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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: June, 2020
Jun 30, 2020

My guest today is Blake Robbins, a partner at Ludlow Ventures. We talk about all things video games, including the major companies in the industry, how games monetize, how in-game economies work, how e-sports has evolved, and much more. This is a fast-growing segment of consumer attention and interest, I believe we are in the very early days of gaming going mainstream.

I also have a favor to ask. My team and I have built a small survey for Invest Like the Best listeners and if you’ve enjoyed the podcast, I’d deeply appreciate it if you took 5 minutes to fill it out at investorfieldguide.com/survey. It will help shape the future direction of the show, which I intend to keep improving in the years to come. Thank you, and now please enjoy my conversation with Blake Robbins.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(1:35) – (First question) –  Overview of the gaming industry and how folks may get involved as an investor

(3:46) – Some of the biggest players in the space

(5:30) – The monetization methods of these gams

(9:22) – How do these games respond to real currencies

(14:49) – The landscape of e-sports/e-gaming as a whole

(19:57) – His involvement with 100 Thieves

(25:52) – The media landscape and the role of influencers

(29:05) – When he invests and what the opportunities are out there

(33:07) – The engines behind a lot of this; Unity and Unreal

(34:58) – Other investors that get this trend

(37:43) – Other interesting areas of investment for him, including the creator economy

(41:25) – Opportunities to build out and invest in the infrastructure of the creator economy

(45:37) – Infrastructure opportunities that need to be built

(48:08) – Advice for younger professionals

(49:04) – Investment allocation he is most proud of

(50:08) – A unique skill he couldn’t teach or train in others

(52:27) – Something in gaming he doesn’t understand or wants to learn more about

(54:08) – The kindest thing anyone has done for Blake

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Jun 23, 2020

My guest today is Brad Gerstner, the founder and CIO of Altimeter Capital, a multi-billion dollar technology-focused investment firm. Brad and his team are known for a deep expertise in internet-enabled businesses, including Expedia, Facebook, Uber, and many more. We discuss the evolution of opportunity in this style of investing, including the important shift to private investing, where so much of the value creation now happens. I won’t soon forget our discussion of consumer intent on the internet and how it has shifted, the role that essentialism plays in Brad’s business and life, and the rise of the Chinese internet giants like Bytedance. Please enjoy this great conversation with Brad Gerstner.

 

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

(2:32) – (First question) – Overall investment philosophy at Altimeter

(5:12) – Most interesting thing in the landscape today

(11:16) – Disrupting the tech giants moving forward

(13:56) – The investing opportunity in the backend of the internet

(16:42) – His take on old line businesses and how technology could shift his view on them

(18:56) – Lessons from company founders whose platforms rely on consumer discovery

(21:32) – Running his business on essentialism

            (21:40) – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

(26:11) – Tactical applications of essentialism

(29:46) – Applying essentialism outside of business

(31:16) – What travel has taught him about business

(33:43) – What we should know about the Chinese internet market

(37:11) – The emergence of bite sized transactions across the web

(39:22) – Bite sized work

(42:43) – How early on can you figure out what company would win a vertical

(45:36) – What problem space would he tackle today

(48:49) – Collaborating in the private markets

(57:27) – Pricing businesses as a key component of his investment choices

(1:02:47) – Fascination with life sciences and software

(1:04:12) – What about the future excites him

(1:06:48) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Brad

 

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

Jun 16, 2020

My guest today is John Collison, the Co-Founder of the digital payments company Stripe. Stripe’s mission is to increase the GDP of the internet, a lofty and deeply interesting pursuit. John is clearly a voracious learner across business and investing, which you’ll hear instantly. He started Stripe with his brother Patrick when he was just 19 years old, and has grown it to, at last valuation, a $36B business. In our conversation, we discuss conglomerates, the internet economy, the power of writing, and why board members are like Pokémon characters, each with different powers. It’s a lively and wide-ranging conversation with one of the entrepreneurs I’ve most enjoyed speaking with. 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) – Interest in industrial conglomerates

