Feb. 10, 2022

Mike Smerklo (Next Coast Ventures) - What it was like working for Ben Horowitz, How he set up a search fund and bought a company, Why he invests in consumer when he comes from enterprise

Mike Smerklo (Next Coast Ventures) - What it was like working for Ben Horowitz, How he set up a search fund and bought a company, Why he invests in consumer when he comes from enterprise

My guest today is Mike Smerklo, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures and author of Mr. Monkey and Me. Next Coast is investing in a new generation of entrepreneurs building disruptive companies in big markets. We discuss why Mike invests in consumer when his operational experience is in enterprise as well consumer trends he’s passionate about, How he organized a search fund and purchased a company and ran it, and his SHAPE formula and how entrepreneurs could think about mental toughness.

Here are the questions I ask him:

  1. What was it like being recruited by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz at Opsware?
  2. How did you end up purchasing ServiceSource? Why did you?
  3. So you have all this software and enterprise experience, when and why did you become interested in consumer?
  4. How did Next Coast Ventures start?
  5. I know you believe that in order to win today you have to build a community over relying on social media. What does community mean to you? What brands are building amazing communities that should serve as case studies?
  6. Do you need to stand for something to win in consumer?
  7. What is the future of retail in your mind?
  8. What are some of your investment themes?
  9. What has been your reaction to the pandemic as you think about new consumer behaviors and opportunities?
  10. What’s your diligence process?
  11. What’s some of the most common mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
  12. Would love to learn about your SHAPE formula and how do you think about mental toughness for entrepreneurs?
  13. What’s one thing you would change about VC?
  14. What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
  15. What’s one piece of advice you have for founders?
Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:12.429 --> 00:00:17.030 Hello and welcome to the consumer VC. I am your host, Michael but 2 00:00:17.109 --> 00:00:20.670 and. On this show we talked about the world of venture capital and innovation 3 00:00:20.789 --> 00:00:25.140 in both consumer technology and consumer products. If you're enjoying this content, you 4 00:00:25.219 --> 00:00:30.179 could subscribe to my newsletter, the consumer VC DOT sub stackcom, to get 5 00:00:30.219 --> 00:00:34.299 each new episode and more consumer news delivered straight to your inbox. My guest 6 00:00:34.380 --> 00:00:38.490 today is Mike's Merklow, cofounder, managing director of Next Coast Ventures and author 7 00:00:38.649 --> 00:00:42.250 of Mr Monkey and me. Next coast is investing in a new generation of 8 00:00:42.289 --> 00:00:47.609 entrepreneurs building disruptive companies in big markets. We discuss why Mike Invest in consumer 9 00:00:47.729 --> 00:00:52.560 when his operational experience is an enterprise, as well as consumer trensis, passion 10 00:00:52.600 --> 00:00:56.880 about how we organize a Search Fund and purchase a company as well as running 11 00:00:56.880 --> 00:01:00.799 it, his shape formula and how entrepreneurs could think about mental toughness, and 12 00:01:02.039 --> 00:01:06.989 his shape formula and how entrepreneurs could think about mental toughness. Without further ado, 13 00:01:07.189 --> 00:01:19.459 here's Mike. Mike, Thank you so much for joining us here today. 14 00:01:19.500 --> 00:01:22.060 How are you? I'm great, my thanks for having me. I 15 00:01:22.219 --> 00:01:23.819 want to start from the very beginning of your career. I know that you 16 00:01:25.260 --> 00:01:27.939 came from a finance background and then maybe, like your introduction to tech, 17 00:01:29.180 --> 00:01:32.659 was being recruited by not other than mark and d resent and been Horowitz. 18 00:01:32.890 --> 00:01:36.530 What was it like being recruited by them to join opswhere? Yeah, we'll 19 00:01:36.689 --> 00:01:38.730 get a little bit perspective. I mean one we got to give a little 20 00:01:38.769 --> 00:01:41.890 history lesson. This is one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, so dinosaurs 21 00:01:41.930 --> 00:01:45.170 roaming the earth. I had been a quick background. I'd been the first 22 00:01:45.209 --> 00:01:48.200 force of my family ever go to college. Came from a poor background, 23 00:01:48.280 --> 00:01:52.280 moved out to the valley after business school, just immersed in the the dotcom 24 00:01:52.400 --> 00:01:57.239 boom, which is mirrors what's happening now and technology and evolution or innovation. 25 00:01:57.519 --> 00:02:00.200 But anyways, I'm there and working at Morgan Saleley. I'm in the Tech 26 00:02:00.239 --> 00:02:02.829 Group. I get invited to go have breakfast with mark. One thousand nine 27 00:02:02.870 --> 00:02:06.670 hundred and ninety nine, he had already been on the cover of Time magazine 28 00:02:06.709 --> 00:02:10.150 as the King of the Internet, had found Netscape, had sold and just 29 00:02:10.270 --> 00:02:14.550 sold metscape to all for like ten billion dollars when, when that was a 30 00:02:14.590 --> 00:02:17.060 lot of money. You know that's nothing today. But you know, I 31 00:02:17.099 --> 00:02:21.780 go meet with him and it was there as a represented working sanely, to 32 00:02:21.860 --> 00:02:24.620 talk to him about raising capital. And somewhere between the meal, he you 33 00:02:24.699 --> 00:02:28.060 know, early the MELEASA's why I got a better idea watch to come join 34 00:02:28.099 --> 00:02:30.650 us and and I just man, I tell you, I just remember like 35 00:02:31.169 --> 00:02:35.250 taking like a huge bite of my omelet and shoving it in my mouth like 36 00:02:35.409 --> 00:02:38.569 chewing, trying to gain time, right. I mean it's it would be 37 00:02:38.650 --> 00:02:40.370 like Elon Musk right now saying hey, Mike, waant't you come join my 38 00:02:40.449 --> 00:02:45.319 next startup? So it had that kind of a feel. So I choot 39 00:02:45.400 --> 00:02:49.479 slowly, took my time and then basically, you know, it's kind of 40 00:02:49.479 --> 00:02:52.360 like the Jerry m guard you had me at Polo. I was like yes, 41 00:02:52.479 --> 00:02:54.479 I want to do this, so quite exception know, and then he 42 00:02:54.520 --> 00:02:58.789 said, wait a minute, I'm actually the chairman. Ben Horwitz is a 43 00:02:58.830 --> 00:03:01.590 CEO. You got to meet Ben. So in interview with Ben I got 44 00:03:01.669 --> 00:03:06.750 the job and and jumped, you know, into the river full and fast 45 00:03:06.830 --> 