LA Business Podcast

11. Arland Whitfield, CEO, Frontier Mining

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We talk to Arland Whitfield, the CEO of a cryptocurrency mining business, and take a deep dive into blockchain, bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency universe – and how it matters for business owners.

Frontier Mining

Intro: [00:00:00] Welcome to the LA Business Podcast, a forum for business owners and senior executives to share the experiences about the elements that drive their success. Your host is Robert Brill, CEO of, an Inc 500 company delivering the power of hyperlocal advertising. Robert writes for Forbes Inc and add trade publications.

Our goal is to bring you the stories about successes and failures of people who are making big things happen in marketing, entrepreneurship and management.

Robert Brill: [00:00:43] Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the LA Business Podcast. Today, we have Arland Whitfield, who is a CEO of Frontier Mining, does some really interesting things in the crypto space.

Arland thanks for being on our show.

Arland Whitfield: [00:00:58] It’s a pleasure, man.

Robert Brill: [00:01:00] So we met at Entrepreneur Organization and, we had a really interesting conversation, going over the basics of Crypto and Bitcoin. Of why it’s revolutionary. So let’s actually get started with this conversation. Tell us a little bit about your point of view on, Crypto. Introduce yourself to our audience. And, let’s talk about Frontier Mining.

Arland Whitfield: [00:01:25] Sounds good. well, yeah, so we’re a, we call it high density compute data center. we focus on, you know, high performance applications, mainly blockchain currently, but, not limited to that. You know, we were also exploring AI, Deep Learning, Render Farms and, you know, applications that don’t fall, within the traditional data center world.

We’re kind of, we call it Frontier. Um. Because we are really see ourselves as pioneering this new space or this niche market, regarding, cryptocurrency as a whole. It’s, it’s extremely exciting and volatile. I mean, it’s all over the place. This week alone, we’ve seen, you know, 10% , 15% jumps in either direction.

and, you know, that’s, that’s kind of the norm. but as, as a core technology, we’re really excited about it and we think that. it could be the future of currency. Absolutely.

Robert Brill: [00:02:20] So I have some crypto holdings, but not significant. It’s really, it’s an interesting space. Tell us your role in the crypto world.

What exactly do you guys do?

Arland Whitfield: [00:02:34] Yeah, so we’re the, we’re, we’re really a, a hosting provider. Basically, providing the race track. We like to call it, for the crypto game or the high density. A compute game. Essentially, we make sure that, people, machines these miners that they’re purchasing or, or other applications just keep running and keep the lights on.

We’re a true host or data center solution for them. because, you know, as you know, and as I mentioned last week or a couple weeks ago, the, these machines are, it’s like running four hairdryers strapped together, 24/7 in your living room, it’s just not a reasonable ask to run that inside a household. So, we allow users and users to enter that space.

Robert Brill: [00:03:19] So, for a simpleton like me, basically what that means is you have many rooms of storage or everything is connected to electricity and you have these, I guess. What hard drives?

Arland Whitfield: [00:03:34] Oh, so for the actual mechanics of mining? Yeah. I mean, so our clients send equipment to us.

eh, there’s, there’s a lot, you know, the, the mining space itself has gone through, you know, a lot of, different phases. You know, first it was people mining on their laptops, and then it started to get into more specialized hardware. like, you know, they’re buying like a bunch of CPAs and put them together.

And then. Went to GPU, like graphics processing, which was, you know, more powerful. and then now it’s finally at, at something called an AC chip or an app Application Specific Integrated Circuit, which its sole purpose is to, solve these cryptographic algorithms, for minors. And that hardware, I mean, we call them toasters because they look like toasters, with two big fans on each side. they mine a variety of, algorithms, for the blockchain and, and our clients purchase and ship that equipment to us. We plug it in. you know, these machines are really basic. It’s literally an ethernet port, an internet port, and a power plug.

there’s no connecting to monitor these machines. There’s no USB, there’s no keyboard, mouse, nothing. It’s, it’s, these machines are designed to do one thing. And one thing only, and they do it really, really well.

Robert Brill: [00:04:44] And thats doing math right. When you say you saw the algorithms, is it?

