Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Colossus
Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at https://joincolossus.com/
Bill Gurley and Philip Rosedale - Back to the Future - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 254]
My guests today are Philip Rosedale and Bill Gurley. Philip created Second Life in the early 2000s and helped build it into the largest virtual 3D world ever created at the time. Frequent listeners will recognize Bill, who was an investor in Second Life via Benchmark Capital. During the conversation, we cover the fascinating story of Second Life and the billion-dollar economy that persists through to this day. Bill and Phillip share their key learnings from the experience, including the importance of usability, their views of the current metaverse opportunity, and what excites them most about the current focus on virtual realities. If you’re curious about what the metaverse might become, these two experts have seen much of this already and are kind to share their lessons with us. Please enjoy my conversation with Phillip and Bill.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.   With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.   -----   At WatchBox, the world’s finest watches are at your fingertips with an ever-expanding collection of luxury timepieces, all certified authentic and collector quality. WatchBox’s global team of expert client advisors is ready to help you find the watch you’ve always wanted. Step into the collector’s circle at thewatchbox.com/patrick   ----- Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:03:22] - [First question] - The origin story of Second Life and why they created it [00:05:38] - How many people were playing Second Life at its peak, the in-game economy and its growth trajectory [00:06:49] - The interface between the in-game currency and its function for players [00:10:53] - An example of early entrepreneurship and user-created IP in Second Life [00:12:13] - Was technology a rate limiter to success in such an early version of the metaverse? [00:14:35] - What was most exciting about creating it and it’s early-stage potential [00:18:23] - Why Unity isn’t more adopted by creators and players like Minecraft [00:24:42] - Defining what the metaverse means to each of them today  [00:28:50] - What Discord has taught them about aggregating people digitally [00:33:02] - Simultaneously crossing the digital chasm and the uncanny valley  [00:38:16] - Key differences between games and platforms and the role of purpose [00:42:04] - Why cryptocurrencies and blockchains haven’t produced experiences akin to the virtual Travis Scott concert [00:47:13] - Why removing friction and centralizing financial structures can help growth and thoughts on play to earn gaming and user spending [00:53:27] - Digital asset ownership and digital trustless exchanges in the metaverse [00:57:30] - Pros and cons of today’s speculative digital asset valuations [01:01:05] - Interesting pockets of opportunity that could benefit the metaverse ecosystem [01:04:28] - How they’d build and construct an ETF with metaverse exposure [01:07:18] - Thoughts on AR and VR and which holds more promise for public adoption  [01:08:02] - Surprising findings about the role audio plays in digital worlds   [01:10:23] - What they’re watching most closely in this emergent sector [01:11:29] - Limitations of visual and sonic barriers when recreating real-world interactions  [01:12:42] - The kindest things anyone has ever done for them 
Dec 7
1 hr 16 min
Francis Davidson - Design-led Hospitality - [Invest Like the Best, EP.253]
My guest today is Francis Davidson, founder and CEO of the hospitality brand Sonder. Francis launched Sonder in 2013 as an alternative to traditional hotels and rentals with a specific focus on technology and design. During our conversation, we discuss where Sonder fits into the hospitality ecosystem and why design is so key to their offering. We also touch on Francis’s unique views around customer-centric focus, the nuances of hiring a team, and how they approach decision-making. Please enjoy my conversation with Francis Davidson.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Robinhood, Marqeta, Grab, and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.   -----   At WatchBox, the world’s finest watches are at your fingertips with an ever-expanding collection of luxury timepieces, all certified authentic and collector quality. WatchBox’s global team of expert client advisors is ready to help you find the watch you’ve always wanted. Step into the collector’s circle at thewatchbox.com/patrick   ----- Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:02:38] - [First question] - Thoughts on the obligation of a business to deliver the best possible customer experience [00:03:43] - Making a decision that actively went against improving the customer experience [00:06:00] - What Sonder is and the key insight that led to building the business [00:08:43] - Ways they cut down costs by leveraging technology available today [00:10:44] - The economic model of the business and where it differs most from other hotels [00:12:15] - The journey of $100 coming in to Sonder and working through the company [00:13:20] - How the building or asset owner is integrated into the business model [00:14:18] - Network density and how he thinks about it when it comes to scaling Sonder [00:16:18] - His philosophy on design and why he thinks it matters in hospitality [00:18:05] - What you can overspend on and underspend on to keep a guest happy [00:21:05] - Making decisions on building in house or partnering to provide a new solution [00:22:29] - Do property owners dress up their own hotels or are there guidelines and retailers [00:23:51] - Lessons learned from working with overseas manufacturers [00:24:44] - The key levers that will drive the growth of Sonder [00:26:59] - What a typical occupancy rate is for them versus other hospitality options [00:28:23] - Category creation and design that influence and change how people behave [00:29:45] - Qualities of a new market and what drives success in attacking it [00:31:15] - His contrarian viewpoint on building a business and talent density [00:33:40] - The features of his job’s product and the interview process [00:36:21] - Does everyone at a company need to be an A player? [00:38:00] - His philosophy on team culture and developing synchronicity [00:41:01] - Ways to build strategic competitive advantage inside of Sonder [00:43:22] - What the most successful version of Sonder will look like ten years from now [00:45:16] - New features and tech improvements that are coming soon he’s excited about [00:46:48] - Trends in hospitality that have been accelerated and changed by COVID [00:48:36] - Growing changes in the glamping and nature-forward guest experiences [00:51:04] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for him 
Nov 30
53 min
Niraj Shah - Developing Every Skill - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 252]
My guest today is Niraj Shah, the CEO and co-founder of Wayfair. Wayfair started life in 2002 as a collection of independent websites selling category-specific home furniture but became a one-stop-shop for the home category in 2011 when, at $500 million in sales, the team consolidated their 240 websites into Wayfair.com. Today, the business offers 22 million products from 16 thousand suppliers to more than 30 million customers.   During our conversation, we discuss how the competitive frontiers in e-commerce have changed, what it was like to build out a proprietary logistics operation, and what makes the home goods market more attractive than other physical goods markets. Please enjoy this great conversation with Niraj Shah.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Robinhood, Marqeta, Grab, and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.   -----   At WatchBox, the world’s finest watches are at your fingertips with an ever-expanding collection of luxury timepieces, all certified authentic and collector quality. WatchBox’s global team of expert client advisors is ready to help you find the watch you’ve always wanted. Step into the collector’s circle at thewatchbox.com/patrick   -----   Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:02:50] - [First question] - The global supply chain and its issues today in 2021 [00:05:13] - Why he finds the ocean leg such a problematic area and how to resolve it [00:07:04] - Overview of the physical goods market around the world [00:10:50] - The role of magazines and devout subscribers in certain sectors  [00:11:50] - Are physical goods trends in flux or fairly steady and less geared to change [00:13:06] - From 240 separate websites into what became Wayfair as we know it today [00:16:36] - The competitive frontier of eCommerce in its early days and why they won  [00:18:29] - Expanded logistics control, developing their brand, and becoming Wayfair [00:21:40] - Aggressively building for the future as a public company with investors involved [00:27:23] - Key differences between Wayfair, IKEA, Restoration Hardware and others [00:34:22] - Other areas of interest and drivers of future investment opportunities for Wayfair [00:38:39] - What excellent marketing means to him and why Netflix does it so well [00:42:02] - The margin profile of Wayfair and all of its major components  [00:47:13] - Lessons learned from major mistakes while building the business [00:49:54] - Company culture and deliberately investing time and money into it [00:51:50] - Evaluating the importance and success of their adapt and grow philosophy [00:53:18] - How he would measure his own improvement as a CEO over time [00:55:17] - Thoughts on the dimension of competition as they scaled [00:56:57] - The most stressful episode of growing the business and what he learned  [01:00:16] - What the best outcome for Wayfair would look like in the future [01:01:38] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
