We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, how do you think about risk?
I believe risk is relative. Some think it’s risky to fly on an airplane. Others fly thousands of miles a month, without giving it a second thought.
I’m more concerned about the risk of NOT doing something – the opportunity cost – than about the potential for failure. I’ve met many people who have big dreams, but won’t pursue them because they believe the risk outweighs the reward. If everyone had that mindset, we’d have very little progress.
I think my high tolerance for risk has opened my eyes to opportunities that others may miss, as I’m not afraid to consider new possibilities in emerging areas, where people are taking more risks than might be typical. I’ve had far more failures than successes, but I know I’m taking action instead of kibitzing from the sidelines…
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m excited to be involved in a number of new technologies that are (and will) change the way we engage with and experience life. I started in the music business, managing a band called Stone Temple Pilots. I grew up with them (playing local clubs in another band), and got them a record deal after a year and a half of calling and visiting every record label I could find. I managed them for 10 years and made 5 records with them and toured the world. It was a challenge every day, but I had nothing to lose. It was like being married to 4 people who all had different needs and abilities. Lots of psychology and something new (with potentially serious consequences) was thrown at us every day. Not too different from running a start-up!
With Vezt (www.vezt.co), we were the first to fractionalize music rights – making artists and songs accessible to consumers in a whole new way. I believe that adding fan involvement brings a retail value to song rights that has been missing, and can benefit both artists and fans.
SongHub (www.songhub.co) lets artists collaborate, create and register their songs directly with performing rights organizations and music publishers, while incorporating blockchain technology to verify chain of title, and future tracking and monetization.
Futureworlds (www.futureworlds.co) is a metaverse creative development agency focused on bringing iconic assets and properties into the metaverse, where communities can be built and shared on a global basis. Futureworlds 2022 will be the first in-person metaverse conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 12th, 2022.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Southern California is filled with a variety of experiences across lifestyle, culture and food! I’d start out in Santa Barbara, maybe spend a day at some of the beaches near Isla Vista – a favorite hang for UCSB students, and then head down the coast to Montecito – a celebrity enclave with a great Italian spot called Tre Lune on Coast Village Drive.
Heading down the 101 into LA, visit the most prolific sushi street in America (and maybe the world) – Ventura Boulevard – home to what seems like hundreds of sushi spots stretching from Tarzana to Studio City. The original Katsuya is here, tucked into the corner of a non-descript strip mall, between a Domino’s and a pet store. Never overly-crowded, and with some of the best fish in town, it’s a consistently great experience, without the frills and prices you might see elsewhere.
Spend a day or two in LA, and go downtown and see the fashion and jewelry districts. Have dim sum in San Gabriel. Go out to Santa Monica and have breakfast at Cora’s. Check out the Venice boardwalk and rent bikes for a ride down to the marina.
I’d head down the coast and check out South Of Nick’s in San Clemente, before hopping into North County (San Diego). Solana Beach, Encinitas and Leucadia are all areas that used to be more laid back, but are getting more popular with tourists and development now, but are still a far cry from the urban sprawl of San Diego.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father deserves a lot of credit for who I am. He was building a business and career, when the world changed, and he enlisted in the US Marine Corp to serve our country. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to have to leave everything you know and love to fight 5,000 miles away for years. When he came back (and many did not), he started all over again on the West coast, and built a number of businesses over the years. Although he died when I was 20, he instilled in me a sense that anything was possible, and that nothing worthwhile came without hard work and perseverance. He went to work every day to support my family and I never heard him utter a single complaint – ever.