakdown, or things that you should do that can extend the life of the asset. Within our platform everything is digitized through all our software or workflows, whether its customer complaints and things that they say over what happened to this asset, or the owner themselves, all the way to the mechanic, the parts, the consumables, the engine profile for the whole history of the asset, the operators, anything you could possibly imagine is digitized.

That’s what our data-science teams leverage to not only predict events before they occur in the future, so they can be prevented, it also predicts likely corrections to a service event that speeds up the correction of that, reduces the cost, and then gets that back in service and increases utilization faster.

It’s fairly complex when you look at the amount of variables, and the amount of assets that are out there, and how much data you have consumed, you really start having anything that’s viable, which we certainly do now. So it is less of a simple sort of ‘Should I buy this machine?’, or when I’m not using it I want to rent it out, there’s a huge amount of complexity around service events, and also honestly every asset is different and utilization – targets are different for them, and the balance sheet of questions of, ‘Do I own this on the balance sheet on your offer?’ and all that. There’s quite a bit of complexity and even sophistication in the industry that’s currently present, and that we incorporate into our platform.

That was not a straight answer!

There’s all these nuggets of intelligence in everything you say, and it goes really deep. I wish we had ten times the amount of time, because I’d love to follow some of these down. It’s interesting, a lot of entrepreneurship comes to pattern matching especially across very different sectors or use cases, and the way that you’ve described the, I’ll call it studio production of a construction site in some sense; bringing together all the experts, create that masterpiece and then move on, is a way that a recent endeavor we’ve done on the advisory side was for medical care facilities.

Think about patients and diagnostic equipment, the patient care staff, the hospital itself, and how all of that needed to come together just in time, stat if you will. And then would disband and go off to their different directions, and so there’s a lot of parallels in that, it’s interesting because ecosystem was also a name that came up in some of that work as well.

I see you’ve created an adjacent company called Machine Link; how does this relate to EquipmentShare?

Machine Link is a brand of EquipmentShare, and it’s the white label technology platform. We partner with quite a few OEMs from a distribution perspective, and all this data that we consume from the machines is highly viable to them. So, Machine Link is the white label of our technology platform that OEMs can use. OEMs is basically manufacturers. We’re currently the largest distributor for quite a few manufacturers globally, and really this is our way of connecting with them and enabling them to benefit from that data. At the end of the day we try to always make choices around customer value, and connecting manufacturers to their machines and the data, and enabling them to build better machines is a critical part of this solution. So, Machine Link is really that brand for the OEM side.

Every disruptive play includes somebody who’s been disrupted per se, and I apologize, this is probably a little off script, but I’m interested in who would you say EquipmentShare is disrupting out there, because you mentioned the OEMs, rental companies, things like that. Who are the ones most likely to be disrupted?

Well, I think we disrupt ourselves the most! We keep ourselves on our toes! Yeah, they’re certainly not as uncomfortable as we are, in the sense of having to constantly pivot and shift, but that’s the environment we like being on the forefront of discovery every day, that’s pretty exciting for us. So, past that, it’s certainly the equipment rental companies, are the ones who probably feel like they’re being displaced to a certain extent. Because we’re building an ecosystem, and because we don’t really consider them competitors, what they don’t realize is that we’re building a platform that will ultimately enable them, and that they will ultimately live within, or they will probably die.

I think they do see us as if we’re out to get them, or really like I said displace them, and honestly we’re hyper focused on customer value, and building an ecosystem, at the end of the day what I said originally around ecosystem is you’ve got connectivity and distribution, and when your connectivity matures to the point of a level of saturation, there’s a certain threshold it crosses where you don’t need to control or physically own distribution, you can start relinquishing that. Certainly, that in and of itself ultimately is a commodity in my mind, like the technology and data at the end of the day is never a commodity, because that’s a variable that always changes. The ability to consume it, and the repository of that is the ultimate gold mine, and in any ecosystem the ultimate manifestation is simply a data company and it’s no different for us.

But yeah, I don’t think any of our competitors would be harmed by my statements! I think it would still feel pretty displaced, but in 10 years from now I think they’ll realize that yeah, we’re honest, they’re either looped in and enjoying the fruits of our labor, or they’re probably not around.

