March 18, 2021

Carey Smith (Unorthodox) - Scaling Big Ass Fans to $250 million and What It Means to be a Contrarian Investor

Carey Smith (Unorthodox) - Scaling Big Ass Fans to $250 million and What It Means to be a Contrarian Investor

My guest today is Carey Smith. Carey is the founder of Big Ass Fans, which in less than two decades he took the company from 0 to $250 million in revenue, without the help of investors. Following the sale of Big Ass Fans, Carey started Unorthodox Ventures, where he partners with extraordinary founders, providing capital and expertise to build companies faster. Their portfolio includes Fit Joy, Go Fish and Lumun. This was a great conversation whre we chat about Carey's transition from a founder to investor and how that has helped shaped his decision making process. Without further ado, here's Carey.

And there you have it. It was great learning from Carey and what it means to be a contrarian investor.


One book that inspired Carey is Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim.


Some of the questions I ask Carey:

  1. What was your attraction to entrepreneurship?
  2. What was the insight that led you to founding Big Ass Fans?
  3. Why did you want to sell Big Ass Fans
  4. Why did you decide to become an investor?
  5. You don't have a sector of focus, how do you think about opportunities?
  6. What's your approach to investing in companies?
  7. How did you go about building your team?
  8. What are some of the advantages for entrepreneurs fundraising from a family office as opposed to a VC fund.
  9. How do you approach portfolio construction and exercising pro-rata?
  10. What's one thing you would change about the fundraising process?
  11. How do you think about sourcing?
  12. What's your most recent investment?
  13. What's one company you had the opportunity invest in, didn't, and in retrospect wish you did?
  14. What's the best piece of advice you've received?
  15. What's one piece of advice that you have for founders?