Invest Like the Best

By 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 InvestorFieldGuide.com

Episode Date
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]
01:00:10

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

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 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.

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

1:57 – (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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

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

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 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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag 

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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 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

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 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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

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.

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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 investment philosophy

14:56 – Understanding his investment philosophy through his investment in Rally Road.

21:02 – His assessment of the fintech space

28:54 – Why fintech pushes away from human nature

30:50 – Major trends in fintech that have his attention

35:02 – What stands out about the teams at these companies he invests in

36:37 – Thoughts on fractionalization plays

            36:44 – Capital Allocators podcast episode

            36:54 – Venture Stories Podcast

40:03 – Any major trends that are changing and worth attention

            42:06 – The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

43:26 – His take on the media landscape

45:10 – 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

Oct 23, 2018
CoVenture Credit - Esoteric Credit with Ail Hamed, Brian Harwitt, and Marc Porzecanski - [Invest Like the Best, EP.108]
01:07:50

My guests this week are Ali Hamed, Brian Harwitt and Marc Porzecanski who work together at CoVenture Credit. When I first had Ali on as a podcast guest, we discussed the many aspects of what his firm does, ranging from venture, to crypto, to credit. We glossed over the lending side of the business, but having since learned a lot from them on the topic, I was excited to get the chance to talk with members of their credit team for today’s longer exploration of esoteric high yield lending.

I am always proselytizing the value of investor education, s this week we have a podcast first. The CoVenture team has prepared a long series of posts that correspond to our conversation and go even deeper into the topic of credit investing. You can find them in the shownotes at investorfieldguide.com/credit

This is entirely differently from any conversation I’ve shared before, so I hope you learn as much as I did. Please enjoy my discussion with team CoVenture Credit.

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) – The formation of their unique credit business

7:09 – Their advantage in seeing both the equity and credit side of their investments

10:23 – Looking at the Returnly deal as an example

14:07 – How they view these deals and are able to sustain them as long-term investments

18:09 – Their interest in payroll deduction lending

20:08 – Finding unique types of default risk

21:31 – What stands out in a platform that makes CoVenture want to take a deeper look

26:43 – Most interesting types of problem they have come across that they have yet to do a deal in

31:35 – What is going to change to make for more thoughtful underwriting of subprime lending

35:51 – Major structures of asset backed lending

39:49 – Whether the home serves as an interesting playground for credit opportunities and whether people will own anything again

42:44 – Mark’s experience working at a huge firm vs his experience at CoVenture

44:31 – How does the current credit cycle impact their view

47:04 – Lending against bitcoin

50:06 – Who is interested in these loans against bitcoin

50:57 – How to set interest rates against a weird asset like this

53:00 – What are the key determents of success in this business

1:02:27 – Kindest thing anyone has team for the team

1:03:52 – How to treat people that you pass 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

Oct 16, 2018
Saifedean Ammous – The Bitcoin Standard - [Invest Like the Best, EP.107]
01:08:26

My guest this week is Saifedean Ammous, author of the book the Bitcoin Standard. This was one of the more interesting conversations I’ve had in the world of cryptocurrency, primarily because we don’t talk about Bitcoin or Crypto until 25 minutes into the talk. Instead, we focus on history, economics, sound money, low time preference, and gold—all interesting topics.

Saif’s thinking on cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin—which is that they are worthless—is unique and thought provoking. His reasoning around why gold shouldn’t be compared to the returns generated by assets like equities was also compelling. If you’ve followed my Hash Power episodes, this is a new a differentiated interpretation of Bitcoin as a technology for the store of value use case. Please 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

 

Show Notes

2:10 - (First Question) – Explain Sound Money

4:25 – Examples of hard vs easy money

7:36 – the even money trap

9:36 – The benefits of hard money vs today’s standards

14:05 – Why this interests him

            14:16 – Gold Wars: The Battle Against Sound Money As Seen From A Swiss Perspective

            14:56 – Democracy – The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order

16:17 – Correlation between time preference and people’s ability to succeed in life

19:59 – How money markets worked in the late 18th century vs today

27:57 – How he came across Bitcoin and how he thinks of it as a digital gold

35:42 – How will the world transition to a sound money standard

42:15 – The impacts of hyperinflation on crypto currencies

45:04 – The idea of a orderly upgrade of the world currency

48:20 – His thinking on alternative coins

54:05 – What it takes to compete with bitcoin

1:01:43 – How he diversifies

1:04:35 – Stalling bitcoins demand

1:06:11 – Does he apply his thinking of lower time preference elsewhere in his life

1:07:09 – 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

Oct 09, 2018
Danny Moses – Pot Stocks, Tesla, & The “Wild Bill” Rule for Quants – [Invest Like the Best, EP.106]
36:47

“This is an unusual early episode release thanks to the timing of the recent news on Tesla. In this short episode, Danny and I discuss cannabis stocks, Tesla, and his “wild bill” story about quant investing.”

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 28, 2018
Jeremiah Lowin – Machine Learning in Investing – [Invest Like the Best, EP.105]
58:31

My guest this week is one of my best and oldest friends, Jeremiah Lowin. Jeremiah has had a fascinating career, starting with advanced work in statistics before moving into the risk management field in the hedge fund world. Through his career he has studied data, risk, statistics, and machine learning—the last of which is the topic of our conversation today. 

He has now left the world of finance to found a company called Prefect, which is a framework for building data infrastructure. Prefect was inspired by observing frictions between data scientists and data engineers, and solves these problems with a functional API for defining and executing data workflows. These problems, while wonky, are ones I can relate to working in quantitative investing—and others that suffer from them out there will be nodding their heads. In full and fair disclosure, both me and my family are investors in Jeremiah’s business.

You won’t have to worry about that potential conflict of interest in today’s conversation, though, because our focus is on the deployment of machine learning technologies in the realm of investing. What I love about talking to Jeremiah is that he is an optimist and a skeptic. He loves working with new statistical learning technologies, but often thinks they are overhyped or entirely unsuited to the tasks they are being used for. We get into some deep detail on how tests are set up, the importance of data, and how the minimization of error is a guiding light in machine learning and perhaps all of human learning, too. 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

2:06 - (First Question) – What do people need to think about when considering using machine learning tools

3:19 – Types of problems that AI is perfect for

6:09 – Walking through an actual test and understanding the terminology

11:52 – Data in training: training set, test set, validation set

13:55 – The difference between machine learning and classical academic finance modelling

16:09 – What will the future of investing look like using these technologies

19:53 – The concept of stationarity

21:31 – Why you shouldn’t take for granted label formation in tests

24:12 – Ability for a model to shrug

26:13 – Hyper parameter tuning

28:16 – Categories of types of models

30:49 – Idea of a nearest neighbor or K-Means Algorithm

34:48 – Trees as the ultimate utility player in this landscape

38:00 – Features and data sets as the driver of edge in Machine Learning

40:12 – Key considerations when working through time series

42:05 – Pitfalls he has seen when folks try to build predictive market investing models

44:36 – Getting started

46:29 – Looking back at his career, what are some of the frontier vs settled applications of machine learning he has implemented

49:49 – Does intereptability matter in all of this

52:31 – How gradient decent fits into this whole picture  

 

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 25, 2018
Trail Magic - Lessons from Two Years of the Podcast [Invest Like the Best, EP.104]
11:13

(0:49) This week, to mark the two-year anniversary of the podcast, I offer a quick summary looking back and forward.

(0:55) Yesterday I heard about an Appalachian Trail thru hiker named Croatoan, or Crow for short. Crow was his trail name, which all A.T. thru hikers carry. Importantly, you can’t give yourself a trail name. Someone else has to name you along the way. Crow’s girlfriend was named Porridge. Another hiker he encountered along the way was named Bear Wrestler…more on him in a few minutes.

Crow was a Sobo, a south bound hiker heading from Maine to Georgia. This is a far more unique route, as most thru hikers are Nobos, hiking north. These hikers maintain a rich culture. Each wears their own trail flare, and has their own trail style. They are obsessed with their gear and food. They develop their own improved walking method to cover ground efficiently. Hikers typically won’t veer far off course, no more than a tenth of a mile, for almost any reason. Crow once left a meaningful gift he had received by a river bed, realized it two tenths of a mile later, and just kept moving. Two exception to this rule are to visit a brewery or find some homemade ice cream.

(1:50) There are different types of thru hikers. White blazers are hikers who follow the main trail, lit by the famous white blazes marking the way. Blue blazers often go a step further, exploring side trails in addition to the main trail. Green blazers smoke weed the whole time. There are other colorful ones I’ll stay away from here as they aren’t safe for work.

Apparently you can spot an imposter in a number of ways. My favorite was that anyone wearing big, sturdy hiking books should be questioned, because most thru hikers realize quickly that they are way too heavy and opt instead for lightweight shoes. Crow had a nice pair of Altras.

(2:22) This brings us back to Bear Wrestler. Around a campfire, Bear Wrestler was telling Crow and his girlfriend all about his long trail adventures and feats, but Crow noticed that Bear Wrestler was still chubby, carrying 40 pounds of fat. This is a second way to spot a potential imposter. When hiking intensely for months on end, it is impossible to keep any weight on, so Bear Wrestler was clearly a yellow blazer, a type of hiker who drives between trail heads instead of hiking the entire way like the purists.

As I heard about Crow and his adventure, I was thinking about what to say in this short episode about what I’ve learned across two years running this podcast. What I quickly realized is how many yellow blazers there are in the world, and that at many times in my life, I too have been a yellow blazer—opting for easier but less authentic, and less interesting, routes. The podcast is part of a portfolio of things that I’ve put in place in my life to try to avoid being a yellow blazer. To instead push myself to be more like a blue blazer, exploring anywhere I can.

(3:16) Looking back on the incredible guests I’ve had, I realize now the common mindset that unites them, and I’d like to highlight that mindset here. Even though my guests have come from just about every conceivable background, investing and otherwise, they are all in persistent and consistent pursuit of original experience. Now, that might sound obvious, but its rare to meet people whose default is to chase original experience. These people stand out quickly now to me, because I can recognize freshness in them, patterns I haven’t already seen 10 other times elsewhere. I now think often: am I doing this because its conventional, and/or because I’m watching what other people do? I think if you do the same exercise, you’ll be alarmed by how often the answer is “yes.”

Diving a bit deeper into these people and what unites so many of my past guests, there are four elements that I see over and over again.

(4:01) The first is common trait is deep curiosity. My take on curiosity after meeting all these people is that it works best in two ways: through building units of exploration, and through embracing strange intersections.

When people ask me what I do, I’ll sometimes just list the actual things I do, instead of a job title. So I say, I read books, papers, and articles. I run tests on data, using many of the same scripts and tools. I have tons of individual conversations with people in nooks and crannies of the investing world. I talk to clients and prospects. I write letters and white papers. These are my units of exploration, and I expect that I’ll keep repeating each of them forever. I have no clue where that might lead, but I’m confident that through curiosity fueled repetition, I’ll find good things. My close friend and most frequent podcast guest Brent Beshore has looked through 12,000 business deals. Talk about repetitions. I think curiosity, and the interesting investing opportunities it creates, is just a set of habits. Finding the right habits, the right units, is a great start.

I also often see what I call strange intersections. Picture a Venn diagram with tiny, but interesting, overlap. Some of the most intriguing things I’ve learned about live in these strange intersections. Ali Hamed and Savneet Singh, who are partners at a firm called CoVenture, have found interesting overlap between the worlds of lending, technology, and old world business. Whether it be shoe returns online or watermelons, they’ve found unique ways to lend at high rates on unique platforms enabled by technology. I often see people using seemingly unrelated interested, ideas, or strategies together to produce something different. I encourage everyone to think about strange ways of combining their areas of expertise and interest.

(5:40) The second common trait is persistence through randomness. Sometimes when I talk with people about the importance of curiosity, they say it sounds too easy and fun. The good news for the skeptics is that more often than not, its not fun, it is a total slog. When I looked back recently, I found that I only finish about 1 in 7 books that I start. Even most that I finish aren’t great. Put differently, I read an incredible amount of mediocre books to find just one book that makes a difference. This happens everywhere. The vast majority of data and ideas that we investigate at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management go nowhere at all.

I think most people will agree that the journey of discovery is often tedious, filled with dead ends, and above all random. My favorite example of this persistence through randomness was my conversation with Josh Wolfe, which I recommend in its entirety.

One of my favorite phrases picked up in the past two years is the Shangaan phrase Hi Ta Xi Uma, which I learned from Reinius Mflongo, one of the top trackers in Africa. It means “we will find it,” and Reinius will keep muttering it when he loses a track and struggles to find the next one. Everything is hard, and usually much harder than we can fathom. All the best people I’ve met through the podcast just don’t let that stop them. They also seem to develop an awareness of this constant difficulty and just become used to it.

(6:55) This second trait, persistence through randomness, is perhaps my favorite way to test for yellow blazers. There are many people in the world of business and investing who can talk extremely well. But if you keep peeling back the onion, asking more and more specific questions of a yellow blazer, you’ll find nothing original. But when you do hit on something, several layers down, that you’ve never heard before, that to me is a mark of persistent inquiry. That’s the kind of people I’m after.

(7:21) The third common trait is risk management. It is tempting to view uncertainty as a sort of risk, but I think that is a large mistake. All the good stuff is found in places that haven’t been mapped already. In fact, to take the idea of original experience a step further, what is common across the best people I’ve met is not just having the experiences, but then bringing some sort of order to the chaos they found in uncertainty. This isn’t risk, in my opinion. If anything, not seeking out chaos is what’s risky.

But then there are the conceivable risks: things that could go wrong that we can list ahead of time. On this front, guests were often very thoughtful: developing plans to be deployed when specific risk scenarios play out. I loved Mike Zapata’s story about the darkest night. He and his SEAL team would prepare and practice every tiny detail of a mission, creating plans for all risks, then wait to attack on the darkest night they could, because even though the conditions were hardest in the dark, their preparation and risk mitigation would shine in that difficult environment.

More specific to investing, many of my guests have a clear focus on downside risk protection. Several people have told me that there are common ways that things go wrong, but many more unknowable reasons things go right. So instead of trying to predict what will work, focus on avoiding the common pitfalls. My favorite example again came in Africa, being told 100 times to not run when lions charged us. It is a common and known risk factor (each of our guides had been charged more than 50 times), but one that was easily mitigated. If you don’t run, the lion will stop short and maul and eat you. You just have to have that lesson beat into your brain a hundred times ahead of time because the basic instinct, as is so often the case with investing, is to run.

