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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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Mar 22, 2022

My guest today is Gaurav Kapadia, founder of investment firm XN. Gaurav is a veteran of the investing arena. We cover his lessons while rising to partner at TPG Axon, co-founding Soroban Capital, and his decision to launch XN in 2020. We then discuss his approach to building XN around a culture of rigor and kindness, the importance of relationships in investing, and finding investments that are obvious in retrospect. Please enjoy my great conversation with Gaurav Kapadia.

 

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

 

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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] - What lead to kindness and rigor becoming pillars in XN’s company culture

[00:05:30] - The types of situations where it’s hardest to be kind or rigorous 

[00:07:58] - Asking one question that can stump a founder can be a display of rigor

[00:08:58] - An example of looking at a situation and reducing the problem to a single variable

[00:12:51] - How he trains investors and team members to consider outcomes that would be obvious in hindsight

[00:14:28] - Developing the art of interacting with company management

[00:17:54] - Dimensions that typically find their way into his presentations and what tends to create complexity 

[00:21:13] - Whether or not rigor has declined in public markets over the years

[00:21:55] - Why fewer talented people are going into public markets

[00:23:01] - What it felt like when he first started XN and being successful at a young age 

[00:28:58] - Being impressed with his peers and rooting for each other

[00:30:33] - The nature of public versus private investing today writ large 

[00:32:32] - How he gets to know a company when he’s never heard of them before

[00:35:20] - Reasons he won’t invest from a personal policy standpoint

[00:36:01] - Common problems he encounters that companies are dealing with

[00:37:32] - Defining the strike zone of companies to invest in where he can be best-in-class

[00:39:10] - The insane valuations of public markets in recent years especially in tech

[00:40:42] - Why there are so few great businesses and common attributes of the great ones

[00:44:12] - Biggest problems in the investment industry writ large  

[00:45:48] - The most remarkable business he’s ever seen  

[00:49:22] - How he would teach investors to deploy XN’s operating partner model

[00:51:32] - His perspective and thoughts on diversity in the investing industry

[00:56:58] - A business or institution he would own outright personally 

[00:57:37] - What outside of investing most has his attention lately

[00:59:50] - Key touchpoints of coming from Queens and going to Hunter

[01:02:15] - What stands out looking back on his relationship with his parents and how hard they worked to build a better life for their family

[01:04:10] - Two things that manifest in a system that is seemingly rigged towards the wealthy and the problem with generational wealth

[01:05:29] - What has him most excited and optimistic about the future in the investing landscape today

[01:08:16] - Investing mentors deserve gratitude for believing in their pupils

[01:09:12] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him  

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