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June 15, 2024 28 mins

Two-time Emmy and Three-NAACP Image Award-winning television Executive Producer Rushion McDonald interviewed Shannon Denton co-founder of Wripple.  Wripple is a marketing on-demand platform offering a private marketplace of vetted talent and software to manage freelancer relationships in one place. The platform's marketplace connects brands and ad agencies with highly skilled, on-demand talent for incredible speed, efficiency, and flexibility.

Wripple, is poised to change the way brands secure talent for Marketing and Customer Experience project . Wripple'ss Agency Services Platform allows marketing teams to browse and hire highly vetted talent, all on-demand. This includes finding individual freelancers and a ready-made project team. It's a more modern and cost-effective solution to manage capacity and get outside digital expertise. The platform provides access to teams for over 50 projects and individuals spanning 25 roles across strategy, design, media, marketing, and technology. With more than 70 years of collective agency experience, our knowledge is embedded in our technology to drive fit-for-purpose talent matching your needs. 

So, my experiences have been divers. I have raised > more than $40M in Venture Capital, run and sold a start-up, led a $700M global company, built new business units, acquired several companies, built software products from scratch, and advised over 50 Fortune 500 companies on Business Strategy, Digital Transformation, Marketing, Media, and Technology Innovation.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
If you're about to make a change in your life
and you feel uncomfortable, that's the best feeling you can
have because for the first time in your life, you'll
make a new decision that's going to be best for
you and not what somebody told you to do. And
that's when all bets are off. Welcome to Money Making
Conversation Masterclass. I'm your host, Rushan McDonald. Our theme is

there's no perfect time to start following your dreams. I
recognize that we all have different definitions of success. For
you and maybe decide to your jo it's time to
stop reading other people's success stories to start living your
own cap wedding. That's today we're here. This is Rushan McDonald.
You know this voice. Okay, Sometimes I don't even know

my voice, so I think about all my I remember
when I first started doing stand up comedy the way
back in the day, and the guy who owned the
comedy club say, your accent is so bad rashon that
you would never make people laugh. He said it. He
said that to me, He said, your accent it's so bad,

he said, because even though the room was laughing. I
remember the first time I walked on stage and I
got a stand in ovation, he said to him, he
didn't understand why people were laughing at me. So I've
always dedicated myself to being able to prove people wrong.
People say things to you, whether they believe it or not.
That doesn't mean you should take it to truth. What
you should do is understand that your weakness can be people.

Allow people to see your flaws and build on those.
My strength is that my flaws, I expose them. I
challenge you to defeat me with them, and as I
go through life, I prepare to win. I wake up
every day with the attitude that I am stupid. I
need to gain knowledge, and by having that attitude, it
allows me to be able to be receptive to information

that is given to me. That is Money Making Conversation.
I am your host, Rau Sean McDonald, our host is
weekly Money Making Conversations Masterclass show. The interviews and information
this show provides are for everyone. It's time to start
reading other people's success stories and start living your own.
Let's get this show started. My guess is the co
founder of Ripple. He's built successful businesses, launched and sold startups,

and raised over forty five million in venture capital please
Welcome to Money Making Conversation Masterclass. Shannon Denton. How are
you doing, sir?

Speaker 2 (02:24):
I'm doing great, Rashawn, Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1 (02:26):
You know, I got to start with the name of
the business. How did where were you sitting when you
thought that was the name that should build your fortune own?

Speaker 2 (02:38):
First of all, just so the audience, it's rippled with
the W. So it's wripp La, And hey, we love
the name. You know. We were sitting down, me and
my two of the co founders, right and we thought
of the you know, just thinking of words. You know
how it is today, Rashawn, it's kind of hard to
find a unique name. All right, names are taken. But yeah,

with Ripple, it was like we saw, you know, the
visual of in the water of water movement and kind
of the ripple effect of making a positive shift in
the way things were done and happening. And we happen
to be looking around the internet and the URL was available,
which is always super important today you want to make
sure people can find you online. And so it just

kind of stuck and we thought it was very flexible.
You could do a lot of cool things with from
a brand perspective, you know, Waves and motion and stuff
like that. So we really love that name.