(8:57) For the fourth common trait, we return to our thru hiker Crow one last time. I heard Crow’s story from my friend Bill, who picked up Crow hitchhiking to give him a quick ride into town. Bill offered to buy Crow dinner. He accepted with a huge smile, telling Bill “wow, that is some real trail magic right there.” Trail magic is my favorite piece of lingo in the thru hiking culture. Hikers tell endless stories about trail magic, which is what they call the acts of kindness and goodwill bestowed upon them by strangers along their journey. Food, shelter, a quick lift, a homemade cookie. Consider how incredibly positive sum trail magic is. The givers and the receivers of the magic both come out ahead. Despite all I’ve learned about business and investing over these two years, my favorite question to ask is still my final one in each episode, about acts of kindness. Getting to hear more than 100 stories of kindness from these people has been the highlight for me, and the best lesson.

(9:49) Summed up, what I’ve learned from these people is to follow your own way, always. Figure out the right units of exploration, embrace strange intersections, and carefully consider what could go wrong. Rest when you need it, be dogged and aggressive when the situation calls for it, but just keep going. Do it all with respect for others and as much trail magic as you can muster.

Thanks to all the great people I’ve had on the show, and thanks to you for listening for these two years, I promise to keep this discovery process going in some way, shape, or form forever.

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 18, 2018
Kathryn Minshew - How Employers and Employees Should Build Careers - [Invest Like the Best, EP.103]
29:04

My guest this week is Kathryn Minshew, the co-founder and CEO of the Muse, and the co-author of The New Rules for Work: the Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career. I’ve learned in business is that the quality of people and the culture they create dictate outcomes. Having made plenty of mistakes hiring, and having had many enormous successes, I am always interested in best practices for finding and successfully recruiting the right people.

Given that Kathryn runs a jobs marketplace and has written a book on the topic, she is the perfect person to explore some the core concepts around pairing people with the right positions. We discuss how companies should market to prospective employees, how employees should represent themselves to employers, and the most common mistakes she sees across the hiring landscape.

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) Largest changes in the nature of work and how people approach finding the right job for them

3:27 – Can this work be jammed into a formula

5:18 – What strategies is she sharing with employers when it comes to hiring

8:31 – How long should the process take

9:33 – Biggest mistakes employers make in this process

10:39 – Besides the usual stuff, what can perspective employees do to bolster their chances

12:50 – How much more efficient will matching technology get in the years to come

16:00 – What will be the largest changes to work itself

19:09 – Will we move away from full time work into parsels of work units

20:50 – Most successful piece of content or content strategy the Muse has employed

22:34 – Advice for early stage entrepreneurs

26:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Kathryn

 

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, 2018
Richard Craib - Crowdsourcing Predictive Algorithms - [Invest Like the Best, EP.102]
48:11

I intentionally avoid the world of quantitative investing on this podcast. The whole point of this format is to learn about many different fields, and the vast majority of my time is already spent in quant world.

Occasionally I’ve broken this rule because of something unique, including this week’s conversation with Richard Craib, the founder and CEO of Numerai. If you listen to the podcast often you’ll have heard me reference Numerai, a hedge fund which blends quant investing, cryptocurrencies, crowdsourcing, and machine learning — talk about a PR company’s dream.

One important note: Numerai is both incredibly open and very secretive. You may sense a bit of frustration on my part, but that is only because, as a fellow quant who loves details about data and modeling, we couldn’t go deeper into the details on the record.

We discuss how Numerai has created an incentive structure to work with data scientists around the world in an attempt to build better investing models. The idea of having data scientists stake cryptocurrency in support of the quality of their models is fascinating. Like many hedge funds, Numerai doesn’t share its track record, so we don’t know if this works—but I hope you, like me, use this conversation as inspiration for how different technologies can intersect.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

Please enjoy my conversation with Richard Craib.

 

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) – How he came up with Numerai and how its related to his background

4:08 – How he works with and models the data for his system

5:24 – Describing machine learning as it relates to his work, and specifically linear regression

7:11 – The important stages in his sequence

8:46 – How the scale in the number of data scientists they use is different from other areas

11:30 – Which is the most important aspect of creating alpha; their data, algorithm work, proprietary ensembling of those algorithms.

14:30 – The idea of staking in blockchain

17:30 – Does the magnitude of the stake matter in blockchain

19:10 – Understanding the full incentive structure for both staked and unstaked work

21:07 – How is the prize pool determined

22:29 – Philosophy on how to source interesting data

26:11 – His thoughts on the crowd model and the wisdom of crowds

27:12 – The size of stakers for Numerai

27:51 – Interpreting the models and knowing when something is broken

30:03 – How they think about people not submitting their models

31:48 – Their model building

32:39 – Most interesting set of things they are working on to improve the overall process

            35:38 – The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism

37:11 – How people can come along with their own data

39:00 – His thoughts on the quantitative investment community

40:44 – What else is interesting him in the hedge fund world

44:03 – Building a marketplace and staving off competition

46:16 – 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

Sep 04, 2018
Elad Gil – How to Identify Interesting Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.101]
36:55

My guest this week has a fascinating background. He has a PhD in biology but has split his time as both an investor and an operator. As an investor, he’s involved in companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, Opendoor, Stripe, Square, and Pinterest—not too shabby. As an operator, he helped both Google and Twitter scale their businesses, in the case of Twitter from 100 employees to 1500 over two years. He’s just written a book about these experiences called the High Growth Handbook. 

Our talk centered on what makes for a good investment and more specifically how Elad identifies an interesting market. Operators and early stage investors will find lots of nuggets in this fun 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

1:31 - (First Question) – Process for evaluating a young business

            2:43 – Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode

3:09 – Data factors for evaluating a business

5:08 – Reference checks

6:42 – Advice for companies that are reliant on product cyclicality

            7:01 – Where to Go After Product-Market Fit: An Interview with Marc Andreessen

7:31 – High Growth Handbook

9:30 -   Lessons learned from marketing and growing companies

12:09 – How do you hire the best people to improve your distribution

13:16 – How does he think about lifetime customer value vs customer acquisition cost

15:57 – Should companies just focus on the high margin power users

16:35 – Best ways to organize a company hierarchy

19:16 – His interest and background in the area of longevity research

21:52 – Changes he has made in his own life as a result of this longevity research

22:56 – Most effective use of a CEO’s time

24:58 – How he evaluates or identifies interesting markets for potential businesses

28:03 – Any markets that fit his criteria that are underappreciated by investors

30:02 – Worst practices for businesses

32:19 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

33:20 – What would be the topic of his next book

34:40 – Biggest lessons he’s learned about markets

 

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 28, 2018
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]
50:55

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.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

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

Aug 21, 2018
Boyd and Bronwyn Varty – Track Your Life - [Invest Like the Best, EP.99b]
01:04:14

Today’s conversation is a continuation of my discussion on applying the lessons of tracking animals in the wild to tracking in your own life. I encourage to listen to that episode first.

In this second part, Boyd’s sister Bronwyn joins and offers perspective on business and life. Given that Boyd and Bron grew up in this wild place, their perspective on the world is refreshing and very different. We discuss a wide range of things, But the section on restoration near the end is just phenomenal stuff.

Please enjoy part two of my conversation with the Varty family.

 

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) – Concept of shame and the role it plays in the lives of the people that visit

3:11 – Bron’s take on shame and if this is uniquely male issue

5:15 – How the Varty’s think about the concept of presence, and time with Nelson Mandela

13:34 – Selfishness as an impediment to presence

20:26 – Tending the cup

20:37 – Life is not a zero-sum game

23:15 – How they run the reserve as a business

30:18 – Importance of motivation as a business

33:55 – Cultivating a culture that makes a business a family

40:15 – How they help other family businesses

45:29 – The idea of restoration as a business and legacy

51:23 -Restoration model in investment

53:49 – The age of restoration will be born on the age of information

54:48 – Places that have given Varty’s deep connections (other than Africa)

1:00:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Bron

 

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 15, 2018
Boyd Varty – Live Like a Tracker - [Invest Like the Best, EP.99a]
01:07:32

An interesting question that I think about a lot: how do you balance exploring the new with savoring what you already know and love? Most of the time I prefer to explore, but the best part of this podcast experience for me has been meeting people who become close friends. For episodes 99 and 100, I’m bringing back two of the most popular past guest who are both now dear friends. 

This week’s episode is split into two parts, today and tomorrow. Today’s episode is with Boyd Varty and tomorrow is with both Boyd and his sister Bronwyn. The incredible Varty family hosted me in South Africa, so you’ll hear birds and elephants in the background as we talk. 

This conversation with Boyd is about our shared experience called “track your life” which I couldn’t recommend more highly. We tracked animals on foot for five days, and learned a lot from the environment itself. While we discuss our time together, this is much more about how to live. My original conversation with Boyd had a huge impact on me, and this continues the exploration of Boyd’s idea that we should all be going our own way, in the right way, instead of simply following well trodden paths. 

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Boyd and check back tomorrow for another conversation with the Vartys. 

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

1:55 - (First Question) – Encounter with five wild dogs

10:19 – The idea of a perfect day on the track

15:59 – The importance of silence

19:42 – Why we could all benefit from the power of silence

21:37 – Side effects of being on the track

23:49 – Following the smaller paths

25:20 – How culture can keep us from forging our own path  

29:34 – The stress he puts on the watch at night

33:34 – The power of going from alert to rest and back again

            35:11 – Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

38:25 – Disconnecting from the modern world and reconnecting with your life’s purpose

41:42 – How much does skill play into finding your life’s calling

43:23 – Common objections to what they do

49:58 – Importance of end of day on the track

52:33 – Silence and feeling of thousands of years of time passing through hallucinogenic

56:22 – His experience with bees

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 14, 2018
Ryan Selkis - The Crypto Barbell and Token Curated Registries - [Invest Like the Best, EP.98]
55:30

Ryan Selkis - The Crypto Barbell and Token Curated Registries - [Invest Like the Best, EP.98]

This week’s conversation is for those interested in the nitty gritty of cryptocurrencies and for those who, like me, are fascinated by that world but more than a bit skeptical of the investing prospects for the many cryptocurrencies now in existence.

My guest is Ryan Selkis, who I met at an event hosted by Union Square Ventures and Blocktower Capital. At that event, in a crowd of many brilliant people, Ryan was consistently asking hard questions and raising counterpoints.

I love his perspective because he is both passionate, but realistic, excited about crypto, but worried about many aspects of the ecosystem.

We discuss many new topics like his barbell analogy for thinking about different kinds of coins, token curated registries, and the need to better transparency around decentralized projects.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments


Please enjoy our conversation.

 

March for the Fallen

Want to meet other curious investors, get in good shape, and support a fantastic cause? Consider joining a great group to hike 28 miles in honor of those who have fallen in defense of our nation. 

Learn more and sign up at alphaarchitect.com/mftf

 

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

2:55 - (First Question) – how he best explains blockchain technology

4:12 – How does he categorize each cryptocurrency

9:11 – How Numeraii is valued

10:04 – Explaining token curated registries (TCR)

12:58 – How Token Curated Registries are being applied

15:05 – Innovations that will protect against nefarious actors in the crypto space

16:37 – How do you convince investors to commit to TCR’s

18:40 – Biggest headwinds to this industry

22:12 – What are the quality filters to root out the bad actors

25:42 – Thoughts on the ICO market as an alternative to capital raising

29:23 – Litmus test for who should use an ICO to raise capital

34:28 – What is unique about creation of a token vs the normal exchange of cash to determine if a company needs a token

36:21 – How many ICO projects are really necessary

38:28 – How should people form an investment opinion about this space

41:35 – Core mission of his company

44:28 – What are some of the reasons his goals won’t happen

49:30 – Lessons learned while working at Coindesk

49:58 – What is he most excited about for the future of this space

52:56 – 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

Aug 07, 2018
Cathie Wood – Investing in Innovation - [Invest Like the Best, EP.97]
01:12:32

My guest this week is Cathie Wood, the founder of ARK invest. Cathie and her team believe that disruptive innovation is the key to long-term growth and, therefore, alpha in the public markets.

Because their style of investing is entirely contingent on what will happen and change in the future, it is about as different a style as exists from the quantitative approach to investing, which relies on what is currently knowable about stocks and businesses. 

The future is notoriously hard to predict, so I am always interested to hear about investing approaches which try to model or handicap the future and build portfolios against that work.

In this conversation, we explore all the most interesting and exciting technology trends at play in the world today—and how those trends may play out for investors. We discuss genome sequencing, blockchain, software 2.0, mobility as a service, automation, and more. 

We also discuss Cathie’s take on building a bridge between the worlds of finance and Silicon Valley, and why starting with a benchmark is anathema to their process.

It is hard to deny Cathie’s passion and enthusiasm, and I credit her for building a unique firm culture that emphasizes openness and collaboration. Please enjoy our conversation on investing in innovation. 

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

2:30 - (First Question) – Cathie’s idea of bringing open source to Wall Street

4:47 – Deep dive into the platform

            6:09 – White Paper on Bitcoin – Could Bitoin serve as the role of money

7:43 – Why disruptive innovation is so inefficiently priced

10:04 – How well does the market discount cash flow of disruptive businesses

14:09 – A look at their investing strategies, starting with top-down. 

16:10 – How they picked their 5 categories of technological change, starting with foundational    

19:42 – Changes in energy

21:53 – Robotics

24:17 – Excitement over deep learning

28:03 – How they express their top-down ideas from the bottom up

36:06 – Mobility as a service as a key area of focus

45:25 – The power of public mistakes

46:39 – What she looks for when hiring

51:14 – her philosophy on building and maintain a portfolio

56:38 – Behind the growth of the company

1:04:01 – Most exciting area for her right now

1:07:52 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Cathie

 

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 31, 2018
Bethany McLean - Business Gone Bad and the Art of Persistence - [Invest Like the Best, EP.96]
57:40

I’ve often heard that good investors are a bit like journalists: doggedly collecting evidence and building an understanding of how all the pieces of a company or investment fit together. My guest this week is one of my favorite writers and journalists, Bethany McLean. Across her career, Bethany has covered many of the most interesting stories in business and investing, including Enron (which became the famous book and documentary, the Smartest Guys in the Room), Valeant, Wells Fargo, SAC Capital, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the great financial crisis, and most recently, fracking and the energy revolution.

Given how deeply she has investigated all of these topics-- and thought about the common threads across them all--this was an amazing conversation. When talking to her, you can feel how much she cares and how diligent and fair she is when analyzing a topic. In addition to all of the great stories already listed, we discuss the art of persistence and other lessons she has learned about businesses and people gone bad. I especially loved her evolving take on housing in America.

