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How Compassionate AI Is Making LivePerson a Winner

By Jason Moser - Dec 10, 2020 at 11:59PM

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Meet BELLA, a first-of-its-kind compassionate banking platform.

In this episode of Industry Focus: Financials, Jason Moser chats with the Founder and CEO of LivePerson ( LPSN -3.19% ), Robert LoCascio, about how his company is making it easier for businesses to connect with customers through its conversational AI solutions. They talk about the future of banking and the importance of conversational relationships of banks with their customers. They also discuss how LivePerson is helping retailers with their online transition and building trust. Finally, Rob shares how the late Tony Hsieh has impacted his life and motivated him.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on December 7, 2020.

Jason Moser: It's Monday, December 7. I'm your host Jason Moser, and on this week's Financial show we're chatting with the Founder and CEO of LivePerson, Mr. Rob LoCascio.

LivePerson makes life easier for people and brands everywhere through its trusted conversational AI. Over 18,000 customers use its conversational solutions to create a conversational relationship with their millions of consumers. In fact, LivePerson was named to Fast Company's World's Most Innovative Companies list in 2020. Rob has been the CEO of the company since its founding in 1985, and joins us this week to talk more about LivePerson's work with BELLA, a recently launched digital banking platform that's a first-of-its-kind compassionate banking platform that prioritizes people over profit.

Rob, it's great to talk with you again. Thanks so much for taking the time to join us.

Robert LoCascio: Thanks for having me here, Jason; I hope to talk about the future.

Moser: Absolutely. Well, you know, investing is all about the future, so that's what we focus on here too, [laughs] so let's jump right into it. First and foremost, for listeners who maybe aren't quite as familiar with LivePerson. I look at this stock, it's been such an impressive performer through the years, year-to-date strong performance. Obviously, you're benefiting from this accelerated digital transformation. Shares have returned close to 400% over the last three years. I mean, you guys are doing a lot of things right, clearly.

But let's set the table here for folks who don't know LivePerson. You're a conversational AI company. How does that technology work and how is it changing how we do business?

LoCascio: Sure, I guess my claim to fame, if you've ever chatted online for customer care on a website, I invented that in 1997 ...

Moser: Well, I've definitely done that, so I'm familiar. [laughs]

LoCascio: [laughs] I know. It's like, we're behind the scenes, we're not a brand out there, but if you've ever done that, you've probably used the technology I invented many years ago. But we made a big pivot about five years ago. And basically, I saw messaging -- you know, we're all messaging our friends and family through Facebook or iMessage, and I said, you know, why can't we do this with businesses? And because I invented this chat business and we did really well with it, but I kind of felt that this could be really transformative. If a brand could be on your messaging list, like next to your friends, let's say, and you could have that connection with them, they could be present. If you have an issue, you don't have to call on the phone, be put on hold or send in an email and all these old technologies, they could be right there, you could message them. You know, what would that experience be like?

So, we launched a new platform, we built it from the ground up, called LiveEngage. And so, if you're messaging on Delta through Apple Business Chat or iMessage, it's called, or in their app or T-Mobile we're Citibank, you're using our technology. Chipotle, like, now they have this bot called Pepper. If you build a burrito with Pepper and you go pick that burrito up at the door, so you can be socially distanced, you're using our technology platform.

Moser: Okay, very nice. So, I want to talk specifically about BELLA. I mean, that's really what we're here to talk about today, because this being the Financial show, BELLA has piqued a lot of our interest because of this idea of compassionate banking, of focusing on people, not profits. I mean, if you kind of take into consideration all stakeholders then I think you see a lot of results, and it seems in line with that conscious capitalism movement that we're so fond of here at The Motley Fool. So, talk a little bit, what is BELLA, and how did this relationship form?

