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Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

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 https://joincolossus.com/
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Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
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Now displaying: August, 2021
Aug 31, 2021

My guest today is Scott Malpass. Scott was the CIO of Notre Dame's endowment for 32 years and has always been a pioneer at the forefront of the endowment investing world - leading Notre Dame's early investments into Sequoia as well as some of the premier fund managers in China decades ago. Scott built the endowment into a powerhouse, scaling it from $400 million to over $12 billion of assets under management across 175 managers. In our conversation, we talk about the qualities he looks for in great investors, how asset classes have evolved over his 30 years of investing, and how Scott recruited top talent to work at Notre Dame’s endowment. Scott is clearly on the Mt. Rushmore of institutional investors, and I’m lucky to consider him a mentor and a friend. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Scott Malpass.



For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

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This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors. With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

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This episode is brought to you by Hall Capital Partners. Hall Capital is always looking for exceptional investment talent at any stage and size, so if you are raising capital or looking for a career change in the San Francisco or New York areas, you should check them out at hallcapital.com or e-mail at invest@hallcapital.com. 

 

------

 

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:54] - [First question] - Finding his way to investing and Notre Dame

[00:06:11] - Key milestones of running their endowment for so long

[00:07:58] - What an endowment model is and how it’s evolved

[00:10:30] - The ingredients that unite their shared successes

[00:11:46] - His philosophy on building a differentiated investing team

[00:13:11] - How he approached talent identification when hiring new managers

[00:15:39] - The importance of understanding who someone was before they became an investor

[00:17:12] - Episode: Steve Mandel, Investing Behind Change

[00:17:28] - Whether or not someone has a reliable and solid core

[00:19:03] - Differentiating between self-confidence and an over-inflated ego

[00:20:27] - Evaluating real investing skills in an individual

[00:21:44] - The most memorable major early partner he brought on to the endowment

[00:23:14] - What made Don Valentine and Sequoia so special

[00:24:21] - Forcing good long-term incentive alignment with a firm

[00:26:35] - What makes a GP exceptional in how they treat LPs

[00:28:01] - How many managers actually have the ability to create alpha

[00:29:24] - His thoughts on venture capital and how he’s seen it evolve

[00:32:40] - The role private equity played in his success and how it’s changed over the years

[00:34:36] - Why diversify when managing such a large pool of capital

[00:35:58] - Public equity as an area of opportunity relative to private and venture capital

[00:38:08] - Bonds in an endowment and high net worth family offices

[00:39:32] - Whether or not equities are still appealing

[00:40:20] - Lessons from investing in China so early in his career 

[00:42:59] - What he’s learned about effective leadership from leading the team at Notre Dame

[00:44:54] - Advice on building your own basic portfolio

[00:47:03] - Portable classroom lessons that lend themselves to effective teaching

[00:48:28] - Why it’s important to do team-building exercises and off-sites

[00:50:07] - His thoughts on cryptocurrency and how others should think about it

[00:51:52] - Students that he’s most proud of across his career

[00:54:56] - Ways you should spend your 20s if you want to become a great investor

[00:55:49] - What’s on the horizon for him over the coming years

[00:57:55] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

 

Aug 26, 2021

My guest today is Mike Maples, co-founder and partner of Floodgate. As a child of the computer revolution, Mike was deconstructing calculators in grade school, writing video games in high school, and inevitably found himself building businesses in Silicon Valley after college. After his success as an operator, Mike eventually transitioned to become a full-time venture investor in the 2000s, and has since built a track record that includes Twitter, Twitch, Lyft, Octa, and a long list of successful tech businesses.

 

I'm not sure I've recorded a conversation with more applicable ideas and advice for company builders. We discussed early insights and secrets, value hypothesis testing, customer development, growth, team orchestration, and a lot more.

 

This is a masterclass from somebody who has seen it all. Also, do not miss his answer to the kindest thing question at the end of the conversation. I hope you enjoy this great talk with Mike Maples.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by SnackMagic. SnackMagic is the only 100% customizable snack and swag service that allows recipients to build their own snack stash. Whether you want to thank your global team, need goodie bags for your upcoming hybrid event or want to stock your office pantry, the menu of over 1,000 types of snacks and sips covers just about every preference. Learn more and get 10% off your first order with code Patrick at snackmagic.com/patrick.