Please enjoy my conversation with Bethany 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

 

Links Referenced

Mindsets: Optimism vs. Complacency vs. Pessimism

Disgraced ex-BofA exec raises uncomfortable questions about #MeToo

The Hunt for Steve Cohen

 

Books Referenced

The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science

Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants

Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World

Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy

All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

 

Show Notes

2:22 - (First Question) – Differences and similarities between investors and journalists

3:19 – What has more of an impact on business practices, exposing negatives or reporting positive

4:57 – first story that got Bethany intrigued with finding bad behaviors

6:19 – The process of getting to know the people who know more than the market

            7:43 – Mindsets: Optimism vs. Complacency vs. Pessimism

8:18 – First short seller that garnered her interest

8:57 – The process that led to The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

10:36 – How to ask questions

12:18 – Importance of preparation

12:49 – Commonalities among the motivations for people who do bad things

14:20 – Difference between a visionary and a fraud

            15:42 – Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science

16:23 – Any standout frauds that told a really compelling story

17:33 – Looking into Valient

19:32 –Writing about the #MeToo movement

            19:34 - Disgraced ex-BofA exec raises uncomfortable questions about #MeToo

21:49 – Thoughts on the spectrum of chasing this story

23:26 – Ways journalist can fairly impact this movement

24:14 – The romance of owning a home in America and what it has meant for the market

            24:34 – Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants

28:27 – What has changed on her thinking about housing

30:24 – What role does Fannie and Freddie have in the market today

31:13 – Her desire to look into energy

            32:26 – Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World

35:05 – What have been the changes in energy market in the US

            34:40 – Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy

37:01 – Where are we in the life cycle of energy production

38:27 – The more boring things that are actually the drivers of our economy

            38:29 – Technologies that shaped industrial revolution in America

39:42 – Where can people learn more about how our energy independence will impact other markets

41:10 – Why is Peter Elkin the best investigative journalist

42:24 – Most relentless she has ever been

43:58 – Who is doing it right

            44:38 – All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

45:36 – Her take on reporting the The Hunt for Steve Cohen story

49:01 – How her views have evolved over her career and lessons learned

50:40 – Are there ways to prevent success from leading people down a bad path

53:48 – The role of empathy in her career

55:13 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Bethany’s career

 

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 24, 2018
Modest Proposal – Value is Dead, Long Live Value - [Invest Like the Best, EP.95]
01:38:40

A very short introduction today because my guest is anonymous. Suffice it to say he manages a large pool of private capital.

He goes by the pseudonym “modest proposal” and his twitter presence is one of the reasons I first got on and now stay on the platform.

He is level headed, smart, and skeptical by nature, all of which made for a great conversation. We discuss how difficult the market has become for active investors, thematic investment opportunities, and the potential sources of market mispricings.

Please enjoy our conversation, and let me know which other anonymous accounts you’d like to hear from.

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

Factors from Scratch: A look back, and forward, at how, when, and why factors work

Josh Wolf Podcast Episode

Mike Zapata Podcast Episode

Michael Mauboussin Podcast Episode

 

Show Notes

1:55 - (First Question) - How value investing has changed

5:45 – How does he apply the lens of market over-reaction to the current market today

            5:47 – Factors from Scratch: A look back, and forward, at how, when, and why factors work

            7:06 – Josh Wolf Podcast Episode

8:35 – Areas where he prepares most

            8:36 – Mike Zapata Podcast Episode

12:18 – Where markets may be over reacting in media

20:10 – How does he invest on this thinking

            20:44 – Michael Mauboussin Podcast Episode

22:35 – Other parts of media that he finds interesting

27:35 – Aggregation theory and how it plays into his investment philosophy

31:06 – Structuring a long-short portfolio in today’s media market

35:59 – Customer acquisition costs and how it’s impacting retailers

40:51 – The role of physical locations in a world that was upended by virtual retailers

49:41 – Consumer Internet Story thesis and what he’s seen during his career

58:11 – Why the FANG stocks can’t win in the niches

1:02:25 – The distrusted 50

1:05:00 – How he thinks about Capital Allocation and buybacks

1:11:08 – His view on international equity markets

1:13:58 – His take on the asset management business

1:19:38 – Allocation of a portfolio in between periods of conviction

1:21:08 – People that he has learned the most from

1:23:54 – How do you identify people who are capable of evolving after a rough spot

1:26:53 - How does he force himself to adapt to new conditions and evolve

1:30:31 - Thoughts in investing in cannabis industry

1:32:31 – Conditions where he would get interested in crypto currency

1:36:20 – 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 17, 2018
[REPLAY] Eric Maddox – The Ace of Spades - [Invest Like the Best, EP.15]
58:31

With Patrick out of the country this week, we thought we'd play an old favorite that many of you have not heard.

Please Enjoy!

 

 

This week we explore a rare and underappreciated skill through the lens of an incredible story. My guest is Eric Maddox, whose name you probably don’t know but won’t soon forget. Just trust me that you need to listen to this entire episode, and listen carefully—because that is what the episode is ultimately all about: how to listen to others, with care and empathy, in the age of distraction.

Sometimes it’s fun not to know what’s coming and be surprised, so I won’t say anymore. After the episode, you can learn more about Eric at Ericmaddox.com.

On his wall, Eric has a framed Cuban cigar, he starts his story by explaining the significance of that cigar. Enjoy this episode, and try Eric’s method. It has worked wonders for me.

Please enjoy!

 

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to investorfieldguide.com/maddox/

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 10, 2018
Niel Robertson – The Future of Media - [Invest Like the Best, EP.94]
59:29

This week’s episode covers a new set of topics. The conversation, with Niel Robertson, covers media, e-sports, content distribution, marketing, and a lot more. Niel started a software company out of his bedroom when he was 14, and sold his first company in 1999 for $280 million, when he was 24 years old. He has started and sold other companies to Twitter and Cisco. He started another large business that ultimately failed. He’s been an investor, venture partner, and serial entrepreneur. You can find more in the shownotes. 

As I often do, I cut the long background section from the interview so we can get right to the meat of things, but Niel concluded that section saying: “I think that could be all summed up by I just liked building things and I can't stop doing it.”

In addition to the overall media landscape, we discuss the role that the biggest media platforms will play, and where other opportunities may exist. We cover digital collectibles stored on blockchain, and what type of digital assets may be leased to others. We close with a discussion of leadership, company structure, content creation, and something you should do each year.

Please enjoy this unique conversation with Niel Robertson.

 

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

The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

 

Show Notes

2:30 - (First Question) – Overview of the media landscape as it relates to influencer marketing

6:42 – How does he think about this space as an investor

12:21 – What is the future of distribution of products

17:01 - An overview of the e-sports ecosystem

18:20 – The shift of people watching others play video games

20:06 – Will we see power shift from the platform to the influencer

27:03 – Why Amazon is the sleeper in this game

29:38 – Reviewing some of the other platforms, starting with Snapchat

30:54 – Twitter

32:06 – Other platforms that should be focused on…Pinterest

33:38 – His interest in blockchain and digital collectibles

36:34 – Who will be disrupted by digital collectibles

37:55 – Why does the decentralization of these assets matter

39:49 – The tokenization of assets

42:11 – What companies have the largest hurdles to innovate in these spaces

44:57 – His thoughts on leadership

            46:44 – The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

47:52 – Advice for content creators and content aggregators

50:10 – His thoughts on companies that aggregate top content creators

53:17 – His experience owning restaurants

55:46 – His experience in motocross

57:31 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Neil

 

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 03, 2018
Eric Balchunas – The Past, Present & Future of ETFs - [Invest Like the Best, EP.93]
58:12

My guest this week is Eric Balchunas, the senior ETF analyst for Bloomberg and the author of the Institutional ETF toolbox. This episode is intended for those in the asset or wealth management industry who have considered using ETFs in their portfolios, or for the individual investor who likes to stay up to date on trends in the market for asset management products. We cover all aspects of ETFs in some detail, and luckily in ways that have little overlap with a few other recent ETF-centric episodes on two of my favorite podcasts: the Meb Faber Show and Capital Allocators with Ted Seides with Matt Hougan and Tom Lydon respectively.

We open with Eric’s favorite ETF tickers, discuss the pros and cons of ETFs versus other investment vehicles, and explore the largest areas of opportunities for new ETFs coming to market in the years to come. ETFs have become the vehicle of choice for many investors, so it was about time we covered them in depth in this forum. As you’ll hear, Eric is the right person to teach the world about ETFs, thanks to deep domain knowledge and unflagging enthusiasm. Please enjoy my conversation with Eric Balchunas on the past, present, and future of ETFs.

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

Quantitative Momentum: A Practitioner's Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System

Links Referenced

Chart – There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks

Show Notes

2:32 - (First Question) – Eric’s favorite ETF tickers

4:07 – How Eric got started into his career and how it led him into the ETF world

8:04 – An overview of the ETF landscape

10:10 – Active managed ETFs

            12:17 – Chart – There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks

13:32 – Key variables he thinks about when assessing a new ETF

15:18 – Evaluating shiny object ETFs

17:30 – The appeal of ETFs

20:18 – Future regulatory concern of the tax treatments of ETFs

22:10 – The liquidity advantage of ETFs and why that can actually be bad for investors

24:19 – What would Eric do to build the perfect ETF

26:03 – What are the future trends for new ETF’s launched

29:40 – Categories that work well in the ALT world of ETFs

31:32 – Most effective marketing strategy for ETFs

35:50 – Quantitative Momentum: A Practitioner's Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System

36:28 – How will the winning asset managers have done differently in this space

41:56 – How the next downturn could impact ETFs

46:17 – Do ETF’s create pricing distortions

50:33 – What trend is Eric most interested in right now

53:21 – Alpha through Beta

55:51 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Eric

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 26, 2018
New Angles on Crypto - Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain - [Invest Like the Best, EP.92]
56:28

My guests this week are Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain, both managing partners at Multicoin Capital.

I’ve taken a bit of a break from crypto because I hadn’t sensed many new angles to explore in this forum, from an investor’s point of view. I felt that while things keep evolving, the major investment theses have been established and explored.

Kyle and Tushar are interesting because of their often divergent views. For example, Kyle has been an outspoken supporter of Ethereum relative to bitcoin.

This conversation, which is meant for those still curious about crypto, offers lots of new food for thought. We discuss smart contract platforms, network effects, the coming platform wars, and why blockchains may not matter in ten years. Please enjoy my conversation with the partners of Multicoin Capital.

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

Paths to Tens of Trillions

An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets

On the Network Effects of Store Value

If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales?

Money, blockchains, and social scalability

Nakamoto Institute

Token Economy

Multicoin.capital

Crypto Cannon           

 

Show Notes

2:11 - (First Question) – What would get the entire cryptocurrencies ecosphere to 5-10 trillion dollars

            2:53 – Paths to Tens of Trillions

4:37 – What will be the effective uses for crypto currencies, store value vs utility value

            4:38 – An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets

8:48 – Why they are negative on bitcoin and more positive on Ethereum

10:07 – Where will start to see widespread adaption of the utility value of cryptocurrencies

14:44 – What is the major breakthrough that cryptocurrencies create

21:21 – How do we gain confidence that a utility token will become a sound investment

25:16 – The different type of network effects

            25:47 – On the Network Effects of Store Value

31:18 – How do you convince institutional investors to consider the crypto space

34:21 – Factors that they care about when first evaluating a crypto currency

39:21 – How does technological development and marketing factor into their decision when picking a crypto currency

            40:31 – If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales?

41:42 – Where these two men disagree the most right now

44:07 – Why there’s a chance blockchain technology as we know it today could be irrelevant

            44:25 – Money, blockchains, and social scalability

47:56 – Most compelling trends in this world today

51:51 – A favorite resource or person people can look into if they want to learn more

            52:22 – Nakamoto Institute

            52:57 – Token Economy

            53:24 – Multicoin.capital

            53:30 – Crypto Cannon         

54:14 – 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

Jun 19, 2018
Michael Recce – Tim Cook’s Dashboard - [Invest Like the Best, EP.91]
01:01:22

My guest this week is Michael Recce, the chief data scientist for Neuberger Berman. The topic of our conversation is the use of data in the investment process, to help cultivate what is commonly referred to as an information edge.

I call the episode “Tim Cook’s Dashboard” because of an interesting question that Michael poses: if you armed the best apple analyst in the world with Tim Cook’s private business dashboard, what might that be worth? Effectively Michael’s goal is to recreate the equivalent of a company dashboard for many businesses, helping analysts understand the fundamental health and direction of companies a bit better than the market does, and in so doing create an actionable edge.

This is a daunting task, and you will hear why. It requires both a fundamental understanding of business and of data, statistics, and methods like machine learning. In our own work, we’ve found machine learning to be useless for predicting future stock prices, but extremely useful for other things, like extracting and classifying data.

This conversation can get wonky at times, but as listeners know that is the best kind of conversation, even if it requires a second, slower listen. I hope you enjoy this talk with Michael Reece. Afterwards, I highly recommend you invest the time to read a series of posts called Machine Learning for Humans, which I will link to in the show notes. It helps demystify the buzz words and explain how these new technologies are being used.

 

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

Crossing the Chasm

One Two Three Infinity

 

Links Referenced

Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode

 

Show Notes

2:44 - (First Question) –  Changes in data science through the lens of Michael’s career

5:17 – The basic overview of using data and machine learning to create an edge

6:58 – How the state of business is more than just a single data point

7:53 – How you know when you’ve pulled a real signal from the noise of data

10:49 – The advantages that data provides

13:01 – Is there still an edge in decaying data

15:34 – Building data that would predict stock prices

19:43 – Prospectors vs miners in data mining

22:18 – Knowing when your prospectors are on to truth

27:09 – Understanding machine learning

30:10 – Defining partition

32:17 – Applying the parameters of selection process to stocks

36:05 – What’s the first step people could take to use data and machine learning to improve their investment process

38:54 – Building a sustainable advantage within data science

41:35 – Predicting the uncapped positive vs what’s seemingly easier, eliminating the negative

43:58 – How do we know to stop using a signal

46:22 – The importance of asking the right question

47:09 – Categories of objective functions that are interesting to measure data against

            47:42- Crossing the Chasm

48:37 – Most exciting things he’s found with data

51:17 – What investors, individual or firms, has impressed him most with their use of data

52:17 – Will everyone eventually shift to being data informed or data driven

55:33 – Wall Street’s use of data vs other industries

            55:36 – Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode

57:48 – Why everyone should know how to code

58:52 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Michael

            59:22 – One Two Three Infinity

 

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 12, 2018
Ash Fontana – Investing in Artificial Intelligence - [Invest Like the Best, EP.90]
01:15:21

My guest this week is Ash Fontana, a managing partner at venture capital firm Zetta, who invests in companies which build software that uses artificial intelligence methods like machine learning to predict and prescribe outcomes. Ash’s combined experience as a founder, entrepreneur, and investor give him the perfect background to discuss with us one of the hottest topics in business and investing.

