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Sept. 22, 2022

Brent Vartan (Bullish) - How desires lead to opportunities & Bullish on Consumer Report

Brent Vartan (Bullish) - How desires lead to opportunities & Bullish on Consumer Report

Our guest today is Brent Vartan, Managing Partner of Bullish. Bullish is an investment firm and Brand Agency designed for consumer businesses living early in an S-curve. Some of their investments include Peloton, Harry’s and Warby Parker. Bullish just released their report “Bullish On Consumer: Operationalizing Demand-Side Themes for Better Outcomes”. We will dig into the report and their three cultural themes within consumer.

Click Here to Download Bullish’s Consumer Report

Some of the questions I ask Brent:

  1. What’s the origin and purpose of creating this report?
  2. How was the report constructed? What was the starting point? Walk us through how you thought about human desires relates to cultural themes?
  3. How did you come out with your three themes
  4. What was most surprising to you from this research?
  5. How do these themes translate to different age demographics?
  6. I’ve had on investors who aren’t thematic in consumer. Who knows they don’t have crystal balls they don’t think about themes or trends, it’s understanding the insight that the entrepreneur brings to the table, researching that insight along with the founder. How can this report help your decision making when finding new companies?
  7. What do you think is still misunderstood about investing in early consumer brands?
  8. You had this line of should be businesses vs. could be businesses. What’s an example of a could be business or are there certain themes out there that you’ve noticed that you think will bear a bunch of could be businesses that don’t have alot of legs in the future?
  9. Do you think this changes how brands are constructed at the get go? For example, if you are appealing to a specific theme, like in the uncompromising self for example. You had Public Goods in there, which went multi-category fairly early on. Now I had on the founder of Public Goods who said he had a really hard time fundraising because they were multi-category. .When I asked a PE investor on this show if they would invest in Public Goods, they said no because the exit potential wasn’t there. Do you think you will see more of these?
Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.439 --> 00:00:16.120 Oh, hello, welcome to the consumer VC podcast, where we discussed the 2 00:00:16.160 --> 00:00:20.800 intersection of venture capital and all things consumer. I'm your host, Mike Gelb, 3 00:00:20.879 --> 00:00:23.559 and if you're enjoying the show, you can subscribe to by newsletter, 4 00:00:23.679 --> 00:00:27.920 where you can receive every new episode a week early. Head to the consumer 5 00:00:28.000 --> 00:00:33.200 VC DOT COM and subscribe. All continent episodes are intended for informational and entertainment 6 00:00:33.200 --> 00:00:37.399 purposes only and is not investment advice. Our guest today is Brent Varton, 7 00:00:37.640 --> 00:00:42.759 managing partner of bullish. Bullish is an investment firm and a brand agency designed 8 00:00:42.759 --> 00:00:46.880 for consumer businesses living early on an s curve. Some of their investments include 9 00:00:46.880 --> 00:00:51.359 Peloton, Harry's and Warby Parker. Hot off the press, bullish just released 10 00:00:51.399 --> 00:00:57.759 the report bullish on consumer operationalizing demand side themes for better outcomes, which is 11 00:00:57.799 --> 00:01:00.560 located in the show notes. If you wanted. Again, we're gonna dig 12 00:01:00.600 --> 00:01:04.519 into this report and the three cultural themes within consumer they're excited about. Without 13 00:01:04.519 --> 00:01:12.480 further ADO, here's Brent. Brent, thank you so much for joining me 14 00:01:12.519 --> 00:01:17.680 here today. How are you? I am excellent. Thank you for making 15 00:01:17.680 --> 00:01:19.159 the time for us. This is great. Super excited to be here. 16 00:01:19.439 --> 00:01:23.239 Thank you so much for being here, Brent. Really appreciate it. So 17 00:01:23.079 --> 00:01:29.599 you release this new report bullish on consumer so walk me through it a little 18 00:01:29.599 --> 00:01:32.840 bit. What was the origin and the purpose for creating it? First and 19 00:01:32.879 --> 00:01:37.400 foremost, we wanted to show a little bit of the secret sauce, so 20 00:01:37.439 --> 00:01:40.280 to speak, about how we do what we do with bullish. Enough people 21 00:01:40.280 --> 00:01:44.200 who have asked us, because we have a slightly different set of backgrounds and 22 00:01:44.239 --> 00:01:48.680 we've had some good outcomes around some of that stuff, and we're also big 23 00:01:48.719 --> 00:01:51.200 fans of this. We came in from the side of this whole thing, 24 00:01:51.719 --> 00:01:53.640 so we wanted to just share a little bit more about it. So people 25 00:01:53.680 --> 00:01:57.920 talk a lot about their investing themes and they say things like we go categories 26 00:01:57.920 --> 00:02:00.560 and deep categories and we at it up. So we just wanted to show 27 00:02:00.599 --> 00:02:06.359 people are themes and how we construct them, and they're fundamentally based on something 28 00:02:06.359 --> 00:02:08.759 a little bit different than the way most people construct them. Most people, 29 00:02:08.800 --> 00:02:15.360 when they're adventure they're kind of creating their themes based on what we call like 30 00:02:15.360 --> 00:02:19.639 a supply side bias and very much this idea of like, oh, we 31 00:02:19.719 --> 00:02:23.840 can build this thing, and what we try and do is take more of 32 00:02:23.879 --> 00:02:27.280 a demand side by us, and it comes from our our backgrounds and building 33 00:02:27.280 --> 00:02:30.599 brands is that we're always looking outside in. And the reason we like this 34 00:02:30.759 --> 00:02:36.680 demand side bias is we think when you build themes that way, they're preloaded 35 00:02:36.680 --> 00:02:40.319 with demand, they're preloaded with interest. So when we talk a lot about 36 00:02:40.840 --> 00:02:46.199 Oh, it needs to solve someone's unique, unique need, we're kind of 37 00:02:46.240 --> 00:02:51.080 taking that idea and extrappling it into something much bigger where we look at these 38 00:02:51.120 --> 00:02:55.680 big cultural themes and they essentially help us narrow the field of focus, just 39 00:02:55.759 --> 00:03:00.639 like anybody else does, except the DNA of those themes starts from consumer at 40 00:03:00.639 --> 00:03:06.159 the cultural level and then works in. So ultimately we can go MMMM, 41 00:03:06.520 --> 00:03:09.240 not just this is a business that could be built, this is a business 42 00:03:09.280 --> 00:03:15.560 that should be built. It's preloaded with intent, with demand, with something 43 00:03:15.599 --> 00:03:21.199 about it that people have been speaking about or, even better, not speaking 44 00:03:21.240 --> 00:03:23.599 about yet, and that gives us such a big advantage when we go to 45 00:03:23.680 --> 00:03:30.199 market because it just preloads it with the idea that this is gonna be something 46 00:03:30.400 --> 00:03:32.560 people want to talk about. It's not just gonna be a cool kind of 47 00:03:32.599 --> 00:03:37.280 novel thing, it's gonna be something that's really solving things. At a big 48 00:03:37.319 --> 00:03:39.759 cultural level. I appreciate that. Um, I also appreciate how you thought 49 00:03:39.759 --> 00:03:43.360 it. Think about it in terms of maybe how other funds, not to 50 00:03:43.400 --> 00:03:45.439 compare yourself some other funds, but other funds, but be thinking about it 51 00:03:45.479 --> 00:03:49.879 more so on the supply side rather the demand side. Would love to understand 52 00:03:49.879 --> 00:03:52.400 what you mean by on the demands, I. Bias, and how that 53 00:03:52.439 --> 00:03:58.400 relates to you actually building out and going about building this report and even starting 54 00:03:58.439 --> 00:04:01.439 from, I know, human desires relating to cultural themes and kind of how 55 00:04:01.560 --> 00:04:04.800 you think about it, from the early innings when you were kind of thinking 56 00:04:04.800 --> 00:04:09.000 about these things, all the way to where you are now. Yeah, 57 00:04:09.000 --> 00:04:13.039 sure, so, the way this thing starts, we do really base it 58 00:04:13.120 --> 00:04:17.720 in human desire. So we subscribe to the idea that desire precedes thought, 59 00:04:17.920 --> 00:04:23.319 which then precedes action. And a lot of people focus on behaviors and there 60 00:04:23.399 --> 00:04:26.519 is a lot of truth and behaviors. In fact, we all kind of 61 00:04:26.519 --> 00:04:30.199 are really bad witnesses to our our own behaviors and why we did what we 62 00:04:30.199 --> 00:04:31.399 did, but we did it and it's real. So there it is. 63 00:04:32.000 --> 00:04:35.240 But desire is one of those things is particularly when you're consuming that you really, 64 00:04:35.279 --> 00:04:40.600 really have to have a good handle on. So we've pulled from academia 65 00:04:40.680 --> 00:04:44.560 on that. So this is based in sixteen kind of immutable human desires that 66 00:04:44.639 --> 00:04:47.920 cross cultures, religions, backgrounds and the cities, all this stuff. We 67 00:04:47.959 --> 00:04:51.920 are, as human beings, kind of hardwired a certain way. So what 68 00:04:53.000 --> 00:04:57.399 we do is every year we run a study we call power Y and it 69 00:04:57.480 --> 00:05:00.160 we're tracking at a macro level human desire us this country, in the state 70 00:05:00.199 --> 00:05:03.959 of it, and we start looking at things. These human desires are things 71 00:05:04.040 --> 00:05:09.160 like hunger, tranquility, power, these these are different kinds of things that 72 00:05:09.199 --> 00:05:12.120 are in there that motivate people and create action off of this stuff, and 73 00:05:12.120 --> 00:05:15.560 there's, again, lots of academia around us really really strong thinking around that 74 00:05:15.560 --> 00:05:19.319 stuff. So we monitor those desires Um and we kind of see where where 75 00:05:19.319 --> 00:05:24.480 the winds blowing on those things. We've identified a couple of desires which we 76 00:05:24.600 --> 00:05:30.199 call bedrock desires because we see them every single year. They present themselves the 77 00:05:30.240 --> 00:05:34.120 same way as the biggest desires, and those are desires around family, those 78 00:05:34.120 --> 00:05:39.519 are desires around honor and desires around idealism. Every year we do this study, 79 00:05:39.920 --> 00:05:43.199 those things are at the at the forefront, and then we everything else 80 00:05:43.240 --> 00:05:46.959 we characterize as outlier desires, and those are things like saving, vengeance, 81 00:05:46.319 --> 00:05:49.839 independence, things like that, and what we're seeing is is those have kind 82 00:05:49.879 --> 00:05:54.399 of different fluctuations from year to year. What we do is we use those 83 00:05:54.439 --> 00:05:58.759 and we essentially attach those to to our themes and they give us a little 84 00:05:58.759 --> 00:06:00.360 bit of an early warning system them going into the year, every year, 85 00:06:00.399 --> 00:06:04.720 the next year, about what the mood and sentiment is at a macro level. 86 00:06:05.079 --> 00:06:09.600 That then points us in the direction of our themes and our themes, 87 00:06:09.639 --> 00:06:13.240 which I'll just I can talk about now, which is our themes are based 88 00:06:13.319 --> 00:06:16.600 in around huge tectonic shifts. So no different than the way I think anybody 89 00:06:16.959 --> 00:06:23.439 adventure thinks of thinks about it is every single person who's an adventure is investing 90 00:06:23.480 --> 00:06:28.120 in better is investing in a frustrated consumer set. Things need to get better, 91 00:06:28.560 --> 00:06:31.279 turning towards innovation and the private markets to do it, because the public 92 00:06:31.319 --> 00:06:34.920 markets and big, huge corporate America can't move as fast. That that's as 93 00:06:34.920 --> 00:06:39.519 old as venture is. Is that there's a there's a better way around it. 94 00:06:39.839 --> 00:06:44.040 I think we absolutely believe in the idea that there's a lot of twentieth 95 00:06:44.040 --> 00:06:49.480 century toxicity across technology, across social stuff, across Um government, across all 96 00:06:49.560 --> 00:06:54.399 kinds of things and manufacturing, that we're in the midst of a twenty one 97 00:06:54.519 --> 00:06:58.199 century kind of renaissance around that stuff, and it's a coincidence, I think, 98 00:06:58.199 --> 00:07:00.040 it's happening around the turn of the center are around that stuff, because 99 00:07:00.079 --> 00:07:05.000 we've had all this technological innovation, but culturally there's just a lot of awakening 100 00:07:05.079 --> 00:07:09.279 that's going on around things can be a lot better and they should be a 101 00:07:09.360 --> 00:07:14.720 lot better. So we take that into three very specific kind of macro themes 102 00:07:14.759 --> 00:07:17.519 that we think about and that drives the nature everything we're doing. And those 103 00:07:17.560 --> 00:07:23.000 themes are something we call ubiquitous wellness, which is basically the idea that in 104 00:07:23.199 --> 00:07:28.480 every single facet of our lives, mental, physical, emotional, metaphysical, 105 00:07:28.959 --> 00:07:31.920 that we are looking for a sense of wellness. And we count that up 106 00:07:31.959 --> 00:07:36.160 to the kind of the ascendency of a really genius around this and that that 107 00:07:36.279 --> 00:07:41.040 we are really have woken up to that there is a lot to us in 108 00:07:41.120 --> 00:07:44.160 lots of different ways, and that's the thing that we think is going to 109 00:07:44.240 --> 00:07:47.160 be relentless in the in the kind of the decades to come. The second 110 00:07:47.199 --> 00:07:53.000 one is this idea of uncompromising self, is that people are very, very 111 00:07:53.000 --> 00:07:57.839 interested in constructing their realities and their identities around that stuff and you can create 112 00:07:57.839 --> 00:08:03.199 incredible businesses around that. And one that we talk about is individuals over institutions. 113 00:08:03.519 --> 00:08:09.160 Each one of these has three separate kind of sub themes inside of it 114 00:08:09.399 --> 00:08:11.759 that we go into as well too. And again, all of it is 115 00:08:11.759 --> 00:08:16.519 is helping us look at over two and fifty different consumer categories and trying to 116 00:08:16.560 --> 00:08:22.439 help us essentially point our optics in the right place where we know whether it 117 00:08:22.439 --> 00:08:26.720 be preloaded demand around those things. I really appreciate you just guessing it. 118 00:08:26.920 --> 00:08:30.199 You're breaking down the three themes and the kind of three sub themes with the 119 00:08:30.079 --> 00:08:35.080 themes again are big wellness, uncompromising health and this idea of individuals over institutions, 120 00:08:35.080 --> 00:08:37.879 that we value individuals and we're kind of we don't really value institutions Um 121 00:08:37.960 --> 00:08:41.960 enough. And again the report is gonna be available all in the show notes 122 00:08:41.039 --> 00:08:45.200 and it's really quite remarkable. I mean just some of the percentages that we 123 00:08:45.240 --> 00:08:48.279 see of people being disinterested in institutions. I thought that was pretty surprising and 124 00:08:48.279 --> 00:08:52.679 pretty incredible to see when you were constructing this report. And I know that 125 00:08:52.720 --> 00:08:54.799 you went through a ton of interviews that you and your team at Bilit died. 126 00:08:56.039 --> 00:08:58.919 What were some of the most biggest surprises that you saw from your research? 