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Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

Conversations with the best investors and business leaders in the world. We explore their ideas, methods, and stories to help you better invest your time and money. Hear stock market and boardroom insights you can't find anywhere else. If you're a professional investor, CEO, entrepreneur, or business strategist, this is for you. Explore all our episodes and learn more at https://www.joincolossus.com
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Now displaying: May, 2022
May 31, 2022

My guest today is Aswath Damodaran, a Professor of Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Aswath is one of the clearest teachers of investing and finance in our industry and through his blog, books, and YouTube has open-sourced his wisdom for decades. This conversation is a masterclass of key investing concepts. We discuss inflation, narratives, disruption, the evolution of alpha and edge, and his thoughts on ESG. Please enjoy this great conversation with Aswath Damodaran.

 

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 Brex. Brex is the integrated financial platform trusted by the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at brex.com/best.

 

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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 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

[00:02:43] - [First question] - How he thinks about inflation as a now dominant force

[00:04:33] - Why inflation is so important across the spectrum

[00:09:02] - Big lessons from other periods of historically high inflation writ large

[00:10:45] - Reasons why equities as an asset class struggle in high inflation environments

[00:15:21] - The relationship betweens goods versus services in times of high inflation

[00:16:59] - Broader economic implications especially for income inequality

[00:19:03] - The Fed taking inflation seriously now when they didn’t and thoughts on the policy response to today’s situation

[00:21:05] - How smart companies are defensively adjusting to inflation

[00:24:38] - Thoughts on returns on invested capital with emphasis on invested capital 

[00:27:46] - The importance of a capital allocation skill-set for executive team members

[00:29:32] - Further historic lessons and how he’s being defensive against inflation

[00:33:09] - Lessons learned about Amazon valuing them every year since their inception

[00:37:50] - How to figure out a new company’s narrative and the story they’re telling

[00:42:25] - Whenever he sees Thanos in the Avengers he thinks of Amazon

[00:44:51] - Thoughts on Facebook, Apple and Microsoft

[00:48:26] - The evolution of edge and the search for alpha

[00:54:37] - Whether or not there’s utility in studying other investors 

[00:57:16] - Skill versus luck and the most common valuation mistakes he’s made

[00:59:09] - Assuming long-term growth rates and changing company life cycles

[01:02:02] - Momentum and Value investing in today’s market

[01:07:24] - Differences between interest rates and discount rates in regards to inflation

[01:10:29] - Thoughts on equity risk premium in a market like this

[01:12:00] - How today’s market affects early stage equity investment

[01:14:36] - The growing popularity of ESG and his seemingly contrarian view on it

[01:24:03] - Nature of disruption as a force and companies that are protected from it

[01:28:24] - Assigning a disruption risk premium when valuing companies

[01:31:17] - Characteristics that will define the most successful leaders over the next decade

[01:32:52] - What he makes of Elon Musk buying Twitter

[01:34:24] - Other major topics he has a divergent view on 

[01:38:37] - Narrative And Numbers; The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

[01:38:55] - Teaching with a goal of changing mindsets 

May 26, 2022

Today, we are running a special episode of Business Breakdowns. With geopolitics playing an increasingly important role in society again, this episode with Anduril’s CEO offers an inside look at the state of the defense industry and how it is changing. If you enjoy this episode, subscribe to Business Breakdowns on your preferred podcast player, where you’ll find past episodes on Block, Goldman Sachs, AutoZone and many others.

 

Today, we are breaking down Anduril. Anduril builds high tech defense systems for the US Department of Defense and its allies. Crucially, it does so with speed that emanates from Silicon Valley. Founded in 2017 by Palmer Luckey, who previously built and sold Oculus to Facebook, Anduril has achieved the rare feat of challenging the established order in the defense industry.

 

To break down Anduril, I’m joined by the company’s CEO and co-founder, Brian Schimpf. We discuss the history of the defense industry, how Anduril’s business is counter positioned against the legacy cost-plus model, and what Brian has learned about selling to the DoD. Please enjoy this breakdown of Anduril.

 

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 Tegus. Tegus is the new digital hub for market intelligence. The Tegus platform empowers Investors and Corporate Development teams to invest smarter by pairing best-in-class technology with the highest quality user-generated content and data. Find out why a majority of the top firms are using Tegus on a daily basis. If you're ready to go deeper on any company and you appreciate the value of primary research, head to tegus.co/breakdowns for a free trial.

 

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This episode is brought to you by Daloopa. Daloopa streamlines a major pain point for investors. By capturing all of a company's KPIs and adjusted financials into their database - Daloopa makes it easy to quickly update your models for what matters. Daloopa uses AI to find every KPI disclosed - from charts, to text, and even from footnotes of investor presentations. Daloopa updates these KPIs and data points in your existing Excel models in one click, regardless of your source or format. Test Daloopa for free at daloopa.com/Patrick.