The World Economic Forum used the term, ‘The Great Reset’, when referring to the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you see is the impact of this reset on the future of the construction industry?

Great question, we’re in the middle of this, at least here in the States. Construction is always going to be there, it certainly will restrict a bit, and that’s just the nature of when you have job starts which is the front side of the industry, where architects are working with owners to draw plans, and engineer, and they release those projects and then contractors are executed on this. There’s been the lag factor, so we’ll see more of that impact in Q3, Q4, etc. We’re personally not highly concerned from a business perspective, simply because we’re sort of on the front side of demand, but from an industry perspective on a question there, I think it will be nominal. If we’re looking at a decade perspective, this certainly will go down in the history books but the impact to construction won’t be tremendous, certainly not like it will to the airline industry, or some travel sectors, which are just directly decimated by the events, and those industries will certainly feel more of an impact.

I think we’ll see at least a quarter blip like most industries, and then it starts to revive. Construction is always the front side of GDP, if anything is going to generate from a market cap GEP economy, macro-economy perspective, it always starts with construction because if you have a refinery, or a data center, or a school or whatever, it start with this thing gets built, and then from there you’ve got consumption, and commerce that starts to flow. Part of what our metric that we measure our success by, is starting to shift the static productivity to the matrix within the industry, to something that’s positive, because nothing has really changed since the late 1940’s. So, for us, we are in the beginning stages of that, we’ve barely dipped our toe in the water. We feel just because of the size of the industry, unless we’re doing north of $10 billion in revenue, it’s hard to see a validation that we’ve really made an impact on the industry.

I think you can look at growth and whatnot and determine an impact in customers, you can show and validate a product based on demand etc.  But as far as an industry this big, we’re not making the impact that we want to see at all, simply because of scale, we’re in order of 10x off of that from a revenue perspective, before we feel that would validate any measure of impact.

Those are assumptions we’re making, we could be wrong, maybe we’ll make an impact before then, but when you think about $14 trillion dollars of commerce, that’s a sizeable chunk that it’s hard to see a platform because we believe strongly in profit, and profit being a validation of a product, and so we still use that to measure our success, not whatever, users or what have you! Like this is a B2B industry, if you’ve got a product that works, you’re going to generate profit, and if you aren’t, you’re just kidding yourself and everyone else.

That’s an opinion that would have been handy back in the dot com implosion!

True! Very true.

Advertising right, that was the chief answer back then, that’s how we’re going to generate.

You have been a serial entrepreneur, and I remain impressed with how early you did that, in the pivots that you and your brother went through. What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs?

I think a big one would be, you don’t actually need money, and I say that just to counterbalance the impression that many entrepreneurs will get, that they go through this fundraising cycle and feel success from that. But you literally don’t need anything except yourself, and ultimately at the end of the day you don’t have anything but yourself. Your success and contingent as far as building something of quality that has lasting value, and will have an impact, that is a reflection of who you are at the end of the day, which is very sobering! Because to have that answer be simply a mirror is not an easy path.

But if I were to look back and be able to talk to my 15-year-old self, that’s what I would say, because I’ve made the mistake so many times thinking that the source of success, and the source of success specifically in entrepreneurship is outside somewhere else. And often because of the way fundraising and financial things catch headlines, there’s certainly an impression that being able to fundraise or do these things is somehow critical. Pick whatever, like there’s a bunch of different things, but there happens to be one of the top ones that I hear many entrepreneurs say they can’t do, or they don’t have access to, or whatever. The answer is you don’t need it, it’s just an excuse, and unless you’re looking inward, you’ll never find anything lasting from an entrepreneurial standpoint.

Well said, very deep thoughts. I’m sure SoftBank could have benefitted from those!

And it will. We were engaged with SoftBank for quite a bit there, and I think this is a good thing for them, because this creates humility, and like I said, success is the biggest inhibitor of future success, and SoftBank just had too much success. Alibaba is a remarkable story, and that creates some pathways in the brain that are hard to get out of, and that rut led to many mistakes, which I’m sure Masa recognizes now. He’s a pretty solid guy, he’s an entrepreneur and in my conversation with him, I really get the impression that he’s always had an anchor that’s routed in his belief and core belief of investing in founders that are quality, and it’s just a level of blindness because everyone has a subjective viewpoint, and his subjective viewpoint got narrower and narrower with the more success that he achieved. But there’s been a reset, and it’s probably been really healthy for him, and I’m sure he will look back and say, ‘That’s the best thing that happened’.

