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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: July, 2020
Jul 28, 2020

My guest today is Kat Cole, the COO and president of North America for Focus Brands, which owns famous companies like Cinnabon, Carvel, Jamba, and more. Kat’s story and career trajectory are remarkable, as are the lessons she’s picked up along the way which she shares with us all in this conversation. We discuss negotiation, distribution, brand building, brand extension strategies, and leadership. I always enjoy having a true operator on the show, so I was very excited to discover Kat and her thinking. Please enjoy this great conversation.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

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

(2:13) – (First question) – Her call to prayer

            (2:16) – Kat Cole on Pomp’s podcast

(5:20) – Her positivity lens

(7:59) – Applying that positivity lens in business

(13:34) – How to show positivity in early interactions with someone

(17:37) – Overview of Kat’s career

(21:03) – Lessons learned building brands

(27:11) – Changing relevance or differentiation within a brand

(32:34) – Keeping a brands dominant position in people’s minds

(36:00) – The power of franchising and shared commitment

(40:50) – How her experience makes her a better investor

(42:55) – Lessons around distribution

(46:24) – Effectively negotiating and getting your fair share in a partnership

(52:49) – Attributes of a brand that get Kat most excited

(56:34) – Transferring her brand lessons to software and tech companies

(59:09) – Biggest lessons in leadership she’s learned

            (1:04:13) – Checking In: the power of intention, reflection, and action to be your best and help others do the same

(1:05:18) – Most effective questions in her check-ins

(1:06:29) – Personal check-ins vs professional check-ins

(1:10:44) – Balancing gratitude and ambition

(1:14:37) – The kindest thing anyone has done for Kat

 

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

Jul 21, 2020

My guest this week is Eric Vishria, a general partner at Benchmark Capital. Eric joined Benchmark after spending the first part of his career as an operator and CEO. The topic of our conversation is the past, present, and future of software businesses. We begin by explaining why public software companies trade at such incredibly high multiples today. We then explore the several different generations of these businesses and why the future remains so bright for companies building software as their primary product. I’d go one step further and suggest that the information in this episode is even more valuable for non-software businesses and investors, because its crucial to understand the impact that these products will have on the overall business landscape. COVID has accelerated the long-running transition to digital across the corporate world, and Eric serves as the perfect guide. Let’s dive in. 

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

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

(2:29) – (First question) – His take on public markets, and specifically as it relates to SaaS businesses

(4:04) – Why these companies trade so high

            (7:53) – Peter Zeihan Podcast Episode

(11:19) – The competitive frontier in the digital markets

(14:02) – The API competitive frontier

            (14:22) – Chetan Puttagunta Podcast Episode

            (18:36) – Every Company is Becoming a Software Company

            (20:10) – John Collison Podcast Episode

(22:54) – Charging in an API business model

(24:09) – Describing the different generations of SaaS, starting with Gen 1

(28:15) – Gen 2 SaaS businesses

(31:52) – Being an investor in SaaS

(36:55) – Gen 3 and importance of traditional SaaS companies to get into API

(38:06) – Other problems software can solve

(44:19) – Why more money isn’t going into SaaS

(46:48) – Lessons from the investment universe and how it could apply to SaaS

            (47:26) – The Hierarchy of Marketplaces — Introduction and Level 1 - Sarah Taval

(51:49) – Lessons about scaling

(57:51) – Cross customer strategy

            (1:00:01) – Energy and Civilization: A History

(1:01:28) – Qualities of an interesting investor

(1:03:52) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

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

 

Jul 14, 2020

My guest this week is Turner Novak, a partner at Gelt VC. Many of the largest companies in the world today are consumer social companies, so Turner and I discuss the past, present, and future of those businesses. When executed right, they are often the fastest-growing companies in history, and the rise of TikTok and some other companies we discuss makes it clear that there may always be more room at the top. The network effects that support these companies make them unique beasts to analyze, and Turner’s writing has been among my favorite content on the topic. Please enjoy our detailed conversation on this important are of public and private markets.

 

This week’s episode is sponsored by Bottomless. Bottomless is a smart coffee subscription which automatically re-orders coffee for you based on your consumption habits. 

Bottomless is offering one month and your second bag of coffee for free at bottomless.com/patrick.

 

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

(2:18) – (First question) – History of consumer social companies

(3:28 – The importance of quality growth over rate of growth

(4:43) – Importance of friends and identity in a social network

(6:21) – Major markers he analyzes in new social networks

(7:59) – The meteoric rise of TikTok and how it compares to other social networks

            (8:08) – The Rise of TikTok and Understanding Its Parent Company, ByteDance

(13:38) – How TikTok deals with user friction

(17:28) – Why TikTok copies is a waste

(21:08) – Advising companies to build a media arm in this environment

(24:18) – Business models beyond advertising for social networks

(30:44) – His thoughts on Pinduoduo and the opportunity for a similar company in the US

(37:36) – What Snapchat is doing

(43:51) – How social eCommerce could be a competitor to an Amazon

(46:31) – His review of Zynn

            (46:36) - Attack of the Clones: TikTok’s Rival Kuaishou Lands in the US

(52:22) – The geopolitical battle of social networks

(53:36) – Creating social commerce companies

(54:27) – Fantasy draft portfolio

(59:18) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

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

Jul 7, 2020

My guest this week is Charlie Songhurst, the former head of strategy at Microsoft and a prolific investor, having personally invested in nearly 500 companies throughout his career. I met Charlie at an event hosted in New York and you can tell within one minute of meeting him that his mind is sparkling with ideas and curiosity. Its no wonder he’s been among the most commonly requested guests when I asked several top investors and CEOs who I should have on the show. We discuss the lessons he’s learned about business, investing, and people from such a large sample size of companies. I won’t reveal any more here, I highly recommend you just listen to Charlie and learn. Let’s dive in.

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

(1:25) – (First question) –  Stack ranking the vices of power, money and fame

(2:41) – Memorable response to the stack ranking question

(3:13) – Best scenario to explore this stack ranking concept

(3:55) – Other ways to rank founders

(4:44) – Quick look at this career

(5:16) – Time at Microsoft

(6:03) – Features he looks for in startups

(10:55) – Managing the declining curve of productivity

(14:55) – Why founders are often unique people

            (14:57) – Jeff Gramm Podcast Episode

            (15:04) – Aliens, Jedi & Cults

(19;43) – How early entrepreneurs need to make recruitment a serious part of their work

(23:06) – How successful founders win the best candidates

(25:27) – The East Coast vs. West Coast investment strategies

(30:40) – When it’s time to bring in quantitative factors into early stage investing

(34:36) – The markers that pop up in companies that hit

(37:22) – Boring but successful investments

(39:28) – Investor aesthetics

(41:29) – Characteristics of investors that he believes are important to success

(42:57) – Impacts of Covid and some of the permanent changes that have happened as a result

(47:49) – Investing opportunities in the local community

(49:13) – His take on cryptocurrencies

(53:47) – Most mis valued asset in the world

(55:16) – Investing opportunities in Europe

(57:34) – Make up of his 483 investments

            (57:58) – Matt Clifford Podcast Episode

(59:17) – Curation as a skill

(1:01:54) – Timing and startup success

(1:05:11) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

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

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