Speaker 1 (03:29):
Well, you know, it's important that people who are listening
to the show understand that a name is a part
of your brand and the brand has a story. And
like my company name is thirty eight fifteen Media three
eight one five Media, and the four digits are from
the home that I grew up on as I grew
up in as a kid. I grew up with six
sisters and two six sisters and two brothers and my

parents and we lived in a two bedroom shotgun house
and the numbers on that house was thirty eight fifteen,
And so that's my backstory on It allows me to
understand where I came from and how I've been able
to overcome the odds to be the person I am today.
So that's why I appreciate you taking the time and
also conveying the rationale as to why you named your

company Ripple. And then you said, Jean, that's what the

Speaker 2 (04:18):
Everybody gets aid the spelling correct and supporting absolutely.

Speaker 1 (04:22):
And you know the thing about it, when I when
I got an opportunity to you know, I get a
lot of guests information sent to me on a daily,
sometimes weekly. Basis. What really old me in the direction
of I want to interview you, Shannon, was the whole
talk of venture capitalists, because I really don't know what
that is. It's been a very popular term the last

fifteen years, especially the last ten years. What exactly is
a venture capitalist?

Speaker 2 (04:50):
Yeah, so venture capital companies invest in early stage startups,
a lot of technology companies like Ripple, So we have
a software that we've created, and you know, they're looking
to invest early right and into high growth companies and
they're looking to hopefully make really good returns on some

of those companies. So it's a high risk game. So
a venture capital firm that may invest in, you know,
fifty one hundred companies and as long as maybe even
you know, fifteen percent of those twenty percent of those
companies do well, then they end up making a return.
And so it's a it's probably the riskiest type of
investment vehicle. But yeah, so as a startup, you know

when Ripple we started at about five years ago, and
we we went out and pitched a lot of venture
capital firms and said, hey, this is a business plan
we have, this is what we're trying to build, this
is the experience we have as a team when we
started it, and we love to take some investment from
you so that we can actually do this without and
go fast. And so that's kind of what venture capital is.

And you know, it can it's it can be a fun,
fast paced world of in venture capital. It can also
be stressful and challenging sometimes too. But yeah, so that's
kind of what the venture capital the BC world is
all about.

Speaker 1 (06:10):
No, when you talk about the venture capital, you know,
because you're always talking about sean, I know, you go
to a bank, you know, you borrow money. It's tied
to an interest rate, but you basically keep one hundred
percent of your brand i'd like to believe, or your assets,
you know, unless you don't pay back the loan, then
they come and looking for it. When you do that

from a venture capital standpoint, how does that work? Is
it a loan with interest? Do they take a percentage
of your company?

Speaker 2 (06:38):
How does that? Yeah? There you go. Yeah, so you're
basically giving up a percentage of your company. And so
once you decide to get a venture capital firm or
individual to invest venture in your company, you're basically saying, hey,
here's a chunk of my company, and you agree upon evaluation.
So if any if anybody, any of your audiences watched

Shark Tank, right, it works kind of similar to that,
And you're basically saying, you know, I'll give up twenty
percent of the company for a few hundred thousand dollars
what have you, and that all the math all works
out towards you know, stock, and so you figure out
how much stock the founders keep, how much stock the
venture capital investors keep. And at the end of the day,

though it's absolutely they take a percentage ownership of your company,
and of course they want you to do well because
they own a percent. So the more you grow, the
more your company's worth, they reap the benefits as well
as the you as an entrepreneur does as well.

Speaker 1 (07:34):
Right, And you know, this is a two part interview,
And I'd always like to really get a clear understanding, Shannon,
of what you're doing because so many people, you know,
you know, my audience is sixty percent African American and
white and the rest is other. You know, it breaks
down and so as a large audience, part of my
audience struggle with bank loan, struggle with trying to find

financing and things of that nature. And so how does
one like you said, we shout, I put together presentation
and I went and said, now with venture capital individuals
or companies, and I pitched, how are you able to
make these meetings happen? And how are we able to
find these people who could potentially invest in your company?

