Wireless World at CTIA 2015 meets the mastermind behind Madstar Mobile - David Pearsall
Madstar Mobile is America's newest national wireless carrier. We took time to sit with its founder and CEO, David Pearsall. We learned a lot not just about him or the wireless efforts to establish a new national wireless carrier, but being an entrepreneur and achieving measurable success in a balanced life. David Pearsall started his career right out of high school as an electrician and still proudly holds onto his E1 today. David has since evolved from being a successful electrical contractor to owning, and investing in, dozens of companies. David's companies range from early e-commerce, energy and even to professional sports franchises in the US and the UK. Mr. Pearsall has always been an “over achiever” even though he'll say he’s not sure what that even means. He achieves success regularly with drive, purpose, complete confidence and by what he calls being a “decisive decision maker” while immersing himself into his work. Then again, it's not considered work if you do what you love, right? David found his greatest success for business in energy being an electricity and natural gas supplier competing against the regulated utilities. He has built two companies in that industry grossing in excess of 100 million. David Pearsall truly reinvented the energy market and did so before turning 40 years old. After two years of contract negotiation and development, in October of 2014, David Pearsall launched Madstar Mobile as the newest national wireless carrier to compete with the existing establishment of carriers.
We sat to talk with Mr. Pearsall to ask just a few questions to get inside the motivated mind of Madstar:
WW: So, why wireless?
DP : When someone has inspired thought with the proper skill set to execute, they should trust it and immediately ACT upon it. If you can provide consumer value in any industry and want to compete against someone, you should pick the biggest and best and go in with complete confidence and unwavering faith that you will win. The current mobile situation is very similar to that of energy, 10 years ago. Having a mobile device with great coverage has become a necessity and is a staple of our society, just like electricity or natural gas. At one point we were saving our customers over $1 million/month in energy. Our Madstar Mobile subscribers will be the recipient of savings and great customer service. With the premise of providing choice while saving people money, Madstar will be a refreshing alternative for those looking for a new wireless carrier, and for those who think they're happy where they are until they see what we can offer.
WW: What differentiates Madstar Mobile from other carriers?
DP : This industry is what, 15 years young? It’s in its infancy still. It’s barely a teenager and like most teenagers, it thinks it knows all of the answers but it’s addressing the wrong questions. There are four juggernauts in the business who are attempting to build the standards and rules which aren't always clear or in the best interest of the consumer. I know because I WAS that consumer who had accepted egregious multi-year contracts and their exorbitant early termination fees. If a wireless carrier was as good as they say then why would they need to lock you into a long term contract? Always remember that what you allow is what will continue ... until you decide to do something about it. This question should be asked; If your wireless carrier is just now offering you double the data at half the price, does that mean you were previously double charged or only provided half of what you paid for and deserved? Business and customer service are no place for mediocrity. We work every day to prove that our customers made the right choice and are smart cost-conscientious consumers. We have put our vision into motion which demands intelligent action and courage from everyone at Madstar Mobile. We have every tool needed to compete and win and are just grateful for this opportunity to serve people. Madstar Mobile now stands toe-to-toe with these Goliath's of this industry and we are willing and able to fight for a place within, in an effort to provide choice and save our subscribers' money. By the way, that was a good question, that got me a little excited! Keep ‘em coming!
Well thanks and there are plenty to ask! You mentioned saving people $1 million/month in energy … how will you define success in this industry?
DP : Money is certainly a strong indicator of success, but not uniquely exclusive as the only measurement of accomplishment. I have had what some may call the biggest failures, but to me they are an education, a learning experience that has gotten rid of fake friends and prepared me for immense success in the future. Success is defined by Napoleon Hill as "a gradual realization of a worthy ideal." So what defines success for Madstar Mobile? We will build a legacy of saving people money for the cost conscious consumer while providing transparent service and savings on the level. Your wireless bill shouldn’t be as much as a car payment and 8 pages long with charges you can’t understand. We can raise the standards of product, service, customer service, education and of our industry as a whole without being afraid of the overeating industry elephants.
WW: Being initially from the energy industry, how did you learn this industry to deploy Madstar Mobile.
DP: In my mind the basic fundamentals of business are the same regardless of industry. Let me explain. When it comes to employment conditions, payroll, taxes, regulatory and compliance, risk policies and procedures are all just a few parts that are basically the same. It took me years to deploy Madstar so this was not a quick process at all. We needed software, fulfillment, learn the rules of the telecom game and get sales and use taxes set up in each state. But before all that I had to make that final decision to take on this endeavor. I initially bought market studies of every company in the US and abroad to learn about their successes and failures. I then created forecasts with a cash flow waterfall tied to transactions and standard operating procedures all with only one goal in mind. The goal was to ensure that Madstar Mobile would have a clear and sustainable path to profitability with the shortest time frame possible to break even. Then I had to test the market by offering something people would want and prove the model before committing.
I think I just look at things differently than most. People look at things and see why they can't be done. I look at them and see how they can be done while considering the pitfalls to mitigate them. There is a saying in Silicon Valley that if you are the smartest guy in the room, then you are in the wrong room. I think some people use it as an excuse or crutch to not know what they should about their own business or industry. Life is a never ending education as it's your job to know your job. If you do not know what you should about what you do, then maybe you should be studying and not at the party. I have always said we all grew up being told a lie that knowledge is power. You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you do nothing with it, what's the point? It is said that true power is when knowledge is applied and directed to a definitive end. I may also ramble so stop me at anytime so I don't continue to hear my own voice. I sometimes have a lot to say.
WW: Do you consider Madstar Mobile to be the underdog competing against some of the largest companies in America?
DP : Absolutely! But who else would you want to compete against? If someone wanted to compete in an industry should they pick one that offers a one time sale or one that provides a residual revenue with a service that everyone needs? That was a bad answer because people should run a business that is of interest to them and one that benefits the people they serve while also being a compliment to their industry. Being a wireless carrier is my industry of interest now and I am grateful to compete with the largest of them. We have already been well received by focusing on providing delight to our target market. America is built and defined by underdogs who stood behind an ideal and when others told them it wouldn’t happen, they worked even harder against the nay-sayers. Those who say it can't be done, should get out of the way of me doing it.
WW: Where did the name Madstar come from?
DP: I have always had a few nicknames for my daughter Madilyn and I wanted her to be the company's namesake. I have always called her Pookie Poo, Bunny or Madstar. Pookie Poo Mobile would not have been a very good name so Madstar Mobile it is. I still call her Pookie Poo, especially in public. Madilyn and my wife, Sylvia, are my two favorite people in the world and I can't help but smile knowing how lucky I am to have their love and support. Being an entrepreneur is an emotional and financial roller coaster. They both provide me the support, encouragement and drive I need and seem to believe in me more than I believe in myself at times.
WW: Any last words you would like the reader to know?
Madstar is also taking over the Caribbean! We have customers throughout the Caribbean in St. Croix, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas and recently launched RUM Phones by Madstar Mobile. RUM stands for Reliable Unlimited Mobile and is our own branded phone we offer for free with service to our subscribers.
I would just like to thank all of our current customers who believed in us enough to initially join Madstar. I consider our focus group to be the first 500 customers that we call our Founders 500 and our first 5000 customers are our Foundation 5000. It means the most to me and everyone at Madstar Mobile that you joined us in our infancy when we needed you the most and you will always be our first priority. I am also very grateful and would like to thank a few of my celebrity friends, Murray SawChuck, Ken Shamrock, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Dale Torborg and Tommy Dreamer for helping to promote Madstar to their friends and fan base. Thank you, thank you, thank you!