Have you ever wanted to get expert advice or instruction from a sporting hero like PGA professional Rickie Fowler? Well, now you can with Success Series. Created by Succes Co. founder and CEO Anthony Puntoriero, Success Series allows individuals to learn from their favorite sports superstar. Delivered in virtual reality, Success Series gives individuals the chance to learn from someone who has achieved success in their field, and not just from a teacher who is instructing from a textbook.
With Success Series, aspiring golfers could learn how to putt, drive a golf ball or chip just like Fowler. Most importantly, they would be learning it from the pro golfer himself.
It is an innovative concept from Puntoriero, and it is the first of its kind. Success Series is sure to take over the app market as more people find out about it.
With a mission to convey key information from experts to people around the globe, Success Series is bound to be a huge hit. Recently, Puntoriero sat down and told us all about what makes Success Co the future of learning.
Anthony, please let us know about “Success Series”. What is behind the concept, and what led you to its development?
Success Series is a coaching and learning platform that is designed to let people of all ages learn from their favorite athlete in virtual reality or 2D video. The most exciting aspect of Success Co is that we offer the exclusive ability to learn from people that are competing at the highest levels of their sports. We select athletes that are not only at the highest level, but the ones that rise to the occasion when faced with intense pressure. Their ability to deliver in the ‘clutch’ is far more relevant than your average instructor who teaches from the ‘textbook’. The development of Success Series became apparent with the dawn of VR and its emergence into the mainstream market. We began asking ourselves what is the best way to utilize the VR technology, and we believe it’s through instruction. More specifically, a one-on-one lesson between you and your hero.
Can you tell us what some of the highlights have been so far?
Filming with the talent and learning what makes them tick is a cherished experience. It’s inspiring to see the passion they are willing to put into the production, because they see it as a ‘legacy’ piece of sorts. Essentially, it’s their way of giving back to the fans. It’s very rewarding to see Rickie endorse Success Series through social media and other platforms along with his willingness to speak with other top level talent that want to get involved.
In your opinion, what is the future for virtual reality applied to coaching and education?
The future of VR and our current projects revolve around 6 degrees of Freedom (6dof) and creating the most realistic experience ever. You can engage with the talent, keep eye contact, adjust to movements, and see your arms or legs in the experience. We are working on simulating a pitcher on the mound in a real-life setting, at say, Dodger stadium in a Game 7 of the World Series, where you will replicate the pitching instruction and throw virtual pitches in what looks like a real environment. This is the next wave, and something we can’t wait to complete. Success Series will be in place across numerous sports and even elements of stage performance, dancing and more.
You have a successful background in building businesses. Anthony, our readers would love to know more about you.
My first job out of university in Australia was construction-focused on a family business that I worked in. Sure, we had some great success, but I wasn’t passionate about it; to my dad’s disappointment in some ways. My parents encouraged me to chase my dreams and to go where that takes me, which was the United States, where I launched Instant Sponsor. It is an online marketplace matching sponsors with inventory, in real time, across top leagues including: MLB, NBA PGA Tour ATP and WTA tennis, as well as English Premier League. We took our Instant Sponsor brands to the biggest events in the world including the US Masters tournament and the Wimbledon finals. Our model revolves around last minute, opportunistic, and cost effective sponsorship opportunities. Giving a company more bang for less buck. These relationships I built in sport led me to this current project with coaching. Instant Sponsor is still running in parallel and both are right where we want them to be in terms of positioning and outlook for 2018.
Anthony, what have you learned about yourself while running your businesses?
Nothing is easy. I don’t ever want to discourage people, and I’m not with this statement. Anything is possible if you trust yourself and believe in yourself and your team. However, it takes a special person to keep fighting through the nos. You’ve almost got to be on autopilot until you get a ‘yes’. Never give up and stay true to yourself and the brand you represent. In the end that’s all you have.
I’ve also figured out what I’m good at and what I’m not. For the latter, I find people that are experts in their fields and aim to bring them aboard. Nothing can replace passion and hunger to succeed. A degree nor experience can replace the importance of hunger and passion. I’ve learned that I’m great under pressure and excellent at being the most prepared person in the room. I’ll never be the smartest, but nobody will beat me in the preparation game.
How do you find inspiration?