127 00:09:00.720 --> 00:09:05.559 We've had long careers in in and around particularly on consumer insight and applying 128 00:09:05.559 --> 00:09:09.720 that consumer insight to business, so there's a lot of hours behind this. 129 00:09:09.120 --> 00:09:13.919 We started making it in a way we were just kind of going back and 130 00:09:13.960 --> 00:09:16.960 looking at some of the things that really worked for us and then putting that 131 00:09:16.000 --> 00:09:20.840 down so more people that join bullish can understand it. And again, we're 132 00:09:20.840 --> 00:09:22.639 trying to be very open about this because we're learning too, but we also 133 00:09:22.679 --> 00:09:26.639 want to bring this perspective in. So you're asking about surprises. I think 134 00:09:26.799 --> 00:09:31.120 one of the things that was interesting when we started doing this is is that 135 00:09:31.159 --> 00:09:35.279 those human desires, they really those big bedrock ones. They don't shift. 136 00:09:35.600 --> 00:09:39.960 That was actually really comforting in a in a world where sometimes people can be 137 00:09:39.039 --> 00:09:41.919 very, very alone. As much as we've gotten to connect with one another, 138 00:09:43.360 --> 00:09:46.440 sometimes people can feel really like where is the place for meat and around 139 00:09:46.480 --> 00:09:50.559 those things, and I think as human beings and as people that are trying 140 00:09:50.559 --> 00:09:54.759 to start propositions for other human beings, it's nice to know that across all 141 00:09:54.879 --> 00:09:58.840 kinds of demographics, all kinds of psychographics, all kind of socio economic backg 142 00:10:00.000 --> 00:10:05.799 ounds, these desires are universal every single year and we all want the same 143 00:10:05.879 --> 00:10:09.799 things. These desires of family, idealism and honor, those are universal and 144 00:10:09.840 --> 00:10:13.639 that was a little surprising. You know, having been in in people's homes 145 00:10:13.639 --> 00:10:18.000 doing inythnographies about my career and all that stuff. It's kind of not surprising, 146 00:10:18.480 --> 00:10:20.919 Um, but it is. It is also it is kind of it 147 00:10:20.039 --> 00:10:24.519 is kind of surprising around that stuff. That's been great. I think the 148 00:10:24.519 --> 00:10:26.960 other thing that has we've been doing this research, and we pulled together a 149 00:10:28.000 --> 00:10:33.320 lot of secondary researchers as well too, is just understanding how much this individuals 150 00:10:33.320 --> 00:10:37.120 over institutions is really taking root. That's a really, really big deal and 151 00:10:37.519 --> 00:10:43.039 some people talk about it as the idea of I like that metaphor, which 152 00:10:43.120 --> 00:10:46.000 is, oh, it's driven by the kind of the Internet, which is 153 00:10:46.080 --> 00:10:48.000 like first Internet, one point. I was read then it was right. 154 00:10:48.320 --> 00:10:52.000 That's kind of two point Oh, and three point Oh is really around own 155 00:10:52.360 --> 00:10:56.159 it kind of gets bubbled up into the creator economy or the empowerment economy. 156 00:10:56.480 --> 00:10:58.600 I actually think it's it's much bigger than that. That's why we talk about 157 00:10:58.600 --> 00:11:01.840 it is in the visuals over institutions. When we go and we talk to 158 00:11:01.879 --> 00:11:07.399 people, not everybody is waking up trying to be the next kind of be 159 00:11:07.600 --> 00:11:11.320 real star, Patreon Star, whatever. There's a lot of Americans out of 160 00:11:11.360 --> 00:11:16.679 here that are are just very, very happy, just living their lives, 161 00:11:16.840 --> 00:11:18.960 a life that is no really different than it was fifty years ago. Around 162 00:11:18.960 --> 00:11:24.200 those things. Yes, it's technologically enabled, but part of what we do 163 00:11:24.320 --> 00:11:26.080 is we go into people's homes. We don't just survey them from the you 164 00:11:26.080 --> 00:11:30.240 know, behind our computers. Around those things, we're out in the marketplace 165 00:11:30.799 --> 00:11:33.679 doing personal interviews with these people in their homes. And I think one of 166 00:11:33.720 --> 00:11:37.360 the things that surprising is when you take something like individual institutions is people want 167 00:11:37.399 --> 00:11:41.720 to learn things. So one of our investments Sunday lawn. That's not about 168 00:11:41.759 --> 00:11:45.759 being a creator or anything like that. That is about, Hey, I 169 00:11:45.799 --> 00:11:50.440 have no idea how to do this thing called outdoor care for my for my 170 00:11:50.519 --> 00:11:54.919 lawn and my home, and we know from working with in and around home 171 00:11:54.960 --> 00:11:58.720 improvement that that's not a category that the home improvement business really cares about. 172 00:11:58.799 --> 00:12:03.159 But this idea that we all kind of lack of green thumb. What they 173 00:12:03.159 --> 00:12:07.480 want to learn is how to actually do this and they don't want to be 174 00:12:07.480 --> 00:12:11.360 beholden to a brand or a product or anything like that. So I think 175 00:12:11.399 --> 00:12:13.679 it it is it is one of those things. So as much as we're 176 00:12:13.679 --> 00:12:16.279 seeing that people love brands solving their problems, at the same time, you 177 00:12:16.320 --> 00:12:20.799 know, trust and brands is at all time low. So it's actually the 178 00:12:20.240 --> 00:12:24.320 kind of the simple application of just remembering that human beings, not everybody wakes 179 00:12:24.399 --> 00:12:28.320 up trying to be this superstar and around those things, but you can scratch 180 00:12:28.399 --> 00:12:31.919 underneath it a little bit and just go hey, a brand can actually show 181 00:12:31.000 --> 00:12:33.919 up and just be helpful to someone and teach them. And, by the 182 00:12:33.919 --> 00:12:37.440 way, that makes for a very good business because if you're able to do 183 00:12:37.519 --> 00:12:43.440 that, you can start creating a business where you're recommending and you're consulting around 184 00:12:43.440 --> 00:12:46.240 those things. And that's a whole other kind of sub subsepting that we talked 185 00:12:46.240 --> 00:12:50.919 about called constant commerce, which is just a great business idea. So it's 186 00:12:50.919 --> 00:12:54.480 been surprising to see people want some very fundamental things that aren't solved. As 187 00:12:54.559 --> 00:12:58.000 much as we get trapped in the headlines coming out of Silicon Valley that are 188 00:12:58.360 --> 00:13:03.440 very software driven. There's just some really interesting things happening on a day to 189 00:13:03.519 --> 00:13:07.320 day basis. They're just basic human desires that are just totally unresolved around some 190 00:13:07.360 --> 00:13:11.960 of those things. How do you also think, because I feel like another 191 00:13:11.320 --> 00:13:18.559 a big word that's that's come into play is community. And I know that 192 00:13:18.559 --> 00:13:22.320 there's a lot of ideas in this piece about community focused brands, like I 193 00:13:22.360 --> 00:13:26.840 remember a section seeking a community based mental health work space. But does a 194 00:13:26.879 --> 00:13:31.759 consumer brand need to have a community or even how do you define community, 195 00:13:33.120 --> 00:13:35.600 um in your own words, in order to be successful in this day and 196 00:13:35.639 --> 00:13:39.919 age, community is a big word and I've heard you all talk about it 197 00:13:39.960 --> 00:13:43.120 a lot on on this video podcast and it it. It is authentic. 198 00:13:43.200 --> 00:13:46.399 He's a big word. Empowerment's big word, communities big word. So for 199 00:13:46.519 --> 00:13:50.240 me, when I hear community, what I hear I get a little as 200 00:13:50.320 --> 00:13:52.879 much as I'm talking about, you know, the consumer understand emotion. I 201 00:13:54.000 --> 00:13:56.960 will get full on venture capitalists on this. So to me, community means 202 00:13:58.080 --> 00:14:01.639 repeat rates, it means lifetime vow you, it means they keep coming back 203 00:14:01.639 --> 00:14:03.679 to you and and those are the things that we care about. The most 204 00:14:03.679 --> 00:14:07.279 of bullish. We care about a o V, we care about LTV, 205 00:14:07.679 --> 00:14:11.200 not just in a GTC format like those are real big things. We have 206 00:14:11.240 --> 00:14:13.120 a couple other metrics that we care about a lot. In fact, we're 207 00:14:13.159 --> 00:14:18.200 building our own proprietary kind of brand equity study around this, we call the 208 00:14:18.240 --> 00:14:22.120 remarkability index, which were well on our way to completing. So that those 209 00:14:22.120 --> 00:14:24.360 are some things that we really really care about. So community to me is 210 00:14:24.679 --> 00:14:30.720 one. It's about loyalty and it's about that coming back and actually buying things 211 00:14:31.039 --> 00:14:35.679 engage. Looking at that through the idea of social media is a little dangerous. 