This conversation is useful for anyone trying to evolve their own way of dealing with data. Of particular interest are the ways that Ash and his team evaluate data sets and how they think about competitive advantage in this new world—where he advocates a new term to replace the concept of moat: loops. 

If we can use data to do things better than humans, or if we can supercharge our intuitions with predictive models, we can harness the power of this new technology. What Ash has taught me is that data itself is dumb. But great data sets can represent the fuel for incredible companies. Let’s dive into how that may be. Please enjoy this conversation on how AI is changing business, and how we might profit from that change.

 

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

The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor

 

Links Referenced

Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode

Ali Hamed Podcast Episode

 

Show Notes

2:25 - (First Question) – A look at their very specific investment strategy

3:35 – Future of competitive advantage in the SaaS industry

6:45 – How startups and new companies can compete against software giants that are pretty well entrenched in the market

8:38 – How do copies with narrow focuses attract VC money which is looking for massive returns

12:28 – The stages in which AI will be enabled

15:55 – Framework of an AI company

18:49 – Importance of the feedback in the AI company framework

20:56 – Examples of AI companies

23:50 – Why companies that are AI from the start will have a significant advantage in the space

26:21 – How do companies change their thinking about compiling useful data

32:18 – Regulation of AI

35:03 – Preventing other companies from leap frogging you in the AI space

37:57 – Some of his favorite AI companies

40:43 – How much has he seen in the finance world

            41:07 – Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode

43:10 – Why the focus on B2B AI companies

45:34 – Major components of the enterprise stack that he focuses on for AI

49:30 – What impact will all of this AI have the daily lives of people

51:38 – Biggest problems that he is excited to see AI tacklet

53:04 – How do you value the intangible asset of an AI model

57:13 – How Ash thinks about getting other investors into firms they seeded

1::00:27 – Other investors that Ash really respects

            1:01:15 – The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor

            1:03:29 – Ali Hamed Podcast Episode

1:04:04 – Where would Ash invest outside of AI

1:07:11 – More about his family nut business

1:11:18 – Favorite macadamia nut story

1:12:05 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ash

 

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 05, 2018
Mike Zapata – The Darkest Night: Lessons from Battle and Value Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.89]
57:48

My guest this week is remarkable. He now applies his talents on Wall Street, searching for smaller cap companies trading at huge discounts in an effort to compound wealth for his investors. He is classically trained, having earned his graduate degree from Colombia, a school known for producing value investors. But his method also reflects what he learned across more than a decade of active duty in the U.S. military.

Mike Zapata served us all as a Navy SEAL in the aftermath of 9/11 and ultimately as a member of the SEAL’s “Development Group,” commonly known as SEAL team 6. I think everyone listening strives for excellence in what they do. This week we get to hear from someone who has pursued excellence on our behalf.

I’ll let him explain the meaning of his firm’s name, Sententia, but for now suffice to say we are lucky to have quiet professionals like Mike. If you are interested in supporting the families of soldiers who fought with Mike and lost their lives, I encourage you to check out the Tip of the Spear foundation and make a donation along with me, small or large.

Please enjoy my conversation with Mike Zapata.

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

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

 

Show Notes

2:23

 

2:23 – (First Question) – A quick overview of Mike’s career leading up to his time at Columbia

3:43 – What led him down the path of value investing at Columbia 

            3:51 – The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

5:57 – The focus and goal of the firm

7:12 – Where the name of the firm, Sententia comes from

8:04 – His experience in the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) program and lessons learned from it

13:14 – How much grit is innate vs can be learned

14:59 – What the actual job was in BUD/S

17:33 – Difference between the broader SEAL community and being part of the more exclusive development group

19:03 – The team dynamic within the SEALS

20:26 – Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

21:18 – The sacrifice that SEALs make with the story of Adam Brown as an example

24:35 – Waiting for darkness before deployment

27:23 – How do you know when to violate your best practices for a risk

29:26 – A look at three pictures in his office and why they are meaningful

31:36 – Lessons that would be useful to other people

            33:10 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

33:17 – How is Mike’s skillset applied to the investing world

39:24 – Factors that would be seen as good alignment in businesses

40:18 – How the view the profiles of other investors in these small businesses

41:46 – Examples of “smoke and fire”, markers of an attractive investment

43:42 – Other investors that he has learned the most from and what those lessons were

44:54 – Importance of balance sheets in value investing

47:33 – Is value investment oversaturated

50:28 – Market blind spots that are attractive to Mike

52:03 – What point in Mike’s career has he felt the most alive

53:14 – Any other lessons Mike would want to share

55:12 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Mike

 

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 29, 2018
Sam Hinkie – Data, Decisions, and Basketball - [Invest Like the Best, EP.88]
01:06:00

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

May 22, 2018
Tren Griffin – Pulling the Thread - [Invest Like the Best, EP.87]
01:12:54

My guest this week is a bundle of curiosity, and that is one of the nicest things I could say about someone. For several years, Tren Griffin has been writing a weekly blog post that highlights things he has learned from various investors, businesspeople, musicians, comedians, and more. Lately, he has also been tackling individual businesses, and broad topics like scaling, competitive forces, and product market fit.

Tren’s full time job is serving as a director at Microsoft. He’s also worked with or for several well know businesspeople and investors like Craig McCaw, and written several books including one on lessons for entrepreneurs, one on Charlie Munger, and another on negotiation.  

We discuss value creation vs. value capture, alpha in investing, sales, hip hop, and why he’d teach high school students about convexity through a drunk driving analogy. I could have talked to Tren for much longer than I did, but sadly, we both had flights to catch. 

If you take anything away from this, I hope its just how much fun it is to just be curious about business, and how you can learn a tremendous amount if you just keep reading about the things that interest you and talking to others. Please enjoy my conversation with Tren Griffin.

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

2:26 – (First question) –  key levers of the universal business model

4:26 – How do you know when you’ve achieved real value creation

6:24 – Importance of value capture and how they enhance value creation 

            6:31 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

9:08 – Price power

10:28 – Are discussions of moats more useful to businesses than to investors

13:12 -  What Tren learned during his early years working with Craig McCaw

            16:28 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

16:36 – The skill of capital allocation

18:37 – How would Buffett and Munger bet on tech if they were starting out today and their philosophy of betting against change

21:57 – How Tren became so fascinated with Charlie and what he’s learned from him

            22:32 – The Alchemy of Finance

            23:17 – Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger

            23:19 – Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

25:21 – Most memorable moment or lesson from Charlie

28:19 – There are more pockets of Alpha

19:20 – How he thinks about factor investing

31:25 – What are the scalability features that make a business attractive

31:28 – A Dozen Attributes of a Scalable Business

35:37 – Exploring some of the other important levers of businesses, such as subscriptions, customer acquisition cost, and more.

            36:20 – Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

37:11 – Wholesale transfer pricing

39:18 – Pros and cons of subscription business models

43:14 – Magic of getting products distributed

44:58 – Best sale Tren’s ever made

46:46 – Most important lesson for young people

49:01 – Any businesses that are piquing Tren’s interest right now

50:16 – Tren’s interest in hip-hop and how it helps him reach more people

53:49 – A look at some interesting quotes from Jim Barksdale

58:22 – Learning by doing

            1:00:48 – Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

1:01:06 – Period of his career that he felt most alive

1:03:03 – Advice for young people thinking about business and entrepreneurship

1:04:56 – Why are so few people passionate about what they do for a living

1:10:44 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tren

 

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 15, 2018
Jason Karp – Opportunities in Public and Private Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.86]
01:13:26

I believe that any investment strategy that will deliver strong returns in the future must evolve. Any strategy should rest on rock solid foundational principles, which change rarely if ever—things like price discipline, or business growth. But the features of the strategy must keep getting better, because the marketplace is incredibly competitive.

That evolution is the topic of today’s conversation with Jason Karp. Jason is the founder and CIO of Tourbillon Capital Partners, a multi-billion dollar asset manager based in New York City.

We cover a ton of interesting ground. We start with what has happened in public and private markets, discussing the role of quants, passive indexes, and value vs. deep value investing. We compare the relative merits of investing in private equities, and where and how opportunities arise.

We then focus in on two interesting private investing trends: the health and wellness sector and the cannabis industry. First, we discuss Hu kitchen and Hu Products, the food business that Jason started with his family several years ago in response to personal health challenges. Second, we discuss his evolved views on Cannabis as an investment space and why it may also represent a massive growth opportunity.

You all know I value transparency, so it is important to note that since I recorded the conversation, my family became an investor in Hu Products. It has been a fascinating means to learn about the food, health, and wellness industry which has grown rapidly in recent years. We were customers of Hu in New York City long before I even knew Jason, which made that part of the conversation especially interesting for me.

This episode re-enforced my believe in pushing one’s investing strategy to adapt to change market conditions and competitive pressures. If we have any hope of beating Vanguard, we can’t ever rest on our laurels.

This was an especially eclectic and fun conversation, I hope you enjoy my chat with Jason Karp.

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

3:06 – (First question) –  Jason’s view on private markets vs public markets and how his view has evolved

6:02 – Phase of the private markets where companies can achieve huge size and scale without going public

10:31 – Framework of Jason’s value-based investing strategy

13:47 – Reverse discounted cash flow

16:27 – Are there areas of the market that are easier to predict using Jason’s models

20:29 – Tech dominance the longer they are around

            21:01 – Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode

22:08 – How markets have changed over Jason’s career

25:58 – Types of edge that you can have in the market

30:00 – Broad examples of sectors that are high-quality, but momentum is hurting them

31:32 – Backstory of Hu Kitchen

38:33 – Investment research into health and wellness

42:56 – State of acquisitions, particularly in consumer product goods

47:13 – Jason’s research into Cannabis

50:43 – The misperceptions of Cannabis

56:30 – Why cannabis is a more important sector to consider than crypto

57:51 – What are the most important levers to growing a business

1:02:24 – Biggest lessons learned in hiring good people

1:06:10 – Investing lessons

1:09:27 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jason

 

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 08, 2018
Chris Douvos – A Value Investor Lost in the Valley - [Invest Like the Best, EP.85]
01:06:42

My guest this week is Chris Douvos, a managing partner at Venture Investment Associates, which allocates 1.6B in behalf of investors. 

Chris is the first professional allocator I’ve spoken with who focuses specifically on venture capital funds, so I had a ton of questions for him on how to build a portfolio in an asset class known for uncertain, but often enormous, outcomes.

We discuss the major recent changes in the asset class and where things might be going.

I sought Chris out because while this is an investment style that is full of creativity and hope, I’ve always felt it could use a healthy dose of skepticism and a value investor’s mindset. He delivers in spades as we try to separate the real from the ideal. 

We didn’t record it, but Chris’s tour of Palo Alto was one of the most interesting and entertaining hours I’ve spent. He is a student of history and markets, and I look forward to learning more from him in the future. 

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

 

Books Referenced

Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment

 

Links Referenced

Domino Rally Business Models

All About the Benjamins

Speak Like the Locals

David Salem podcast episode

Curveball

 

Show Notes

2:18 – (First question) – Four factors that Chris thinks are important for future success of venture firms; portfolio concentration; repeatability; being early; size discipline

7:40 – What the venture landscape looks like today from Chris’s viewpoint

            8:32 – Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment

14:07 – Is there a glut of startups making it difficult for investors

17:33 – How does Chris think about the investments that are a bit different from what everyone else is investing in in Silicon Valley

19:17 – Why he focuses on college campuses for innovation

20:54 – The role that geography plays in venture

25:06 – The Four M’s; money, momentum, mentorship, entrepreneurial management

27:13 – Chris’s perspective on crypto currency as a threat to venture capital

31:44 – The idea of venture capitalists as service providers to the companies they are investing in

35:15 -  Views on investing in hyper focused VC’s vs those that are generalists and just go after the best opportunities in any sector

39:00 – What hot button areas are of most interest to Chris and why, from an investment standpoint

            39:38 – Domino Rally Business Models

42:22 -  What can a public market investor learn from a value venture investor who mostly has to rely on qualitative metrics

            43:08 – All About the Benjamins

44:38 – Portfolio construction in the world of venture

            46:40 – Speak Like the Locals

48:00 -  What are the characteristics that Chris looks for in managers, as an allocator

53:52 – What type of investors should and should not be in venture

59:15 – What type of allocator would Chris give all of his money to

            59:47 – David Salem podcast episode

            1:01:06 – Curveball

1:01:40 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chris

 

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 01, 2018
Arianna Simpson – The Crypto Landscape - [Invest Like the Best, EP.84]
50:33

My guest today is Arianna Simpson, who has spent her career in an around the world of technology working at startups, Facebook, and now in venture capital as an investor focused on the world of cryptocurrencies.

I met Arianna when I hosted a panel at a big investing conference in New York City and she was one of the panelists. On the panel, I found her style to be very straightforward and compelling. It is clear that she loves to learn and that the best manifestation of her style of learning is investing in technology.

In our conversation we discuss broad trends in crypto that we haven’t spent much time on before: decentralized versus centralized exchanges, privacy coins, and evaluating a found or early team. We build a framework for learning about this new asset class, discuss the importance of travel, and the value of pushing oneself outside of comfort zones.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

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

2:12 – (First question) – How to teach someone else to build an investing philosophy around crypto

4:00 – The major risk factors to investing in crypto

6:28 – best practices for mitigating risk

7:39 – What factors to think about when it comes to whether a token will lose all value or not

8:39 -  Taking a pulse of the investment community on crypto

11:36 – How she heard about and became interested in crypto currencies

12:34 – Are people really using crypto currency as a hedge against rampant inflation

13:52 – Investing thesis in the space

14:07 – Arianna’s systems for learning about cryptocurrencies and staying up to date on them

15:19 – Arianna’s take on the issue of increasing transactional through put

16:49 – Layer 1 solutions and making it all scalable on a blockchain

17:56 – her take on the fat protocol thesis

20:32 – Defining utility vs security tokens

21:54 – evaluating different coins

21:02 – Why cross currency swaps are important and how they work

26:17 – What are the chances of a scenario where there’s just one token and everything is built off of that one

28:02 -  Comparing centralized and decentralized exchanges

29:47 – How the traditional investing world is going to regulate transaction involving cryptocurrencies and view security around those transactions

31:54– Impact this will have on capital formation

33:44 – Evaluating teams behind crypto companies

35:48 – The importance of gut when evaluating people

38:47 – How Arianna’s global upbringing impacts her thinking on the technology

39:51 – What countries or regions have had the largest impact on Arianna’s investing philosophy

42:41 – Doing things you’re not qualified for

43:59 – Gender imbalance in crypto and what can be done to shift that

45:28 – Most recent thing that has gotten Arianna excited in the crypto space

46:15 – Explaining Zero X

47:33 – How her views on reading have evolved

48:54 - Kindest thing anyone has done for Arianna

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 24, 2018
Shark Tank with Thatcher Bell and Taylor Greene - [Invest Like the Best, EP.83]
01:30:00

We’ve always found that even in public equities, you learn more once you have a live portfolio. One of the best ways to learn is to put some capital at risk.