 

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This episode is brought to you by Versett. Versett designs, builds, and scales digital platforms for some of the world's most ambitious companies. If you require a high-performance team to tackle a hard or ambiguous problem, then Versett is the firm to call. To check them out, visit versett.com/patrick

 

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Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:08] - [First question] - His philosophy on the power of forcing a choice

[00:04:43] - How he knows when he comes across a team that has an apple quality

[00:07:39] - Exploring and hunting new inflections in ever-changing systems

[00:10:37] - Why recognizing winning insights allows you to not have to predict the future

[00:12:23] - Whether or not the evolving nature of the funding landscape changes his thinking

[00:14:18] - An example of his insight framework and stress testing a team’s potential

[00:17:21] - Practice reckless optimism

[00:18:54] - Commonalities between teams and their ideas when they get inflections wrong 

[00:20:12] - What the value hypothesis is and how to test it

[00:22:15] - Ways that effective startup teams operate compared to big corporations 

[00:25:36] - His involvement post-investment and where outsiders can be most helpful in a companies’ early days

[00:28:34] - Lessons learned about finding, convincing, and marketing to their first customers 

[00:32:13] - An example of early customer selection done phenomenally well

[00:34:09] - Why it was possible for companies like Justin.TV and Lift to pivot so dramatically from their original ideas 

[00:38:49] - Customer development and using good customers to your advantage

[00:42:31] - Who went from founder to the best growth executive 

[00:43:05] - What he thinks his firm will need to do to continue offering an apple to founders

[00:46:08] - The most useful stress tests his firm can offer founders

[00:46:52] - Defining category design and what the process of category design looks like

[00:50:33] - Inflections he’s currently paying the most attention to

[00:52:07] - His experience with an HP35 calculator and how it shaped his life 

[00:54:41] - What venture capital may look like in the future

[00:56:30] - The most difficult things he faces in his career

[00:57:52] - Ways he’s learned to manage failure more effectively

[00:59:06] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for him

 

Aug 24, 2021

My guests today are Renata Quintini and Roseanne Wincek, co-founders and managing directors of Renegade Partners. Before launching Renegade, Renata and Roseanne were partners at high-profile VC firms, Lux Capital and IVP. 

 

During our conversation, we explore their careers and what led them to launch Renegade. We cover what it means to invest at the “Supercritical Stage” in venture and dive into a variety of topics around this theme. We then discuss their investing philosophies more broadly, covering what best-in-class talent pipelines look like, what quality revenue means to them, and what worries them most in search of businesses with outsized potential returns. I think this episode highlights that even as competition in venture has intensified - the best VC partners can offer more than just capital.  I hope you enjoy my conversation with Renata and Roseanne.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

 

------

 

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

------

 

This episode is brought to you by Hall Capital Partners. Hall Capital is always looking for exceptional investment talent at any stage and size, so if you are raising capital or looking for a career change in the San Francisco or New York areas, you should check them out at hallcapital.com or e-mail at invest@hallcapital.com. 

 

------

 

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:57] - [First question] - What the process of starting a new investment firm was like

[00:05:22] - Why the world needs another venture firm

[00:06:48] - The biggest takeaway from Renata's experience at a start-up Venture firm

[00:07:51] - The inspiration for Renegade

[00:11:48] - The most common mistakes made in the early stages of a company

[00:15:14] - Key items to look into first when evaluating companies 

[00:18:04] - Internal superpowers: helping a founder use their strengths

[00:23:46] - Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

[00:24:04] - What makes a good customer call

[00:25:44] - How more than one Operating Partner changes the conversation and reveals more

[00:27:59] - How businesses have changed in the past few years

[00:30:31] - What companies that have good talent pipelines do to set themselves apart

[00:35:36] - Lessons learned from working with Coda and its CEO, Shishir Mehrotra 

[00:38:12] - Lessons learned from working with MasterClass

[00:41:21] - Differentiating between high and low-quality revenue when evaluating a company

[00:47:39] - What scares them about investing in outliers

[00:51:07] - Improvements made as investors and catalysts for those changes

[00:53:48] - Building an organization that will disrupt itself

[00:56:43] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for them

 

Aug 19, 2021

My guest today is Max Simkoff, Founder and CEO of Doma. Max founded Doma in 2016 after experiencing the pain and manual process associated with title insurance and real estate transactions. With a background in predictive analytics, Max built Doma to bring a digital-first approach to a historically manual and labor-intensive process. 

 

In our conversation, we cover the history behind mortgage closings, where title companies fall into that process, and how Doma is using technology to improve the client experience. We also discuss Max’s formative experiences at his previous venture, Evolv, and the lessons he’s learned from taking Doma from an idea to a public company. There are many great lessons in this episode, and Max’s entrepreneurial energy shines throughout. Please enjoy this great conversation with Max Simkoff.