212 00:14:35.000 --> 00:14:39.279 Social media to me is a little polluted. Actually it's more than a 213 00:14:39.279 --> 00:14:41.799 little polluted. There's just a lot of weird things going on on it Um 214 00:14:41.879 --> 00:14:46.399 and it's very easy to just kind of like something, endoors something, share 215 00:14:46.480 --> 00:14:52.240 something on there's professional people that do that as well that sometimes aren't say they 216 00:14:52.279 --> 00:14:54.879 aren't professionals. It's just a weird place to actually check to see if you 217 00:14:54.960 --> 00:14:58.279 have community, so to speak. So first it shows up for me in 218 00:14:58.399 --> 00:15:03.960 terms of are you actually getting people to stay with you, and then are 219 00:15:03.000 --> 00:15:05.919 they talking about you? Not just an MPs score, but do you actually 220 00:15:07.000 --> 00:15:11.919 see them with natural advocacy for this business. And people don't really speak about 221 00:15:13.000 --> 00:15:16.720 brands that much. If you calm out all the influencers stuff that's on the 222 00:15:16.759 --> 00:15:20.200 Internet, they really don't talk about brands that much, but when they do 223 00:15:20.320 --> 00:15:26.039 it's super, super valuable. So are you giving them the occasion, the 224 00:15:26.120 --> 00:15:28.679 need? Are you performing at a high level that? When when those moments 225 00:15:28.759 --> 00:15:33.159 happen? When you have a friend, one of our businesses is in and 226 00:15:33.159 --> 00:15:35.399 around life after death. When you have a friend who's going through it, 227 00:15:35.440 --> 00:15:41.240 is your business set up to be a recommendation for someone else who's going through 228 00:15:41.240 --> 00:15:43.679 that same thing? When you run into a neighborhoods trying to figure out their 229 00:15:43.679 --> 00:15:46.799 line, is your business set up to easily recommend around those things? That, 230 00:15:48.039 --> 00:15:50.759 those two things are are really, really important to us when we think 231 00:15:50.759 --> 00:15:54.320 about community. The other reason why it's important is that's the way to get 232 00:15:54.360 --> 00:15:56.960 around the Zuckerberg tax. Those are the ways you go to market when you 233 00:15:58.039 --> 00:16:02.320 have a rabid customer base, when you really are solving Um, not just 234 00:16:02.360 --> 00:16:04.840 money but multiple needs around that stuff, when you have someone who feels like 235 00:16:04.879 --> 00:16:08.759 this is really remarkable and when the moment strikes or when the moment prevents itself. 236 00:16:08.799 --> 00:16:12.120 I will probably talk about this around there. They're not making a conscious 237 00:16:12.120 --> 00:16:15.480 decision around that. That's the way you go to market in new and interesting 238 00:16:15.519 --> 00:16:19.200 ways, because that's the way you start in partnerships, Um, that allow 239 00:16:19.279 --> 00:16:22.679 you to kind of do a one plus one equal three nature around that stuff, 240 00:16:22.679 --> 00:16:26.360 and it is about understanding your brand so you can build not just a 241 00:16:26.360 --> 00:16:30.159 community around your brand, but a community inside of other communities. That's how 242 00:16:30.200 --> 00:16:33.759 everybody wins around those things. It also allows you to be able to listen 243 00:16:33.960 --> 00:16:38.200 and respond and maybe then even anticipate what they want before they can actually even 244 00:16:38.240 --> 00:16:41.960 say it. Um. But if you have a good dialogue going back with 245 00:16:41.000 --> 00:16:45.440 them, I think that's a good mark of a community. Those are great 246 00:16:45.480 --> 00:16:48.440 things. It gives you the excuse to say we're gonna build an activation or 247 00:16:48.519 --> 00:16:52.840 experience around those things because that's what the people want from us, not because 248 00:16:53.200 --> 00:16:56.840 everybody's out there being like I just love this brand and I want to do 249 00:16:56.840 --> 00:17:00.240 everything. I don't. I just don't fully believe that. There's a couple 250 00:17:00.279 --> 00:17:03.879 of brands in your life and I love brands and there's those things, but 251 00:17:03.039 --> 00:17:06.960 brands aren't people's friends and I don't think they should try and act like that. 252 00:17:07.279 --> 00:17:11.160 They are set up to solve problems. There are businesses and friends help 253 00:17:11.160 --> 00:17:15.160 you move that they like. They help you like carry couches upstairs and things 254 00:17:15.240 --> 00:17:19.559 like that. Like brands can't do that and we shouldn't use that kind of 255 00:17:19.799 --> 00:17:23.559 models. What it is they can do jobs for people, they can keep 256 00:17:23.599 --> 00:17:26.839 getting hired and for that and that and that and that. So I think 257 00:17:27.599 --> 00:17:30.160 that's how we think about community and that's why we think it's super, super 258 00:17:30.240 --> 00:17:33.160 valuable. We just try to think about going to market in new and interesting 259 00:17:33.200 --> 00:17:37.680 ways, which goes back to these themes, which is always thinking demand side 260 00:17:37.720 --> 00:17:40.599 first, demand side first, demand side first, and then you can figure 261 00:17:40.599 --> 00:17:42.839 out what you're supposed to go build. I really appreciate you sharing that about 262 00:17:42.920 --> 00:17:47.960 how you think about community and also how you quantitatively actually see if your community 263 00:17:47.960 --> 00:17:52.039 it's if it's working. We're not working. Um. One of the brands 264 00:17:52.440 --> 00:17:56.720 that I was so happy that was featured on your report public goods, who 265 00:17:56.799 --> 00:17:59.920 Morgan's come on the show. They're awesome. I mean, obviously they're poor. 266 00:18:00.000 --> 00:18:03.359 It's about specific themes and maybe what's going to be successful if you're in 267 00:18:03.400 --> 00:18:08.440 these themes, just these kind of three consumer themes that you've put together over, 268 00:18:08.480 --> 00:18:11.759 you know, hundreds of hours of research, which is really appreciated. 269 00:18:11.759 --> 00:18:15.400 Also that you're actually serving it to the public, which is Great. But 270 00:18:15.759 --> 00:18:18.000 you know, in public goods this case, what I thought was really interesting 271 00:18:18.039 --> 00:18:22.480 that insight that Morgan said. I wonder how you think about building. This 272 00:18:22.559 --> 00:18:26.079 kind of relates to how you think about maybe building brands from the get go. 273 00:18:26.759 --> 00:18:30.960 Is Morrigan and public goods went multi category pretty early and yes, they 274 00:18:32.119 --> 00:18:34.960 kind of had this consumer that maybe wanted to go, you know, multi 275 00:18:36.000 --> 00:18:38.799 category that bought public goods because they agree with the mission. They were very 276 00:18:38.839 --> 00:18:41.240 authentic and they believe that, you know, the products they were serving. 