Speaker 2 (08:17):
Yeah, so, fortunately for myself, so I'm I'm an I'm
an old entrepreneur. I had I had a run for
our businesses. Now they want businesses I started, but I
kind of had been in management and stuff like that.
And you know, there's there's incubators and accelerators and programs

for entrepreneurs that want to get involved in startups. So
my company is actually based out of Atlanta and there's
an organization and accelerator there called the at d C
Advanced Technology Development Center, which is actually associated with Georgia Tech.
And so me and my two co founders joined that program,
and based upon that program, we got introduced to potential

venture capital investors. And so they had somebody that formed
the network for us, and you know, we send around
an email and a deck of what we're trying to do,
and we were able to get meetings and so obviously
because we were experienced. It really helped. But I would
encourage the listeners who are interested in starting a company
or entrepreneurialism. There's definitely in the major cities there's accelerators,

there's incubators, and there's educational programs that can help you
build a community and network that is essential, you know,
to raise money, to raise venture capital money. And so
that was very important to us that we became part
of that at DC, that accelerator that I mentioned, and
it gave us a lot of new avenues to meet
different types of people and get and eventually raise the

venture capital money.

Speaker 1 (09:51):
Wow. I appreciate that because you know, we all walk
around light life loss it seems, and we complained and
sometimes we just need to write amount of information. And again,
Shannon will tell you this not did not happen overnight.
Like you said, I'm a for shure, I'm an old entrepreneur.
I've I've been in the game for a minute, which
means that if you think you just run in here

with a fresh idea and somebody's going to buy it
up top with no background or no work history, well
you might be frustrated because, like he said, people are
investing in you because they want to return They just
want to donate their money to your cause they want
to get their money back in more and it's called
an investment. Now, Ripple, we talked about the name and

how you the name came about with your other co founders.
Tell us what exactly Ripple is.

Speaker 2 (10:40):
Yeah, so we call ourselves a talent marketplace, and so
what we do is we connect independent freelancers to jobs
or gigs, and so a lot of people have heard obviously,
people are familiar with DoorDash, people are familiar with Uber,
all the different gigs economy type platforms. We actually connect

a lot of writers, designers, developers with big companies that
are looking to hire freelancers on demand. So, if you're
a developer, you're a writer, and you kind of want
either extra income on the side, maybe you have a job,
or you want to pursue a really flexible lifestyle of
you know, being independent, almost like being a free agent.

And you sign up on Ripple and we introduce you
and connect you to jobs and you can take on
that work and we handle all the payment. We pay
you weekly as if you were an employee of Ripple,
and we will help you find work So those are
the two hardest things when you're kind of an entrepreneur
and you want to kind of be on your own.
The hardest things are how do I find the jobs

and keep an income coming in? And the second is
I want to make sure I get paid on time
and get a check. And so we do both of
those things, and we have a software platform that you
sign up on and that you register for and then
we kind of take care of the rest.

Speaker 1 (12:02):
Wow, now I'm talking to. One of the co founders
of Ripple was Shannon Denton. He built a successful business
Many and launched Many and soul Many. The company he
has right now is a is a marketing on demand
platform that offers private marketplace of vettic talent. Now again,
got to have a resume, got to come in with experience,
got to have background. Just can't show up and go hey,

I'm talented and get frustrated when they tell you no.
That's the word vettic means. And software to manage freelancers
and the relationships all in one place.

Speaker 2 (12:34):

Speaker 1 (12:34):
The first time I ever heard the word gig was
doing the pandemic. You know, I was like, what's because
there was an issue We're trying to pay them during
a COVID moment. Can you explain to everybody what exactly
that name that term means, because I get it. I'd
never heard of it, and I realized, you know, sir Sehan,
you are that person. Okay, you are free. But I

never associated because I call myself a producer, I call
myself a writer. I'll call myself a manager, but I
never associated it with that term. Please are going a
little bit more detail exactly what that title means?