 

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Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, 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: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss

 

Show Notes

[00:02:52] - [First question] - The history of defense technology and the technological and competitive landscape when he set out to build Anduril

[00:08:22] - What the early experience was like when approaching the government and finding an early adopter

[00:12:44] - Necessity being the mother of invention when it came to developing drones

[00:16:37] - What it’s like to develop hardware and software products at the same time 

[00:20:26] - How the defense business complex works economically and overview of the detailed cost plus model

[00:24:44] - The state of military technology and military conflict today writ large

[00:31:10] - Are we heading to a future where warfare is mostly machine against machine? 

[00:33:34] - Comparing the ghost drone system to predator drones

[00:38:40] - Guiding principles as a firm and deciding on their product roadmap

[00:43:25] - An overview of their product lineup and what they’ve built so far 

[00:48:13] - Having an open innovation policy to promote competition

[00:49:37] - The nuance of politics when it comes to building and running their business

[00:51:56] - Most difficult decisions he’s had to make through Anduril’s history 

[00:53:51] - How he overcame Anduril’s lowest points and biggest challenges 

[00:58:38] - Thoughts on effectively compounding hardware innovation 

[01:02:23] - A moment he’s most proud of and regrets most in Anduril’s history

[01:04:20] - Lessons learned from observing Palantir and SpaceX 

[01:08:37] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

May 24, 2022

My guest today is Tobi Lütke, co-founder and CEO of Shopify. Having first spoken to Tobi at the beginning of the pandemic, just two months into it, this felt an opportune moment to revisit Shopify and the world through Tobi’s eyes. Among many things, we discuss Shopify’s evolution into the world of atoms-based building through Shopify’s fulfillment network, the value of infrastructure writ large, and the impact of market volatility on day-to-day business building. Please enjoy my conversation with Tobi Lütke.

 

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 Brex. Brex is the integrated financial platform trusted by the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at brex.com/best.

 

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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 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

[00:02:44] - [First question] - His interest in infrastructure as a whole and why it’s underrated

[00:07:18] - Whether or not we’re currently building enough digital infrastructure 

[00:09:45] - Base level principles for decision making around building infrastructure 

[00:13:17] - How much room is left for innovation and whether or not we’ll just reinvent basic human instincts

[00:15:22] - Ways new ideas are fed into a product funnel at Shopify and greenlit

[00:19:34] - Solving eCommerce infrastructure and what he attributes to Shopify’s success

[00:24:23] - Overview of the Shopify Network and how it’s evolved over time 

[00:31:04] - Lessons learned in an atom-driven world in regards to fulfillment and logistics

[00:34:37] - Common ways bits thinkers are often wrong when solving atom problems

[00:35:50] - Spreadsheets tend to win meetings and how the ROI on a fulfillment network impacts its ecosystem

[00:40:26] - Navigating becoming an aggregator that sits on top of their merchants and whether or not there are plans to participate as a distributor

[00:45:45] - Fair market value, what it’s been like managing through such a volatile market, and important takeaways

[00:50:54] - Thoughts on capital allocation decisions as Shopify continues to grow

[00:53:25] - Advice for company leaders effectively communicating with their teams about stock-based compensation 

[00:59:04] - How much COVID altered their trajectory and what he’s most interested in as he looks out to the future

[01:03:45] - What he’s learned about blockchains and the crypto space given recent events

[01:08:45] - A new idea he’s encountered recently that he’s fallen in love with 

May 17, 2022

My guests today are Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross. Tyler is an economics professor and creator of one of the most popular economics blogs on the internet. Daniel is the founder of start-up accelerator Pioneer, having previously been a director at Apple and a partner at Y Combinator. Both Daniel and Tyler are prolific talent spotters and that is the focus of our discussion and their new book, which is called Talent. Please enjoy this conversation with Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross.

 

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 Brex. Brex is the integrated financial platform trusted by the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at brex.com/best.

 

-----

 

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

[00:02:38] - [First question] - Defining what talent is to them writ large

[00:03:34] - The differences between means and ends in regards to talent

[00:04:14] - What the Diet Coke idea is and why it’s relevant

[00:06:32] - Types of energy that are valuable and the subtle differences between them 

[00:07:40] - Thoughts on using a moneyball-like approach to acquiring and evaluating talent 

[00:11:49] - The talent market and thinking about pricing talent specifically

[00:13:14] - What is seemingly overpriced in today’s talent landscape

[00:15:50] - Relationship between experience and/or age when it comes to talent

[00:20:34] - Lessons about the utility of intelligence and where they’ve lead them wrong

[00:23:35] - What’s beneath being an outsider and why it’s important

[00:24:46] - Why what people do in their downtime is worth considering  

[00:28:27] - Whether or not references should be held in higher regard than interviews