LoCascio: So, you know, we have many banking customers around the world, and we're powering all these large brands, like I talk about, with this idea of creating a more outstanding customer experience. And this is where we come from, like, we work with the biggest brands in the world. And so, I've felt for a long time, there's been challenges in the banking world. And even the people we work with want to transform banking, there are just structural issues in banking right now that even the best people and the best intentions, for some reason, don't get delivered a lot, and we end up where we are today, which is with a service that is very different from when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I remember on Saturdays we'd go to the bank and I'd put my quarters in my savings account and they were part of the fabric of the community. It meant something. Like, my mom and dad they knew the people in the branch. And we lost that. We became digits and numbers in a bank.

I'll tell you a funny story, it's a true story, literally my daughter who's four, when she was born, you know, people gave us some money for when she got baptized. So, I put $700, I opened up a savings account for her in Chase, which is the bank I was in. And I literally got a notice the other day that they basically shut the account down and they've transferred the money somewhere, and they can't find it right now. And because we haven't used the account, it's called a dormant account. She's a child. And we opened up a savings account. We're in that same bank, by the way. My wife and I opened our accounts there, we opened her account. And they don't know. So, I'm just, that's not a great experience. And so, that -- I can tell you, we can all tell many more experiences.

So, I felt like there's a lack of compassion, there's a lack of treating us as we're part of this community and giving us this love and respect as customers. And so, we felt, why don't we try something different using our technology which provides the best customer experience? And that set us, sort of, on the road. And at the same time, there was a guy in Italy who had built a bank called buddybank on top of our platform, and he was a subsidiary of a very large bank in Italy called UniCredit. And he was having wonderful success, and he built this bank based on a concierge concept, like the buddy, this bank is going to be your buddy. And he called me up, and he said, you know, I'm not getting what I need here, I'm thinking about something different. And I said, come here. It just so happened, at the same time, I was thinking about this, he called me up. I said, come here, let's try this. You know our technology is awesome, you've got this vision, I have this vision, maybe we can make this work. And that's where BELLA started, which was a year-and-a-half ago.

Moser: Now, is BELLA something that is separate from LivePerson or is this a partnership or is this something that LivePerson built? You understand what I'm saying?

LoCascio: Yes. So, we set it up as its own business unit. We own it. So, we do own it. We are partnering with a bank called nbkc. So, we have to be a bank, but we are not the bank, but we have a bank, so you're FDI insured. Actually, you're FDI and FDIC insured up to $5 million in your account. And we have all the bank regulations, so we can be a bank, handle your money and provide that layer of safety that everybody wants. You don't want your money disappearing.

And then above that, now we can build anything we want. And what was really interesting, it's a blank slate, we didn't think about checking accounts and savings accounts, because we don't want to be just the bank, we thought differently about what it should be if you have your money sitting somewhere, what are the possibilities of doing great things with that? And that's really where we just focused on.

Moser: You know, that's an interesting thing that you're keying in on there, because I've seen a number of different statistics out there that talk about this. And it focuses, I think, more so on younger generations, you know, millennials, Gen Z. But just the consumers that are coming up and becoming a more important part of our economy as time goes on, these consumers are much more open to, not only open, but really it's almost like they would prefer to build financial relationships, banking relationships, insurance relationships with tech companies that partner with bank companies. In other words, they see perhaps a level of trust in some of these tech companies that they don't necessarily have. And I am sure that goes back to just the stereotype, that stodgy old industry of banking and insurance and Wall Street and greed and whatnot, and there's a lack of trust there. And it seems like consumers are really -- they're starting to call that lack of trust out and look for other options, and it seems like you're really scratching that itch through that concept of BELLA.