00:03:09.430 right away. It was pretty amazing. That's amazing. What was it about 46 00:03:09.550 --> 00:03:14.020 you? Do you think that mark and Ben just found so attractive, like 47 00:03:14.099 --> 00:03:15.500 the count of that like first moment? Do you think? Well, I 48 00:03:15.580 --> 00:03:20.139 think. I don't think there's anything about that's it's very pretty great guy. 49 00:03:20.539 --> 00:03:23.340 What I loved about working with mark and Ben was just the size of their 50 00:03:23.379 --> 00:03:28.169 ambition and their vision. And so they hadn't even it was the forefounders to 51 00:03:28.569 --> 00:03:31.650 in sick. Mark and Ben. They wanted to build eventually what became aws. 52 00:03:31.810 --> 00:03:35.449 We were just a little bit early, but that was the vision and 53 00:03:35.770 --> 00:03:38.289 so mark had this wide view to say, okay, what am I going 54 00:03:38.330 --> 00:03:42.680 to need to make this successful? And one of the things that they have 55 00:03:42.759 --> 00:03:49.240 established early on was a distribution approach, so partner and partnerships. So I 56 00:03:49.439 --> 00:03:53.360 was brought in to be the business development guy, which was basically go do 57 00:03:53.439 --> 00:03:55.949 all the non technical stuff. So that that, I think, was morbid. 58 00:03:57.150 --> 00:03:58.990 Is My skill. Said, and you know, I guess a really 59 00:03:59.030 --> 00:04:02.469 good reputation. That's really great and so and then you end up leaving that 60 00:04:02.629 --> 00:04:06.710 company and you found a search fund. Is that right? Yes, I 61 00:04:06.830 --> 00:04:11.340 actually was. It was a brilliant run at loud cloud. Other than I 62 00:04:11.419 --> 00:04:14.139 left early before the hard thing. The hard thing. And if you read 63 00:04:14.219 --> 00:04:16.019 Ben's book, I made it through chapter seven, but basically saw it from 64 00:04:16.060 --> 00:04:21.540 concept through IPO. Saw The markets go from basically people begging us to give 65 00:04:21.540 --> 00:04:26.050 us capital, to US begging and decided I want to be entrepreneur. I 66 00:04:26.129 --> 00:04:29.569 had one real problem. I didn't have a good idea. So I came 67 00:04:29.610 --> 00:04:32.290 acost in vehicle called the search fund, and that's where another way to become 68 00:04:32.329 --> 00:04:36.209 an entrepreneur, called entrepreneur the requisition. You raise a small pool of capital 69 00:04:36.610 --> 00:04:41.160 and you basically go look for business to buy, and so I did that 70 00:04:41.279 --> 00:04:45.199 in two thousand and one. I started it right after nine eleven. Called 71 00:04:45.399 --> 00:04:48.279 hundreds of businesses and got very lucky. I found a great tech enabled service 72 00:04:48.560 --> 00:04:54.069 services business called service source. It was locating San Francisco and I bought that 73 00:04:54.269 --> 00:04:59.110 with a business partner in two thousand and three. What was it like raising 74 00:04:59.269 --> 00:05:00.870 or how does it search fund actually work, because we never really covered it 75 00:05:00.990 --> 00:05:04.910 on this show and I'm just pretty curious. Was Fun raising to raise the 76 00:05:04.990 --> 00:05:09.300 actual fund in order to then buy service hours? was that quite hard to 77 00:05:09.339 --> 00:05:12.139 do? Yeah, it's pretty easying. It was a really hard time to 78 00:05:12.180 --> 00:05:15.459 do it because it was again right after nine hundred and Elevencom was a really 79 00:05:15.620 --> 00:05:17.779 interesting time and the capital markets for the tack was not popular. It what 80 00:05:17.899 --> 00:05:20.300 had popular that have gone through this way. But those who are under, 81 00:05:20.490 --> 00:05:26.410 I guess under forty, there's a thing called markets and sometimes they explode and 82 00:05:26.449 --> 00:05:29.410 there's were sessions. I know that's a very foreign concept to it to the 83 00:05:29.490 --> 00:05:32.610 younger generation, but it was in the heart of literally we were starting a 84 00:05:32.769 --> 00:05:36.319 war at the US and we had had this horrific terror, terrorist attack. 85 00:05:38.160 --> 00:05:42.480 Thecom bumble had exploded. There was no dat available. So it was really 86 00:05:42.519 --> 00:05:45.879 tough time. But I was able to with a business partner. What you 87 00:05:45.959 --> 00:05:48.000 do is you raise a bunch of you raised about we raise pay four hundre 88 00:05:48.040 --> 00:05:53.589 of thousand dollars. You sell units and basically what those units do is they 89 00:05:53.670 --> 00:05:58.029 give you two years of pay your rent, pay yourself a metre salary and 90 00:05:58.589 --> 00:06:01.470 money to diligence and look for companies to buy. In exchange for that, 91 00:06:01.589 --> 00:06:05.819 investors then get the right of first refusal on any company you find. So 92 00:06:05.899 --> 00:06:10.300 it's like a pledge fund. And actually next coost ventures. We actually have 93 00:06:10.379 --> 00:06:14.100 a fun dedicated this and full disclosure. Now the markets moved a bit, 94 00:06:14.180 --> 00:06:16.899 but at the time we raised it from fifteen different individuals. They gave this 95 00:06:17.060 --> 00:06:20.610 capital. We went off and, you know, started eating macaroni and cheese 96 00:06:20.649 --> 00:06:25.209 for dinner again and and cold calling businesses and got a little lucky. Thought 97 00:06:25.250 --> 00:06:30.370 a great business in San Francisco. That's amazing. And so once you purchased 98 00:06:30.610 --> 00:06:32.759 service ors, you became their CEO. I mean, what was it like 99 00:06:33.240 --> 00:06:36.720 growing that company all the way to public? Maybe? What were some of 100 00:06:36.800 --> 00:06:40.279 like the lessons that you learned along the way? Yeah, it was good. 101 00:06:40.360 --> 00:06:42.560 I mean it was a phenomenal experience. We are able to buy this 102 00:06:42.680 --> 00:06:46.560 business. It was about thirty employees companying a revenue. I bought that with 103 00:06:46.639 --> 00:06:49.029 a firm called, who's talking? Partners than ever. Raised venture capital from 104 00:06:49.509 --> 00:06:53.910 benchmark Brews Dune. They knew in the founders show my board, then general 105 00:06:53.990 --> 00:06:56.589 lantic, and then took a public in two thousand and eleven. By the 106 00:06:56.670 --> 00:07:00.189 time I retired it was threezero employees, three hundred million revenue. At one 107 00:07:00.269 --> 00:07:05.019 point almost two billion dollars in market CAP. So it was a phenomenal ride. 108 00:07:06.180 --> 00:07:12.300 What I really learned about it was one importance of culture. I learned 109 00:07:12.339 --> 00:07:15.050 a ton about sales and go to market and, most importantly, I learned 110 00:07:15.050 --> 00:07:20.410 that entrepreneurship is a wild ass ride. Good, bad, egly and different, 111 00:07:20.569 --> 00:07:25.329 and I thought I was prepared for it having watched mark and Ben and 112 00:07:26.170 --> 00:07:29.569 man it was, you know, harder. It was both harder and more 113 00:07:29.610 --> 00:07:32.079 enjoyable than I would have ever imagined. With all of your, you know, 114 00:07:32.360 --> 00:07:36.199 enterprise ass experience. It be there for the beginning when it came to 115 00:07:36.279 --> 00:07:40.800 the cloud. First of all, what attracted you to investing, since we 116 00:07:40.879 --> 00:07:45.069 talked a lot about you as an operator, and then also, why is 117 00:07:45.149 --> 00:07:47.430 consumer attracted to you whatsoever? Mean, first of all, the multiple questions. 