For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by SnackMagic. SnackMagic is the only 100% customizable snack and swag service that allows recipients to build their own snack stash. Whether you want to thank your global team, need goodie bags for your upcoming hybrid event or want to stock your office pantry, the menu of over 1,000 types of snacks and sips covers just about every preference. To learn more and get 10% off your first order with code Patrick at snackmagic.com/patrick.

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2, HIPAA or ISO 27001 reports at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

-----

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:17] - [First question] - What Doma does and what they do for customers

[00:04:38] - What Title is and why it sits at the center of such a large transaction

[00:08:41] - Overview of the business economics of this space 

[00:13:55] - How the ecosystem works writ large

[00:18:05] - The formative business experiences he had that led him to today

[00:23:03] - What it means to be great at this whole process

[00:26:53] - The thing Doma tries to predict and the inputs that allow them to do so

[00:32:50] - Defining his biggest roadblocks and how they’ve changed over time

[00:36:02] - Managing stakeholder expectations and perception

[00:40:22] - Learning to walk to the line of having a large vision and communicating it

[00:42:51] - What his loose screw is as a founder

[00:45:06] - The square-peg-round-hole they encountered during the pandemic

[00:51:20] - What the counterproductive byproduct of his genius is

[00:53:35] - Figuring out where to take the company next 

[00:56:52] - The big lessons learned from interacting with capital markets

[00:59:30] - Other entrepreneurs he feels are maniacs that he respects

[01:00:55] - What will be the biggest contributing factors to their success over the next decade

[01:02:44] - The key ingredients for building a winning team

[01:04:34] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him




Aug 17, 2021

The intro music you just heard is from my guest today, Suzanne Ciani, an early pioneer of electronic music dating back to the 1970s. As a 5-time Grammy-nominated composer, Suzanne’s music can be heard on her solo albums as well as films, games, and countless commercials. Many have argued her Coca-Cola “pop and pour” changed the sound of advertising forever. 

 

During our conversation, we discuss what it means to be an artist, how to evolve away from the need for approval and validation, and the importance of mentors during the creative process. While many of our guests strive to be lifelong learners - Suzanne seems to take this a step further as a lifelong learner and a lifelong creator. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Suzanne Ciani.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

------

 

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.


With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

------

 

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep. Eight Sleep's new Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at your perfect temperature. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. To embrace the future of sleep and get $150 off your new mattress go to eightsleep.com/patrick or use code "Patrick".

 

------

 

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:53] - [First question] - One of her proudest moments early in her life

[00:05:18] - What she’s learned about originality and its role in the creative process

[00:07:24] - Advice for breaking out of a derivative impulse and finding your character

[00:09:27] - Going from a classically trained pianist to exploring modular synthesis

[00:13:47] - Performing on David Letterman

[00:17:55] - What the Buchla is and the sounds it can make

[00:23:03] - How much of playing a modular synth is improvisational versus pre-made

[00:24:36] - Ways she would design a creative system for other creatives

[00:27:38] - What her interface allows her to do and the mechanics of it

[00:29:07] - Describing what the core sound elements are that she manipulates

[00:32:30] - The role of women in music and how it’s evolved over time

[00:35:06] - What stands out from her mentorship with Ilse Bing

[00:38:16] - Later career creative freedom and what it unlocks for artists

[00:39:25] - Her thoughts on the creative process writ large and its components

[00:42:10] - Commercial sound design and working with Coca-Cola and Atari

[00:44:46] - Observations from a creative life that other artists could benefit from

[00:46:11] - Unifying factors across her best performances

[00:47:53] - What the future might hold for technology and music

[00:50:18] - Where to start when exploring her discography

[00:51:17] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for her

Aug 12, 2021

My guest today is Sameer Shariff, co-founder and CEO of Cambly. After starting his career at Google, Sameer founded Cambly in 2013 as an on-demand service to learn English. At the touch of a button, Cambly connects its global user base into a 1-on-1 conversation with an English speaker.