LoCascio: That's correct. What we've seen is that, if you look at traditional tech right now, unfortunately, big tech also has a problem with trust, right? And they're all trying to get into banking, they're all trying to create payment systems. We know we see Facebook with Libra, and they're trying to create a global payment platform and, sort of, an exchange of money and currency. And they're having problems, because governments don't want them to do this, because they think they're going to do bad things. Then you have traditional, what I call fintech, and fintech basically is like, we're going to take traditional banking, but put it in an app, make it easy to open a checking and have a credit card account, but what we're seeing there is that, maybe I get lower interest rates, I'm going to get lower fees or higher interest, little bit higher interest, but it's still, they're keeping it in the commodity. And sometimes they do, OK, we're going to give financial advice.

We just went the other way, we said, look, we think it's all about customer care and love, and we're going to set the high bar of the word "love." We come from a customer care background, this is what our software has been doing for 20 years, this is what we passionately believe in. So, we said, it's all about the care of our customers, and then we're going to create a place that they can be in, that will allow them to care for each other, a community in which, if my money is there, could I help others? Is there a way for me to do that? And that's the two parts. We're going to be there for you, BELLA is going to be there for you, and you also have the ability to be part of this community and help others in a trusted way.

Moser: Yeah, I like the use of that word "community" there, because earlier when you were telling that story as a kid going to the bank every Saturday, dropping your money off there, and there was a relationship there, a status in the community, and it was -- I remember that very well myself. I mean, that doesn't exist anymore, you're right, we've become commoditized and technology, you know, I always like to say, it giveth and it taketh away. [laughs] For all of the convenience that we get, we do lose a lot of those concepts like empathy, and love, and compassion, and whatnot. So, speaking of concepts like empathy and love and given the focus with BELLA on concepts like that. How does that translate for the everyday user, what does the everyday user experience as a BELLA customer?

LoCascio: So, one of our big parts is, we have this thing called a Karma Account. So, you can put, let's say, $20 into this account and you can direct BELLA to do things with that. For instance, I could say, you know what, I want to give Jason $5. And so, what it does is it watches when you make a purchase. So, for instance, let's say you're going for -- I don't know if you like Starbucks or not, but let's say you're going for coffee. And you use your BELLA card, up pops, hey, Jason, Rob wants to pick up this coffee for you.

Moser: Oh, wow!

LoCascio: Right. And then sometimes what BELLA does. Now, this is sort of something we said. We can do all this fancy marketing and spend millions of dollars on acquiring consumers or we can say, you know, we're looking for members, we're looking for people. And we rather give that money back to them. So, we did put into BELLA, like, in December, we would put $1 million in BELLA and BELLA will just pop-up and say, you know what, hey, Jason, this coffee is on me or this meal is on me. And we rather give our members back this money then we go out and spend money on doing splashy ad campaigns that may or may not bring the people that we want here. We rather have, like, a core group come in, they start telling people, and we'll take care of you.

And that's the idea, it's like, we have this whole pay-it-forward idea in the platform, which is very much resonating, because in the last two-and-a-half weeks, since we started to talk about this, mostly on social networks, we've had 25,000 people sign up already. And so, that's a lot, who've come here, and we didn't spend a lot of money to bring them here, we just talked about, hey, there's a Karma Account, we're going to respect you, we're going to love you. And people just go, OK, that's cool. [laughs] Like, I don't get that from my bank, let me try it, and that's where we are.

Moser: [laughs] Yeah, that's a really cool idea. I like that. I mean, it's kind of that, you're bringing that, sort of, you go through the drive-thru at Starbucks and you pay for the person's coffee who's behind you, right. I think we've all seen that, whether it's on social media or maybe you've done that for someone. And this is very, very in line with that. I love that concept. Yeah, I could see that really resonating with consumers there.

LoCascio: And by the way, Jason, we started this way before COVID. So, you can imagine, you know, this was a year-and-a-half ago. But as COVID hit, obviously, and we're seeing the shift now, which is, I think people are getting much more focused on -- because the world we're living in -- about community, connection, tenderness between each other. And so, it just so happens, it's playing into a major shift that's happening in the world.

