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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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Feb 15, 2022

My guest today is IAC’s CEO, Joey Levin. IAC is a unique business in that it’s a holding company which builds world-class digital businesses. Since Barry Diller created IAC over two decades ago, it has produced 11 public companies, including Match Group, Expedia, and Live Nation. Today, the business is comprised of category-leaders like Angi, Dotdash Meredith, and Care.com.

 

Joey joined IAC in 2003 and became CEO in 2015. We talk about why he tries to avoid centralization between businesses, what he's learned from Barry Diller, how he approaches capital allocation, and so much more. This conversation serves as an excellent reminder that there’s no formula to company building. Everything is idiosyncratic and requires its own best decisions. Please enjoy this great discussion with Joey Levin.

 

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. Head to tegus.co/patrick for your free trial.

 

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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

[00:03:05] - [First question] - The unique nature of IAC; the business of building businesses

[00:05:27] - The first business spun out of IAC and its bottom-up philosophy

[00:06:41] - The differences of IAC and how they manifest 

[00:09:39] - Agility and history of respecting the core functions of the internet

[00:12:36] - Simplified, faster, and larger choice digital experiences

[00:15:57] - His thoughts on the shared characteristics amongst their winners 

[00:18:26] - Lessons from building competitive products in online dating simultaneously

[00:21:37] - Navigating customer acquisition cost and embracing change

[00:24:04] - What makes someone great at customer acquisition 

[00:26:26] - Fostering a unique approach compared to typical customer funnels

[00:27:48] - What most explains his move from a pip-squeak to CEO

[00:29:44] - The process he uses to get to know the critical aspects of a new business

[00:31:59] - Indications that a leader may no longer be suited to run a business

[00:33:13] - Characteristics of vertical markets that he finds attractive to get involved in

[00:34:08] - The early stages of incubating a new business and an overview of their process

[00:38:10] - Enabling new consumer experiences and infrastructure fading away

[00:40:17] - Distilling big ideas down to streamlined approachable consumer products 

[00:42:22] - High-level internal conversations around capital allocation

[00:45:06] - Quantitative versus qualitative analysis in their decision-making process

[00:46:50] - What idea felt the most right but turned out to be a disaster

[00:51:26] - Brand rollup versus brand consolidation and when either strategy is appropriate

[00:54:03] - Having a good sense of identifying, defining, and positioning categories

[00:56:23] - Which aspects of his perspectives have shifted since becoming CEO

[00:57:59] - Thoughts on the toolkit available for sourcing and the cost of capital

[01:01:08] - What personally brings him the most joy in what he does

[01:02:37] - Working with Barry Diller and what it taught him

[01:06:39] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

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