Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

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Minh
 Aug 15, 2018
Densed, high speed, high quality knowledge. Thanks Patrick, for this.

Description

Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at https://joincolossus.com/

Episode Date
Thomas Tull - New Physics of Business - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 30]
58:13

My guest today is Thomas Tull, the founder of Tulco LLC, an investment holding company that invests in businesses with high growth potential and helps them apply machine learning and data analytics. Thomas is also the co-founder and former CEO of Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind the Dark Knight, Hangover, Inception, 300, and many more iconic movies which he sold in 2016. In our discussion, we cover the movie industry’s value chain, the recipe for trying to make a successful movie and how Legendary pioneered the use of data analytics to improve those odds, and Thomas’ concept of the new physics of business and why it matters for what he’s now building at Tulco. Please enjoy my conversation with Thomas Tull.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

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This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2 report at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick.

-----

This episode is brought to you by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers.

 

If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders.

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

Show Notes

[00:03:06] - [First question] - His overarching career philosophy and theme

[00:04:07] - Attacking a previously established industry in a new way

[00:05:20] - The origin story of Legendary and stepping into the film industry

[00:07:56] - Stakeholders involved in producing a movie and pre-existing profit pools when Legendary was founded

[00:12:44] - Topline and downstream revenue distribution of intellectual property from then versus now

[00:19:46] - Lessons learned about intellectual property writ large  

[00:19:03] - What makes Chris Nolan such an exceptional storyteller

[00:23:42] - Power and defensibility of cinematic universes and transmedia storytelling

[00:22:21] - Applying quantitative data analysis to film production and marketing

[00:25:55] - Competitive frontiers in movie studios and his advantageous skillset

[00:28:10] - Potential investment opportunities in media or media adjacent businesses

[00:29:26] - Interesting new tools that could be developed in entertainment technology

[00:31:00] - His favorite mind-blowing and awe-inspiring movies

[00:32:41] - Telling Jackie Robinson’s story in the film, 42

[00:35:30] - Jackie Robinson and Chadwick Boseman’s quiet dignity

[00:36:56] - Building the holding company Tulco 

[00:39:02] - The new physics of business that can’t be ignored

[00:42:40] - Modern velocity in the current era of business

[00:46:03] - Interweaving an antifragile mindset into the company culture

[00:47:55] - Who Tulco Labs is and what they do

[00:49:12] - What gets him most excited about exploring a new business for the first time

[00:50:48] - Unique characteristics he seeks out in a management team

[00:52:31] - Trends that make him feel worried about the future

[00:57:47] - Trends that make him feel optimistic about the future

[00:58:49] - An important lesson learned from his career on a personal level

[01:00:15] - The kindest thing anyone’s ever done for him

Apr 22, 2021
Paul Enright - The Buy Side Primer - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 222]
01:25:59

My guest today is Paul Enright, managing partner at Krainos Capital, his family office. Before running his own family office, Paul worked on the buy-side at Viking Global for over a decade managing their consumer and technology portfolios and before that at Morgan Stanley on the sell-side.

 

I thought Paul would be the perfect person to help me demystify the world of high finance – explaining the difference between the buy-side and sell-side, how long/shorts differ from long onlys, and walking through the various jobs in the investing world. In addition to setting that foundation, we also cover the evolution of the buy-side, what makes someone a great researcher verse a great stock picker, and various portfolio construction methodologies. Paul brings such a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. I think this episode will be enjoyable for investing novices and professionals alike.

 

Please enjoy my conversation with Paul Enright.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Coinbase, Roblox, Qualtrics and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.

------

This episode is brought to you by MIT Investment Management Company – also known as MITIMCo, the endowment office of MIT. MITIMCo seeks to find people who are focused on achieving exceptional long-term investment returns, partner with these firms early, and stick around for the very long term. MITIMCo doesn’t care how small, new, or un-institutional your firm is if you have the potential to generate amazing results that support MIT’s pursuit of world-class education, cutting-edge research, and groundbreaking innovation.

 

Despite their willingness to invest early, they do not ask for GP economics, and they commit their initial capital for ten years.

 

Visit www.mitimco.org and their new emerging managers page to learn more.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:39] - [First question] - His history in both the buy and sell side

[00:05:20] - Different types of roles on the buy side and sell side

[00:06:48] - Interest sets that best align with being a buyer or a seller

[00:07:57] - The emotional experience of being on the buy side and exposed to risk

[00:08:53] - How the nature of buying and portfolio construction has changed 

[00:10;15] - What Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD) is

[00:12:46] - Key terminology and definitions of long-only and long-short funds

[00:17:40] - Varying clusters of long-short funds and defining each type

[00:21:48] - Differences in exposure between a platform model versus a traditional long-short stock picking sense

[00:25:16] - Skill sets that are most important to have when navigating this space

[00:29:03] - What is good and what is great when it comes to “digging”

[00:31:20] - Why the quality of one’s analysis matters

[00:33:10] - Having a potential edge when deciding based on someone else’s analysis

[00:35:19] - Foundational building blocks of an effective pitch 

[00:37:20] - Finding wrongly identified stocks and reaping the rewards

[00:40:49] - Overview of good portfolio construction and lessons learned over the years

[00:44:06] - Why hedge funds tend to traffic heavily in T.M.T. and consumer sectors

[00:45:53] - Elements that strike him as great in a business

[00:48:05] - A business that once seemed great but has since faded away

[00:49:22] - Why hedge-fund managers seem to always make the most money

[00:53:50] - What a well run firm looks like

[00:56:39] - Characteristics that may make you well suited for a career in fund management

[01:00:23] - Why quality mentors and portfolio managers are so important when deciding where you want to work

[01:01:38] - What interests him mosts in markets today

[01:05:20] - Useful frameworks and formulas used when approaching a new business

[01:08:15] - Interesting features about telecom businesses and what defines them

[01:10:45] - The future of the modern world’s internet infrastructure

[01:14:44] - Abundance vs zero-sum and fixed vs growth mindsets 

[01:18:12] - The kindest thing anyone’s ever done for him



Apr 20, 2021
Trevor McFedries - Building Web 3.0 - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 29]
01:05:19

My guest today is Trevor McFedries, the founder of technology startup Brud and the creator of virtual pop star Miquela, a Gen Z icon with millions of fans worldwide. Trevor’s background is fascinating - he worked as a DJ and producer, toured with Katy Perry, worked at Spotify, and done just about every interesting thing I can imagine. In our conversation, we discuss the music-industrial complex, the creation of Miquela, and what Web 3.0 will mean for creators and builders in the future. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Trevor McFedries.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2 report at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick.

-----

This episode is brought to you by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers.

 

If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders.

-----

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:54] - [First question] - What unites the diversity of his career

[00:03:39] - What inspired him to pivot away from football and step into creative arts

[00:05:50] - Lessons learned from being a touring DJ and producer that apply to the creative tech sector

[00:07:40] - A view of the music industrial complex from the inside

[00:08:57] - How the internet deciding who becomes popular affected already established artists

[00:10:57] - Interesting opportunities in the music landscape in 2021

[00:11:40] - Time spent at Spotify and the spark of insight that led to founding Brud

[00:16:02] - The sequence of creating a digital artist like Lil Miquela

[00:19:02] - What it feels like to be “othered”

[00:20:24] - Embracing one's intersections and applying it to a business model

[00:21:18] - The team behind Lil Miquela and her design process

[00:25:49] - Ingredients required for building a great narrative 

[00:28:35] - What social media platforms matter today, and the state of the social landscape

[00:32:21] - Expanding Lil Miquela’s world and digital media monetization

[00:36:32] - Differences between web 2.0 and 3.0 that may directly affect creators

[00:38:27] - Ways innovations like NFTs make spawn new network participants

[00:39:49] - Programmable art and media experiences

[00:41:03] - The most cutting-edge ideas in the digital persona space

[00:43:21] - Technology that wasn’t available that had to be built to enable new experiences 

[00:45:49] - One of the hardest decisions he’s had to make in Brud’s history

[00:47:16] - The furthest they’ve ever pushed the envelope

[00:48:06] - What’s the thing that keeps him going every day

[00:50:12] - Finding cultural white space and inventing a character that could speak to investing to inspire new generations

[00:52:01] - Units of media contribution and creative container experimentation

[00:53:27] - What has him the most excited about the future of his industry

[00:54:32] - Missing technological components that could inspire new digital creatives

[00:56:53] - Work ethic through the lens of developing a jump shot

[00:59:00] - One business lesson that he believes in deeply

[01:00:05] - The kindest thing anyone’s ever done for him

Apr 15, 2021
Chris Dixon - The Potential of Blockchain Technology - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 221]
01:12:44

My guest today is Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Chris is a prolific investor and thinker, having been an entrepreneur, angel investor, and is now focused on investing in the crypto and blockchain space for Andreessen. Our conversation focuses on Chris's overall thesis for investing in the cryptocurrency space, the opportunities and limitations of blockchain applications, and why this is the most interesting area for investing and building over the next ten years. What's exciting to me is blockchain technology's ability to help us re-imagine old business models and catapult them into the 21st century – and we cover a lot of them. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Chris Dixon.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Coinbase, Roblox, Qualtrics and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.

------

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:56] - [First question] - His overall crypto investing philosophy

[00:06:37] - New opportunities presented by blockchain technology

[00:15:31] - Permanent limitations and shortcomings of blockchains

[00:18:32] - Evolution of DeFi and crypto currencies

[00:21:11] - Whitepapers: Bitcoin, Ethereum, MakerDAO 

[00:22:08] - How to take out a loan using the Maker protocol

[00:23:22] - Utility of Dai and stablecoins

[00:29:14] - How the DeFi network will reinvent the future

[00:39:53] - Uniswap, tokens, and fundamentally redefining leverage

[00:36:29] - The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea

[00:38:00] - Developer and entrepreneurial incentives for building blockchain technology

[00:39:46] - BitClout, Rally and the early days of social tokens

[00:46:38] - Demand curve and value creation efficiency in a digital creator economy

[00:47:24] - NFTs and a Thousand True Fans

[00:54:49] - Polkadot, Solana, Cosmos and programmable blockchains

[00:58:03] - The most exciting moment for him in the last year

[01:00:19] - Decentralized autonomous organizations

[01:02:46] - The single thing that has him most excited about the future of this space

[01:05:18] - The Next Big Thing Will Start Out Looking Like a Toy



Apr 13, 2021
Shopify: The E-commerce On-Ramp - [Business Breakdowns, EP. 01]
01:03:38

Welcome to the first episode of our newest show, Business Breakdowns, featuring deep-dive conversations on individual businesses. In each episode, we will dissect a new company with investors and operators that know it best. 

 

We’ve already released the first three episodes on Shopify, Chipotle, and Alibaba. Subscribe to Business Breakdowns through the podcast player of your choice: 

 

Leave us a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts if you like the show!

 

-----

 

Today we will be diving into Shopify. Shopify was founded in 2004 by Tobi Lütke and Scott Lake around their original problem of why it's so hard to build an online business when they struggled to open an online snowboard equipment store. Today, Shopify's goal is to make commerce better for everyone, and it's used by more than 2 million merchants to run their online businesses. It's essentially an on-ramp for people looking to sell online. 

 

To help us break down Shopify, I'm joined by co-host Zack Fuss and our guest Alex Danco, who works on the Money team at Shopify.

 

To really understand Shopify, you have to understand its different business units -- Core, Merchant Services, Ecosystem, and the new Shop platform -- and the role they each play in making commerce easier and better for merchants. We begin this breakdown by covering each of those business units and how they compare to Apple's business lines. We then dive deep into how Shopify makes money through the first and second derivative of their merchant success and how Shopify thinks about friction in e-commerce. We close with an incredible analogy of Shopify and StarCraft and the tools that Shopify has built into the still-nascent world of e-commerce.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. We created Business Breakdowns to uncover the lessons and frameworks behind every business, and that's what makes Tegus our perfect launch partner. Much of the foundational prep for these episodes starts with research on the Tegus platform. 

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 15,000 calls on Coinbase, Hinge Health, Farfetch, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. If you're ready to go deeper on any company and you appreciate the value of primary research, head to tegus.co/breakdowns for a free trial.

-----

Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss

 

Show Notes

[00:04:03] - [First question] - What Shopify is as a product

[00:05:58] - Product pillar 1: Core
[00:07:58] - Product pillar 2: Merchant services
[00:10:02] - Product pillar 3: Ecosystem

[00:12:04] - Product pillar 4: Shop

[00:14:08] - The evolution of commerce with the rise of the internet

[00:21:01] - Differences between high and low trust commerce

[00:25:48] - The role of friction and trust in stakeholder variety

[00:30:18] - Overview of all four product pillars’ business models

[00:33:10] - Shopify App Store

[00:34:16] - How Shopify competes and partners with their competitors

[00:36:53] - Shop Pay expands to Facebook and Instagram

[00:38:49] - Key areas where Shopify will continue to grow across their product pillars

[00:42:52] - Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay

[00:43:56] - Potential pitfalls of having such a high self-imposed quality bar 

[00:45:12] - Conway’s law
[00:45:12] - Aggregators versus platforms

[00:53:35] - Unique marketing aspects for Shopify’s sales and marketing with their subscription model 

[00:56:37] - Shopify: A StarCraft Inspired Business Strategy

 

Apr 09, 2021
Tony Xu - A Human and Math Problem - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 28]
01:04:41

My guest today is Tony Xu, co-founder, and CEO of DoorDash. Tony started DoorDash 7.5 years ago, and today it is one of the largest food delivery and logistics platforms globally, with operations in the US, Canada, Australia. In our conversation, we discuss the initial problem that DoorDash set out to solve, DoorDash’s counterintuitive approach to building their product, and the surprising benefits of capital constraints in DoorDash’s early days. DoorDash’s business model is an equal parts logistics nightmare and a human coordination problem, or as Tony puts it, a human and math problem. After talking to Tony, I feel his personality makes him a great candidate to solve those problems.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2 report at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick.

-----

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. With LinkedIn, you get access to an active community of professionals with more than 722 million members worldwide. LinkedIn is the easiest place in the world to post a job and message qualified candidates. Getting started is easier than ever, and now you can do this all from your mobile device.

 

When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit linkedin.com/fieldguide to post a job for free. Terms and conditions apply.

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:07] - [First question] - The catalytic moment that inspired Tony to build DoorDash

[00:06:33] - Network density and its role in scalability

[00:09:15] - Solving a math and sales problem simultaneously

[00:11:33] - Becoming aware of multiple problem sets for restaurant owners

[00:14:34] - Designing a team to quantify friction and turn it into useable data

[00:16:49] - How to approach difficult problems and compartmentalize them in a practical way

[00:18:38] - Accounting for high-level variance in long-term goals

[00:21:54] - Factoring in time horizons for variance and planning for the future

[00:23:08] - Slowing down an action process to minimize a high-consequence decision

[00:26:48] - Generating demand after completing their software infrastructure

[00:28:15] - Strategic choices between network health and unit economics

[00:30:32] - Why DoorDash struggled to raise financing in their seed-stage

[00:32:23] - Solving a small fraction of a larger logistics problem

[00:35:00] - Differences between local commerce and distribution centers 

[00:36:44] - Creating the DashPass subscription service and how premium experiences influence user behavior

[00:38:34] - Advantages and potential diminishing returns in servant leadership

[00:40:41] - His broader philosophy on leadership and how it’s changed over the years

[00:44:55] - Creating an incentive-aligned culture of ownership at scale

[00:47:02] - The most surprising lessons learned about company building

[00:50:38] - Unexpected positive outcomes that may emerge in other areas due to DoorDash’s growth in the coming years 

[00:53:44] - Will DoorDash’s presence change behavioral patterns in where people choose to live or start their business?

[00:55:36] - What has him most excited for the future

[00:56:55] - Kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

Apr 08, 2021
Mike Kerns and Jesse Jacobs - Content to Commerce - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 220]
01:11:15

My guests this week are Jesse Jacobs and Mike Kerns, co-founders and partners at The Chernin Group, TCG, a multi-stage investment firm dedicated to building consumer businesses. Many think of TCG as some of the best media investors in the world, and in this discussion, you’ll quickly see why. In our conversation, we cover how TCG identifies creators that they can help build businesses with, how established companies should think about influencers and media today, and what innovations they are most excited for in the creator space. As I become more heavily involved in building new media properties, Jesse and Mike are always my first point of call for advice, and I’m so excited to share this with you. Please enjoy my conversation with Jesse Jacobs and Mike Kerns.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Coinbase, Roblox, Qualtrics and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.

------

This episode is brought to you by MIT Investment Management Company – also known as MITIMCo, the endowment office of MIT. MITIMCo seeks to find people who are focused on achieving exceptional long-term investment returns, partner with these firms early, and stick around for the very long term. MITIMCo doesn’t care how small, new, or un-institutional your firm is if you have the potential to generate amazing results that support MIT’s pursuit of world-class education, cutting-edge research, and groundbreaking innovation.

Despite their willingness to invest early, they do not ask for GP economics, and they commit their initial capital for ten years.

Visit www.mitimco.org and their new emerging managers page to learn more.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:32] - [First question] - The history of TCG 

[00:04:30] - iFilm (Discontinued)

[00:07:08] - Full Screen

[00:07:13] - Crunchyroll

[00:10:46] - Uniting properties across all of TCG’s brands
[00:11:14] - Barstool, MeatEater
[00:12:00] - Headspace, Food 52, Hodinkee, Surfline

[00:14:03] - Accidental businesses and pre-commercial success
[00:14:53] - Exploding Kittens

[00:16:05] - Evaluating the potential of a new pitch

[00:19:12] - Testing, tracking and understanding media brand conversions

[00:21:13] - The most important things happening in media in 2021
[00:25:12] - Analysis of MeatEater from content to commerce

[00:27:22] - First Lite

[00:29:21] - Replacing your own sponsors with owned companies

[00:30:11] - Analysis of Hodinkee from content to commerce

[00:33:42] - What sparked the resurgence of interest in collectibles

[00:38:05] - Hands on investing in the intersection of media, finance and tech 

[00:40:05] - Comcast 

[00:41:02] - Surprising discoveries in the sports collectibles space

[00:43:06] - NFTs and their role in generating capital for media companies

[00:44:25] - Sorare

[00:45:22] - JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as “NFT Mania” Gathers Pace

[00:47:23] - How to adapt to the NFT space as a business seeking equity

[00:51:12] - The valuation landscape of today

[00:55:25] - Defining success when working with an influencer

[00:58:48] - Upcoming trends they’re most excited about in the world

[01:01:40] - Roblox

[01:02:00] - Mr Beast, Beastburger

[01:02:47] - Pokemon Go

[01:04:01] - The kindest things anyone’s ever done for them

Apr 06, 2021
Business Breakdowns - Trailer
02:44

Welcome to Business Breakdowns, a new Colossus podcast featuring deep-dive conversations on individual businesses. In each episode, we will dissect a new company with investors and operators that know it best. We believe every business has secrets and lessons to learn from, and these conversations are designed to deliver that content in an entertaining and narrative format.

 

The series launches today with Shopify, so check out the links below and give it a listen. 

 

Subscribe to Business Breakdowns via: 

 

Leave us a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts if you like the show. 

 

With each new episode, we will be releasing full episode transcripts, show notes, and the best content we could find on that business from across the internet. Check out www.joincolossus.com for more. 

Apr 05, 2021
Jesse Pujji - A Primer on Performance Marketing - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 27]
01:34:23

My guest today is Jesse Pujji, the Founder & CEO of Gateway X, a holding company that builds, buys, and invests in companies that are driving the direct-to-consumer landscape. Prior to Gateway X, Jesse was the CEO and co-founder of Ampush, a performance marketing business helping power customer acquisition across some of the world's biggest brands. Jesse is my go-to person for all things performance marketing and customer acquisition, so we decided to record this episode to bring his incredible lessons to a wider audience. It also dovetails nicely into the series of episodes we are making called Primers, where we take our audience from a 0 to a 7 on just about any topic. In this Primer with Jesse, we dive into how revenue mechanics affect ad campaigns, why long sales funnels often offer the greatest opportunities for differentiation, and the various channels and strategies available for performance marketing. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jesse Pujji.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2 report at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick.

-----

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. With LinkedIn, you get access to an active community of professionals with more than 722 million members worldwide. LinkedIn is the easiest place in the world to post a job and message qualified candidates. Getting started is easier than ever, and now you can do this all from your mobile device.

 

When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit linkedin.com/fieldguide to post a job for free. Terms and conditions apply.

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:58] - [First question] - Overview of Jesse’s career and starting Ampush

[00:12:11] - Red Ventures

[00:13:11] - The four components of performance marketing

[00:17:47] - Time and other variables in between impressions and revenue events

[00:23:12] - Understanding the dimensions of a business and their offering

[00:25:32] - Common misunderstandings businesses have about their marketing

[00:27:17] - Major changes in the Facebook and Google digital marketing ecosystems

[00:29:27] - Direct response marketing vs brand marketing
[00:35:08] - The importance and impact of effective messaging

[00:37:28] - The differences between good and bad conversions

[00:40:56] - Does alpha still exist, is it worth looking for, and does beta have a place

[00:43:25] - Fundamentals of a high performing marketing organization

[00:50:04] - Attention aggregators of marketing agencies
[00:50:18] - Nerdwallet - Thumbtack 

[00:51:22] - Product channel fit

[00:52:11] - PebblePost
[00:53:58] - Lessons learned from working with Uber

[00:55:42] - Retention marketing
[00:57:31] - Upcoming frontiers of performance marketing

[01:01:15] - Overview of Nerdwallet
[01:03:36] - How Jesse’s time at Ampush has shaped his investment lens
[01:07:20] - Lessons from bootstrapping a business vs venture capital funding

[01:17:05] - The entrepreneurial execution loop and operating cadence 

[01:29:20] - Kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

Apr 01, 2021
Kanyi Maqubela - Dawn of the 21st Century - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 219]
01:09:49

My guest today is Kanyi Maqubela, co-founder of seed-stage VC firm Kindred Ventures, which he started with his partner Steven Jang in 2019. Before founding Kindred Ventures, Kanyi was a general partner at Collaborative Fund. In our conversation, we discuss the parallels between today and the Roaring ’20s of the last century, the misunderstood risk curve of seed investing, and dive deep into how Kanyi evaluates founders and businesses at the earliest stage of company formation. We also discuss Kanyi’s experience teaching the Design Your Life class at Stanford and how some of those principles convinced him to take the leap to start his own fund. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Kanyi Maqubela.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

------

This episode is brought to you by NordVPN. NordVPN is the best VPN to keep your internet experience private.

 

It has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries to ensure super-fast internet while protecting your information no matter where you are. As working from home and remote work become more prevalent, now is the time to protect your personal and business information without any data logging.

 

NordVPN works on all popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and supports up to 6 simultaneous connections across your devices.

 

To get started, go to nordvpn.com/patrick or use code PATRICK to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:04:11] - [First question] - Understanding the roaring 20s and their potential resurgence

[00:06:14] - Seed-stage investing today compared to a few years ago

[00:09:02] - Lessons learned from studying the 1920s 

[00:11:52] - Supply chain infrastructure in the 21st century

[00:14:49] - His investment philosophy and what influenced it

[00:17:47] - Defining the risk curve and early-stage divergence

[00:21:31] - Assessing risk in seed-stage investing

[00:23:32] - Other moments that influenced Kanyi’s investment philosophy

[00:26:50] - Assisting early-stage companies as a VC 

[00:29:31] - How he approaches VC differently than traditional US VCs

[00:31:55] - Non-consensus ways and unique views when evaluating founders

[00:35:19] - Domain insight and its importance

[00:36:53] - What he looks for in a company when considering investing in them

[00:38:17] - Assessing a team in whether or not they have characteristics of longevity

[00:40:59] - Questions he most enjoys asking people

[00:42:24] - What makes for a good problem space

[00:44:26] - Early-stage crypto investing

[00:47:27] - How the crypto space and NFTs will change and influence other sectors

[00:50:37] - Emerging trends that are catching his attention

[00:54:20] - The potential for upward mobility in the coming decade

[00:56:30] - Teaching the Design Your Life course

[01:01:21] - Advice for modern investor-operators

[01:03:26] - If he could change one major thing in the industry

[01:06:57] - The biggest lesson learned from Obama’s campaign

[01:07:44] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

Mar 30, 2021
Roxanne Petraeus - Modernizing Compliance - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.26]
56:02

My guest today is Roxanne Petraeus, co-founder and CEO of Ethena, a modern compliance platform for businesses. Roxanne’s background is pretty incredible, before starting Ethena she was a Rhodes Scholar, served in the US Army, and worked at McKinsey. In our conversation, we cover the lessons Roxanne ported over from her military career to building a business, how she’s trying to make compliance training not suck, and the woeful state of funding female founders in VC today and what can be done about it. Far from a boring conversation about compliance, this was an incredible discussion with one of the best founders I’ve met recently. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Roxanne Petraeus.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for e-commerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. 

 

See why Klaviyo is trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business. For a free trial, check out klaviyo.com/founders

-----

This episode is brought to you by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers.

 

If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders.

-----

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:29] - [First question] - What Ethena does

[00:06:31] - Lessons from her military career

[00:09:13] - Good and bad elements of leadership training from the military 

[00:11:35] - The problem of what sucks in compliance training

[00:14:33] - The enablement of bad behavior among people with power

[00:17:56] - The original idea for Ethena and bringing it to market

[00:21:15] - Determining who is the right person to serve first 

[00:24:03] - Lessons for building good software 

[00:26:21] - How they have adapted to working in and around regulation

[00:29:31] - Getting other companies to buy into the product

[00:34:45] - Creating effective content and measuring that effectiveness

[00:38:13] - Darker sides of growing the business and raising money

[00:39:57] -  How ‘the Motherhood Penalty’ Plays Out for Startup Founders

[00:43:12] - Fixing the problems with bias in venture capital investing

[00:46:57] - What is the outlook and long-term vision for the business

[00:50:38] - What has her most excited for the future

[00:51:53] - Most interesting about the Rhodes Scholar program

[00:54:02] - Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Mar 25, 2021
Jesse Walden - A Primer on NFTs - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 218]
47:35

My guest today is Jesse Walden, the founder of Variant, an early-stage venture firm investing in crypto networks and platforms building the ownership economy.

 

With all the hype surrounding NFTs, I wanted to talk to Jesse about them, given his background in the music industry and his focus on the creator and ownership economy. The conversation did not disappoint. We discuss the basics of what an NFT is, what new creative paradigms they might unlock, and where we are in the NFT hype cycle.

 

This episode is the first in what will likely become its own show we are calling Primers. Our goal for primers is to bring investors and operators from a zero to a seven understanding of a topic, concept, or industry. The goal here is for the education around these topics to be fast and entertaining. I hope you enjoy this discussion with Jesse Walden and hopefully the first of many Primers to come.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

------

This episode is brought to you by NordVPN. NordVPN is the best VPN to keep your internet experience private.

 

It has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries to ensure super-fast internet while protecting your information no matter where you are. As working from home and remote work become more prevalent, now is the time to protect your personal and business information without any data logging.

 

NordVPN works on all popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and supports up to 6 simultaneous connections across your devices.

 

To get started, go to nordvpn.com/patrick or use code PATRICK to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:04:19] - [First question] - Simple definition of an NFT

[00:05:22] - What distinguishes NFTs from each other 
[00:06:24] - The value chain of a song, and who owns it

[00:12:07] - Monetization and royalties on traded tokens

[00:15:02] - Consumer incentives for purchasing NFTs

[00:19:19] - Long-term passive income and media legos

[00:22:23] - Technical breakdown of minting, hosting, and storing tokens

[00:24:28] - Verification of token ownership on the blockchain

[00:25:58] - NFT marketplaces and aggregators

[00:27:06] - Opensea.io 

[00:27:21] - Foundation.app 

[00:29:46] - Innovations inspired by the NFT explosion

[00:31:01] - Mirror.xyz 

[00:32:26] - NBA Topshot

[00:32:57] - Crypto Punks

[00:23:24] - Nifty Gateway

[00:34:30] - Physical cultural assets in the digital landscape

[00:36:02] - Legacy brands exploring digital goods and tokenized ownership

[00:38:37] - NFTs becoming the port of entry of all media
[00:39:39] - An ownership economy in second generation internet platforms

[00:41:02] - Uniswap
[00:42:41] - The “hype cycle” of NFTs and incoming market correction
[00:44:18] - Lessons for investors in the NFT space

[00:45:15] - Lessons for buildings in the NFT space

[00:45:54] - Resources to continue learning about NFTs
[00:45:54] - NFTs make the internet ownable by Jesse Walden
[00:46:20] - NFTs and a thousand true fans by Chris Dixon
[00:46:13] - A beginner’s guide to NFTs by Linda Xie

Mar 23, 2021
Jonathan Goldberg - Capturing Carbon - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 25]
50:04

My guest today is Jonathan Goldberg, the founder, and CEO of Carbon Direct, a company focused on advising and investing in carbon removal at scale. Jonathan started his career in the commodities division of Goldman Sachs and then went on to start a commodity hedge fund, BBL Commodities. In our conversation, we cover the state of the carbon problem today, the importance of global carbon standards and carbon taxes, and the future of carbon capture and removal technologies. This was a masterclass on all things carbon-related. Please enjoy my conversation with Jonathan Goldberg. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for e-commerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. 

 

See why Klaviyo is trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business. For a free trial, check out klaviyo.com/founders

-----

This episode is brought to you by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers.

 

If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders.

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:25] - [First question] - Overview of his career

[00:06:02] - The start of his commodities trading strategy and its evolution 

[00:09:08] - Key strategies for making money as a commodities trader

[00:10:41] - Opportunity to trade commodities today 

[00:11:39] - Making the shift to carbon capture work

[00:15:04] - Range of consequences for elevated carbon emissions and biggest buckets of carbon

[00:18:52] - An outline of the Paris Climate Accord and other agreements on climate change

[00:20:26] - Ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere

[00:23:46] - The technology to remove carbon and incentives to invest in this technology

[00:26:19] - Corporate participation in the carbon trade 

[00:28:35] - Balance of natural vs man-made solutions 

[00:31:53] - Making money without the altruistic goals

[00:33:43] - Trends in the fossil fuel industry 

[00:36:41] - Convenient ways for consumers to switch to clean energy products

[00:39:57] - The geopolitical will to shift towards cleaner energy

[00:41:58] - Primary consequences of not making this shift

[00:44:25] - The important role of regulation 

[00:46:01] - Thinking through the investing side of combating climate change

[00:48:59] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Mar 18, 2021
Marissa King - The Science of Social Networks - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 217]
58:07

My guest this week is Marissa King, a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management. I was fascinated by Marissa's work after coming across her book, Social Chemistry: Decoding the Elements of Human Connection, earlier this year. Our conversation covers the three types of social networking styles, the surprising impact of COVID on social networks, and what her research tells us about building high-performing teams. This episode covers many topics I haven't explored before that I find fascinating. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Marissa King.   

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

------

This episode is brought to you by NordVPN. NordVPN is the best VPN to keep your internet experience private.

 

It has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries to ensure super-fast internet while protecting your information no matter where you are. As working from home and remote work become more prevalent, now is the time to protect your personal and business information without any data logging.

 

NordVPN works on all popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and supports up to 6 simultaneous connections across your devices.

 

To get started, go to nordvpn.com/patrick or use code PATRICK to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:04:04] - [First question] - Origin of her career and topics she is focused on

[00:04:06] - Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection

[00:04:09] - Priya Parker Podcast Episode

[00:05:41] - Why the focus on Autism and some of the trends around it

[00:08:07] - Prevalence of mental health and substance abuse vs. raised awareness

[00:09:16] - The eureka moment for her in this research

[00:10:16] -  Pattern in growing large social movements

[00:11:43] - The Expansionists group and their role in large social movements

[00:14:31] - Acid test for the Brokers group

[00:15:35] - How she developed the categories of people that drive social movements

[00:17:35] - Most memorable moments of discovery in the development of these categories

[00:18:58] - Important categories for overall network science

[00:20:20] - Behavioral changes we can make to improve the nature of our social connections

[00:23:21] - The pitfalls for each group and how they can invest in their own network

[00:25:29] - Conveners and what they need to improve 

[00:26:34] - Downside of being a broker

[00:27:58] - The attachments styles of secure, anxious, or avoidant

[00:30:07] - Velocity of interactions possible today and what it means for research

[00:32:02] - How men and women develop networks differently

[00:33:55] - What is unique in organizational behavior through the lens of her research

[00:36:19] - Best practice for creating high output interactions

[00:37:33] - Putting together the perfect team

[00:38:42] - Largest pitfalls in putting together a good team

[00:40:00] - Role of conversation in effective network building

[00:41:15] - Being a great listeners and distractions

[00:42:47] - Eric Maddox Podcast Episode

[00:43:41] - Good policy for running a network, being attentive to the network

[00:46:40] - The power of touch

[00:48:39] - How movements become societal and what role technology has played

[00:52:46] - How this applies to a business

[00:53:34] - Biological underpinnings of Dunbar’s number

[00:57:13] - Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Mar 16, 2021
Jonathan Neman - Building the Modern Restaurant - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 24]
53:49

My guest this week is Jonathan Neman, the co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen is a fast-casual restaurant chain that Jonathan co-founded in 2007 during their senior year at Georgetown when he realized they couldn't find a healthy, affordable, and convenient place to eat. Today, Sweetgreen operates in 11 markets and will have about 160 restaurants across the US by the end of 2021. In our conversation, we cover the origins of Sweetgreen and how it builds a direct relationship with its customers, how Jonathan thinks restaurants should work with marketplaces like DoorDash, and the economics of operating restaurants. While Sweetgreen is primarily a restaurant concept, Jonathan brings a tech-first mindset to the food industry, focusing less on single-store economics and more about customer lifetime value and the importance of owning the relationship with the customer. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jonathan Neman.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for e-commerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. 

 

See why Klaviyo is trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business. For a free trial, check out klaviyo.com/founders

-----

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. With LinkedIn, you get access to an active community of professionals with more than 722 million members worldwide. LinkedIn is the easiest place in the world to post a job and message qualified candidates. Getting started is easier than ever, and now you can do this all from your mobile device. 

 

When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit linkedin.com/fieldguide to post a job for free. Terms and conditions apply. 

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:04] - [First question] - The origins of Sweetgreen

[00:05:47] - Something they did from a position of naivete, working their supply chain

[00:07:18] - Most common reason restaurants go wrong

[00:08:35] - Building the first restaurant and lessons along the way 

[00:12:22] - Effective menu building

[00:14:36] - The Sweetgreen network and how they view the restaurant as a network

[00:21:05] - What their digital business means compared to other restaurant businesses

[00:23:55] - How they have improved at converting people into their ecosystem

[00:27:40] - Creating win-win partnerships

[00:29:12] - The pros/cons of the marketplaces in the food industry

[00:32:58] - The general economics of a restaurant

[00:36:58] - Allocating capital differently when the focus is the customer and not the store

[00:39:36] - How tech trends aimed at improving personal health plays into Sweetgreen’s plans

[00:45:11] - Their focus on sustainability for the business

[00:47:56] - The core values of ‘Add the Sweet Touch’ and ‘Live the Sweet Life’

[00:50:18] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

[00:51:38] - Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Mar 11, 2021
Josh Wolfe and Tony Thomas - The Past, Present, and Future of Defense – [Invest Like the Best, EP. 216]
01:25:45

My guests today are Josh Wolfe and Tony Thomas, better known as T2. Josh is the co-founder and General Partner at Lux Capital. T2 is now a venture partner alongside Josh at Lux Capital, after serving for almost 40 years in the US military and becoming a 4-star general and the 11th Commander of US Special Operations Command. Our conversation focuses on the technology frontier in defense as well as the geopolitical threats that the US faces. We talk about everything from semiconductors and autonomous weapons systems to the moral dimensions of investing in defense technology. I hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation with Josh Wolfe and Tony Thomas.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

------

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

------

This episode is brought to you by MIT Investment Management Company – also known as MITIMCo, the endowment office of MIT. MITIMCo seeks to find people who are focused on achieving exceptional long-term investment returns, partner with these firms early, and stick around for the very long term. MITIMCo doesn’t care how small, new, or un-institutional your firm is if you have the potential to generate amazing results that support MIT’s pursuit of world-class education, cutting-edge research, and groundbreaking innovation.

