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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: May, 2020
May 26, 2020

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 19, 2020

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 12, 2020

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 5, 2020

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

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