 

During our conversation, we cover the origin story of the business, what Sameer views as the core functions of the two-sided marketplace, and how the team approached scaling a product that was international from day one. Once you hear Sameer talk, you quickly realize the size of Cambly’s market opportunity and why it may have been easy to overlook this problem. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Sameer Shariff.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by SnackMagic. SnackMagic is the only 100% customizable snack and swag service that allows recipients to build their own snack stash. Whether you want to thank your global team, need goodie bags for your upcoming hybrid event or want to stock your office pantry, the menu of over 1,000 types of snacks and sips covers just about every preference. To learn more and get 10% off your first order with code Patrick at snackmagic.com/patrick.

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2, HIPAA or ISO 27001 reports at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

-----

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:05] - [First question] - What led him to the original concept of Cambly

[00:05:21] - Beginning to learn the scope of the problem and what solving it unlocked 

[00:07:58] - What Cambly is and how they started tackling the problem 

[00:09:15] - Lessons learned about the challenges of building an alive marketplace 

[00:11:41] - Technical challenges and the enabling technologies that allowed it to happen 

[00:12:59] - Deciding on what to focus on first when it comes to students 

[00:15:24] - Figuring out the formula for unit economics and the pricing structure

[00:17:02] - Learning what doesn’t work in their business model

[00:18:07] - Setting up quality control measures and moderation

[00:21:01] - Tools and services that will improve their experience in the future

[00:23:18] - What the 11-star version of Cambly would look like in a decade

[00:26:56] - Ways in which their software and concept could be applied elsewhere

[00:28:30] - Setting themselves up for success and fine-tuning the matchmaking component

[00:30:37] - Driving users to the platform and audience building strategies

[00:33:46] - Making the platform feel native to each country it serves

[00:35:59] - Surprising lessons learned around distribution and market penetration

[00:37:13] - The biggest boss battles faced as a business

[00:40:17] - Advice he would give to founders in a similar situation 

[00:41:32] - How he’s personally changed the most across this journey

[00:43:32] - Ways he’s shifted to a state of letting go and trusting his team more

[00:45:14] - Lessons learned from studying Airbnb

[00:47:22] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him 



Aug 10, 2021

My guest today is Sridhar Ramaswamy, co-founder and CEO of Neeva and Venture Partner at Greylock. After a 15-year career building Google’s ad business, Sridhar launched Neeva as an ad-free search engine with a focus on personalization and privacy. During our conversation, we dive into the early days of search and what led to Google’s dominance. Sridhar shares his view on the potential end state for ad-based search engines, and how all of his experiences led him to found Neeva. Beyond a great deep dive into the origins of search, this discussion is filled with great lessons about data-driven decisions, the value of partnerships, and balancing revenue opportunities against user experience. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Sridhar Ramaswamy.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

------

 

This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.

 

With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.

 

------

 

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep. Eight Sleep's new Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at your perfect temperature. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. To embrace the future of sleep and get $150 off your new mattress go to eightsleep.com/patrick or use code "Patrick".

 

------

 

Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:39] - [First question] - Major chapters of the history of search engine technology 

[00:09:21] - The early days of the page rank revenue model prior to ads 

[00:16:27] - Reputation and quality and how they were applied in Google’s early days

[00:21:10] - Driving variables of Google’s ad model that will drive their business going forward

[00:26:48] - Lessons learned about the importance of partnerships while at Google

[00:33:26] - What is Neeva and what motivated him to start it in the first place

[00:39:11] - Variables in building an ad-free search engine that can compete with Google

[00:44:57] - Thoughts on tracking and privacy in the tech world today writ large

[00:50:09] - Lessons he’s learned about pricing when it comes to software

[00:52:58] - Figuring out finding customers when your addressable market is everyone 

[00:56:20] - What he’s learned about leadership over the course of his career writ large

[00:58:05] - What he’s learned about identifying candidates and winning them over when it comes to recruiting new talent

[01:00:27] - His philosophy on product development in general

[01:02:19] - Framing problems in a way that allows you to reach milestones as you build 

[01:04:43] - His biggest professional mistake and what he learned from it

[01:06:08] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for him

[01:07:49] - What Bill Campbell brings to mind when he thinks about him

Aug 5, 2021

My guest today is Ernie Garcia, co-founder and CEO of online used car platform, Carvana. Ernie launched Carvana in 2012, and less than a decade later, the business commands a $60 billion valuation while selling a used car every other minute.

