My guest today is Josh Buckley. Josh is the new CEO of Product Hunt and an investor in many breakout companies like Rippling, Lattice, Boom Supersonic, and Relativity Space. In our conversation, we cover how video game companies are at the forefront of new business models, what current companies can learn from video game companies, Josh’s investing philosophy, and the three things he looks for when trying to identify the next legendary startup. Josh’s long experience operating his video game business, Mino Games, gives him such an interesting perspective as an investor, and I really enjoyed exploring that with him. Please enjoy my conversation with Josh Buckley.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:03:56] - [First question] - His start as an entrepreneur in online game
[00:05:09] - His parent's reaction to selling his first company at fifteen
[00:05:57] - Starting a second video game company
[00:07:40] - The video game industry being ahead of the curve in performance marketing, distribution, and operations
[00:08:49] - Notable two year lag between gaming innovation and other consumer sectors
[00:10:50] - What is happening today in gaming that may be a glimpse into the future
[00:12:41] - Key elements for creating a great gaming experience
[00:15:29] - Building a meta game on top of the game itself to maximize engagement
[00:17:23] - Monetizing free to play games through in-game purchases
[00:20:25] - The most portable idea from fifteen years in gaming that can be applied to business
[00:22:02] - A future shift towards usage-based pricing models
[00:23:03] - His overall investment philosophy and strategy
[00:26:45] - Example of small a market with a high growth rate
[00:27:38] - Key elements of system elements and design when evaluating a business
[00:31:07] - What a flywheel looks like and investing in one such as Next Health
[00:33:24] - Working core actions versus giving credit ones that aren’t yet working but may drive desirable outcomes
[00:34:13] - Why don’t more investing firms have a flywheel?
[00:39:04] - Product Hunt as a standalone business and part of a self-reinforcing ecosystem
[00:40:17] - Emerging systems and ecosystem edges in the digital landscape
[00:42:17] - Potential barriers for crypto becoming widely adopted in a variety of ways
[00:44:29] - New frontiers and platform shifts like crypto that may unlock new doors for companies
[00:45:13] - Which person has rewired his brain in his lifetime the most
[00:47:13] - Weirdness around Stripe and Plaid when he first encountered them
[00:48:37] - Meta games people in the industry are playing or should be playing
[00:51:25] - Controversial ideas around the business world today writ large
[00:54:01] - Implications of shifting primarily towards a digital world
[00:54:14] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him