Speaker 2 (13:08):
Yeah, I mean the term gig actually came a little
bit pre pandemic, but it absolutely took off, you're right,
during COVID. And so it really a gig meant like
get a job, sort of a temporary job that you
kind of crank out and get die. And so the
term gig and so basically it was like, hey, I
do gigwork. You know, I may drive an uber, I

may do door dash, I may work, you know, do
shopping for Shopify, for any instacart, for any of those
types of companies, and so those are called gigs, right,
and then it became known as a gig worker. And
so you know, in the freelancing world. Now we talked
more today about the freelance economy, and so freelance economy
is really more about you're actually doing those types of

jobs or assignments for big corporations, and so these are
these are like professional type assignments that you know, you
you're maybe doing some copywriting for a big company, maybe
you're doing some graphic design, maybe you're developing software and
so as a freelancer. But in general Rashan, I mean
they kind of mean all the same thing. I'm a

gig worker, I'm a freelancer. The other term you'll see
out there is I'm an independent talent, meaning I don't
have a full time job. I'm kind of pursuing. You know,
you're kind of a free agent. You kind of look
for jobs and you kind of as symbol you do
those jobs based upon what comes your way. And so
there's a lot of people very successful now that are
that are earning a really good income by doing you know,

independent work, gigs, freelance work, and they're able to get
enough of those jobs to where they actually make more
money than if they had a full time job.

Speaker 3 (14:45):
Please don't go anywhere. We'll be right back with more
money making conversations. Masterclass. Welcome back to the Money Making
Conversations masterclass hosted by Rashan McDonald.

Speaker 2 (15:06):
And so that's what this is all about.

Speaker 1 (15:07):
And they control their schedule. You know, it's really interesting,
you know, which which is really really awesome because of
the world that you know, I've lived a life of
high end drama when it when I say that means
they're stress and it's tied to uh. You know, you
can say it's consistent, but you need to when the
one thing you can it may not be true, but

if you work a forty our week job, there's a
degree of consistency there. Maybe when you're doing independent thoughts,
but that freedom can't bring drama too. But it's good
drama because you're controlling your your point of view. Now,
when I was talking to you about the pandemic, it
was really interesting. The gig worker who I knew nothing about,

or the freelancers who I really knew about, Shannon, but
I didn't understand the value they had with a company
like mine. It changed my whole philosophy, realizing that you know, well,
shall you have you know, you'll have EBB and flows
in your business model. Sometimes you do a large gig
and sometimes you need you get a contract, maybe a

three month contract or a month contract. And I was
doing that old philosophy or hiring full time people at
times they were just sitting around the office, and so
try that's where the independent worker has value, correct.

Speaker 2 (16:23):
No doubt so well said. So basically think from a
company perspective. So if you're really hiring freelancers, you only
hire for the work you need to get done, to
get done when you need it. So you may need
some work done for the next three weeks. The freelancer
can kind of crank it out and you may not
need that type of work done for another couple of months,

and so there's no wasted money, is the way to
think about it. So companies really are embracing it and
they love it because you can kind of lay out,
here's all the different stuff I need to get done.
I can use a platform like Ripple to go find
the freelancers to do that, and I don't have to,
you know, pay as much full time salary costs to
a big, huge group of employees. So that's a huge

the flexibility, the cost savings, and the speed at which
you can move. You know, hiring freelancers is the rationale
that companies are really embracing this new world and the
freelance economy.

Speaker 1 (17:19):
Wow, thank you for that update. When we come back,
we will continue this conversation with Shannon Denton, one of
the founders of Ripple. As you can see, it's it's
not AI, but it's the way of being able to
fill your job responsibility, a job needs, sometimes long term,
sometimes temporarily. I'm speaking to the one of the co
founders a Ripple, a company that's changing the game as

far as independent freelancers.

Speaker 2 (17:43):

Speaker 1 (17:43):
The company fiells companies long term and temporary needs.

Speaker 2 (17:47):

Speaker 1 (17:47):
Co founder's name, co founder's name is Shannon Denton. How
can they reach you or what is the website that
they should go to? Shannon?

Speaker 2 (17:55):
Yeah, so www dot ripples dot com again with the
w w R IL and just go out there and
if you're interested in freelance opportunities, there's a place that
you can apply. And if you're a client looking to
hire freelancers, you can easily sign up for a demo
and we'll jump on a on a video call with
you and show you our platform.

Speaker 1 (18:17):
When you were thinking about this, you know, it's always
where did that idea pop up? From you know, you know,
was this a long term idea that kind of like
manifested itself or it was like you know that will
slogan a lightbulb above your head. How did this idea
come about?