To learn about the venture capital world, for example, I made an investment in a startup called Ladder, a platform business which connects coaches (fitness trainers to begin with) with consumers who need or want a coach to help them improve their fitness and their health. The idea is by making the entire coaching system more efficient, Ladder can provide consumers with a real person as a coach, but at a fraction of the cost, and provide coaches with both new customers and a much better way of managing their existing businesses.  If you are interested in the businesses backstory, you can listen to episode #60 of the podcast to hear founder Brett Maloley’s story and his vision for Ladder.

We are now six months into the launch of the business, with thousands of users and coaches on the platform and run rate revenue past a million dollars. What I was most curious about at this stage, aside from building something useful, was the relationship between a startup and institutional venture capitalists, who are allocating capital from their funds into startups at various stages.

For this episode, I asked two VCs to sit down with me and Brett and treat the conversation as they would a normal pitch meeting, so that we, the audience, can get a peek into their world and the types of questions they ask. 

The venture capitalists in question are Thatcher Bell, of CoVenture, and Taylor Greene, of Collaborative Fund. Both have experience evaluating new companies, but also have specifically spent time on companies like ladder, which follow the platform or marketplace model. 

While we do cover a little bit of background on the company, I’ve edited most of that part out so we can talk about the business model itself. While I don’t spend much time talking in this episode, you will hear me asking Thatcher and Taylor some questions to better understand why they care or don’t care about certain aspects of a business.

Lastly, I love the data aspect of all this. The interaction between coaches and customers produces a wealth of data of different types, all of which is analyzed and used to improve each aspect of the process. To help gather more data—about onboarding, working with a coach, and tracking results—Brett and the Ladder team set up a little promo code for listeners, which can be accessed by going to joinladder.com and using the promo code ILTB2 as in Invest Like the Best 2.

The first voice that you’ll hear is Thatcher, and the next person asking questions is Taylor. I began by asking Thatcher to give us a bit of background on how he approaches young companies before diving in with questions of his own.

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

3:12 – (First Question) –  getting a flywheel business going

4:49 – Brett’s background and how that led to the formation of Ladder

7:58 – Breakdown of the product

9:29 – The sign-up process

10:29 – Key problem for each party of the ladder transaction

12:34 – Diving deeper into the problem of being a health coach

14:29 – How does Ladder differentiate itself from other apps that help people locate a trainer

17:01 – A deeper dive into the consumer using this product

20:28 – The accountability factor being the moat for Ladder

24:12 -  How successful is the product right now in terms of recruiting new customers and trainers

28:38 – Their pre-launch interview and research process

31:49 – Going from hypothesis to product development

35:25 – What should founders think about when doing customer discovery, even after they have a product in the market

39:22 – Optimizing in the early stage of a business

43:24 – The defensive moat of a startup

46:20 – Their take on their ability to corner the coaches in this market

49:57 – Is there a side of the producer/consumer side of the equation that is more important.

55:42 – Getting and giving value to your supply, in this case the coaches

58:22 – How to view different phases of a business

1:00:43 – Growing the supply and demand so that neither side gets aggravated

1:02:28 – Market opportunity for Ladder

1:10:55 – Top 2 or 3 goals that Ladder has over the next 12-18 months

1:13:00 –  Looking at Ladder, what are the strengths and weaknesses as a potential investment

1:20:40 – Pros and cons of a startup seeking institutional VC money

1:25:11 – Reviewing the pitch

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 17, 2018
Nikhil Kalghatgi – Moonshot Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.82]
01:22:18

My guest this week helps me complete the first trilogy of guests on the podcast. His name is Nikhil Kalghatgi. Along with past guests Ali Hamed and Savneet Singh, Nikhil is a partner at the asset management firm CoVenture. If you liked those two conversations, you will love this one—it is somehow even more wide-ranging than the first two.

Nikhil is the CEO of CoVenture Crypto, but he ended up there because of an overarching investing style that he calls moonshot investing, which we explore right from the start and in great detail.

He is obsessed with productivity and happiness, and we spend a long time on those topics. One of the most interesting experiments I’ve heard about on the podcast is his Happiness project, for which he interviewed more than 100 of the wealthiest people in the world. The lessons he gleaned from those conversations are very helpful, and I won’t soon forget the lesson related to sacrifice.

We also discuss asteroid mining, networking, shared experience, and philosophy. Oh and crypto currencies. Nikhil’s take on crypto has always been refreshing to me. In fact the first time I met him he was throwing cold water on a room full of enthusiastic crypto investors. Within crypto we discuss business opportunities, mining, and how new retail and institutional capital will affect the asset class. 

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments.

Please enjoy this sparkling conversation with Nikhil Kalghatgi.

 

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

2:42 – (First Question) –  What moonshot investing is

4:41 – Creating sustainable differential investment advantage

9:30 – Assessing the market for moonshots

12:15 – Types of people suited for moonshots 

13:42 – The Happiness Project

17:45 – Commonalities among successful people

25:15 – The importance of humor in life

17:16 – Recipe for a good joke

28:00 – The night Patrick and Nikhil met

29:17 – His perspective on the world of venture capital

33:26 – What did Nikhil learn from his time at SoftBank

34:52 – Craziest thing Nikhil has done

40:27 – What he took away from his time in military intelligence

46:10 – The idea of manufactured serendipity

47:13 – Nikhil’s approach to investing in cryptocurrency and what he finds interesting about it

53:23 – How Nikhil reconciles the excitement of crypto with the lack of tangible asset

58:10– The timeline of retail and institutional investors becoming more involved in crypto

1:02:43– Exploring their liquidity strategy

1:04:10 – What happens if regulators shut down the cryptomarkets

1:09:48– The role of miners in crypto and how that might change moving forward

1:10:43 – What is the frontier of crypto mining

1:12:31 – What’s the most compelling rabbit hole in crypto

1:16:23 – How would the original creators of crypto currency feel about the current state of the market

1:20:01 – What Nikhil sees as the value proposition for the whole ecosystem.

1:21:00 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Nikhil

 

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 10, 2018
Live EP.01 – Peter Attia, M.D. [Invest Like the Best]
59:31

This week’s episode was the first one that I’ve recorded live. It was the second dinner in what I expect to be a long series where I bring together 30 people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss an interesting and emerging topic, whether that be cryptocurrencies, health, cannabis investing, or some other compelling, emergent thing. 

My guest, for the second time on the podcast, is Peter Attia, who has lead one of the more interesting careers I’ve ever come across and who is focused on understanding longevity, health span, and quality of life. We dive into many dimensions of health, scientific research, what we can and cannot learn from evolution and our ancestors, and the 7 primary modalities we should focus on when it comes to our health and well-being. 

Excuse the lack of clear audio quality on some of the audience questions—the ones that are a little difficult to hear are fairly short and I felt it was better to include them for some context. 

As have all of my conversations with Peter, this one has sparked countless subsequent conversations with my wife, my friends, and my colleagues on what is important and how we can change out behavior to improve our quality of life. My partner and sponsor at these events is Peter Tiboris of Strongpoint Wealth Advisors, who with me loves exploring these topics and understanding how they might affect our lives and out portfolios. Thanks to Peter for helping me realize this series in New York City. Now, please enjoy my live conversation with Peter 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

 

Links Referenced

Marvin HAGLER vs Tommy HEARNS: FULL FIGHT

longevity chart

Senescence

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life 

 

Show Notes

2:07 – (First Question) –  Peter’s career journey that led him to where he is today 

            2:31 – Marvin HAGLER vs Tommy HEARNS: FULL FIGHT 

3:46 – How he thinks about longevity 

4:37 – Peter’s longevity chart 

6:31 – Four things most likely to kill you 

7:47 – The quality of your life in the later part of your life 

9:03 – Four ways he defines health span; cognition, physical dimension, sense of purpose and social support, capacity to cope with distress or distress tolerance. 

10:56 – The problem with clinical studies in analyzing longevity and his mission to get from medicine 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0

12:15 – Medicine 1.0 and major leaps in longevity

13:01 – Medicine 2.0 and clinical trials

14:52 – Medicine 3.0 and personalized medicine 

16:22 – The playbook for living longer 

19:26 - Senescence, the cells that are programmed to do bad things 

22:17 – Understanding our evolutionary needs to learn what as individuals do to increase lifespan and quality of life as it pertains to food, sleep, and movement. 

30:32 – Where evolution doesn’t offer insight into living a better life; mindfulness 

33:27 – What are the changes that Peter has made that he’s been doing the longest and most recently

            33:35 – Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life 

37:54 – Peter’s philosophy on mastery 

40:13 – Audience Question: How does something who seemingly doesn’t take care of themselves seem to be in such good health?

38:38 - Audience Question: Peter’s favorite car to race and how it effects his health 

51:19 – Audience Question: Is the key to life a minimalist lifestyle 

53:54 – Audience Question: the role of the microbiome 

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 27, 2018
[REPLAY] Boyd Varty – The Art of Tracking - [Invest Like the Best, EP.32]
01:22:23

[After talking to the brilliant string of guests the past several weeks, Patrick’s brain needed a rest—oh and a concussion didn’t help matters. To hold you over until next week, here is one of the most interesting but less well known conversations from the invest like the best archives.]

This week’s episode is the most unique to date. My guest is Boyd Varty, who grew up in the South African Bush, living among and tracking wild leopards. The main theme of our conversation is tracking, and how the same strategy for pursuing animals in the wild can be applied to all aspects of our lives. Boyd’s family has been tracking animals for four generations, and he is bringing what they have learned to a larger audience around the world.

The episode includes the best answer I’ve ever heard (which comes when I ask Boyd to describe his most memorable experience). We also discuss the dangers of an achievement or goal oriented mindset, and what he learned from spending time with Nelson Mandela as a boy.

This episode is one I hope you share with those you love, because I think Boyd’s ideas will have a profound impact on many who are thinking about what to do with their lives—whether they are young or old.

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

 

0:00 – Exploring Boyd’s childhood through a story about a black mamba

3:13 – Looking at the early history of Boyd’s family and their foundation in the bush of South Africa

7:00 – The launch of their safari business

8:06 – How they connected with an ecologist that encouraged them to “partner” with the land and how that led to the leopards of Londolozi 

14:25 – Expanding their model to other areas and creating an economy of wildlife. 

15:12 – How Boyd discovered what he wanted to do with his life in healing 

20:49 – The concept of Ubuntu, the African value “I am, because of you.”

25:18 – How Patrick got to meet Boyd

26:15 – Exploring the idea of building your villages and some of the forces that combat that in our daily lives. 

31:23 – The difficulty in following your inner compass  

32:06 – Mr. Money Mustache

36:55 – Looking at Boyd’s early experiences in tracking and how he applies those principles in his current life. 

42:23 – Exploring the two different types of confidence and why there’s a benefit to throwing yourself into difficult situations, especially as a tracker. 

47:13 – Identifying the places where you can be relentless in life 

49:56 – The single most memorable tracking experience for Boyd, which is an incredible tale of tracking lions.   (Also one of the best answers to a question yet) 

1:01:49 – What can people do to get the holistic experience of the African bush  

1:04:15 – Ways that people can learn more about Boyd.  

1:04:31 – Ted Talk 

1:04:43 – The book 

1:05:05 – Seminar in Deer Valley  

1:05:13 – Martha Beck’s work 

1:05:36 – Website 

1:06:56 – When Nelson Mandela stayed with his family after getting out of prison

1:13:34 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Boyd

1:15:15 – A story of how his friend Sully saved his life from a crocodile  

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, 2018
Albert Wenger - World After Capital - [Invest Like the Best, EP.80]
01:06:22

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

Mar 13, 2018
Savneet Singh - The Berkshire of Software - [Invest Like the Best, EP.79]
01:19:18

My guest this week is another in a recent series of people that makes me want to work harder, learn more, and do more for others. His name is Savneet Singh, and he has already accomplished a remarkable amount in the worlds of business and investing. He’s preferred to keep a bit of a low profile, but I’m hoping, for everyone’s sake, to change that a little bit.

Savneet has invested in unique things like Spanish real estate, famous startups like Uber, cryptocurrencies before they were cool, and even websites. He founded and built a fintech company. And now, he both a partner at the wide-ranging investment firm CoVenture, with my previous guest Ali Hamed, and the co-founder of Tera Holdings, which is trying to become the Berkshire Hathaway of software companies.

To say this conversation is wide-ranging is an understatement. What’s neat is that my favorite parts aren’t even on investing, but are instead on principles for living.                                                                                                    

Savneet is one of the best people I’ve met in this journey. I’ve had several other conversations with him with shockingly low overlap with the one you are about to hear—a testament to his active and curious mind. I hope you enjoy learning from him as much as I have.

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

Ali Hamed podcast episolde

The VERY simple bear case for bitcoin

Owl Mountain

Books Referenced

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology

 

Show Notes

2:30 – (First Question) – How Savneet started thinking about Spanish real estate.