Arland Whitfield: [00:04:48] Yeah, I mean, essentially, there’s these cryptographic algorithms that, are just giant math problems.

You know very complex, these, a lot of energy to solve. and everybody’s in a race to solve this algorithm so they can verify, you know, quote unquote the blockchain. They can verify their block, and add it to the chain.

Robert Brill: [00:05:10] And so, once a block is verified, the minor who solves the algorithm wins a portion of the crypto?

Arland Whitfield: [00:05:19] Yeah. So I mean, yeah, so mining has really, evolved, from, you know, used to be able just to use your laptop and mine directly to the, the quote unquote blockchain, and receive rewards. And those rewards were, I mean, the block size is halved over the course of time, but, you know, at a time it was 24 Bitcoins per block, and you could do that by yourself and earn that.

In the beginning, multiple times a day. It’s insane. Saying that out loud now. But yeah, nowadays there’s so much competition and the equipment is so much higher powered. I mean by, you know, 10 X a hundred X type, leaps in the processing and the ability to, you know decode these cryptographic algorithms, it only makes sense for people to take thousands of machines, put together what are called mining pools and mind those blocks.

So, when those blocks are found, the pool distributes the rewards across thousands of people. Um. You know, they divvy up essentially right now it’s 12, I think 12.5 Bitcoin in a couple of months, it’s going to go down to six. And, they divvy that reward across, you know, many, many different accounts and you can receive 0.00001 Bitcoin because divvy this up.

So, it really opens up the possibility for an average user, again, to a space that otherwise would be impossible to get into right now.

Robert Brill: [00:06:41] So, basically your business is about a large storage facility that is connected to the internet. If I wanted to, get to the mining business, I would buy a bunch of these toasters, or you know, these, machines, I’d spend like $50,000 or $100,000 buying these rigs, and then your job is literally to keep electricity running to ensure that there’s no, issue that, that they, that they just stay on.

Arland Whitfield: [00:07:13] Yup. I mean, that’s, and that’s essentially, I mean, you’ll have fan failures and these things are, it’s like they’re running a marathon at sprint speeds all the time. I mean, we’re talking these, the chip temps are, you know, 90 to derecei, you know, at times, I mean, they, they run hot and they run fast.

And, I think it’s important, you know, for the, the viewers that don’t really know, it’s kind of like, why, you know, this sounds expensive. You know, you’re talking about $100,000 in equipment. It’s because you know, essentially after you get past the ROI period of a machine, if you’re able to do that, and there’s a lot of like gifts and then, you know, there’s a lot of caveats to that.

But if you are, a lot of people view it as buying Bitcoin at, you know, 50% off. They see it as a machine that after you get past the ROI period, which, you know, depending on market fluctuations and how you’re buying and selling the product that you’re, manufacturing. You could be extremely profitable.

You know, it’s like a discount. No. The problem that people are, that they’re getting in the space, like smaller guys, they think they earned by this machine. It’s literally going print money and, and be profitable day one. and, you know, that’s, that’s kind of a fallacy these days. the market’s really changed from what we experienced two years ago where people are buying machine and getting ROI in a month on their, on their hardware, and then just you know, sitting back and essentially making pure profit from that point on.

Robert Brill: [00:08:34] How long does it take? If I want to get into this business in January of 2020, like, and I ship you $100,000 worth of these machines, what is it? Does it depend on the price of Bitcoin or the light coin or whatever I’m mining?

Arland Whitfield: [00:08:52] Yeah, that’s a loaded question. So like, the caveat here is that the cryptographic algorithms have a built in kind of inflation, mechanisms, where as more people are contributing to the network, they’re processing power. There is a mechanism inside the coin called difficulty or what all the crypto has a square.

It will increase like proportionately with the amount. So the idea is like, if you turned on all the hash power today, as you know, five years ago, the difficulty would be, you know, it’d be the same. It would rise to that occasion, and then, you know, people wouldn’t be like, people wouldn’t mine out the 21 million Bitcoins that are exist in an existence or candy mind in a day. It’s a protection piece.

Robert Brill: [00:09:37] Sure.