Speaker 2 (18:34):
Yeah, great question, So it actually came so my two
co founders and myself we were working together at a
company called Razorfish, which was a pretty well known let's
called a digital agency. So we were doing a lot
of work for big companies and we were we kept
hearing from our clients this is this is always a
great way to start a company, as if you keep

hearing the same thing from somebody over and over and
you're like, that must really be a problem to focus on.
So what they were, what our clients were telling us is, hey,
we would love a way to be able to tap
into on demand talent or people a lot easier and
faster than what we've ever been able to do before.
And so they kind of were using it, you know,

parallels of what has happened in e commerce, you know,
Amazon dot Com. They knew about Uber and they're like,
how come it's not that easy to go find some
talent to do a project for us? Why couldn't we
why couldn't we have a platform that did that for us?
And so we just kept hearing it from our clients
that there had to be a better, easier, faster way,

cheaper way, and so we put our heads together and said, hey,
let's create something really amazing here. And that's how the
idea came about.

Speaker 1 (19:45):
Wow, a courageous idea because you know, you know, a
dream is always good to have, but planning it and
executing it is the reality that we all fall off
through the clift on.

Speaker 2 (19:58):
You know.

Speaker 1 (19:59):
So when you started this idea, Shannon, this idea of
creating Ripple with your other two co founders, did you
start with a certain a job type or you said,
do you say that we're going to go with these
four categories of job? How did you stand to be
a model? What was that model?

Speaker 2 (20:20):
Yeah? So the model, I mean, we were fortunate in
that we had some good contacts and so we were
able to build it around a couple of early customers.
And so we started out doing mainly you know, website design, okay,
and building websites for companies, and we were able to
win a few clients and that helped honestly fund the

early stage of the company because we had actual paying customers,
which is kind of the which is amazing, and that's
not always the case with startups. But we had a
pain customer and we actually started building the product, and
then we got venture capital money about eight to ten
months after that. We actually had some customers, we had
some revenue coming in, some dollars in the door, and

we had a little bit of a product that was
built through that customer, through a couple of customers that
hired us early stage. And so that's kind of how
we and we did focus on a good question. I
mean a lot of cases when you're building a startup,
you want to kind of narrow your focus to get
going and to and to create something that kind of
gets traction early, and so it may you may have

to kind of start smaller than your big, huge vision
and then and then grow the vision over time incrementally.
Is a very common, you know, model that you want
to follow and building a startup.

Speaker 1 (21:39):
Okay, the question I'm sure everybody is asking what separates
you from other job related firms like an indeed, what
what's the difference?

Speaker 2 (21:50):
Yeah, So I think for us it's we're what's called
category focus. So all we really do is marketing type positions,
and we really we really make the CMO and the
marketing organization love us because if you go on our
platform and you're looking to hire on demand talent, the
language we speak, you know, we kind of the platform

and the software kind of just it speaks so intimately
to the marketing team and they in all the different
job titles and the types of projects. It matches the
way they think and how they speak. And so when
you're building a startup like that, being experts in a
certain area is super important. And that's how we've been
able to compete really well against some of the bigger

players that have been out there longer. So we've been
taking business from them ever since we started, and it's
really because we kind of have that expertise in the
category and we know it cold and you know it's
been it's been instrumental to our momentum in the market.

Speaker 1 (22:50):
Well, Shannon, I'll be honest with you, the philosophy that
you're preaching, they speak preaching to the gospel mess me.
You know, I I one time had eleven full time employees.
All my offices will failed with people I couldn't even
justify it. I had to give them busy work, you know,
to try to justify why I was paying these individuals.

And then when I cut it down to like six,
then all of a sudden, when I needed independence like
you like your company provides, then it became smart business model.
You know, the revenue made sense. I wasn't trapped at
every fifth and twentieth. I had a payroll, had to deliver. Now,

when you start talking about independence, you know what's working
well in the freelancer economy and what needs to be
worked on.

Speaker 2 (23:41):
Yeah, I think in general, I think it's working pretty well.
So the data says that both the clients that hire
freelancers and the freelancers are satisfied. It's just, you know,
fully unlock the growth potential. There's a few things. I
think just the onboarding is always important. So if you
get hired as a freelancer, you want to have a

really clear definition of you know what you need to
be able to do your deliverables, what what expectations you
know you need to hit to keep your client happy.
And so I think just encouraging just a little bit
more clarity and getting that a little bit more professional
is something that we talk a lot about with our
clients and our freelancers, so that everybody's on the same page.