So, I think this is also what people are like, yeah, I want to help others, I know there's a need, or I may need help. That's part of -- you are in the platform, maybe you need help and we can help you. And that's really what is resonating, because I also think COVID is, sort of, put a greater focus on this idea of what I call tenderness.

Moser: You know, I'm really glad you mentioned that, because we talk about this all the time at work, and it does feel like -- I mean, obviously, no one is saying that the pandemic is a good thing, right, but as with most things, good things can come from it. And it really does feel like it has accelerated not only a lot of change just in the digital economy and whatnot, but I think also, these concepts, these ideas, like, you're just saying, I think a lot of people have become a bit more understanding, a bit more empathetic, you know, recognizing that, hey, just because something is one way for me, that doesn't mean it's the way for everyone else. And that can be really powerful over long periods of time. So, I love to see that you're doing that.

Now, when we talk about banks, I mean, obviously, banking is an old industry with a lot of massive players in the space. And you actually have some of those [laughs] big banks as your customers. I mean, HSBC, for example, is one of your customers. So, how do you view your initiative with BELLA versus your service toward HSBC? I mean, it seems like you are competitors, at least to a degree.

LoCascio: Yes and no. Actually, we're going to need to work with them. And actually, I've talked to them about this concept a year-and-a-half ago and I would like to partner with them. So, once again, we will never be a bank. We're not going to be a bank with the bank license. And I think what this will do will accelerate the visions that they have. Like, they have these visions. It's just very hard in those structures to create something like this, because these are big companies. And even when they tried to do start-ups, it's very hard to do them in those environments. So, my goal is that we want to show this can be done. I've been talking about this for a long time, about conversational banking and the idea of creating this special connection. We're now like, we're going to put our money where our mouth is, show it can be done, show that this is a great brand. And then what we want to do is partner with our customers and other banks around bringing the service around the world.

And then that's where, like, nbkc, this is a regional bank in Kansas. And so, we approach them, they do these Banking-as-a-Service type things, they work with you as a partner, so they're a partner to us. And we need to partner with many nbkcs.

Moser: Yeah, I mean, that partnership is going to be really valuable, we see companies -- the one that comes to mind immediately, you see PayPal and their relationship with Synchrony Bank over the years. That's been truly a win-win, and I think just really unlocks a lot of potential, because it gives you, as the tech company, the agility, right, the ability to go in there and, as they say, break things and move quickly. And you know, keep on iterating and developing, without having to worry so much about all of those rules and regulations that banks have to follow. I mean, having a valuable partner there is really an advantage.

LoCascio: And we're pushing the bank too, they've been a very good partner, because there are rules and regulations that they've had that are there out of distrust, by the way. A lot of rules and regulations are built out of the distrust of their customers, and it's not their fault, because you have the government also saying, you should do these things. But when we really dug into it, it's really about the distrust of themselves in banking. When you read the horror stories about banking, it's not about some consumer stealing money, it's about someone in the bank at a very senior position doing something bad. The mortgage crisis, right. And it's about greed within the system. So, there's a penalty that's being put on the consumers because some of the people internally are doing bad things.

So, that's why we just took a different approach. Like, we're taking an approach, we trust people. We're going to set up rules and regulations, we also can use technology, because we're a technology company, to look at how to understand our members. And we say we don't want customers, that's our big thing, we want people who care. We write that on the website, we're not looking for consumers and customers, we're looking for people who care about doing something different and being a part of this experience as a member. And we mean it to heart, so.

Moser: I love it, I love it. Well, let's change the subject here for a moment, because we've just gone through what historically is one of the busiest [laughs] stretches for holiday shopping in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now, I think we're going to see, I think, this Black Friday, Cyber Monday is going to stretch out probably a little bit longer, be a little bit more like a Black and Cyber December, right. I think people are stretching out their purchase a little bit. But regardless, these two days just wrapped up. I mean, they were stellar numbers, particularly for e-commerce, I mean, we're seeing clearly some challenges on the physical retail side. But what do you feel like, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just wrapping up, what does the holiday season look like for conversational AI and how's LivePerson playing a role, in clearly what's becoming a more tech-driven retail space?