Arland Whitfield: [00:09:38] So, you know, when people ask, okay, well that’d be profitable on X and Y, like there’s, there’s about three or four different variables we’re dealing with. First one I just mentioned is difficulty. Like if, if interest wanes, which is usually correlated to price, difficulty tends to drop, even though in the past that hasn’t necessarily been the case since the last spike, but in the past,  it has dropped, which meant that the machines that you had were selling mining more of the coin, but the coins value was less.

So then the idea is like, do I hold? And then if you hold, um. Is there, you know, when do you sell? And kind of equalize. So like, there’s, it’s so hard, and I stopped doing it on purpose it early days I’d be like, yeah, you’re going to be profitable. And you know, it’s gonna take eight months and you’re gonna be out of it.

But the truth is, it’s a very, very difficult thing to pin down. There’s people much smarter than I am. that probably have a better answer than I, but from my standpoint, you know, it’s really, you gotta look at the market, you gotta look at the past and understand when the best time to buy hardware is.

Some people are arguing that is right now. we’re seeing record low, pricing on machines. manufacturers are giveaway machines and you know, machines that, you know, aren’t profitable anymore at today’s rates. Like this is really, it’s a buyer’s market when it comes to buying hardware, but nobody wants to run the hardware because at today’s prices and difficulty and with the upcoming havening, it’s not profitable.

Robert Brill: [00:11:03] So really, you’ve got to like, I think that’s an interesting, an interesting pattern, right? There’s like when it’s all over the news. That’s when the, the, gains have already been generally.

Arland Whitfield: [00:11:18] Too late. You’re too late, you’re too late.

Robert Brill: [00:11:21] And that’s what stocks with crypto with like any trend, it’s when no one’s talking about it and when it’s actually really hard because it’s, there’s pain right now.

Now’s the time to do it, I think. I think it’s like you need a. You need, you need a F a good friend who can tell you when the dips are, because if you just read the news, that’s the opposite of what you need to be doing, basically.

Arland Whitfield: [00:11:44] Yeah, that’s a very, you know, it’s a very clarvoint point.

And I think one example of this is, you know, a couple months ago, an ESSNI and right now ESSNI’s are at the floor, but an ESSNI a hardware model, you know, they were getting dumped. I mean, like we were talking about people are, you know, selling them for, you know, 90-80 dollars a piece and in the market jumped and then suddenly.

They were going for 350-450 dollars a piece, same piece of hardware. And the only thing that changed was that the market improved and people like went out and bought them in force. And granted now anybody that did that and like, you know. We have clients that had this, you know, went in on that. They are hurting right now.

You know, because like that they wound bought hardware for 350 and now it’s being sold brand new from the same website. They bought it from for $100 and you know, in an aftermarket even cheaper. I mean, we’re back down to that jump. But like there, are these jumps, there’s these spikes and if you’re buying hardware.

And then the market’s going up. You better hope it keeps going up because if it doesn’t, you’re in trouble.

Robert Brill: [00:12:44] So is there a business opportunity for some sort of like consultation, like, well, if like someone with your knowledge, like everything you’re saying, right? Like I would have no way of ever distinguishing that this is actually happening on my own by reading articles.

Like, are there consultants in your business that promotes this type of knowledge?

Arland Whitfield: [00:13:06] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s definitely people that, I mean, I would never be comfortable consulting on it because frankly, you know, I’m just, I’m a tech guy. I’m not a financial guy. And there’s so many like mechanisms that I’m damn sure I’m not aware of, but there are people that are out there that advise on portfolios and strategies.

Absolutely, and it’s really, there’s a whole kind of, um. A cottage market that’s coming up around like how do I know when the moment is, you know, when it’s time to go. The only reason why I have any, you know, context is because I’m in the data center business and I can see what my clients are sending us.

I can see what’s selling, what people are turning off, what, you know, when a client comes to me and says, Hey, I’m not profitable. You know, what do I do? And they’re liquidate machines. And so I get a very, like. I’m like right there, like next, like very close to it. So, I get kind of a very real world temperature on what’s going on out there. And I think it’s, it’s unique perspective.

Robert Brill: [00:13:57] Absolutely. How did you come to be in this business? This  is such a, out of the left field type of thing. Like how do you, how do you, how does one get into the, into this type of business?