 

Despite their willingness to invest early, they do not ask for GP economics and they commit their initial capital for ten years.  

 

Visit www.mitimco.org and their new emerging managers page to learn more.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:46] - [First question] - Overview of Tony Thomas’s career

[00:06:36] - His focus on the information wars and truthiness

[00:08:50] - How Josh and Tony met

[00:12:27] - Experiencing the slow pace of technology growth within the Department of Defense

[00:15:51] - History of businesses selling to and engaging with the government

[00:23:52] - Consensus of the threats we face today 

[00:28:55] - Most important competitive frontier today 

[00:35:09] - The lessening of kinetic warfare

[00:46:51] - State of the drone technology and industry 

[00:52:56] - Mapping the arctic and the geopolitical ramifications

[00:54:31] - The frontier of space 

[00:59:26] - What shouldn’t be unmanned technology 

[01:02:31] - The cutting edge of simulation technology 

[01:06:50] - The most important thing to know about the future of semiconductors

[01:11:36] - The moral lens of working with and investing in defense companies

[01:20:53] - Traits of the most exceptional soldiers he’s served with

[01:23:53] - Kindest thing anyone has done for Tony

Mar 09, 2021
Matteo Franceschetti – Modernizing Sleep – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 23]
43:21

My guest today is Matteo Franceschetti, the founder and CEO of Eight Sleep, a smart mattress company. I’m a customer of Eight Sleep and this was one of the most unique founder conversations I’ve had on the show, in both the focus on the product and the exploration of sleep. We talk about which biometrics matter, how hard it is to start a hardware company and launch manufacturing overseas, how Matteo manages his own sleep, and the massive potential for preventative health companies like Eight Sleep may have in the future. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Matteo Franceschetti. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. 

 

See why Klaviyo is trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business. For a free trial, check out klaviyo.com/founders

-----

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. With LinkedIn, you get access to an active community of professionals with more than 722 million members worldwide. LinkedIn is the easiest place in the world to post a job and message, qualified candidates. Getting started is easier than ever and now you can do this all from your mobile device. 

 

When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit linkedin.com/fieldguide to post a job for free. Terms and conditions apply. 

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:36] - [First question] - Origins of the Eight Sleep business

[00:03:21] - Designing and testing the original product

[00:04:17] - Goal of the product

[00:05:19] - How temperature can improve sleep

[00:06:28] - Accuracy of the sensors in this product

[00:08:30] - Valuable inputs for health that they measure, HRV (heart rate variability)

[00:09:59] - Amount of research on the variables they measure and impact on health

[00:11:45] - Hardest data for them to measure in their mattress

[00:14:03] - Early challenges to launching the business

[00:15:27] - Lessons from the early manufacturing process

[00:16:50] - Working through the potential business models

[00:17:56] - Goal of less sleep and reducing light sleep

[00:19:45] - Behavior changes he’s made as a result of understanding his sleep more

[00:21:08] - How alcohol/caffeine impacts sleep

[00:22:01] - How food impacts sleep

[00:23:01] - Why glucose spikes are bad for sleep

[00:23:40] - Challenges in the business after the crowdfunding stage

[00:25:34] - Marketing lessons from a high price point and infrequently purchased product

[00:26:42] - Most exciting day in the researching phase

[00:27:48] - Turning an infrequent purchase into a frequent sale

[00:28:54] - What it’s like to work with his wife

[00:30:03] - Future of the quantified self-movement

[00:31:23] - The hardest challenge in the business

[00:32:13] - Most valuable things he’s learned as a fan of Formula 1 racing

[00:33:41] - Future of the mattress business

[00:35:28] - Other businesses he has learned from

[00:36:40] - Lessons from the data part of the business

[00:38:26] - Collecting more data from their customers without being intrusive

[00:39:56] - What he’s learned through Apple Health 

[00:41:39] - What has him excited for the long term future of Eight Sleep

[00:42:32] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Mar 04, 2021
Jack Clark - Grateful for Everything, Entitled to Nothing – [Invest Like the Best, EP. 215]
42:26

My guest today is Jack Clark, head coach of the University of California Varsity Rugby team. Jack has one of the highest winning percentages not only at the collegiate level but in sports history, winning an incredible 90% of games since his start as a coach in 1984. That includes a 98 game winning streak from 1990 to 1996 and a 115 game winning streak from 2004 to 2009. In our conversation, we dive into how Jack builds high-performing teams, the shared vocabulary he creates across his organization, and his work with companies applying what he's learned on the field to operating businesses. Please enjoy this conversation with Jack Clark. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

------

This episode is brought to you by MIT Investment Management Company. MITIMCO is the endowment office of MIT. New and small investment funds listen up. MITIMCO is looking to find investors starting funds today.

 

MITIMCO is partnership-driven, long-term focused, and has an extensive history of backing investors early in their careers. These partners are key in delivering the outstanding investment returns required to support MIT's pursuit of world-class education, cutting-edge research, and groundbreaking innovation. MITIMCO is focused on finding and partnering with the best investors across the globe, no matter the market environment. No firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional.

 

If you or someone you know is currently in the process of starting a fund or recently launched, please email partner@mitimco.org or discover more on their website at mitimco.org/partner.

------

 

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:44] - [First question] - Overview of his playing and coaching career

[00:06:02] - The importance of creating a set of values for a team

[00:07:53] - Why selflessness is such an important trait he looks for in teams

[00:09:20] - Examples of selflessness in the teams

[00:10:06] - The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players

[00:10:24] - Lessons on gratitude and entitlement

[00:11:34] - Being a meritocracy on the team

[00:12:55] - Rewarding merit as a coach

[00:14:18] - Improving a team today, the power of the basics and fundamentals

[00:15:29] - Defining toughness for players and teams

[00:17:29] - Mark Bingham, the epitome of toughness

[00:18:33] - Why he created and how he uses a glossary

[00:22:09] - Creating a high rate of conversion in recruiting

[00:25:01] - What qualities did the teams that beat him share

[00:27:22] - Take on pride and something he is exceedingly proud of

[00:29:17] - Translating the concepts from the court into the business world

[00:32:20] - Where companies have room to improve

[00:33:16] - Changing a company culture

[00:34:21] - Coaches he has learned from 

[00:36:00] - The power of non-cognitive grit

[00:38:45] - Advice for companies creating a value set

[00:40:40] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him 

Mar 02, 2021
Ryan Petersen - Where There Is Mystery, There Is Margin – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 22]
01:08:51

My guest today is Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of Flexport. Flexport is a technology platform for global trade. In this conversation, Ryan takes us through the fragmented world of international freight shipping, and we dive deep into the history and inefficiencies of the system. We also cover how shipping containers were standardized, how new protocols get adopted internationally, and the challenges of doing business in the “no man's land” of international waters. Ryan is the type of entrepreneur I enjoy talking to most: he has incredible domain knowledge, high energy and is tackling an enormous global problem. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ryan Petersen.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

-----

This episode is brought to you by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers. 

 

If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies, on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders.

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:24] - [First question] - Overview of what Flexport does

[00:04:49] - His introduction into the world of shipping

[00:06:49] - Difference between parcel and freight

[00:08:53] - Market cap of the overall shipping industry

[00:09:24] - Fragmentation of shipping and what Flexport is solving for

[00:12:52] - Worst parts of the shipping world

[00:15:34] - Improving the tech behind the shipping container

[00:19:06] - Why the shipping container changed the world

[00:19:07] - The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

[00:21:27] - Teams and outsider perspectives in solving problems

[00:22:34] - How their business could make shipping more efficient and reduce costs

[00:25:24] - Where the margins and profits are made in shipping

[00:25:49] - Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

[00:27:11] - The finance side of shipping

[00:28:56] - Maritime law and the ocean

[00:30:57] - How much is left in the digitization of shipping

[00:32:48] - The perfect state of shipping using Flexport

[00:38:19] - Investing in hard assets to expand the business

[00:41:03] - Lessons about building a business and global coordination

[00:43:15] - Multidisciplinary thinking among their team

[00:44:04] - Global supply chain issues in light of Covid and ocean policing 

[00:44:15] - Peter Zeihan Podcast Episode

[00:47:59] - Testing out demand in the beginning

[00:50:28] - The process of testing out new ideas and killing off losers

[00:52:33] - Important lessons/themes for founders

[00:54:51] - Hardest learned lesson, fundraising

[00:58:06] - Other opportunities in shipping

[00:59:47] - Lessons for creating a new standard

[01:02:22] - Using their standardization to improve global relief work

[01:04:40] - Creating synchronicity in a company

[01:07:09] - What he’s excited about for the future

[01:07:53] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 25, 2021
Jeremy Grantham - A Historic Market Bubble – [Invest Like the Best, EP.214]
01:04:37

My guest today is Jeremy Grantham. Jeremy is the Long-Term Investment Strategist and Co-Founder at GMO. Jeremy has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of markets, which made it such a pleasure to have him back on the show. In this conversation, we discuss the three key signs of a bubble, why Jeremy believes we are in a bubble right now and how it’s being led by retail rather than institutional investors. We close with the important role that demographics and productivity will play over the next few decades across the world. Please enjoy my conversation with Jeremy Grantham.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest-growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked Twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 


Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com

------

This episode is brought to you by MIT Investment Management Company. MITIMCO is the endowment office of MIT. New and small investment funds listen up. MITIMCO is looking to find investors starting funds today.

 

MITIMCO is partnership-driven, long-term focused, and has an extensive history of backing investors early in their careers. These partners are key in delivering the outstanding investment returns required to support MIT's pursuit of world-class education, cutting-edge research, and groundbreaking innovation. MITIMCO is focused on finding and partnering with the best investors across the globe, no matter the market environment. No firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional.

 

If you or someone you know is currently in the process of starting a fund or recently launched, please email partner@mitimco.org or discover more on their website at mitimco.org/partner.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:03] - [First question] - His view on the markets today 

[00:03:07] - Jeremy Grantham’s Podcast Episode

[00:08:00] - Proliferation of SPAC’s and how he views them as a potential bubble

[00:10:20] - Could SPAC’s help to improve the IPO process

[00:14:30] - How he viewed the Gamestop story through his historical context 

[00:18:24] - Is investor education possible 

[00:19:50] - How the increasing role of retail investors impacts bubbles

[00:24:15] - Attitudes towards market bears in bubbles

[00:28:52] - Long term view on the economy and the forces pushing it higher

[00:41:50] - Returning to a hard money standard for the US economy

[00:49:39] - Would a finite supply of money change market trajectory

[00:51:02] - Best ways to improve the infrastructure of the economy and people’s willingness to work

[00:53:52] - What should one do if they believe we are in a bubble

[00:58:14] - What he is excited about in his green investments

[01:02:28] - Advice to young investors  

Feb 23, 2021
Carlos Brito – Creating an Ownership Culture – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 21]
57:00

My guest today is Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev. AB InBev is the world’s largest brewer of beer and maintains a portfolio of hundreds of beer brands across the globe. Our conversation focuses on AB InBev’s culture of ownership, how Carlos balances organic growth with acquisitions and managing disruption as an industry incumbent. I loved hearing about Carlos’ story from growing up in Brazil to now running one of the largest businesses in the world. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Carlos Brito.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

-----

This episode is brought to you by NetSuite. NetSuite allows founders to centralize their payment systems, ditch old spreadsheets and Quickbook tools, and finally gain visibility and control over their financials, HR, inventory, eCommerce - all in one place, instantly.

Whether you are doing a million in revenue or hundreds of millions in revenue - see why over 22,000 companies are using NetSuite today. Schedule your free product tour at netsuite.com/invest.

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:12] - [First question] - His career path and how he got to where he is today

[00:11:02] - Culture building lessons throughout his career

[00:14:52] - Maintaining ownership of company culture as businesses grow 

[00:16:47] - How and why they avoid wasted resources

[00:18:49] - Why conserving resources is so beneficial for a company

[00:21:18] - Spreading culture into new members of a team

[00:25:26] - Lessons from managing a large portfolio of different brands

[00:27:58] - Biggest mistakes he has seen within brands

[00:29:38] - Navigating changes/threats in the beer industry, starting with craft beers

[00:32:56] - Lessons from the production and distribution side of the business 

[00:36:02] - How to assess and decide to move into a new market

[00:37:12] - Role of data in deciding how to allocate resources and capital

[00:40:34] - The evolution of marketing over his career

[00:44:32] - Implementing the meritocracy to keep the right people in the company and move them around

[00:47:59] - Feedback he needed to hear

[00:49:16] - How other leaders can decide on whether to focus on inorganic or organic growth

[00:51:41] - What he’s most proud of from his career

[00:53:13] - Passion for the product

[00:54:12] - Most memorable beer in his life

[00:54:56] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 18, 2021
Scott Belsky - Focus on the First Mile – [Invest Like the Best, EP. 213]
53:58

My guest today is Scott Belsky. Scott was the co-founder and CEO of Behance, the world's largest creative network, and a prolific angel investor, having made early-stage investments in Pinterest, Uber, Carta, and Airtable. His company was acquired by Adobe in 2012, where he is currently the chief product officer. In this conversation, we cover the importance of focusing on the first mile of a customer's experience with your product, why every user is (at first) either lazy, vain or selfish, and what the rise of creativity tools means for creators and investors in the future.  We also cover the major trends that Scott thinks will dominate for the next decade. This was one of those conversations where I was left with 10 great lessons that will stick with me for a long time. Please enjoy my conversation with Scott Belsky.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest-growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked Twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 

Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com.

------

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:24] - [First question] - Philosophy for building great products

[00:04:52] - Starting the journey of building a great product 

[00:06:08] - Making the first mile better

[00:08:12] - Understanding user progress in product building 

[00:10:25]  - Getting to awareness and attention and interest in a product 

[00:12:41] - The concept of window dressing

[00:14:24] - Taking an idea and turning it into a high-value product 

[00:14:42] - The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture and Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

[00:16:49] - Keeping rewards structure in place for teams to stay engaged

[00:19:56] - Using his knowledge in product building to invest in other companies

[00:24:00] - The concept of object model

[00:25:52] - User psychology concepts they keep in mind when designing a product

[00:27:51] - Implementing all of these strategies into a product

[00:29:25] - The era of eduployment

[00:31:05] - How this will impact colleges

[00:33:27] - The evolution of the talent/audience relationship

[00:35:32] - Decentralization and the companies of 1

[00:37:44] - How that decentralization will impact his investment thesis

[00:39:21] - How increased productivity tools could help with more creativity in the workplace

[00:42:04] - Training people to be more creative in the workplace

[00:44:33] - Future of user interfaces

[00:44:58] - The Interface Layer: Where Design Commoditizes Tech

[00:48:10] - Good design principles

[00:49:51] - The future coming out of Covid

[00:52:09] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 16, 2021
Matt Mullenweg – The Past, Present, and Future of the Internet – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.20]
55:29

My guest today is Matt Mullenweg, co-founder and CEO of Automattic, the company on top of the open-source project WordPress that Matt helped start. Today, WordPress powers 40% of all the websites in the world. Our wide-ranging conversation covers the state of the internet when Matt first started WordPress, the symbiotic relationship between open source and proprietary projects, and how the most successful companies are really master world builders. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Matt Mullenweg.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:15] – [First question] – What the internet felt like when he first started building Wordpress

[00:05:11] – What was wrong with his impression of the internet then

[00:06:50] – Being a connoisseur of things overlooked 

[00:08:34] – How permission less publishing and open source software shaped the internet

[00:12:30] – Balance between centralization and decentralization and where we are in the cycle

[00:14:08] – The cycle between direct-to-consumer and having intermediary

[00:16:32] – New opportunities and challenges of the internet today

[00:18:49] – Potential of cryptocurrency to enable big changes on the internet

[00:21:22] – The idea of distributed work via the internet and the utopia of it

[00:21:38] - Sam Harris podcast with Matt Mullenweg

[00:24:31] – Advantage of having a team distributed across geographies and timezones

[00:26:46] – What he learned from the Amazon’s API mandate

[00:29:12] – Landmines of distributed work

[00:31:13] – Interesting lessons learned building Wordpress

[00:34:55] – Company building as world building

[00:35:52] – Lessons from Microsoft on platform building

[00:38:53] – Key ingredient to world building within your company

[00:41:09] – Lessons from Wix and Shopify 

[00:42:23] – How to decide what to do next in resource and capital allocation

[00:47:00] – How to engage with other stakeholders in a platform business

[00:50:06] – The continued connectivity created by the internet

[00:53:14] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 11, 2021
Michael Dempsey – Investing in Bleeding Edge Technology – [Invest Like the Best, EP.212]
55:50

My guest today is Michael Dempsey, General Partner at Compound. Michael invests in a broad range of areas but has a unique talent for combining brand building and direct customer relationships with technically demanding sectors. Our conversation covers the rise of virtual influencers, robotics, and how to best identify key inflection points in the evolution of new technologies. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Michael Dempsey. 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest-growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked Twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 

Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com.

------

This episode is brought to you by MIT Investment Management Company. MITIMCO is the endowment office of MIT. New and small investment funds listen up. MITIMCO is looking to find investors starting funds today.

MITIMCO is partnership-driven, long-term focused and has an extensive history of backing investors early in their careers. These partners are key in delivering the outstanding investment returns required to support MIT's pursuit of world-class education, cutting-edge research, and groundbreaking innovation. MITIMCO is focused on finding and partnering with the best investors across the globe no matter the market environment. No firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional.

If you or someone you know is currently in the process of starting a fund or recently launched, please email partner@mitimco.org or discover more on their website at mitimco.org/partner.

------

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:54] – [First question] – Early stages of his career

[00:05:13] - What are inflection points and how he views them as a source of opportunity 

[00:07:40] - Real vs fake inflection points 

[00:12:19] - Creativity as a key component of inflection points 

[00:12:33] - On Inflection Points

[00:15:01] - Generative Adversarial Networks

[00:18:02] - History of animation and the innovation we are seeing there today 

[00:20:12] - Animation is Eating the World

[00:24:11] - The concept of a digital celebrity and their scale

[00:29:17] - Characteristics of digital celebrity creators

[00:31:12] - Longevity and consistency of these personalities

[00:33:11] - Future of gaming and potential for investments in the space 

[00:37:49] - The landscape for robotics and what has him excited

[00:41:07] - The exploration of space and the opportunities there.

[00:44:35] - Computational biology and the investment potentials.

[00:48:11] - How 2020 has changed the ability to solve scientific problems

[00:51:32] - The idea that Cyberpunk is now

[00:53:32] - Sam Hinkie podcast episode

[00:53:51] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 09, 2021
Dustin Moskovitz – Eliminating Work About Work – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 19]
53:04

My guest today is Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Asana, a team-centric product management tool used by over 1.3 million users around the world. Dustin started Asana in 2008, 4 years after co-founding Facebook. In this conversation, we dive into Dustin's belief about the diminishing returns of hard work, the shocking amount of productivity lost in doing "work about work", and Dustin's philanthropic investment strategy around leverage and maximizing ROI. I hope you enjoy my wide-ranging conversation with Dustin Moskovitz. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/88012555/moskovitz-eliminating-work-about-work

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This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. Visit
https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

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This episode is brought to you by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

-----

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up at https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:19] – [First question] – Balancing hard purposeful work and too much work that leads to burn out

[00:05:41] – What led to this way of thinking

[00:06:54] – Regulating hard work through culture

[00:08:25] – False tradeoffs and how Asana represents this

[00:09:43] – Origins of Asana

[00:13:22] – Organizing the chaos of a project

[00:18:09] – Change vs discipline of the mission

[00:19:55] – Transferring good ideas from one company to another

[00:23:19] – Instilling leverage as a concept in an early company

[00:25:21] – New learning curves in building Asana

[00:26:52] – Hardest boss battle during his time at Asana

[00:28:43] – The role of the work graph

[00:31:46] – The proliferation of the work management space and the overall landscape

[00:32:56] – The idea of radical inclusiveness

[00:36:31] – Best reasons to start a new company

[00:37:47] – What will lead to Asana’s continued success

[00:38:59] – Lessons building the product

[00:41:13] – Work with the Open Philanthropy Project

[00:43:44] – Work on pandemics and biosecurity

[00:46:11] – Where he sees the future of artificial intelligence

[00:50:47] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 04, 2021
Chamath Palihapitiya – The Major Problems Facing the World – [Invest Like the Best, EP.211]
01:06:19

My guest today is Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder and CEO of Social Capital, whose mission is to advance humanity by solving the world's hardest problems. I didn't know where this conversation would take us given Chamath's wide-ranging activities and interests but I think it provides an interesting glimpse into some of his core beliefs and the source of his drive. In our wide-ranging discussion we cover potential paths to closing the income inequality gap, how to manage one's personal psychology, his perspective on "value investing", and tackling climate change. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Chamath Palihapitiya. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/33654465/palihapitiya-the-major-problems-facing-the-world.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked Twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 


Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at 
koyfin.com.

-----

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. Visit
https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

-----

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up at https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:13] – [First question] – His experience with debt and how he approaches personal finance

[00:09:13] – Attacking the problem of perpetual income inequality

[00:12:06] – Reaching the right people to fix the problem

[00:15:04] – A for profit business to solve the problem of income inequality

[00:19:18] – Traps he has beaten and hasn’t beaten in his finances

[00:22:15] – Chamath’s focus on family, friends, memories, and legacy

[00:25:01] – Big issues of our time; inequality, climate change, improving education

[00:29:28] – Lessons learned from Social Capital 1.0, allocating funds for himself and others

[00:32:33] – The balance between data and the qualitative analysis of companies

[00:35:26] – Insights into businesses beyond the investments he makes

[00:40:29] – Absurdities in the value investing style

[00:43:32] – Benefits of SPAC investing and opportunities for late-stage entrepreneurs

[00:45:06] – Traits in managers that he invests in

[00:47:20] – What he’s learned about combatting climate change

[00:51:40] – Thoughts on the supply chain, specifically as Americans

[00:54:35] – Company life cycles and innovation

[00:57:15] – What is most broken in the capital markets system

[00:58:58] – Fixing healthcare

[01:01:36] – Fixing climate change as President for a day

[01:02:06] – Messaging effectively

[01:03:14] – Is he a “main character” in the investing world

[01:04:06] – Tweeting a picture of himself as a kid

[01:04:42] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Feb 02, 2021
Ali Ghodsi – The Past, Present, and Future of Big Data – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.18]
48:03

My Guest today is Ali Ghodsi, founder and CEO of Databricks, a data analytics platform for data scientists and developers. He's also the founder of Apache Spark, the open-source project that Databricks is built on, and is an accomplished researcher at UC Berkley's computer science department. Our conversation ranges from the origins of distributed computing to modern data infrastructure, how companies can leverage their massive datasets, and the transformation of Databricks through its phases of growth as a business. While technical, it's exactly the kind of conversation I like to have on this show. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ali Ghodsi. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/4919706/ghodsi-the-past-present-and-future-of-big-data 

 

This episode of Founder's Field Guide is sponsored by Klaviyo.  Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce.


With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. See why Klaviyo's trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business.

For a free trial check out https://www.klaviyo.com/founders

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go
to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:48] – [First question] – What is Databricks

[00:03:34] – History of distributed computing

[00:05:35] – Hardware that made this all possible

[00:07:20] – Early challenges in building out these systems

[00:09:43] – What has made networking technology better

[00:10:35] – Doing something in storage vs with memory

[00:11:45] – Origins of Hadoop

[00:12:42] – Use cases of distributed data in 2010 that weren’t possible in 2000

[00:13:35] – Origins of Spark

[00:15:25] – Early Spark and then the transformation into Databricks

[00:16:50] – Early uses cases

[00:17:37] – Their relationship to the open-source project

[00:21:07] – What customers need in order to work with Databricks

[00:23:11] – Their customer interaction

[00:26:27] – How they think about making investments

[00:28:24] – Their competitive advantage

[00:30:13] – Other companies in moving the needle in building distributed computing industry

[00:32:10] – Walls that need to be broken down today

[00:34:02] – Best practices for companies when it comes to their data

            [00:34:13] – Jeff Lawson Podcast Episode

[00:38:47] – Lessons being a CEO

[00:39:53] – Working at the University of Berkeley’s AMPLab

[00:41:56] – What excites him about the future

[00:43:29] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Jan 28, 2021
Joost van Dreunen – Unlocking Value in Gaming – [Invest Like the Best, EP.210]
01:01:36

My guest today is Joost van Dreunen, an investor in the gaming space, professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, and former CEO and co-founder of SuperData Research, a data-driven gaming firm that was acquired by Nielsen. He also recently authored One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games, a great book on the business game industry and why I reached out to speak with him in the first place. Our conversation covers the rise and decline of GameStop, what parts of the value chain actually make money in video games, the evolution of video game business models from Nintendo to Fortnite, and what other industries can learn by studying the video game industry. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Joost van Dreunen. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/14574831/van-unlocking-value-in-gaming

 

This episode of Invest Like the Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis.  If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

Invest like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:38] – [First question] – First chapter of the modern gaming business

[00:06:28] – The product era of video games

[00:10:11] – The different pieces that take place in creating and selling a game

[00:12:25] – The story of GameStop

[00:18:45] – The transition to digital platform-based gaming

[00:22:55] – How the breakdown of platforms has changed

[00:27:35] – Free-to-play vs free-to-win in digital gaming

[00:31:27] – How the revenue models are changing the type of games that are made

[00:35:07] – Socializing games and the future there

[00:38:14] – Who is making money in the modern gaming world

[00:43:33] – The zones of opportunity to invest in within gaming

[00:47:12] – Why the business models can be more powerful than new tech

[00:53:52] – Strategies from gaming that the non-gaming industries can learn from

[00:57:05] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Jan 26, 2021
Ilkka Paananen – Superpowering Teams – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.17]
45:01

My guest today is Ilkka Paananen, Founder and CEO of Supercell, a mobile game developer based in Finland. Supercell has built hugely successful games like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale that have reached over 100 million daily active users. What interests me most about the company is Supercell's unique culture built on decentralized, autonomous teams with nearly total creative control. Ilkka and I talk about how Supercell hires and designs teams, why they incorporate as little process as possible, and the rise of global, social games. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ilkka.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/72273479/paananen-superpowering-teams 

 

This episode of Founder's Field Guide is sponsored by Klaviyo.  Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce.


With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. See why Klaviyo's trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business.

 

For a free trial check out https://www.klaviyo.com/founders

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go
to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:51] – [First question] – Why he is the “least powerful CEO in the world.”

[00:04:03] – His career prior to Supercell

[00:07:53] – Lessons from his prior career that he brought to Supercell

[00:11:49] – What he looks for in identifying and recruiting the best people

[00:13:46] – The funnel of getting great people into the business through the rest of the team

[00:15:44] – The Supercell recruitment team

[00:17:33] – Interviewing and screening applicants

[00:18:39] – Building teams and how they are the driving force behind the company

[00:21:29] – The culture of trust throughout the company

[00:24:13] – Ensuring teams know when to kill a project

[00:26:11] – Celebrating after a project gets shutdown

[00:28:15] – Why retention is such an important focus of the company

[00:30:40] – How reach and depth lead to a game’s success

[00:32:21] – The teams outside of development and how they operate

            [00:33:36] - LOST & CROWNED | A Clash Short Film

[00:34:53] – His day-to-day

[00:35:49] – Biggest surprises within Supercell since its founding

[00:36:38] – What makes for a good game

[00:37:59] – The notion of infinite games

[00:39:28] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Jan 21, 2021
Claire Cormier Thielke – The Future of Cities and Real Estate – [Invest Like the Best, EP.209]
01:04:42

My guest today is Claire Cormier Thielke, Managing Director of Asia Pacific for Hines, the largest private real estate investment, development and management firm in the world with over $144 billion in assets under management. Claire responsible for acquisitions, development, and new business generation for Hines APAC and was also recently appointed to the board of Zillow. I was first introduced to Claire two years ago and have wanted to have her on the podcast ever since. 

Her personal story is fascinating - Claire finished Stanford undergrad in 2.5 years and now teaches there - on the intersection of tech and real assets, she was a professional track and field athlete - competing for USA Track and Field, and she's run a marathon on Everest, which we discuss. Aside from her personal story and some of her amazing achievements, in the episode, we dive into the world of real estate investing including how to use pattern recognition to unlock real alpha in real estate, the ingredients that make a city special, and the surprising ROI of public art.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/72331821/cormier-the-future-of-cities-and-real-estate

 

This episode of Invest Like the Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis.  If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

Invest like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:01] – [First question] – Overview of her career and her passion for real estate

[00:05:32] – The impact of Gerry Hines on her life

[00:07:30] – Her theory of and what she thinks about cities

[00:09:47] – Cities rhyming with each other

[00:12:03] – How the highway act led to growth in cities

[00:13:31] – How cities compare around the world

[00:15:42] – Airplanes as time machines

[00:18:42] – Overview of a building project and how it differs from investing in equities

[00:23:15] – Rebuilding a city from scratch

[00:25:45] – Major real estate changes we’ll be seeing in the US

[00:28:30] – Real estate trends that fascinate her in Asia

[00:30:10] – Real estate plugging into other industries

[00:32:11] – Trends in Asia that could be ported to the US

[00:34:08] – Where to see the best of cities today (post-pandemic)

[00:37:28] – The ROI on public art

[00:38:33] – Her time in track and field

[00:41:59] – The concept of tomorrow time

[00:42:49] – Cultivated other part of her training

[00:45:07] – Her marathon on Mount Everest

[00:46:26] – Replicating the extreme performance piece of herself in a professional setting

[00:48:18] – Lessons from being a professor

[00:49:53] – Joining Zillow’s board, what she wants to bring and get

[00:52:17] – Her childhood and her parents, how that influenced her

[00:56:26] – How one person can be actionable

            [00:58:30] – Brad Gerstner and Rich Barton podcast episode

[01:00:32] – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

Jan 19, 2021
Oliver Hughes – The Secret FinTech Giant – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.16]
57:57

My guest today is Oliver Hughes, the CEO of Tinkoff, the leading online commercial bank based in Russia. I found this conversation fascinating and think it will be essential for anyone who wants to understand online financial services or the next generation of fintech. Our conversation touches on how Tinkoff used direct mail campaigns to become the largest online banking provider in Russia, their last-mile delivery platform that combines couriers with door-to-door salesmen, and how they build profitability into every aspect of the business. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Oliver Hughes.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/72486324/hughes-the-secret-fintech-giant

 

This episode of Founder's Field Guide is sponsored by Klaviyo.  Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce.

With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. See why Klaviyo's trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business.

For a free trial check out https://www.klaviyo.com/founders

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go
to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:44] – [First question] – The origins of Tinkoff

[00:06:18] – How they started and stayed profitable, and lessons learned

[00:08:18] – Bringing Visa to Russia and what he took with him to Tinkoff

[00:10:02] – Overall Credit card and Tinkoff's specifically business model

[00:12:35] – Running an effective direct mail acquisition campaign

[00:15:45] – Branching off from the original core credit card business into other spaces

[00:18:45] – How he thinks about when to make competing investments

[00:21:00] – Embedding into new businesses and how it goes wrong

[00:24:50] – How they became a large door-to-door business in Russia

[00:27:55] – Why that door-to-door business makes it hard to compete with them

[00:29:38] – Challenges in the payments business

[00:32:25] – Using content to help them grow their business

[00:35:29] – Competitive frontiers for Tinkoff and how often they shift

[00:38:45] – What the future of Tinkoff might look like and the Russian business environment

[00:41:55] – State of the market in Russia today

[00:45:27] – Recruiting talent and building culture

[00:47:55] – What he enjoys most about his job

[00:49:14] – Failures and lessons from them

[00:52:00] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

 

Jan 14, 2021
Zack Fuss – Breaking Down the Food Ecosystem – [Invest Like the Best, EP.208]
01:19:29

My guest today is Zach Fuss, an investor at Continental Grain, a 200-year-old family owned business that is focused on investing and operating businesses throughout the food and agriculture ecosystem with assets across the US, Latin America, and Asia. Prior to his work at Continental, Zack was an analyst at Tiger and Citadel. This is a must listen for those interested in any aspect of the food ecosystem but also understanding value chains more generally. In our conversation we cover where profits tend to sit in a specific value chain, how legacy food businesses are creating their 2nd acts as digital businesses and explore what makes Domino's Pizza so interesting and special. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Zach Fuss. 

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/93129089/fuss-breaking-down-the-food-ecosystem

This episode of Invest Like the Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis.  If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCO). MITIMCO is always on the looking for promising investment managers with the potential to compound our capital for a decade or more. If you think your firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional, you might just be exactly what we are looking for. Check us out at https://mitimco.org/partner/ or e-mail us at  partner@mitimco.org. Please also see our new page for emerging managers https://mitimco.org/emerging-managers/.

  

Invest like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:42] – [First question] – Key components of the food management business

[00:05:12] – The most defensible businesses in the food chain

[00:07:51] – Law of conservation of attractive profits in the food business and food delivery

[00:11:05] – Legacy food businesses and ones that have adapted well to changes today

[00:15:42] – Dark stores and cloud kitchens

[00:17:11] – Breaking down the Domino's Pizza business

[00:19:45] – Being a Domino's Pizza franchise owner

[00:21:03] – Why they offer such high returns to franchise owners

[00:23:22] – The tech company aspect of Domino's Pizza

[00:25:25] – Same store economics for an owner

[00:28:15] – When Domino's Pizza realized their food was not great

[00:29:45] – Why Domino's Pizza owns the delivery and won’t go on other platforms

[00:32:47] – Most portable pieces of Domino's Pizza business

[00:34:03] – Parts of Domino's Pizza history that are intriguing

[00:35:51] – Build once, sell many times

[00:40:09] – Lessons from the best retail businesses

[00:43:26] – Has it become harder for smaller companies to win with larger ones being more nimble

[00:46:39] – Watching the alternative meat companies flourish

[00:49:49] – Interesting trends in the food space

[00:51:22] – Global trends in food that we can learn from

[00:54:04] – Impact of Covid on the food industry

[00:57:44] – Businesses outside of stores that he finds fascinating

[01:00:08] – Why he’s impressed by Chipotle

[01:01:48] – Approaching buying a franchise

[01:05:30] – Creating a new QSR business and differentiating from the pack

[01:07:58] – Frontiers that he’s interested in today

[01:10:17] – What he is saying in the competitiveness in public equities

[01:13:48] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

 

Jan 12, 2021
Carlos Cashman – Lessons from the Amazon Ecosystems – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.15]
01:04:24

My guest today is Carlos Cashman,  co-founder and co-CEO of Thrasio an acquirer of third-party Amazon sellers. In a surprising departure for a high growth company, Thrasio has been profitable since its founding in 2018 and was most recently valued at $1 billion. In our conversation we discuss the full spectrum of the Amazon third party seller ecosystem, the effects of globally commoditized manufacturing, and the terms of Thrasio's acquisitions of Amazon businesses. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Carlos Cashman.  

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/28372673/cashman-lessons-from-the-amazon-ecosystem

 

This episode of Founder's Field Guide is sponsored by Klaviyo.  Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce.


With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. See why Klaviyo's trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business.