277 00:18:41.359 --> 00:18:44.440 But, as you know, a venture capitalists you also have to say, 278 00:18:44.440 --> 00:18:48.319 okay, will you know maybe private equity or folks kind of a better investing, 279 00:18:48.319 --> 00:18:52.920 bigger checks? Would they also be interested right in Um um when you're 280 00:18:52.920 --> 00:18:56.160 actually we're actually thinking about investing in companies and public goods? How to Morgan 281 00:18:56.240 --> 00:18:59.920 talk very, very candidly about how it was really hard for him to fund 282 00:19:00.160 --> 00:19:02.640 is because he was a multi category. And then, if that's what we're 283 00:19:02.640 --> 00:19:04.200 thinking, okay, you can only be single category, because that's where kind 284 00:19:04.200 --> 00:19:08.440 of the exits, happened to strategics, and so I wonder, when you're 285 00:19:08.480 --> 00:19:11.640 thinking about these thre thereams, when we're analyzing brands that might be in multi 286 00:19:11.680 --> 00:19:17.039 category, how do you also think about if they could be big and if 287 00:19:17.079 --> 00:19:21.119 they are big, then what the exit actually potential look like, even if 288 00:19:21.119 --> 00:19:25.279 they've really captured the consumer, if a more should be like single category versus 289 00:19:25.359 --> 00:19:27.519 multi category? We know more and we met more than a couple a couple 290 00:19:27.559 --> 00:19:30.920 of years. We're not an investor in public goods, but big fans of 291 00:19:30.920 --> 00:19:36.680 what they're doing and the reason they're on that brandscape is around that. It's 292 00:19:36.720 --> 00:19:38.920 it's not necessarily that brandscape, by the way. Isn't US picking winners, 293 00:19:40.039 --> 00:19:44.319 it's what we're trying to demonstrate in there is when you look at and this 294 00:19:44.400 --> 00:19:47.400 is gonna get to your question, when you when you start looking at how 295 00:19:47.440 --> 00:19:52.200 to piece things up from a human perspective, you think in these desires. 296 00:19:52.359 --> 00:19:56.279 So how we express, how we live, how we eat, and these 297 00:19:56.279 --> 00:19:59.799 are the human desires and it's a it's a different way for us to think 298 00:19:59.839 --> 00:20:03.799 of about Tam. We call it te Hamm or Tam with a heavy h 299 00:20:03.960 --> 00:20:10.559 total human addressable market which is the idea that one brand can actually solve multiple 300 00:20:10.640 --> 00:20:14.279 human needs around those things. From an identity standpoint, that could be solving 301 00:20:14.279 --> 00:20:18.759 a need. I think you've got to talk about share of need in lots 302 00:20:18.799 --> 00:20:22.839 of different ways because it can get you really realistic about how much we can 303 00:20:22.880 --> 00:20:26.200 really consume. There's the functional needs we all have, but there's the emotional 304 00:20:26.200 --> 00:20:30.000 ones we have too, and there's also money. How many things new things? 305 00:20:30.000 --> 00:20:34.079 And in the United States? Um, in this country you really aren't 306 00:20:34.119 --> 00:20:40.720 creating new categories as much as you're replacing them around those things. There's with 307 00:20:40.759 --> 00:20:42.960 all due respect to some of the people in this country, they're still suffering 308 00:20:44.319 --> 00:20:47.359 below lines, property lines and things like that. There's a lot of things 309 00:20:47.359 --> 00:20:49.799 that can be that are already being solved. Um. So you're the new 310 00:20:49.839 --> 00:20:55.000 stuff that comes in there is a little bit different. So, Um, 311 00:20:55.039 --> 00:21:00.279 the way we think about how high is up is really around what more school 312 00:21:00.319 --> 00:21:03.880 needs are are are being solved around that. There's a business like public goods 313 00:21:03.160 --> 00:21:07.119 comes along and go. That's actually really interesting to us because I think it 314 00:21:07.200 --> 00:21:12.400 comes down to kind of that traditional VC mentality of okay, you need to 315 00:21:12.440 --> 00:21:17.119 be able to solve that one. That one specific thing, crack it open 316 00:21:17.480 --> 00:21:21.359 and then great, someone's gonna want that. I think it is and other 317 00:21:21.400 --> 00:21:23.640 people in your podcast that talked about this and I agree with it violently. 318 00:21:23.960 --> 00:21:26.960 I grew up in the bay area, I grew up in Silicon Valley, 319 00:21:27.279 --> 00:21:32.440 my family is there. I've been out in New York for almost twenty years. 320 00:21:32.880 --> 00:21:37.200 But there is a kind of software. Build it and they will come 321 00:21:37.319 --> 00:21:41.079 and like innovate and make that thing modality. That still comes into into like 322 00:21:41.200 --> 00:21:47.200 real consumer venture and it's a different thing. So I think something like the 323 00:21:47.240 --> 00:21:51.079 public goods. What they're doing which is most interesting to me or potential acquire 324 00:21:51.480 --> 00:21:55.240 is they're building a rabbit customer base. They're building people that go this brand 325 00:21:55.519 --> 00:21:57.920 can solve multiple needs. For me, there's a business we have in the 326 00:21:57.960 --> 00:22:04.279 portfolio called red and it's it's really supplements built for her or those who identify 327 00:22:04.319 --> 00:22:08.119 as her um and really just they. But they came to market with, 328 00:22:08.240 --> 00:22:11.680 I think, three different products and they came to market with the idea that 329 00:22:11.680 --> 00:22:15.680 they could help and educate, and they could. They could build a brand 330 00:22:15.720 --> 00:22:18.559 that people wanted to hear more from and be able to make those recommendations and 331 00:22:18.559 --> 00:22:22.200 I think it's interesting because that's a real great way to profitability if you are 332 00:22:22.240 --> 00:22:26.240 able to create a customer base get them to love you, like I assume 333 00:22:26.359 --> 00:22:32.759 is happening in public goods. You're you're able to reacquire them off your existing 334 00:22:33.240 --> 00:22:36.440 if your existing relationships, and sell them one more thing around that stuff. 335 00:22:37.000 --> 00:22:41.319 So what might be an interesting exit for public goods? It could be anybody 336 00:22:41.359 --> 00:22:45.599 who would be interested in a company of creating a tight relationship, of listen 337 00:22:45.680 --> 00:22:48.480 and respond, make, create and and move on that they may not normally 338 00:22:48.519 --> 00:22:53.079 have because their disadvantaged through the way they currently go to market and distribute today. 339 00:22:53.279 --> 00:22:56.480 Could be a huge private equity holding company, because that's a potentially a 340 00:22:56.480 --> 00:23:00.480 big customer base that wants to own that that they could put more, more 341 00:23:00.519 --> 00:23:03.599 customers in and around that stuff. I think it comes back to the basic 342 00:23:03.720 --> 00:23:07.759 idea that any brand that's that's in there, if if you are making a 343 00:23:07.759 --> 00:23:12.440 good customer base in the century modality, you are a target for acquisition or 344 00:23:12.799 --> 00:23:15.480 you have a really strong basis of why you might be able to go public, 345 00:23:15.599 --> 00:23:18.880 because you've got to behold in group of people that really want you and 346 00:23:18.960 --> 00:23:25.480 want you to succeed. Going back to your three themes ubiquitous wellness, uncompromising 347 00:23:25.519 --> 00:23:30.799 self and individuals over institutions. How do these themes translate as well to different 348 00:23:30.799 --> 00:23:34.799 age demographics, or how are you thinking about that when you're thinking about also 349 00:23:34.920 --> 00:23:38.799 investing and looking at companies? Yeah, that's a great question. The short 350 00:23:38.839 --> 00:23:45.079 answer is we don't think a ton about that because, but, but there 351 00:23:45.160 --> 00:23:48.759 is application to it. So we come from that school of thought as we're 352 00:23:48.759 --> 00:23:52.680 trying to get two PSYCHOGRAPHICS, we're trying to get to universal kind of human 353 00:23:52.759 --> 00:23:55.960 needs around that stuff. And some of that stuff to a certain extent, 354 00:23:56.039 --> 00:24:00.480 transcends generations. Yes, absolutely, there's this there's this interest same thing, 355 00:24:00.519 --> 00:24:06.039 which is the cross section of how generations feel, which is different from generation 356 00:24:06.079 --> 00:24:10.839 to generation. Absolutely full belief of that stuff. But but there's also the 357 00:24:10.880 --> 00:24:14.880 idea of life stages, which are also there's just some things like twenties. 