I’m inspired by my family and my wife. My parents always believed in me, and told me, I could achieve great things in life. That does create an expectation and when things don’t go well, you ask yourself why. But honestly, that has made me who I am, and I am lucky to have parents that supported me in many ways. I also want to leave a legacy behind in sports. I feel it is my calling and what I was put on earth to do. Sounds dramatic, I know, but it’s something I wholeheartedly believe without a doubt. My wife is a huge support. Her finance and MBA background make her a great addition to our team in every aspect. I want all those that believed in me to be rewarded one day by my success.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Keeping ahead of the technology curve. High tech isn’t my first language, so to keep up to speed, I need to surround myself with tech experts. In most cases, I understand about 50% of what they say. If I had my time again, I would’ve studied coding and algorithms in more detail. It’s also a challenge when creating a new product to make people aware of it. You need to push the message, so they feel that they’re missing out on what Success Series is about to do. That brand identity can take time to create. Really it’s all challenging, nothing is easy in any game
What do you have your sights set on next?
6 dof experiences as mentioned earlier along with building a competitive digital landscape where people can compete against their friends and keep score of their games. I also think we can capture a lot of data and be a virtual reality scout. Let’s say we discover some kids who have the ability to throw 90-mile per hour fastballs in their living rooms. We’ll be able to can see that. Also, broadly engage in other areas and lessons across any sports and entertainment as well as social, influencers and business.
Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
Yes, the first entrepreneur and still my favorite is the late Kerry Packer, an Australian media mogul. He brought cricket to our TVs in Australia and made a world series event which changed the sport forever. He also was very close with Australian golfing legend Greg Norman and did a lot to make golf big in Australia. Mr. Packer was a legend in Australia and had his own golf course, groomed better than Augusta National only for him and his friends, and has some famous stories. He would go to the Australian Golf Club in Sydney and buy dozens of Titleist ProV1’s and hit them on the range then go to his tee-time. When he left all the juniors would go and get the freshly hit balls on the range. I mean they were $10 a ball. He was also famous for gambling trips to Las Vegas where he conversed with a millionaire from Texas that gave him some trouble. That Texan said ‘do you know who I am? I’m worth $500 million’. To which Packer replied ‘I’ll coin toss you for it”. It’s that brash and bold nature that he became an icon for.
What is a day in your life like?
I wake up at 4 AM and start with a few coffees, get to the gym by 5 AM, breakfast at 6:30 and I’m in the office by 7 AM. I push myself to wake up, because I think discipline is the key to success. I am not a person that loves the gym or working out. I do it to keep mentally sharp and in a routine. These days, it’s all about business, so I have meetings most days with talent, sponsors, and investors all with the focus to grow the brand. I try to get to bed by 10 PM each night.
What makes you smile?
Watching golf. I can’t think of anything better than watching golf on a Sunday with a good field and a close leaderboard. I also love spending time with my family and riding bikes with my wife in Venice Beach. I love to travel also, so that is something that makes me smile.
What scares you?
Not reaching my potential is one. Being underprepared, which I like to think I never am. I am constantly driven by not failing, so failure is something that scares me a lot and keeps me on top of my game.
What is your greatest achievement?
Taking my business to the biggest end of town. I feel proud of the fact that ideas and concepts I thought of years ago in my home in Sydney are now taking me to great places. I pitch to major brands like Google and WPP which makes me feel I am very good at getting in a room with major players in business. Whether I get the deal over the line on the first try or not is okay, because I know in time, I will wear them down and they’ll be clients, eventually. Also, I’m about building bridges, so once a contact is established there’s always a chance to do business together. It’s the small things for me that give me the most sense of achievement.
What is your secret talent?
I know the words to every song ever written in any genre. My music vocabulary runs very deep and wide.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
I would say Mozart comes to mind as he came from very humble beginnings and left a legacy that will never be left behind. For an eight-year-old to achieve what he did, I don’t think we will ever see that again in any field. He also had huge setbacks in life, but pushed through to achieve really, at the time, world-changing music. He never gave up and practiced hard every minute of the day. Sure, he was gifted but he didn’t rely on that alone and we can all take that to heart. I also love Winston Churchill quotes as well as the simplistic, yet ever profound reading from Hemingway.
Anthony, do you have any hobbies?
These days, not many, but I love the beach and to play golf. I also like cooking.
What are you never without?
A portable phone charger, multiple USBs and, obviously, the phone. I use a rubber band as a money clip/wallet so I always have spares in case of a break.
Can you tell us two of your favorite quotes?
“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
“Always ask. The worst that people can say is no.” My mum
Instinct versus expertise: Which is more important and why?
Instinct, sometimes you need to just go with your feeling on something. It also is what differentiates us as people. You can’t assume two people with the same experience will be at the same position in life. But one that sees an opportunity and aligns expertise with his or her instinct can create something truly legendary.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
Never, ever give up. Be yourself and stay true to what you believe. Everyone has setbacks, it’s the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse. That’s what defines a champion.
For more information on Anthony Puntoriero and Success Series, please visit www.successseries.com