 

For a free trial check out https://www.klaviyo.com/founders

 

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go
to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:02:44] – [First question] – Origin of Thrasio

[00:07:27] – The types of business they work with

[00:11:19] – Challenges for smaller businesses selling on Amazon and when they need a Thrasio

[00:15:31] – How the Amazon ecosystem has changed since they started

[00:18:14] – The capital sourcing side of their business

[00:19:49] – Future of the ecommerce space that has them excited

[00:27:20] – What makes the major online powerful so powerful for DTC companies

[00:32:18] – How edge erodes on spend when people crowd into a platform

[00:34:46] – Building the recognition of the Thrasio brand

[00:44:06] – His history as an entrepreneur and what was the common thread in these businesses

[00:45:47] – Getting customers early on

[00:46:47] – Knowing when something will fail

[00:48:48] – Downside of MBA’s

[00:50:07] – The importance of people in building a company

[00:51:01] – Effectively hiring people

[00:52:37] – What has to remain with the founder

            [00:52:50] – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

[00:53:53] – Other places in ecommerce that fascinate him

[00:56:36] – What are the risk factors that he worries about

[00:59:12] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Jan 07, 2021
Ram Parameswaran - Internet Scale Businesses – [Invest Like the Best, EP.207]
01:24:50

My guest today is Ram Parameswaran, founder of Octahedron Capital. Ram started Octahedron this year after more than 5 years as a partner at Altimeter Capital where he made investments in Square, Bytedance, Pinduoduo, and Udaan. In our conversation we cover the potential for internet scale businesses, explore the common characteristics of these businesses, and then go through a rapid-fire round of the most important qualities for 8 business models. This conversation was a blast of energy and could have gone on for 2 more hours. I hope to have Ram on again and can't imagine what his conversations are like at the dinner table with his wife and former podcast guest, Anu Hariharan. Please enjoy this awesome conversation with Ram Parameswaran.  

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/22392883/parameswaran-internet-scale-businesses

 

This episode of Invest Like the Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis.  If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCO). MITIMCO is always on the looking for promising investment managers with the potential to compound our capital for a decade or more. If you think your firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional, you might just be exactly what we are looking for. Check us out at https://mitimco.org/partner/ or e-mail us at  partner@mitimco.org. Please also see our new page for emerging managers https://mitimco.org/emerging-managers/.

  

Invest like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:45] – [First question] – The opportunity of the commercial internet

[00:11:18] – Identifying the companies that will take advantage of this shift to online commerce

[00:18:30] – How businesses build scale, in particular internet vs non-internet businesses

            [00:23:09] – How Amazon Wins: By Steamrolling Rivals and Partners

[00:24:19] – The Carvana playbook

[00:30:11] – Using frequency of use as a factor in valuing a business

[00:33:55] – Evaluating ByteDance and what can others learn from them

[00:40:52] – Finding success in an experiment

[00:43:32] – How online commerce business will grow globally, with India in focus

[00:55:28] – How they approach and evaluate online advertising businesses

[00:54:50] – Evaluating direct content subscription online businesses

[00:55:42] – Biggest challenges in building ecommerce online businesses

[00:58:31] – The lens to evaluate online marketplace businesses

[00:59:43] – What distinct things matter for on-demand online businesses

[01:01:56] – The competition in the online payment space business

[01:06:35] – Rake/Take rates outside of the US

[01:08:25] – Things that matter for consumer software

[01:10:25] – How that compares to enterprise software

[01:11:44] – Evaluating developer companies

            [01:11:51] – Jeff Lawson Podcast Episode

[01:13:53] – Advice to help people be successful early in their investing career

[01:17:22] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Jan 05, 2021
Dylan Field - The Growing Importance of Design – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.14]
56:14

Dylan Field is the co-founder and CEO of Figma, a collaborative, online design tool which has taken the world by storm. With a most recent valuation of more than $2B and bakers like Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, and Greylock, Figma has been one of the most successful companies building tools for creators. In our conversation, we dive into the principles Figma is built on, how they created multi-player for design tools, and the growing importance of design in business. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Dylan Field.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/375923/field-the-growing-importance-of-design

 

DocSend is a document sharing platform that enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable analytics. With DocSend’s security and control, startup founders, investors, business development executives, and financial professionals can drive business outcomes that have a lasting impact. Start for free at www.docsend.com.

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go
to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:2:04] – [First question] – His decision to and application for the Thiel Fellowship

[00:3:23] – What makes his co-founder Evan so good

[00:4:15] – The Thiel Fellowship interview process

[00:5:26] – Creating better opportunities for open ended learning in education

            [00:6:12] – Why Software Is Eating The World

[00:7:48] – Importance and types of independent thought as they built Figma

[00:10:00] – Early stages of forming Figma

[00:12:03] – The market of designers and what Figma does

[00:15:57] – His principles of good design

            [00:17:36] – Bret Victor - Inventing on Principle [Youtube]

            [00:17:49] - Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction

[00:18:12] – Future of design tools

[00:19:45] – Design as a multiplayer concept and surprises that have come from it

[00:21:40] – Threshold to know when product-market fit occurred

[00:24:11] – Lessons for pricing something effectively

[00:25:48] – Biggest challenge growing the business for him

[00:26:58] – What he’s learned as a manager since starting Figma

[00:28:38] – Lessons in effective recruiting

[00:31:49] – Payoff of hiring the right partner

[00:33:01] – The chapters/stages of Figma

[00:34:38] – What has led to success in terms of the distribution of Figma

[00:35:56] – Hardest thing to copy about Figma

[00:36:47] – Dealing with customer support and unhappy users

[00:38:08] – Their Communities platform and why it’s important for the business

[00:39:02] – Learning about and from their competitors

[00:41:50] – The landscape of software design tools

[00:43:43] – Interesting creator tools

[00:44:31] – What would be the key levers that lead to explosive growth for Figma

[00:45:57] – Global trends he is most curious in

[00:47:21] – Creating a more private digital world

[00:49:33] – Thoughts or advice for people building something new

[00:50:57] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Dec 31, 2020
Tracy Graham - Investing in Overlooked Businesses – [Invest Like the Best, EP.206]
56:35

My guest today is Tracy Graham, founder and managing principal of Graham Allen Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in acquiring and building technology-enabled businesses. In our conversation we discuss how Tracy ended up playing football at Notre Dame, the key lessons he learned from famed coach Lou Holtz, why Graham Allen believes that businesses in secondary or tertiary US markets are undervalued, and why technology represents a great way to improve old businesses. I hope you enjoy my fun conversation with Tracy.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/86798473/graham-investing-in-overlooked-businesses.

 

This episode of Invest like the Best is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Square, Snowflake, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in.

Visit
https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCO). MITIMCO is always on the looking for promising investment managers with the potential to compound our capital for a decade or more. If you think your firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional, you might just be exactly what we are looking for. Check us out at https://mitimco.org/partner/ or e-mail us at  partner@mitimco.org. Please also see our new page for emerging managers https://mitimco.org/emerging-managers/.

 

Invest like the Best is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here at https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[3:35] – [First question] – Tracy’s origin story

[7:17] – Lessons from Lou Holtz

[8:58] – Why Lou was so good as a leader

[10:32] – His early experience as an entrepreneur

[15:45] – Investing principle at Graham Allen and how it was shaped by his experience

[18:41] – Types of companies they target for investment

[23:09] – Defining a unique and interesting data set

[27:14] – Mispricing data sets and the fools gold

[29:19] – Overview of a Midwest manufacturing company

[31:50] – How data is being generated in manufacturing businesses

[36:57] – Data to improve marketing

[41:13] – Using data to dissect distribution

[45:59] – Valuation of the companies in terms of multiples they are looking at

[47:31] – Business values he strongly believes in

[50:54] – Significance of Kenneth Allen in the firm

[52:23] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

 

 

Dec 29, 2020
Zach Perret – The Future of Financial Services – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.13]
58:24

Zach Perret is the founder and CEO of Plaid.  Plaid helps companies build fintech solutions by creating APIs that allow people to connect their financial data to apps and services. In this conversation, we dive into Zach's philosophy on building products, how the financial system works today, how the financial system needs to be updated, and the trends Zach is seeing from the next wave of fintech companies launching on Plaid. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Zach Perret.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/39328476/perret-the-future-of-financial-services

 

DocSend is a document sharing platform that enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable analytics. With DocSend’s security and control, startup founders, investors, business development executives, and financial professionals can drive business outcomes that have a lasting impact. Start for free at www.docsend.com.

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go
to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.   


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter.

 

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[2:00] – [First question] – The notion of Great Challenges he got from his parents

[3:34] – How it was instilled into him

[4:26] – Default Consumptive State and constantly asking questions

[5:33] – Origins of Plaid

[8:57] – An overview of the Plaid product

[11:10] – The early challenges of building Plaid and creating trust with all of the stakeholders

[15:57] – First big break for Plaid

[18:06] – Convincing Venmo to work with them

[20:12] – What helped build relationships with customers

[21:30] – How money is moved and their place in the chain

[24:34] – How convenience helps to create larger markets and opportunities

[26:39] – Usage base vs recurring revenue models

[28:03] – Maintaining their systems as the landscapes and customers shift

[29:56] – What is he seeing on the financial services frontier

[32:34] – Building relationships with developers

[35:07] – Lessons from building a business he’s learned along the way

[37:44] – Successful techniques in recruiting

[39:52] – What’s working well in this current landscape

[41:41] – Business models that interest him

[43:14] – Advice for other startup founders

[44:49] – Things he doesn’t understand today that he wishes he did

[45:46] – What he attributes Plaid’s success too

[47:55] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

[50:09] – How you know when you’ve found a great challenge

Dec 24, 2020
Mario Cibelli - Cornerstone Investing Insights - [Invest Like the Best, EP.205]
47:18

My guest today is Mario Cibelli. Mario is the managing partner of Marathon Partners Equity Management, a long-biased, concentrated investment firm that he's run for over 20 years. In our conversation, we discuss how his firm figured out Blockbuster's DVD volume and told Reed Hastings and Netflix about their numbers, why visiting a company's distribution center can be an edge for investors, Mario's interesting foray into the world of tequila, and how a few "cornerstone" investing insights have led to many of Marathon's long positions. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Mario.

 

This episode of Invest like the Best is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Square, Snowflake, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in.

Visit
https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:34) – (First question) – Doing a deep dive into the early days of Netflix

            (2:43) – Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs

(6:50) – What was impressive about Reed

(7:34) – Visiting Netflix’s distribution centers early on and the lessons of those visits

(10:44) – Lessons learned from other distribution centers

(17:52) – What helps create good luck for a company

(19:17) – Why tequila was fun to investigate

(25:09) – Why tequila is different from other hard liquors

(27:40) – Finding the cornerstone insight in a company

(29:20) – What he’s learned about media-driven personalities and WWE

(34:30) – Lessons in starting a media company and developing IP

(39:00) – Having to battle activist shareholders in business

(42:43) – How the rate of return in deep investigations has changed over his time

(45:08) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 22, 2020
Bob Pittman - Lessons from Building Media Empires – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.12]
01:09:25

My guest today, Bob Pittman, has had one of the most interesting careers I’ve ever come across. Today, he’s the CEO of iHeartMedia, the country’s largest operator of radio stations and podcasts. Bob also created MTV, was the CEO of Six Flags and 21 Century Real Estate, and the COO of AOL and AOL Time Warner. He’s the Dos Equis man of business. In our conversation we discuss why convenience is king for consumers, his lessons from building MTV into one of the most iconic brands and media properties in the world, the rise of user-generated content platforms, and the future of media. We also discuss what qualities make for a great host, a topic that given my current position, is always fascinating. Please enjoy my great conversation with Bob Pittman.

 

DocSend is a document sharing platform that enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable analytics. With DocSend’s security and control, startup founders, investors, business development executives, and financial professionals can drive business outcomes that have a lasting impact. Start for free at www.docsend.com.

 

This episode of Founder’s Field Guide is also brought to you by NetSuite.

Netsuite allows founders to centralize their payment systems, ditch old spreadsheets and Quickbook tools, and finally gain visibility and control over their financials, HR, inventory, eCommerce - all in one place, instantly.

Whether you are doing a million in revenue or hundreds of millions in revenue - see why over 22,000 companies are using NetSuite today. Schedule your free product tour at 
https://www.netsuite.com/invest.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:56) – (First question) – His personal interest that unites all of his business ventures

(4:09) – His philosophy on the consumer

(7:43) – Biggest quality mistakes business leaders make

(9:31) – Respecting convenience in consumer preferences

(11:08) – Founding insight to build MTV

            (16:23) – Fred Seibert on Math in Magic Podcast

(17:14) – How the music video concept evolved with MTV

(22:37) – Role of hosts vs guests in the media world

(25:13) – Quality that increases the odds a host works

(30:15) – Why everyone needs to know how to tell a good story

(31:53) – Peak of his time at MTV

(37:51) – Lessons for new media from his experience

(43:46 – The largest uncertainty in the media landscape amid the rise of user generated content platforms

(49:27) – Where he finds inspiration outside of business

            (55:40) – What Other People Say May Change What You See

(56:16) – Different ownership structures and how they changed his behavior

(59:09) – Finding and respecting your audience

(1:02:11) – Lessons from time at Six Flags

(1:02:24) – Most interesting thing about podcasting

(102:52) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Dec 17, 2020
Sam Hinkie – Find Your People - [Invest Like the Best, EP.204]
01:17:31

My guest today is Sam Hinkie. Sam worked for more than a decade in the NBA with the Houston Rockets and then as the President and GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. And now, after years of personal investing, he has launched his own venture capital firm, Eighty-Seven Capital. Every conversation I have with Sam is alive with insight, and this one is no different. We explore the idea of studying the "breadcrumbs" that someone leaves behind as a way to track their progress and trajectory, finding and attracting the right people into one’s orbit, and the lessons from the NBA that most shape his investing career. Sam has taught me the most about the topic of building trust, which we cover here as well. I am excited to share my conversation with Sam with all of you. Please enjoy!

 

This episode of Invest like the Best is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Square, Snowflake, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in.

Visit
https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCO). MITIMCO is always on the looking for promising investment managers with the potential to compound our capital for a decade or more. If you think your firm is too small, too young, or too non-institutional, you might just be exactly what we are looking for. Check us out at https://mitimco.org/partner/ or e-mail us at  partner@mitimco.org. Please also see our new page for emerging managers https://mitimco.org/emerging-managers/.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(3:48) – (First question) – Conducting a good interview

(5:58) – Drilling into topics to learn more about people

(7:49 – What percentage of people are actually worth spending time with for Sam

(9:29) – People who think in a strange way that intrigues him

(10:36) – Interest in digital breadcrumbs and how to follow them

(14:02) – Building context around founders vs analyzing their pitch decks

(17:20) – A real world example of the bread crumb strategy, Houston Rockets GM

(21:25) – How successful people evolve with the erosion of their pre-established edge

(23:07) – Shifting to a people-first focus

(24:50) – Creating an atmosphere that attracts the best talent

(26:50) – Tailoring things to someone else’s incentive structure

(28:24) – Most amazing thing someone did in early days of working with Sam

(30:18) – Lessons from sports that he carries with him

(32:31) – Exceptions to relationships being a key to success

(33:03) – Have people gone soft?

(34:58) – Knowing whether founders are on the right path

(36:07) – Avoiding transactional type people

(37:04) – Most effective lessons he brought to sports from the investing world

(40:01) – Ideas from the sports world he is bringing to the investing world

(44:11) – How the size of the team can impact the success of the team

(45:48) – Designing the game for himself

(50:33) – Lessons learned from watching them build trust

(52:26) – Market areas that have his attention

(54:13) – Fascination into API’s

(58:05) – Keeping your focus on your expertise

(59:45) – Strangest things he’s seen in early stage investing

(1:01:26) – Playing the long game

(1:04:29) – Calling it Eighty-Seven Capital.

            (1:04:42) – Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson)

(1:05:49) – Increasing his chance at a GM job

(1:06:52) – What can Caro teach us about the long game

(1:08:26) – Lessons of power

(1:10:39) – Quality in leaders he respects most

            (1:11:17) – The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

(1:12:58) – The power of breadcrumbs and how people can start to lay them out

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Dec 15, 2020
Michelle Zatlyn – Protecting the Internet – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.11]
58:10

My guest today is Michelle Zatlyn. Michelle is the co-founder and COO of Cloudflare, a now $25 billion dollar business which she helped take public last year. Cloudflare helps businesses make their websites faster and more secure, and over 25 million websites are running Cloudflare today. In our conversation, we discuss the catalyst for starting CloudFlare, explore the layers of the internet and the future of distributed storage and computing power, and discuss how and why Cloudflare operates its network across 200 cities globally. We close with the importance of finding and working with great co-founders and partners as you build a business. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

 

DocSend is a document sharing platform that enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable analytics. With DocSend’s security and control, startup founders, investors, business development executives, and financial professionals can drive business outcomes that have a lasting impact. Start for free at www.docsend.com.

  

This episode of Founder’s Field Guide is also brought to you by NetSuite.

Netsuite allows founders to centralize their payment systems, ditch old spreadsheets and Quickbook tools, and finally gain visibility and control over their financials, HR, inventory, eCommerce - all in one place, instantly.

Whether you are doing a million in revenue or hundreds of millions in revenue - see why over 22,000 companies are using NetSuite today. Schedule your free product tour at 
https://www.netsuite.com/invest.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:52) – (First question) – Project Honeypot and how it started

(3:39) – What question was Honeypot solving

(4:59) – Working through the idea maze of Cloudflare

(7:30) – The first iteration of Cloudflare

(8:15) – An overview of the cybersecurity market and why more leaders need to pay attention

(10:33) – First big break for the company

(12:50) – Risks they help mitigate

(16:42) – Cyber weapons that Cloudflare protects against

(20:14) – Hardest part of the building process

(24:06) – Effective marketing lessons

(25:41) – The sharks vs mosquitoes concept

(27:53) – How do decide where to focus next

(31:34) – The Cloudflare workers program

(36:33) – Their scale vs other cloud providers

(42:21) – The finance side of Cloudflare and their relationship vs Wall Street

            (42:40) – John Collison Podcast Episode

(44:47) – Relationship with their founding partners

(50:46) – What about the future is most excites them

(52:32) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Dec 10, 2020
Danny Meyer – The Power of Hospitality - [Invest Like the Best, EP.203]
50:33

My guest today is Danny Meyer, the founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which compromises some of the most acclaimed restaurants in New York like Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Café. He’s also the founder and chairman of Shake Shack, which began in New York City but is now a publicly traded company with hundreds of locations worldwide. Our conversation focuses on how great hospitality leads to a great business, regardless of what sector its in. We discuss why hospitality is the starting point for Danny’s business philosophy, why first impressions matter, Danny’s concept of ABCD - always be connecting dots, how to scale hospitality, and how to build a business with essentialism and soul. The other day, when my young son went ice skating and fell a lot he said to me “well you learn from your mistake so you try to make as many of them as you can.” You’ll hear Danny say something powerfully similar late in the conversation. It’s a lovely thought, then, that I found out my son, my firstborn, was a boy in one of Danny’s restaurants, in a reveal orchestrated by his incredible team. I really hope you enjoy our conversation.

 

This episode of Invest like the Best is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Square, Snowflake, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in.

Visit
https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is also sponsored by Assure. Assure is changing the way investors manage private transactions.

 

With Assure, investors can eliminate nearly all the admin cost of private investment. On top of that, they handle all the backend, legal, taxes, accounting, and compliance. All of it, with a straightforward one-time fee. Learn more and try Assure for yourself at https://www.assure.co/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(3:41) – (First question) – His experience as a tour guide in Italy

(8:17) – Why hospitality is the center of business focus

            (8:19) – Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

(11:50) – Early lessons at creating an environment of hospitality

(15:17) - His strategy ABCD and learning from a trout fisherman relate and relate to hospitality

(20:45) – Scaling hospitality

(24:56) – What kind of people make a hospitality business work

(29:34) – How to be an effective leader

(33:00) – Handling mistakes well in the role of hospitality

(36:28) – Creating the spark in the early part of entrepreneurial ventures

(40:32) – When its time to start something new vs expand something you are already doing

(45:52) – The excellence reflex and an example of this in his career

(50:25) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Dec 08, 2020
Zac Bookman – How Government Works – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.10]
01:15:09

My guest today is Zac Bookman. Zac is the Founder and CEO of OpenGov a budgeting and financial management software for local governments. Before he founded OpenGov Zac was an Advisor to U.S. Army General H.R. McMaster in Afganistan, a law clerk on the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, and earned a Fullbright Fellowship studying corruption in the Mexican government. This conversation is one of the most unique and wide-ranging of any I've had on the show. We cover how Zac built a world-class sales organization, the power of selling momentum, and the role capital efficiency still plays in building great companies. We also dive into the details on how local government works from mayors down to school board meetings. Please enjoy my conversation with Zac Bookman. 

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

  

This episode of Founder’s Field Guide is also brought to you by NetSuite.

Netsuite allows founders to centralize their payment systems, ditch old spreadsheets and Quickbook tools, and finally gain visibility and control over their financials, HR, inventory, eCommerce - all in one place, instantly.

Whether you are doing a million in revenue or hundreds of millions in revenue - see why over 22,000 companies are using NetSuite today. Schedule your free product tour at 
https://www.netsuite.com/invest.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:56) – (First question) – His career leading up to OpenGov

(5:45) – Experience in Afghanistan and lessons from his time there

(8:54) – Aligning a large group on a strategy

(9:56) – Aligning the team at OpenGov when getting started

(11:54) – Levels of government that matter and what their systems looked like when he was getting started

(15:24) – Role of budget and how money flows in in government operations

(18:55) – How technology can fix the bureaucracy of government

(21:40) – Can technology help the public’s relationship to government

(24:20) – Defining vertical SaaS products

(27:02) – Picking the right products/customers to build your product well

(28:33) – Their purpose when building their first product

(30:23) – Building a company in a highly regulated space

(32:14) – Selling in this space and lessons learned

(34:04) – Building a machine to distribute enterprise software

(37:03) – Getting the technical, political, and commercial processes aligned

(39:40) – Staying up to date on the market and fending off your competition

(42:18) – Competency within public governments

(44:03) – Metrics that he uses to understand the health of OpenGov

(46:07) – The importance of charging the right price for professional services

(48:36) – Hardest episode in developing OpenGov

(50:17) – Valid early criticisms of the company

(52:34) – Advice to new entrepreneurs entering the vertical SaaS space

            (54:06) – The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

(57:04) – Engineering momentum among teams

(59:00) – Personal improvement as a leader

(1:01:55) – The study of death and why it’s important for him

(1:04:19) – What people can get spending time in the mountains

(1:06:53) – Role of capital efficiency in his work

(1:09:11) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Dec 03, 2020
Daniel Gross – Finding Undiscovered Talent - [Invest Like the Best, EP.202]
59:20

My guest today is Daniel Gross. Daniel is the founder of Pioneer, an extremely unique company which he describes as a “fully remote startup generator” that helps talented people around the world figure out if their idea has legs. You can learn more about it at pioneer.app. Our wide-ranging conversation covers the art of asking great questions, the use of predictive modeling and psychometrics to identify talent, and why psychometrics are probably overrated and not that scientific. We then dive into exciting new frontiers for tech investing ranging from GPT-3 to satellites. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you will too.

 

This episode of Invest like the Best is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

With Tegus, you can learn everything you'd want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Square, Snowflake, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in.

Visit https://www.tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is also sponsored by Assure. Assure is changing the way investors manage private transactions.

With Assure, investors can eliminate nearly all the admin cost of private investment. On top of that, they handle all the backend, legal, taxes, accounting, and compliance. All of it, with a straightforward one-time fee. Learn more and try Assure for yourself at https://www.assure.co/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(3:15) – (First question) – His passion for Crank and Whiplash and why movies are great screeners for interviews

(6:15) – Overview of Pioneer

(7:56) – Defining talent

(10:02) – The equivalent page rank when it comes to people

(14:10) – Psychometrics and matter to him

(18:13) – The importance of persistence

(20:23) – The concept of insecure overachievers

(22:48) – Fast twitch vs slow twitch capitalism

(24:31) – Importance of memes as it relates to human behavior today

(26:14) – The landscape of the type of businesses being formed

(29:25) – Overview of GPT3

(33:33) - The Power of Ten Playbook

(38:08) – Technologies going from a frontier to a utility

(42:45) – Why something like a Starlink can’t be regulated

(44:58) – Seed vs leech ratio in capital funding

            (49:10) – Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

(49:15) – Dissecting Patrick’s usual closing question and good questions for screening people

(52:56) – What questions help him get to the bottom of

(55:58) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Dec 01, 2020
Emmett Shear - The New Language of the Internet – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.9]
51:24

My guest today is Emmett Shear, founder and CEO of Twitch. Twitch is the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014. We talk about how Twitch empowers streamers to monetize their audience, the necessity of picking a customer early in a business, and the lessons Emmett learned scaling Twitch from an online reality TV show to a global brand inside Amazon. We also discuss how Twitch has helped create a new language in the internet age with emotes, a topic I am fascinated by. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Emmett Shear.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also brought to you by Solo Stove. There's simply no better way to create good moments this holiday season than around a fire with a Solo Stove Bonfire.  Complete with 30-day return policy and a lifetime warranty, the unit is made entirely of stainless steel, and at just 20 pounds, the Solo Stove Bonfire is easy to transport for a perfect evening in the backyard, at the campground, or on the beach. Get $5 off with code Patrick5 before December 31st 2020.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:52) – (First question) – History of interactive entertainment

(4:10) – Interactivity from the clubs in Vienna and what he learned from that

(5:16) – Origins of Justin.TV and when gaming became the focus for Twitch

(8:59) – What he enjoyed about video streaming games early on

(10:21) – Interactive experience between creators and community

(12:28) – Emotes on twitch and how they came to be

(14:45) – Business of emotes and the affiliates

(16:27) – How these features are proliferating out on the internet and changing it

(17:21) – How far we are in the streamer-influencer phenomenon

(20:00) – Building an effective platform for fans

(23:07) – Evolution of the just chatting piece of Twitch

(24:58) – Favorite parts of Twitch from followers: Chess

(26:45) – Running a business within a larger business

(28:09) – Most interesting trend in the market today

(30:40) – Effective ways for recruiting the team

(31:35) – Most curious about what is happening on the internet today

(33:06) – Advice from the early days of Twitch

            (35:55) – Ira Glass video taste and making things

(36:34) – Focus on strategic mission

(38:06) – Identifying the customer

(40:40) – Starting small

(41:45) – Investors focus on potential market size

(43:00) – Most common reasons talented people fail

(43:47) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 26, 2020
RRE Ventures - RRE Ventures - Raju Rishi, Nikita Singareddy, Jason Black - [Invest Like the Best, EP.201]
01:00:13

My guests today are Raju Rishi, Nikita Singareddy, and Jason Black of RRE Ventures. RRE is a New York-based VC firm investing in early-stage start-ups with more than 400 investments over its 25 year history. Raju, Nikita, and Jason focus their time in the world of healthcare investing, a topic I haven't explored much personally or on this show. We discuss the current landscape for healthcare investing, the variety of stakeholders in the healthcare value chain, the opportunities for founders and investors in the space, what excites them most about the future of the space, and the impact COVID has had in shaking up the industry. I hope you enjoy my conversation with the RRE team. 

 

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 

Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com

                                                  

Ladder Teams is a modern personal training experience with expertly designed workout plans, 1x1 access to some of the best coaches in the world, and the power of community, all delivered to your phone. 

If you’re looking to switch up your fitness routine at home or if you are back at the gym and looking to refresh your training plan Ladder Teams has a program for you. Check out https://ladder.fit/Patrick to download the app and get started.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:34) – (First question) – How the team think about attractive investment concepts

(7:13) – The current landscape for healthcare investments

(8:53) – Complications in pricing healthcare and where it needs to change

            (17:45) – Catastrophic Care: Why Everything We Think We Know about Health Care Is Wrong

(17:55) – The major stakeholders and where the innovation is coming from

            (18:22) – The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands

(24:43) – How Covid is changing the healthcare sector

(28:43) – Cutting edge of remote patient monitoring

(37:03) – Passive monitoring and future tech of healthcare

(39:38) – Improving the clinical trial process

(44:54) – Doctors being lost in the shuffle and improving the experience for them

(50:20) – Excites them most about the future of the space

(56:17) – Kindest thing anyone has done for them

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 24, 2020
Nick Kokonas - Know What You Are Selling – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.8]
01:22:09

My guest today is Nick Kokonas, the co-founder of the 3 of the best restaurants and bars in America - Alinea, Next, and The Aviary as well as the co-founder and CEO of Tock, a comprehensive booking system for restaurants. This was one of my favorite conversations in the history of the show. Nick is a philosophy major turned derivatives trader that is now one of the most well-known names in the restaurant and hospitality industry. We cover so many topics I can’t list them here, but I’ll remember it for why it's so important for a business to really know what it's selling and then actually sell it. Nick also pulls back the curtain on why restaurants and even book publishers can be great businesses if you do them in the right way. I felt like this conversation could have gone on for hours and I hope you enjoy it.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also brought to you by Solo Stove. There's simply no better way to create good moments this holiday season than around a fire with a Solo Stove Bonfire.  Complete with 30-day return policy and a lifetime warranty, the unit is made entirely of stainless steel, and at just 20 pounds, the Solo Stove Bonfire is easy to transport for a perfect evening in the backyard, at the campground, or on the beach. Get $5 off with code Patrick5 before December 31st 2020.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(3:02) – (First question) – Why he thinks it’s so important to own something

(4:35) – Make decisions that have outcomes

(7:00) – His interest in the restaurant business

(8:54) – Why restaurants are so tough

(12:05) – How their business mindset changed their running of the restaurant

(14:35) – Words they would avoid in the restaurant

(16:19) – Asking the right questions in the restaurant business

(20:40) – Importance in taking the right risks

(22:02) – Coming up with innovative strategies for ticketing, selling meals ahead of time, and dynamic pricing

(30:08) – Can dynamic pricing be extended to other businesses

(31:20) – Origin of Tock

(36:17) – Early days of Tock and identifying the right customers/challenges

(41:33) – Importance of the first customer

(44:22) – The typical restaurant business model

(49:23) – Lessons from Tock and the importance of knowing what your selling

(53:47) – Lessons from publishing

(55:44) – Other aspects of business that people know but do nothing about

(1:00:19) – Their response to Covid and lessons learned

(1:07:43) – The real impact to the food delivery companies

(1:09:24) – How businesses communicate their end processes to their customers

(1:14:07) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 19, 2020
Niki Scevak - Wild Hearts and Wild Ideas - [Invest Like the Best, EP.200]
51:15

My guest today is Niki Scevak, co-founder and partner at Blackbird Ventures. Blackbird is a leading VC firm in Australia and New Zealand and has invested in companies like graphic design platform Canva and autonomous vehicle company Zoox. Our conversation covers the types of wild ideas Blackbird invests in, the landscape of venture and start-ups in Australia and New Zealand, and everything Niki knows about gross margins and customer acquisition. We also introduce a new concept on the show I'm calling Breakdowns, where we dive into a single business, what it does, how it operates, and what makes it tick. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

 

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 


Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at 
koyfin.com

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is also sponsored by Assure. Assure is changing the way investors manage private transactions. 

With Assure, investors can eliminate nearly all the admin cost of private investment. On top of that, they handle all the backend, legal, taxes, accounting, and compliance. All of it, with a straightforward one-time fee. Learn more and try Assure for yourself at https://www.assure.co/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:39) – (First question) – Defining a wild heart

(3:38 – How you identify someone doing their life’s work

(4:30) – Defining a wild idea

(6:13) – Origin of Blackbird and importance of small teams

(7:05) – Investing in companies and not rounds

(09:57) – Signs of a good story and storyteller

(11:37) – Any places he disagrees with the majority of thinkers in the tech investing space

(13:11) – The sleepy firms backing high growth companies

(16:02) – The products of an investment firm

(18:17) – What he likes to see in a startup after their initial investment and gets him worried

(20:21) – Unique characteristics of the New Zealand and Australian markets

(23:36) – Trends he’s seeing in companies he’s backed recently

(24:46) – Everything he knows about gross margins

(25:36) – Range of gross margins in software companies and the quality of the business

(27:00) – Lessons on customer acquisition

(28:23) – Unique way a company acquired customers early on

(29:23) – Customer retention

(31:12) – Finding the best product thinkers

(32:30) – Question he is trying to answer

(34:01) – Lessons from his investing career

(35:40) – Business breakdown of Canva

(38:36) – How Canva gets to its customers

(41:25) – Figuring out the monetization model

(44:42) – Canva’s moat

(46:08) – Most delightful feature

(46:41) – Positive portable lesson from Canva

(49:13) – Best way to learn more about the company

            (49:24) – How I Built This with Melanie Perkins

            (49:27) – This Week in Startups with Melanie Perkins

(49:41) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 17, 2020
Todd McKinnon - Creating and Defining a New Market Category - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.7]
01:01:22

My guest today is Todd McKinnon, co-founder and CEO of Okta, the leading provider of identity management for enterprises. Todd started Okta in 2009 after realizing that enterprises would need a robust solution for identity management in a world where everything was quickly moving to the cloud and today counts over 7,000 enterprises as customers. Our conversation focuses on how Todd decided to leave Salesforce to start Okta, the painful early years of growing the business, how companies can create and define a new market, the different roles he's had to play as the company grew and went public, and the frameworks he's put in place to continue to innovate and test new things as public business. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

 This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:19) – (First question) – Best slide in his presentation for starting Okta

(5:21) – The early days of Okta and what they were trying to do

(8:36) – Challenge of building the company from an engineering perspective

(10:32) – First version of the Okta product

(11:03) – An overview on identify management

(13:55) – The major innovation in the early days of the product

(16:11) – The early struggles of starting a company

(18:49) – Becoming a default mode solution

(20:39) – Most interesting ways the company has grown its services

(22:10) – Future of platform businesses

(24:24) – Expanding into an infrastructure business

(25:59) – Important shifts that they are paying attention

(28:21) – Future of our digital identity and Okta’s potential role

(32:20) – The chapters of Okta’s story so far

(35:03) – Challenges they had to overcome in growing the company

(37:31) – Recruiting the right talent and fostering it early on

(39:12) – Biggest mistakes he’s made with the business

(41:06) – Benefits of extreme focus vs having a broader view of the problems

(43:35) – Innovating within Okta

(46:02) – How software businesses define cost of revenue and cost of goods

(48:23) – Lessons they’ve learned about selling the services of a small company into the largest company

(49:54) – Lessons from working with bad clients/customers

(51:06) – Their inside view into the future of business today

            (51:10) – Jeff Lawson podcast Episode

(52:36) – Best way to maintain the growth of Okta over the long term

(53:30) – Lessons he would give to business students today

(54:51) – Being scared as a founder

(55:27) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 12, 2020
Jason Karp and Rohan Oza – The Power of Brand - [Invest Like the Best, EP.199]
58:46

My guests today are Jason Karp and Rohan Oza. Jason is the founder and CEO of HumanCo, a holding company focused on building businesses that help people live healthier lives. Jason formerly ran the hedge fund Tourbillon Capital and was an audience favorite when he was on the podcast several years ago. Rohan is the co-founder of CAVU Venture Partners, one of the fastest-growing venture funds in the CPG space. Before Cavu, Rohan focused on supercharging brands like Vitaminwater and Smartwater at Glaceau which was acquired by Coca Cola for over $4b dollars. You may also recognize his name as a recurring Shark on ABC's Shark Tank. Our conversation covers how to think about investing in brands, what makes for a great brand, how partnerships with influencers and celebrities can turbocharger a brand,  how brand ultimately gives you pricing power, and how Rohan and Jason try to add, in their words, sizzle, to the brands they work with. I really enjoyed this conversation with two of the smartest people I know on brands and brand strategy and hope you will too. 

 

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 

Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com

 

Ladder Teams is a modern personal training experience with expertly designed workout plans, 1x1 access to some of the best coaches in the world, and the power of community, all delivered to your phone. 