358 00:24:14.920 --> 00:24:18.559 Some things go through that, thirty and somethings go through that, fifty somethings 359 00:24:18.599 --> 00:24:22.240 go through that, seventy somethings go through and each generation will do it slightly 360 00:24:22.279 --> 00:24:29.279 differently around those those things. But one of the things about individuals over institutions. 361 00:24:29.319 --> 00:24:33.440 We've seen this play at huge levels in the youngest generations and the oldest 362 00:24:33.440 --> 00:24:37.000 generations, and we've seen that in some of the things we've looked at in 363 00:24:37.039 --> 00:24:41.960 the kind of senior space that we haven't gone into yet. But the ability 364 00:24:42.000 --> 00:24:47.839 for to have independence as you get older and you lose capacity in some ways, 365 00:24:48.200 --> 00:24:51.799 that is a big, big need. So being able to still maintain 366 00:24:51.880 --> 00:24:55.640 independence as you get older. That's a real thing. Over individuals, over 367 00:24:55.680 --> 00:24:59.240 institutions, around some of that stuff. It's a different set of motivators to 368 00:24:59.440 --> 00:25:04.200 a young general ration like Gen Z, which is really disillusioned with, you 369 00:25:04.240 --> 00:25:08.079 know, every generation that's come before them, um, started by the millennials, 370 00:25:08.119 --> 00:25:11.640 which are now, by the way, the oldest ones are like forty 371 00:25:11.640 --> 00:25:15.799 two or forty three, which everybody forgets. The GEN Z and the generation 372 00:25:15.799 --> 00:25:19.960 behind them are very much, really, really, really kind of disenfranchised in 373 00:25:21.079 --> 00:25:22.640 lots of different ways, Um, and they're thinking, why not me? 374 00:25:22.759 --> 00:25:26.839 And maybe I need to and all that stuff. And yes, yes, 375 00:25:26.920 --> 00:25:30.599 yes, yes, yes, so I think some of that stuff really plays 376 00:25:30.640 --> 00:25:33.519 out differently, but is is still at the same, same core. I 377 00:25:33.519 --> 00:25:37.400 think what we always try and do when we when we help consult with our 378 00:25:37.440 --> 00:25:41.960 brands and we help nurture them, is really think about people as muses and 379 00:25:41.200 --> 00:25:45.519 think about who you're really editing the brand for and then trying to capture all 380 00:25:45.519 --> 00:25:49.079 those mini cohorts that you might go out and target through digital and stuff like 381 00:25:49.119 --> 00:25:52.480 that. But you still kind of want to see this muse at the center 382 00:25:52.480 --> 00:25:56.200 of everything you do in the way in which you go out to people. 383 00:25:56.279 --> 00:25:59.880 So that's a long answer to your question, which is we we tend not 384 00:26:00.000 --> 00:26:02.640 to think about it a ton in terms of demographics. We just think about 385 00:26:02.680 --> 00:26:06.480 it as kind of stages and moments people are in and where these themes will 386 00:26:06.480 --> 00:26:11.119 be lighting up, but it usually has us jumping around different ages and things 387 00:26:11.160 --> 00:26:15.960 like that. I really do appreciate that. How do you also think about 388 00:26:15.240 --> 00:26:18.440 what do you think of them, about looking and analyzing, you know, 389 00:26:18.480 --> 00:26:22.319 founders and consumer brands? How do you make sure that that maybe some of 390 00:26:22.319 --> 00:26:26.079 the founders that you that you look for and talk to, that they're not 391 00:26:26.119 --> 00:26:30.279 only maybe talking to talk Um and be being up that day, but actually 392 00:26:30.279 --> 00:26:33.240 are also walking the walk and and and kind of talking a little bit about 393 00:26:33.240 --> 00:26:37.079 your due diligence process. So I think it's important to say too, we 394 00:26:37.119 --> 00:26:41.880 invest a seed in series a Um, so some of the earliest stages. 395 00:26:41.920 --> 00:26:44.799 I think people also call it dirt stage. Sometimes we've done we've done that, 396 00:26:44.880 --> 00:26:48.079 which is pretty pretty seed. So it's a fun little metaphor, I 397 00:26:48.079 --> 00:26:52.160 think when we're looking at businesses, you know, Michael Say, my partner, 398 00:26:52.200 --> 00:26:56.079 will say and all the time it's like it's we really do bet on 399 00:26:56.079 --> 00:26:57.799 the jockey and not the horse. You know, one of the things that 400 00:26:57.880 --> 00:27:03.279 was really amazing when someone opened a couple of doors for us and we started 401 00:27:03.319 --> 00:27:07.240 doing this um almost a decade ago, is Um there's like an idea and 402 00:27:07.240 --> 00:27:10.519 then you meet a team and then you go, oh my gosh, there's 403 00:27:10.599 --> 00:27:15.759 another really interesting team and they have the same idea. Um that it's really, 404 00:27:15.799 --> 00:27:19.240 really critical that you really believe in the that founder, those co founders 405 00:27:19.279 --> 00:27:22.599 around that. In fact, I just came off a call Um and depending 406 00:27:22.640 --> 00:27:26.359 on when this when this airs, I'll make a bet wet we're probably gonna 407 00:27:26.359 --> 00:27:30.039 invest in this company. So how's that? We'll know by the time it's 408 00:27:30.079 --> 00:27:33.119 there's it's it's undecided right now, but I think we're gonna invest in this 409 00:27:33.160 --> 00:27:37.680 company. This group of founders was just fantastic the way they interacted with each 410 00:27:37.680 --> 00:27:40.319 other and and I think let me take a step back. The way our 411 00:27:40.319 --> 00:27:44.039 diligence process works. It's it's relatively fast, um. It has to be 412 00:27:44.079 --> 00:27:45.680 in this day and age. We'll look at something, one of us or 413 00:27:45.680 --> 00:27:48.279 analysts will make a first touch. They'll bring it into an investment call, 414 00:27:48.519 --> 00:27:51.920 we'll look at it, one of the GPS will go, I'm interested in 415 00:27:51.920 --> 00:27:53.920 it, let's go meet them and then we'll start moving pretty quickly through that 416 00:27:55.000 --> 00:27:57.160 stuff. We have, Um, a diligence process that we go through, 417 00:27:57.160 --> 00:28:00.559 an a phase diligence process. We have different categories we look at, we 418 00:28:00.680 --> 00:28:04.519 rate all our investments that we make across these, our little rubric of what 419 00:28:04.559 --> 00:28:07.920 we think is is good. It's not, Um, the only thing we 420 00:28:07.920 --> 00:28:12.079 look at again, because it's at these these gestational stages, um, but 421 00:28:12.119 --> 00:28:17.440 it's a way of thinking and talking in the same way, Um, so 422 00:28:17.480 --> 00:28:21.680 that we have a consistent pattern of the way we evaluate these things. So 423 00:28:22.119 --> 00:28:25.240 we have score cards and everything. We actually put a term sheet out for 424 00:28:25.640 --> 00:28:27.559 and we look back at those things and then we and we cross reference those 425 00:28:27.559 --> 00:28:30.839 over the next three years to see how those do. But the founding team, 426 00:28:30.880 --> 00:28:33.240 we we really look at very, very closely. So we met these 427 00:28:33.279 --> 00:28:36.599 founders, we went in, we talked to some of their customers. They 428 00:28:36.680 --> 00:28:38.240 let us do that. That was great. We did that our diligence process. 429 00:28:38.279 --> 00:28:41.920 Again. We didn't run a survey, we went and talked to some 430 00:28:41.000 --> 00:28:45.599 of their customers. We also will, because we do it and because we 431 00:28:45.640 --> 00:28:48.599 have lots of experience talking with people about what they like in something. We'll 432 00:28:48.599 --> 00:28:52.079 produce a little report and we'll give it to them, even if we never 433 00:28:52.160 --> 00:28:55.039 invest, and because we know we have the skills. We have experience doing 434 00:28:55.039 --> 00:28:57.680 it. Um and chucks were pretty good at it, so we'll. We'll 435 00:28:57.720 --> 00:29:00.480 just give it to them as part of it. We're going down this process. 