Nov 23
1 hr 4 min
Bored Ape Yacht Club -  [Web3 Breakdowns, EP. 1]
Today, I am excited to share our newest show, Web3 Breakdowns. Similar to our Business Breakdowns series, Web3 will have it's own dedicated feed so make sure to hit this subscribe link or find it on your preferred podcast player. The first episode of Web3 Breakdowns covers Bored Ape Yacht Club. You will hear from guest, Eric Golden, who will also be coming back to host his own Web3 Breakdowns moving forward. We are sharing this first episode to make sure no one misses this launch.  ---- Welcome to our new show, Web3 Breakdowns. We want to be your on ramp into this new decentralized world, and through conversations with builders, creators, and investors, we will do our best to help you understand and navigate this emerging ecosystem. First up, we are breaking down the NFT project and cultural phenomenon, Bored Ape Yacht Club. To help break down Bored Apes, I am joined by Eric Golden, former Portfolio Manager at Fidelity and current Bored Ape owner. Eric and I start with an overview of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and his path to owning an NFT in the collection. We then use Bored Apes as a lens to understand how NFT projects are not just creating rare art but strong membership communities too. Beyond the cultural differences between NFT communities, it was fascinating to hear how projects are differentiating themselves with IP ownership, roadmaps, and DAOs. Please enjoy this breakdown of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Coinbase Prime, an integrated solution that provides an advanced trading platform, secure custody, and prime services so you can manage all your crypto assets in one place.   Coinbase Prime fully integrates crypto trading and custody on a single platform while giving clients the market's best all-in pricing through their proprietary Smart Order Router and algorithmic execution. Coinbase Prime extends beyond individuals - with companies like Tesla and Microstrategy using the investing platform to execute some of the largest trades in the industry.    Coinbase is the only publicly-traded company with experience trading and custodying crypto assets at scale - build a unified investment portfolio with the most trusted name in crypto. Learn more by visiting coinbase.com/prime to get started.   -----   Web3 Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Web3 Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @Web3Breakdowns | @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes   [00:02:30] - [First question] - What the Bored Ape Yacht Club is [00:03:39] - Motivations for owning a Bored Ape compared to traditional art  [00:07:46] - The scope of prices, hierarchy, turnover, and trading overview of these NFTs [00:09:51] - Distribution of rarity and why it matters  [00:11:29] - How the project roadmap is managed by the member community [00:16:23] - Who are the members and the key stewards of steering the ship [00:18:08] - An example of a project where the owners don’t own the IP of their NFT [00:20:56] - Underlying fundamentals and utility behind owning a Bored Ape  [00:26:36] - Thoughts on fungible tokens inside of non-fungible projects [00:29:06] - Ways to think about the value proposition of owning an Ape and an Ape token  [00:30:36] - Different options for minting NFTs and their pros and cons [00:34:36] - Literal mechanics of the minting process [00:36:59] - Smart contract mediating of combining NFTs to generate rare ones [00:39:20] - Building a bottom up brand and other examples of this trend [00:41:50] - Are NFTs just gambling, or will they become investable assets like physical art [00:46:09] - Blockchain infrastructure of the NFT space and whether it’ll stay on Ethereum [00:48:48] - What makes the Bored Ape Yacht Club so innovative compared to other projects
Nov 18
51 min
Will Marshall - Indexing the Earth - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 251]
My guest today is Will Marshall, the co-founder and CEO of Planet. Will founded Planet in 2010 with a small team of NASA scientists to build a constellation of satellites that would image the entire Earth every day. Since then, Planet has successfully built and deployed 450 satellites into space, which the company is using to create a time series of images for every place on Earth.   Our conversation covers the untold space story. How space is going through an internet moment where cost reductions and performance enhancements have led to a seismic shift in what’s possible above our atmosphere, and how that can drastically improve life on Earth through unique datasets like the one Planet is piecing together.   Once you listen to Will speak about Planet’s progress and mission, it’s hard to think of a more underappreciated company in business today.   