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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, 2020
Jan 28, 2020

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 21, 2020

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 14, 2020

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 7, 2020

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

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