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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: January, 2019
Jan 29, 2019

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 22, 2019

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 15, 2019

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 8, 2019

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

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