Please enjoy this great conversation with Will Marshall.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Robinhood, Marqeta, Grab, and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.   ------   At WatchBox, the world’s finest watches are at your fingertips with an ever-expanding collection of luxury timepieces, all certified authentic and collector quality. WatchBox’s global team of expert client advisors is ready to help you find the watch you’ve always wanted. Step into the collector’s circle at thewatchbox.com/patrick   ------   Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:02:57] - [First question] - His thoughts on the renaissance of the space industry [00:05:09] - The earliest days of Planet and why he started the business [00:09:22] - Unique data units captured by their satellites [00:11:21] - What might we know in fifteen years using satellite data that we don’t today [00:13:35] - The real estate of space and interesting angles to consider  [00:15:59] - How customers interface with Planet and their early use cases [00:20:57] - Thoughts on the sovereignty of space and the laws that exist currently   [00:23:43] - Figuring out the dynamics and pricing of Planet’s business model [00:27:34] - Examples of stress and tensions when working in space [00:29:08] - The future of privacy and concerns we should have there collectively [00:30:29] - Five different types of satellites and their functions [00:31:39] - The most sci-fi potential futures that Planet may unlock someday [00:32:54] - Indexing the Earth and using data to train machine learning algorithms [00:34:02] - What he’s learned about Earth that is most surprising [00:37:12] - Contributing factors to a 70% decline in life on the planet in 40 years [00:38:35] - Ways that going public might impact Planet’s long term goals [00:40:23] - The hardware story of building various prototypes of satellites [00:42:18] - How much is built in house versus outsourced to fabricate their satellites [00:43:48] - Complimentary space trends that are compounding beyond imagery [00:45:32] - Whether or not they plan on making their data open-source [00:47:15] - Democratizing their data and allowing other companies to build on top of it [00:48:30] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
Nov 16
49 min
Roelof Botha - Sequoia’s Crucible Moment - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 250]
My guest today is Roelof Botha, a partner at one of the world’s oldest and most successful venture firms, Sequoia Capital. A few days ago before I sat down with Roelof, he announced Sequoia’s boldest innovation since the firm was founded by Don Valentine in the early 1970s. Going forward, the firm will break from the traditional VC mould of fund cycles and instead restructure around a single, open-ended, permanent structure named The Sequoia Fund.   In our conversation, we first discuss the details of this change from all different angles and then dive into Roelof’s career. We talk about what’s changed over the past twenty years, his days at PayPal, what legendary investors he’s worked with have had in common, and what he’s learned from being involved in businesses like Square, YouTube, and Unity.   Please enjoy this great conversation with Roelof Botha.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Robinhood, Marqeta, Grab, and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.   ------   At WatchBox, the world’s finest watches are at your fingertips with an ever-expanding collection of luxury timepieces, all certified authentic and collector quality. WatchBox’s global team of expert client advisors is ready to help you find the watch you’ve always wanted. Step into the collector’s circle at thewatchbox.com/patrick   ------   Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:02:53] - [First question] - What led Sequoia to change their structure [00:05:53] - Parallels between their approach and the problem Square set out to solve [00:07:36] - The mechanics of the new fund and how it’ll affect their clients [00:10:42] - How much discretion LPs will have when choosing to participate in sub-funds [00:13:11] - What the future looks like and how public securities could be a dominant force [00:15:02] - Benefits and value-unlocks that the new fund offers that weren’t available before [00:16:55] - Comparing their structure to the current crossover funds we see emerging [00:18:21] - What alignment looks like in this new structure for LPs [00:22:02] - Cost of capital, interest rates, and their impacts on rates of return [00:25:39] - Changes in the industry and founders that he’s noticed [00:28:56] - What matters to him when meeting with young companies for the first time [00:31:47] - The importance placed on value creation over value capture in the early days [00:33:09] - Things that would dissuade him from partnering with a company [00:34:18] - What the growth and