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Invest Like the Best

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
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Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 28, 2018

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 21, 2018

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 15, 2018

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 14, 2018

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 7, 2018

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

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