If you’re looking to switch up your fitness routine at home or if you are back at the gym and looking to refresh your training plan Ladder Teams has a program for you. Check out https://ladder.fit/Patrick to download the app and get started.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:58) – (First question) – Exploring the early part of Rohan’s career with Mars

(4:53) – First time changing a brand’s image

(6:40) – Jason’s transition since his last appearance on the podcast

(9:47) – What parts of a brand excite Rohan as an investor

(11:33) – The marketing machine once you find a brand

(13:13) – Options in the retail strategy

(19:07) – Biggest errors early in a brands lifecycle

(21:04) – The shift where consumers care more about the makeup of a product than just the brand

(26:20) – Finding the fanatical few in the early part of a brands lifecycle

(31:03) – How the role of celebrity has changed in shaping brands

(33:01) – The importance of how a brand makes consumers feel

(36:15) – Will distribution drive market changes in the future

(38:17) – Driving revenue multiples for products

(48:33) – Categories in health and wellness ripe for disruption

(52:20) – How scalable health and wellness brands are as public companies

(55:00) – Challenges that older brands have in today’s environment

(56:46) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Rohan

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 10, 2020
John Chambers - Pattern Matching, Playbooks, and Winning Product Categories - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.6]
59:58

My guest this week is John Chambers. John was the CEO of Cisco from 1995 to 2015 where he helped grow Cisco from $70 million to $40 billion in annual revenue. In this conversation we discuss the best business lesson he learned from long time GE CEO Jack Welch, his key lessons from acquiring over 180 companies with Cisco, pattern recognition and playbooks, capitalizing on market transitions enabled by new technologies, the value of team offsites, and a lot more. I was immediately drawn into John's magnetic personality and it's easy to see how he was so adept at running a 40,000 person company for 2 decades. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with John Chambers.

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:04) – (First question) – Why companies need a near death experience

(6:37) – The way his leadership changed between 1999 and 2003

(11:34) – His career before and leading to his time joining Cisco

(17:51) – What Cisco was like when he joined

(21:02) – Role that pattern recognition plays in his management

(24:16) – Lessons learned from the spate of acquisitions they took on under his tenure

(30:46) – Pricing deals and using Cisco’s scale to be successful

(33:09) – Lessons he learned in terms of distribution

(35:10) – What he learned from his relationship with Shimon Peres

(42:08) – His role in helping young entrepreneurs

(46:00) – Transformation on his team building trips to Alaska

(50:42) – Transitions in the world he is focused on right now

(52:542) – Kindest thing anyone has done for John

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 05, 2020
Anu Hariharan – Lessons in Growth Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.198]
01:00:21

My guest this week is Anu Hariharan. Anu is a partner at Y-Combinator's Continuity Fund where she focuses on growth investing. Before YC, Anu was an Investment Partner at Andreesen Horowitz where she worked with portfolio companies Airbnb, Instacart, Medium and Udacity. In this conversation, we discuss growth stage businesses and their business models, how her background as an engineer impacts her investing style, the most interesting international markets for tech start-ups, and how much opportunity there still is for investing in tech and e-commerce startups. This conversation left me thinking about how much digital transformation there still is in front us and the exciting opportunities ahead. Enjoy this great conversation with Anu Hariharan. 

 

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 


Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at 
koyfin.com

 

 This episode of Invest Like The Best is also sponsored by Assure. Assure is changing the way investors manage private transactions. 

With Assure, investors can eliminate nearly all the admin cost of private investment. On top of that, they handle all the backend, legal, taxes, accounting, and compliance. All of it, with a straightforward one-time fee. Learn more and try Assure for yourself at https://www.assure.co/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:45) – (First question) – How she thinks about growth stage businesses through their business models

(5:00) – Her views on the winner-take-all business goal

(9:53) – How to prioritize the stakeholders when building a network business

(12:19) – Priorities in growth stage businesses vs those seeking Series A funding

(18:25) – Most interesting international markets

(21:44) – Risks in investing in international tech startups

(24:54) – Assessing a hardware-based tech company vs software business

(30:22) – How her background as an engineer impacts her investing style

(36:11) – Lessons from the various growth strategies she’s observed

(40:05) – How valuation impacts the company and her decision to invest

(45:45) – How far along are we into the global digital transformation and what opportunity is left

(48:15) – Sectors that are still primed for more digital transformation

(52:50) – How the tech investing landscape has changed during her career

(57:45) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 03, 2020
Laura Behrens Wu - When Digital and Physical Worlds Converge - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.5]
49:09

My guest today is Laura Behrens Wu, co-founder and CEO of Shippo. Shippo started in 2014 after Laura realized with her own e-commerce start-up that shipping was an incredibly difficult task for most merchants, so she set out to fix the problem for everyone. Shippo let's merchants small and large use its dashboard or APIs to simplify the shipping and tracking process. Our conversation focuses on Laura's background prior to Shippo, how Shippo's business and business strategy have evolved, the inherent challenges of building a shipping platform, and the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. I hope you enjoy our wide-ranging conversation.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:57) – (First question) – The story of Popout and how it led to Shippo

(7:40) – Challenge of working in a huge and crowded market

(10:36) – How Shippo changed shipping for small businesses

(12:30) – First big break in their favor

(13:39) – Their master account with the major shipping companies

(14:39) – Why is the shipping industry so complex

(16:25) – Most painful part of building Shippo

(18:20) – Advice for people in early company building

(19:26) – Pricing software in early days

(20:32) – The early days of Shippo and getting it to where it is today

(23:17) – Going to market and targeting new customers when they’re mostly small businesses

(25:48) – Partnering with a larger company, in their case Shopify

(27:52) – How they think about their long-term planning

(30:48) – Competing in a world where companies can own their own infrastructure

(32:39) – How often they think about other competitive advantages

(34:20) – Worst question an investor asked her: what if Amazon tries to copy them

(35:17) – Her superpowers as a founder

(36:41) – API vs dashboard and the difference in their customer bases

(38:52) – What businesses that need shipping today need to know

(40:14) – Changes in how businesses are being built today

(41:28) – What excites her most about the future of this business

(43:28) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 29, 2020
Brad Gerstner and Rich Barton – Thriving in Changing Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.197]
01:17:59

My guests today are Rich Barton and Brad Gerstner. Brad is the founder of Altimeter Capital and is one of my favorite active investors. Brad and Altimeter were one of the largest investors in Snowflake in its earlier days and continue to invest in iconic modern businesses with an extreme focus. Rich has one of the most impressive resumes in the business world. He founded Expedia, Glassdoor, and Zillow; He’s a longtime Netflix board member, since before they went public; he’s a venture partner at Benchmark Capital; and he give back through the Barton family foundation. Our conversation covers Rich’s “power to the people,” strategy, Brad and Rich’s perspectives on taking companies public through SPACs vs. IPOs, and their perspectives on how to build a great company. This one is so fun, we even discuss how to come up with company names, talk about the importance Wizard of Oz, and explore the importance of big hairy audacious goals. I really enjoyed this conversation with two of the smartest people I know, and I hope you will too.

 

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 

Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is also sponsored by Assure. Assure is changing the way investors manage private transactions.

With Assure, investors can eliminate nearly all the admin cost of private investment. On top of that, they handle all the backend, legal, taxes, accounting, and compliance. All of it, with a straightforward one-time fee. Learn more and try Assure for yourself at https://www.assure.co/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:59) – (First question) – How Brad and Rich met

(5:57) – The instant click between them

(7:21) – The power to the people perspective

            (7:29) – Brad Gerstner Podcast Episode

(10:21) – Delivering information to consumers

(11:31) – The investing perception of data-delivery businesses

(13:54) – How they use SPACs

(17:38) – How entrepreneurs view SPACs

(20:17) – Lessons from their involvement in Altimeter Growth Corp

(23:57) – Defining value add investor in the public and private markets

(26:36) – The Wizard of OZ and Pygmalions

(30:41) – Leadership mold at businesses and big audacious goals

            (30:44) – No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

(36:05) – Frank Slootman’s leadership style

            (36:12) – Amp It Up

            (46:13) – TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth Story

(38:11) – Courage in leadership

(41:33) – Physical businesses vs digital only businesses

(43:34) – Getting companies fit

(45:39) – Lessons around talent density

(48:28) – State of the world and markets today since the inception of the pandemic

(53:46) – Making up words for companies and fertile ground

(56:45) – Go to market model vs business model

(58:50) – Early days of product market sales

(1:03:03) – Advice to early investors and entrepreneurs for the future of their careers

(1:08:10) – The board challenge

(1:12:06) – What question are they working hard to answer right now

(1:16:09) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Rich

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 27, 2020
Jason Citron - Building the Third Place - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.4]
01:02:20

My guest today is Jason Citron, founder and CEO of Discord. Discord is one of the largest and fastest growing social networks in the world. It started as a place for gamers to congregate online, but thanks to how easy it makes it to create a community of any type and its offering of text, audio, and video as means of communication, it has expanded far beyond gaming. It has the potential to become the default digital “third place” that we go to find belonging in a variety of online communities. With over 100 million users, it’s also one of the most interesting communications service businesses since the original social networks rose to power.

Our conversation focuses on his background prior to Discord, Discord’s founding and growth, its business model and how it has evolved over the past 8 years, and what the future holds for Discord. As we talked, I had this sense that I’d be willing to go work for Jason, and I think you’ll see why. I hope you enjoy our wide ranging conversation.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(3:17) – (First question) – Lessons from his time as a video game developer

(7:58) – Going from game developer to game development platform

(12:23) – From his first startup to Discord

(16:33) – Expressing the hypothesis of discord

(20:10) – How to know what signal to build upon

(22:11) – Early adoption of Discord

(26:17) – Getting the word out about Discord in the early days

(30:43) – Creating more than just a platform, but creating a third place for people to congregate

            (32:38) – The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community

(32:55) – The evolution and expansion of the types of community using their platform

(37:27) – Discord’s business model and how it’s evolved

(41:32) – Enhancing communication through Nitro

(45:05) – Big principles for company building at Discord

(51:22) – His thoughts around competitive advantage for the platform

(52:55) – Creating a holistic experience for the users

(55:45) – What bothers him the most when hiring

(57:47) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 22, 2020
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal of Acquired - Lessons on Early Stage Investing and Getting Acquired - [Invest Like the Best, EP.196]
51:38

My guests today are Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal. Ben and David are investors but also the duo behind the Acquired podcast, which is one of my favorite podcasts that dives deep into business history and famous acquisitions. I recommend you check it out.

In this conversation, we review of some of the greatest corporate acquisitions of all time and also discuss investing lessons Ben and David have learned across their careers. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ben and David.

 

This episode is brought to you by Koyfin, one of the fastest growing fintech startups. I discovered Koyfin earlier this year when I asked twitter for the best Bloomberg alternative, and the overwhelming winner was an intriguing new product called Koyfin. 

Koyfin has tons of high-quality data, powerful functionality, and a nice clean interface. If you’re an individual investor, research analyst, portfolio manager, or financial advisor, you should definitely check them out. Sign up for free at koyfin.com

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is also sponsored by Assure. Assure is changing the way investors manage private transactions.

 With Assure, investors can eliminate nearly all the admin cost of private investment. On top of that, they handle all the backend, legal, taxes, accounting, and compliance. All of it, with a straightforward one-time fee.

Learn more and try Assure for yourself at https://www.assure.co/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:29) – (First question) – What they look for in new founders based on more experienced managers they’ve worked with

(5:07) – Difference between emerging vs legacy market

(9:17) – Research steps to determine if a market can get big enough to invest in

(12:08) – Working with other firms for doing an initial investment round

(15:42) – Recent trends in the supply of capital and number of founders in the VC space

(18:56) – Lessons they have learned studying corporate transactions

(24:13) – How do startups transform once they are acquired to increase their multiples so much

(28:10) – What they learned from deliberations that take place within the acquiring company

(30:39) – Most interesting deal for them to unpack

(32:44) – What are features of a business that is difficult for others to replicate

(35:52) – Any company that are intimidated to go up against

(37:37) – Who would they follow

            (38:52) – Blake Robbins Podcast Episode

(39:09) – Missing pieces in their skill set

(41:43) – Early green shoots

(44:40) – Lessons from Alaska Airlines acquisition and the value of scarcity

(47:07) – Kindest thing anyone has done for them

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 20, 2020
Leore Avidar - Creating and Selling Superpowers - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.3]
58:45

My guest today is Leore Avidar. Leore is the co-founder and CEO of Lob, a company which makes it easy to send direct mail programmatically. He’s also the founder of a new company focusing on sports card collectibles, Alt, which is how we originally connected. Our conversation ranges from building Lob, buying a Lebron James rookie card, starting a 2nd business while operating his first and how Leore tries to create and sell superpowers. Like my conversation with Rahul Vohra from Superhuman, I think this conversation will inspire entrepreneurs out there to start building aggressively. Please enjoy.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:55) – (First question) – Origin of Lob

(6:14) – Creating and selling superpowers to other people and its value proposition

(7:23) – Defining an API in his words

(8:44) – Early breaks for Lob

(10:45) – Early lessons in responsible growth

(12:19) – Physical infrastructure behind Lob

(14:14) – Surprises in mail delivery

(15:00) – Progression through their pricing models

(18:10) – Leaders in the world of making the world programmable

(19:07) – Their interest in the physical world

(19:45) – Hardest part of scaling a physical business

(21:09) – Building a culture that keeps people around

(23:13) – Why he is fascinated by negotiations and what he’s learned from it

(25:20) – Scarcity, time, and leverage impact’s on negotiations

(26:35) – His interest in collectibles and the formation of Alt

(30:18) – Size of the alternative market he focuses on

(30:54) – The focus on cards

(32:18) – An overview of collectible cards industry

(33:19) – What is the API of card collection and trading

(35:51) – Competitors in the space

(37:19) – Buying a Lebron James card

(38:21) – Building a fund around the collectibles and the strategy

(39:45) – What it means to be a technology company

(40:23) – Collectibles beyond sports

(41:30) – Defining a good investor

            (43:32) – Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

(43:43) – Qualities he looks for in investors

(45:03) – What does the collectible universe look like over the next 5-7 years

(45:43) – Cultural value of assets

(48:50) – Managing his time while launching two businesses

(49:51) – What he’s most excited about over the next 6 months

(51:45) – Consolidation of API businesses

(52:19) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 15, 2020
Jacqueline Novogratz – Investing in Dignity and Character  - [Invest Like the Best, EP.195]
53:51

My guest today is Jacqueline Novogratz. Jacqueline is the founder and CEO of Acumen, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty.  Our conversation touches on how Jacqueline left Wall Street and ended up starting a micro finance bank in Rwanda, how she thinks about investing in character, how creating dignity plays such a major role in her investments, and how governments and businesses can work together to solve the world's toughest problems. It is a bit of a departure from my normal investing conversations but contains powerful lessons for many investors and builders. I really enjoyed our conversation and hope you will to. 

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:29) – (First question) – Where the concept of the blue sweater came from for her book.

            (2:44) - The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World

(4:29) – Every child has a humiliated experience and the impact on their life

(6:55) – The origin of Acumen

(10:42) – Why character is such an important investing filter for her

(11:59) – How the markets have changed through the lens of Acumen

(16:59) – The challenges of getting started

            (17:04) – Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World

(19:46) – Embracing the idea of being uncomfortable and an example for her

(21:50) – The space between government action and market action

(26:11) – The concept of conformity traps

(29:29) – The lens of moral imagination

(30:32) – The importance of brining dignity to others

(35:09) – Entrepreneurial skills she sees outside of the US that we lack here

(39:38) – Biggest problems across the globe she is interested in tackling

(42:48) – Impediments to investing in global problems

(49:11) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 13, 2020
Justin Singer - How Regulation Unlocks Opportunity - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.2]
01:02:33

My guest today is Justin Singer, the founder and CEO of Caliper Foods and Stillwater Brands, two leading companies in the cannabis industry. We start our conversation with a fascinating discussion on how regulation creates or destroys business and investing opportunities, and then go on to discuss the ins and outs of the cannabis industry in detail. You’ll be able to tell quickly how high-quality Justin is as a thinker and operator, and you’ll learn a ton about this nascent business. Please enjoy our conversation.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag 

Show Notes

(2:51) – (First question) – How changes in regulation create market opportunities

(5:38) – Why VC’s need to pay attention to regulatory changes

(6:50) – Story of Section 230 of the communication decency act

(8:54) – Relationships between rules, laws, and free markets

(11:56) – How regulatory changes impacted recent business ventures

(13:30) – His initial interest in the cannabis space

(17:28) – How the industry participants have changed over time

(21:04) – An overview of the cannabis industry and different pieces of the chain

(25:51) – What has led to delays in the legalization of the marijuana industry

(28:52) – How the dosage of the product impacts the business

(31:34) – CBD vs THC industry differences

(32:53) – How much of this industry is left to be unlocked and potential timing

(35:55) – Business and investing opportunities in the space

(38:16) – Competitive frontier in cannabis

(40:37) – The timeline and pending changes coming

(43:03) – Margins and business factors of his business

(45:51) – First big break for the business

(49:47) – What he learned working under Tim Wu

(50:34) – Why we are in the golden error for fraud

(52:11) – Avoiding fraud

(55:12) – What he wants to learn more about in the cannabis space

(56:50) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 08, 2020
Jesse Livermore - Upside Down Markets - Understanding Fiscal and Monetary Policy - [Invest Like the Best, EP.194]
54:11

My guest today is Jesse Livermore. I’ve worked with Jesse as part of our research partners program at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management for years now. Whenever there is a huge, important, and complex issue to be studied, I believe he’s among the best minds in the world to tackle it. He did that recently on the topic of what he calls “upside down markets,” which is the topic of this conversation. We seek to answer the simple question: against a horrible economic backdrop, how can the stock market be near all-time highs? Jesse explains in detail the impact that fiscal policy has had on the market and may have in the future. Please enjoy this master class in upside down markets.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:29) – (First question) – What is Upside Down Markets

(5:44) – Overview on monetary easing and the fed’s role in the markets

(9:42) – Why fiscal policy is such an important lever and the impact it has on the economy

(15:07) – The impact of stimulus on public companies’ fundamentals

(19:25) – The mix of assets in the market due to stimulus

(22:13) – What made 1929 so different to how we are reacting today

(26:14) – Negative concerns: too much money in the system and the risk of inflation

(32:43) – Will the pendulum swing back to labor and higher wages

(37:23) – How these changes could impact specific companies or sectors differently

(41:34) – How he is applying all of this to his personal investment philosophy

(44:25) – Biggest risks still out there

(49:51) – Most interesting gap in his knowledge putting together this piece

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 06, 2020
Rahul Vohra - Using Emotion to Design Great Products - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.1]
01:19:51

Today’s episode represents a new chapter for Invest Like the Best, so requires a longer introduction than normal. Starting today, I’ll be bringing you two episodes per week on the same feed. On Tuesday’s, I’ll focus on investors, and on Thursday’s, I’ll host builders—founders, CEOs, and operators from all different fields. We call this new Thursday series Founder’s Field Guide. There’s nothing more interesting to me than how great businesses get build, and how investors can identify those businesses at the right time. We’ve already recorded with founders build companies in food, technology, infrastructure, shipping, collectibles, and many more categories. The goal each weak will be to have a builder share what they’ve done, how they’ve done it, and what they’ve learned along the way. We view this as a critical next step in furthering our mission: to capture and openly share the world’s best knowledge on business and investing.

Onto the kickoff episode with Rahul Vohra. Rahul is the Founder & CEO of Superhuman, an extremely popular product for managing email. Rahul describes himself as a Computer Scientist, Gamer, Entrepreneur, and Designer. You’ll see quickly why it’s the intersection of these areas that sets Superhuman apart. We discuss why emotion matters when building products, and how other entrepreneurs can learn from his experience. Please enjoy the very first episode of Founder’s Field Guide, and stay tuned in future weeks as we host leaders from Nike, Cisco, Twitch, and so many more…listen in as we explore the world of cannabis, baking (not that kind), manufacturing, hardware, software, and more. Let’s dive in.

 

This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. 

 

This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(3:56) – (First question) – His interest in game design and emotion in software creation

(5:15) – Key elements of game design

(6:23) – Toys in digital software creation

(8:48) – Finding success in boring software solutions

(11:19) – Getting confidence while building when there are no real customers

(14:08) – How they landed on their final product

            (15:40) – The Superhuman Product/Market Fit Engine

(20:46) – Determining software price

            (21:55) – Positioning Your Startup is Vital — Here’s How to Nail It

            (23:09) – Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

            (24:13) – Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price

(26:36) – First big break for the business

(29:04) – How technology companies actually grow

(32:15) – Branding a software

(33:57) – How he evaluates a company brand as an investor

(36:07) – Questions to ask founders when considering an investment

(37:35) – How the distribution of Superhuman worked so well

(41:25) – Most common question asked by VC’s about Superhuman

(43:00) – Why they do manual onboarding of customers

            (43:05) – Daniel Ek Podcast Episode

(45:10) – Cost structure of a busines looking to reach the billion-dollar valuation

(47:18) – Designing for flow in software business

(51:21) – His design philosophy and their joy formula  

(58:03) – His superpower

(1:00:46) – The power of therapy

(1:02:50) – Why he invests in other companies

(1:05:05) – Trends in the technology space that have him excited

(1:07:28) – The future for Superhuman

(1:10:26) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him  

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Oct 01, 2020
Modest Proposal – Better, Cheaper, Faster: Why Companies that Reduce Friction Win - [Invest Like the Best, EP.193]
01:05:22

Before getting to this week’s guest, an announcement: starting Thursday we will be introducing a new series of interviews. Be sure to check this same podcast feed in two days to learn more.

My guest this week goes by the pseudonym Modest Proposal. He’s both a close friend, and one of the most respected thinkers on financial twitter. I field more inbound questions about him than just about anyone, and you’ll see why in this episode. We discuss many of the biggest themes in today’s stock market, from consumer to technology to marketplace and local home services. As always, Modest brings specific insight and general frameworks to the discussion. I talk to him as often as I can because I learn something new every time, and this discussion was no exception. Please enjoy my conversation with Modest Proposal.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:37) – (First question) – How investing is about underwriting the future

(5:42) – Essential tools to underwrite the future

            (7:59) – Michael Mauboussin base rate book

(9:02) – Increasing returns to scale as the most important tool

(11:36) – Example of silly investments

(14:00) – Ideas of consumer signal and non-linear beahvior

(16:30) – Why he was blown away by ibuyer.com

(19:08) – How businesses are targeting facilitating transactions

(23:11) – Ecommerce and digital penetration in business

            (25:42) – Gavin Baker podcast episode

            (26:00) – Modest proposal last podcast appearance

(27:56) – His thoughts on the extinction of so many businesses as a result of the pandemic

(32:26) – Chart tracking Product to service against homogeneous to heterogenous

            (33:41) – The Perfect Store

            (33:49) – eBoys

(43:51) – Other features of business that fascinate him

(46:29) – Ideas that pique his interest right now

(51:20) – Case study: IAC/InterActiveCorp

(59:36) – Barry Diller’s superpowers

(1:01:17) – Why he’s spent so much time exploring IAC/InterActiveCorp

(1:02:56) – Related companies to explore

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Sep 29, 2020
Lauren Taylor Wolfe – The Modern Activist Toolkit - [Invest Like the Best, EP.192]
01:00:39

My guest this week is Lauren Taylor Wolfe. Lauren is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Impactive Capital. Prior to founding Impactive she spent 10 years at Blue Harbour Group, a $3 billion activist investment firm. Our conversation is on the modernization of the activist investor playbook—how investors engage with companies to make them better and improve long term outcomes. We discuss the entire activist toolkit, focuses on what has changed the most in recent years.

I’m also very excited to announce a new initiative. After years of building, operating, and investing in software, we are launching Positive Sum, a new early stage equity investing firm. You can read a bit more at positivesumadvisors.com. Now, please enjoy my conversation with Lauren Taylor Wolfe.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:31) – (First question) – Her background and how she landed at Impactive Capital

(6:25) – Impactive’s strategy vs the stereotype of the activist investor

(10:55) – Potential candidates for what they do

(13:26) – How they view the small cap tech world as the space is dominated by huge companies

(15:24)  - How capital allocation has evolved over her career

            (15:30) - The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

(17:38) – Best capital allocation strategies and mistakes that most companies make

(18:48) – The levers activists pull: cap structure; capital allocation and operating structure

(22:00) – Major lessons from earlier in her career

(23:25) – Major changes in Governance as part of the ESG strategy

(26:13) – The issue of dual-class in the space

(27:35) – Features of a pristine healthy board

(28:40) – Board’s role setting incentives and objectives for management

(29:55) – How she thinks about the E&S in ESG and how it helps shareholders

(32:56) – Applying her strategy in a real-world example

(37:40) – What they look for in a business when it comes to sum of the parts

(40:29) – Businesses that are misunderstood and what she looks for in that category

(41:39) – How she manages relationships with the boards

(45:11) – What she has learned transitioning business models

(47:08) – The rise of employee activism

(50:02) – What she’s seeing in terms of diversity and inclusion in board rooms and C-Suites

(53:32) – Best practices and ways to disrupt hiring

(57:48) – Something she doesn’t understand well today that she wishes she did

(58:59) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 22, 2020
Rory Sutherland – Moonshots and Marketing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.191]
49:21

My guest today is Rory Sutherland. Rory is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Group, which is one of the largest and most renowned advertising agencies in the world. He’s also the author of one of my favorite recent books called Alchemy: The surprising power of ideas that don’t make sense. In this conversation, we explore many of his counterintuitive ideas about business. Rory makes you think as much as anyone, so I hope you enjoy this conversation.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:12) – (First question) – Why spreadsheets and logic kill magic

(5:42) – What a product/service is vs how it’s delivered and makes people feel (regular moonshot vs psychological moonshot)

(13:22) – Psychological anomalies - doing things faster, better, cheaper (Red Bull vs Coke)

(19:54) – Swiss army knife that companies should avoid

(22:50) – Don’t design for average

(24:39) – How do people approach improving their business through marketing

(27:30) – Case for direct mail

(29:22) – Turning your weaknesses into a strength

(34:29) – The seven deadly sins and how useful they are as guideposts

(37:38) – Most powerful sin for marketing

(39:14) – Reaching intelligent answers from dumb questions

(43:25) – Why the opposite of a good idea can sometimes be a good idea

(47:30) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 15, 2020
Michael Seibel – Lessons from Thousands of Startups - [Invest Like the Best, EP.190]
55:56

My guest this week is Michael Seibel. Michael is a Partner at Y Combinator, and the CEO of YC's startup accelerator. He was the cofounder and CEO Justin.tv, which eventually became Twitch, and Socialcam. In this conversation, we discuss all Michael has learned reviewing thousands of applications to YC, interviewing countless new entrepreneurs, and watch young companies begin to grow and, occasionally, find product market fit. Listeners will also enjoy when Michael traps me big time in my thinking about AirBnb and his framework for great problems to solve. Enjoy this great conversation with Michael Seibel

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:22) – (First question) – Emerging trends among founders

(6:00) – The long-term impact of Covid on business

(7:16) – What an application to YC looks like and what stands out for him

(11:46) – What he wants to learn in the interviews

(13:54) – Poise in the interviews

(15:40) – How the YC experience has evolved and improvements they’ve made

(18:38) – How he defines technology

            (18:50) – Every Company is Becoming a Software Company

(21:12) – His thoughts on non-software companies and how they play into what YC does

(23:48) – Why frequency and intensity of the problem matter to him

(28:32) – Serving the supplier and building the demand

(30:38) – Bravery in founders

(36:07) – Partnerships and collaboration in venture capital investing

(37:58) – Second time founders focus on distribution

(39:23) – Coaching the psychological component of being a founder

(44:16) – Learning as a founder vs the education system

(46:08) – Customer vs investor focus of founders’ mindset

(48:16) – How teams know they are really onto something

(52:38) – His being a founder trainable or innate

(54:08) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 08, 2020
Michael Mauboussin – Great Migration Public to Private Equity - [Invest Like the Best, EP.189]
59:19

My guest this week is Michael Mauboussin, the head of consilient research at Counterpoint Global. Michael is an all-time favorite guest here on the show, and this is his fourth appearance. We discuss one of the biggest topics in the world of investing: the shift from public to private markets that has taken place over the last several decades. We explore the reasons for this shift, the biggest overall changes in capital markets, and what the future may hold. Along the way we explore other fascinating topics like the rise of intangible asset investments, employee-based compensation as a form of financing, and more. If you enjoy this conversation I urge you to read Michael’s paper on the topic which will be linked in the shownotes. Please enjoy this conversation with Michael Mauboussin.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:27) – (First question) – Motivation for writing the book from public to private equity

            (2:28) – Public to Private Equity in the US: A Long-Term Look

            (3:02) – The Incredible Shrinking Universe of Stocks

(4:48) – Size of the public vs private markets

(7:20) – History and changes in the public to private markets

(12:00) – Public market vs venture capital returns

(16:48) – Persistence of returns

(20:01) – Role of price and EBIDTA on the returns of a buyout

(23:31) – How buyout forms are sourcing the debt

(29:31) – Transition to businesses relying on intangibles

            (29:42) – Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy

            (30:13) – Endogenous Technological Change

            (30:36) – Should Intangible Investments Be Reported Separately or Commingled with Operating Expenses? New Evidence

            (34:18) – Explaining the Recent Failure of Value Investing

(36:21) – Superstar firms and increasing returns

(42:38) – Role on monopolies in creating network effects

(4:52) – The allocators perspective in these investments

(49:16) – How does this all impact public market active management

(51:54) – Advice to young people getting into the investment industry

            (52:30) – Jeremy Grantham Podcast Episode

(53:30) – Other areas he is researching/looking into

(55:44) – How investment work and Santa Fe research influence eachother

(56:54) – Investors to learn from

            (57:15) – John Collison Podcast Episode

 Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 01, 2020
Chetan Puttagunta and Jeremiah Lowin – Open Source Crash Course - [Invest Like the Best, EP.188]
01:00:33

My guests this week are Jeremiah Lowin and Chetan Puttagunta. Jeremiah is the founder of Prefect.io, an open-source software company where my family and I are investors, and Chetan is a partner at Benchmark Capital. Both are past guests and good friends. I asked them on to help the audience understand the open source software business model. I’ve been fascinated with this model in which companies give a huge chunk of their work and value away for free to a community of developers, and then make money by building additional tools, functionality, and services on top of their free and open platform. While this may strike you as a wonky discussion on a niche software topic, I think it is valuable for everyone because the ideas can be applied to more than just code. I view much of my own activity as open-sourcing investment research and knowledge. It is also important because much of the world’s technology is built on top of open source projects. I hope you learn something new about this emerging category. Please enjoy.

 

This episode of Invest Like The Best is sponsored by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. 

If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.  

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:40) – (First question) – Originator business in open source software; Redhat

(5:51) – Why open source is valuable in building a business

(7:40) – Examples of the benefits of open source projects

(10:27) – Open source business models that produce the best results

(17:04) – Defensibility of open source companies

(25:02) – Mentoring younger founders on using open-source

(30:54) – The benefits of launching open-source

(36:41) – Building a digital community

(41:31) – Lessons from Open Source that can be applied to other businesses

(50:04) – The opportunity sets available in the open source space

(53:33) – Future of open source

            (56:31) – Tobi Lutke Podcast Episode

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Aug 25, 2020
Katrina Lake – The Next Wave of E-Commerce - [Invest Like the Best, EP.187]
58:42

My guest today is Katrina Lake, the co-founder and CEO of Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a multi-billion-dollar public company which has brought an entirely new model to retail apparel by combining data science, technology, and personal stylists to create a unique shopping experience tailored to the individual consumer. I first met Katrina through past guest Bill Gurley and have been excited to host her since that first meeting. In our conversation, Katrina and I discuss all aspects of Stich Fix—its history, business model, innovations, and its future. Please enjoy this great and thought-provoking conversation with Katrina Lake.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:19) – (First question) – Where E-Commerce stands and what the future might hold

(4:37) – Why personalization makes Stitch Fix stand out from the others

(9:34) – Why data science is foundational to their business

(12:15) – What makes for a good augmented human and hiring stylists

(14:34) – Stakeholder value and creating a great partnership with suppliers

(18:10) – Their emphasis on stakeholder focus and social justice

(19:28) – The capital efficiency of their business in the early days

(24:46) – Her superpower of recruiting

(29:46) – Her strengths in building Stitch Fix

(31:56) – Transparency vs authenticity

(32:59) – Big break for the business

(37:15) – Exclusive brands to Stitch Fix

(39:01) – The next act for Stitch Fix

(41:43) – Lessons learned in pricing services

(44:24) – Future trends in retail apparel

(48:02) – Hardest thing to copy about Stitch Fix

(49:59) – Lessons for putting data science at the center of your business

(53:37) – Moments during her journey she’s felt most alive

(55:23) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Aug 18, 2020
Brian Armstrong – The Future of Crypto - [Invest Like the Best, EP.186]
01:03:34

My guest this week is Brian Armstrong, the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase. The topic of our conversation is the future of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance. Its been a while since I checked in on the world of crypto and while prices are still below the 2017 highs, there’s been a ton of additional work and infrastructure laid. We discuss the major events of the past decade and what might happen in the 2020s. Perhaps most interesting, we cover the potential benefits of a modernized financial system, which Coinbase hopes to help usher in. As I’m trying to do more in conversation with CEOs, we also discuss the lessons he’s learned building a business. Please enjoy my conversation with Brian Armstrong.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:23) – (First question) – Most important developments in cryptocurrencies

            (3:00) - What happened in crypto over the last decade

(3:01) – What will happen to cryptocurrency in the 2020s

(4:01) – Long term vision for Coinbase

(6:57) – Why should we be aiming towards an open financial system

(11:41) – How crypto improves the movement of money

(14:22) – Creating sound money and currencies

(16:21) – Why economic freedom is an important variable in what he’s trying to do

(19:44)  - How economic freedom can happen with various regulators around the world and in different countries

(22:49) – How Coinbase attracted its first users

(26:33) – The December 2017 madness of cryptocurrencies

(29:50) – How he thinks about recruiting teams and motivating them to be productive

(33:40) – Mistakes with people he’s learned from

(34:56) – Steering a product roadmap and creating a successful business

(37:17) – What do the non-Bitcoin currencies offer that Bitcoin doesn’t

(41:19) – Innovation in cryptocurrency that excites him: DeFi

(43:40) – Interesting geographic locations and their impact on crypto

(45:29) – How his thoughts on company building has changed over the years

(46:47) – Battling any loss of confidence as a founder

(51:01) – Improving decision making as a leader

(53:54) – Aspects of the job that he loves the most today

(56:25) – Largest impediments to mass adoption of crypto

(58:25) – His curiosity for scientific research and bioengineering

(59:19) – Advice that helped him that he would offer others

(1:01:38) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Aug 11, 2020
Matt Ball - The Future of Media: Movies, the Metaverse, and More - [Invest Like the Best, EP.185]
01:46:35

My guest today, Matthew Ball, is a long time coming. He’s the former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, an investor, and probably my favorite business essayist writing today. In fact, I can’t think of another author whose work I read as quickly once a new essay drops. Read his latest on the past and future of Nintendo and you’ll see why. Our conversation is all about the past and future of media. We discuss movies, music, television, video games, and the metaverse. When I re-listened to this episode I couldn’t believe how much information was in Matthew's head and how easily he covered so many topics in depth. Please enjoy this great conversation.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:20) – (First question) – Compulsive interest of how people entertain themselves

(4:19) – Changes of intellectual property and trademark in media

(9:12) – Cross media world building and Netflix’s strategy

(11:47) – Competing with the major power players at the top

(16:54) – Fate of movies in the new media landscape

(20:38) – Fate of music in the new media landscape

(25:40) – Age and gaming in this media transition

            (26:20) – Gavin Baker Podcast Episode

(29:50) – Legacy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

(34:48) – How he defines the notion of a metaverse

(39:53) – Creating a more interoperable version of our digital world

(47:37) – What is not included in the metaverse and investing in one

(52:14) – Tim Sweeney’s role in Epic Gaming

(58:12) – The unreal engine

(1:07:46) – What should investors be thinking about when it comes to gaming worlds

(1:12:43) – Opportunities in the gaming space for investors

(1:19:59) – Cloud gaming’s impact on the space

(1:26:54) – Will other media platforms have to copy the gaming industry

(1:30:51) – How interactivity and feedback loops plays into his investment decisions

(1:33:07) – Ease of creating a new media business today

(1:35:20) – Trends media storytelling

(1:38:50) – What makes for good IP in media content

(1:42;14) – Why he wants to explore payment platforms and block chain

(1:44:56) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Aug 04, 2020
Kat Cole – How to Operate: Lessons in Brand, Distribution, and Leadership - [Invest Like the Best, EP.184]
01:17:34

My guest today is Kat Cole, the COO and president of North America for Focus Brands, which owns famous companies like Cinnabon, Carvel, Jamba, and more. Kat’s story and career trajectory are remarkable, as are the lessons she’s picked up along the way which she shares with us all in this conversation. We discuss negotiation, distribution, brand building, brand extension strategies, and leadership. I always enjoy having a true operator on the show, so I was very excited to discover Kat and her thinking. Please enjoy this great conversation.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:13) – (First question) – Her call to prayer

            (2:16) – Kat Cole on Pomp’s podcast

(5:20) – Her positivity lens

(7:59) – Applying that positivity lens in business

(13:34) – How to show positivity in early interactions with someone

(17:37) – Overview of Kat’s career

(21:03) – Lessons learned building brands

(27:11) – Changing relevance or differentiation within a brand

(32:34) – Keeping a brands dominant position in people’s minds

(36:00) – The power of franchising and shared commitment

(40:50) – How her experience makes her a better investor

(42:55) – Lessons around distribution

(46:24) – Effectively negotiating and getting your fair share in a partnership

(52:49) – Attributes of a brand that get Kat most excited

(56:34) – Transferring her brand lessons to software and tech companies

(59:09) – Biggest lessons in leadership she’s learned

            (1:04:13) – Checking In: the power of intention, reflection, and action to be your best and help others do the same

(1:05:18) – Most effective questions in her check-ins

(1:06:29) – Personal check-ins vs professional check-ins

(1:10:44) – Balancing gratitude and ambition

(1:14:37) – The kindest thing anyone has done for Kat

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jul 28, 2020
Eric Vishria – The Past, Present, and Future of SaaS and Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.183]
01:05:44

My guest this week is Eric Vishria, a general partner at Benchmark Capital. Eric joined Benchmark after spending the first part of his career as an operator and CEO. The topic of our conversation is the past, present, and future of software businesses. We begin by explaining why public software companies trade at such incredibly high multiples today. We then explore the several different generations of these businesses and why the future remains so bright for companies building software as their primary product. I’d go one step further and suggest that the information in this episode is even more valuable for non-software businesses and investors, because its crucial to understand the impact that these products will have on the overall business landscape. COVID has accelerated the long-running transition to digital across the corporate world, and Eric serves as the perfect guide. Let’s dive in. 