Arland Whitfield: [00:14:11] Yeah, I mean, that’s a good question. I, you know, I grew up, in my parents’ company, which is a managed service provider out of Los Angeles. And, they, you know, I grew up around it and I’ve never not been in the kind of the it server data center kind of space. It just, it’s something I’ve been in and something I know. And, when I was working corporate, I, I saw crypto, you know, I saw this, this opportunity rising. And, I ended up leaving my corporate job to, to build mining machines for myself because I bought some lite coin and sold it, you know, at 10 X my money in it and had cash to buy hardware. And I thought it was a really cool idea. So I bought some machines to try it out.

And, so my friends wanted, it’s my family want it, you know, some, some associates, why am my network? And I started building the machines and realizing nobody had anywhere to put it.

Robert Brill: [00:15:02] That’s the critical part. Cause I remember at one point in the story. Like your room was heating up?

Arland Whitfield: [00:15:09] Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, I built this thing with my, you know, my girlfriend and we thought it was a weekend and I was like, this is great.

Turned it on. Went to lunch, you know, kind of checking on my phone and came back. And my roommate, he came back a little bit before me. He was like, dude, I came in here. It was a hundred degrees. Like, I don’t know what you’re running, what you’re doing, but you know, this, this entire, you know, a thousand square foot apartment. And it was completely overheated. And I was like. Well crap, or I’m going to run it, you know? And, and not to mention the power’s really expensive in Los Angeles, or, you know, it’s where I’m based. And, um. So, you know, I started to, and my other clients were having similar issues. They say, God, this looks great.

I got it, got it home, turned it on. It seems to be making me money, but Holy crap, how am I going to cool this? And I think my, you know, AC bill is going to be higher than what I make, which is a valid concern. And, so I just started looking for space and of course, you know, being in the data center space, I was fortunate enough to have access to some racks in a true data center and in LA, in El Sagunda.

and you know, I hosted some machines there and, um. That filled up within about a week and, and I put a cab off, you know, I have space, like kind of like a, a signup page, a waitlist for space. And it filled up like crazy. I mean, like, you know, I didn’t pay for Pay Per Click at that time. I didn’t have really any SEO.

I literally just put up a page and didn’t do much marketing and people started finding me and signing up.

Robert Brill: [00:16:32] So literally was like, Hey, I have space to hold your toasters. And done, you have a business?

Arland Whitfield: [00:16:40] Pretty much. I mean, and I think that’s the messed-up part, was that I didn’t have space. It was kind of like, is this like I’m in this bubble?

And it just, the people I know, or is there a real demand for this is there, like, am I not, I can’t be the only one. And that was very quickly verified, like, Oh no, I mean there’s, there’s people. And since that point, I mean, our biggest issue, you know, at Frontier is not been getting clients. It’s been finding the product, finding the space.

and that’s basically my full time job is trying to find more space for the company so we can continue to grow. and you know, that’s, that’s a whole can of worms, you know, vendors and power companies and locations and stuff. I mean, there’s so many. You just deal because of we’re in such a emerging industry, you’re dealing with like, I mean, one of the first sites, you know, it was owned by a demolition company and it turns out demolition companies aren’t very good at building data center space or running it, or even, you know, being on the same site and they’re great knocking down things, but not building things.

So like, but that’s, that’s the characters we’re dealing with. There’s no. Like up until recently, there’s been no real data center players in the space. And it’s something that we always pride ourselves with is that, yeah, our sites aren’t true data centers. They’re, we call them tier zero centers. Instead of, you know, you have tier one through four and traditional data centers and we’re tier zero, we’re below it.

But they’re, cheap, they’re efficient, and, and they’re run professionally. You know, we implement best practices from, you know, the 25 years of MSP experience. and my parent’s company and, and, really try to provide that white glove service that I think people are missing, you know, the approachability, the, the friendliness, the understanding, that the spaces is missing.

It’s very obtuse. You know, you’d talk about Bitcoin and how to, you know, all this stuff and it just seems very scary and we try to make it approachable by anybody.

