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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: April, 2022
Apr 26, 2022

My guest today is Dmitry Balyasny. Dmitry is the Managing Partner and CIO of Balyasny Asset Management, otherwise known as BAM. BAM runs a multi-strategy, multi-PM model that aims to produce consistent absolute returns. Since its founding in 2001, it has produced only one negative year and become one of the largest firms of its kind. Please enjoy my conversation with Dmitry Balyasny. 

 

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

 

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This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you're a professional equity investor and haven't talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick

 

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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. Listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

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

 

Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

 

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

[00:02:53] - [First question] - The origin story of his firm and the key stages of evolution

[00:06:43] - Describing the difference between good and great in platform hedge funds 

[00:10:25] - How a multi-strategy, multi-investor group works and managing capital allocation

[00:13:58] - What he’s trying to solve at the end of the day as their CIO

[00:16:21] - How close they are to their idealized end-state 

[00:18:26] - Typical amounts of leverage associated with these types of models

[00:20:22] - Lessons learned about incentivizing talented investors

[00:22:39] - Ways he tends to attract risk takers and their levels of variance

[00:28:15] - Other characteristics that are common amongst great PMs

[00:30:42] - The nature and source of edge and how it’s changed most over time

[00:33:19] - Some of the hardest portfolio and business decisions he’s had to make 

[00:37:59] - One of his most important business decisions on the firm side

[00:40:09] - How they’ve thought about shorting as a firm in general and more recently

[00:43:52] - How interest rates affect this style of investing

[00:45:29] - His view on the opportunity set in private markets and what does and doesn’t excite him about it

[00:49:42] - How reading Ayn Rand most shaped his thinking

[00:50:36] - Things Ayn most got right and most got wrong in his mind

[00:51:24] - What the war in Ukraine has felt like for him as a Ukrainian-American

[00:52:08] - Ways the future still has him excited as he continues to build his firm

[00:53:53] - Where his trading instincts draw him today and areas of interest

[00:55:11] - His most memorable trade of all time

[00:56:37] - In which order the major asset classes will be affected by digital innovation

[00:58:13] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

Apr 21, 2022

My guest today is Henry Ward, co-founder and CEO of Carta. Started in 2012, Carta helps companies and investors manage their cap tables, equity plans, and ownership. Last year, they launched CartaX, a platform for private companies and their employees to access secondary market liquidity. Our discussion is a detailed exploration of private market infrastructure and Henry’s views on building an enduring business. Please enjoy my conversation with Henry Ward.

 

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

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you're a professional equity investor and haven't talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.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. Listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick

 

-----

 

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

 

Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

 

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

[00:02:57] - [First question] - The first key mental moment of how Carta came to him

[00:05:30] - Initial thoughts on how to position Carta as a business model

[00:06:47] - Historical divergence between private and public market infrastructure

[00:08:33] - What a price discovery process for primary shares could look like in the future

[00:11:09] - The end state Carta is trying to effect in their perfect state

[00:13:29] - Why it’s so hard for private company staff to manage their illiquid wealth

[00:15:45] - Lessons and challenges in the new market creation business

[00:17:57] - The nature and dynamics of supply and demand in this space

[00:20:16] - Restrictions that prevent retail investors from participating in private markets and why there’s more alpha in private markets

[00:22:45] - How Carta is mapped onto the success of its customers

[00:25:27] - Deciding on what is a good idea and what isn’t when it comes to focus

[00:28:07] - Describing the One of N versus N of One market frameworks and principles of this philosophy that manifests in how he runs Carta

[00:32:11] - How working at Carta would differ from a payroll-type company

[00:35:37] - Characterizing his leadership and management styles

[00:37:57] - The types of circumstances that bring out his tough side

[00:39:33] - Making hard decisions in a bottom up management model 

[00:44:05] - How he spends his time while building Carta

[00:45:02] - What a great product looks like to him

[00:47:10] - The Systems Bible; Defining what a great team looks like

[00:49:13] - What he’s learned about being great at Go-To-Market

[00:51:26] - Effective ways to beat competitors and build relationship pipelines

[00:53:49] - Things he likes the least about leading a company of this size 

[00:55:13] - What he fears most as he thinks about the future of Carta

[00:55:45] - Advice for entrepreneurs when thinking about data in modern businesses

[00:58:26] - The biggest missing pieces in capital market structure writ large

[01:00:17] - What’s next for CartaX and what he’ll be pushing to make it work 

[01:02:10] - Lessons learned from serving venture investors 

[01:04:25] - Whether or not investment banks are their competitors

[01:05:18] - Public market dislocation and how long it will last

[01:06:58] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

Apr 12, 2022

My guest today is Alexandr Wang, the CEO and founder of Scale AI. Alexandr founded Scale in 2016, having been inspired to accelerate the development of AI through his work at Quora and his studies at MIT. Specifically, Alexandr realized there was a lack of infrastructure solutions for producing high quality data, the lifeblood for AI models. Today, Scale provides data solutions to leading AI teams at Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, Flexport, the US Air Force, and many others. This time last year, the business was valued at over $7 billion. 