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:29) – (First question) – His take on public markets, and specifically as it relates to SaaS businesses

(4:04) – Why these companies trade so high

            (7:53) – Peter Zeihan Podcast Episode

(11:19) – The competitive frontier in the digital markets

(14:02) – The API competitive frontier

            (14:22) – Chetan Puttagunta Podcast Episode

            (18:36) – Every Company is Becoming a Software Company

            (20:10) – John Collison Podcast Episode

(22:54) – Charging in an API business model

(24:09) – Describing the different generations of SaaS, starting with Gen 1

(28:15) – Gen 2 SaaS businesses

(31:52) – Being an investor in SaaS

(36:55) – Gen 3 and importance of traditional SaaS companies to get into API

(38:06) – Other problems software can solve

(44:19) – Why more money isn’t going into SaaS

(46:48) – Lessons from the investment universe and how it could apply to SaaS

            (47:26) – The Hierarchy of Marketplaces — Introduction and Level 1 - Sarah Taval

(51:49) – Lessons about scaling

(57:51) – Cross customer strategy

            (1:00:01) – Energy and Civilization: A History

(1:01:28) – Qualities of an interesting investor

(1:03:52) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Jul 21, 2020
Turner Novak – The Past, Present, and Future of Consumer Social Companies - [Invest Like the Best, EP.182]
01:00:42

My guest this week is Turner Novak, a partner at Gelt VC. Many of the largest companies in the world today are consumer social companies, so Turner and I discuss the past, present, and future of those businesses. When executed right, they are often the fastest-growing companies in history, and the rise of TikTok and some other companies we discuss makes it clear that there may always be more room at the top. The network effects that support these companies make them unique beasts to analyze, and Turner’s writing has been among my favorite content on the topic. Please enjoy our detailed conversation on this important are of public and private markets.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:18) – (First question) – History of consumer social companies

(3:28 – The importance of quality growth over rate of growth

(4:43) – Importance of friends and identity in a social network

(6:21) – Major markers he analyzes in new social networks

(7:59) – The meteoric rise of TikTok and how it compares to other social networks

            (8:08) – The Rise of TikTok and Understanding Its Parent Company, ByteDance

(13:38) – How TikTok deals with user friction

(17:28) – Why TikTok copies is a waste

(21:08) – Advising companies to build a media arm in this environment

(24:18) – Business models beyond advertising for social networks

(30:44) – His thoughts on Pinduoduo and the opportunity for a similar company in the US

(37:36) – What Snapchat is doing

(43:51) – How social eCommerce could be a competitor to an Amazon

(46:31) – His review of Zynn

            (46:36) - Attack of the Clones: TikTok’s Rival Kuaishou Lands in the US

(52:22) – The geopolitical battle of social networks

(53:36) – Creating social commerce companies

(54:27) – Fantasy draft portfolio

(59:18) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jul 14, 2020
Charlie Songhurst – Lessons from Investing in 483 Companies - [Invest Like the Best, EP.181]
01:06:35

My guest this week is Charlie Songhurst, the former head of strategy at Microsoft and a prolific investor, having personally invested in nearly 500 companies throughout his career. I met Charlie at an event hosted in New York and you can tell within one minute of meeting him that his mind is sparkling with ideas and curiosity. Its no wonder he’s been among the most commonly requested guests when I asked several top investors and CEOs who I should have on the show. We discuss the lessons he’s learned about business, investing, and people from such a large sample size of companies. I won’t reveal any more here, I highly recommend you just listen to Charlie and learn. Let’s dive in.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:25) – (First question) –  Stack ranking the vices of power, money and fame

(2:41) – Memorable response to the stack ranking question

(3:13) – Best scenario to explore this stack ranking concept

(3:55) – Other ways to rank founders

(4:44) – Quick look at this career

(5:16) – Time at Microsoft

(6:03) – Features he looks for in startups

(10:55) – Managing the declining curve of productivity

(14:55) – Why founders are often unique people

            (14:57) – Jeff Gramm Podcast Episode

            (15:04) – Aliens, Jedi & Cults

(19;43) – How early entrepreneurs need to make recruitment a serious part of their work

(23:06) – How successful founders win the best candidates

(25:27) – The East Coast vs. West Coast investment strategies

(30:40) – When it’s time to bring in quantitative factors into early stage investing

(34:36) – The markers that pop up in companies that hit

(37:22) – Boring but successful investments

(39:28) – Investor aesthetics

(41:29) – Characteristics of investors that he believes are important to success

(42:57) – Impacts of Covid and some of the permanent changes that have happened as a result

(47:49) – Investing opportunities in the local community

(49:13) – His take on cryptocurrencies

(53:47) – Most mis valued asset in the world

(55:16) – Investing opportunities in Europe

(57:34) – Make up of his 483 investments

            (57:58) – Matt Clifford Podcast Episode

(59:17) – Curation as a skill

(1:01:54) – Timing and startup success

(1:05:11) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jul 07, 2020
Blake Robbins – Investing in Gaming - [Invest Like the Best, EP.180]
56:19

My guest today is Blake Robbins, a partner at Ludlow Ventures. We talk about all things video games, including the major companies in the industry, how games monetize, how in-game economies work, how e-sports has evolved, and much more. This is a fast-growing segment of consumer attention and interest, I believe we are in the very early days of gaming going mainstream.

I also have a favor to ask. My team and I have built a small survey for Invest Like the Best listeners and if you’ve enjoyed the podcast, I’d deeply appreciate it if you took 5 minutes to fill it out at investorfieldguide.com/survey. It will help shape the future direction of the show, which I intend to keep improving in the years to come. Thank you, and now please enjoy my conversation with Blake Robbins.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:35) – (First question) –  Overview of the gaming industry and how folks may get involved as an investor

(3:46) – Some of the biggest players in the space

(5:30) – The monetization methods of these gams

(9:22) – How do these games respond to real currencies

(14:49) – The landscape of e-sports/e-gaming as a whole

(19:57) – His involvement with 100 Thieves

(25:52) – The media landscape and the role of influencers

(29:05) – When he invests and what the opportunities are out there

(33:07) – The engines behind a lot of this; Unity and Unreal

(34:58) – Other investors that get this trend

(37:43) – Other interesting areas of investment for him, including the creator economy

(41:25) – Opportunities to build out and invest in the infrastructure of the creator economy

(45:37) – Infrastructure opportunities that need to be built

(48:08) – Advice for younger professionals

(49:04) – Investment allocation he is most proud of

(50:08) – A unique skill he couldn’t teach or train in others

(52:27) – Something in gaming he doesn’t understand or wants to learn more about

(54:08) – The kindest thing anyone has done for Blake

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Jun 30, 2020
Brad Gerstner – Public and Private Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.179]
01:09:06

My guest today is Brad Gerstner, the founder and CIO of Altimeter Capital, a multi-billion dollar technology-focused investment firm. Brad and his team are known for a deep expertise in internet-enabled businesses, including Expedia, Facebook, Uber, and many more. We discuss the evolution of opportunity in this style of investing, including the important shift to private investing, where so much of the value creation now happens. I won’t soon forget our discussion of consumer intent on the internet and how it has shifted, the role that essentialism plays in Brad’s business and life, and the rise of the Chinese internet giants like Bytedance. Please enjoy this great conversation with Brad Gerstner.

 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT investment management company (MITIMCO)

Reach out or learn more: 

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:32) – (First question) – Overall investment philosophy at Altimeter

(5:12) – Most interesting thing in the landscape today

(11:16) – Disrupting the tech giants moving forward

(13:56) – The investing opportunity in the backend of the internet

(16:42) – His take on old line businesses and how technology could shift his view on them

(18:56) – Lessons from company founders whose platforms rely on consumer discovery

(21:32) – Running his business on essentialism

            (21:40) – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

(26:11) – Tactical applications of essentialism

(29:46) – Applying essentialism outside of business

(31:16) – What travel has taught him about business

(33:43) – What we should know about the Chinese internet market

(37:11) – The emergence of bite sized transactions across the web

(39:22) – Bite sized work

(42:43) – How early on can you figure out what company would win a vertical

(45:36) – What problem space would he tackle today

(48:49) – Collaborating in the private markets

(57:27) – Pricing businesses as a key component of his investment choices

(1:02:47) – Fascination with life sciences and software

(1:04:12) – What about the future excites him

(1:06:48) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Brad

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 23, 2020
John Collison – Growing the Internet Economy - [Invest Like the Best, EP.178]
01:21:25

My guest today is John Collison, the Co-Founder of the digital payments company Stripe. Stripe’s mission is to increase the GDP of the internet, a lofty and deeply interesting pursuit. John is clearly a voracious learner across business and investing, which you’ll hear instantly. He started Stripe with his brother Patrick when he was just 19 years old, and has grown it to, at last valuation, a $36B business. In our conversation, we discuss conglomerates, the internet economy, the power of writing, and why board members are like Pokémon characters, each with different powers. It’s a lively and wide-ranging conversation with one of the entrepreneurs I’ve most enjoyed speaking with. Please enjoy.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:30) – (First question) – Interest in industrial conglomerates

(9:10) – Their thinking on acquisitions vs starting new companies

(11:42) – How the payment landscape looked when Stripe was started

(15:55) – View on the internet economy

(20:09) – Exciting possibilities for the future of the internet economy

(22:11) – The forces of size vs speed among startups

(26:53) – Driving reasons why employees choose Stripe starting with clear communication

(28:55) – Tips for better internal communications

(30:09) – The importance of rigor in Stripe’s corporate culture

(32:15) – Investors and investing styles that are most intriguing to him

(36:02) – Teaching vs experiencing business lessons

(37:56) – Lessons from going to market with new ideas

(50:58) – Allowing teams to explore new ideas at Stripe

(44:11) – Best startup companies to study to understand the history of this space

            (44:52) – Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle

            (48:18) – Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business

(48:43) – Infrastructures of internet businesses that are missing

(52:03) – Does general accounting practices need to change to capture the true value of a company like Stripe

(1:01:53) – Shared playbooks in Silicon Valley

(1:02:02) – The transition to the no code movement

(1:08:22) – Other businesses that pique his interest outside of software

(1:10:21) – Future trends that excite him

(1:11:10) – First memory when he felt like he was participating in the tech economy

(1:12:46 – The role of board members

(1:15:48) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

(1:18:49) – Advice for young people

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 16, 2020
Jeremy Grantham – An Uncertain Crisis - [Invest Like the Best, EP.177]
01:07:59

My guest today is Jeremy Grantham. Jeremy is the co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham, Mayo, & van Otterloo (aka GMO). GMO, which manages more than $60B for clients, was a firm that helped educate me early in my investing career. They’ve long published thought-provoking research, most of which came from Grantham himself. He is regarded as a highly knowledgeable investor in various stock, bond, and commodity markets, but is particularly noted for his prediction of various bubbles. In this conversation we discuss the current crisis, which he calls the fourth major event of his long and storied career as an investor. As he says, this one is the most uncertain. We also discuss unique topics like commodity-based companies, and how opportunity often lies between fields of expertise. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:37) – (First question) – What keeps him going in investing

(2:54) – Changing approaches to managing money over the decades

(7:27) – Their investment forecast for major allocations and how that has evolved

(10:06) – How to markets compete with FAANG stocks

(16:06) – More opportunity for active investors and where

(30:55) – How he talks to clients about major stock market events

(34:09) – His interest in natural resources/commodities

(47:07) – Long term argument for the three natural resources: oil, metals, and food

            (47:10) – An Investment Only A Mother Could Love: The Tactical Case

(52:01) – Specific case for particular metals

(56:46) – Areas in the future that excite him or that he wants to learn more about

(1:03:42) – Advice for people interested in investing

(1:05:15) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jeremy

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 09, 2020
Ben Thompson – Platforms, Ecosystems, and Aggregators - [Invest Like the Best, EP.176]
01:17:47

My guest today is Ben Thompson. Ben is the author of my favorite business strategy newsletter called Stratechery. He’s also the host of the exponent podcast, and now the Dithering, a podcast he recently launched with John Gruber. I think Ben is among the most interesting business analysts in the world, and I’ve learned from and directly applied many of his ideas. We cover many of the major concepts he’s introduced over the years, including his well know aggregation theory. I think that to understand how the internet has changed the business world for good, you must read Ben and follow his thinking. I’m excited to finally have him as a guest on the show. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(01:26) – (First question) – Companies that are built for the next disruption

            (1:32) – The End of the Beginning

(9:58) – Aggregation Theory and the Smiling Curve

(13:18) – Steps to creating an aggregator

(19:46) – Pattern of successful aggregators or luck?

(24:34) – How aggregators interact with suppliers and consumers

(30:49) – Taking on other aggregators

(34:09) – Platform vs aggregator in the scope of Shopify vs Amazon/Walmart

(40:55) – The Moat Map

(46:16) – Value chain thinking and profitable business models

(51:58) – Future of media and independent content creator’s vs bundles

(56:07) – Bundling independent creators

(1:00:37) – The infrastructure layer of technology and software companies

(1:02:35) – His thoughts on gaming platforms

(1:06:13) – The atoms vs the bits in the tech world

(1:12:18) – What he’s learned from covering Netflix

(1:13:46) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ben

            (1:15:56) – Stratechery Podcast

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 02, 2020
Shishir Mehrotra – The Art and Science of the Bundle - [Invest Like the Best, EP.175]
01:11:23

My guest today is Shishir Mehrotra and the topic of our conversation is the bundle: offering access to multiple products, services, or providers for a single bundled price. This topic is full of incorrect pre-conceived notions, and as it turns out, the bundle is one of the most powerful ideas in business. Properly harnessed it is good for everyone involved. Shishir explains the ins and outs of bundles in this conversation.

Shishir ran product at YouTube for years and sits on the Spotify board of directors. He founded and now leads Coda (which is “A Doc” spelled backwards) in 2014, to bundle together productivity apps like docs, spreadsheets, databases, and applications. I love this wonky, detailed conversation which has me thinking differently about many businesses and business strategy. Please enjoy.

 

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:08) – (First question) – The arc of his career

(3:32) – Why he has an interest in bundling

(7:45) – The concepts of superfan, casualfan, and nonfan businesses

(11:05) – Using Spotify as an example of bundles

(13:24) – The first myth of bundling: Bundling is bad for consumers

(17:53) – The second myth of bundling: 1st vs 3rd party providers and the bundlers

(23:03) – Low usage but high Marginal Churn Contribution (MCC) business

(24:26) – How insurance fits into these models  

(26:37) – Myth 3 of bundling: How this impacts consumers

(32:12) – How marginal costs play into the thinking of bundling

(34:54) – Myth 4: Bundling things that have nothing to do with each other

(39:51) – How bundling companies can apply this into their product development

(43:21) – Strategic advice to companies building bundles

(49:01) – How price and pricing power play into advantages for certain bundlers

(54:16) – How does bundling play into his investing thesis

(56:47) – Most interesting bundles he’s observed

            (58:44) – Eigenquestions: The Art of Framing Problems

(59:14) – What the future of this trend is

(1:02:24) – What is an eigenquestion

(1:06:29) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 26, 2020
Hamilton Helmer – Power + Business - [Invest Like the Best, EP.174]
58:45

My guest today is Hamilton Helmer, the Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Strategy Capital and the author of one of the best business books in history called 7 Powers, which is the topic of much of our conversation. He has spent his career as a practicing business strategist: advising companies, investing based on strategic insights and teaching strategy.  In the last three decades, he has also utilized his strategy concepts as a public equity investor. In this conversation we cover all seven business powers, from counter-positioning to scale economies, and how companies earn and keep those powers. Any investor or businessperson should understand these concepts, and 7 Powers is the best work I’ve seen that explains them in depth. Please enjoy our conversation.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:31) – (First question)  - What power means to him

(5:05) – Benefits being more common than barriers in the power equation

(6:28) – How early-stage companies develop their barriers

(11:23) – The power of counter positioning and how he’s seen it applied

(14:47) – The product side of counter positioning

            (16:39) – Daniel Ek Podcast episode

(17:27) – Applying the idea of counter positioning to yourself

(20:40) – A cornered resource

(23:49) – A look at google as a cornered resource

(27:12) – Unique power of network economies

(31:18) – What subtleties disqualify network effects

(32:54) – Nuances of scale economies

(35:56) – Learning economies and who can scale it better

(37:07) – Building a switching cost and barrier into your business

(40:10) – Branding as power

(44:27) – Defining process power and how it differs from scale economies

(46:40) – The notion of the time lag and cash flow

(50:42) – Why is so much power concentrated in technology businesses

(52:07) – What does power mean for customers

(53:43) – Developing power as an art vs science, and the best power artists

(55:08) – The kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 19, 2020
Tobi Lutke – Building a Modern Business - [Invest Like the Best, EP.173]
01:05:26

My guest today is Tobi Lutke, the co-founder, and CEO of Shopify.  This is both a timely and evergreen conversation.  Timely, as the world as moved aggressively digital in the past two months, and Shopify powers so much of digital commerce.  Evergreen, because while we touch on Covid and the Shopify business, this is much more a conversation on business and personal principles, learning, design, and growth. Tobi is one of the CEO’s I look up to most for the type of company he is building and for the way he conducts himself.  We discuss business focus, why video games help you learn the power of attention, what design means for products and organizations, and much more. Please enjoy my conversation with Tobi Lutke.

 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT investment management company (MITIMCO)

Reach out or learn more: 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:35) – (First question) – The launch of the new Shopify shop app

            (2:44) – Daniel Ek Podcast Episode

            (2:45) – Jeff Lawson Podcast Episode

(4:56) – Having the right focus and growing a good business

(9:06) – Marketplace business model vs the merchant driven business model

            9:16 – Bill Gurley Podcast Appearances - 162 | 144 | 137

(11:47) – His role as a decisionmaker as CEO of the company

(14:07) – What does he mean when he talks about quality

(18:28) – His thinking on design and quality

            (18:32) – Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

            (19:59) – The Design of Everyday Things

(21:06) – Friction as a force in business and manufacturing

(26:04) – His thoughts on systems and being free of process           

(26:08) – The Systems Bible

 (30:01) – The game of Factoria and how it relates to systems

            (32:16) – Transfer Learning

(34:33) – What Real-Time Strategy games have taught Tobi

(38:30) – Building context inside of a company and making it scale

(41:17) – Personality typing

(46:22) – The Tobi Blueprint

(46:04) – Why he likes The Guide to the Good Life and stoicism

(55:38) – Raising kids and the impact of Covid

(1:03:16) – The kindest thing anyone has done for Tobi

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 12, 2020
Ali Hamed – An Update on Private Credit - [Invest Like the Best, EP.172]
44:47

My guest today is popular past guest Ali Hamed, who joins us for an update on private credit. We discuss what has happened so far, what parts of the market are frozen, and where opportunities may lie. We also talk about how the world has shifted digitally since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Please enjoy my conversation with my friend Ali Hamed.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:41) – (First question) – World of private credit in the pandemic age

(4:50) – Bag of uncertainty

(6:27) – Important levers in private credit

(9:15) – Scary scenarios and systemic risks in this world

(13:21) – General trends in the credit data

(15:30) – Are investors factoring government response properly

(17:02) – Defining advanced rates

(20:18) – Focus on quality vs rate of return now

(22:26) – Pockets of opportunity as uncertainty declines

(26:06) – Online ecommerce platforms, like the YouTube economy

(29:40) – Non advertising driven ecommerce platforms

(31:54) – How venture capital is responding

(38:19) – How junior debt could be am opportunity

(40:17) – Trends he’s thinking about; redefining small businesses

(43:07) – Ali Hamed Podcast Episode

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 05, 2020
Chris Bloomstran - An Update on Public Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.171]
57:59

My guest today for a flash update is Chris Bloomstran, the founder and CIO of Semper Augustus and a popular past guest on the show. We talk about his view on the state of the public equity market, why it will be hard for the market to deliver great returns for the next decade relative to the last, and where opportunities may lie. Please enjoy.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:42) – (First question) – Adjustments to his portfolio in the age of a pandemic

            (6:41) – Chris Bloomstran Podcast Episode

            (9:36) – The Federal Reserve Act

(12:32) – Surprising action in the markets during the crisis

            (13:08) – 2020 Investment Letter

(15:02) – Why we won’t see the same performance in tech over the future as we’ve seen the last decade

(21:00) – The carnage in energy sector and return potential

(30:06) – Berkshires activity since the crisis started

(35:48) – Where sectors are valued in the current market

(41:12) – Expectation for deflation over inflation 

(48:54) – Characteristics to look for in businesses to own over the next 10 years

(52:05) – Economic factors they are focusing on

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 30, 2020
Josh Kopelman - The Past, Present, And Future Of Seed Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.170]
55:54

My guest today is Josh Kopelman, the founder of famed venture capital firm First Round Capital. Prior to starting First Round, which has invested at the earliest stages in companies like Square, Uber, and Roblox, Josh was a three-time entrepreneur, so our conversation spans early-stage investing, business building, and entrepreneurship. I’ll not sure forget his analogy distinguishing between navigators and cartographers, nor the rest of the interesting ideas he shared after seeing and investing in so many great businesses. We also discuss how First Round has bucked the trend to build what I’d call a platform adjacent to the core investing business which does a lot for their entrepreneurs and is a model for other professional investing firms, both in venture and elsewhere. Please enjoy my conversation with Josh Kopelman. 

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:05) – (First question) – How pandemic has impacted their investing strategies

(3:54) – How this stressful environment impacts founders

(6:23) – His early career as a founder and how startup culture has changed

(10:15) – Most important lessons from his entrepreneurial career and building from just an idea

(11:50) – How to analyze a founder

(14:05) – Common disagreements when it comes to deciding on an investment

(15:33) – How many opportunities they evaluate in a meeting

(16:16) – The curvy road to their investment in Roadblox

(17:52) – Whether the concept for a platform is overused

(19:36) – Founders asking what google search they should build on

(20:46) – Solving existing or forecasted problems

(25:39) – How the startup scene is impacted by the huge legacy tech companies

(30:28) – What makes a great early stage investor

(32:19) – Do they focus on founders or themes

(33:19) – Where will valuations and returns come back to after the pandemic

(36:30) – How are business models evolving in technology entrepreneurship

            (36:31) – Matt Clifford Podcast Episode

(39:40) – The Dorm Room Fund

(43:02) – Whether investment funds should have their own platform

(47:31) – Product mistakes in software building

(51:52) – What he’s most excited about for the future

(54:05) – The kindest thing anyone has done for him 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 28, 2020
Manny Stotz - Frontier Markets Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.169]
01:00:34

My guest today is Manny Stotz, the founder of Kingsway Capital. Manny is one of the leading investors in Frontier Markets, investing in equities in countries like Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. We discuss the opportunity in these markets from all angles: demographics, valuations, sectors and beyond. It is important to note that we recorded this conversation before COVID, and these markets have fallen 30% without a similar rebound in prices that we’ve seen in the U.S. As you listen you’ll hear why this may be relevant for the companies Manny focuses on and may accentuate the opportunity in Frontier Markets even relative to the numbers quoted in this conversation. Listeners will know my interest in Frontier Markets runs deep, so I was excited to have one of the categories leading investors join me.

Please enjoy my conversation with Manny Stotz.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:07 – (First question) – How Kingsway was conceived, their focus on frontier emerging markets, and his career path

11:57 – What are the best company builders good at when it comes to fostering a brand

18:30 – How country-specific factors impact the tailwind

25:43 – How markets are faring in these special circumstances

32:09 – Building a book in many of the markets they trade-in

37:10 – Understanding your edge in frontier markets, showing up

39:59 – Importance of solid distribution for the companies he invests in

42:12 – Concentration in various markets

44:10 – Moving beyond consumer brands in these markets

47:14 – Some of the most interesting countries they are looking into and the country business model

            47:42 – Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

            47:44 – Civilization: The West and the Rest

            47:46 – Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

53:21 – New topics he’s excited to learn about that will impact his business over the next 10-20 years

55:37 – Best way for people to get involved and invest in these markets

58:17 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 21, 2020
Sarah Tavel - Consumer & Marketplace Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.168]
01:00:51

My guest this week is Sarah Tavel, a general partner at Benchmark, working alongside past guests Bill Gurley and Chetan Puttagunta. Sarah has a long history as both an investor and as an operator.  She was an early product leader at Pinterest before joining Benchmark. Sarah has become one of my go-to resources for topics like networks, consumer technology, and marketplaces among many other topics. I’ve used her framework for how to think about client engagement, company data, and marketplace liquidity and quality over and over again in my business life. I’m so excited to finally have her on the show.  Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:24 – (First question) - Lessons learned from watching the food delivery space

5:44 – Hip camp and how they are thinking about the space rental sector

            5:45 - The a16z Marketplace 100

7:47 – Valuing private companies vs public companies

9:37 – Building marketplaces

14:24 – Tipping a market

            14:30 – Bill Gurley Podcast Episode

18:09 – How to incorporate reputation scores into a network

19:55 – Search ranking as a tool for marketplaces

21:00 – Size of marketplaces vs their competitors

22:15 – Niching of marketplaces

            22:21 - Chetan Puttagunta Podcast Episode

23:26 – State of the consumer social sector

27:50 – The LinkedIn problem and how she would build a social platform

30:42 – Things that are piquing her interest in the consumer space

32:20 – Lessons learned about scaling while working at Pinterest

38:42 – Pricing and the marketplace

41:25 – Identifying and optimizing a Core Action in a digital business

44:18 – Accruing benefits and mounting losses as part of the product design

47:48 – Her investment in Reci

52:18 – How should companies gather the best data from their business

56:03 – Lessons to SaaS investing

56:29 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Sarah

57:45 – Most interesting philosophy lesson

            58:09 – Creating a Kingdom of Ends

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 07, 2020
[BONUS] Boyd Varty - 40 Days and 40 Nights
24:52

In the midst of the worldwide quarantine, my friend Boyd Varty decided to begin an adventure he has been considering for a long time: a 40 day and 40 night stay in the African wilderness. I’m releasing this short conversation with Boyd to pique your interest in his daily dispatches. He will be taking short audio journal-like recordings and sharing them with the world as he goes. As of today they are several that you can listen to by subscribing to the Track Your Life podcast on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Please enjoy this short chat with my good friend Boyd Varty.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(0:31) – The start of his 40-day trip

(1:42) – Origin of the word quarantine and how it led to this journey

(3:07) – History of this idea

(6:14) – The logistics of this 40-day venture

(9:59) – His experience doing this before and how it changed his psyche

(12:07) – What is he most fearful of

(13:22) – How he feels about sharing this experience when he returns

(15:47) – The mental preparation to this journey

            (15:48) – Priya Parker Podcast Episode

            (15:49) – The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

(17:33) – How can outsiders make a connection to Boyd while he’s in this isolation

(19:55) – How can people actually follow him on this journey

            (20:23) – Track Your Life with Boyd Varty Podcast Apple Podcasts | Spotify

            (20:33) – Instagram - @boyd_varty

            (20:36) – boydvarty.com

            (20:43) – 40daysand40nights.com

(21:05) – The story of the 17 lions

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 05, 2020
Gavin Baker – Investing Through a Bear Market - [Invest Like the Best, EP.167]
53:01

My guest today is with past guest Gavin Baker, the founder and CIO of Atreides Management, LP. We discuss investing during a bear market and the major ways in which the COVID19 outbreak has dramatically altered the investment landscape. Please enjoy my second conversation with Gavin Baker.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:40) – How he sees the markets right now

(3:06) – How he handles information uncertainty and the value spreads

(5:53) – Trading in today’s market and the volatility

(9:45) – How the economic activity squares with the amount of stimulus being pumped into the market

            (13:11) – Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders

(13:56) – Asset tests for individual companies in this environment

            (19:09) – This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

(20:45) – His take on software companies during the crisis

(28:57) – Fast pace of change during extreme times of duress

(35:14) – Space as a service

(39:52) – Attention and time inside digital universes and how investors can take advantage

(46:17) – Why chaos is a ladder

            (50:42) – It Was a Very Good Year: Extraordinary Moments in Stock Market History

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 02, 2020
D.A. Wallach – Investing in Healthcare - [Invest Like the Best, EP.166]
01:15:11

My guest today is D.A. Wallach, one of the more interesting investors I’ve come across. He is the former lead singer of the group Chester French and the former artist-in-residence at Spotify, where he was also an early investor. While he’s also an early investor in companies like SpaceX, his focus the last 5 years has been on early stage health care investing, which is the topic of this conversation. We discuss the entire life sciences and heath care investing ecosystem. This was recorded in the very early days of the Coronavirus outbreak so while we touch on it briefly it isn’t the primary focus, and I intend on returning to more traditional episodes like this one in the coming weeks, meant to be evergreen conversations. Please enjoy my conversation with D.A. Wallach.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:31 – (First question) – Where is interest in healthcare started

4:04 – How to categorize health services

5:13 – The product of medicine

6:56 – How medicine is changing in 2020

10:17 – What is enabling innovation in medicine

12:41 – Manufacturing of solutions, gene therapy example

17:16 – Using CRISPR

19:47 – Pros and cons, and the morality of gene intervention

23:44 – How progress is being made in medical breakthroughs

26:51 – What is the business and investment world seeing on the longevity side

30:15 – What is next in the wearable medical tracking trend

33:04 – The personalization of medical treatments

34:31 – How he thinks about all of this from an investing standpoint

36:37 – Exiting these companies

39:41 – How he thinks about founders in this space

42:35 – Drug prices

            42:46 – The Paradox of Pricing

46:45 – What will lead to a change in the pricing of drugs

49:05 – The delivery side of healthcare

51:09 – Investments that could improve the delivery side of healthcare

53:33 – Thoughts on the anti-interventionist line of thinking in the medical world

57:50 – Lessons from his health portfolio

1:02:33 – Other frontiers that pique his interest, including gut biome

1:06:46 – His career in music

1:08:20 – Lessons he learned during his time in the music industry

1:10:19 – Opportunities in the music industry as an investor

1:12:29 – Kindest thing anyone has done for DA

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 31, 2020
Chad Cascarilla – Update on Tail Risk - [Invest Like the Best, EP.165]
43:22

My guest today is Chad Cascarilla, here to discuss some of the tail risks in the economy and markets as of March 24th in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Chad was one of the most successful investors during the global financial crisis with a specialty in the banking and finance systems. He now runs Paxos, a trust company which trades and custodies unique products like pax gold, bitcoin, and other tokenized assets including simple pax dollars. I feel it is important to avoid confirmation bias in times like this and not just talk to people are optimistic or long, and while I still believe this is ultimately a positive and optimistic conversation, Chad acknowledges and outlines scenarios that few are talking about yet in the markets.