leadership at Square has taught him over the years [00:35:44] - Things he’s most excited about for payments looking forward [00:37:34] - How often a company lowering friction with technology appeals to him  [00:38:38] - Thoughts on Unity and its role in the growing trend of the metaverse [00:40:28] - Why the open and decentralized nature of the future is so beneficial [00:42:05] - Lessons learned about content and internet from working with YouTube [00:44:08] - The landscape of developers today and MongoDB's role in it  [00:45:24] - Commonalities between companies who have a successful second act [00:48:16] - Good board members support founders during their pivotal moments [00:49:26] - Learning to identify and hunt for crucible moments [00:50:50] - Curiosity is the key ingredient of a great investor [00:52:05] - What makes for a fantastic investment memo [00:53:20] - The most memorable investment memo he’s ever read [00:54:07] - Honing his leadership as his role has changed at Sequoia these past years [00:55:51] - Thoughts on Sequoia’s brand and the scope of his ambition [00:58:05] - What he’s most curious about in the world today [00:58:46] - What technology wants most from people today [01:01:13] - The difference between an accountant and an actuary's mindset and when each one is appropriate to inhabit [01:02:38] - Differences between talent and genius  [01:04:12] - Closing principals about business building he finds important to consider [01:06:17] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
Nov 5
1 hr 7 min
Sarah Friar - Building the Local Graph - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 249]
My guest today is Sarah Friar, the CEO of Nextdoor, which connects people in local neighborhoods together. Sarah’s CV sparkles with impressive achievements at interesting businesses, and we spend a lot of time in this conversation thinking through what excellence looks like as a CEO, CFO, equity analyst, and board member. The rest of our discussion is focused on Nextdoor and how the soon-to-be public business is fostering connections between people and businesses in their local areas.   I do this podcast so I get to meet and learn from people like Sarah. I could have talked to her for hours. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Sarah Friar as much as I did.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Robinhood, Marqeta, Grab, and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick. ------   At WatchBox, the world’s finest watches are at your fingertips with an ever-expanding collection of luxury timepieces, all certified authentic and collector quality. WatchBox’s global team of expert client advisors is ready to help you find the watch you’ve always wanted. Step into the collector’s circle at thewatchbox.com/patrick   ------   Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:03:03] - [First question] - What makes an excellent equity analyst [00:05:51] - Things Sarah does differently as an operator because she was an investor [00:08:29] - Key factors that make a great CFO [00:09:31] - The role of the CFO in regards to capital allocation as a company grows [00:11:50] - What convinced her to join Salesforce and Square [00:14:45] - The initial spark and appeal that led her to join Nextdoor [00:17:35] - Existing problems with ‘community’ and how they approach fixing them [00:21:36] - Interesting and compelling data points about in-person interactions [00:23:54] - Network density as a driving factor of product quality [00:26:43] - What gives Nextdoor a unique angle against some of its existing competitors  [00:28:51] - Thoughts on platform leakage and user retention [00:30:57] - Successful strategies for deploying Nextdoor in a new country [00:35:32] - Having a feed and trying to avoid creating echo chambers [00:37:04] - Some of the biggest mistakes they’ve made while trying to grow [00:38:49] - Options for a business model and thoughts on advertising  [00:43:25] - The importance of scale, advertising, and their relationship dynamic [00:45:55] - Ways she’s learned to effectively steer the businesses strategy [00:49:48] - Why she doesn’t like titles  [00:51:07] - Key levers that will allow Nextdoor to succeed in the future [00:53:35] - How advertisers evaluate platforms like Nextdoor compared to Google or Facebook [00:57:19] - What a successful board member looks like and how she’s learned to be one [00:59:34] - Leading with transparency and empathy [01:02:00] - An overview of what Ladies Who Launch is and what they do [01:03:57] - Way to educate our children about finance and encourage financial literacy [01:07:51] - Making your platforms welcoming and guiding users away from conflict [01:10:30] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for her 
Nov 2
1 hr 13 min
Universal Music Group: The Gatekeepers of Music - [Business Breakdowns, EP. 32]