4:29 – Why Airbnb could be the most impactful and interesting of the companies like this

5:25 – Savneet’s early entrepreneurial ventures

 

6:42 – His big investing influences    

        7:02 – Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist 

7:40 – What did Savneet learn in his two years on the sell-side of Wall Street 

8:50 – How the financial crisis impacted Savneet 

10:11 – The entrepreneurial journey and GBI 

11:40 – Savneet’s observations on the FinTech space and investing in it 

14:59 – How we can use FinTech to get into an actual new business 

16:22 – His thoughts on venture capital style investing 

18:36 – Transition out of GBI into his partnership with Ali Hamed 

20:46 – What Savneet took from his tennis career 

22:13 – The impactful things that his parents did for him 

23:23 – How Savneet thinks about justice in his life 

24:39 – Most memorable trip Savneet took 

25:50 -  Why you have to take action 

26:19 – Why value investing struck a chord with Savneet  

27:22 – How culture plays an important role in the compounding companies he would invest in 

28:14 – Defining the proper long-term mindset when starting a company 

29:44 – Back to culture of successful compounding companies 

31:21 – Knowing what he knows now, what does he think about Berkshire today 

33:22 – The strategy behind Terra and how it came together

35:00 – His checklist for deciding to invest in a firm

37:31 – How do they think about the defensibility of the companies they invest in

39:58 – The importance of cyclicality in the customer base of companies they invest in

41:38 – Why does Savneet think this is the space he wants to remain in for the long-term

44:39 – How they are thinking about pricing a company they invest in

47:03 – Lessons learned in sales and marketing that he can and will bring to the software world

52:05 – What Savneet has learned from Constellation

54:39 – What does Savneet’s funnel for bringing in new companies look like

56:31 – What helps to drive a lot of conversion for them

59:08 – What lessons has Savneet learned about taxes in their company structure

1:00:32 – How does Terra think about diversification

1:02:13 – How they think about capital sourcing

1:05:08 – His balanced view on crypto as an asset class

            1:05:18 – The VERY simple bear case for bitcoin

1:09:45 – Savneet shares the Sikh philosophy with Patrick

1:11:43 – What Sikh traditions does Savneet take part in and what are their significance to him

1:13:21 – A look at Owl Mountain

            1:15:59 – The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology

1:16:42 – Any other areas that people are underestimating

1:17:22 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Savneet

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 06, 2018
Dan Rasmussen - Private Equity Returns in Public Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.78]
01:21:12

It has been a while since we discussed private equity on the show, so I was excited for this week’s conversation. My guest is Dan Rasmussen, the founder of Verdad advisers. Dan worked in private equity and has spent years studying the entire field.

Dan identified several key drivers of private equity’s outsized returns: size, value, and leverage. His firm uses these factors as a starting point to build a portfolio of public equities that behave like their private brethren.

We cover a ton of ground, discussing the prospective returns for equities, forecasting, and tons of investing strategies.

Please enjoy this conversation with Dan Rasmussen.

 

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

Subscribe to Dan

The Gospel According to Michael Porter

Tobias Carlisle

Steven Pinker

E.O. Wilson

 

Books Referenced

What Works on Wall Street, Fourth Edition: The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time

Quantitative Value, + Web Site: A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors

Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

 

Show Notes

2:03 – (First Question) – The current state of private equity investing       

4:09 – The three myths of private equity 

6:51 – Taking a deeper dive into the myth of growth through operational improvements

            9:29 – What Works on Wall Street, Fourth Edition: The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time 

11:25 – Valuations for private market investment and where they’re going 

14:03 – Private equity companies that have a higher chance of delivering results that exceed expectation 

16:39 – Other observations on the private equity space that would be interesting to investors considering the asset class 

19:33 – Importance of being very purposeful in picking your reference classes

            19:42 – Subscribe to Dan 

22:03 – How do the lessons Dan has learned in private equity translate to his investment strategies 

25:21 – How do you apply purely technical, systematic thinking into public market investing 

29:23 – Analyzing leveraged stocks and the value they could create 

30:06 – How Dan thinks about the direction of debt vs just the level 

33:11 – Predicting a firms ability to deleverage 

35:20 – How Dan’s company whittle down a company and are able to see value beyond their quantitative screens 

41:29 – How does Dan think about the global vs US opportunity set 

44:22 – What originally drew Dan to the Japan market 

47:03 – How do rising rates impact Dan’s strategy in investing in highly leveraged companies

51:19 – Importance of having investor money locked up for a longer period of time both for the fund and investor

55:03 – Porter’s five forces

            55:25 - The Gospel According to Michael Porter

1:00:51 – How Dan thinks about competitive advantage

1:04:41 – Exploring Dan’s personal process in pursuit of his ideal strategy

            1:05:19 – Quantitative Value, + Web Site: A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors

            1:05:20 – Tobias Carlisle

            1:06:27 – Steven Pinker

            1:06:28 – E.O. Wilson

1:07:11 – What other markets pique Dan’s interest

1:09:39 – Why there is such a focus on small for Dan

1:11:11 – Source or person that Dan has learned the most from that might surprise people

            1:11:24 – Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

            1:11:28– Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

1:12:54– What was it like writing the book

1:17:19 – If Dan was going to write another book today, what would it be about

1:19:08– Kindest thing anyone has done for Dan

 

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 27, 2018
Pat Dorsey Returns - The Moat Portfolio - [Invest Like the Best, EP.77]
01:02:27

My guest this week, back for a second conversation, is Pat Dorsey. Pat ran equity research at Morningstar before leaving to start his own asset management company: Dorsey Asset Management. His areas of deep interest are competitive advantage and capital allocation. He believes that capital allocation should be in service of competitive advantage and invests in a concentrated portfolio that he and his team feel embody these ideas. 

If you have not already, I strongly recommend listening to our first conversation, which is a sort of crash course on moats. In this conversation, we cover different ground. We spend much more time on individual stocks like Facebook, Google, and Chegg, using them as examples to explore Pat’s investment philosophy and strategy. 

Across a few conversations with Pat, I can tell he is in love with this stuff, and I always enjoy talking to investors like him who so passionately pursue and edge. Please enjoy round two with Pat Dorsey.  

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

Pat Dorsey's first appearance on the podcast

HQ - Live Trivia Game Show

 

Books Referenced

World After Capital

Principles: Life and Work

 

Show Notes

2:15 – (First Question) – Pat’s methods for valuing a business 

4:17 – Is this process done after they would first identify potential targets for investment 

5:11 – Pat’s take on how the market classifies stocks as growth vs value 

6:40 – Qualitative insights and why the market can’t price them very accurately 

9:57 – The business model behind zero marginal cost distribution business model 

12:00 – Network effects and the potential downside to them down the road 

13:54 – Valuing Facebook as a business heavily reliant on network effects

16:45 – What would have to change for Pat’s position on Facebook to radically change 

18:58 – Most important lessons that a smaller/private business could learn from Facebook or Google’s business models 

19:48 – Where is Amazon in Pat’s portfolio 

20:27 – Primary research and the value that is derived from it 

22:06 – An example of where primary research led to a big surprise about a company 

24:05 – The value of travel in this business, starting with recent travel to India 

26:05 – Why are they targeting India and Japan 

27:24 – How does he think about the risk of investing in foreign markets 

29:52 – His thinking on relative vs absolute market share 

31:26 – Exploring the SaaS business model 

34:35 – The application of moats and pricing power with SaaS businesses

            34:36 – Pat Dorsey's first appearance on the podcast 

36:17 – Understanding how to evaluate a SaaS or subscription-based business (Lifetime Value of the Customer vs Acquisition Cost) 

40:07 – Other models that Pat explores and how to screen for them 

41:37 – How does he parse the difference between attention and demand 

43:19 – How would Pat monetize something like HQ - Live Trivia Game Show that has aggregated massive amount of attention 

45:19 – How does Pat react to the idea that attention is scarce and human capital is so crucial

            45:14 – World After Capital 

47:04 – How does Pat evaluate human capital in a business 

48:09 – Experience in starting an asset management business 

50:20 – What are the levers that are biggest value drivers in the asset management business 

53:57 – Pat’s view on the strength of the relationship between risk and return        

57:06 – The most risk Pat has taken in the face of uncertainty 

59:23 – Favorite recent learning resource

            59:43 – Principles: Life and Work

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 20, 2018
Josh Wolfe - This is Who You Are Up Against - [Invest Like the Best, EP.76]
01:15:27

Long-time listeners will have heard me joke before that this podcast should really be called “this is who are you up against.” I’ve been waiting for the right episode to deploy the joke as a title, and this week we have it. 

The joke is meant to convey how incredibly impressive these people are who we get to hear from every week. My guest this week is Josh Wolfe, a founding and managing partner at Lux Capital in New York City. Lux is a venture capital firm, but a highly unique one. They’ve spent more time in hard sciences and interesting nooks and crannies of the market than the typical VC firm.

Some of investing is zero sum: my outperformance is someone else’s underperformance. Sometimes, though, investing is positive sum. The combination of capital, ideas, people, drive, and raw energy leads to amazing new things. 

I think the best investing and best investors of the future will be more collaborative than competitive. After finishing with Josh, I couldn’t stop thinking “god, do I want to be involved with whatever he’s doing, if only just to learn.” 

This conversation made me rethink my joke “this is who are you up against.” Now I won’t think of it as a zero-sum joke, but instead as a reminder: this is the kind of person who is out there. You better find your niche, and still be the absolute best you can within that niche.  

Please enjoy this killer conversation with Josh Wolfe. We cover just about everything. 

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

Investing in Biofuels or Biofools?

Ali Hamed podcast

Alex Moazed podcast

Andy Rachleff podcast

Popplet

@wolfejosh

 

Books Referenced

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

 

World After Capital

 

Show Notes

2:35 – (First Question) – Lux Capital and the kind of investments they have made over the years 

5:42 – The formation of the investment philosophy for Lux 

8:17 – Why randomness and optionality are important cornerstones to the philosophy 

9:52 – Investment philosophy 100-0-100 (ambition, arrogance, intellectual humility) 

10:40 – How Josh manages his time and attention

            12:53 – Investing in Biofuels or Biofools? 

13:29 – Obsession with nuclear 

15:15 – Investment in metamaterials 

18:28 – Focus on autonomous vehicles 

21:02 – How all of these gambles are viewed by Josh’s investors 

22:56 – Tattoo technology

            24:20 – Ali Hamed podcast 

24:36 – How Josh evaluates people when considering early stage investments

            24:45 – Alex Moazed podcast

            24:49 – Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy 

28:10 – Why the minority opinion tends to lead to the best outcomes 

29:50 – Memorable experience investing in a founder 

30:44 – The idea of thesis driven approach to private investment    

            30:56 – Andy Rachleff podcast   

32:38 – Crazy thesis – understanding the emotional needs of our pets 

34:59 – Crazy thesis – Turning genetic abnormalities into treatments and cures for common conditions

38:03 – Josh’s learning process through these theses

            38:34 – Popplet

39:56 – Understanding rebel scientists when it’s impossible to predict what is going to happen

44:35 – Can the charge forward mindset be cultivated, or does it have to come naturally

45:49 – Investors that Josh has learned the most from

47:37 – Josh’s comfort investing outside of his usual asset class

            49:03 – @wolfejosh

50:56 – What is the thinking with the short strategy at Lux

52:31 – SpaceX vs Tesla, good business vs bad business

53:42 – How Josh approaches the quality of a business

            54:15 – World After Capital

55:16 – How does Josh evaluate competitive advantage

56:45 – Where are we in the venture capital landscape

1:01:42 – How does his outlook on venture capital affect the way Lux is run

1:02:48 – thoughts on cryptocurrency

1:05:28 – An overview of Santa Fe Institute

1:07:22 – What is the most memorable conversation Josh has ever had

1:09:34 – What is Josh’s objective function in life

1:12:43 – Are there people that Josh disagrees with but deeply respects

1:13:32 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Josh  

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 13, 2018
Harvey Sawikin - Emerging Market Opportunities - [Invest Like the Best, EP.75]
59:46

My guest this week is Harvey Sawikin, a co-founder and lead portfolio manager at Firebird Management, which manages funds dedicated to investing in emerging market equities. Emerging markets are often a blind spot for investors of all types: most of us have never traveled to the far east or eastern Europe, where many of the thousands of emerging market public equities operate.

I’ve been very lucky to travel quite a bit in Asia and the Middle East, but never to eastern Europe, which where Firebird focuses its investments. Harvey and I discuss his 24 years of experience evaluating emerging and frontier market countries, industries, and individual stocks. We discuss his experience buying privatization vouchers in Russia, banks in the Baltics, and how today’s emerging market opportunity set compares to the past. 

Like so many of these conversations with investors who have earned significant excess returns, its clear investing opportunities in emerging markets are often disguised. Finding them requires risk, hard work, discipline, and a dose of luck and timing. Please enjoy my conversation with Harvey on Emerging Market Opportunities. 

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

Via

Books Referenced

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

Education of Rick Green, Esquire

 

Show Notes

2:26 – (First Question) – Most memorable travel experience since the beginning of Firebird

5:41 - How Harvey got interested in emerging markets investing, specifically, Eastern Europe and Russia

10:00 – How does the landscape for emerging markets today compare to when he first started

12:30 – What are the factors of an emerging market to look at and why do some not pan out

15:04 – Do countries have to meet minimum criteria before Harvey and his team will even start to do work on an emerging market

17:33 – How does Harvey distinguish between frontier and emerging markets

18:37 – Thoughts on the access points that regular investors have into emerging markets, such as ETF’s and Mutual Funds

23:48 – How does Harvey think about risk exposure when constructing a portfolio

25:56 – Looking at the bottom up part of the equation, what factors within a company or sector are considered as part of the investing decision

31:05 – Dividends in emerging markets

33:09 – How do US equities stack up as an investment against fixed income

         34:53 - The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

36:52 - How do US equities stack up as an investment against emerging markets

39:38 – What type of investor allocate funds to emerging markets

42:37 – The value of travel in understanding emerging markets

50:19 – Biggest mistakes that emerging market investors make

54:49 – What in today’s markets has the smell of opportunity

55:53 – Harvey’s interest in Via

56:58 – Interest in buying gold coins

1:00:05 – If Harvey could only choose one country to visit, business or pleasure, where would he go

1:01:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Harvey

            1:01:38 – Education of Rick Green, Esquire

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 06, 2018
Anthony Pompliano - Full Tilt Investing- [Invest Like the Best, EP.74]
42:50

My guest this week is Anthony Pompliano. Pomp began his career in the military, and has since been a successful entrepreneur, worked as a head of growth at Facebook, and started Full Tilt Capital, an early stage investing firm in North Carolina.

This conversation has three memorable sections. Early on, we discuss the four traits Pomp looks for in founders, which we cover in detail. These double as traits that are important when hiring anyone. Next, we discuss his unique take on cryptocurrencies, where he is excited about the prospects for tokenized securities. Finally, we explore a unique media company, Bar Stool Sports, and what makes it such a powerful brand.

Please enjoy our somewhat abbreviated discussion and know we will continue the conversation soon.