 

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(2:04) – (First question) – Today’s market and the porridge scenario

(7:38) – Risks to the market that people aren’t focused on

(10:54) – What lessons from 2008 do we need to heed this time

(13:07) – How does he think about inflation on the other side of this crisis

(16:02) – What does a too cold recovery look like

(20:35) – Benefits of nationalizing the banks vs pumping liquidity

(24:13) – What does the just right recovery look like

(25:24) – Assets that might be ideal to hold in a too hot or too cold scenario

(29:00) – His take on how Bitcoin has performed during this crisis

(31:53) – The US’s inherent strengths compared to the rest of the global economy

(34:50) – Advice for people

            (38:59) – Paxos.com

(39:48) – What is he monitoring to see which way things shake out

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 25, 2020
Brent Beshore – Update on Small Business and Private Equity - [Invest Like the Best, EP.164]
38:21

My conversation today is with my close friend Brent Beshore. Brent is a private equity investor who owns and interacts with many small businesses, which have been hit especially hard by COVID. We discuss the various impacts that COVID has had and may have on both small business and the private equity investing community. Brent also proposes some policy actions which he thinks may help those most in need. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:13 – (First question) – What Brent sees as the current landscape for small businesses

3:25 – The real problem for small businesses right now

6:02 – How long can small businesses survive these freezes

9:14 – Ideas to help businesses stay afloat during a global shutdown

11:01 – The cost of restarting businesses on the other side of this  

13:41 – Policies that could help

            14:30 – government co-paying some business expenses

            16:05 – Suspending payroll taxes

            16:17 – The small business bond

            18:00 – Wider latitude for banks

20:03 – How effective would Brent’s ideas actually be at lessening the pain

22:41 – A look at how things look in the private equity complex

25:39 – What are the potential opportunities out there

29:24 – What is a balance sheet product

32:00 – How this is personally impacting Brent

34:20 – How this is personally impacting Patrick

35:45 – Importance of relationships for personal health

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 20, 2020
Dan Rasmussen – Investing Through a Crisis - [Invest Like the Best, EP.163]
42:57

My guest this morning is Dan Rasmussen of Verdad Capital. Like me, Dan and his firm focus on quantitative research. Just a month before the COVID crisis hit markets, they completely and published a study on investing during periods of market crisis, which is the topic of this conversation. We discuss what works and what doesn’t during and after acute periods of panic in markets. I think you’ll find it extremely informative. Because Dan’s firm and my own share many beliefs about investing and conduct similar flavors of research, I try to offer devil’s advocate questions throughout. Please enjoy.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag 

Show Notes

1:54 – (First question) – What he sees in the markets today given the atmosphere right now

4:26 – An overview of their study: Crisis Investing: How to Maximize Return During Market Panics

8:38 – How things get more predictable during crisis

11:15 – The length of these crises and assets they focused on

12:40 – What happens to bonds and credit during these times

15:50 – Geography of crises

18:14 – How does this impact the philosophy of just index investing

20:40 – Positioning of value in this market

27:50 – Lessons from other crises

32:21 – Importance of a blended factor approach

35:44 – Role of momentum

38:10 – What else he is paying attention to during this crisis

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 16, 2020
Bill Gurley and Chetan Puttagunta – An Update on Consumer & Enterprise Venture Capital - [Invest Like the Best, EP.162]
38:44

My guests today are Bill Gurley and Chetan Puttagunta, both partners at benchmark capital. We review the early stage investing world in the face of coronavirus in a very timely conversation, which is one that will remain valuable once this crisis is done. We discuss enterprise and consumer, funding and growth, and the entrepreneurial spirit in the face of a crisis. Please enjoy.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:44 – (First question) – Landscape for venture capital ecosystem

6:47 – The experience in 2009 and the entrepreneurs that tend to rise to the top

8:24 – The relationship between early stage companies and public investors

10:45 – How this crisis impacts enterprise businesses vs the broader corporate sector

14:46 – Advice for early stage companies in a period like this

18:23 – What Chetan was doing during the last downturn and what he learned during it

20:27 – Early stage vs late stage companies in this environment

            22:57 – On the Road to Recap

23:00 – Benefits of being small in a period like this

25:22 – How portfolio companies are responding and pivoting during this period

29:33 – Best practices for remote companies

31:39 – Themes that stand out during this period

34:51 – Closing thoughts 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 13, 2020
Bryan Krug – An Update on Corporate Credit - [Invest Like the Best, EP.161]
27:30

My guest in this flash podcast is Bryan Krug of Artisan partners. We discuss what has happened so far in the corporate high yield and investment-grade credit markets, and the loan market. We compare today’s environment to the financial crisis and other past crises with lots of nuances that I hope will be helpful to bond and equity investors. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Show Notes

1:08 – (First question) – An overview of what he covers in the corporate credit markets

1:52 – How things have changed in the last couple of weeks

3:56 – Composition of the high yield market

7:07 – Major sectors of the high yield market outside of energy

8:39 – How do they price the risk in securities right now

11:21 – How do they handicap a great unknown

13:00 – Risk for broader contagion in the overall credit markets

14:49 – What’s the downside potential here

16:31 – Potential for upside

18:33 – How does he view companies that are drawing down on their entire line of credit

19:44 – An overview of the loan market

20:42 – What warning signs equity investors should be watching for in the bond markets

21:57 – What do credit spreads look like today compared to before this crisis

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 13, 2020
Deep Basin – Oil Price War and Its Implications - [Invest Like the Best, EP.160]
50:19

This week, I’ll be recording and immediately releasing a series of conversations on business and market reactions to the spread of coronavirus. The conversations will be on oil and gas, corporate credit, and the reaction within the venture capital community. Today’s conversation is with Matt Smith, Ian Singer, and Kobi Platt of Deep Basin Capital. We are investors in Deep Basin, and they were past guests on the podcast. We discuss the new price war in the oil markets and the impact it might have on equities and especially on U.S. oil producers. Please enjoy.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Show Notes

1:59 – (First question) – An overview of the global oil market and demand

3:37 – Supply and demand shocks we’ve seen lately

6:22 – What happened this weekend with Russia and Saudi Arabia and why the outcome was so shocking

9:45 – The knock-on effects of this activity on equities

14:24 – Impact on US energy production

18:29 – What other industries will feel the effect of reduced production in the US

20:35 – Defining a price war and how victory is defined

27:53 – Saudi Arabia’s calculus in this energy fight.

31:11 – How does all of this change what factors they use to analyze companies

35:43 – What it actually looks like within the commodities markets to trade energy

40:01 – What uncertainty is most intriguing to each of them

43:00 – The long-term interest in investing in the energy sector

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

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Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 11, 2020
Peter Zeihan - Dis-United Nations - [Invest Like the Best, EP.159]
01:03:31

My guest this week is Peter Zeihan, the author of a new book, the Disunited Nations.  Peter was an extremely popular guest on the show last year and after reading his new book, I knew we had a lot to discuss in round 2.  In this conversation, we discuss two ways of ruling the world, the coming American disinterest in global affairs, and which country are poised to do well int eh future.  We explore military and non-military technologies, political changes, and up and coming alliances like that between the United States and Mexico.  As with last time, peter packs more information into an hour than just about anybody.  Please enjoy our conversation.

This episode is brought to by Koyfin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

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Show Notes

1:57 – (First question) – What makes for a successful country

6:02 – Five first-tier countries that are well positioned

7:14 – Ruling the world, US carrot model vs British stick model

9:39 – How other countries will use these models in the future

12:59 – The surprising reliance of Iran and Russia on the US

15:24– Key points of his research on the Middle East

18:36 – Advice for how those operating in the US should think about future business investments

23:05 – The future of manufacturing partnerships with the US and the focus on Mexico

27:30 – What Coronavirus has taught us about the world economy

30:01 – What the primaries and election are teaching us

35:09 – What role does Africa play in the future

38:36 – Strong and weak players in Europe and how Brexit has impacted things

44:41 – The future for nuclear power

46:27 – The outlook for South America

50:42 – The trends and future in military technology

55:03 – Non-military technology that will have a major impact

58:26 – Skills young people should focus on for the future

1:00:07 – Coronavirus as a dress rehearsal for large scale disruptions to the world

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 10, 2020
Jeff Lawson – How to Build a Platform - [Invest Like the Best, EP.158]
52:12

My guest this week is Jeff Lawson, the Founder, and CEO of Twilio. Twilio is a 15-billion-dollar company offering a cloud communications platform to its customers.  Twilio is used by customers like Lyft, Twitch, and Yelp to make communications in their products easy.  Jeff and I talk about why it pays to be a platform, how to be a platform, and how to sculpt a company culture. This is a must-listen for anyone building a business whether it’s a tech business or not.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

1:18 – (First Question) –  Company vowels and draw the owl

5:26 – Significance of API’s

12:14 – How non-software businesses can transition into the space

         17:50 - Agile way of working at ING Belgium (video)

18:38 – How they strategize their product build

23:27 – The idea of asking your developer and why it’s so important to them

33:02 – How they codified their business culture

45:12 – Parting advice for people building platforms

48:13 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jeff 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 03, 2020
Niko Canner – Become a Perfect Instrument - [Invest Like the Best, EP.157]
52:14

Niko Canner is the founder of Incandescent where he and his team help the leaders of large companies in the areas of strategy and innovation. He was also the founder of Katzenbach Partners and a member of Bridgewater’s management committee. Niko is a fantastic writer, and I highly recommend you check out his blog “On Human Enterprise,” which has posts on many of the most interesting aspects of business and personal purpose. This conversation was inspired by many of those posts. Please enjoy.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

1:17 – (First Question) – The story of Doctor V

            3:24 – Aravind and the Choice of Great Achievement

4:00 – Becoming the perfect instrument

6:05 – What is Niko planning to be the perfect instrument of

8:18 – How should individuals think about finding what they can be the perfect instrument of

            8:59 – Brett Victor – Inventing on Principle

10:59 – How do businesses apply this principle

13:20 – Making choices easier

16:43 – Era’s to a company and when it’s time to start a new one

19:52 – How can business culture be cultivated and useful

22:53 – Cultures at the tail end of a distribution

24:33 – Can hierarchy be fluid, or does it need to be a dedicated corporate structure

27:47 – My Unlikeliest Favorite Business Book

            28:03 – The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It's Not About the Money...It's About Being the Best You Can Be!

30:46 – The Red Test and how it can be used by businesses

36:54 - Ten Principles for How to Run a Company

42:25 – Dealing with the sponsor owner brief in the software world

45:24 – How does one choose customers

46:32 – Bill Hubbard passage – A Theory for Practice: Architecture in Three Discourses

49:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Niko

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

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Feb 25, 2020
[REPLAY] What You Learn About Business Deals After: 12,000 Deals Reviewed, 1,500 Deep Dives, 125 Site Visits, and 7 Portfolio Companies with Brent Beshore - [Invest Like the Best, EP.100]
51:12

For the 100th episode, I’ve brought back my good friend Brent Beshore. Brent was the 10th guest on the podcast, after we met because of a mutual interest in capital allocation. I quickly learned that Brent was one of the most unique and thoughtful investors around. He was an entrepreneur from the moment he left school, trying many different things before finding a fit buying smaller business with the intention of owning them forever.

What amazes me about Brent is his encyclopedic understanding of business and the nuances of different business models and deal structures. This comes from reps. He and his team have looked at about 12,000 deals over the years, at every kind of business that you could imagine. I’ve been with him when he goes through this process and it’s fun to hear what makes certain businesses stand out from others, which is largely the topic of this conversation.

You all know transparency is key for me, so it’s important to know that my family and I are investors in a fund called permanent equity, run by Brent and his firm Adventure.es.

To commemorate this milestone episode, I can think of no one better than Brent, because he exemplifies what has made this podcast so fun for me: learning from other people who are willing to share what they themselves have learned through fun, blood, sweat, and tears. Please enjoy our conversation, and thank you so much for coming along on this journey. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

2:02 - (First Question) – How does he think about optimizing risk in terms of the capital stack when looking at deals

5:27 – What conditions would they add debt down the road after investing in a company

6:52 – What business sectors are most intriguing for Morgan to invest in right now

            6:57 – Trent Griffin Podcast

9:34 – Why no HVAC businesses if it’s such an attractive sector

13:56 – thoughts on rolling up similar businesses and horizontal scale

16:04 – Another industry Brent would focus on

18:02 – Difference between property management in larger cities vs smaller metro areas

18:51 – What role does profit margin play when Brent is evaluating a business

22:46 – The appeal of a hyper cyclical business

            22:52 – Brent Beshore Podcast Episode

27:27 – Favorite counter cyclical business

28:14 – How they judge assets, tangible vs intangible assets

33:58 – How does he think about wage inflation when considering the cost of a business

37:21 – His fascination with pet crematoriums

38:57 – History of the permanent equity fund and the changes by having a larger pool of capital

43:48 – Pitching investors on a new structure for the business

46:14 – How will this business model scale

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 04, 2020
Chetan Puttagunta – Go Slow to Go Fast: Software Building and Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.156]
01:20:25

My guest this week is a good friend and a business mentor of mine. Chetan Puttagunta is a general partner at Benchmark Capital and has a remarkable track record of investing in early-stage software businesses, including several like Mulesoft, MongoDB, and Elastic that went on to be public companies.

Chetan has been my key guide for understanding the world of enterprise software as we at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management have built an investing platform called Canvas. His advice has been critical to our early success. In this episode, we explore the history of software and software investing, and go into the details on how to build and grow new software businesses. We discuss product, sales and marketing, recruiting, scaling, and everything in between.

Please enjoy this great conversation with one of my favorite business and investing thinkers.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

1:34 – (First Question) – How Chetan found MongoDB and decided to invest in it

8:01 – The evolution of databases in the growth of technology

16:19 – Market penetration of this space and what investors should be thinking about

21:46 – Advice how companies can build software effectively

25:12 – Tactics to effectively implement empathy led product building

30:33 – Companies asking users what to build vs telling users what they want

34:26 – The need for the right capital, and patient capital in particular

37:55 – Creating the perfect customer experience

44:37 – Common reasons they don’t invest in a company

48:48 – Lessons on scaling, especially in sales and marketing

52:47 – Best recruiting pipeline strategies

59:56 – Pitfalls of unit economic traps

            1:00:23 – The Dangerous Seduction of the Lifetime Value (LTV) Formula

            1:01:34– The Hierarchy of Engagement

1:02:18 – What has changed for Chetan in his time working with the team at Benchmark

1:06:009 – Later stage life cycle business considerations and Amazon’s AWS

1:13:29 – The business model of open-source software

1:15:54 – Being default open

1:17:53 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chetan

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 28, 2020
Rebecca Kaden – Thesis Driven Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.155]
54:39

My guest today is Rebecca Kaden, a partner at famed venture firm union square ventures. USV is known for thesis-driven investing, which is the topic of our conversation. Rebecca walks us through the evolution of USV’s thesis into its third generation, and from there we explore many of the most interesting and exciting areas of business, technology, and learning. Please enjoy our conversation

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

1:11 – (First Question) – An overview of Union Square Ventures Thesis 3.0

7:49 – Core changes that can help any community

9:59 – Ways to fix the broken education system

13:41 – Gap between job preparedness and the education system

14:44 – Companies creating education systems to prepare people for careers in their field

18:49 – Most unique technological solution for people to educate themselves

22:00 – Ways to improve access to capital

26:49 – The distribution problem in capital markets

28:19 – How does she assess an early-stage company and its team’s ability to assess their ability to maximize distribution

30:56 – Digital marketing and why it could be broken

34:22 – Examples of masterful marketing

36:07 – How they are focused on improving wellbeing, their first focus on healthcare

39:35 – Wellbeing on their focus on community

            41:29– The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging

45:30 – Her thoughts on mentorship

48:23 – What she has learned in her time at USV

51:50 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Rebecca

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 21, 2020
Matt Clifford – Investing Pre-Company - [Invest Like the Best, EP.154]
01:14:44

My guest today is Matt Clifford. He’s the co-founder of Entrepreneur First, the world’s leading talent investor. They invest “pre-company” by helping the best people in cities around the world find a co-founder, develop an idea, and start a company. So far, they’ve helped 1000 people start 200 companies worth a combined $1.5B. This conversation covers their entire ecosystem and holds lessons for anyone building a business. I especially loved Matt’s ideas on the history of ambition.

 

Please enjoy our conversation.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:20 – (First Question) – An overview on talent investing

4:37 – The history of ambition

10:08 – How do they search for ambitious people

12:21 – What happens early on for these formed teams

17:43 – Assigning an idea to a talented team

20:52 – Opportunities in deep technology

27:16 – A closer look at the hardware and machinery of the deep technology changes

30:54 – The geographical focus of venture capital investments

37:16 – Problems with the way early-stage investment world works

41:22 – People who are creating value in a management company and how they manage their investments

55:12 – Advice to people creating investment companies and pricing power

1:00:31 – The power of cities

1:02:46 – Topics they cover in their newsletter; technological sovereignty as one example

1:04:11 – Experience and thoughts on China

            1:06:51 – A.I. Nationalism

1:12:03 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Matt

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 14, 2020
Peter Buffett – Finding Your Note - [Invest Like the Best, EP.153]
01:09:37

My guest today is Peter Buffett. Peter is a musician, composer, author, and philanthropist. Peter is an Emmy Award winner, New York Times best-selling author and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. We discuss music, community, philanthropy, and finding one's note in life. This is a very different episode much more about life in general, with no business or investing discussed. Like his father Warren, Peter has the gene for phrasing ideas in memorable ways, and I think you’ll find many great phrases in this chat that will stick with you. I’ve been thinking about Peter's idea making sure those in your life are safe, seen, and celebrated ever since our chat.

Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

1:27 - (First Question) – Welcome and small talk

1:35 – Why Peter is in Kingston and how it plays into his foundation work

4:01 – How moving from the city to the country changed Peter

6:27 – Seeing connections vs living abstractions

7:30 – What is the Nova Foundation

11:03 – Historical points that inform his views

13:51 – Identifying qualitative negative side effects and which ones they are attacking

17:51 – What makes for effective community 

20:22 – Linkage between consumption and individualism

23:55 – The cultivation of work ethic, curiosity, and education

            23:57 – Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment

27:22 – Early exploration of his curiosity

32:26 – What has music taught Peter about music that is unique to that experience

34:26 – Most memorable question a person has asked Peter at his concert and conversation series

36:46 – What makes for good relationships, in particular marriage

42:03 – What keeps people from putting in the work into a relationship

45:11 – What he has learned about being a good friend

46:29 – How does one person have a relationship with a large community

49:21 – Dark sides of the philanthropic world

            49:54 – The Charitable-Industrial Complex

53:21 – Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America

55:55 – What one spot would he send everyone to learn

57:48 – Traumas and helping people find their note

            57:49 – The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

            1:00:38 – How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

1:02:24 – What is he most interested in right now: how to best use Nova’s funds

1:04:45 – Lessons from family

1:07:22 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Peter

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 07, 2020
Ben Savage – All Things Fintech Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.152]
01:05:21

My guest today is Ben Savage, a partner at Clocktower ventures. Ben is focused on financial technology, fintech, investing which is the topic of our conversation.

I’ve been making the fintech is rounds of late, and plan on making a few of these conversations public. Ben is the first in what may be a mini-series because of the sheer amount I learned in our discussion.

We cover all aspects of the fintech ecosystem. I hope you enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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 Show Notes

1:15 (First Question) – The market portfolio and how technology will move us away from liquid markets

7:24 – Businesses that are making assets that weren’t investable, investable

            9:11 – Ryan Caldbeck Podcast Episode

12:03 – Most interesting places where technology is creating investment opportunities

18:33 – Assets that are likely to tap into new sources of beta

23:46 – How well are investors prepared for the changes that are coming

28:35 – Trends in asset management with technology

33:05 – View on cryptocurrency and blockchain

36:45 – Places where startups can reduce costs/fees and create efficiencies

40:17 – Views on private equity markets and their future

45:40 – Privilege of access problem

48:50 – Verticals in fintech that are interesting to him

59:53 – The importance of focus and niche

1:02:26 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ben

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

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Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 17, 2019
Jeff Ma – Making Decisions with Data - [Invest Like the Best, EP.151]
53:34

My guest this week is Jeff Ma. Jeff was on the famous MIT Blackjack team from the book Bringing Down the House but has spent his career in an around fields of analytics and data science. He’s studied sports betting and analytics, built companies for analyzing human capital, and ran the data science and analytics group at Twitter. Here are links to his book, blog, and podcast.

Our discussion is about a number of fascinating ways data is being used to make decisions in the worlds of sports and business. Please enjoy!

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

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Show Notes

1:20 - (First Question) – How quantitative analytics have evolved in sports and how they’re being used

4:26 – Best role of humans in the analysis process

8:38 – Sports that are most interesting to observe through analytics

10:26 – How does luck play into sports analysis

11:54 – Team analytics vs better analytics

12:38 – Concentration of success among sports betters and their moats

14:58 – Favorite lessons learned from professional gamblers

16:45 – How analytics got introduced into gambling

19:21 – Understanding one’s own biases

24:04 – How he became VP of analytics at Twitter

28:37 – Primary lessons from the work evaluating human capital and talent with analytics

            28:59 – Niel Roberson Podcast Episode

31:40 – How to model people for success when hiring

33:29 – How to hire the right data scientists’ team

37:54 – Most interesting problems they tackled at twitter

42:31 – Responsibility of social platforms to police itself

45:34 – Areas that would interest him in the future as an investor

49:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jeff

51:50 – Values instilled in him by his parents.

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 10, 2019
Vaughn Tan – Quality and Innovation - [Invest Like the Best, EP.150]
01:21:53

My guest today is Vaughn Tan, who studies quality, innovation, and organizational behavior. His resume is bonkers. He’s a PhD from Harvard, Was an infantry signals logistician in the Republic of Singapore Army, then worked at Google on advertising, EarthMapsspaceflight, and Fusion Tables. He’s also been a wood sculptor.

But the topic of our conversation is how to foster quality and innovation in ourselves and inside of companies—lessons he learned in part by studying inside some of the world’s best restaurants.

If you enjoy this conversation, I recommend you also check out his new book, The Uncertainty Mindset Innovation Insights from the Frontiers of Food. Please enjoy my conversation with Vaughn Tan.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:33 - (First Question) – Interesting ways to identify high quality

5:06 – The current problem with the way we think about the world

8:56 – How people think about their careers and college

11:21 – Uncertainty vs risk, and productive discomfort

19:08 – Cultivation of discomfort for an individual

24:05 – Successful innovation cultures

32:25 – Analyzing quality and restaurant bread

37:43 – The Slug idea

40:43 – His research project where he observed restaurants

45:44 – How do people mandate their own structure in the face of uncertainty

53:46 – How employees should approach this rent-to-buy hiring structure

57:17 – Example of someone who took advantage of uncertainty time

1:00:05 – Playful adults

            1:00:07 – Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode

1:03:10 – Other changes companies can make to their culture to be more innovative

1:08:19 – The difference between simplicity and complexity

1:11:12 – How he applies his thinking into several different ideas, like Cannabis

1:16:17 – Asking the right question

            1:19:05 – Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode

1:20:19 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Vaughn

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 03, 2019
Gavin Baker – Tech and Consumer Growth Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.149]
01:04:02

My guest this week is Gavin Baker, the founder, and manager of Atreides Management. I met Gavin in the same way I meet many of the most interesting people, on twitter. His focus is on consumer and technology growth investing, which is the topic of our conversation. We discuss many of the largest trends in these sectors, several fascinating investment cases, and also explore the videogame industry in detail—which I found especially interesting. Please enjoy my conversation with Gavin Baker.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:16 – (first question) – His unique view on the markets

4:00 – Distilling Apple as a growth investment

6:44 – What is the most important lever for Apple looking forward

9:01 – His view on Intel

11:03 – Most important technological changes that may dictate his investing strategy

16:20 – How do you look at a big idea, like AR, and then apply to an individual business

            18:21 – Fortnite isn't a game, it's a place

            18:26– Fortnite Is the Future, but Probably Not for the Reasons You Think

18:56 – His insight into video games and their ability to control attention

28:36 – How do you invest in the gaming sector

40:06 – Favorite video games

32:07 – Why gaming and customer sector allows him to find Alpha richness

34:17 – Being in the top 1% of knowledge before investing in a company

36:24 – His view on value investing today and, in the future,

41:15 – Increase of regulatory capture 

42:01 – Headwinds to the tech companies today

43:50 – Thoughts on the Chinese internet market and how it impacts US markets

45:36 – How often companies look at China for ideas

46:21 – Role of alternative data in his process

49:36 – Big trends today we should be paying attention to

54:20 – the most interesting company he does not own

58:48 – Advice for new investors

1:00:17 – Non-obvious tech resources - TechMeme

1:00:50 – Favorite sci-fi character

1:01:19 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

All opinions expressed by Patrick and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of O'shaughnessy asset management. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. Clients of O'shaughnessy asset management may maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast. Clients of the podcast guest’s firm may also maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast.

Nov 26, 2019
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger – How to Build a Great Product
01:33:44

My guests this week are Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram.

I met Kevin and Mike a few months ago over a shared interest in business and investing. I have found them both to be extremely good people who have a rare talent for finding and solving interesting problems. Indeed, problem-solving and jobs-to-be-done is a big part of our conversation.

I realized walking into the podcast that Kevin and Mike have a rare set of experiences: having both built and sold an extremely successful product from scratch, but then also operated and scaled inside one of the largest businesses in the world. This means they have unique knowledge to offer just about anyone interested in business and products. We dig into all those lessons here.

I am working on hosting more founders and CEOs on the podcast, and can’t think of a better pair to show you why I want to do so. Please enjoy my conversation with Kevin and Mike. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:38 – (first question) – Projects they’ve been working on since leaving Instagram

5:22 – How they can apply what they are learning in machine learning

7:18 – Most interesting experience diving back into data and machine learning

8:42 – How startups compare today to when they founded Instagram

13:23 – Judging founders and whether they know how to use their data effectively

14:26 – The jobs-to-be-done framework

19:14 – Laying out a vision vs solving problems that pop up

25:20 – Developing and sharing the principles of the company with the team

30:48 – Creating a community when it includes almost the entire world

39:03 – The most popular ways people used the platform

41:24 – What was the jobs-to-be-done rational behind the stories feature

44:15 – Interesting things that they saw as Instagram entered the developing world

46:40 – Their thoughts on how Instagram shaped culture and if they focused on those

52:58 – The new waves that they are observing right now

55:11 – How their thinking on leadership and teams changed during their time at Instagram and Facebook

1:03:23 – The pillars of a good business, including humility and confidence

1:06:06 – Focus on growth and distribution in a startup

1:10:01 – How early were they thinking about monetization on this free platform

1:13:43 – How do they think about how they invest their money and allocate resources

1:17:36 – Mentors for Kevin and Mike

1:20:30 – Their passion for learning to fly and the someday/maybe list

1:23:01 – Their interest in coffee

1:26:24 – Advice for everyone else

1:30:00 – Kindest thing anyone has done for them

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 19, 2019
Daniel Ek – The Future of Audio - [Invest Like the Best, EP.147]
56:18

My guest this week is Daniel Ek, the founder and CEO of Spotify.

In my conversations with Daniel, I’ve found him to be one of the most interesting and thoughtful business leaders in the world. You’ll see what I mean as you listen to our conversation.

We talk about Spotify plenty, but what I so enjoy about Daniel is his way of thinking in systems and frameworks. He is committed to evolution, innovation, and growth for both himself and for Spotify and is on my shortlist of CEOs to emulate.

This was one of my favorite conversations on the podcast, I hope you enjoy it.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:21 – (first question) – Management lessons from a Dubai chocolate maker

4:54 – Trends shaping the business landscape today: globalization, automation, and digitation

7:51 – How he thinks about the vertical integration of his business and scale

10:37 – Are companies doing a good job adjusting to the changes in the global business landscape

14:44 – How does Spotify view scale moving forward

17:59 – What trends has he seen among creators as a result of the Spotify platform

20:32 – The community benefit that has been created by the platform

23:47 – Intimacy of audio

25:31 – Creating an environment that continues to spur innovation

29:12 – Star vs constellation business strategy

32:21 – Measuring network health

35:12 – Spotify Originals and what his competition in the video market is doing

39:36 – How podcasts play into the growth strategy

43:04 – How did he solve the problem of competing with free

47:21 – Is their strategy repeatable, going after fractured suppliers

49:02 – Role of the CEO in a startup

51:22 – Others who have taught him great business lessons

53:18 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Daniel

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 12, 2019
George Rzepecki – Investing in Africa - [Invest Like the Best, EP.146
46:32

My guest this week is George Rzepecki, the found and managing partner Raba, an Africa focused investment firm. George is making investments across Africa in early-stage companies. Africa represents a fascinating opportunity: a huge and diverse population and enormous room for per capita GDP growth. We cover all aspects of investing in the continent, including unique potential rewards and risks.

Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:18 – (first question) – Interest in emerging markets and the tech landscape in Africa

4:57 – Similarities across all of the different metro markets across Africa

8:05 – Why has the continent lagged behind the rest of the world

10:49 – What is the history and landscape of capital in the African continent

13:32 – The market opportunity given the demographics

15:44 – US investment/involvement in Africa

18:06 – Kinds of companies that he likes to invest in

23:26 – Initiatives and investments that could help lift the population out of poverty: finance

29:33 – The public marketplace landscape in Africa

31:49 – Capacity on the private side

34:24 – How the valuation of deals compares to other markets

36:13 – Unique risks in the investments they are making

38:28 – Most exciting trends or changes he is seeing

40:22 – The professional investor environment

43:25 – How to learn more and get involved

            43:49 – China Africa Research Initiative

            44:17 – China Africa Project

            44:38 – Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 05, 2019
Chad Cascarilla – The Future of Blockchain and Financial Services - [Invest Like the Best, EP.145]
01:06:07

My guest today is Chad Cascarilla, the CEO and co-founder of Paxos, which describes itself as a financial technology company “mobilizing assets at the speed of the internet.“ Thanks to more than 20 years of investing and financial services experience, Chad has a unique perspective on integrating blockchain technology with traditional systems. He also has one of my favorite bitcoin origin stories, which we explore.

Before Paxos, Charles co-founded institutional asset management complex Cedar Hill Capital Partners in 2005 and its blockchain-focused venture capital subsidiary, Liberty City Ventures (LCV).

Our conversation is less about cryptocurrencies and more about the history, current state, and potential future states of our financial system. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:32 - (First Question) – His work in the finance world before crypto’s

5:12 – Experience navigating the subprime mortgage trend and what it taught him about blockchain

9:59 – The levers that matter in the financial services industry today vs when he first started

14:07 – Open vs closed money in financial services

19:16 – How slowdowns are different in the modern era

23:06 – What would lead to a major winding down of global debt

27:09 – What would be his focus as a traditional investor

29:21 – How he first got involved with bitcoin

            29:47 – Elliott Wave Newsletter

31:53 – His measured view of Bitcoin and living through the volatility of it

            32:03 – Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

35:57 – Allocation of a portfolio which includes crypto

36:54 – His involvement and feelings on gold

37:56 – The formation of Paxos and the problem it exists to solve

41:34 – How Paxos is impacting the space

44:12 – Advantages of a private blockchain

43:59 – What is Pax Gold and how does it work

48:53 – Bad ways and situations to own gold

52:12 – Using a stable coin

56:00 – Biggest problem they are working on now

57:23 – What should people be paying attention to in the crypto currency space

            59:23 – Coindesk Research Archive

59:39 – Has the influx of interest in crypto helped in other spaces

1:02:11 – Other lessons people should learn from his career

1:04:53 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chad

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Oct 29, 2019
Bill Gurley – Direct Listing vs. IPO - [Invest Like the Best, EP.144]
47:25

My guest this week is Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark Capital. Our conversation is about one specific issue that has popped up as a topic of interest in the investing community in recent months: the comparison between bringing a company public through a traditional IPO vs. what’s known as a direct listing.

As a third party observer with no real dog in the hunt (as we don’t buy IPOs at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management), I thought this was a small and nuanced issue. I’ve therefore been surprised by the strength of opinions on both sides of this issue as I’ve explored it behind the scenes this past week. It feels almost like I’ve encountered a political third rail, where one side throws a lot of vitriol towards the other. 

To be clear, this episode is very much in favor of direct listings instead of traditional IPOs. For those that want a good discussion of the IPO process and its upsides, check out episode 173 of the Exponent podcast with Ben Thompson

Now please enjoy my very interesting conversation with Bill Gurley

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:22 - (First Question) – His view on the IPO process

5:42 – Will now be the turning point for IPO’s

6:40 – The engagement between a new company going public and their counterparty and the IPO process

13:38 – The math of capital costs

18:18 – Banks that underprice the IPO’s

20:45 – The psychology of IPO’s

23:14 – The pop in the IPO and the media

24:54 – The value that shareholders give vs VC’s

25:37 – The Green Shoots

28:17 – The lock-up

31:40 – Direct listings vs IPO’s

            36:07 – Spotify’s CEO Reveals Why He’s Not Doing a Traditional IPO

38:23 – The capital raised in an IPO and diluting the company

40:18 – Privilege access and buy-side firms

43:33 – What will actually lead to changes in the IPO space

44:48 – Why he became so interested in the IPO space

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 24, 2019
[REPLAY] Albert Wenger - World After Capital - [Invest Like the Best, EP.80]
01:06:33

My guest this week is Albert Wenger, a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and the author of the book World After Capital.

Albert studied economics at Harvard and earned a PhD in information from technology, but if you’d asked me to guess before looking those up, I’d have guessed that he studied philosophy because of how widely he has thought about the world and the impact of technology.

Our conversation is about how technology is changing the world from an Industrial Age to a knowledge age. We explore how cryptocurrencies, low cost computing, and regulation will impact our future and why the transition may require delicate care.

I loved this conversation because of my obsession with the concept of scarcity. We explore what has been scarce through time and what may be scarce in the future. Albert is one of the most interesting thinkers I’ve come across and was a pleasure to speak with. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

World After Capital

Show Notes

2:16 – (First Question) –  Defining what it means to be human

            2:58 – World After Capital

3:56 – Trans-humans vs neo-humans

4:37 – The concept of Qualia

5:25 – Albert’s investment philosophy=

8:27 – How Albert began his exploration into cryptocurrencies

12:59 – Most exciting things blockchains could enable

14:27 – How does Albert view blockchain technology from the view of an venture capital investor

17:00 -  Why Albert thinks that the dominate cryptocurrency of our time may not exist just yet and what he is looking for in protocols that will become the leader in the space

20:16 – What are the central functions that will be important in cryptocurrencies

21:22 -   The state of regulation in the cryptocurrency space

27:37 – What has Albert most excited for the future of blockchain

29:10 – The idea of universal basic income

32:26 – How do you solve the problem of giving money value in a world of universal basic income

35:00 – How scarcity has changed over time

39:01 – Role of financial capital in the last 200 years of civilization

42:39 – Are we as a society only capable of solving problems once they become an immediate threat

44:15 – Explaining the idea of attention as a scarce resource

47:56 – The two key drivers of change; zero marginal cost distribution and universality of computational power

53:13 -  What should we as investors and inventors be focusing on as the new objective function

57:24 – Scariest aspect of this transition into the knowledge age

59:45 – Three basic freedoms we all seek; informational, economic, psychological

1:02:13 – Fermi’s paradox and the scarcity of attention

1:02:56 – How Albert thinks about his own day and wellbeing given all of this information

1:05:01 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Albert

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 17, 2019
[REPLAY] Deep Basin – Earning Alpha in Energy - [Invest Like the Best, EP.81]
54:33

My guest this week are Matt Smith and Ian singer of Deep Basin Capital, a hedge fund specializing in the energy sector.

I first met Matt almost 10 years and, in that time, I’ve grown to respect him as much as any investor that I’ve ever met. Now having spent time with Ian, who specializes in oil and gas field exploration companies and the rest of the Deep Basin team, I have similar respect and admiration for all of them.

Deep Basin does almost the exact opposite of what us quants do. In fact, their entire goal is to build a portfolio of mostly idiosyncratic or stock specific risk, the very thing us quants mostly remove from portfolios. Deep Basin positions the portfolio to make a series of carefully constructed bets, long and short, without taking market risk, style-factor risk, or even commodity risk. They use a hybrid fundamental and quantitative process which we explore in detail.  This is definitely another good example of who we are all up against in public markets.

What makes this story unique is that we are investors in Deep Basin’s management company and so have a clear interest in their ongoing success. Listeners know that I want to be as transparent as possible on this podcast so we event spend a little time telling the story about how it all came together a few years ago.

I have learned a ton about investing from my countless hours with this team and hope that this conversation gives you a glimpse into what is happening at the cutting edge of investing in the world of hedge funds.

Please enjoy my conversation with Deep Basin

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns

 

Show Notes

2:47 – (First Question) –  Looking at the universe of the energy space that they are focusing on

7:48 – Breaking down the important components and their labels in this space

10:27 – What makes energy companies distinct from the broader market.

12:52 – How the isolate unique value creation

14:58 – Ian’s take on the upstream part of the business where he has spent a lot of time

18:35 – How does Deep Basin use data and what edge do they derive from it.

21:31 – What insight are they looking for from updated well data

23:59 – How do they use combine the business value that they measure with the market price that is being forecasted

            24:40 – Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns

29:34 – How do they build an actual portfolio

31:51 – Their systematic approach to energy investing

37:53 – What are their thoughts about using leverage when making investments in the energy space

40:53 – A look at the changes to the hedge fund industry over the entirety of their careers

45:46 – Defining the culture of Deep Basin

49:15 – The story of how OSAM and the O’Shaughnessy’s came to be investors in the Deep Basin

54:13 – Kindest thing anyone has done for each of them

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Sep 11, 2019
[REPLAY] Pat Dorsey - Buying Companies With Economic Moats - [Invest Like the Best, EP.51]
50:06

My guest this week is Pat Dorsey, who was the longtime director of equity research at Morningstar, where he specialized in economic moats: sources of sustained competitive advantage that allow a few companies to deliver huge returns over time. Several years ago he left Morningstar to form his own asset management firm, Dorsey asset management, and build a portfolio of companies with wide moats like those he studied at Morningstar. And while moats are critical, equally important is how companies allocate the capital generated--or made possible--by the existence of the moat.  

A special thank you to Brian Bares who introduced me to Pat, and to Will Thorndike--an earlier guest on the show. In the vast majority of conversations you hear on this show, I'm meeting the guest for the first time. I mention this to encourage you to connect me with anyone whose story or way of looking at the world might resonate. Always feel free to contact me with ideas.  