Today, we are running a special episode of Business Breakdowns on our Invest Like the Best feed. When we launched Breakdowns, we hoped to cover industries and businesses that we were “well known but poorly understood.” This deep-dive on UMG and the music industry is just that - you will walk away with a whole new appreciation for artists, labels, and what streaming technology has done for a historic industry. If you enjoy this episode, please be sure to subscribe on your preferred podcast player and check out our growing catalog of episodes.   Today we’re breaking down Universal Music Group. As one of the largest music businesses in the world, UMG is home to many of the world’s greatest artists, including Taylor Swift, U2, and The Beatles catalog. A discussion on UMG requires a deep dive into the history of music itself, how it was historically monetized, the shift from physical to digital, and what streaming has meant for the various pieces of the ecosystem. Our guest, Arman Gokgol-Kline, a partner and investor at Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, walks us through that evolution of the music industry before we dive in on UMG.   In our discussion, we first break down the industry pre and post Napster, looking at the ways music was sold historically, and how that led to both record profits and a consumer revolution. We then assess streaming’s impact on the industry and how, contrary to what you might think, labels may be more important in a marketplace where it’s easier than ever for creators to record and release music. Finally, we finish with UMG’s place in the ecosystem. The primary drivers of the business, how they’re able to attract the world’s superstars, and how they think about deploying dollars to acquire new artists and timeless catalogs.   Please enjoy this fantastic breakdown of Universal Music Group.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Quartr. With Quartr, you can access conference calls, investor presentations, transcripts, and earnings reports – straight from your pocket. Quartr is 100% free and includes companies from 12 markets including the US, the UK, Canada, India, and all the Scandinavian countries. Quartr is available for both iOS and Android, so check out the app today.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex began as the first corporate card for startups and now offers a full financial stack built for scale. Get 10-20x higher credit limits, uncapped rewards, easy deposits and payments, and expense management all in one. Grow your business faster with Brex.   -----   Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss   Show Notes [00:04:01] - [First question] - How technology disrupted the music business and it’s evolving history [00:12:44] - What the industry of music labels looks like from the 90s to today [00:21:19] - How it feels as a high-tier artist to engage with a label directly today [00:28:20] - The revenue and business model of an artist akin to Taylor Swift [00:30:44] - The differences between UMG's main sources of revenue; music publishing and recording [00:35:08] - General margins and trends for music publishing [00:36:22] - Ownership and mechanics of monetizing an artist’s Intellectual Property  [00:40:57] - How streaming revenues are divided among stakeholders [00:46:23] - History of the bargaining power of labels and streaming platforms [00:51:25] - Capital allocation, ROI, and acquiring IP and catalogs [00:57:39] - Thoughts on the growth profile of the industry as an investor [01:02:23] - Potential risks to UMG in emerging technology and new creator trends  [01:08:50] - Reasons why an artist would pick UMG over other major labels [01:12:42] - Diversity and how artists are sometimes treated by labels [01:14:02] - A growing increase in music consumption across the world
Oct 28
1 hr 16 min
Alex Rampell - Investing in Operating Systems - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 248]
My guest today is Alex Rampell, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Alex has a long history in fintech, having co-founded six companies in his career, including Affirm and TrialPay. During our conversation, we cover Alex’s framework for positive selection in investing, why the best investments are often operating systems or systems of record, and Alex’s views on the future of fintech. For those that have listened to our Business Breakdown on Visa with Alex - you know the intellectual horsepower he brings to every discussion. This conversation is no exception.    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.   With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Hall Capital Partners. Hall Capital is always looking for exceptional investment talent at any stage and size, so if you are raising capital or looking for a career change in the San Francisco or New York areas, you should check them out at hallcapital.com or e-mail at invest@hallcapital.com.    ------   Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:03:32] - [First question] - Lean into positive selection and avoid adverse selection [00:07:48] - Thoughts on growing capital formation in private markets [00:14:01] - Why it’s useful for investors to think in terms of bonds and call options instead of equity [00:18:39] - Doing more with less and hunting for operating systems to invest in [00:28:08] - His views on infrastructure and the presentation layer conundrum [00:33:32] - The sequencing involved in building an operating system over time [00:40:11] - Rise of the creator class and the coming tailwind post-cloud technology; the rise of the solopreneur  [00:43:32] - The pig joke and his thoughts on the FinTech space [00:47:47] - Big financial services functions that will be embedded in non-financial businesses [00:51:07] - Deciding which functions and financial services models are most attractive [00:57:01] - What a shift towards data and FinTech might unlock for the world writ large [01:02:40] - How to improve payment profits by reducing credit rates [01:04:12] - The threat that Buy-Now-Pay-Later companies pose to Visa and Mastercard [01:12:17] - How the struggle between distribution and innovation continues to change [01:15:04] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for him 
Oct 26
1 hr 17 min
Sam Bankman-Fried - Creating a Perfect Market - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 247]
My guest today is Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. In a little over two years, FTX has registered 1.2 million users, grown to facilitate $10.9 billion of daily trading volume, and reached an $18 billion valuation. Prior to FTX, Sam worked at Jane Street Capital before founding a quant trading firm of his own, Alameda Research. At just 29, Sam has packed a lot into a short period of time, and as I’m sure you’ll hear, he has a special ability to harness uncertainty and think deeply across a range of topics.   In our discussion, we cover the building blocks of a perfect market, the key areas of inefficiency in today’s exchanges, and Sam’s north stars of product design and effective altruism. We also talk about fairness in crypto markets, how FTX thinks about user acquisition, and derivatives as key enablers of properly functioning markets.   Please enjoy my great conversation with Sam Bankman-Fried.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.   With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.   ------   This episode is brought to you by Hall Capital Partners. Hall Capital is always looking for exceptional investment talent at any stage and size, so if you are raising capital or looking for a career change in the San Francisco or New York areas, you should check them out at hallcapital.com or e-mail at invest@hallcapital.com.  ------   Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:03:57] - [First question] - What motivates him and what the true north of his vision is [00:07:12] - Evaluating the impact of well-functioning markets and philanthropic spending [00:11:55] - The key functions and building blocks of a perfect market [00:14:59] - Who pays $50 million to access fiat market order books [00:21:49] - What is valuable about having access to order book data [00:25:41] - Assessing and understanding the state of fairness in crypto markets today [00:31:51] - Can crypto only move as fast as the fiat system keeps up [00:32:43] - The advantages and disadvantages of stablecoins and USDT [00:34:46] - How much fiat inflow there is into crypto markets and exchanges today  [00:37:36] - What it is about cryptocurrency exchanges that are so appealing to him  [00:42:21] - Building in a dynamic world and deciding the sequence of problems to solve [00:45:12] - Whether or not the US is on the wrong side of crypto and countries competing for healthy regulatory environments in this emerging asset class [00:47:25] - Thoughts on centralization and what being decentralized unlocks [00:50:22] - Why derivatives are such a key function of properly functioning markets [00:52:38] - The competitive landscape between derivatives and exchanges [00:54:35] - Spending marketing dollars and paid acquisitions for FTX [00:57:30] - The growing trend of user-generated content becoming user-generated assets  [01:02:24] - How many layer one blockchains we’ll need and the competition for dominance [01:05:18] - Thoughts on Bitcoin as the pioneer of the space and how relevant it still is [01:06:26] - Possibly reaching a state where everything happens on-chain [01:08:23] - What he means when he says he has more RAM than hard drive space [01:09:39] - Amassing wealth insanely fast and whether or not it affects him [01:10:26] - Important things to consider in this rapidly growing space [01:12:02] - A decision he made while respecting the power laws that govern us [01:13:10] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
Oct 19
1 hr 14 min
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