My guest today is Assaf Wand, CEO, and co-founder of Hippo, a homeowner insurance startup founded in 2015. In March 2021, Hippo announced a SPAC merger, valuing the business at over $5bn. In our discussion, we cover how Hippo approached innovation in the highly regulated insurance industry, unique strategies for building brand trust, and how direct relationships with homeowners has opened up Hippo's business model to a wide range of opportunities. I was excited to speak with Assaf, given his experience as a serial entrepreneur, and he did not disappoint. Please enjoy my conversation with Assaf Wand.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:44] - [First question] - His philosophy on business
[00:04:04] - His first experience in entrepreneurship
[00:05:03] - Lawyers vs entrepreneurs
[00:07:03] - Major lessons taking risk in entrepreneurship
[00:11:14] - Importance of speed in business
[00:15:02] - Increasing urgency into the business as a leader
[00:18:59] - What the insurance sector was like at the start of Hippo
[00:24:49] - Steps he took to bootstrap trust
[00:27:03] - Convincing partners
[00:29:04] - Building the products and distribution
[00:32:49] - Thoughts on innovators dilemma
[00:35:00] - Flaws within the insurance industry
[00:34:57] - Vision for the firm
[00:37:44] - Importance of culture in company building
[00:41:19] - Storytelling as an essential piece of company building
[00:41:50] - Building and managing a roadmap
[00:43:19] - What does it mean to respect the customer
[00:46:11] - Defensibility of the insurance industry
[00:49:34] - Rewards of the trench warfare of entrepreneurship
[00:53:33] - The feeling of getting wealthy
[00:55:29] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him