Pat and I begin our discussion with the key differences between the sell side and the buy side, and then discuss all aspects of moats and capital allocation. 

 

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/dorsey

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

To get involved with Project Frontier, head to InvestorFieldGuide.com/frontier.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:23 – (First question) – Transition from the sell side to the buy side and the biggest surprise 

3:40 – What is a moat 

5:16 – What part of the stock market universe has a moat 

6:57 – Pat’s framework for identifying moat, starting with intangibles 

8:32 – The power of brands 

9:44 – what chance does an upstart have to come in and usurp a well-established brand   

12:24 – Switching costs as part of the framework for identifying a moat 

14:55 – The third component of identifying a moat, network effects, and what businesses should do to effectively build one 

17:29 – Last component, cost advantages/economies of scale 

19:29 – How do you analyze these four components into an investing framework that can be built into an actual strategy 

21:13 – How does Pat think about this from a mis-pricing standpoint 

23:37  – How does Pat incorporate current price of a company in consideration for future returns when pricing a moat 

25:39 – How should a company with a moat operate to protect that characteristic, especially when it comes to their capital allocation 

26:51 – Which characteristic of a moat does Pat find most intriguing 

30:35 – What makes for good and smart capital allocation 

35:58 – What is Pat’s process for identifying the best investment opportunities 

38:38 – What are good economics when looking at a company 

41:03 – If Pat could take any business, but have to swap leadership, what would he choose. 

44:13 – Back to his process of finding investment opportunities 

46:05 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Pat

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag


Read more at https://investlikethebest.libsyn.com/pat-dorsey-buying-companies-with-economic-moats-invest-like-the-best-ep51#oBGdOp1br4EMtORd.99

Aug 27, 2019
Joe McLean – How to be a Pro’s Pro - [Invest Like the Best, EP.143]
52:03

My guest this week is Joe McLean, the founder of Intersect Capital, which provides financial advisory services to a variety of clients, including a number of NBA players and other professional athletes. 

What I loved about this conversation was the weaving of sport, coaching, and finance into a cohesive whole. There’s so much to take from this discussion—from the importance of service and low self-orientation to the impact of strict standards for who you work with, to common mistakes we all tend to make with money.

Please enjoy my conversation with Joe McLean.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:18 - (First Question) – His backstory and the combination of athleticism and finance

2:43 – His time in Ireland

3:29 – Moving away from basketball and into finance

6:08 – What the Intersect business is today and his early lessons

7:55 – Most important coach/mentor

8:59 – Where the name Intersect came from

10:22 – Setting high standards early on

12:35 – Biggest mistakes he saw in his early clients

14:04 – Developing his value proposition to clients

14:24 – Michael Kitces Podcast Episode

16:57 – Process when he’s working with a client signing a new athletic contract

19:53 – The concept of a Pro’s Pro and Top 50 Reasons Professional Athletes Remain Wealthy

22:40 – Managing clients’ interest in creating businesses off their brand

24:20 – The role media plays in athletes’ long-term strategies

25:40 – Getting early clients into compliance with his strategy

28:24 – Daily maintenance role he plays with clients

32:24 – What has impressed him most from his young clients

33:36 – What makes for a great coach

34:50 – The meaning of “all in” to Joe

35:54 – His assessment of the financial services industry today

37:32 – Where his value in service came from

39:05 – Longer term vision for his business

40:33 – Unique ways he finds himself helping his clients

43:49 – Watching his client’s mentor the next generation

45:10 – Historical players and teams he personally admires

46:22 – Athletes and venture capital investing

47:38 – Who makes up his trust network

49:09 – What he’s most excited about for the future of the business

49:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Joe

50:24 – Biggest impact a coach had on his life

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Aug 20, 2019
Zack Kanter – All Things Business - [Invest Like the Best, EP.142]
01:22:03

This week’s guest is, Zack Kanter, the founder and CEO of the Stedi.  Zack and I decided not to talk much about his business on this podcast and opted instead to explore more generally, so a bit of an introduction to what they do may be helpful here for some extra context. Stedi is a platform for exchanging and automating 300+ types of business-to-business transactions - transactions like purchase orders, invoices, etc. It’s a modern take on an archaic protocol called EDI - electronic data interchange, something I’d never even heard of until several months ago. Learning about EDI is a bit like finding out about the Matrix - every physical object you come across, from the food you ate for breakfast to the clothes you’re wearing and consumer electronics you use - anything with a barcode on it - was likely touched by EDI, often dozens of times before making it into your hands. Stedi is the first update to this messaging later in decades.

Our conversation in this podcast is about business in general, starting with Zack’s fascination with Walmart and Amazon. I should also not that my family is a recent investor in Stedi, and I’m thankful to have learned a great deal from him over the past few months. Please enjoy our conversation. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:52 - (First Question) – Interest in Walmart and Amazon

            4:02 – Sam Walton: Made In America

4:49 – What from their success can be applied elsewhere

11:07– The idea of tempo with a business

17:17 – Ability for a business to expand laterally

24:33 - Magic of Amazon as a constitution

26:24 – The concept of the OODA loop

            26:40 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

31:51 – Orientation within software businesses

            32:24 – The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small

38:03 – Lessons in building software

            38:37– Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business

41:51 – Setting a common vision for a company

44:14 – Changing the dynamic of teams and how different size teams can accomplish different things

48:00 – How leaders should think about build vs buy

51:07 – The different types of value propositions

53:07 – Utility for companies

57:31 – Concept of network health and the best question from VCs

1:04:04 – Massive projects are less frequent in a world where we can do a lot quickly

            1:04:08 – Wait but Why

1:09:37 – Just in time vs just in case learning framework

1:11:55 – His favorite question

1:13:39 – Why is most commonly heard advice wrong

1:18:06 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Zack

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Aug 13, 2019
Chris Bloomstran – What Makes a Quality Company - [Invest Like the Best, EP.141]
01:17:17

My guest this week is Chris Bloomstran, the president and chief investment officer of Semper Augustus Investments Group. He became famous in investing circles a few years back for his incredibly detailed investigations of Berkshire Hathaway. While we do cover Berkshire towards the end of the conversation, we spend most of our time talking about what makes for a quality business. I loved some of his angles on the current landscape, including our discussion of companies like Richemont and Disney which are actively taking distribution back in house. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:18 - (First Question) – Largest investing error

4:52 – Defining quality investor and their investment strategy

11:48 – Incremental return on capital and other themes that they focus on with investments

15:33 – Importance of unique business models

22:58 – Ownership of the customer relationship

28:06 – Bringing distribution back in house

29:55 – Doing something unique with owned distribution

32:40 – His thoughts on growth and value

            32:42 – Chuck Akre podcast episode

37:12 – History of his interest in Berkshire Hathaway and he characterizes the business

53:29 – How is Berkshire protected into the future

59:17 – Most important trends in adjustments

1:08:00 – Which sectors or industries would he focus on

1:10:02 – Most intriguing business he’s unlikely to own

1:11:44 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Aug 06, 2019
Brian Christian – How to Live with Computers - [Invest Like the Best, EP.140]
59:59

My guest this week is Brian Christian, the author of two of my favorite recent books: Algorithms to Live By and The Most Human Human. Our conversation covers the present and future of how humans interact with and use computers. Brian’s thoughts on the nature of intelligence and what it means to be human continue to make me think about what works, and life, will be like in the future. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:11 - (First Question) – Summarizing his collection of interests that led to his three books

2:59 – Biggest questions in AI

3:43 – Defining AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) and its history

            5:18 – Computing Machinery and Intelligence

7:54 – The idea of the most human human

9:59 – Tactics that have changed the most in learning to be the most human human

16:10 –Tests for measuring AGI and updates made to them

20:12 – Concerns for once we have AGI

26:06 – Self-awareness as a threshold for AGI

31:58 – Skeptics’ take on AGI

37:14 – Advice for people building careers and how AGI will impact work

38:16 – Explore/Exploit trade-off

44:57 – How to explore/exploit applies to business concepts

49:16 – Impacts of AGI on the economy

52:40 – Highlights from his second book

57:39 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Brian

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jul 30, 2019
Eric Sorensen - How Quant Evolves - [Invest Like the Best, EP.139]
57:02

My guest this week is Eric Sorensen, the CEO of Panagora asset management, which manages more than $46B for clients across a variety of strategies.

Eric began his career serving in the Air Force as both a pilot and instructor in high-performance jet aircraft. He then accumulated 40 years of quantitative research and investment experience, with a Ph.D. along the way.

Please enjoy our conversation on the changing landscape of quantitative investment strategies.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) – His background in the Air Force

            1:23 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

3:18 – Training people on high-performance machines

4:47 – Traits that made for better pilots

5:51 – The evolution of quantitative equity research and its stages

7:56 – How his research led to becoming a practitioner

9:10 - The early feature sets in his research

10:44 – Tradeoffs in the spectrum of interpretability

12:08 – Early days of his practitioner career

13:24 – Risk Premia and the 5 C’s

14:28 – Quantitative Equity Portfolio Management: Modern Techniques and Applications

17:13 – Applying the 5 C’s to value investing

18:38 – Knowing when a strategy/signal is broken

21:24 – What does this strategy plan mean for his firm today

24:56 – Mixing expert systems and portfolio construction

30:07 – Natural language processing

32:00 – The cultivating the power and creativity to ask good questions

35:13 – The concept of a research graveyard

37:45 – State of risk premia today

40:04 – Active equity process

46:37 – Frontiers of research that he’s excited about

48:53 – Safe havens for non-quantitative investors

52:16– Advice for young quants

54:36 – Quants on the buy-side that he admires

55:41 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jul 23, 2019
Jane McGonigal – How Games Make Life Better - [Invest Like the Best, EP.138]
01:10:20

Jane McGonigal, PhD is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems.

She is the Author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and is the inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter, a game that has helped nearly a million players tackle real-life health challenges such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury.

Our conversation is about how to design useful games, how games effect us and our kids, and what the future might hold. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:22 - (First Question) – Her take on the history of gaming and studying the players themselves

3:44 – Where her passion for gaming really started

4:55 – Her take on flow states

7:47 – Kids and gaming

10:32 – Advice for parents when it comes to the role of games

            11:06 – SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games

13:53 – Types of games that develop the right skills for kids

16:20 – Four things all games share in common

            16:23 – Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World   

20:50 – Her take on Carse’s theory about infinite gaming

            21:04 – Finite and Infinite Games

26:28 – How to understand gaming culture if you’ve never played a game before

28:28 – Amazon and gaming

31:18 – How fun makes anything more enjoyable

34:55 – How game designers calibrate feedback loops

39:14 – The good and bad of gamifying life

45:01 – What is the superbetter app

52:43 - Why powerups and bad guys are so important in games

57:03 – Secret identity

59:04 – Playing with boundaries

1:00:36 – Most worried about in the gaming world, and most exited about

1:07:32 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jane

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jul 16, 2019
Bill Gurley – All Things Business and Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.137]
01:08:01

My guest this week is Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital and one my favorite investment thinkers. As you’ll hear, despite enormous success through his career, Bill is clearly still in love with business and investing. Where many might discuss past glories, I’ve been incredibly impressed with how both Bill and his partners emphasize the current portfolio and market landscape. I’m thankful to have had the chance to speak with him in this format. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:13 - (First Question) – The idea of increasing returns

            1:21 – Competiting Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-in By Historical Events

            2:07 – Complex Systems Theory – Santa Fe Institute

4:35 – Markers that could be a sign of network effect in a company

6:27 – The opportunities for companies to capture network effect

8:46 – Are there certain teams/leaders that are more conducive to leading a network effect company

11:55 – Liquidity quality

13:35 – How important is the revenue model at the beginning

15:59 – Fascination with Nextdoor

            17:56 – Paradox of Choice

18:39 – Finding opportunities

20:17 – Potential marketplaces and assets that could be commoditized

            20:20 – All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces

21:39 – Usage yield on the world’s assets

23:50 – Has technology changed the world of value investing

26:28 – Hyper niche marketplaces

27:52 – Challenges of labor marketplaces

30:12 – User generated content businesses

32:44 – People who are capable of building UGC businesses

33:16 – His interest in Discord

34:31 – Factors of a healthy marketplace

37:57 – Fools’ gold in marketplace businesses

39:04 – How influx of cash is impacting the marketplace business landscape

            40:43 – All Revenue is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club

43:20 – How does the influx of money into the space impact him

46:44 – Spending money to attack top brands

50:32 – Regulatory capture

53:36 – His thoughts on the IPO market

57:49 – How did he realize this was his passion

1:00:42 – Qualifying his passion

1:01:52 – Favorite thing about working with entrepreneurs

102:48 – Honing your craft

1:04:33 – Making yourself a good mentor

1:05:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Jul 02, 2019
Jesse Livermore – The Search for the Truth with the Anonymous Master - [Invest Like the Best, EP.136]
01:37:42

This week I have a very special guest years in the making. Like another favorite episode, with anonymous guest Modest Proposal, this conversation is with one of the stars of the financial twitter universe who writes anonymously and goes by the pseudonym Jesse Livermore. I met Jesse 6 years ago after reading his unbelievably unique investing research, which tackled all the big and interesting issues in markets. He now also works with me as a research partner at OSAM, where’s he’s used our data to continue to his search for truth in markets. Despite being one of the brightest minds I’ve encountered he is also as humble and unassuming as they come. I’m at least a slightly better person because of trying to emulate how he conducts himself. I get to have many conversations with him that go from 0-100 fast, and I’m thrilled to be able to share one of those with you.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:33 - (First Question) – Jesse’s origin story for investing

4:37 – Exploring his ways of problem solving starting with intuitive

            7:53 – David Epstein Podcast Episode

11:46 – Looking at the analytical way of problem solving

15:42 – Statistical inference

24:45 – Should we opt for simplicity in the investment process

25:26 – Does his own investing include all three, intuition, analysis, and statistics

26:09 – The evolution of his research, process, and thinking on various investment factors.

31:38 – Thoughts on inflation and its impact on market valuation

40:05 – The Earnings Mirage

46:25 – Free Cash flow and valuations

50:51 – What should investors take away from this research

53:01 – Thoughts on trend as an interesting market signal

59:00 – The problems with trend

1:00:34 – Post on “The Single Greatest Predictor of Future Stock Market Returns

1:11:15 – His work into understanding factors

1:15:36 – Looking at momentum

1:18:16 – His curiosity into the current market cycle

1:20:04 – Lessons learned from his time in the military, an effective way to create an environment where people can safely disagree with their co-workers

1:30:10 – The concept of progress in meaningful work

1:33:08 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 25, 2019
Chuck Akre – The Three-Legged Stool - [Invest Like the Best, EP.135]
47:43

My guest today is Chuck Akre, a now widely famous investor who founded Akre Capital Management in 1989, which now manages approximately $10B dollars. We discuss his investing style and his “three-legged stool” for evaluating companies. Please enjoy this great conversation. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Show Notes

1:06 - (First Question) – Advantage of being in Middleburg, Virginia

2:11 – What a day looks like for Chuck

3:06 – Why imagination is more important than knowledge

3:38 – Difference between curiosity and imagination

4:38 – The origins of the Nirvana Three-Legged Stool concept

10:14 – First leg of the stool, Extraordinary business and ROE’s with a focus on Bandag.

14:36 – How his evaluations of value has changed over the last 10-15 years

16:10 – A look at recent businesses that he’s bought and why they are interesting

19:56 – Why they keep things simple

21:35 – Second leg of the stool, the people involved and characteristics of managers he has invested in

23:20 – Role of capital allocation in the people he focuses on

28:03 – Favorite biographies

            28:22 – 100 to 1 in the Stock Market: A Distinguished Security Analyst Tells How to Make More of Your Investment Opportunities

29:34 – Third leg of the stool, reinvestment

21:09 – How does he think about diversifying across an investment area

33:32 – Great businesses wrapped in a bad balance sheet

37:35 – What would cause him to sell

38:52 – What does he look for in people

43:27 – How curiosity has impacted his interest in land conservation

43:51 – Advice for investors, especially younger ones

46:14 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 18, 2019
Jerry Neumann – Why Venture is Hard - [Invest Like the Best, EP.134]
59:58

My guest this week is Jerry Neumann. Jerry is one of the most thoughtful early stage investors that I’ve encountered, and his writings at reactionwheel.net are my favorite on this topic. He applies an incredibly structured way of thinking to a notoriously mysterious investment category. This is our second conversation, in which we cover why investing with one’s gut is a bad idea and why some of the popular edges in startups, like network effects, may be picked over. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:17 - (First Question) – His take on the venture landscape and the type of investments new VC’s are making vs what they should be making

3:44 – Most important implications of excess VC firms

5:32 – Misalignment of incentives in the VC space

8:19 – What he does differently from angel investors or VC’s

10:11 – The notion of risk and the types of risk the people he invests in takes

14:33 – Protections that he thinks about when it comes to the ideas he invests in

19:37 – Is there an area of expertise that provides an edge for startups

20:11 – Network effects are picked over

21:35 – IP protection

23:08 – One of the two most interesting things for VC’s to go after, brands

25:13 – The other most important thing, the value chain

27:42 – A current example of a disruptive value chain

29:14 – Innovation as the source of profit

            29:16 – Schumpeter on Strategy

31:50 – Efficiency innovation vs value innovation

            31:52 – Energy and Civilization: A History

35:50 – Efficiency investments he’s made

37:13 – Investment in Unsupervised and the machine learning landscape

41:25 – Investment in Sila

43:14 – Investment in Edmit

44:44 – investing on gut

50:32 – Black boxes and their value in investments

53:23 – Metrics about the predictive level of whether people are going to succeed

54:45 – What defines good people worth backing

57:50 – Advice for LP investors in this space and how they should evaluate VC’s in this space

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 11, 2019
[REPLAY] Sam Hinkie – Data, Decisions, and Basketball - [Invest Like the Best, EP.88]
01:06:10

I came across this week’s guest thanks to the overlap of three passions of mine: data informed investing, value creation, and basketball. 

Sam Hinkie worked for more than a decade in the NBA with the Houston Rockets, and then most recently as the President and GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. He helped launch basketball's analytics movement when he joined the Houston Rockets in 2005, and is known for unique trade structuring and a keen focus on acquiring undervalued players. Today, he is also an investor and advisor to a limited number of young companies in which he feels his experience can improve outcomes. 

At one point in our conversation, Sam mentions that he tracked success via future financial outcomes, so I did some research and found many interesting stats about the 76ers surrounding Sam’s tenure. When he took over the franchise, it was 24th in ESPN’s franchise rankings, and today it is 4th. This is the result of an impressive crop of young talent—players like All-Star Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons—which resulted in large part from unconventional decisions Sam and his team made. 

While I’m sure these estimates are imperfect, Forbes estimated the 76ers value at around $418M when Sam took over and $1.2B a few months ago. NBA teams in general have grown in value, so a lot of that appreciation is obviously “beta,” but given that the 76ers had the top percentage growth number more recently of any team, some of it is “alpha,” too. While we can’t parse the exact amount, it seems his unique approach to building a team clearly created some large amount of current franchise equity value. And it looks like the dividends from those decisions will compound for many years to come. 

While basketball was where Sam plied his talents in the past, his approach is more elemental. It is about finding great people, using data, and structuring decisions that create the possibility of huge returns, be they financial or otherwise. I don’t know what Sam will do next, be it investing in companies, running one, or taking over another team, but I know it will be fun to watch. 

Please enjoy this unique episode with Sam Hinkie. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Books Referenced

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think

Links Referenced

International Justice Mission

Show Notes

3:24 – (First Question) Advantages of having a long view and how to structurally harness one

6:08 – Using technology to foster an innovative culture

            6:18– Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

10:16 – Favorite example of applied innovation from Sam’s career

11:34 - Most fun aspect of doing data analytics early on the Houston Rockets

13:38 - Is there anything more important than courage in asymmetric outcomes

14:29 – How does Sam know when to let the art of decision making finish where the data started

16:29 - Pros and cons of a contrarian mindset

17:26 – Where he wanted to apply his knowledge in sports when first getting out of school and how his thinking is best applied in the current sports landscape

21:39 – How does he think about trying to find the equivalent of mispriced assets in the NBA

23:12 – Where tradition can be an impediment to innovation

25:07 – What did the team and workflow of the team look like in the front office

27:03 -  The measure of truth in a sports complex

29:10 – What were the early factors coming out of the data that helped to shape NBA teams

30:42 – Best tactics for hiring

33:59 – Process of recruiting spectacular people

35:39 – Thoughts on fostering a good marriage

37:57 – Picking your kids traits in your spouse

            38:02 – Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think

40:45 – What kind of markers does he look for when evaluating long term investment ideas

42:44 – His interest in machine learning

45:55 – What’s more exciting, the actual advances in machine learning or the applications that can be imagined as a result

            47:15– International Justice Mission

48:11 – How he got started teaching negotiations and some of the points he makes in that class

49:16 – Effective techniques for negotiating

50:03 – Is negotiating contentious, do you need empathy

50:41 – A Rorschach test of Sam based on his reading of Lessons of History (book)

53:01 – Biggest risk Sam took in his career

54:37 – Biggest risks Sam took while with the 76ers

58:09 – Do people undervalue asymmetric outcomes in the NBA
1:00:11 – The players Sam has enjoyed watching over the years

1:02:45 – Why Robert Caro is a favorite author of his

1:04:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Sam

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jun 04, 2019
David Epstein – Wide or Deep? - [Invest Like the Best, EP.133]
01:23:20

My guest this week is David Epstein. David is a writer and researcher extraordinaire and the author of two great books. His second, Range, is out today and I highly recommend it.

We discuss the pros and cons of both the generalist and specialist mindsets in detail and go down many interesting trails along the way. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:12 - (First Question) – What he uncovered in “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance” that led him to his latest book

            2:38 – Debate with Malcolm Gladwell (YouTube)

4:12 – What did the public pay most attention to and what did they gloss over

7:56 – How his views on nature vs nurture shifted during the process of writing The Sports Gene

10:05 – Blending practice with your nature

13:04 – His process of reading 10 journal articles a day as part of his research

19:06 – Exploring his new book “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World”, and his idea of Martian tennis

23:03 – Idea of the cult of the head start and how we set up our own feedback loops

28:58 – What does his research say about the nations education system

30:42 – The Flynn Effect chapter

33:54 – Hacks for learning

37:52 – The concept of struggle and harnessing the power of it

46:31 – Personality changes and how to drive those changes in a positive way

52:00 – Using the outside perspective in businesses for more productive outcomes and how it applied to Nintendo

            52:59 – Josh Wolfe Podcast Episode

1:04:45 – Other examples of using withered technologies, 3M

1:09:00 – The arc of his work and how it has evolved

1:13:54 – Taking a different view on problems

            1:17:52 – Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives

1:18:04– Anyway to change these bad trends with new strategies

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 28, 2019
Priya Parker – The Art of Gathering - [Invest Like the Best, EP.132]
56:04

This week I’m hosting an investor retreat and so thought it fitting to release this conversation with Priya Parker on the art of gathering.

I’ve been interested in the topic of community and gathering for some time and along with the book The Art of Community, Priya’s book on the art of gathering is by far the best I’ve read. It is both conceptually interesting and extremely practical. In the book there is literally a table for how big a gathering space should be per person, sorted by the type of vibe you are after.

We had a time constraint but I could have talked to Priya for much longer. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did, and that it inspires you to do something new and different with friends, family, or colleagues.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:23 - (First Question) – Overview on what she does as a conflict resolution facilitator

            1:38 – The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

4:45 – Lessons about structuring a gathering from her early very difficult work and the idea of sustained dialogue

7:43 – First event she facilitated

9:38 – Importance of a good opening for any gathering

12:30 – Identifying a good purpose for a gathering

15:06 – Why being specific on rules/code of conduct leads to more success

18:54 – Do rules help facilitate more creativity in groups

21:22 – Segregating a good from bad purpose

24:34 – Identity and good/bad gatherings

26:50 – Purpose and the guest list for a gathering

31:03 – Community building is line drawing

            32:27 – Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

34:29 – Importance of well crafted invitations

35:17 – Making the middle of gatherings interesting

39:21 – Exploring risk at gatherings

            41:28 – Patterns of Transformation

41:43 – The hero’s journey

46:54 – Making a meaningful transition out of these gatherings

52:39 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Priya

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 21, 2019
[REPLAY] Tim Urban - Grand Theft Life - [Invest Like the Best, EP.59]
01:20:28

This week’s conversation is about artificial intelligence and interplanetary travel. Its about content creation, thinking from first principles, and death progress units. Its about brain machine interfaces and why it is crucial that you be a chef and not a cook. 

My guest is Tim Urban, along with his business partner Andrew Finn. Tim is the most entertaining writer I’ve come across in years, who explains complicated and interesting topics to his millions of dedicated readers on the website “Wait, But Why.” As an example, Tim’s last post on Elon Musk’s neurlink venture is 40,000 words long, roughly the length of a short book. It explains almost all of human progress and our potential future using drawings and cartoons. Its impossible to stop reading.

While this conversation is wildly entertaining, it is also chock full of metaphors and lessons that will be useful to anyone doing creative work or building a company. I hope this leaves you as energized as it left me. I called this episode Grand Theft Life because that is the name that Tim and Andrew give to their worldview, which I think will change the way you behave, too. Please enjoy my conversation with Tim Urban.

 

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/urban

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

To get involved with Project Frontier, head to InvestorFieldGuide.com/frontier.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

 

Links Referenced

The Cook and the Chef: Musk’s Secret Sauce

Wait But Why

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future

Wait But Hi

YouTube Channel  Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

 

Show Notes

1:50 – (First question) –  Explaining his concept of planets 1, 2, 3 and 4 and understanding the human colossus

5:46 – Tim’s favorite idea of the human knowledge compounding

7:52 – Die Progress Units (DPU)

9:45 – Different stages of AI and the positives and negatives of each stage

14;04 – What happens when AI gains breadth and general intelligence

16:23 – The idea of a cook vs a chef and how Tim had the chance to interview Elon Musk

17:48 – Why you should reason from first principles instead of reasoning by analogies

25:19 – Why it’s possible to turn a cook into a chef

30:08 – Why being a chef is the safer route in a world with AI and what Tim has changed in himself as to why.

31:22 – Looking at the discovery process

            34:39 – Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies\

40:01 – Being the person who creates the metaphor vs being the people who simply using them

            43:41 – YouTube Channel  Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

44:54 – Most fun that Tim has had researching a topic

46:08 – Musk model for attaining your goals

53:43 – Why not caring what people think is one of the world’s best superpowers, grand theft life

56:50 – Neuralink – what is it and how did Tim come to research it

1:02:38 – Elon Musk’s concerns about AI

1:14:28 – What then if the Neuralink concept works out

1:18:02 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tim

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 14, 2019
Stephanie Cohen – The Evolution of M&A and Corporate Strategy - [Invest Like the Best, EP.131]
55:38

My guest this week is Stephanie Cohen, who is the chief strategy officer for Goldman Sachs and a member of their management committee. Prior to her current role, she spent the majority of her career in the investment banking and M&A divisions at Goldman. 

We discuss lessons learned from her career in M&A and the many initiatives she now leads at the firm. I really enjoyed her perspective on how a big, established firm like Goldman can balance innovation with improving existing businesses. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) –  Motives on both sides for doing M&A

3:26 – Most difficult deal she worked on

4:50 – Biggest value add she brought from her seat on the Fiat deal

5:59 – Biggest changes since she started to today

8:31 – Smartest ways for companies who want to be acquired to be prepared

10:14 – Best M&A banker she’s seen

11:13 – What should businesses looking to make an acquisition be thinking about

15:16 – What does a strategy from her perspective mean

17:16 – Tension between innovation and change

19:46 – Difference between bottom-up and top-down components of strategy

22:15 – Exploration vs exploitation

26:28 – Submission process within accelerate

29:37 – Next step after you see a good idea

31:05 – Her take on FinTech and Industrials and their collision

35:15 – Lessons from elite early stage investors

37:21 – The origins of the LAUNCH program

40:06 – Important pieces beyond just the capital

42:42 – How they market to women starting business

44:56 – Lessons that she has learned about narrative and communications

47:07 – How she handles developing talent internally

49:28 – Managing her time

59:28 – Biggest concerns about OKR’s?

52:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Stephanie

53:07 – Kids in the area of competing

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 07, 2019
[REPLAY] Will Thorndike - How Skilled Capital Allocators Compound Capital - [Invest Like the Best, EP.36]
01:09:15

This week’s guest is Will Thorndike, an author and investor whose book The Outsiders is an all-time favorite of mine. Our conversation is in two parts. First, we dive deep into the lessons of his 8-year research project studying CEOs who were master capital allocators. These CEOs include Henry Singleton, John Malone, Tom Murphy, Katherine Graham, and Warren Buffett. We discuss how these CEOs tended to be contrarians on topics like dividends, buybacks, acquisitions, and the use of debt. As we go through each of the tools in the capital allocators toolkit, you’ll hear several useful lessons for running or evaluating a business.

In the second part, we cover Will’s career in private equity. Will founded and continues to run Housatonic Partners, investing in buyouts, recaps, and search funds. Will has been one of the most active search fund investors for decades, and given how much time I’ve spent in past episodes on the searchers or operators in the micro-cap, permanent equity space, it was great to get the perspective of an experienced LP. As always, we also take time to survey the dangers and opportunities in today’s private equity market.

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/thorndike

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 30, 2019
Josh Wolfe – The Tech Imperative - [Invest Like the Best, EP.130]
01:03:10

My guest this week is Josh Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner at Lux Capital. I had Josh on the podcast last year which was one of the most popular episodes in the shows history. This is a continuation of our ongoing conversation about investing in the frontiers of technology. My favorite thing about Josh and the way that he invests is the mosaic that he and his team at Lux are constantly building to understand the world and where new companies may fit in. We cover a crazy variety of topics from business model innovation, roles of a CEO, the military, the death of privacy, and arrows of human progress. Please enjoy round two with Josh Wolfe.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Show Notes

1:22 - (First Question) –Ability to tackle massive scale problems

4:05 – Key roles of leaders and his checklist for evaluating them

5:55 – Common traits among founders that make them incredible storytellers and leaders

10:22 – The concept of ill-liquidity

14:53 – Thoughts on the types of companies going public

16:41 – Most innovative business models

19:14 - Advice for LP’s

23:51 – Common devil

            24:01 – The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

25:09 – Big internal debates at his firm, starting with price discipline

28:45 – The value debate internally

33:34 – CRISPR from an investment standpoint

36:50 – Edge cases they are looking at

46:52 – How they target ideas in a single concept

            50:01 – The Coast of Utopia: Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage

51:04 – New theses that they chase

56:31 – Recent adventure with special operations guys

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 23, 2019
Katherine Collins – Impact and ESG Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.129]
59:10

My guest this week is Katherine Collins, who is the head of sustainable investing at Putnam Investments, a portfolio manager on two of Putnam’s sustainable investing funds, and the author of the book The Nature of Investing: Resilient Investment Strategies through Biomimicry.

Our conversation is on the ins and outs of ESG and impact investing, a young but increasingly common topic in the investing world. This is challenging ground for me as a quant, because the data available is so new and limited—so Katherine’s perspective was very helpful as we continue to learn. Given the importance of this topic, I’m also searching for more guests with both positive and negative views on the role of ESG in an investing framework, and welcome suggestions for future guests. Please enjoy my conversation with Katherine Collins.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:29 - (First Question) –Mechanical vs human judgement processes

4:21 – ESG, and the non-utility portion of it.

7:11 – Data behind the objective function that is different from returns

12:34 – What are the most interesting data sets

16:04 – How does she determine what factors to target

19:31 – Why do we know that diversity of experience/opinion/background is good for a company

21:30 – The social vertical and how it plays into her investing system and better returns

            25:51 – Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality

27:00 – Environmental factors and the issues that jump to mind

29:48 – Importance of signing the UNPRI and is it just box checking

32:33 – Data for companies on the solution oriented companies

34:53 – Why doesn’t the market recognize the Alpha

36:17 – LP interest in ESG investing

38:25 – How other groups of investors approach ESG

40:03 – Best practices at business making an impact in ESG

44:01 – Unique or interesting tactics in environmental

46:33 – Who is the biggest opponent or position in opposition of ESG

47:37 – Most interesting edge

48:20 – Playbook for business managers thinking about social for the first time

49:59 – Measurements vs principles/values

51:21 – Advice to quants trying to use ESG in how they gather data

53:04 – Most memorable encounter with a company through the lens of ESG

53:53 – Where to learn more about ESG

54:50 – How much role regulation plays in the future of business sustainability

56:30 – Any more lessons from her research into natural systems

57:05 – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 16, 2019
Geoffrey Batt – The Nature of Transformational Returns - [Invest Like the Best, EP.128]
56:29

My guest this week Geoffrey Batt and the topic of our conversation is how to earn transformational returns in very hard markets. In his case, that means Iraqi equities which we cover in detail. He now runs a large pool of capital in Iraqi stocks through his firm Euphrates, but the journey was arduous to say the least. This is one of my favorite boots on the ground contrarian investments stories thus far on the podcast. I hope you enjoy the story and the lessons that Geoff has to offer. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) – What does it take to earn transformational returns

4:43 – How he deals with LPs, especially given the volatility of the market he invests in

10:26 – Why LPs have to think about the other investors in a fund

1:17 – How Geoffrey got interested in the Iraqi market

16:15 – Factors he was considering when exploring Iraq

            16:53 – Harvey Sawikin Podcast Episode

19:20 – Visiting companies in Iraq

22:30 – Most memorable meeting with a company on his first trip

27:18 – Size and nature of Iraqi market when he first got interested

30:44 – A specific allocator in Iraq

34:37 – Does price reflect the work over there

37:51 - What does he perceive as his role in the changes to Iraq’s equity market

40:12 - How do Iraqi equities look today compared to when he started and is the opportunity still interesting

44:14 – How businesses perceive him now that the market has opened up more

47:28 – Scale of potential return and where it comes from

49:51 – Advice for younger aspiring investors exploring frontier markets

52:16 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Geoffrey

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 09, 2019
Brian Singerman – Investing in the Best Founders - [Invest Like the Best, EP.127]
42:45

My guest this week is Brian Singerman, a partner at the venture capital firm Founders Fund. Founder’s Fund is widely considered one of the top VC firms and its partners are known to have diverse investment strategies.

Brian invests across industries and focuses on backing exceptional founders. You’ll hear right off the bat that he cares about moat, market, and strong execution. I love his point that the only way to become a good investor is to do a lot of investing. He describes himself an investor who uses his gut a lot, which took me a while to get used to in our conversation. But I have to say that at the end of this episode I felt refreshed and generally excited to keep putting in reps in my own way, both in the podcast and the quant research settings. I hope you enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notesd

1:28 - (First Question) – What Brian looks for when evaluating companies

2:38 – What a moat looks like in investing

3:11 – Most memorable initial moat

4:17 – How he evaluates a potential market

5:28 – Attributes they look for in founders

6:24 – Most significant technological changes and how they have impacted his investment strategy

8:57 – The sourcing of his deals

13:00 – Qualities he likes at various stages of deal sourcing

13:46 – How he evaluates the teams he may fund

15:17 – His take on the pricing landscape for deals

16:13 – How he allocates his time as a board member

17:16 – Thoughts on long term stock exchange

18:26 – How much research does he do on an industry in order to stay on top of his investments

20:10 – Outside information he follows

21:20 -  Other investors he’s learned a lot from

23:12 – What values does Peter Thiel instill in the partners

24:05 – Process of StemCentrics

26:03 – Other places holding his interest today

26:57 – His interest in e-sports

31:44 – Interactions with LP’s

32:51 – What they look for in recruiting new partners

34:32 – How geography impacts the opportunity for new ideas

36:24 – Opportunities in public companies and other investment types

37:57 – Aspects of overseeing a startup venture

39:26 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 02, 2019
Michael Mauboussin – The Four Sources of Alpha - [Invest Like the Best, EP.126]
01:06:56

My guest this week for the third time is Michael Mauboussin. If there is a major question about markets and investing, Michael has usually written one of the best pieces of research on that topic. Today’s conversation is a mix of several of his research pieces, but focuses on the sources of alpha.

