We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric ” SPIV ” Spivak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric ” SPIV “, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I mean, almost everything you do has some form of risk involved and it’s your job to overcome that fear of the unknown and teach yourself when to roll the dice or fold. Since before I can remember, gambling has always gotten a really bad wrap, but by nature every decision you make and step you take either brings you closer or further from the finish line. The older I get, the more I realize that goalpost is always moving and depending on your patience, awareness, understanding and acceptance, you’re constantly trying to adapt, overcome and score while learning new skills along the way. Over the last decade, I used to teach sports betting, poker, blackjack and California Games to people who wanted to learn how to grow their money in a fast but sometimes dangerous way and were afraid of untraditional money multiplying activities ranging from stocks to business ventures. Alongside those teachings, I’d often use vivid metaphors and unique visual aids to showcase the similarities and differences of how there’s so much crossover in our thought processes and how we decide to play these games… It’s a mixture of probability, chance, common sense and a little bit of math. Much like driving home with a gas tank on E and trying to figure out if you’ll make it or get stranded. Ha, some of the most successful people in our world have amazing stories of risk taking being responsible for their big breaks. I know at almost every job I’ve ever worked I had a few side hustles that were complementary to the job, but didn’t hurt the employer so if I got in trouble, it’d be more of a win/win vs a me taking advantage of the people who gave me the opportunity. When I worked for Papa Johns delivering pizza’s in Long Island, NY I used to hit my customers with a customized menu from kinkos that allowed you to order everything imaginable from a liquor store, gas station, or duane reade to arrive with your pie. One day, my manager caught me and turned me over to the owner. I expressed to the owner if he had a delivery program that worked in partnership with his drivers, almost like a side job. They’d all make more money, as a business owner he’d make more money, and his customers would be happier considering the climate in NY at the time, ubereats, doordash, postmates and grubhub not being existent. He told me they hired me to deliver pizzas, not candy, chips, and a variety of other goods. Then said if he caught me doing it again, I’d be fired. So I quit. Another risk moment was moving to Austin, TX and selling Kirby Vacuums door to door by day, and working on a Revolutionary Music Startup at night.. After that, we could jump to blindly moving to Los Angeles and starting to throw Illegal Parties til sunrise all over town, and using that network to springboard me into communities that I was passionate about while building my brand. I could go on and on about these coin tosses that the reward outweighs the risk and those moments are where you start to become more comfortable with calculating, planning and experimenting. Most people don’t know the terminology of A/B testing nor see how market research truly impacts what we do, who we do it for/with and why we do it. I love dropping a mixtape with a blue cover, then a red one, then a yellow one and seeing which one gets the most sales with the same content/music. I geek out over trying to figure out if people buy more of the Hybrid, Indica or Sativa I’m selling. A lot of my job is reverse engineering and problem solving which requires deep dives into creative strategies to prompt decision making and results. Currently my agency URCONDUIT is based around providing accessibility and availability to getting anyone, anything, anywhere at anytime. Basically whatever problem you’re facing, now “you’ve got a guy for that” – Making bold statements like that is a risk of my integrity, character and credibility if I don’t deliver, which is why how we do anything is how we do everything and we under promise / over delivery each and every time.
What should our readers know about your business?