[00:31:41] - Things to try and get out of a reference call as an objective

[00:32:40] - Disabilities and what lead them write that chapter specifically

[00:35:01] - Whether or not talented people are happier  

[00:38:40] - Lack of contentment and it’s dynamic influence over individuals

[00:41:01] - Where they think the other is most talented

[00:43:33] - Thinking about the physical side of mental performance

[00:45:49] - What was frustrating about writing the book

[00:48:25] - How they evaluate talent most differently now after having finished the book

[00:50:41] - What makes for a good bat signal and how to cast one well 

[00:53:27] - Personality inventories and what they would and wouldn’t recommend  

[00:54:15] - Geographical frictions and their role in high success rates

[00:56:08] - Antonio Gracias; Existing supply constraints on talent development

[01:00:01] - How they would redesign the current attractors of talent that we rely on today

[01:01:18] - Assembly line development and how we can improve and scale talent filters

[01:02:29] - The biggest open questions for talent today writ large

[01:05:16] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for Tyler

May 10, 2022

My guest today is Jeff Jordan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Jeff has one of the most interesting set of experiences of guests that I’ve had on the show. As an operator, he has been the General Manager of eBay.com, President of PayPal, and CEO of OpenTable. As an investor, he was one of the first General Partners at a16z and sits on the board of Airbnb, Instacart, Pinterest, and other notable firms. Given his vast experience, he is the firm’s go-to-expert on all things marketplaces, which is the common thread in our conversation. Please enjoy this great discussion with Jeff Jordan.

 

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 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

[00:02:48] - The notion of perfect competition in marketplaces

[00:04:31] - How to build a marketplace while thinking about perfect competition

[00:05:32] - Promoting price discovery at eBay

[00:06:52] - Features of a marketplace he focuses on 

[00:08:38] - Best way to do lead generation 

[00:10:20] - Red flags for marketplace businesses 

[00:11:00] - Major business lessons learned while at Disney 

[00:12:10] - Learning to be an operator while at eBay; Leaving It All on the Field

[00:14:45] - How he got hired at OpenTable

[00:16:22] - Taking OpenTable public and being its first public company CEO

[00:17:44] - What they did well in financing OpenTable

[00:18:54] - Communications between company leaders and its investors 

[00:19:45] - Going from operator to investor

[00:22:08] - Lessons from the early years of becoming an investor and pricing companies

[00:24:12] - Power of network effects on a startup

[00:26:56] - Healthy tensions inside of a network

[00:29:23] - When the supply side is the more difficult part of the equation

[00:30:27] - Characteristics of founders when it comes to marketplaces

[00:33:30] - The importance of being a perpetual learner as a founder

[00:35:36] - When he starts focusing on unit economics and margin profile in a new marketplace

[00:37:45] - Increasing convenience for a buyer as a business strategy 

[00:42:14] - Categories that could use better marketplace solutions

[00:44:36] - Layers of growth inside a business

[00:50:26] - Lessons with the unique business model of Pinterest

[00:52:03] - Unique aspects of the Andreessen Horowitz business model

[00:55:54] - Finding and recruiting talented general partner investors 

[00:57:37] - The morning basketball game and community strengthening

[01:01:36] - Defining great mentor relationships

[01:04:54] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him

[01:06:05] - Lessons from his parents

May 3, 2022

My guest today is Eric Glyman, co-founder and CEO of Ramp. Ramp is best known for its corporate cards but it has a range of software products to help finance teams save money and time. Since its founding in 2019, the business has grown rapidly and was last valued at $8 billion. Eric and I discuss Ramp’s initial marketing wedge, how the business has dealt with such fast growth, and why they hold stablecoins on their balance sheet. Please enjoy my conversation with Eric Glyman.

 

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

[00:02:41] - [First question] - What was most notably awry about the industry before Ramp

[00:04:45] - Breakdown of Visa; The business model of the Black Card compared to the business card offering of Ramp

[00:08:40] - Causes and what he attributes their early success to

[00:11:30] - Description of Ramp’s software in the beginning and the evolution of co-building it

[00:16:34] - How he’s gone about building the company and team fast enough to handle their explosive growth curve

[00:19:47] - Approaching all aspects of recruiting and acquiring such great talent

[00:21:39] - Thoughts on the biggest mistake he’s made while building Ramp

[00:24:05] - Lessons learned about marketing that this journey has taught him

[00:26:13] - Learning to manage a senior team and advice for managing rapid growth

[00:28:58] - Unique aspects of Ramp’s approach to the financing side 

[00:32:56] - Why they are storing some of their balance sheet in stablecoins 

[00:34:47] - What the idealized end state of Ramp looks like

[00:37:26] - How the data and information he sees indicates trends in the economy writ large

[00:39:33] - Providing secondary liquidity to employees in a world where companies stay private for longer periods of time

[00:43:03] - Aspects of company building that are still unnecessarily hard

[00:44:55] - What has him most excited about Ramp in the next 12-18 months

[00:46:42] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

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