(9:10) – Their thinking on acquisitions vs starting new companies

(11:42) – How the payment landscape looked when Stripe was started

(15:55) – View on the internet economy

(20:09) – Exciting possibilities for the future of the internet economy

(22:11) – The forces of size vs speed among startups

(26:53) – Driving reasons why employees choose Stripe starting with clear communication

(28:55) – Tips for better internal communications

(30:09) – The importance of rigor in Stripe’s corporate culture

(32:15) – Investors and investing styles that are most intriguing to him

(36:02) – Teaching vs experiencing business lessons

(37:56) – Lessons from going to market with new ideas

(50:58) – Allowing teams to explore new ideas at Stripe

(44:11) – Best startup companies to study to understand the history of this space

            (44:52) – Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle

            (48:18) – Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business

(48:43) – Infrastructures of internet businesses that are missing

(52:03) – Does general accounting practices need to change to capture the true value of a company like Stripe

(1:01:53) – Shared playbooks in Silicon Valley

(1:02:02) – The transition to the no code movement

(1:08:22) – Other businesses that pique his interest outside of software

(1:10:21) – Future trends that excite him

(1:11:10) – First memory when he felt like he was participating in the tech economy

(1:12:46 – The role of board members

(1:15:48) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

(1:18:49) – Advice for young people

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

Jun 9, 2020

My guest today is Jeremy Grantham. Jeremy is the co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham, Mayo, & van Otterloo (aka GMO). GMO, which manages more than $60B for clients, was a firm that helped educate me early in my investing career. They’ve long published thought-provoking research, most of which came from Grantham himself. He is regarded as a highly knowledgeable investor in various stock, bond, and commodity markets, but is particularly noted for his prediction of various bubbles. In this conversation we discuss the current crisis, which he calls the fourth major event of his long and storied career as an investor. As he says, this one is the most uncertain. We also discuss unique topics like commodity-based companies, and how opportunity often lies between fields of expertise. 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

(1:37) – (First question) – What keeps him going in investing

(2:54) – Changing approaches to managing money over the decades

(7:27) – Their investment forecast for major allocations and how that has evolved

(10:06) – How to markets compete with FAANG stocks

(16:06) – More opportunity for active investors and where

(30:55) – How he talks to clients about major stock market events

(34:09) – His interest in natural resources/commodities

(47:07) – Long term argument for the three natural resources: oil, metals, and food

            (47:10) – An Investment Only A Mother Could Love: The Tactical Case

(52:01) – Specific case for particular metals

(56:46) – Areas in the future that excite him or that he wants to learn more about

(1:03:42) – Advice for people interested in investing

(1:05:15) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jeremy

 

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

Jun 2, 2020

My guest today is Ben Thompson. Ben is the author of my favorite business strategy newsletter called Stratechery. He’s also the host of the exponent podcast, and now the Dithering, a podcast he recently launched with John Gruber. I think Ben is among the most interesting business analysts in the world, and I’ve learned from and directly applied many of his ideas. We cover many of the major concepts he’s introduced over the years, including his well know aggregation theory. I think that to understand how the internet has changed the business world for good, you must read Ben and follow his thinking. I’m excited to finally have him as a guest on the show. 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

(01:26) – (First question) – Companies that are built for the next disruption

            (1:32) – The End of the Beginning

(9:58) – Aggregation Theory and the Smiling Curve

(13:18) – Steps to creating an aggregator

(19:46) – Pattern of successful aggregators or luck?

(24:34) – How aggregators interact with suppliers and consumers

(30:49) – Taking on other aggregators

(34:09) – Platform vs aggregator in the scope of Shopify vs Amazon/Walmart

(40:55) – The Moat Map

(46:16) – Value chain thinking and profitable business models

(51:58) – Future of media and independent content creator’s vs bundles

(56:07) – Bundling independent creators

(1:00:37) – The infrastructure layer of technology and software companies

(1:02:35) – His thoughts on gaming platforms

(1:06:13) – The atoms vs the bits in the tech world

(1:12:18) – What he’s learned from covering Netflix

(1:13:46) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ben

            (1:15:56) – Stratechery Podcast

 

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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