Well, and congratulations to you guys on the consideration from SoftBank, that says a lot, especially given the timing that interest was there.

As digital industry investors we always like to ask for your recommendations on interesting startups, who would you consider the ones to watch, beyond of course EquipmentShare?

That’s a good question. I apologize, I’m not the one to ask for this! I spend most of my time immersed in the EquipmentShare world and have not. Honestly, I have far less insight than you do. I’d love to ask a question from you, it’s true though I think you guys have a far better perspective, you spend every day thinking about that question and really surveying the landscape. Maybe that’s the thing about any answer to that, or, perspective of that, you don’t have to necessarily go deep, that  insight is gained from time, you guys spend so much time thinking about that, that you’re now the experts, and certainly more of an expert than I am because I can stumble through an answer here, but I’d rather not because I’d look foolish!

I suspect you’re bluffing us a little bit, because as an ecosystem play you guys make a very natural platform for an anchor and roll-up strategy, I’m sure there’s more than one person thinking about that these days, so I’ll let you not answer that, and we can move onto the next question! So, in closing can you provide any recommendations of books or resources that inspire you. I heard gardening inspires you, so maybe it comes back to having chickens in the backyard!

Well gardening actually doesn’t inspire me, it inspires my wife, certainly she’s an avid gardener. But honestly, I’m slightly lazy, and it’s a critical flaw in my character, and gardening and people who garden, actually I think it’s therapeutic for them, and it probably is but it’s hard work, and people like my wife are just far more hardworking than I am.

But as far as books, there’s one I’m reading right now that’s just fascinating, and the title has escaped me. It’s on Lincoln, something about a team of adversaries – I can’t remember, anyway, the whole point of this book is it goes through Lincoln and some peers that he ultimately pulled into his administration, through their lives. It’s actually fascinating because whenever you read history you’re always struck with the correlations between current events, and any other event in history, and it’s because these are humans and they have all the same drives and struggles and everything. We talked about struggle a little bit before, and it’s just remarkable the level of, the depth of character and intelligence in these individuals in the early 1800s, or mid 1800s.

Even the nature of life, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic right now, it’s devastating to many families and individuals, and the economy. The reality though back then was that was a common occurrence every other year. Take Lincoln, his mother, his sister, his first love, his child, a majority of people that he engaged with at a very intimate level died from the fever, or the Spanish Flu, or whatever they would call it, at whatever period, and it wasn’t just once, it was every other year this was happening. The amount of suffering that generations previous to us have experienced is just astounding when you go back and read it. I can’t remember quite the statistics, but I think somewhere in the 1800s – mid 1800s the average age of males, I’m not sure what females was, but males was I think 36 or 38 or something. Fast-forward to now we live in such luxurious times, and it’s wonderful, the life expectancy is double what it was a little over a hundred years ago, and all these wonderful things. That trend in my mind only continues, I’m fairly optimistic about humanity and the ultimate trajectory we’re headed in.

Sorry, I got totally distracted, I think it’s ‘Team of Rivals’, that name is popping into my head. Anyway, it’s about Lincoln, and absolutely fascinating, love it, it’s still one I am reading now. Usually the book I’m reading currently is my top suggestion because its fresh in my mind.

Well, Willy thank you, this has been a really insightful and an introspective interview, I do appreciate very much your deep insights. So, thank you for joining our podcast today.

Absolutely. Thank you, I really enjoyed it and appreciate you guys taking the time to chat. This was enjoyable.

Excellent. So, this has been Willy Schlacks, Co-Founder of EquipmentShare, a lifelong entrepreneur, digital industry leader, and a deep thinker I think about all things life.

Thank you for listening, and please join us next week for episode 102 of our Digital Industry Leadership Podcast Series, produced by, for, and about digital industry leaders. Thank you and have a great day.

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