The framing of the conversation is the brilliant question “who is on the other side” of a given trade. If you are buying, who is selling, and why? Knowing the answer to this question is one key to understanding where excess return comes from. As is usual with Michael, we also explore tons of other interesting ideas that will serve as food for thought. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:23 - (First Question) – An outline of the syllabus for the course he teaches

4:02 – What are smart people missing when it comes to decision making

5:33 – Why Michael went down the path of defining major investing concepts

            7:41 – On the impossibility of informational inefficient markets

9:14 – Beware behavioral finance

12:03 – What are the behavioral errors that people can take advantage of in a trade

15:14 – Timing opportunities

            17:25 – Modest Proposal Podcast Episode

17:47 – Where the analytical edge comes from

21:16 – Is there an advantage to exhibit time arbitrage

23:53 – Technical arbitrage

29:34 – What impact do flows into ETFs play on the market

32:25 – Informational edge and how you source that edge

36:39 – Biggest changes that he has seen on the buy side

43:18 -  How would Michael apply this as a sports GM

48:35 – His views on stock buybacks

            51:02 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

52:55 – EBIT to EBITDA paper

            54:43 – What Does a PE Multiple Mean?

59:28 – The concept of benign myths

1:02:06 – What the future holds of Michael

            1:04:17 – The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 26, 2019
Annie Duke – Wanna Bet? - [Invest Like the Best, EP.125]
01:10:35

My guest this week is with Annie Duke, and the topic of our discussion is how to improve decision making.

We break decisions down into their component parts: values, beliefs, decisions, randomness, and outcomes. After diving into each, we discuss how to make better decisions, how to work in group settings, and how to harness power of tribes and identity to improve our behavior.

Annie has thought about this as much as anyone, and her various tricks for getting us to think in probabilities and to stop evaluating decisions based on outcomes that have been tainted by randomness will be useful for anyone listening.

Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:23 - (First Question) – Why people don’t take the best investing advice

2:11 – Investing tribes

            4:21 – Jay Van Bavel twitter

6:34 – Rule setting as a way of crafting an investment strategy

11:13 – How much control do we have in choosing our values  

15:52 – Anatomy of a decision

19:28 – Her concept of resulting

26:47 -  How beliefs impact your decision making

34:28 – Tact’s for making the best decision

42:40 – Ego and decision making

47:06 – People who are exceptional at changing their decision making

48:18 – How often do people who change their decision making, stick with the rules of the game

            50:07 – Finite and Infinite Games

50:28 – Psychology of making decision that involves other people

59:20 -  Never close doors on other people

1:01:57 – Best decision that Annie made

1:04:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Annie

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 19, 2019
Michael Mayer – Pseudonymous Social Capital and Bottomless Coffee - [Invest Like the Best, EP.124]
01:07:48

My guest this week is unique and so requires a short story.

I met our guest Michael Mayer because of twitter. I followed and enjoyed one of several pseudonymous accounts that he maintains to experiment with ideas. His various accounts have wide followings.

I think many of the best accounts on twitter are anonymous or pseudonymous, and I’ve always made a point to get to know the ones I like best. As it turns out, Michael was also an entrepreneur. He’d been building a new company and was raising a small amount of outside capital.

I didn’t invest personally, in part because he raised it so quickly after I spoke with him. Ever since, I’ve gotten to know him better and followed his company, Bottomless, with interest. You know that I am always hyper transparent about any potential conflicts of interest, so it’s worth noting that while I am not an investor in this company, I expect to be at some point in the future.

The topic of our conversation is both his social media activity and his company. I am a coffee fanatic, and the problem he is solving is one I live. I order a weekly bag of coffee beans, but I often have too much coffee or run out. Bottomless solves this by shipping you a simple scale which you keep wherever you store your coffee, connect to your Wi-Fi, and set your bag of coffee on. It automatically orders new coffee for you at the right time. Thus the name: Bottomless. If you like the conversation, check out bottomless.com 

With this podcast, all I’m really trying to do is find, meet, and learn from interesting people. Michael certainly qualifies. I hope you enjoy this unique episode.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:06 - (First Question) – Why he writes under a pseudonym online

2:58 – Positive impacts of writing this way

3:45 – His background

5:02 – Habits he improved upon

7:03 – Where did his exploration into technology and start-ups come from

            7:33 – Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

10:32 – Elements of business that interest him most

13:26 – Building social capital vs the current state of education

17:06 – What information does he like to consume

            18:17 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

            18:34 – Jerry Neumann blog Reaction Wheel | Podcast episode

            18:39 – Kevin Simler’s blog  Melting Asphalt| Podcast Episode

21:01 – Why the current education system is busted

22:54 – Formation of his business

24:04 – Importance of making things legible

25:54 – On demand delivery vs subscription business models

30:16 – Early day in developing the scale for his business

33:50 – What he learned about coffee roasters

35:29 – thoughts on supplier power

36:17 – The customer relationship

39:50 – Best objections to his business

41:58 – Biggest operational/emotional challenges

42:56 – Best moment

44:39 – Time at Y combinator

46:28 – His unique co-founder story

49:47 – Marketing strategies and acquisition costs

51:37 – The idea of a commercial loop

53:27 – Discarded ideas, such as spaced repetition social networks

57:38 – Having a long-term plan vs reformatting a business into success

1:00:35 – What works on twitter based on his experience

1:03:09 – Most controversial opinion

1:05:59 – Kindest thing anyone has done

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 12, 2019
Peter Zeihan – The Future of Geopolitics - [Invest Like the Best, EP.123]
01:09:32

Peter is a geopolitical strategist who combines expertise in demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to assess an uncertain future. Before founding his own strategy firm, Peter helped develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies.  

I came across Peter via his books the Accidental Superpower and the Absent Superpower. We discuss America’s changing place in the world and four additional countries poised to do well in the future. Spoiler alert: he believes the U.S. is particularly well positioned. 

While we don’t discuss equity markets per se, all of what we talk about will obviously impact companies across the world for the remainder of our careers. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:32 - (First Question) – His model of the world

4:05 – What makes for a strategically advantaged country

5:35 – History of the Bretton Woods agreement and the order that it created

8:47 – The security apparatus that has made globalization of manufacturing possible

12:04 – The US’s pullback from being the naval police of global trade

            12:08 – The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America

14:57 – How energy has played into America’s disinterest abroad

21:52 – Moving towards global disorder

24:55 – Characterizing factors that will impact countries in any collapse

27:38 – How this manifest in physical conflict

32:44 – How the new world order will end the ease of innovation we are accustomed to today

34:13 – What gets the US to reengage before this new world order

38:08 – Demographics that make a country prepared for this, Japan as an example

40:57 – A look at China

43:59 – What the story is about Argentina

45:52 – How North America fares based on their geography and relationships

49:50 – The trader wars that are currently ongoing

52:17 – US political system

56:15 – Most important policy issues moving forward

58:27 – His view on American infrastructure

1:00:33 – Technologies that interest him the most

1:02:55 – What he is watching most closely in his research, starting with media

1:05:59 – What are and should be the countries of the future

1:06:55 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Peter

1:07:32 – Favorite places he’s been

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 05, 2019
Michael Kitces – The Past, Present & Future of Financial Advice - [Invest Like the Best, EP.122]
01:15:05

My guest this week is Michael Kitces, who is one of our industries go-to experts on all things financial advise and financial planning.

We discuss the past, present, and future of financial advise, financial technology, and investing. If you are a financial advisor or use one, this conversation is full of great history and perspective. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:08 - (First Question) – History of financial planning/advice model

5:26 – Fee changes in the 1970’s

10:01 – The start of the AUM model

10:44 – Value proposition for financial advisors beyond trading vs robo-advsiors

            11:49 – Why Robo-Advisors Will Be No Threat To Real Advisors

18:20 – Why are humans still dominating the space

23:58 – Future of advisor fees

32:50 – Viability of the human driven flat fee model

37:50 – The dominance of flat fee models

43:13 – What services are financial advisors offering to justify their fees

47:17 – Dimensions to divide potential customers

52:20 – Exciting updates on the investment side that will help differentiate managers

55:37 – Any investment function beyond the basics that is intriguing to him

58:45 – Most interesting problems to be solved on the investing and non-investing sides

1:04:52 – Advice for young advisors

1:09:24 – How does he invest his own money

1:11:31 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Michael

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 26, 2019
Alex Danco – Scarcity, Abundance and Bubbles - [Invest Like the Best, EP.121]
01:28:13

My guest this week is Alex Danco. Alex is a member of the Discover Team at Social Capital, has a background in biology, and has written about all things tech and business. While Alex is only 30, it seems like he has spent decades thinking about all the topics that we discuss, from changing business models, to railroads, to the shift from products to functions, and the rise and fall of asset bubbles. I hope you enjoy this wide ranging conversation. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) – A look at his day job on the discover team

            2:20 – 40 problems doc

4:27 – How companies get on the list and the turnover

5:21 – Hardest problem they are looking at…housing

11:37 – The investment component that fixes housing

15:35 – Where we are in the technology cycle in the view of abundance vs scarcity

20:54 – Change in distribution and the business vs utility business idea.

28:40 – Bifurcation of small and larger businesses

32:48 – New forms of scarcity today

38:31 – The trend of massive company incumbency

41:07 – The utility of bubbles

49:08 – His favorite bubble

51:18 – Challenges and nuances of bubbles

            53:35 – Zero to One Notes on Start-Ups, or How to Build the Future

1:02:22 – Future for VC funding in Silicon Valley

1:04:07 – Advice for business builders

            1:08:23 – The Three True Outcomes

1:13:04 – His background in biology and innovation in that space that is coming

1:19:46 – Company examples that are of interest to him and that encapsulate his way of investing

1:24:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Alex

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 12, 2019
Keith Wasserman – Real Estate Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.120]
59:25

My guest this week is Keith Wasserman, co-founder of the real estate investment firm Gelt.

This was my first fully dedicated conversation on direct real estate investing, so we cover many different topics, including the pros and cons of different types of real estate, current valuations, risk vs. reward, tax protection, and the most interesting emergent areas.  

You can tell Keith is an entrepreneur at heart so I enjoyed his energy and all that he has learned. Please enjoy.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) – Their interest in apartments and mobile homes as investments

2:32 – The returns spectrum for different classes of real estate

4:03 – His early entrepreneurial ventures and the start of Gelt

7:45 – Don’t be afraid of negotiating

8:34 – Going through early deals in real estate

11:57 – How he determines when it’s time to sell a property

14:13 – How do they think about taxes in their investment offerings

16:57 – Depreciation strategies in real estate investing

18:27 – The evolution of the types of real estate properties they’ve invested in

21:41 – Most important factors when evaluating a building to invest in

23:50 – Barriers to entry

25:41 – Changes in his cost of capital

28:51 – Cost of debt and deciding how much to put into a building

30:33 – A look at the competition

34:51 – Effective marketing strategies

37:07 – How demographics impact their strategies

39:11 – The co-living space

40:34 – Cloud kitchens and how he would invest in these

46:11 – How autonomous vehicles will impact real estate

47:52 – Pros and cons of developing new properties vs buying existing ones

49:59 – Early stage investing interest

53:48 – Favorite business/entrepreneur story

55:10 – Advice for younger entrepreneurs

57:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Keith

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Feb 05, 2019
Alex Mittal – Early Stage Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.119]
59:23

My guest this week is Alex Mittal, co-founder of Funders Club. Following past guest Jeremiah Lowin, Alex is my second elementary school friend to appear on the podcast—a trend I hope continues.

Funders club is a unique venture firm, because it is build around a network of investors and entrepreneurs who submit deals for consideration and invest together. But as you’ll hear, Alex and his co-founder Boris aren’t just building an open platform for early stage investing: they also then take a very traditional venture approach, making investing decisions themselves when it comes to building a centralized portfolio.

Our conversation is about what Alex has learned investing in almost 300 early stage companies over the past 7 years.

Please enjoy.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:30 - (First Question) – Inception of the Founder’s Club

            1:36 – Jeremiah Lowin Podcast Episode

3:59 – How the process of their platform works

5:40 – Role of the network in Founders Club setup and success

8:26 – What he has learned from all of the data he has access to

16:00 – Early stage investing and finding the sweet spot

22:17 – What makes a really intriguing bad idea

25:23 – Why he remains so excited about Ethereum

31:18 – More bad ideas

            31:55 – Apoorva Mehta on How I Built This Podcast

37:15 – Thoughts on retail and logistics and how they fit his Venn diagram of boring and crazy

43:13 – Chip and electronic design

45:47 – Companies that are not just increasing efficiencies but actually making foundational changes

            45:54 – Energy and Civilization: A History

52:34 – What does he look for in founders

            55:26 – Pivot or Fail

57:05 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Alex

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 29, 2019
Eugene Wei – Tech, Media, and Culture - [Invest Like the Best, EP.117]
01:21:35

My guest this week, Eugene Wei, has one of the most interesting backgrounds of anyone I’ve had on the podcast. He worked at Amazon early in its life, was the head of product at Hulu and Flipboard, and head of video and Oculus.

 

Our conversation is about the intersection of technology, media, culture. We discuss Eugene’s concept of invisible asymptotes: why growth slows down (for both companies and people) and how some can burst through. I’d list more of the topics, but we covered so much that you should just listen.

 

Finally, I’ll say that after spending a day with Eugene (including a wildly interesting dinner with Eugene, past podcast guest Sam Hinkie, and future podcast guest Kevin Kwok) that he is the type of uniquely interesting and kind person I am always searching for and one that I wish I could bet on somehow. If you know more people like this, reach out and suggest them for this podcast. Now, enjoy our conversation.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:38 - (First Question) – Idea of cuisine and empire

            1:52 – Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History

4:20 – Key takeaways from the Defiant Ones Documentary

8;25 – Being convinced to buy a sports coat

11:10 – The concept of invisible asymptote

17:43 – How the medium shapes the messaging and the impact of cameras everywhere on society

            17:48– Invisible asymptotes

            17:56 –  Selfies as a second language

22:57 – Proof of work in building a social network

32:51 – Magnification of inequalities in digital networks

            34:01 – The Lessons of History

36:47 – His thoughts on the media industry’s impact on society as a whole

39:42 – His time at Hulu

44:48 – Places where video could replace text

47:30 – The need for media for any business looking to grow

            49:35 – Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

53:08 – Personal asymptotes

57:19 -  Habit building and goal setting

1:00:29 – Travel recommendations

1:03:24 – Movie recommendations

1:08:16 – Product recommendations and what makes them indispensable

            1:10:44 – Creation: Life and How to Make It

1:13:23 – Thoughts on the art of conversation

            1:14:59 – The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive

1:18:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Eugene

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 22, 2019
Michael Duda – Investing In Brands - [Invest Like the Best, EP.117]
56:18

My guest this week is Michael Duda, and the topic of our conversation is the role that brand plays in business and investing.  Michael has worked on and invested in a wide-range of brands including Birchbox, Casper, Harry's, Citibank, DirecTV, Google, TripAdvisor, Under Armour and vineyard vines. His background in advertising made this a unique and interesting conversation. please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:11 - (First Question) – Mission of Bullish

2:15 – Typical relationship they have with companies

3:01 – Defining brand

            4:35 – Ryan Caldbeck Podcast Episode

5:51 – A dive into how brands make people feel

7:54 – Does the emphasis on brand still matter to consumers and if so, where

10:01 – Process of building up a brand

14:53 – What has changed most in the planning of a brand strategy

18:35 – How does his thinking impact his investing strategy

21:48 – Where does he differ from the rest of the market

23:34 – Advice he would give to companies in general

26:18 – How advertising has changed in the current landscape

28:35 – The screening process for picking potential investments

35:16 – How they analyze valuation

37:31 – Unusual traits he likes in founders

40:12 – Categories most ripe for young companies to disrupt

44:03 – Most interesting marketing channel for direct to consumer businesses

46:45 – Marketing piece he is most proud of

49:23 – Companies that embody the best of what has been discussed

52:31 – His love for people in business

53:41 – Kindest thing done for Michael

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 15, 2019
Abby Johnson – Future of Finance - [Invest Like the Best, EP.116]
01:03:13

Over the summer. I spent time with Abby Johnson, who is the chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments and several other business leads at Fidelity to understand how a very large firm like theirs is navigating change in our industry. What follows is a condensed version of my various conversations with Abby and her team. We discuss the big buzzwords like blockchain and machine learning, but also thoughts on leadership, client centricity and measures of success.

I hope you enjoyed this exploration

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:16 - (First Question) – [Abby] A look at the early part of Abby’s career

2:45 – Analyzing the skill of capital allocators

3:27 – A look at the asset management world of today and what to focus on today

7:23 – A set of decision-making principles that guide Abby

12:55 – Their strategy around the digitization of the world

16:07 – Balance between robo-advisors and humans and the markers of a good relationship

18:24 – What is the future of the role of the human in these relationships

20:15 – Their interest in emerging technologies like Blockchain

24:50 – Will crypto be its own asset class in the future

25:58 – [TOM] State of the business and the most interesting points of change

28:14 – Who is winning the battle for the next generation of investors

29:24 – How much of the change in financial business is cyclical

30:17 – What are businesses doing right to bridge that generational gap

31:01 – What does the future of the asset management industry look like

32:13 – What technologies could impact the asset management business the most

33:44 – The difference between machine learning and AI in this format

35:26 – In what way will AI impact these processes and replace humans

36:41 – What has him most excited about the future

37:54 – Advice for people thinking about pursuing a career in financial services

39:20 – Markers of a business that would be attractive for the next generation to consider working for

40:33 – The importance of brand when thinking about their business and those they work with

41:57 – Ways of engendering trust from a branding prospective

43:20 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tom

44:28 – [VIPIN] Building a team around AI

45:21 – Markers for a good data strategy

47:25 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Vipin

48:58 - [ABBY] – How Fidelity thinks about data as an investing initiative

50:24 – Differentiating attributes of good analysts and if they’ve changed

51:34 – Investor she has always enjoyed learning from

52:37 – Favorite Peter Lynch story

53:17 – Business lessons that people could take away from Abby

54:59 – The role of women in financial services and what can be done to improve the situation there

57:35 – Trends that Abby is most excited to explore

1:00:22 – Positives and negatives of being part of a family business

1:01:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Abby

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 08, 2019
Keith Rabois - If You Can’t Sell Them, Compete with Them - [Invest Like the Best, EP.115]
58:33

My guest this week is Keith Rabois. Keith is currently an investment partner at Khosla Ventures, but has a storied and diverse background as an investor, entrepreneur, and executive. He has worked in senior positions at Paypal, LinkedIn, and Square; has led investments in companies like Stripe, YouTube, Palantir, and AirBnB; and started the company OpenDoor, which aims to transform the process of selling a home through technology.

One fun fact about Keith is that he may have the most impressive list of bosses I’ve ever seen, which we discuss during the episode.

We cover a lot, but one thing we kept returning to was business strategy. Keith’s frameworks for gaining and building strategic power helped me clarify my thinking on the topic, and his examples of contrarian thinking will hopefully make you question some commonly held beliefs.

Please enjoy our conversation.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:35  (First Question) – A look at his investing philosophy

3:16  – Favorite examples of his own investment history

            4:40 – 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy

5:07 – Understanding what is anomalous in a given investment

7:07 – How much a secret needs to be protected within a business

11:51 – Why accumulating advantage with data is of interest to Keith

15:12 – Digital health companies and ideas that he finds compelling

16:17 – Nuance around financial services that investors should be mindful of

17:56 – How do they evaluate managers ability to recruit talent

19:36 – How similar are the roles of entrepreneur, board member, investor, etc that Keith has had in his career

24:02 – Ways that Keith is a contrarian, including his feelings on “lean startup.”

27:04 – Is problem identification a specific skill set

28:29 – Objection with experimentation/iteration

30:02 – Bad ideas in venture

31:36 – What he likes about Apple

            31:51 – Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

32:26 - Interview questions for identifying great talent

35:41 – Elements of good design

37:14 – Impact of platforms on opening new opportunities

38:42 – His take on valuation in the early stage environment

40:33 – Advice he would give people early in their careers

43:58 – Do high growth companies get beat by established larger businesses

45:25 – Popular narratives that he thinks are just wrong

48:22 – His thoughts on how people should learn, balancing experience vs information gathering

50:00 – Other investors that are taking a unique approach to investing

51:57 – Reflecting on the entrepreneur as a client model of private equity

55:04 – Books that he recommends that is least known

            55:18 – The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It

56:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Keith

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 18, 2018
Bryan Krug – High Yield Credit Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.114]
51:59

My guest today is Bryan Krug, who manages the Artisan Partners Credit Team and overseas more than $3B in high yield credit investments for the firm. This was my first conversation on high yield, so I took it as an opportunity to get an overview on the investment universe and home in on the tools used for analysis and security selection.

As an equity investor, I think one of the most fruitful areas of research is into ways that companies fail or go wrong, and credit investors focus almost entirely on this potential for impairment. My guess is that all equity investors will learn something useful from this conversation. Please enjoy.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:11 – Overview of the high yield debt markets

5:05 – Why should investors consider this investment class

7:11 – How analyzing a company’s debt is different from what equity analysts look for

8:42 – Primary factors when exploring a company’s ability to de-lever

9:43 – What is their alpha vs others in the space

12:02 – Deep dive into the quantitative factors for them to look into a deal

14:25 – Benchmarks he uses

16:08 – Portfolio construction

17:15 – Their preference for broadband providers over cable tv networks

20:01 – What piques his interest about spreads

21:50 – The ratings of debt

25:40 – A recent example of an opportunity and how the mispricing was identified

29:17 – Most valuable data sets in this world

31:51 – Favorite part of this process

32:26 – Most surprising new learning

33:01 Maintaining your advantage

34:49 – The biggest pools of error in this industry

48:00 – What industries interest Bryan

40:50 – Dedication to this market

41:45 – Evolution of his healthy skepticism

42:38 – Can things in the debt market help to project what will happen in the equity markets

44:56 – Current view of the world based on what is happening in the credit markets

45:51 – Categories of convenience that he cares about

49:15 – Anything that has him worried in high yield markets

50:38 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Bryan

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 11, 2018
Maureen Chiquet – Leadership Through Hard Conversations - [Invest Like the Best, EP.113]
59:03

My guest this week is Maureen Chiquet, the former longtime CEO of Chanel. Maureen also spent much of her career at the Gap, growing Old Navy from scratch, and serving as the president of Banana Republic.

The topic of discussion is her experience running large businesses and of finding one’s way in a career and as a leader of others.

I hope you enjoy this unique conversation and that it encourages you to, among other things, travel somewhere new and interesting in the coming year.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) – The importance of being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes

            3:05 – Scott Norton Podcast Episode

4:36 – Most memorable sale from her early career

5:03 – The intersection of facts and emotions in sales

6:40 – Most important emotions in business

7:30 – The importance of identity as part of the selling/marketing of sales and products

9:10 – Difference in strategy for luxury brands vs others

            9:21 – The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands

10:55 – Striking a balance between tradition and innovation

13:46 – Advice for new brand company related to rarity

14:59 – Importance of being organic with your brand purpose

            15:01 – Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic

16:26 – Maureen’s purpose over the years

18:44 – How to harness your purpose for your job

20:53 – Her process for writing and desire to do TV

24:01 – Her time with Micky Drexler

27:40 – As a leader, guiding people to succeed.

32:33 – Strategy for shifting culture at a company

37:54 – The importance of courageous conversations we should all be having

43:45 – Markers of courageous conversations

46:43 – How she thinks about introspection

50:12 – What draws here to certain locations

55:15 – Advice for younger people starting out their career

57:11 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Maureen

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 04, 2018
Hunter Walk – Building Picks and Shovels - [Invest Like the Best, EP.112]
01:18:54

My guest this week is Hunter Walk, the co-founder of Homebrew, a unique venture capital firm. Hunter is a tool builder, having spent his career before venture at companies like Google and YouTube. The topic of our conversation is the intersection of creative expression, technology, human behavior, and problem solving. 

We discuss his time at the company behind the video game Second Life, building tools for creators at YouTube, and why a very hands-on style of early stage venture investing represents an interesting use of his skillset at this stage of his career. 

Please enjoy my conversation with Hunter Walk.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:24 - (First Question) – Background on Second Life and what role Hunter had there

6:10 – The virtual currency system at use in Second Life

9:51 – Measuring how people behaved in this virtual world

12:21 – How closely is the Second Life world mimicking real life

15:13 – The market for platforms that lets people take on creative ventures

17:58 – Investments that interest Homebrew

20:21 – Lessons learned while working at YouTube

28:34 – The idea behind Homebrew

33:44 – How to best describe good problems to solve for

36:10 – The Shadow economy and investing in companies operating there

42:17 – Monetization of attention

47:22 – His interest in fintech companies

54:03 – Major trends of change he’s observed over his first three funds

1:04:13 – What is there take on the state of returns for VC’s

1:09:52 – What is the most common way that founders need help and what advice is more helpful

1:14:35 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Hunter

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 27, 2018
[REPLAY] Alex Moazed – Building Modern Monopolies - [Invest Like the Best, EP.25]
01:13:41

[REPLAY]

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy, which explores the platform business model (Uber, Airbnb, Github).  Alex is also the founder and CEO of Applico, a company that he started in his dorm room that is since grown into a huge enterprise that helps startups and Fortune 500 innovate with platforms.  Alex and I talk about history and future of businesses and different types of business models.  There’s a lot in here for investors, entrepreneurs, and historians.  Please enjoy!

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Books Referenced

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

 

Links Referenced

Failed Color App

Applico

 

Show Notes

2:39  – (first question) – Exploring the history of business models from linear to platform.

5:46 – A look at the share of overall business platform companies have taken over

            7:06 - Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

7:48 – The potential for platform businesses over the next 20 years

9:18 – Detailing the difference between a linear and a platform business

12:08 – Exploring transaction costs and core transactions across different business models

19:49 – Is the platform business model good for investors and VC’s since so many can get crushed when there’s a sole victor, or is it just for the founders and entrepreneurs.

 24:35 – How the self-driving car is going to deliver more opportunity for consumer consumption

27:15 – Untapped supplies as the opportunity for new platforms and where we could see new openings

30:24 – How consolidated will things become across all platforms

33:16 – How do platform companies create a moat to keep others from replicating their business strategy

37:03 – Are there platform strategies that specifically don’t work

            37:40 - Failed Color App

38:45 – Why complex systems typically don’t scale up and you should think small and easy to get started

            38:47 – The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small

40:02 – How the origin of so many larger companies started out small and localized, and why it makes investors more comfortable

41:37 – How Alibaba had to tweak their business model to accommodate the Chinese market

44:07 – Why are the modern monopolies better for consumers

47:52 – Exploring platforms that are asset heavy

49:00 – What do you look for as a VC to determine

52:05 – Alex’s take on whether a platform based company like Uber should be more asset heavy

54:31 – Exploring some lesser known platform businesses that Alex finds interesting

56:18 – If there is a demand in the secondary markets for a product, why don’t the primary suppliers simply raise their prices

57:03 – What Alex’s portfolio of platform-based businesses would look like

58:48 – A couple of most influential books Alex has read

            59:12 – The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

            59:38 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future and other Peter Thiel books

59:53 – Looking at Applico, how it started and how it become so focused on the platform business model

1:03:56 - Most memorable day for Alex 

1:05:13 – Kindest person to Alex in his life

1:06:10 – What platform opportunities could exist in the financial world

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 20, 2018
Cliff Asness – The Past, The Present & Future of Quant [Invest Like the Best, EP.111]
01:24:01

My guest this week is Cliff Asness, the managing and founding principal at AQR Capital Management. 20 years after its founding in 1998, AQR manages $226 Billion dollars across a number of quantitatively based investing strategies.

Cliff was an original quant researcher and he has long been one of the financial writers and thinkers that I look to for education and for inspiration.

I distinctly remember reading one paper in particular—value and momentum everywhere—somewhat early in my career and thinking: this is the kind of research I want to do forever.

You can always tell when talking to Cliff or hearing him speak that he just loves researching markets. There is a deep intellectual honesty in his work, and a respect for thinkers at different ends of the market spectrum, from Gene Fama and Ken French, to Jack Bogle, to Dick Thaler and Robert Shiller.

Our conversation is about all things quant—past, present, and future. Cliff touches on many of the big issues facing quant investing and tells some great strong along the way. I hope you enjoy our discussion. Let’s dive in.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:47 - (First Question) – Favorite superhero

2:43 – Why ‘Ka nama kaa lajerama’ is part of his twitter profile.

3:38 – How portfolios have shifted the way they use factors in a portfolio

10:15 – What are good questions clients are asking right now

            13:24 – Contrarian Factor Timing Is Deceptively Difficult

15:40 – Does technology impact investing strategy

22:14 – When to share information vs keep it proprietary for clients sake

26:40 – How their research process is governed

31:14 – How they will incorporate machine learning into their process

34:21 – What they will do when red flags show up

37:01 – Wackiest question from a client

41:47 – The Three Sharpe Ratio Strategy

            41:53 – Liquid Alt Ragnarök

48:10 – Does his thinking change when it comes to asset allocation vs portfolio building

            50:17 – Parallels Between the Cross-Sectional Predictability of Stock and Country Returns

            53:01 – Sin a Little

57:14 – Trends in fees and pricing

1:02:43 – Thoughts on private equity markets

1:11:03 – Common attributes of really good researchers

1:13:21 – What is he most curious about right now

1:15:43 – What excites him outside of finance

1:17:00 – How much he discusses his work with his kids

            1:18:35 – The Devil in HML’s details

1:19:36 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 13, 2018
[REPLAY] Peter Attia, M.D. - How to Live a Longer, Higher Quality Life - [Invest Like the Best, EP.27]
01:27:26

[REPLAY]

My guest this week is Peter Attia, M.D., whose mission is to understand and improve human lifespan and healthspan (or quality of life).  Reading Peter’s research, you find that there are many similarities between health and investing—ideas like compounding—which we explore in detail.

We spend a lot of time on mind, body, spirit and performance as it relates to living a better life. Of particular interest is the strategic problem that we face when studying longevity. As Peter puts it in our conversation: we are the species of interest, but we can’t conduct the kinds of experiments on humans—randomized trials, with control groups—that we apply to solve other big problems. So we have to back our way into a better understanding of longevity and quality of life.

To that end, we discuss what we can learn from studying centenarians, the problem of progress in science, a drug called Rapamycin (which Peter believes could be revolutionary), eating, the importance of muscle mass, and the idea of distressed tolerance.  We emerge with a framework for thinking about health and well-being which can hopefully help us all live longer, better lives. Please enjoy!

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/attia

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Posts From Peter Attia That You Should Read

Do Calories Matter

How You Move Defines How You Live

2016 Update

Long List of Questions Answered: Part 1 and Part 2

Links Referenced

The Scientific Method-Richard Feynman

Knowing Versus Understanding-Feynman again

Books Referenced

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

Diffusion of Innovations

Good Calories, Bad Calories

Show Notes

2:31  – (first question) – Getting Peter to define the concept of wealth and how it might have changed in his life

5:01 – How do you increase the number of really good people in your life.

6:50 – Looking at the relationship between healthspan and lifespan and a chart that Peter created on this specific topic.

11:11 – Drilling down into the different dimensions and aspects of this chart that could be most important for people, especially how compounding plays into our health.

16:57 – The difference between strategies and tactics that will help you extend lifespan

17:54 – The Scientific Method-Richard Feynman

21:41 – Different types of intermittent fasting

28:59 – What role does repair play in health

34:17 – Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

36:01 – Looking back, what health trends today will look absurd

36:19 – Diffusion of Innovations

39:24 – What are the primary benefits of weight lifting

40:21 – The importance of glucose disposal

45:07 – Good Calories, Bad Calories

46:31 – What is the state of progress in the scientific community

52:14 – Peter is asked about how he guards against getting too attached to old beliefs

1:01:51 – A look at how performance relates to healthspan

1:03:34 –Peter’s first great auto-racing experience

1:09:17 – Looking into Peter’s medical practice and understanding his thinking that goes into helping people

1:18:11 – The most memorable day in Peter’s career

1:22:31 – The kindest thing anyone has done for Peter

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Nov 06, 2018
Ryan Caldbeck – Quant in Private Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.110]
01:09:22

My guest this week is Ryan Caldbeck, a private equity investor who wants to bring quantitative rigor to the private markets. Ryan is the CEO of Circle Up, which uses a system it calls Helio to identify attractive investments in early stage consumer brands. 

While I am of course a fan of quantitative investing, I also know from experience how much harder private markets are than public markets when it comes to the transactions themselves. We discuss this and many other potential roadblocks to bringing models to private markets.

Using many individual companies as examples, Ryan explains some of the major predictive factors they’ve uncovered in their research. We also discuss which parts of the private markets might be infiltrated by quant processes first, and which may never be. 

I expect many more to go on a journey similar to Ryan’s in the years to come. They serve as an interesting example for ambitious investors out there.

Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:39 - (First Question) – Formation of Helio

6:57 – How they handle the relationship building needed to make investments in private markets

10:26 – Why consumer and retail are interesting spaces to apply their quantitative approach in private markets

12:54 – Searching for new relevant data

16:14 – How do they stay ahead of the commoditization of uniqueness

            16:21 – Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning

            17:24 – Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode

18:00 – Dominant predictive factors in this world

21:05 – Which is more important, relative value or rate of change

21:48 – What does the data say about online sales vs offline (being in a store)

23:30 – Variable that consumer investors think matters but it doesn’t

24:53 – Valuing companies and accounting for mispricing’s

            25:36 – Michael Recce Podcast Episode

26:41 – Goes through the process using Liquid Ivy as an example

28:46 – Most interesting sub-categories

29:33 – Future for this model

            32:10 – Albert Wenger Podcast Episode

35:19 – Other categories outside consumer and retail interest Ryan

36:28 – Biggest challenges for CircleUp as a business

38:46 – Handicapping their earnings expectations

41:36 – Take on the VC/PE landscape

43:03 – The types of models that are most interesting to the team

45:05 – Quantitative elements of brand that are most interesting

47:30 – Most unique brand and distribution strategy he’s come across

53:27 – Who has influenced Ryan the most

54:37 – His personal values

55:51 – More people who had an influence on Ryan

            56:05 – The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

57:07 – Thoughts on goal setting at the company

59:29 – Unchangeable factors that shape their long-term vision

1:02:01 – Most interesting individual conversation as part of this journey

1:04:02 – If he could only keep one dataset, what would he keep

1:05:09 – kindest thing anyone has done for Ryan

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Oct 30, 2018
Howard Lindzon – Fintech and Trend Following - [Invest Like the Best, EP.109]
48:02

My guest this week aspires to be the Larry David of investing, and we discuss why. Howard Lindzon is hard to categorize. He’s primarily an early stage investor right now, but he’s participated in all types of investing. He describes himself as a trend follower and always has a unique take on popular topics. 

In this conversation, we cover his investing history and his take on the fintech investing landscape. What I’ll remember most is the idea that we should focus on what is happening versus what we think will happen or might happen. There is a Peter Lynch like quality to some of Howard’s thinking, and a willingness to embrace the weird that I find very appealing. The few times I’ve met Howard, I’ve smiled or laughed most of the time, which is about as nice a thing as I could say about someone.

He’s a good example of why I like this podcast format. His investing style bears literally no resemblance to my own, but it got me thinking about a lot of new things. I hope you enjoy our chat.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

1:42 - (First Question) – Why he wants to be the Larry David of investing

2:00 – Why his investing style is best described as trend following

4:05 – The biggest inspirations/influencers on Howard’s investing

6:39 – What made his second mentor, Fred Wilson such a great investor

9:52 – Formation of Wall Strip

12:33 – Why weird is so important in his inv