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

Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports’ Secret Billion Dollar Plan

Books Referenced

Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter

 

Show Notes

2:06 - (First Question) – Recap of Anthony’s military career

4:07 – Most memorable experience while deployed

5:27 – Transition out of the military and how it shaped his investing philosophy

11:19 – investing philosophy of Full Tilt, starting with deal economics

10:00 – Attributes of an ideal founder

13:50 -  Where you actual learn the attributes that make you a good founder

14:40 – Time that Anthony has taken the biggest risk in life

16:45 – What is the viewpoint that Full Tilt has today that gives it Alpha in the market

18:47 – Why tokenized securities could be advantageous for investors in a company

19:51 – Anthony’s explanation of a tokenized security and what needs to happen for this idea to be fully realized in the market

22:22 – What could be the impact on the markets of making liquidity in venture so readily available

24:39 – What are tokenized securities actually invested in in the real world

27:42 – What does Anthony think about the commodity risk

29:04 – Describing Standard American Mining, a company they incubated

29:58 – Exploring the shift from a CPU world to a GPU world

31:49 – Getting involved in places where we haven’t caught up with the rest of the world

33:05 – Anthony’s interest in Barstool Sports

            33:11 – Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports’ Secret Billion Dollar Plan

            37:09 – Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter

39:02 – What lessons from Full Tilt world would Anthony share with others in the more traditional business world

40:35 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Anthony

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 30, 2018
Dr. Ben Hunt - The Three-Body Portfolio - [Invest Like the Best, EP.73]
01:06:59

My guest this week is Dr. Ben Hunt, the chief investment strategist at Salient and the author of the extremely popular epsilon theory.

I’ve always enjoyed Ben’s writing style, particularly his use of farm and animal based analogies to describe market phenomenon.

In this conversation, we discuss his recent post the three body problem, why growth has been beating value, and why a strategy that he calls profound agnosticism—a take on risk parity—may be the most appropriate investing strategy in what he views as a very uncertain world. We also discuss some of his favorite lessons from the farm. 

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

 

Links Referenced

The Three-Body Problem

 

Show Notes

1:54 - (First Question) – Applying the three-body problem to investing 

7:24 – Fundamental view of investing, Profound Agnosticism 

8:24 – Why has value done so poorly relative to growth in this framework 

11:01 -  Ben’s thoughts on why value has been underperforming for so long 

13:52 – Investors should be able to adapt 

17:49 – Thoughts on the risk parity approach 

23:23 – Ben’s strategy for working with several teams 

26:48 – What’s the best way to gain an edge, top down factors vs company/bond individual analysis 

28:29 – How do you measure risk amid the large amount of uncertainty that exists in markets 

32:40 – How does Ben personally think about investing 

34:41 – Ben’s farm and the investing lessons learned by some of the animals 

39:55 – How bees can plan out their entire work structure by the angle of the sun 

42:58 – Defining basis risk 

44:59 – Personal risk vs portfolio risk 

49:30 – The concept of fingernail clean and our perception of what eggs are 

53:57 – How ETFs are like mass produced eggs 

54:56 – Exploring the idea of quality vs scaling 

58:39 – What is the current challenge/puzzle that Ben is focused on right now 

1:01:59 – What is Ben looking for when looking into game theory and applying it to the words that are published and spoken about investing 

1:03:57 – Most memorable day on Ben’s farm 

1:05:04 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ben

 

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 23, 2018
Preston Byrne - Crypto-pocalypse - [Invest Like the Best, EP.72]
01:10:15

My guest this week is Preston Byrne. Preston is vocal critic of crazy prices and projects in the world cryptocurrencies. His background is in the legal world and also as a founder and former COO of Monax, which made the first open-source permissioned blockchain client.

As Preston says, he is a “blockchain without bitcoin” guy, who believes that this crypto mania will end in some sort of apocalypse for token holders and ICO issuers .

We tackle several issues, from his broad skepticism of crypto assets, to the potential regulatory reaction from major governments, to types of coins like stable coins, which Preston views as analogous to perpetual motion machines. 

Please enjoy our conversation and for any crypto investors out there, let me know if this conversation affects your opinion of the investing prospects for cryptocurrencies. 

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

Bitcoin white paper

The Bear Case for Crypto

Hash Power series

Zero Hedge

Preston tweet on Reverse network effect

 

Show Notes

2:12 - (First Question) –Ponzi scheme vs pyramid scheme vs Nakimoto scheme 

5:29 – Why there are regulatory challenges to cryptocurrency

            5:33 – The Bear Case for Crypto 

9:59 – Who are the most influential people supporting this and how are they swaying the regulatory minefield on this issue

            10:28 – Hash Power series 

13:23 – Looking into the idea of a digital asset and the difference between blockchain and the token itself 

16:09 – What about the idea that cryptocurrency’s only feature is that it’s censorship resistant 

18:39 – Why cryptocurrencies become less usable the more successful they are

            18:59 – Zero Hedge 

21:04 – Why can’t we rely on offchain solutions to solve the scaling issue 

22:29 – The idea of bubbles and what happens next in this one           

25:41 – What are the incentives to build technology to support cryptocurrencies 

29:23 – Explaining Ripple 

31:21 – What would precipitate a massive reversal in the inflated valuations of cryptocurrencies 

34:52 – Understanding reverse network effects

            34:36 – Preston tweet on Reverse network effect

37:45 – The principles behind Stablecoin

42:20 – What has been the greatest lesson that Preston has learned about blockchain he wish he knew when he first got started

44:05 – How embedded will blockchain be by 2024/2025

45:12 – ICO’s, why Preston is not a fan and if there are any positives to them

50:20 – What are the conditions under which these things will be viewed legally.

54:00 – Preston’s history owning cryptocurrencies

55:35 – What has Preston most excited in the space

59:02 – Utility settlement coin

1:00:36 – Why the fascination with marmots

1:02:10 – What to reference before getting started with cryptocurrencies

1:04:03 – Understanding supply chains in block chain

1:07:14 – Some smart people on block chain to follow

1:08:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Preston

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 16, 2018
Ali Hamed – Creative Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.71]
01:16:20

I have a special request this week: share this episode with every curious person in your life. 

The conversation, with a 26-year old investor named Ali Hamed, serves as an example of what’s possible when you think creatively. 

Ali views the world with a fresh set of eyes, and has already become an expert at identifying new investment opportunities where others have not. As the second prodigy 26 year old in as many weeks on the podcast, these young guns are making me feel like an ancient 32 year old. 

We talk a lot about “alpha” in our world, earning returns better than the market. But the key word in that last sentence isn’t alpha, it’s earning. Hopefully you, like me, will use this conversation as a reminder of what it takes to earn differentiated returns. It’s not just the hard work, but also the mindset. We explore many examples of how to create new investment opportunities, from rolling up Instagram accounts, to financing perishable fruit like watermelons, to heavy machinery software. 

Please enjoy this special conversation with Ali Hamed. Follow him and his partners. And then go figure out how to earn success yourself in whatever it is you do by helping other people solve problems with empathy. 

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

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

 

Links Referenced

Sheel Tyle Podcast

Seed Investing is a B2C Business, While Growth Stage investing is a B2B Business

Ira Judelson podcast

Free Content and Digital Media Are Increasing Socio-Economic Disparity 

 

Show Notes

2:24 - (First Question) Ali’s investment philosophy 

3:33 – History of Coventure and its unique structure 

6:30 – The story of how Coventure was seeded 

12:29 – What makes cost of capital such an interesting topic for Ali 

14:13 – Exploring fee structures and the expectations for return in the current environment 

17:02 – The current state of the VC world 

21:42 – Ali’s investment process on the VC side 

25:32 – What other requirements are there for Ali to make a VC investment 

28:00 – Understanding the difference between judgement and empathy in founders

            28:20 – The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

29:47 – Dealing with LP’s

            32:47 – Sheel Tyle Podcast

33:39 – At one point did Ali feel the most personally at risk in his career

37:55 – Why did they get involved in cryptocurrency 

43:30 – What excites Ali most about crypto

46:09 – Lending as an alternative way to invest in businesses

48:09 – An overview of their lending business

50:21 – How does deal flow and sourcing work in these arrangements

52:54 – How much encroachment will Ali face from competitors

54:28 – Exploring the idea of valuing and buying digital accounts

59:36 – How Ali thinks about marketing for his own firm and the ones he invests in

1:00:06 – Seed Investing is a B2C Business, While Growth Stage investing is a B2B Business

1:03:59 – Longer term aspirations for Ali and industries that he would avoid

            1:04:25 – Ira Judelson podcast

1:08:05 – Ali’s view on the potential negative impact of free content

            1:08:19 - Free Content and Digital Media Are Increasing Socio-Economic Disparity

1:12:48 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ali

 

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 09, 2018
Sheel Tyle - The Future of Venture Capital - [Invest Like the Best, EP.70]
53:48

My guest this week is Sheel Tyle, who at just 26 years old has already had a successful career in venture capital. His most recent stint was as the co-head of the seed investing business at NEA, the largest venture capital firm in the world, where Sheel was also a partner. Now, Sheel has set off on his own, setting up his own firm called Amplo and having recently raised a $100M venture fund where he is the sole general partner. He aims to invest with young, mission driven entrepreneurs with a global focus. As you can tell from this resume, which also includes a degree from Stanford and a law degree from Harvard, this is one ambitious guy. 

There are several aspects of this conversation that will really stick with me, specifically his points on networking and the smartest decision that he’s seen entrepreneurs make. I also loved our discussion of some of the same trends we explored last week with Chris Dixon—topics like drones, automated cars, and blockchain, where Sheel often has a different take than the consensus. 

Please enjoy my conversation on Africa, entrepreneurship, venture capital trends, technology, and more with Sheel Tyle.

 

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

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

 

Links Referenced

Andela

OneConcern

Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode

Mark43

TechCrunch

VentureBeat

Bill Draper (author)

 

Show Notes

2:20 - (First Question) Sheel’s upbringing and how it shaped his interest in Africa

4:43 – The outlook for Africa

6:10 – Primary differences in valuations and momentum in Africa vs opportunities in other places which Sheel conveys through the story of Andela

10:45 – The perspective returns of venture capital investments

15:16 – Does the hyperfroth in ICO’s serve as a threat to traditional venture capital

17:53 – Where Sheel falls on the importance of networking in terms of his venture capital interests

20:38 – The stronger impact of a smaller, more tight-knit network

22:46 – Sheel’s feelings on driverless cars and the timeline for this sector

27:17 – What are the positive side effects of driverless cars taking over

29:01 – What is the best way to invest in driverless cars from a venture capital standpoint

31:30 – Sheel’s overrated/underrated take on different technology spaces

            31:30 – VR/AR

            32:21 – Blockchain

            32:54 – Machine learning/AI

33:41 – Drones

34:53 – Other categories that we should be thinking about

            36:54 – OneConcern

38:21 – Should entrepreneurs be raising more money over future liquidity concerns of the venture capital markets

39:40 – What are the places that Sheel can help a founder in the early stage formation of the company

            40:02 – Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode

42:53 – What does the breakdown of domestic vs international investments potentially look like in fund 1 for Sheel

44:53 – Sheel’s most memorable travel experience

47:34 – what is the best decision Sheel saw a founder make

            48:10 – Mark43

50:31 – Resources for people interested in venture capital

            51:06 – TechCrunch

            51:07 – VentureBeat

            51:17 – Bill Draper (author)

            51:25 – Originals: How Non-Conformists Move 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

Jan 02, 2018
Chris Dixon – The Future of Tech - [Invest Like the Best, EP.69]
58:38

My guest this week is Chris Dixon, who has written some of my favorite essays on technology and venture investing. Chris is a prolific investor and thinker, having been an entrepreneur, angel investor, and now partner at the well-known venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Our conversation focuses on major trends in technology, including cryptocurrencies and the future of autonomous vehicles and drones.

Chris has a rule of thumb for technology trends: find out what smart people are working on during the weekend, and you’ll know what other will be doing years in the future. After surveying his old essays, it’s clear you use Chris’s writings as a similar litmus test.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

Please enjoy this great conversation with Chris Dixon on the future of tech.

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

Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages

Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

 

Links Referenced

Douglas Hofstadter

Daniel Dennett

How Aristotle Created the Computer

New Yorker Cover on automation

The World of Numbers website

Jerry Neumann podcast episode

David Tisch podcast

ERC-20 Token Standard

Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology

 

Show Notes

2:04 (First Question) – Why did Chris choose to study philosophy

            2:23 – Douglas Hofstadter

            2:24 – Daniel Dennett

            3:20 – How Aristotle Created the Computer 

3:35 – Where has his thinking and viewpoints changed the most having been in the real world 

4:42 – What is the real driving force behind all of the technology that we are creating and will automation kill all of the jobs

            6:16 – New Yorker Cover on automation

            6:57 – The World of Numbers website

8:36 – A look at his history in networks and network design

            11:03 – Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages

            11:07 – Jerry Neumann podcast episode

            12:32 – Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

13:06 – What are the market and technological forces that make it difficult to regulate software hardware companies

14:39 – The best features of proprietary centralized networks and open networks

16:40 – What things are better centralized vs decentralized

            22:30 – David Tisch podcast

23:03 – When it comes to cryptocurrencies, what are the concerns that the protocols themselves hold value and could this lead to centralization of the system problems

            24:02 – Block size debate (topic)

            26:40 – ERC-20 Token Standard

27:23 – Is the blockchain the answer to the stagnation of the big tech players 

32:47 – Does Chris find investment in individual crypto tokens analogous to seed funding in companies 

34:39 -  How does Chris think about the dichotomy of investing in people vs technologies

            34:59 – Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology 

37:45 – What organizational structures of companies are most compelling 

41:50 – Any major trends in technology a cause for concern for Chris 

42:34 – Any interesting trends by people looking to disrupt the centralization of internet power to a small few 

44:09 – What major trends is Chris passionately pursuing 

51:15 – If everyone agrees on a future trend of technology, can you still make money investing in them 

52:20 – How do you encourage younger people to approach the world and a career differently in this ever-changing world 

57:39 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chris

 

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 26, 2017
Sorin Capital – Retail Contrarians - [Invest Like the Best, EP.68]
01:26:20

So far I’ve spent no time in the podcast discussing real estate, so I was excited to get the chance to talk to the team at Sorin Capital, a billion dollar hedge fund which specializes in commercial real estate, REITs, and commercial mortgage backed securities.  Sorin is lead by Jim Higgins, who founded the firm, and Tom Digan, who coincidentally was a college classmate of mine at Notre Dame.

The conversation has two unique angles. The first, which starts about 20 minutes into the conversation after we introduce the sector and opportunity set, is a deep dive into a specific trade: a fairly contrarian take on the retail industry, specifically comparing different types of retail real estate. As you’ll hear, the dispersion of mispricings in the sector may be huge, creating opportunities for specialists to earn real alpha by doing bottom up work.