436 00:29:00.519 --> 00:29:03.119 But the founding team, and just use this one of the example, 437 00:29:03.559 --> 00:29:07.960 they're just really like each other and you can smell it. So we just 438 00:29:08.079 --> 00:29:11.200 want to we want to see the lights of their eyes, we want to 439 00:29:11.240 --> 00:29:15.240 see them interact. We want to do it in an unpressurized situation and we 440 00:29:15.279 --> 00:29:17.920 want to see how they are and you can just kind of see there's I 441 00:29:17.960 --> 00:29:19.920 know there's some some teams that do some fun things like take them out to 442 00:29:19.920 --> 00:29:22.160 dinner, see how they order, things like that. I think all that 443 00:29:22.200 --> 00:29:26.119 stuff is really really healthy, is to get them outside of a performative state 444 00:29:26.359 --> 00:29:30.000 and just see who they really are around some of those things. Sometimes you 445 00:29:30.000 --> 00:29:33.359 don't have the luxury of doing that everything. And then the nature of the 446 00:29:33.440 --> 00:29:36.640 questions and the way they work. So again, this company we're deliousing right 447 00:29:36.680 --> 00:29:41.839 now, obsessed with their customer, obsessed, and very quickly we're getting into 448 00:29:41.839 --> 00:29:47.119 conversations about hypotheses that that why things might be the way they are and we're 449 00:29:47.119 --> 00:29:52.119 having great conversations, intellectually fruitful conversations, about ways to solve that all from 450 00:29:52.160 --> 00:29:56.880 a maniacal kind of approach to their customer. Other people have said the same 451 00:29:56.880 --> 00:30:00.640 thing. It's very true. And then the nature of the questions they ask 452 00:30:00.759 --> 00:30:04.000 us, and it's really like the question they asked is we say like sometimes 453 00:30:04.039 --> 00:30:07.079 we're painting the ASS, and one of the one of the people was like 454 00:30:07.079 --> 00:30:08.440 what do you mean by pain in the ass? So we talked about it, 455 00:30:08.640 --> 00:30:12.359 we talked about what it is around that stuff, and it's their business, 456 00:30:12.400 --> 00:30:15.640 like we invest in them and the decisions they make, but we also 457 00:30:15.960 --> 00:30:19.920 are a little different and that we usually only have a couple ideas. A 458 00:30:19.920 --> 00:30:23.519 lot of people go into businesses and they're like hey, have you tried this? 459 00:30:23.559 --> 00:30:26.680 Have you tried this? Have you tried this? We're really trying to 460 00:30:26.720 --> 00:30:30.079 listen to them. We come out of a service mentality from if you look 461 00:30:30.079 --> 00:30:32.640 at our backgrounds. We really trying to listen on what their problems are and 462 00:30:32.640 --> 00:30:34.240 then we're trying to leverage our experience, our expertise to try and help them 463 00:30:34.240 --> 00:30:37.039 solve those things. And we'll usually come back to the same thing. So 464 00:30:37.079 --> 00:30:41.960 they have moved on, but we're usually back there at the same place being 465 00:30:41.000 --> 00:30:44.759 like hey, whatever happened with that thing, until we've had a really good 466 00:30:44.759 --> 00:30:48.519 debate around why that is something to prioritize or why it's not. Some people 467 00:30:48.519 --> 00:30:51.519 like that, some people don't, but we try and talk about the way 468 00:30:51.519 --> 00:30:56.240 we work together around that stuff. We do have a lot of experience working 469 00:30:56.279 --> 00:31:00.920 with people in a service based way. We just have a ton of it. 470 00:31:02.279 --> 00:31:06.279 Not Not to be that person, but, humbly said, we built 471 00:31:06.359 --> 00:31:11.319 careers servicing businesses. So we when people say we have a service mentality, 472 00:31:11.559 --> 00:31:15.079 we know how to do that. That's a human skill and it's not uncommon 473 00:31:15.119 --> 00:31:18.359 for us, if we're not on a board seat, that people want us 474 00:31:18.400 --> 00:31:21.799 to come to a board meeting. It's not uncommon if on a board seat. 475 00:31:21.799 --> 00:31:23.240 We're on the biggest check that people want to talk to us because we 476 00:31:23.319 --> 00:31:26.359 do know how to use our ears and we do know how to make suggestions 477 00:31:26.720 --> 00:31:32.119 against the problems they have. What do you think is still misunderstood about invest 478 00:31:32.119 --> 00:31:34.599 in your early stage consumer brands? I still think, and I'm not the 479 00:31:34.599 --> 00:31:40.240 first to say and certainly not in your podcast, I really believe that I 480 00:31:40.359 --> 00:31:45.720 still think people don't really understand that that consumer, when you it's a big 481 00:31:45.759 --> 00:31:51.200 fat word and like right now, it kind of just it becomes a definition 482 00:31:51.240 --> 00:31:55.119 off of what happens on the west coast, and it really is. They 483 00:31:55.119 --> 00:31:59.880 don't really just let the modifier drop off. So consumer when it comes out 484 00:31:59.880 --> 00:32:04.799 of the West Coast is like consumer technologies. And you know, the consumer 485 00:32:04.839 --> 00:32:10.279 as it exists today is really about real, tangible things. So while you're 486 00:32:10.319 --> 00:32:15.200 not going to get hundred x, two x x on this stuff, you 487 00:32:15.240 --> 00:32:21.000 can really get to ten x x and some of our instances fifty x and 488 00:32:21.039 --> 00:32:23.519 something, and along the way you're going to see a real business from the 489 00:32:23.519 --> 00:32:28.880 start. You're gonna see a transaction, you're gonna see someone buying something, 490 00:32:29.039 --> 00:32:31.400 you're gonna have a customer that you can talk to, not that you can't 491 00:32:31.440 --> 00:32:36.319 talk to things in a consumer technology thing, Um, and you're gonna have 492 00:32:36.440 --> 00:32:39.680 multiple layers to pull in order to try and go to market in new and 493 00:32:39.720 --> 00:32:44.279 novel ways. It's not just about innovating on the product, the product, 494 00:32:44.319 --> 00:32:45.039 the product, the product, the product, the product, the product, 495 00:32:45.119 --> 00:32:47.279 product, sales, sales, sales, the product, the product, sales, 496 00:32:47.279 --> 00:32:52.680 sales, sales. You really can go to market in a really multifaceted 497 00:32:52.720 --> 00:32:57.039 way if you if you really do understand your product and what that what it 498 00:32:57.079 --> 00:33:00.440 relates, what it results in as a brand and who you're kind spre based 499 00:33:00.440 --> 00:33:02.359 on how they live their lives, Um, and if you really do what 500 00:33:02.440 --> 00:33:07.039 we really advocate for is really think about their decision journeying, their life journey 501 00:33:07.079 --> 00:33:12.720 around that stuff, you can create new innovation ahead of schedule that allows you 502 00:33:12.920 --> 00:33:15.680 to create new places to to find them around that stuff and bring them back 503 00:33:15.720 --> 00:33:22.039 into the ecosystem. Only people really fully understand what a brand is, what 504 00:33:22.119 --> 00:33:24.960 it means to create a brand and how to operate a brand as almost an 505 00:33:25.000 --> 00:33:30.200 operating system for how you arrive and market and go to market. They think 506 00:33:30.240 --> 00:33:32.839 about it as advertising and messaging. Um. They don't think about a brand 507 00:33:32.880 --> 00:33:38.839 as an experience um that's made up of many interactions and fits in and out 508 00:33:38.839 --> 00:33:43.680 of people's lives around their journey Um, and that you can use that brand 509 00:33:44.160 --> 00:33:49.160 um to create Um really delightful experiences for people and bring them back into your 510 00:33:49.160 --> 00:33:52.920 ecosystem. Around those things. Um, we're still kind of in the I 511 00:33:52.960 --> 00:33:59.640 would say there's some amazing founders that are coming out that have incredible instincts for 512 00:33:59.799 --> 00:34:05.559 no nominal tastes around around building brands, but we're still kind of catching up 513 00:34:05.559 --> 00:34:09.039 to some block and tackle stuff about how to position, how to deposition, 514 