118 00:07:47.629 --> 00:07:51.709 On the investing side, I basically won. I did thirteen years of 119 00:07:51.709 --> 00:07:56.389 an entpreneur damn near killed me. I was at the end of my rope 120 00:07:56.470 --> 00:07:59.939 and I knew, given my personality and knew how a hard entrepreneurship was, 121 00:07:59.980 --> 00:08:01.899 I didn't want to go back to do it again, to be very kidid. 122 00:08:01.379 --> 00:08:05.579 Secondly, I thought that I could apply some of my learnings and skills 123 00:08:05.019 --> 00:08:09.500 and capital to next ghost ventures, and that's really what I wanted to do, 124 00:08:09.819 --> 00:08:13.089 to move to the advisor capital provider role. So that's the why invest 125 00:08:13.689 --> 00:08:18.170 in terms of consumer is really funny, and I am a traditional enterprise background. 126 00:08:18.290 --> 00:08:24.209 Go to market. I've been very fortunate that I've met some amazing entrepreneurs 127 00:08:24.490 --> 00:08:28.279 who happened to be building great consumer businesses and they overlook my lack of experience 128 00:08:28.560 --> 00:08:33.320 in consumer. I think, based on my own experience entrepreneurship and some of 129 00:08:33.320 --> 00:08:37.080 the other is of expertise candily so I've been a reluctant consumer investor, but 130 00:08:37.200 --> 00:08:41.070 it's served my firm quite well. At candiley well, we're some of the 131 00:08:41.830 --> 00:08:45.070 investing in consider you remember. We talk about this a lot on the show. 132 00:08:45.669 --> 00:08:48.309 Is quite different to invest in in, you know, an enterprise, 133 00:08:48.629 --> 00:08:54.429 top down business. What are maybe some lessons that you've learned as a consumer 134 00:08:54.470 --> 00:08:58.340 investor or just especially like when you when it comes to diligencing and maybe like 135 00:08:58.620 --> 00:09:03.259 consumer companies Versius Enterprise? I've got a great story about investors WHO's all consumer. 136 00:09:03.460 --> 00:09:05.899 Eric Him from good water. He and on our board together here in 137 00:09:05.940 --> 00:09:09.940 Austin and he's a wonderful investor. They got to have on your show. 138 00:09:09.009 --> 00:09:11.289 But Eric, you know, when we talked about these terms, I would 139 00:09:11.330 --> 00:09:13.649 just be sitting here going wow, he knows a lot more than I do 140 00:09:13.769 --> 00:09:18.529 about consumer. But but I do think where I've been able to help and 141 00:09:18.649 --> 00:09:22.970 where I get excited about it is whether it's direct consumer or be to be 142 00:09:24.879 --> 00:09:28.759 the same attributes have to hold true, and that is this. You have 143 00:09:28.879 --> 00:09:31.600 to have an experience. It can be a product that commune service, can 144 00:09:31.639 --> 00:09:37.639 be a piece of software that is significantly better than the current alternative. And 145 00:09:37.799 --> 00:09:41.509 so part of my obsession as an investor is all around the customer experience, 146 00:09:41.950 --> 00:09:46.549 and I can take customer director Bright, head of marketing, Mike Buying something 147 00:09:46.629 --> 00:09:50.990 online. The same attributes have to be able. True. It has to 148 00:09:50.029 --> 00:09:54.980 be a passionate experience, has to be enough to grab your attention and it 149 00:09:54.100 --> 00:10:00.259 has to be a different enough from your current experience to change your behavior, 150 00:10:00.340 --> 00:10:05.220 and that is really freaking hard to do. What are maybe some examples on 151 00:10:05.299 --> 00:10:09.690 the consumer side when we talk about like what? What's examples of like a 152 00:10:09.730 --> 00:10:13.370 good customer or experience that you've see that maybe ended up in an investment, 153 00:10:13.409 --> 00:10:18.289 or even maybe you just admire the company deeply. Yeah, well, I'll 154 00:10:18.289 --> 00:10:20.730 tell you about one woman investment I did make, and I talk about non 155 00:10:20.730 --> 00:10:22.399 investments, but I'm an investor here, luckily, in the company called every 156 00:10:22.559 --> 00:10:26.720 health, used to be every well here in Austin. I had just got 157 00:10:26.840 --> 00:10:28.919 I just had the experience is amazing. When I met the founder, I 158 00:10:28.039 --> 00:10:31.679 just hit the experience of this is a consumer testing business. So I just 159 00:10:31.759 --> 00:10:35.029 got my annual physical. Doctor Says Hey, you're going to get your test. 160 00:10:35.110 --> 00:10:37.230 I drive to a lab, I get the lab, I get the 161 00:10:37.309 --> 00:10:41.830 results, I get some pink paper back from my doctor. My doctor says 162 00:10:41.830 --> 00:10:46.990 everything's fine. What well, I just go through that. Comparatively to every 163 00:10:46.190 --> 00:10:50.059 well, which you can go to every wellcom you can choose a test for 164 00:10:50.179 --> 00:10:54.580 whatever you're Actuat, you're concerned about. You get the test at home. 165 00:10:54.700 --> 00:10:58.460 The packaging is amazing. Sample testing is easy. You then send your sample 166 00:10:58.500 --> 00:11:01.299 back, you never leave your house and, Lo and behold, they give 167 00:11:01.299 --> 00:11:05.769 you a rich readout, Internet based readoubt. That is helps you make decisions 168 00:11:05.809 --> 00:11:09.450 about your health. And so I bring it up because, a, I 169 00:11:09.490 --> 00:11:13.409 am an investor in full disclosure, but to a really good example where the 170 00:11:13.610 --> 00:11:18.169 experience wasn't just kind of better, it's like night and day better, and 171 00:11:18.289 --> 00:11:20.200 that company has grown and could be well because of it. But I think 172 00:11:20.360 --> 00:11:24.120 that to me is a key again, be to be or B Toc, 173 00:11:24.799 --> 00:11:26.919 it doesn't really matter. Has To be a differentiated experience. And I can 174 00:11:26.960 --> 00:11:31.720 go on and on about other companies in our portfolio or my own consumer life, 175 00:11:31.720 --> 00:11:33.509 