LoCascio: I mean, in my 20 years doing this, I just never seen anything like this. And by the way, you're right, it's continuing, which I can talk about in a second. So, we're up 300% year-over-year on the amount of conversations, the amount of messages that are running on our platform, which is extraordinary. And what it started, which is really interesting, normally Cyber Monday is our big day, but it started on, obviously, Black Friday and it went all the way through the weekend and it's still going, so.

And I've seen things like, one of our large beauty clients, they're up 200% during this time. So, when you think about normally, they're at all the counters, you can buy their stuff at all the normal stores, the Macy's of the world, the Nordstroms and all that, but they don't have that ability. So, they're online, they're using videos where a woman may show up with a hair color, or a guy, and they're like, what's my hair color? Okay, this suits me. Let me try on makeup. But they're doing it and they're experiencing, and what is really interesting, I don't see it going back, as in parts of it will go back, but consumers are loving it, that's why ... and what we're seeing is a lot of repeat, as in, they're going on this, they're using this technology, but they're staying with it, they continue to come back as a consumer with these brands to use this as a preferred way to connect with the brand.

Moser: That's a superior option. I mean, we've talked about it before. When you get stuck on a phone call of, like, endless phone trees to one number, to another section, to another department and you're never talking with a person, it can be extremely frustrating. And it really does seem to whittle that time, that wasted time out of the equation and just get you from point A. to point B. more quickly and get your problem resolved.

LoCascio: Yeah. And we did a survey, a couple thousand of consumers, and we saw that they said, like, 68%, 70% said that they don't trust a retailer if they don't have some form of messaging or something on their website or in their apps to message with them and have this live conversation or you conversing with [...]. They're losing trust, because they know they're going to have an issue, what is that the consumer feels, a person feels like, hey, I may have an issue here with this, I'm going to buy something. and I don't want to go through the rigmarole of, like, trying to make a call, get a return, that's why Amazon is so good; you know it's easy, you buy, you return, and no problem. But every brand needs to bring their best game to the consumer and part of that should be having this personal relationship, which Amazon doesn't do, by the way, Amazon doesn't do that, but you as a brand can do that.

Moser: Yeah, I think that's a really good point. We've talked about, sort of, being commoditized as banking consumers, and that risk runs great when it comes to retail. I mean, if you're working with any kind of a big retailer and you feel like you're being marginalized or just commoditized and they don't really ultimately care [laughs] about solving your problem, that creates a bad experience, you're likely not to go back to that retailer down the road. I can absolutely see how that technology forging some sort of relationship can make consumers feel that much better about returning, and that really is what it's all about in retail, right, you want to bring those customers back.

LoCascio: Yeah. And look, we have some retailers who are -- we just signed one of the largest jewelry retailers in the world. And actually [laughs] I just saw this, I can't give the stats out, but they just went live, literally, like this week. And I've seen the first day sell -- excuse me, they went live right before the holiday, before Thanksgiving so they could get the holidays. And I saw that the first day numbers are, it's millions of dollars, millions of dollars they've sold using this technology, also doing video. So, they're doing video, which is really hot, adding video. And so, when you look at them, they're so relieved, because you can't get people into stores as much to buy jewelry, but now they're selling it online.

We're also going to do stores. So, what's happening is that we're going to put QR codes down next to products in stores, so that you can go, you can take your phone out, hit the QR code and talk to a person who's not in the store or an AI, an automation, so you can, kind of, shop, getting the connection and the service you want, in your mobile device, but you don't have to have somebody in your face, because of social distancing, at least today.