Robert Brill: [00:18:35] So one of the lessons here for me is, it’s one of the things that it’s like the hardest thing to do it’s like have an inside beat on how marketplace is going and basically pick the right industry at the right time.

Timing is everything.

Arland Whitfield: [00:18:49] Yeah, I mean, that’s, you know, I’ve, I’ve reflected quite a bit because it’s been a whirlwind. I mean, you know, the last, this is, it wasn’t even two years ago when we started this, and, and we’re opening up our sixth location in Canada, this month, and, you know, reflecting back on what happened, I mean, yeah, my skill set was right.

You know, my vision is correct on this and, but yeah, it’s 100%. It is so much luck. I, you know. It looks as a concept and I think, you know, there is such thing as luck, but you know, being ready for it is also important. And it was a good, perfect storm. You know, it really was. I don’t know how you find that, like how you, how do you manufacture that? But it was definitely.

Robert Brill: [00:19:30] Yeah, I think it, yeah, I mean, you can’t, you definitely can’t manufacture luck. I think when I look back at my experiences, like I been in advertising for 16 years and it’s not the same thing, but the similarity is that like, you have time on your hands if you’re patient enough.

I was patient enough and I saw the trends, I was like, okay, I could identify this next thing that’s going to be really important for our business. And that’s the thing that I struck on. The challenges is the luck is like, do you have the right skillset to be able to capitalize on a trend that you’re seeing?

And that’s. And that’s the challenge. Everyone has really great ideas. People do you hear all the time I had the idea of Uber before they even started. That’s cool. But you didn’t have the resources to execute on it. And that’s really the big difference between someone who has an idea and someone who’s a business owner doing the thing.

And I suspect that there’s a lot of ups and downs along the way. How do you get business today? Like you’re a bigger company. From from my understanding, is like, you are one of the top companies in this business. Like, how does that, how do you get, how do you scale in this situation right now?

Arland Whitfield: [00:20:49] Yeah, well, that’s a challenge that we’re facing every day. You know, a single bad deal, can, you know, have lasting impact and, and cause a lot of headaches. So, right now, you know, currently where the market is.

To answer your first question getting are our deals, a lot of stuff’s word, a word of mouth right now. We also rank number one in over 80 keywords related to mining our website. you know, I have an SEO background, and so I kind of know a little bit about, you know, what to do there. And it was able to get our sites of pop up, pretty quickly. So, you know, website traffic. We also deal with a lot of brokers, that are in the space.

You know, a few big players and, they tend to bring us, you know, a good, good pipeline of deals, and I’ll hold them close. You know, I should very few of them close, but it gets us on the map. But actually, the funny thing is that with mining, people reinvest in their assets.

So they’ll take their earnings, they’ll buy more equipment, they’ll double down, like keep going. So a lot, I mean, we’ve had clients go from, you know, being, uh. I don’t know, 10 units, which is a very small deal now. It wasn’t when we started, but now they have 400 units. and they just, they say, Hey, I’ve got more stuff I want to send. I have more stuff, like I said, and they just keep tossing it.

So a lot of it has been just, you know, people liking our service. Liking our pricing and what we’re doing and, and believe in that we’re going to be there to secure their asset. Because at the end of the day, like they’re dumping money into an asset and hoping they get ROI, and the only thing that prevents them from not getting ROI, is their machine not running.

So they’re trusting us with this, you know, it could be their child, their college, their kid’s college fund, or, I mean there’s, there’s, there’s a lot of responsibility and onus, and I think having the top quality service is what can, in that word of mouth is what continued to let us grow and differentiate ourselves in the space.

Um. And then from just like a straight up sales lead gen perspective, like, you know, the nuts and bolts, you know, we look, there’s a lot of forums, that have users that, talk about this stuff. Telegram, the, blockchain community is very large on telegram. There’re hundreds and hundreds of people in these chat rooms talking about where to put stuff and what’s works and what doesn’t.

And capitalizing on, you know, kind of skimming those and seeing what people saying, Hey, where do I put my, where should I put this stuff? I just bought it. has been, you know, a really useful tool. And then finally, in what we’re currently working on is we’re working on institutional guys and, and, what we call like industrial or institutional minors.