and I think it tends to resonate when you go wow, how many 176 00:11:33.549 --> 00:11:39.149 times did I go that was radically different than what I'm experience now? Enough 177 00:11:39.309 --> 00:11:41.950 again to make me change my behavior. Yeah, I know, that's a 178 00:11:41.029 --> 00:11:46.190 really that's a really good point and also love to know to how do you 179 00:11:46.269 --> 00:11:50.259 think about does a company order need to be successful, can they just have 180 00:11:50.539 --> 00:11:56.059 that purchasing experience be incredible? But actually they're maybe they're actually, isn't that 181 00:11:56.139 --> 00:11:58.740 much innovation in the product itself in order for you to find attractive? Or 182 00:11:58.779 --> 00:12:03.210 how do you think about those two things tied in like like, experience in 183 00:12:03.289 --> 00:12:07.090 the actual nuts in bolts of the product when it comes to differentiation? Yeah, 184 00:12:07.090 --> 00:12:09.409 I mean I think in the perfect world, right, you have both. 185 00:12:09.730 --> 00:12:13.490 But I actually think one of the things that is often overlooked is brand 186 00:12:13.129 --> 00:12:18.360 tied to experience wins the day more often and not. And I'll give you 187 00:12:18.440 --> 00:12:20.559 a really dumb example the business I'm not invested in, but of a big 188 00:12:20.600 --> 00:12:24.559 consumer of you ever heard of good or sunglasses down where you are? Yeah, 189 00:12:24.679 --> 00:12:28.399 there was a perfect yea, but yeah, right, thirty sunglasses. 190 00:12:30.070 --> 00:12:31.710 They fold, their break, they're easy. Whenever I've got four kids, 191 00:12:31.750 --> 00:12:35.149 so I'm like a every six months I go out and by like ten pairs 192 00:12:35.190 --> 00:12:39.230 of goods don't come out on my parenting skills. But basically it's like their 193 00:12:39.230 --> 00:12:43.029 cheap sunglasses, easy fun, have them around the house, kids, break 194 00:12:43.070 --> 00:12:46.220 them, lose them, don't care. Right. There's no mission behind that 195 00:12:46.299 --> 00:12:50.779 business. I don't think it's saving the world. But I know if I 196 00:12:50.820 --> 00:12:52.100 go to good or I know I'm going to get the sunglasses. I know 197 00:12:52.179 --> 00:12:56.580 they're going to be what I expected, a hundred percent consistent with the brand 198 00:12:56.779 --> 00:13:00.289 and what my expectations are. Change my behavior. Why go buy a two 199 00:13:00.289 --> 00:13:03.409 hundred dollar pair of sunglasses when I can buy good thirty sunglasses? Polarize all 200 00:13:03.450 --> 00:13:07.690 the good stuff and I learned all the time. It's a really simple example 201 00:13:07.769 --> 00:13:11.049 of just brand and experience change for you. That's a really good point, 202 00:13:11.049 --> 00:13:16.080 and I mean thinking about physical products as well. How do you also think 203 00:13:16.480 --> 00:13:22.000 what we think about experience and you know, how the actual consumer bought the 204 00:13:22.120 --> 00:13:24.799 product itself. Now, with the rise of, you know, online DBC 205 00:13:26.039 --> 00:13:28.309 in the past fifteen, twenty years, how do you also think about, 206 00:13:28.750 --> 00:13:31.950 like if you're looking at a company that because there's been a lot of companies 207 00:13:31.990 --> 00:13:37.230 that have done very, very been very, very successful at the product wasn't 208 00:13:37.590 --> 00:13:41.980 exactly innovative themselves, but the how their distribution and kind of maybe like the 209 00:13:43.019 --> 00:13:46.899 experience of perching the product was quite different in that they people were actually able 210 00:13:46.899 --> 00:13:50.539 to purchase at the product in line. It was more convenient. But now, 211 00:13:50.820 --> 00:13:52.340 because of, you know, facebook and Google, ads kind of drying 212 00:13:52.379 --> 00:13:56.289 up when it comes to arbitrage opportunities, those ghoes opportunities really aren't there. 213 00:13:56.370 --> 00:14:01.809 So I'm kind of curious on how you think about as well, distribution today 214 00:14:01.809 --> 00:14:05.289 as like a differentiator for a brand. There's certainly people a lot deeper experience 215 00:14:05.330 --> 00:14:09.009 than I had, but I think your first point was a really silly at 216 00:14:09.049 --> 00:14:13.519 one was really days a DDC, if you go back to warby or something 217 00:14:13.559 --> 00:14:16.799 like that, where it was like hey, we've got an arbitrage opportunity, 218 00:14:16.840 --> 00:14:18.679 were going to make easy for you, will send these to you and all 219 00:14:18.720 --> 00:14:22.919 that good stuff. I mean that that certainly has gone. Now I think 220 00:14:22.960 --> 00:14:26.909 the bigger issue becomes what used to be called on the channel, which is 221 00:14:26.350 --> 00:14:33.070 how does your brand transcend every aspect of the experience, physical e calm, 222 00:14:33.429 --> 00:14:37.750 distribution, packaging, all of those things. I think the real winners will 223 00:14:37.789 --> 00:14:41.580 be able to do that plus have a community, and communities a weird word 224 00:14:43.059 --> 00:14:46.940 but an element that says, yeah, this is consistent across all aspects of 225 00:14:46.980 --> 00:14:52.379 my interaction. Again, something that kind of simple to in concept but again 226 00:14:52.580 --> 00:14:54.649 really, really hard to do. I give an example. We've invest has 227 00:14:54.690 --> 00:14:58.889 coming here with an amazing funter called box wine. Direct consumer wine. The 228 00:15:00.009 --> 00:15:03.570 concept you say about how hard is it? They're doing a subscription service. 229 00:15:03.250 --> 00:15:07.799 They're manufacturing their own wine in Napa California and then sending you in a box 230 00:15:09.159 --> 00:15:13.600 the lxt every month a thing of wine. I think of one. The 231 00:15:13.679 --> 00:15:16.480 hard thing is consumers love it because it's disruptive and different. But when you 232 00:15:16.519 --> 00:15:20.629 think about building that business, there are here's a fault line everywhere you look. 233 00:15:20.990 --> 00:15:26.110 The engagement has to work, the consumer ordering period, the wine has 234 00:15:26.149 --> 00:15:28.990 to get etcetera, etc. All of it has to be done and if 235 00:15:28.029 --> 00:15:31.990 you do that right it's a big business. But you scrow at one of 236 00:15:31.029 --> 00:15:35.669 those and you know it's you're done. And that's where I think the new 237 00:15:35.710 --> 00:15:39.139 world consumer is is much different than the I can do some search word search 238 00:15:39.179 --> 00:15:43.259 optimization and drive you to by Wor we harder in sunglasses. I think it's 239 00:15:43.259 --> 00:15:50.049 will require creats. How