00:34:09.480 --> 00:34:14.559 how to create a series of messagings that really help you learn but also help 515 00:34:14.599 --> 00:34:16.840 you open up new markets, and how to use innovation as a form of 516 00:34:16.880 --> 00:34:22.079 marketing around some of those things. So it's all learnable, it's all a 517 00:34:22.119 --> 00:34:25.599 lot of it's actually written. Practicing it is better, but there's there's just 518 00:34:25.639 --> 00:34:30.239 some stuff that has really been out there for a while that can be leveraged 519 00:34:30.519 --> 00:34:34.239 and digitized for today. I love that. Love that brand completely. I 520 00:34:34.280 --> 00:34:37.159 mean, you know, this is a consumer VC, so completely agree with 521 00:34:37.199 --> 00:34:40.119 you that it's still pretty misunderstood on the investment friend at least, about investing 522 00:34:40.199 --> 00:34:45.039 in in early stage consumer and really like your thoughts around as well about how 523 00:34:45.079 --> 00:34:46.639 you can learn about it. What are some, I guess, for anyone 524 00:34:46.639 --> 00:34:51.599 that's looking to learn about even what you said at last point a position and 525 00:34:51.800 --> 00:34:55.280 deposition. What are maybe a couple books that you might have recommended? I'll 526 00:34:55.280 --> 00:35:00.480 give you. I'll give you a bunch. Actually, the found sation involved 527 00:35:00.480 --> 00:35:04.239 position. He starts with a book by recent trout call positioning, which is 528 00:35:04.719 --> 00:35:07.679 maybe forty or fifty years old. Um, there's a there's a new iteration 529 00:35:07.679 --> 00:35:12.800 of that by Marty Neumeyer, who's made some wonderful books around this, called 530 00:35:12.880 --> 00:35:16.079 Zag. That is a kind of how to create really a brand from scratch, 531 00:35:16.400 --> 00:35:20.599 great consultancy. I've never met Marty, so this is not a baid 532 00:35:20.639 --> 00:35:24.719 endorsement around that stuff. Um, beautiful constraint is a wonderful book about brands 533 00:35:24.760 --> 00:35:30.159 that are built on great strategy. That's a phenomenal book, Phenomenal Phenomenal Group 534 00:35:30.159 --> 00:35:35.559 of people there from the big fish. Great stuff around that stuff. And 535 00:35:35.599 --> 00:35:37.599 then there's a lot of what we we study. A lot is just human 536 00:35:37.639 --> 00:35:43.679 behavior and there's all the great kind of behavior economics books out there. Dana 537 00:35:43.719 --> 00:35:47.239 Harley pretty to be irrational thinking fast and he slow all that stuff. There's 538 00:35:47.280 --> 00:35:52.239 a really lovely book that not a lot of people know about called Herd H 539 00:35:52.320 --> 00:35:57.440 E r d by Mark earls Um, which is dense and very, very 540 00:35:57.480 --> 00:36:00.920 interesting, but it really talks about the idea that we are a bit of 541 00:36:00.920 --> 00:36:05.119 a pack animal and we really do revolve against each other, maybe more than 542 00:36:05.159 --> 00:36:08.159 we'd like to admit. Um, and that's a really good book to understand 543 00:36:08.159 --> 00:36:12.320 people and are kind of our our real human nature around that stuff. So 544 00:36:12.360 --> 00:36:15.840 those are those are some some great things. Um, those are some of 545 00:36:15.840 --> 00:36:17.920 my faiths. I could go on a whole other thing about diffusion of innovations, 546 00:36:17.920 --> 00:36:21.400 which is actually what we're really interested in. A lot of people talk 547 00:36:21.440 --> 00:36:24.400 about disruption and we, we are way more interested in diffusion, how things 548 00:36:24.559 --> 00:36:29.440 actually spread in the most natural way. A lot of the stuff we do 549 00:36:29.480 --> 00:36:32.800 around power wise built in and around diffusion, cohorts and in fact are our 550 00:36:32.800 --> 00:36:37.400 equity model that we're that we're making, has a lot to do with how 551 00:36:37.440 --> 00:36:40.679 things actually spread and measuring the effect of whether things, something is on the 552 00:36:40.760 --> 00:36:45.400 verge or not, how something can actually catch on for like like like a 553 00:36:45.440 --> 00:36:51.239 wider kind of scale, more like mass market diffusion theory is fascinating. The 554 00:36:51.760 --> 00:36:54.800 if you look at where that stuff comes from, the curve around that stuff, 555 00:36:54.840 --> 00:36:59.199 the bell curve, earlier innovators, early adopters, early majority, late 556 00:36:59.199 --> 00:37:01.800 majority, laggards. That is that is some like tap root thinking. That 557 00:37:02.360 --> 00:37:06.480 wonderful thinking has been put on top of it. When you think about Tipping 558 00:37:06.519 --> 00:37:09.239 Point, I'm glad what we think about contageous. There's a lot of thinking 559 00:37:09.599 --> 00:37:14.480 built on the top of that. A lot of it goes back to those 560 00:37:14.519 --> 00:37:15.800 things. Um. So a lot of what we do is we take some 561 00:37:15.880 --> 00:37:21.719 of that thinking in our power. Of why we basically have modernized those cohorts 562 00:37:21.719 --> 00:37:24.880 so we have our own Um definition of what a real, quote unquote influencer 563 00:37:25.039 --> 00:37:29.320 is. And it's not all the cool kids on Abbot Kenny like and it's 564 00:37:29.360 --> 00:37:32.639 now. It's not exactly who you think it is, Um, um. 565 00:37:32.679 --> 00:37:36.760 You have certain psychology, Um, and you have a certain motality, you 566 00:37:36.800 --> 00:37:40.159 have certain set of desires around that. We've seen that even in innovators. 567 00:37:40.239 --> 00:37:44.679 One of the one of the number one desires that innovators have. It's not 568 00:37:44.719 --> 00:37:46.679 their only desire, but where they where they are, there's a little bit 569 00:37:46.719 --> 00:37:52.119 of an anomaly. Is this idea around vengeance and uh, that's a really 570 00:37:52.239 --> 00:37:54.960 powerful loaded word, um, but we think a lot about why that is 571 00:37:55.000 --> 00:37:59.599 and we talked with we're able to isolate people and think of think about innovators 572 00:37:59.639 --> 00:38:02.440 and talk to them about where that vengeance comes from. Some of the innovators 573 00:38:02.480 --> 00:38:07.199 aren't necessarily those cool, cool kids and the kids that were kind of put 574 00:38:07.239 --> 00:38:10.519 on the outside and they're they're looking to establish themselves and find new ideas and 575 00:38:10.519 --> 00:38:14.280 bring them back into the populace and a lot of that's about acceptance around those 576 00:38:14.320 --> 00:38:16.960 things. It's not always what kind of social media makes it out to be. 577 00:38:17.159 --> 00:38:21.559 I mean that's real, really fascinating, really really interesting. Brent, 578 00:38:21.679 --> 00:38:23.400 thank you so much for your time. This has been this has been incredible 579 00:38:23.400 --> 00:38:28.599 conversation. Really appreciate it. Thank you, Mike. Really really appreciate you 580 00:38:28.679 --> 00:38:30.079 doing this man like. It's we've been thinking about a great way to get 581 00:38:30.079 --> 00:38:35.320 this out and when this opportunity presented itself, Mike told me about it's super 582 00:38:35.320 --> 00:38:37.960 delighted so love to debut this with you. Um, it's just it's just 583 00:38:37.960 --> 00:38:40.440 great. So thank you. We're so lucky. Thank you so much. 584 00:38:40.599 --> 00:38:45.440 Really really appreciate it. Thank you, and there we haven't it was tremendous 585 00:38:45.679 --> 00:38:50.480 chatting with Brent. I hope you all read their report bullish on consumer you 586 00:38:50.480 --> 00:38:53.239 can find the report in the show notes below. Thank you so much everyone 587 00:38:53.280 --> 00:38:57.559 for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, I love it if you'd write 588 00:38:57.559 --> 00:39:00.000 a review on the apple podcast. You're also welcome follow me your host, 589 00:39:00.159 --> 00:39:05.079 Mike, on twitter at Mike Gelb, and also follow for episode announcements at 590 00:39:05.159 --> 00:39:30.280 Consumer VC. Thanks for listening, everyone. Oh, Oh, oh,