So, I think, actually, this is the way you could fight Amazon. If you have a store, like a big-box retailer, set up more of a digital experience, so that at least I'm getting expert advice, because not everyone who works in the store as an expert, that's half the problem, but maybe somewhere else, somebody can be an expert about this product, who works in another store, or who works in a contact center; I don't know. But these are the things we're working with, because retail is going to really change now, obviously.

Moser: Oh, yeah. And to your point, just about finding experts, I mean, that immediately made me think of healthcare and how telemedicine has been just thrown into the spotlight this year, for obvious reasons, but one of the bigger challenges in healthcare is scaling it and getting that expertise out to places that don't have access to it. And all of a sudden now technology has enabled that. And that, it seems like, it's impacting a number of industries in a lot of positive ways. So, I think that certainly bodes well for what you guys are doing. And the numbers that you're continuing to record clearly make sense.

LoCascio: Yeah, we launched another platform a few months ago called HeyExpert. And the reason we did this, so we've been working on this also for about a year and this is also pre-COVID but it's really playing into what's happening. So, we have this vision, like the expert is the smallest of the small business, right? I'm an independent, maybe I'm a Pilates instructor. And so, we wanted to create a way in which they can bring their business online and provide those expertise and have that sort of management. And so, we launched this a few months ago and we're seeing great success.

For instance, last week or week before, we had a chef come online and they had a hundred people come and watch them cook. It also has video. And they're watching them cook online. So, they could do this with Zoom, but we built all the ways in which they can manage their business, they can take payment for that, they can schedule meetings, they can schedule one-on-ones, there's a way in which they can bring other friends and experts onto the platform and build a community around an expertise. So, we really built this very powerful platform, but it's taking our Pilates instructors who're on there.

So, you know, people who are really looking at these are the smallest businesses, are looking at ways to build their businesses without somebody coming into a store, coming into a restaurant. Like, a chef has a lot of value in the world, it just may not be in a restaurant they're cooking for people, but cooking for them in their home virtually and getting them to cook the meal has as much value as cooking for them in a restaurant sometimes.

Moser: Oh, there's no question, I mean, it's giving a man a fish versus teaching them to fish, right? [laughs] As the cook of our house, I can appreciate what you're saying. But listen, Rob, before we wrap up today, and I've really enjoyed this conversation by the way, I did want to take a moment -- you know, recently we saw that Tony Hsieh passed away, and that was certainly tragic. And I know, I've seen on Twitter, you had a lot of kind words to say about Tony and what he meant to you in your entrepreneurial journey. I just wanted to ask you, what kind of impact did he have on you as an entrepreneur?

LoCascio: So, when Tony's book came out, Delivering Happiness, which I think is over 10 years ago. What happened was, I'd tell you what happened, I watched the CBS Sunday Morning show, I love that show, and he was on there speaking about -- because he was chosen as the No. 1 company by Fortune's Top Companies to Work For. And I listened to him talk, and they did a tour of Zappos' headquarters, and then I read the book and I emailed him. And I said, Tony, I saw the CBS Morning and I run this company, and there's a lot I don't understand. And I emailed him. And he emailed me right back and said, come to Vegas, I'll take you around for the day.

Moser: Wow!

LoCascio: Yeah. I mean, you can imagine, he's pretty busy at the time, we were all, but I was like, right away. So, literally I'm like -- I booked -- it was maybe two or three days later, I wasn't going to, like, let any time slip, I got on a plane, I actually took two other people who worked with me, and we got on a plane and went there, and we spent the day with Tony and his team, and he graciously took me around. And I was blown away. And I saw something, I saw the possibilities of culture. And he said, you know, delivering happiness, even though we sell shoes, we're delivering happiness. That's what we're delivering by selling shoes, as in, we're delivering our brand promise. That's our product he told me, you know, that's our product, not shoes. And he said to me, we can open an airline one day, we can open the Zappos airline because we're delivering... and that's the way he was thinking. And I was like, OK, I don't think like that. And he changed me forever.