did next cost adventures begin? The next cost ventures 240 00:15:50.129 --> 00:15:54.409 begin six years ago when a long time colleague of mine, a Gentminaing, 241 00:15:54.490 --> 00:15:56.450 Tom Ball, we've been in Austin. I was moving from. First of 242 00:15:56.450 --> 00:16:00.009 all, I was moved from the Bay area to Austin in the bay or 243 00:16:00.129 --> 00:16:03.649 seventeen years. Loved it, still do, but we just had my wife 244 00:16:03.690 --> 00:16:06.679 had to set our fourth child. I was done being an operator. I 245 00:16:06.840 --> 00:16:11.759 wanted to start a firm and in pure luck my cofounder was. There's a 246 00:16:11.799 --> 00:16:17.480 firm called Austin ventures and Austin that was imploding. Tom Bull, my cofounder 247 00:16:17.600 --> 00:16:21.190 was leaving, and you looked at it and said, Gosh, Christian be 248 00:16:21.750 --> 00:16:25.230 before Covid we said, what if we brought some of the Silky belling mindset 249 00:16:25.309 --> 00:16:29.269 to Austin? What if we had a firm that was called that tagline was 250 00:16:30.110 --> 00:16:33.700 built by entreneurs form twitters, and what if we did that in next ghost 251 00:16:33.700 --> 00:16:38.620 markets? And Kingly, when we did fun one five years ago, LP's 252 00:16:38.659 --> 00:16:41.220 were a little bit like. I'm not sure this next ghost market is that 253 00:16:41.340 --> 00:16:47.570 big. Fast for now, between being in Austin and codd it's been remarkable 254 00:16:47.809 --> 00:16:51.570 and our timing was quite good. So big change, but we're now seeing 255 00:16:51.929 --> 00:16:56.570 the entrepreneural activity, the inflow, the movement of talent, not just to 256 00:16:56.649 --> 00:17:00.370 Austin. Austin certainly beneficiary of it, but in next ghost markets has been 257 00:17:00.409 --> 00:17:03.720 quite extorted. It's also interesting too, because it's so I mean, of 258 00:17:03.799 --> 00:17:07.400 course you were way ahead of the trend of moving out of San Francisco that 259 00:17:07.519 --> 00:17:11.759 that seemed to happen during covid not everybody, but certainly a few folks. 260 00:17:11.799 --> 00:17:15.160 It's interested too, because I've heard investors saying that some of them won't even 261 00:17:15.160 --> 00:17:18.990 touch Silicon Valley based companies just because the prices are so high and so expensive. 262 00:17:19.109 --> 00:17:22.869 And to investor's saying that they believe that the real opportunities are actually in 263 00:17:22.910 --> 00:17:26.069 the middle of America, not on the coasts, when it comes to sourcee 264 00:17:26.190 --> 00:17:30.579 in and price. What's your approach and your first point? I mean, 265 00:17:30.700 --> 00:17:33.180 I love the valley. I go back there once a month. I just 266 00:17:33.259 --> 00:17:36.819 think it's two different games, I really do. I think it the bifurcation 267 00:17:36.940 --> 00:17:40.779 continues to expand. And you say, you know what what mark and band 268 00:17:40.859 --> 00:17:44.140 and and do, Snorrowitz or bench market doing is different than what Excos it's 269 00:17:44.220 --> 00:17:48.250 just point plank. So for us we are really looking at. It all 270 00:17:48.289 --> 00:17:52.089 starts with the entrepreneur. So how big is the market? What's the solution? 271 00:17:52.210 --> 00:17:56.130 But is this what we call a glass eater? Those is entremeur exe 272 00:17:56.289 --> 00:17:59.119 that the cat attributes. It says he or she is going to build an 273 00:17:59.160 --> 00:18:03.759 amazing business and do everything they can within legal and ethical boundaries to do so. 274 00:18:03.200 --> 00:18:07.359 So that's our first informost, that's our true north, if you will. 275 00:18:07.640 --> 00:18:11.640 In terms of valuation, we're going to pay market prices. I think 276 00:18:11.680 --> 00:18:15.150 you have to be very careful not to get caught up in hey, I'm 277 00:18:15.190 --> 00:18:18.150 not kind of value investor. That's not the ventures about. So we pay 278 00:18:18.269 --> 00:18:22.470 market prices. I just think that because we're in a market that's a little 279 00:18:22.509 --> 00:18:27.420 bit less expensive, better quality of living, lower cost for most of the 280 00:18:27.980 --> 00:18:33.579 talent we can have, we can invest in businesses that don't consume capital as 281 00:18:33.619 --> 00:18:36.539 much as you do of the valley, and I think that's where, therefore, 282 00:18:36.579 --> 00:18:41.609 you can take valuations at a modestly lower level. But then they were 283 00:18:41.650 --> 00:18:45.410 market we're not market price setters. Where market price takers whatever the market is. 284 00:18:45.450 --> 00:18:48.849 If we see a great business, the Great Entrepreneur, that's where we're 285 00:18:48.890 --> 00:18:52.089 going to we're going to pay with the market, with the market bears. 286 00:18:52.690 --> 00:18:55.920 What do you see like the in impact of Covid was was it? Was 287 00:18:55.960 --> 00:18:59.240 it also that did you see on the investor front that investors were actually thinking 288 00:18:59.359 --> 00:19:03.039 then outside of Silicon Valley and maybe the coast into other areas? Like what 289 00:19:03.200 --> 00:19:06.599 were your general like takeaways on the professional from covid? Well, well, 290 00:19:06.680 --> 00:19:07.720 first of all it was pretty easy my coming. We had a lot of 291 00:19:07.839 --> 00:19:14.710 LP's who had five years ago. So I'm not sure about that coastal, 292 00:19:14.950 --> 00:19:17.990 non coastal stuff. A lot of them moved off the and so it's been 293 00:19:18.029 --> 00:19:21.430 in ironic moment. I'll talk to that in like Oh, yeah, actually, 294 00:19:21.549 --> 00:19:23.069 you guys are right about this, but I think you know for the 295 00:19:23.150 --> 00:19:26.180 most part, one it was good work thematic investors. Some of our big 296 00:19:26.259 --> 00:19:30.940 themes have been future of or future retail, healthcare, hacking. Those are 297 00:19:32.180 --> 00:19:36.660 our two thousand and fifteen and sixteen pre coded things. Very good themes investing 298 00:19:36.700 --> 00:19:38.809 in and I think, like others you've had on the show said, some 299 00:19:40.170 --> 00:19:42.650 things that we thought would take eight to ten years got accelerated to eight months, 300 00:19:42.849 --> 00:19:48.130 which is wonderful. For most our portfolio is performed very well despite the 301 00:19:48.769 --> 00:19:52.369 backdrop of a global pandemic. I think the biggest thing is it just shifted. 