 

Our conversation covered a lot of ground. We discussed effective decision-making, what it means to be a long-term thinker, and what Ernie sees as the defining features of attractive markets. We then went deep on Carvana itself, covering the original insight, logistics operations, and counter-intuitive decisions Carvana took as they set about building the brand. I think you’ll find Ernie’s insights and energy infectious. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Carvana CEO, Ernie Garcia.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by SnackMagic. SnackMagic is the only 100% customizable snack and swag service that allows recipients to build their own snack stash. Whether you want to thank your global team, need goodie bags for your upcoming hybrid event or want to stock your office pantry, the menu of over 1,000 types of snacks and sips covers just about every preference. To learn more and get 10% off your first order with code Patrick at snackmagic.com/patrick.

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2, HIPAA or ISO 27001 reports at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

-----

 

Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

 

Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

 

Show Notes

[00:03:10] - [First question] - Defining average decision quality and he weaves it into his business

[00:05:40] - How he would assess average decision quality in another company

[00:07:04] - What company culture means to him and building it at Carvana

[00:08:45] - Key features of a market that is desirable to step into as an entrepreneur

[00:10:06] - Various levels of complexity faced in automotive retail

[00:13:51] - Reality Has A Surprising Amount Of Detail; The genesis idea that led to Carvana

[00:17:52] - Critically new things delivered to customers when buying a used car

[00:20:43] - Dealership unit economics vs logistics platform economics and what drives gross profit per unit

[00:24:47] - What is an IRC center, the hub and spoke model, and the skeleton of Carvana

[00:28:44] - The size and scope of one of their fulfillment centers and cost savings involved

[00:30:29] - How the spoke component works and ways it will be improved over time

[00:32:39] - Defining what being a long term thinker means to him

[00:35:50] - The story behind the Carvana car vending machine

[00:39:49] - His thinking on the dual-layer nature of customer experience and communication

[00:41:59] - Mistakes and failures made while learning to become good communicators

[00:44:21] - Great companies get a lot done very fast

[00:48:56] - Infrastructure set in place to maintain their pace as they scale 

[00:51:50] - The embedded formula used for teams to communicate what they want to do

[00:52:50] - What it felt like as a leader going through the pandemic

[00:58:24] - Whether or not COVID-19 has permanently impacted the consumer landscape

[01:00:03] - Businesses, leaders, and things he’s studied that others could learn from

[01:01:55] - Surprising new things arising in the automotive and transport industries

[01:05:23] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him



Aug 3, 2021

My guest today is Karen Karniol-Tambour, Partner and Co-CIO for Sustainability at Bridgewater Associates. You will quickly understand why Ray Dalio described Karen as a “vacuum cleaner of learning” - our conversation covered a variety of market themes, and Karen goes deep on each of them. We touch on inflation, monetary policy, currencies, retail investors, ESG, and how each of these levers has become more important for investors to understand. Karen has a rare skill for making complex ideas seem simple, and I love the frameworks she uses to deconstruct big, important issues. She does such a good job of explaining what’s changed, why it matters, and what to do about it. I hope you enjoy my great conversation with Karen Karniol-Tambour.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

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Show Notes

[00:03:39] - [First question] - How Bridgewater invests and the experiences that led her there

[00:06:47] - What working with Daniel Kahneman felt like and learning his perspective

[00:08:09] - An example of holding herself to accumulating and stress testing data

[00:10:17] - Important variables to consider when seeking returns in large-scale bets

[00:14:18] - What we should be thinking about in terms of inflation as we look to the future

[00:20:07] - How she thinks about inflation and how she defines it

[00:22:57] - Relevant asset classes that can protect or help diversify against inflation

[00:26:14] - What still largely confuses her about inflation and its many facets

[00:28:05] - Her philosophy and model for understanding the system of currency

[00:33:21] - How investors should think about the US dollar 

[00:35:50] - Whether or not owning an unhedged global equity index gives you currency exposure

[00:37:07] - The fundamental nature of equity markets and household balance sheets

[00:41:37] - Ways the growing wave of retail investors will impact prices and returns 

[00:43:53] - How she’s evolved her valuation approach given our new investor landscape

[00:45:43] - The good and bad roles ESG might play for investors going forward

[00:50:36] - Potential concerns around the growing trend of ESG writ large

[00:53:51] - Thoughts on the 60/40 portfolio and whether or not it’s still worth using

[00:55:32] - Designing a default diversified portfolio in light of markets today

[00:57:45] - Aspects of the global market economy today people should be talking about more

[01:01:15] - Ways she investigates a new topic and how it has evolved over time

[01:04:14] - Variables that matter in investment teams and company cultures

[01:06:53] - How she would approach cryptocurrency and what’s interesting about them

[01:09:08] - A rosey and gloomy take of what the world could look like in a decade

[01:12:37] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for her

 

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