 

Our conversation is a primer on AI. We discuss the building blocks beneath successful artificial intelligence, AI’s role in both the public and private sector, and why data is the new code. We also cover the similarities and differences between AI and software from an investing perspective and what inspiration Scale takes from AWS. Please enjoy my great discussion with Alexandr Wang.



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

 

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This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you're a professional equity investor and haven't talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Lemon.io. The team at Lemon.io has built a network of Eastern European developers ready to pair with fast-growing startups. We have faced challenges hiring engineering talent for various projects and Lemon.io offered developers for one-off projects, developers for full start to finish product development, or developers that could be add-ons to the existing team. Check out lemon.io/patrick to learn more.

 

-----

 

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

 

Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

 

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

[00:03:04] - [First question] - The role that AI and data play in geopolitics and foreign policy

[00:07:21] - The end state of a digital arms race akin to nuclear weapons

[00:08:53] - Current state of things writ large and how the public and private sectors differ

[00:11:33] - The flow and importance of talent when scaling AI and whether it’s more important than software 

[00:14:29] - His thoughts on how to communicate categories of what AI can do well and what is still a ways out

[00:20:18] - The process of creating an AI model and the stages of development

[00:23:19] - A growing trend of data becoming more valuable than code itself

[00:27:16] - Principles of building a great engine for gathering data

[00:29:04] - The state of technology around annotating data writ large

[00:31:31] - What Scale does as a business and their product lineup

[00:35:08] - The Storage and Compute equivalents in the AI space

[00:37:08] - How Scale fills the gap in producing better and cleaner data

[00:39:52] - What Scale will look like in 10 years if their vision is fully realized

[00:41:11] - Where AI is in the S curve of acceleration and where AI and software intersect

[00:44:32] - Questions to ask about how to incorporate AI and data sets in your business

[00:46:23] - What worries him about the proliferation of technology that makes AI more accessible to the masses

[00:48:27] - The most interesting AI model he’s ever come across and collapsing the friction between human intent and programmable outcomes

[00:51:51] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him 

Apr 5, 2022

My guest today is Antonio Gracias, founder, CIO, and CEO of Valor Equity Partners. Antonio is perhaps best known for his role at Tesla, as the earliest institutional investor and Director from 2007 to 2021. But he has deep operating and investing experience, having first acquired and managed a number of manufacturing and technology companies during his 20s. And it was during those formative years that Antonio and his team developed the skills that led to Valor, which provides operational expertise to the high growth private companies they invest in.

 

Our conversation is a deep exploration of the drivers behind Antonio and Valor’s success. We dive into his concept of pro-entropic investing, what he learned as a 25-year-old running a manufacturing business, and trust me when I say, you don't want to miss his answer to the kindest thing ever. Please enjoy this great conversation with Antonio Gracias.

 

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

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you're a professional equity investor and haven't talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick

 

-----

 

This episode is brought to you by Lemon.io. The team at  Lemon.io has built a network of Eastern European developers ready to pair with fast-growing startups. We have faced challenges hiring engineering talent for various projects - and Lemon.io offered developers for one-off projects, developers for full start to finish product development, or developers that could be add-ons to the existing team. Check out lemon.io/patrick to learn more.

 

-----

 

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

 

Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

 

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
[00:02:51] - [First question] - Defining what a pro-entropic company is

[00:07:26] - Understanding external forces of chaos and why they’ll continue to increase

[00:11:32] - What he’s learned about identifying and investing in pro-entropic companies

[00:13:43] - Investing with entropy in mind can be a bet on unchanging aspects of human nature

[00:15:08] - Defining durability in contrast with resiliency and entropy

[00:17:27] - Timing and valuation matters less and less as you ascend the entropic scale

[00:18:53] - Coming from a traditional background and the origin of Valor

[00:22:05] - The theory of constraints and why it’s so powerful; The Goal

[00:26:32] - Transitioning into a private equity structure and Valor’s 2001-2005 era

[00:30:42] - Asymmetric information and developing a stage deployment of capital strategy

[00:32:51] - The importance of understanding people and psychological ideas for investing he finds useful

[00:36:59] - Understanding the psychology of founders that have successful outcomes

[00:39:07] - Vision setting, narrative building, and qualities of effective and dangerous leaders

[00:42:02] - Decision making bias and combating bias effectively in practice 

[00:44:30] - Where security and control figures into his thinking

[00:45:45] - Identity in relation to ego; the tools he uses to combat identity related decisions

[00:49:04] - Lessons learned from the Japanese language versus Western languages

[00:50:37] - What he’s gotten better at when it comes to getting to the heart of what’s actually going on in a company and accepting reality

[00:53:07] - Questions he returns to when he’s getting to know a company

[00:56:16] - An episode of operational deployment that most stands out in memory

[00:58:54] - Key concepts that most stick with him from working alongside Elon Musk

[01:01:32] - Why there aren’t more Musk’s or Bezos’ in the world

[01:04:20] - Ensuring Valor invests in the best companies going forward

[01:06:06] - How to pass the torch of what Valor is to others when his time is done

[01:08:25] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him 

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