These guys are like hedge funds, family offices, investment bank type groups that have a lot of capital that want to get into the space. And you know, they usually demand more nuanced contracts, you know, revenue, shares, partnerships. you know, we’re, we’re closer to cost, but we have more volume type deals.

and I really do see that as the market matures, these players are gonna play a bigger, bigger, and bigger part as a little guy started to get phased out. So that getting into the space we take our current portfolio or current reputation, and we walk into the door, on these negotiations and say, look, this is what we’ve done.

So we built, you can come see our centers. we’re going to create this customized solution for you. And, so far, it’s worked out pretty well. I think it’s interesting.

Robert Brill: [00:24:15] There was a lot of places I want to go. I’m on HRS right now looking at your, I’m looking at your profile. So your site’s Right?

Arland Whitfield: [00:24:27] SEO on that URL.

Robert Brill: [00:24:30] Yeah. It’s incredible. Like you’re like incredible. Like I’m in the SEO, I’m not in the SEO business. We don’t offer that to our clients. It’s purely advertising, but I’m working on SEO for my own business. What are some tips that you’ve learned or you’ve deployed along the way that our listeners can deploy that might be relevant?

Arland Whitfield: [00:24:53] Yeah. I think the biggest thing that’s missed, one of the simplest, like. You know, things to focus on is really pay attention to your headings. Like, you know, H one H two H three like Google really looks at your, your stuff and flows down that way. So make sure, like if you have a, an H one tag, it references something in H two tag and it references something in the H three tags.

So when Google’s algorithms look at your site, they’re like, okay, you know, the H one is mining and then you know, the next, H2 which is like, the subheading is like. I should actually explain. The H one, they’re the headings that you know, in the font kind of on your website, you have the big texts and little texts.

So you kind of create like a waterfall, you know, you go, you know, Bitcoin mining. And then, you know, the fastest way to get Bitcoin mining is the H two tag. And then underneath that you talk about how Bitcoin mining is you know, how like it creates the story. You really got to see it as like you’re walking down a path.

and I think people forget, they just go, when I use every, the H one tag all the way through, and like, Google’s is from Google’s algorithm. They’re just like, Oh, this is just a bunch of headers. There’s no context here. There’s no substance. so I think it’s really important to be conscious of what you’re using because a lot of like web designers or people that are working in the space, um.

Well just say, okay, I wanna use the big text and when he’s a little text, but they’re not really, it’s not a why? The other thing that I think is really important, is the, you know, the, quote unquote, index credibility indicators. you know, having, other company’s logos, having, you know, certifications you have or awards.

you know, one of our philosophies, and I say our because I worked in my parent’s company, on this stuff is that, you know, you want to have. Eight, seven to eight, credibility indicators in your homepage. You know, whether that’s a picture of the CEO, you know, a letter written by the CEO with his signature on it.

you know, there’s a lot of like touches that you can have. Yeah. You wouldn’t believe how well that works.

Robert Brill: [00:26:52] my signature.

Arland Whitfield: [00:26:56] I would go to, I mean, so the, parent companies called Go to, and you’ll see right there, you know, my father, his signatures right there, like above the fold. and there’s something about that also, his entire staff is right there. And the picture underneath, you see a picture of him again with his signature.

And then all these, you know, MarketWatch start Tribune, Yahoo finance. Um. A picture of his data center. I mean, there’s people, there’s, it’s funny that there’s this trend to go to these hyper modern minimalist sites with blocky colors. What the end of the day, if you’re, if you’re putting an investment with some ccompany, if you’re putting in an investment with like a, say Frontier or, Brill Media, they want to see the person they’re handing the money.

They don’t want to see shapes and colors. And like, if something is valuable as like, you know, people could send us millions of dollars worth of equipment, you know, they want to see the guy they’re sending it to. And the same thing, you know, with my, parent’s company here, you know, they manage your IT.

I mean, they have all your HR records. They have, I mean, everything, everything. It’s like they, it’s all in their cloud and you’re not going to get that to some shapes and colors. You’re going to give that to, you know, a picture of a dude and his team, every engineer that’s on that site is actually working in that office.