I like how this brought us into the next question, so Urconduit is a one of a kind Creative Agency, Marketing Firm & VIP Concierge service. Known for making the impossible happen, we provide unique solutions to complex problems and work with a very wide range of budgets and clients… Literally, whether you want a Flamethrower from The Boring Company delivered by Cybertruck with Vin Diesel bumping an unreleased version of NWA’s F*ck The Police from Dr. Dre himself. Or perhaps something easier like skywriting a “Will You Marry Me” message above The Statue of Liberty while you’re on the ferry with the love of your life and a jet skier delivering the ring while a drone captures the moment. It’s that kind of crazy outside of the box thinking that allows us to be an easy-button, that I’ve never seen before. It’s truly an amazing and a very unique position to be in, I’d say the majority of our clients are people who are struggling to find something, get in contact with someone, or garner support for their project(s). It’s pretty exciting, as every day the requests are different, and the fact that they almost always involve helping people at some capacity, and sometimes in very serious times of need with crazy urgency, that’s when pulling through really matters, and that’s where I / we really shine. There’s no magic wand, and these solutions definitely come with a price for the smart and hard work necessary but when someone pulls you out of the deep end when you’re drowning or facing that crippling anxiety to show you that it’s all alright. That sigh of relief and breath of fresh air is worth every penny you have in that moment. Outside of Urconduit, I’m a resident of the Bananas residency in Leimert Park, which is one of the best and longest running independent music showcases in LA. We have one of the most diverse, dynamic and receptive audiences in town alongside your favorite artists, new favorite artists likely performing or studying before his or her big break. S/O to the crew. Aside from Bananas, last year I started a women’s platform called DaughtersLA with my friend, the artist known as Gavlyn. We create a showcase for today’s women of tomorrow. We produced 10 events in our first year with around 400 guests at each, with no outside partnerships, funding and/or support and managed to pay out over $10,000 and put on over 100 women at various capacities throughout the year. My next step for this was to bring it on tour, then launch an international women’s music festival. Post-Covid, perhaps we can still make this dream possible. Beyond that business, you’ve got me. Eric Spivak. Speaker, Entrepreneur, Consultant, Web & Graphic Designer, Artist Developer, Manager, A&R, Rapper, DJ, Engineer, Producer, Editor, Hustler, Coach, and above all else, Friend. I speak from a place of pride, not ego, with everything to share. My unique platforms mix culture with community through collaboration and creativity. We are all conduits and connectors, that can become catalysts for change that have long-lasting, sustainable impacts to make the world better. That’s what I’m about, that is the legacy I’m leaving behind.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I absolutely love sharing the history of Los Angeles through my eyes and what I’ve done here, when, where and how it’s all shaped me. I actually got asked a while back to tell this story for the 2028 Olympics. Only time will tell what shape the world takes until then and if the opportunity will still exist.
When I moved here I started on the westside a few minutes from the beach and have been slowly inching east ever since, going from Venice/Mar Vista to Culver City/Palms, to Koreatown then Silverlake/Echo Park, then DTLA, and now in the Arts District. Living in all of these places has given me such an amazing and rich view of this city and that it has to offer. Previous to LA, I lived in Austin, TX and then Long Island, NY prior to that. Originally I grew up in Tampa, FL and left at 18 and was born in Chicago, IL. I honestly don’t want to make an exhaustingly long list of where to go and what to do, but I will say if you want a memorable day that’ll get you hooked on this amazing city to the point you’d want to extend your stay, feel free to contact me with your budget and I’ll plan your experience. Maybe even be your guide, a few years back I used to run a thing called Prohibited Tours which would bring groups of 10 on Speakeasy Bar tours with 4 destinations in 4 hours. You didn’t know where you were going, but you knew when you’d arrived. It was part of my speakeasy directory business prior to opening 411 Studios & launching Urconduit.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Instead of shouting out an individual person, I really want to say I appreciate initiatives like the Downtown Womens Center, Nipsey’s Vector 90, Shia’s Slauson Rec, Kobe’s Mamba On 3, The Watts Empowerment, Homeboy Industries, Puno & Ilovecreatives, and just anyone out here really pushing to give back through whatever medium or platforms they create. Secondly, I want to say shoutout to anyone who’s ever given me a chance. As a high school drop out, with no formal education, no financial support, no father figure, no siblings, no guidance, I’ve truly seen so much love, support and respect reciprocated to me over the last decade plus living here in Los Angeles. To this day, I can honestly say through all of my travels, trials and tribulations, there is nowhere else in the world right now I’d rather call home. Lastly, Shoutout to everyone just trying to get by and do the best with what they have, and where they’re at, remember sometimes things have to get really, really bad before they can get really, really good. Progress is a process, and you have to trust it, share it, and learn from it.
Website: https://urconduit.com/ https://eric-spivak.com/