You know that. You know that may not sound amazingly cool,
but communication and expectation setting everybody being clear, it's it's
super important, and I think in the world of freelancing
it hasn't been quite as clear as when you're hiring
somebody full time for a job. And so we're trying
to make sure that the clarity is really there for
both sides when the projects starts.

Speaker 1 (24:47):
As we wrap up the interview, I want to ask
I think a key question would be, Okay, when someone
comes to Riple, I'm talking about I'm an employer, I'm
a company. Are you locked to like a two month
contract or a ninety day time contract on six month contract?
How does that work?

Speaker 2 (25:03):
No? Absolutely? Now that's one thing is one of the
things about freelancing super flexible. So first of all, you know,
we we have jobs that are a day a week,
several months, two years, so the jobs can be basically
any link you can imagine and so and then if

you know the way it works also is that if
it's not a right fit for either side, maybe you
get started to work a few days. Then you know,
it doesn't happen very often, but we can you know,
the freelancer or the company says hey, I'd like to
try somebody else out. Then you know that's built into
our model where you can kind of swap out and
that kind of love.

Speaker 1 (25:44):
Yeah, you know that's important because, like I said, when
I was coming up in the college and the temporary
employment opportunities or independent worker opportunities were important to me
because it allowed me to work with different companies and
find out different personalities and find out where I wanted
to work, you know, was really important. What you're offering
now in the gig community, the independent community, the freelance

community is available. And Ripple the way you out there,
as you say, with the water, the movement, the calmness,
the sudden change that can change a personal life. That's
what you're doing with Ripple. And as we close out,
can you tell us the opportunities of how we can
reach out and touch you.

Speaker 2 (26:22):
Yeah. And I first just want to emphasize Rashaun, you
opened it up by talking about you know, living the
dream and pursuing dreams. I mean, I think that's what
we're all about as well. And it's you know, it's
fun to be a freelancer, it's fun to be a
free agent. But I love your message on you got
to you gotta want it, and you got to be
good at something and you know you got to execute

as well. But I just want to I just want
to reiterate the message you kicked off this podcast with it.
I thought it was great. And again, just I'm on LinkedIn.
You can find me Shannon Detton on LinkedIn, send me
a message or visit our website and would love to
have conversation with anyone about Ripple Well, let.

Speaker 1 (27:03):
Me tell you what are you? A seasonal guide to me?
You'll be talking to me again in the fall, my friend,
because I'm about trying to get people non traditional or
traditional ways of finding employment. You are a starmaker and
I appreciate you taking the time and an employer employer,
and this work works for me because a lot of
people out there trying to maybe in frustrating not finding

employment opportunities. This is a very very comfortable way of
pursuing it. And again, thank you Shannon for coming on
my show and telling us about your job assist freelance
gig independent thinking way of controlling your life and building
your dreams. That's what Ripple dot com does. Thank you
for coming to my show.

Speaker 3 (27:44):
I appreciate you man, all right, thank you for joining
us for this edition of Money Making Conversations Masterclass. Money
Making Conversations Masterclass with rough Shan McDonald is produced by
thirty eight to fifteen Media Inc. More information about thirty
eight to fifteen Media Inc. Is available at thirty eight
fifteen media dot com. And always remember to lead with

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Let's Be Clear with Shannen Doherty

Let’s Be Clear… a new podcast from Shannen Doherty. The actress will open up like never before in a live memoir. She will cover everything from her TV and film credits, to her Stage IV cancer battle, friendships, divorces and more. She will share her own personal stories, how she manages the lows all while celebrating the highs, and her hopes and dreams for the future. As Shannen says, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it’s about how you get back up. So, LET’S BE CLEAR… this is the truth and nothing but. Join Shannen Doherty each week. Let’s Be Clear, an iHeartRadio podcast.

The Dan Bongino Show

The Dan Bongino Show

He’s a former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer, and New York Times best-selling author. Join Dan Bongino each weekday as he tackles the hottest political issues, debunking both liberal and Republican establishment rhetoric.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


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