The second angle we explore is what I believe to be a strong model for the future of asset management businesses, that is tailoring products, strategies, and even specific trades to the needs and risk-return profiles that clients want and need, instead of just selling a one-size-fits-all comingled fund. 

You’ve probably heard me joke that this podcast should be called “This is who you are up against,” and this episode is a good example. I always enjoy exploring a niche part of the market, and this conversation on real estate is a perfect example of the type of work that firms do on behalf of their clients.  Please enjoy my conversation with the team from Sorin Capital.

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

Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions

Liars Poker

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

 

Show Notes

2:43 - (First Question) –Outline the Real Estate Investment Trust world and what the assets and total value look like

6:10 – What does the profile of investors in the space look like compared to investors in the broader debt markets

9:43 – What are the characteristics of a liquid real estate portfolio that make them so attractive to investors

10:54 – Looking at the history of Sorin Capital and how the business has evolved to where it is today

12:35 – Understanding the idea of securitization of commercial mortgages

17:01 – What really led to the formation of Sorin after working for Bear Stearns

20:19 – Looking at the retail sector in real estate in the scope of actual trades that are being made

25:08 – From an investing standpoint, how do you craft a portfolio that takes advantage of the real estate space as retail appears to be suffering on the surface

30:09 – The different type of real estate investments in the retail sectors and what piece of the pie do they make up

32:43 – How does the business model of the mall work and why is it so connected to the department stores

34:08 – What is the future of malls itself with the big changes happening to the legacy stores that helped them proliferate

37:44 – Why won’t the same thing that has happened to apparel stretched to all sectors of the retail industry

39:09 – How do they search for inefficiencies in the market

41:20 – One of the craziest things they saw on the road that outlined real world craziness in real estate investment

42:23 – What is the duration involved in these types of investments

44:41 – How the portfolio is positioned across these different real estate types

47:49 – Why haven’t others come in and taken advantage of the investments that Sorin is able to

49:03 – Reaction to the idea that the growth of passive ETF’s and investing styles has lengthened the time over which certain inefficiencies would be corrected and are distorting things

51:27 – How much does momentum play into their thinking

54:19 – How evenly distributed are the vintages of these ten year cycles

57:15 – Explaining the idea of deep value bottom up work in the real estate investment world that they have done a deep dive on

59:31 – Best stories from boots on the ground visits

1:04:04 – The origin story for the original Sorin partnership

            1:04:42 – Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions

            1:04:43 - Liars Poker

            1:04:44 – Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

1:07:51 – What was it like for Tom getting started and the lessons he learned after an incredible hard time for the market

1:09:24 – What was it like for Jim coming through the crisis

1:11:18 – What is the trend for funds to craft investments specific to investors vs having them buying products that they produce

1:18:29 = Are other hedge fund firms moving to a client demand or solutions-based model? Or are we still very early in the transition

1:22:50 – What would the generalists miss in this space vs someone like Sorin that is a specialist

 

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 19, 2017
Franklin Foer – World Without Mind - [Invest Like the Best, EP.67]
57:25

My guest this week is Franklin Foer, the author the recently published book “World Without Mind.” The topic of our conversation is one that I’ve been thinking through often this past year: the impact that large technology companies have on our minds and behavior. This conversation is only indirectly related to markets, but given that the companies we discuss are now several of the largest by market cap in the global stock market, what happens to them likely impacts all of our portfolios whether we own them or not. Given that these companies compete for our attention and dollars, they also affect our businesses.

As an example, My friend Brent Beshore and his team at Adventures wrote a long and incredibly thoughtful piece on how they think about Amazon as a force in the market, and how they plan on navigating around such a fierce competitor.

Franklin’s book, especially the early history, is very thought-provoking, so it was no surprise that our conversation was too. Please enjoy our talk on the tech giants.

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

Free PDF of The Whole Earth Catalog

Amazon Must Be Stopped (New Republic)

Hannah Arendt Philosophy

Time Well Spent

 

Books Referenced

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

The Whole Earth Catalog

The Lessons of History

 

Show Notes

1:40 - (First Question) – As part of Jonathan’s new book, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, exploring the idea of the whole earth catalogue.

            4:09 – The Whole Earth Catalog

            4:36 – Free PDF of The Whole Earth Catalog

4:49 – What happened next for Brand and how he laid the early groundwork for today’s modern Silicon Valley

7:43 – Franklin’s personal journey into writing this book

            10:00 – Amazon Must Be Stopped (New Republic)

11:48 – Thoughts on the advancement of technology in our world

15:52 -  Filling the gap into Brand’s influence on Silicon Valley from the early 80’s to today

18:57 – How does the current state of the free internet without gatekeepers hold up for the next generation

20:53 – Is there a chance that technology’s unlimited mining of our attention is not the horrible thing we often make it out to be

24:47 – What are the ways we can have a free internet and other technologies, but not let them get perverted

28:09 – How will people respond to our tech monopolies

31:54 – The Lessons of History and the rise and fall of centrist powers

33:02 -  A look at Franklin’s work and how its impacted by the reliant on a few large tech companies

35:28 – The dangers that tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, etc, have created for us

40:45 – Is there a technology, company, or trend that Franklin is really excited for

42:19 – Will there be movements that emphasis detachment from technology

44:05 – Why most innovations have happened to people thinking in a very separated or contemplative mode

45:58 – What’s the most exciting thing that Franklin is thinking about now

49:30 – What was the most memorable content in researching this book that Franklin would suggest other check out

            49:59 – Hannah Arendt Philosophy

52:37 – Are there specific things that Franklin does to be more contemplative

            53:26 – Time Well Spent

54:47 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Franklin

 

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 12, 2017
Adam Ludwin - A Sober View on Crypto - [Invest Like the Best, EP.66]
01:06:22

My guest this week is Adam Ludwin, the founder and CEO of Chain, a blockchain technology company targeted at large enterprises. Before shifting his career to focus solely on crypto, Adam was a venture capitalist focused on FinTech, which is how he came across the Bitcoin whitepaper earlier than most. I called this episode “a Sober View on Crypto” because Adam’s take is so balanced. He is certainly long crypto, both in his portfolio and career, but he is very skeptical of much of what is happening in the ecosystem today. For example, he offers the best reason I’ve heard for not launching an ICO or investing in them. 

If you haven’t read Adam’s widely shared open letter to Jamie Dimon, it has become a must-read piece for crypto-enthusiasts. Read it as soon as you can.

I edited out an earlier chunk of our conversation as it was largely introductory. If you need a broader introduction to cryptocurrencies, I suggest starting with episode one of Hash Power and working your way forward. One key insight from Adam in our offline discussion what how cryptocurrencies function very much like equities or bonds. Just as equity financing enables the activity of joint stock corporations, cryptocurrencies enable activity in decentralized applications. We pick up our discussion with Adam discussing whether anyone really uses these decentralized apps today.

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

 

Show Notes

2:35 - (First Question) – Will anyone use cryptocurrency in the real world at a large scale

3:43 – The idea of censorship resistance

12:29 – Will society be accepting of this technology

14:39 – Why decentralized apps can’t be acquired

18:24 – The idea of exponential vs linear improvements on a trend and if there are limits to the growth of decentralized technologies

23:26 – The struggle with early adaption of blockchain

25:41 – Best application for bitcoin, storing value

29:52 – Adam’s introduction to cryptoassets and how his thinking has evolved in the space

36:44 – In this hyper frothy market, is there a situation that makes an ICO exciting to Adam

43:51 – Even though it appears to be easy money, Adam explains why you shouldn’t just create an ICO

50:59 – A look at what Chain is doing and what Adam is excited about

53:23 – How does what Adam is working on help to improve the ledger of his clients

1:02:00 – Why you can easily be an early investor in crypto currency

1:04:27 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Adam

 

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 05, 2017
Joanne Wilson - Angel Investing and Trend Spotting - [Invest Like the Best, EP.65]
57:21

My guest today is Joanne Wilson, a New York City based angel investor, writer, podcaster, trend spotter, and self-described “woman around town.” Joanne has had a multifaceted and winding career, and began angel investing a decade ago when she put money into NYC-based media company Curbed media which we discuss in detail. Since then, she’s invested in more than 90 companies and been pitched by countless more. She is an instantly likeable person, you can literally tell in 10 seconds you are going to have a great conversation, so it’s no surprise that part of what makes her unique among angels is a very close relationship with many of the founders she backs.

We cover a lot of ground. We talk about the personality traits of entrepreneurs, Joanne’s evolving investment style, her focus on female founders, fashion, business models, restaurants and a lot more. Please my conversation with the Gotham Gal, Joanne Wilson.

 

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

2:12 - (First Question) – How does Joanne orient herself towards what’s new, in the context of food in New York city

4:10 – Can that mindset of forward thinking be cultivated

5:18 – Latest thing that got Joanne excited before everyone else

6:57 – Why the new frontier is going niche and local

10:23 – Joanne’s first investment

11:48 – Why do VC’s typically stay away from media

12:55 – How Joanne got into her first investment as a customer

14:11 – What is the skillset of making money that Joanne as

14:45 – Can you sense if a founder has that innate ability to just make money

17:04 – Are there common traits in founders

18:07 – Joanne’s progression into angel investing after her first investment

19:58 – Red flags when looking at investments

20:40 – Impression on growth without goals

23:30 – Trends among Joanne’s investments

25:56 – How much knowledge is transferrable between different industries that Joanne invests in

27:06 – The dichotomy and unique challenges between raising capital with female founders vs male founders

29:07 – How does Joanne balance her time and stay engaged with all of her investments

30:50 – Time when Joanne has helped a founder side step a pothole

31:35 – Most memorable first impression Joanne experienced

35:05 – How often does someone not have the right idea but is still worth investing in

37:19 – Why Joanne won’t start a fund

38:22 – Data on female founders returns and time

40:38 – Criteria for identifying emerging trends, especially in the more creative/artistic fields 

43:29 – The changing costs of launching a brand, in the contest of fashion

47:11 – What has Joanne most excited right now

      48:11 – Interesting facts about the fashion business 

52:01 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Joanne

 

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 28, 2017
Connor Leonard - Capital Light Compounders & Reinvestment Moats - [Invest Like the Best, EP.64]
01:06:16

This week’s conversation is an ode to old school, fundamental public market investing. My conversation is with IMC’s Connor Leonard, who spends most waking hours thinking and reading about markets. His mandate is to invest purely as if it was his own money, with no pressure to hug a benchmark, and no pressure to do much of anything other than earn strong long-term returns.

The portfolio that results from this approach is highly concentrated and unique. Connor’s strategy is to sort companies into four categories based on their type of sustainable competitive advantage. As you’ll hear, the vast majority fall into the first category, which means they don’t have such an advantage and therefore should be largely set aside.

We spend the majority of our conversation talking about the other three categories: 1) companies with a legacy moat, 2) companies with a re-investment moat, and 3) an interesting category Connor calls “capital light compounders,” which we explore in detail.

When you step back and think about public markets, you realize how amazing it is that we can, from afar, buy an interest in so many companies around the world. A select few go on to deliver outstanding returns. This conversation highlights how hard that can be, but also how fun and ultimately rewarding. Please enjoy my talk with Connor Leonard.

                                              

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

Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success     

 

Links Referenced

Pat Dorsey Podcast Episode

David Tisch podcast   

Will Thorndike Podcast episode

 

Show Notes

2:31 - (First Question) –   Trends in value investing

            2:52 – Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor

4:43 – A look at Connor’s backstory and the history of IMC, parent company of Golden Corral

8:01 – Why Connor loves the public markets so much  

9:21 – The concept of intrinsic value when looking at companies

12:36 – How Connor categorizes MOATS

            13:21 – Pat Dorsey Podcast Episode

14:27 – Legacy MOATS

16:11 – Reinvestment MOATS

17:58 – Capital light compounder MOAT

20:00 – Why classifieds are an interesting business model

25:12 – Looking at platform businesses

26:56 – Looking at companies in the 500 million to 5 billion range and what makes it so enticing

30:34 – What is the process that gets Connor to find investment opportunities

            35:53 – David Tisch podcast  

36:15 – How Connor looks at industry classifications

41:30 – Connor’s strategy for running his portfolio

46:36 – The circumstances in which Conno would buy a legacy MOAT company

            46:49 – Will Thorndike Podcast episode

            46:51 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success    

49:21 – How do you pick managers that will beat the markets

52:21 – Second reason to buy a legacy MOAT

54:48 – Comparing the reinvestment MOAT and Capital A compounder in Connor’s portfolio

58:16 – Connor’s Mt Rushmore of Capital Allocators

1:00:03 – Impactful mentorships for Connor

1:01:52 – kindest thing anyone has done for Connor

103:04 – What in the discussion with founder of IMC got him the job

 

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 21, 2017
Dhani Jones - Adventures in Sports, Business, and Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.63]
57:50

My guest this week is unique. As you will hear early and often, he is programmed to go his own way, to, as he says, go one way when everyone else is going another. His name is Dhani Jones, a name I knew as a Notre Dame football fan, because he won a championship with our arch-rivals, the University of Michigan, in the late 90’s. Dhani went on to a long and successful career in the NFL, but even more interesting has been his many pursuits in business and investing outside of football. Like my conversation with Tim Urban, I’ll remember this conversation as a reminder to use a first principles mindset. Dhani seems to have this fresh mindset baked into his character, and as you’ll hear this has led to many a great adventure. Please enjoy my conversation with athlete, businessman, investor, philanthropist, movie buff, and bowtie wearer, Dhani Jones.

                                              

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

1:30 - (First Question) –  A introduction into Dhani Jones and everything he’s done

5:35 – How did Dhani change throughout his football career

9:55 – The power of your mind in every aspect of life

10:34 – Most memorable experience in the NFL

13:10 – Making the transition from the NFL to the business world

18:20 – Looking at Bowtie Cause

22:40 – The role of creative agencies in Dhani’s ventures and why story telling is so important for him

26:48 – Looking at some of the TV stuff that Dhani has done, particularly around travel

28:21 – Dhani’s favorite movie

30:35 – Back to the joy of travel and “Dhani Tackles the Globe.”

36:54 – How does Dhani think about risk

38:56 – Some of the other sports and activities Dhani did while filming his show

41:45 – The psychological benefit of travel in your personal and business life

44:41 – Looking into the business part of Dhani’s career

51:19 – How to expand diversity in the financial world

54:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Dhani

 

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 14, 2017
Chris Burniske -