And when you go and you, you say, I’m going to go with this guy, and they show up at your company, at your headquarters, and it’s the guy that’s on the site. I mean, that’s a whole, it feels better. I mean, from like, just say, driving standpoint.

Robert Brill: [00:28:29] So is that, is that, I mean, I get the social point of that, right?

Trust building trust. Is there an SEO component to that as well?

Arland Whitfield: [00:28:38] Yeah. So this signature, not so much, but, having credibility and cares like, you know, the, the Yahoo, like you’ll want a name that, you know, the actual picture, like fast company or marketplace and start to kind of backlink, serving better if you can link to articles off those credibility indicators.

But, you know, people, the algorithms really looking to see, um. Are people talking about you outside of your website, but like, not just like, I know there’s like, there’s companies that create hundreds of backlinks, you know, for like five bucks or whatever, and they go list on a bunch of sites and white texts.

That doesn’t work anymore. The has been updated. It’s really about. Linking the real sites with, you know, pay. Yeah, I’m sure you’re aware. Page rank, you know, high page rank, so you want it to have that, we call it like the quote unquote, the juice flow from this high high page ranks two years and make sure when you’re, if you’re doing an article for Yahoo or you’re getting posted somewhere with a high page rank, that the fault, the link that they link to your website is a follow link, not a no follow link.

Robert Brill: [00:29:39] How do I ensure that?

Arland Whitfield: [00:29:41] You just tell them. You say, I, this is my link to my website. Make it a, I don’t want to no follow link. I want to, I want to follow link because basically the no-follow is literally telling the bot that’s on scraping that content. This links on important to go here.

Oh, so yeah, I mean it’s, that’s, that’s it. I mean, it, it completely, I think a lot of people are doing like pro bono stuff for these, these sites and they’re not requesting that. And the sites, I mean, essentially think of it like water. Like they have this picture of water and then you have your website and you, you’re saying, okay, I’m writing this article and they create this link and if they make it a follow link, a little bit of that water drips into your cup and you become a, your PageRank raises, but they can go, actually, we’re not going to let any of our water out and keep our page rank as high it is and patch that and I think it’s dismissed. It’s, it’s definitely a miss for those people that are spending so much time generating great content and they’re not aware of this. One little caveat, the whole reason why they’re doing it.

Robert Brill: [00:30:39] I like it. That’s super interesting. So what does, what does 2020 look like for you? Is it just continue scaling? Are there any big things happening in the business?

Arland Whitfield: [00:30:50] Yeah, I mean, in 2020 is going to be the year of hopefully stability. You know, we, we’ve 10 X in the last year.

We need to, we need to like slow down and and we’ve built all these systems and we’ve hired all these people, and like, you know, a period of two to three months, I’m going from just me and one guy to, you know, a full team of eight people. It was, you know, it’s a jump and a two month period. So we’re, you know, stepping back and making sure that.

Everybody’s roles are really defined, the processes are in place, is really important. But at the same time, also reinventing how we’re doing sales. The market is transitioning especially with the upcoming happening of, Bitcoin, where it’s gonna become twice as hard to mine the same amount of Bitcoin.

Right. you know, we got to start focusing on larger scale, clients, industrial, and trying to. Figure out what they need and what product that product looks like. Is that a forefront? And then finally, the last pieces. We want more AI. We want more deep learning. We want to start working with, government, the, aerospace on these AI projects.

that happened to be that there’s a lot of government aerospace and you’re one of our centers and we wanr to start bringing them into our site to pitch them on, you know, saving, you know, 50%, 100% on their, like 90% on their power bills for their data center space in our centers that are hyper-local.

Robert Brill: [00:32:16] How does, how does AI play into that? I don’t get how AI makes a difference here. It’s like you’re just running, you know what I mean?

Arland Whitfield: [00:32:22] Well, I mean, I’m not running it. I mean, it wouldn’t be my AI. It’d be like we’d be hosting their AI, platform, essentially.

Robert Brill: [00:32:30] So does that mean fundamentally like moving, or expanding into other types of businesses that are not mining? Is that the point?

Arland Whitfield: [00:32:40] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s diversifying our portfolio of clients. I mean, we talk about high density compute, high performance compute. That’s what blockchain is. It’s not, I mean, they have, they have specialized machines, but you know, I don’t care if you’re using my power internet to power a Bitcoin blockchain or you’re using it to, do, you know, AI on your business applications.