302 00:19:52.960 --> 00:19:56.400 We've got this framework here, which we've been doing now for last time 303 00:19:56.440 --> 00:20:00.000 months, which is what are the things that will snap back? When we 304 00:20:00.079 --> 00:20:03.359 thought were coming out of pandemic, that we're back in it. But you 305 00:20:03.400 --> 00:20:04.720 know, one of the things they'll snap back one of the things that'll never 306 00:20:04.799 --> 00:20:07.710 come back and one of the things in the middle and really wanted to be 307 00:20:07.829 --> 00:20:11.630 investing on that third bucket. And so we've been consistently looking at things like 308 00:20:12.230 --> 00:20:17.549 music, sports, etc. Once we know, as we get through mommy, 309 00:20:18.390 --> 00:20:21.309 the lays lays part of the pandemic. Once we get back to that, 310 00:20:21.430 --> 00:20:22.500 you're still going to want to see love. Music is still going to 311 00:20:22.500 --> 00:20:26.700 see sports. Going back to an office, commuting fifty minutes to get to 312 00:20:26.740 --> 00:20:30.779 an office. I don't think it ever goes back. Tell them edicine. 313 00:20:30.779 --> 00:20:33.539 I don't think it ever goes back. So the thing for us is covid 314 00:20:33.579 --> 00:20:37.009 has been disruptive, but from an investment perspective, trying to think about ideas, 315 00:20:37.690 --> 00:20:41.529 make sure they're not just episodic. A this is inching for the next 316 00:20:41.529 --> 00:20:45.089 twelve months, but not forever, and looking at where consumer behavior has changed 317 00:20:45.809 --> 00:20:52.440 forever or has dramatically change, versus Hayes temper. Those are all excellent points. 318 00:20:52.680 --> 00:20:56.680 You know, of course music coming back, sports going to come back, 319 00:20:56.039 --> 00:21:00.759 traveling for sure is coming back, and then also working in the office, 320 00:21:00.200 --> 00:21:03.430 probably not as much as you say. Like people don't want to commute. 321 00:21:03.430 --> 00:21:07.150 They like work from home and and make a lot of sense. I 322 00:21:07.230 --> 00:21:12.029 remember you, I think before we were talking about winning today in consumer that 323 00:21:12.549 --> 00:21:18.180 you have to be very community oriented and community focus as opposed to focusing on 324 00:21:18.539 --> 00:21:22.539 you know, like social media and what have you. How do you think 325 00:21:22.579 --> 00:21:26.259 about community today for consumer companies? One thing I would say, this is 326 00:21:26.339 --> 00:21:30.900 maybe controversial and some regards, is if we're inciating that work, community can 327 00:21:30.980 --> 00:21:36.130 mean a lot of things. In one hand it can be save the rainforest, 328 00:21:36.450 --> 00:21:41.049 to use it the nine example, or another thing can be my customers 329 00:21:41.170 --> 00:21:44.250 love me, they feel an infinity towards what I'm doing and they want to 330 00:21:44.250 --> 00:21:48.079 be part of it and they have a loyalty. I really am. I'm 331 00:21:48.119 --> 00:21:52.799 a big believer that on the save the rainforest part, it's nice to have 332 00:21:52.920 --> 00:21:56.319 it, it's not a requirement. And now some people may disagree and not 333 00:21:56.559 --> 00:22:00.160 taking nothing away from companies that are really having impact and doing great things. 334 00:22:00.950 --> 00:22:06.670 But I don't think the I'm here and every time you bought like Tom Shoes 335 00:22:06.670 --> 00:22:08.430 back from ten years ago, whatever it was. I think that was an 336 00:22:08.470 --> 00:22:12.589 interesting way to get customers excited about it. But now it's become table stakes. 337 00:22:12.710 --> 00:22:15.740 And so just because you have a new X, Y Z and you 338 00:22:15.859 --> 00:22:21.859 plan a tree every time, I don't think consumers personally will put long term 339 00:22:21.940 --> 00:22:25.420 value on that or make a decision just because of that. And I think 340 00:22:25.460 --> 00:22:27.500 when I see on two nerves of times I see sometimes too much of a 341 00:22:27.579 --> 00:22:30.769 focus on that. It's great for you're doing something to make a little better 342 00:22:30.809 --> 00:22:34.690 place. That's phenomenal, but don't but I think the real value creation will 343 00:22:34.730 --> 00:22:38.369 be is when you have consumers that absolutely love what you're doing. Again, 344 00:22:38.410 --> 00:22:42.609 it's significantly different than what they were doing before, and so they're willing to 345 00:22:42.650 --> 00:22:45.759 change your behavior, not just once or twice, but they're going to do 346 00:22:45.799 --> 00:22:51.240 it over and over again. Like change behavior, wants try something is very 347 00:22:51.319 --> 00:22:53.839 different than this, is a different way for me to live my life. 348 00:22:55.599 --> 00:22:59.869 That makes sense. You think that in order to win in tomorrow, that 349 00:22:59.990 --> 00:23:03.029 you actually for Your Business, you actually do need to to stand for something, 350 00:23:03.150 --> 00:23:07.910 whether that it's an ability or what have you. I think it's phenomenal. 351 00:23:07.069 --> 00:23:11.109 Don't under US made that. It is phenomenal. It can be a 352 00:23:11.509 --> 00:23:15.500 massive part of the story and consumers want it. So to start there. 353 00:23:17.019 --> 00:23:21.380 What I'm differentiating is I don't think you should hang all of your value proposition 354 00:23:21.579 --> 00:23:25.380 on it, because I don't I think consumers are fickle and that's my kind 355 00:23:25.420 --> 00:23:27.490 of cynics view. So, yes, do something to say the world. 356 00:23:27.609 --> 00:23:30.569 Yes, make it sustainable, all those things. I think there are table 357 00:23:30.650 --> 00:23:34.369 stakes. But as an ultimer, don't assume that just because you do that, 358 00:23:34.450 --> 00:23:38.250 that's going to drive consumer loyalty, because I don't think it's enough to 359 00:23:38.410 --> 00:23:42.359 get how people consistently change everything, and I see them the stake. By 360 00:23:42.359 --> 00:23:45.119 the way. I see that with a lot of entrepreneurs. That will come 361 00:23:45.160 --> 00:23:48.640 in as their key value proposition of like, hey, we deliver x, 362 00:23:48.680 --> 00:23:52.519 Yez, and here's why it's better for the planet. That's amazing, that's 363 00:23:52.559 --> 00:23:57.549 awesome, but is what you're delivering dramatically different? Because just because we do 364 00:23:57.630 --> 00:24:00.509 something different is I don't think consumers. Again, I think they're fickle. 