And I remember we had lunch, and I got in the car to go to the airport, and he said, I just want to tell you something, if you want to really take this road of building a business based on culture, like we're doing here, it's a long-term commitment. You'd never be satisfied. And from there, you know, I left, and I went back and I made a radical shift in the company and we went through a process to create a business based on a culture.

And everyone talks about it, but really working it out is hard. As a matter of fact, Fred Mossler, who's the President with Tony, who's really Tony's Co-Founder over there, built Zappos with him, he's on our Board.

Moser: Oh! No kidding.

LoCascio: Yeah. So, Fred joined our Board five years ago, when he left Zappos, after they got acquired by Amazon he stayed for a little bit. But so, we have a lot of that infused in the business. And then I kept in touch with Tony. Tony came out here, you know, Vegas I spend time. [laughs] I remember my best friend called me up, and he was all -- because I forgot my best friend who lives in LA. We were in Vegas, we hung out with Tony.

And he had such an impact on my life. And the one thing is that, I don't know if he really understood, you know, I've been thinking about this talking to Fred. I don't know if he really understood how many of us loved him. I really don't know -- you know you can see what's happening online, you're probably following it, I don't know if he really knew it. Like, I know he's in heaven now, and he's an amazing guy and he gave so much to so many people, but it's like, I thought when Anthony Bourdain died, it's the same thing, it's like, when these people die and they have these impacts, I don't know if they know, obviously, Tony was in a tragic accident, it's different than Anthony Bourdain, but it's the same thing like, but in the end, I'm not convinced he really knew how many people loved him, and I hope he knows now that wherever he is, once again, I know he's in a great ... better... he's up there in heaven, but I hope he's looking down and saying, you know, man, you had an impact on the world we live in, on entrepreneurs. And he was a beautiful person, and I hope he knows how much all of us loved him, you know.

Moser: You know, you're right, the outpouring of emotion is obvious, I've seen it all over Twitter and on the internet. And I mean, you know as an Amazon shareholder, as a Zappos customer, I've been seeing what they've built. And just following him all along the way, I mean, he clearly was a special person and, obviously, very talented. So, my take is, I think he knew, but there's a humility with guys like that, where that's what makes them so good, there's a humility that comes with them that makes you ask that question right there. And you know, that's why they're so impactful. Clearly, he had a great impact on you.

LoCascio: Yeah. And like I said, you just want them to know, you know, like when I was shocked when I heard it, when I saw it, and then I [...] talk to Fred, and, obviously, he's shocked on a whole different level, because he grew that business with him. But you know, you just never know, and when you're that young, you know, he's too young to die, and you just want them to know that the impact he had on my business, you could see a lot of other people's businesses, he was so gracious with his time, and he never said "no," as in he was never busy enough. And I carry the same thing, like, people email me, you know, I want to help entrepreneurs. In many ways, I want to carry the torch forward, as in I want to help as many people as Tony did. I admired him for that. I admired him because he wanted to help people. And it's what I feel like I want to do for entrepreneurs, because we're all dying, like, Tony unfortunately went earlier, we're all going, but if you want to be remembered for that Tony is being remembered for, helping others.

Moser: If you want to learn more about BELLA and LivePerson's efforts to shake up the banking industry, make sure to check them out at

Rob, I think that's going to do it for us this week, listen, I can't thank you enough, again, for taking the time to join us and catch us up on what's been going on with LivePerson and BELLA. I think this is just a tremendous initiative, I'm going to be following it closely. And we'll look forward to covering it more on our Monday shows here in the future. So, thanks again so much.

LoCascio: Thanks, Jason, I really appreciate it. It's always great to be on the show; I really appreciate it.

Moser: Remember, you can always reach out to us on Twitter @MFIndustryFocus or drop us an email at

As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear.

Thanks, as always, to Tim Sparks for putting the show together for us. For Rob LoCascio, I'm Jason Moser, thanks for listening and we'll see you next week.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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