Both processes are, you know, power intensive. Um. And people are hosting these in traditional data centers that aren’t really set up to have that much heat in that space. And we’re set up to have a ton of heat and a ton of power. So it makes a lot of sense for us to start, you know, working with this kind of next wave of compute.

And we talk about the future of computing. Blockchain is obviously obviously giving us a glance of that, what those data centers look like, what the requirements are. But I think really, truly it’s going to be AI, Deep Learning, Render Farms, and, Remote Compute. And that’s what these centers are going to eventually one day be transitioned to.

It’s not, it’s not all about mining.

Robert Brill: [00:33:37] Again, you said it’s like a few times and it’s just not clicking from your data. You’re a data service like you’re a data mining. You’re a data, what was the phrase?

Arland Whitfield: [00:33:47] High density compute data center hosting provider.

Robert Brill: [00:33:50] Yeah. If you never touch Bitcoin, you could still be that and serve a lot of different in it.

Arland Whitfield: [00:33:54] That’s fascinating. Yeah. We want, I mean, we want to be the data center, the high density compute data center for the world. We want to build micro grids of data centers that are close to key business areas and provide all their hosting needs that at a low cost.

Robert Brill: [00:34:08] Amazing. okay. As we wrap up, I’m a big foodie.

I like taking food photos. Uh. Where do you love to eat in Los Angeles or wherever you might go, in your travels?

Arland Whitfield: [00:34:20] Sure. So I know you’re, you’re on to LA. Have you been to Sugarfish.

Robert Brill: [00:34:24] Yeah, I have.

Arland Whitfield: [00:34:26] I like, Sugarfish a lot. it’s a big fan of that. I also really like Din Tai Fung out of, Glendale. Have you been there?

Robert Brill: [00:34:36] Yeah. I’ll tell you, I’ve been to the one in Hong Kong.

Arland Whitfield: [00:34:40] You have? That’s incredible I think that it, you know, I’m not a big Chinese food fan, but Din Tai Fung I think just provides, you know, really clean food, at a really good price. And it’s, it’s incredible. I mean, the flavors are very unique. there’s always a line, man, it’s so hard to get in that place during like dinner, the dinner rush.

I mean, forget it. It’s like two, three hours. But, definitely. And then finally, Raphie’s in Glendale as well.

Robert Brill: [00:35:07] Yes, I grew up in Glendale.

Arland Whitfield: [00:35:12] Oh, so you know this place well.

Robert Brill: [00:35:13] I do, but I actually only started going to Raphie’s like when I got, when I moved away and I just, I didn’t discover it. Someone talking me about it, like Glendale is such a really interesting city because when I grew up, it was like we spent a lot of time in Burbank and like the Americana and everything around there is.

Like I left for New York and I came back and you had the American, I was like, mom, you have like a cool hip city now. Congratulations.

Arland Whitfield: [00:35:39] Oh my gosh. Yeah. I mean, the Caruso, so did a real good job there. I was there last night and he had like the fountain in the tree, like it’s Christmas, so you know, all the lights are up and, but then this like music came on the fountains doing this choreographically and it starts snowing.

The entire place. Like he’s, he’s got these, like, it’s soap, it’s like soap machines, but he’s got them all around and it just looks like you made the place look like Disneyland. Like it’s a Winter Wonderland and the guy’s got vision. I mean, he’s just insane.

Robert Brill: [00:36:08] So, how can, how can people find you.

Arland Whitfield: [00:36:12] Yeah. I mean, I’m not big on social media, unfortunately. but I, you know, my email address is [email protected]. If you have any questions? You know, reach out, as well as our website, there’s a helpful chat bot there that will get you to one of us if you have questions regarding mining.

and, yeah, I mean, I think, I guess are the two best places to reach me.

Robert Brill: [00:36:36] Very cool. Thank you, Arlin. Appreciate your time.

Arland Whitfield: [00:36:38] Of course, man, thanks. Thanks for having me.

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Intro Music: Echegoyen Productions

Created By: Brill Media