365 00:24:02.029 --> 00:24:04.230 No, that's a fair point, because I also like that's great that you're 366 00:24:04.230 --> 00:24:07.029 doing for the planet, but what are your competitors doing as well? Are 367 00:24:07.029 --> 00:24:11.059 they also do is thin great for the competitors and if it's just a little 368 00:24:11.099 --> 00:24:12.819 bit better for the planet, that's great, but will consumers actually know the 369 00:24:12.859 --> 00:24:15.980 difference? Are they going to take the time to actually go through that whole 370 00:24:17.259 --> 00:24:21.059 education process actually learn a lot more about your mission? Possibly, but you 371 00:24:21.180 --> 00:24:23.259 have to have, as you say, like an amazing experience or just an 372 00:24:23.259 --> 00:24:27.609 incredible product or do something differentiated in that factor to win and be mincal on 373 00:24:27.769 --> 00:24:30.930 this term of mode, which is an more buffet term. But like how 374 00:24:32.089 --> 00:24:33.650 easy is it, and this is where it also will entwinners and that you 375 00:24:33.690 --> 00:24:37.329 know and love entwineership of such passionate blue run of beause, like do you 376 00:24:37.490 --> 00:24:42.200 have something that is sustainably different that competitive mode, or is easy to come 377 00:24:42.480 --> 00:24:47.200 be? Because if it's easy to copy, then you've got a temporary headstart. 378 00:24:47.279 --> 00:24:52.680 You better run really fast when entrepreneurs are pitching to you. What are 379 00:24:52.759 --> 00:24:56.230 maybe some of like the common mistakes that you see entrepreneurs make? Well, 380 00:24:56.309 --> 00:24:59.549 I think that you know part of the biggest one I see is failing to 381 00:24:59.710 --> 00:25:03.829 think about competition. I think there's a general and here's what I mean by 382 00:25:03.829 --> 00:25:06.710 that. Like, I actually think the biggest I've written blog on this. 383 00:25:06.829 --> 00:25:11.299 It my write up my spare time or write a blog and Mike's MARKELOCOM but 384 00:25:11.740 --> 00:25:15.140 I think the most overlook competition is indership. And so I really, when 385 00:25:15.220 --> 00:25:18.940 I look at it, is everyone has this to bite, to chart that 386 00:25:18.019 --> 00:25:21.019 says, Oh, yeah, here's X, Y and Z and we're better 387 00:25:21.059 --> 00:25:25.089 than that. That that what I think is often overlook is inertia. And 388 00:25:25.210 --> 00:25:27.769 this gets back to the changing behaviors, whether it again it's enterprise or consumer. 389 00:25:29.250 --> 00:25:30.970 But how do you overcome the inertia? I don't know, like, 390 00:25:32.089 --> 00:25:33.730 are you busy person? Do you have a bunch of free time to go 391 00:25:33.890 --> 00:25:37.079 research a bunch of products? I don't. And so and I'm and by 392 00:25:37.119 --> 00:25:41.839 the way, I'm bombarded with thousands of in bounds, from text messages to 393 00:25:41.920 --> 00:25:45.480 emails to what have you, trying to get my attention. And so my 394 00:25:45.559 --> 00:25:49.349 biggest push for entwineurs is think about how you break through the noise and how 395 00:25:49.430 --> 00:25:53.750 you get through inertia as a real competitor, not just the you know, 396 00:25:53.869 --> 00:25:57.869 we're better an XYZ and faster than ABC. I'd love to kind of like 397 00:25:57.950 --> 00:26:00.910 dissect your shape formula, if you can kind of let us know about that 398 00:26:00.950 --> 00:26:03.700 and how you think about mentals out this as well as, since you've been 399 00:26:03.980 --> 00:26:08.299 there as a CEO, how you think about this this topic. I wrote 400 00:26:08.299 --> 00:26:11.900 a book called Mr Monkey and me, the a real survival guy fromntwineurs, 401 00:26:11.940 --> 00:26:15.420 which is an ambitious title because I don't think. I think my entrepreneur crew 402 00:26:15.579 --> 00:26:18.690 was interesting, but it's certainly not my joke. I'm like a C list 403 00:26:18.769 --> 00:26:22.130 actor and how they would like, I did pretty well, but I'm not 404 00:26:22.690 --> 00:26:25.849 in the in the hall of fame category. But I wrote the book and 405 00:26:26.130 --> 00:26:29.450 embedded in the book is a shape form of that, because I was sick 406 00:26:29.529 --> 00:26:32.849 of the Shit I was reading on, say Shit on this podcast, but 407 00:26:32.920 --> 00:26:34.920 I guess it did. I was sick of like there's too the content coming 408 00:26:34.960 --> 00:26:38.640 in entrenurs with two categories. It was how to build a business plan, 409 00:26:40.400 --> 00:26:42.880 great helpful, how to write a you know, Buh Blah Blah, and 410 00:26:42.960 --> 00:26:47.670 then there was this other stuff which I called entrepreneur porn, which was the 411 00:26:47.829 --> 00:26:51.509 seven things that Elon must does before breakfast. Well, if you're starting a 412 00:26:51.549 --> 00:26:56.150 business and it's four in the morning and you can't raise gap all, blah, 413 00:26:56.150 --> 00:26:57.509 blah, blah. I don't give a shit what Elon must does before 414 00:26:57.509 --> 00:27:00.859 breakfast. Doesn't help me. And so I saw this streamline of no one 415 00:27:02.019 --> 00:27:04.539 was really talking about the mental aspect of entrepreneurship, and so I wrote this 416 00:27:04.619 --> 00:27:07.940 book again, Mr Monkey Me, and it was to talk about my own 417 00:27:08.539 --> 00:27:12.220 experience and a lot of failures, what I saw from great enters like Ben 418 00:27:12.259 --> 00:27:15.930 and mark among others, and then what I see every day in my day 419 00:27:15.970 --> 00:27:18.569 job with looks like a Dell who introduced this from a turnabout, or Julia 420 00:27:18.690 --> 00:27:25.250 from I really well, every really help like I've seen great mental strength from 421 00:27:25.289 --> 00:27:27.369 those entrepreneurs, and so what I did was I talked a bunch of entpreneurs 422 00:27:27.410 --> 00:27:30.400 to find acial question. I said what do you think the most important things 423 00:27:30.440 --> 00:27:37.240 are, and it became self awareness, help, authenticity, persistence and expectations. 424 00:27:37.359 --> 00:27:41.359 So I coddify that into a formula, I put it in the book 425 00:27:41.400 --> 00:27:45.109 and I try to get very tactical and specific minders for entpreurs to develop this 426 00:27:45.230 --> 00:27:51.269 mental toughness, because in my core I see it every day. Big Market, 427 00:27:51.549 --> 00:27:55.589 great idea, three or four companies going after that same idea. Somebody 428 00:27:55.670 --> 00:28:00.339 wins and more times often than not, the somebody who wins has the mental 429 00:28:00.460 --> 00:28:03.579 ten asking toughness to keep going. What's one thing that you would change about 430 00:28:03.619 --> 00:28:07.700 bench a capital? A lot of things I might gie about bench capital, 431 00:28:07.779 --> 00:28:11.420 but this, you know, it gets it gets well deserved. If you 432 00:28:11.500 --> 00:28:15.769 go onto twitter and the other social media gets lampooned, as it probably should. 433 00:28:17.250 --> 00:28:19.210 I think the biggest thing is, and I we try to use every 434 00:28:19.250 --> 00:28:22.690 incoming investing it's just being disclosure about love. My job is, you know, 435 00:28:22.769 --> 00:28:26.849 I think there's a lot of buzz words out there about founder friendly and 436 00:28:26.970 --> 00:28:29.720 we try and be founder friendly, etcetera, etcetera. But at the end 437 00:28:29.759 --> 00:28:32.640 of the day, and I do this with every company we invest in, 438 00:28:32.720 --> 00:28:34.720 I see, you know, my job is. Here's my job. Lps 439 00:28:34.759 --> 00:28:38.200 Give me money. They expect to make me to make eight to ten times 440 00:28:38.279 --> 00:28:41.269 my money over a seven to ten year period and they expect me to lose 441 00:28:41.309 --> 00:28:44.670 a bunch of money along the way. And if I do that right, 442 00:28:45.230 --> 00:28:48.990 my fun will generate a you know, four to six expert urn. That's 443 00:28:48.069 --> 00:28:52.269 what my job is. Now, as I break that down, that means 444 00:28:52.309 --> 00:28:53.670 every entrepreneur, and this is right, but I think like change is just 445 00:28:55.029 --> 00:28:59.299 full disclosure on this. I dust in a business. I'm looking depending on 446 00:28:59.420 --> 00:29:02.980 stagement. They make eight to ten times my money. I'm looking to support 447 00:29:03.019 --> 00:29:07.059 that entrepreur in every way I can, but I also have a portfolio companies 448 00:29:07.099 --> 00:29:11.849 that I have to oversee. That's the nobleshit what a BC does. I 449 00:29:11.009 --> 00:29:15.569 think there's a lot of, you know, fluff out there around other things 450 00:29:15.609 --> 00:29:18.170 that you could do, but that's what my job is and the more I'm 451 00:29:18.490 --> 00:29:22.930 specific and director with an Entpur so here. She understands that. I think 452 00:29:22.970 --> 00:29:27.039 the relationship between entrepern and venture capitalists can be much, much better, and 453 00:29:27.119 --> 00:29:32.000 so that's the one thing that I would encourage any ENTREPRENUR, if you're king 454 00:29:32.000 --> 00:29:36.519 venture capital, ask that person. What are your Ritin expectations? What's your 455 00:29:36.559 --> 00:29:38.630 timeline? Where do you think the thing will be in five to seven years? 456 00:29:38.950 --> 00:29:41.549 And if you do that, then transparency happens. It tends to be 457 00:29:41.630 --> 00:29:45.589 better relationships. What's one book? Then it's party personally, one book then 458 00:29:45.670 --> 00:29:49.869 is parady professionally. Oh Man, so many good books and actually I went 459 00:29:49.950 --> 00:29:52.140 through your list. I love the book. I think I've read almost all 460 00:29:52.180 --> 00:29:56.859 the books in your list that you though people called out. So great job. 461 00:29:56.900 --> 00:29:59.059 I love this question. I think it's phase of life. I think 462 00:29:59.099 --> 00:30:03.299 for me personally, a book I've read, I just reread it Brazilian author 463 00:30:03.579 --> 00:30:06.660 call the book is called the alchemist. Hello, CA, hello. I'm 464 00:30:06.700 --> 00:30:08.690 sure I'm this pronouncing that. It's like one of the most widely translated books, 465 00:30:08.890 --> 00:30:12.569 after the Bible or something like that, but its just a magical short 466 00:30:12.609 --> 00:30:18.009 book about a shepherd. For me, as I get older and citizens and 467 00:30:18.089 --> 00:30:22.920 starts to creep in, it reminds me about following your dreams, staying true 468 00:30:22.920 --> 00:30:26.000 to your heart, imagining the possibility. So I don't know just my favorite 469 00:30:26.039 --> 00:30:30.279 personal book. It's a annual quick read on the personal side. On the 470 00:30:30.319 --> 00:30:33.160 professional side, then, there's been so many books along the way. I'd 471 00:30:33.160 --> 00:30:37.269 say now probably trillion dollar coach, which is the story of Bill Campbell, 472 00:30:37.630 --> 00:30:41.990 written by Eric Schmidt. Bill was I was fortunately bills on our board at 473 00:30:41.029 --> 00:30:44.869 loud cloud. I read about him my book. He was one who was 474 00:30:45.150 --> 00:30:48.150 a big push for me to actually get a coach. They called him the 475 00:30:48.230 --> 00:30:52.339 coach for the reason they inspired me today is at this point in my career, 476 00:30:52.019 --> 00:30:56.460 he gave back. He had a huge impact on a ton of entrepreneurs 477 00:30:56.019 --> 00:31:00.700 from the folks twitter, to Google to Steve Jobs and you think so, 478 00:31:00.579 --> 00:31:06.769 not seeking fame or monetary he did it because he liked the coach. And 479 00:31:06.930 --> 00:31:08.410 so I think about this phase my life. Man, if I could be 480 00:31:08.730 --> 00:31:12.890 one hundredth of what bill did, to his impact on entrepres that's what I 481 00:31:12.930 --> 00:31:15.490 was aspired. That's amazing. I love that. No, I mean like 482 00:31:15.609 --> 00:31:19.000 I think the alchemists had been mentioned before, which is great and trilling. 483 00:31:19.000 --> 00:31:22.119 At a coaching is the first time that I brought it up there. So 484 00:31:22.279 --> 00:31:23.599 really excited that. That's the real list. And I really like what you 485 00:31:23.640 --> 00:31:26.759 said about bill, about how he's loved coaching and then that was the reason 486 00:31:26.839 --> 00:31:30.279 why he did him do in for any of that, any of the paymer 487 00:31:30.319 --> 00:31:33.829 glory, which I think that as one approaches their career, that that they 488 00:31:33.869 --> 00:31:37.109 should really be thinking about that. Yeah, I encourage everything. He was 489 00:31:37.150 --> 00:31:38.710 a guy when tell the storty to book all so shortly, but he I 490 00:31:38.750 --> 00:31:41.269 wouldn't met with him. I was having a hard time and he's like why 491 00:31:41.309 --> 00:31:44.630 the hell, dot, you have a coach? Steve Jobs as a coach. 492 00:31:44.710 --> 00:31:47.299 Tiger Win sends a coach. Why does it Mike Spurgle, have a 493 00:31:47.339 --> 00:31:48.819 coach. Well, that's pretty good advice, Bill, but better really do 494 00:31:48.980 --> 00:31:53.779 think entrepreneurship is hard. Having someone there to help you along the way and 495 00:31:53.900 --> 00:31:56.740 not just be emotional sport but really help you think about how you get better 496 00:31:56.900 --> 00:32:01.569 your job is charnels a big difference between success. It's a really, really 497 00:32:01.609 --> 00:32:05.769 good point. I final question to you is, with all this being said, 498 00:32:06.289 --> 00:32:09.769 what's maybe one or two pieces of advice that you have for founders currently? 499 00:32:09.849 --> 00:32:15.490 Yeah, and again I'm shameless plugged to Mr Monkey and me, but 500 00:32:15.529 --> 00:32:19.039 I mean that's what I wrote a book for. Some shadeless plug but but 501 00:32:19.160 --> 00:32:22.039 really, my biggest advice for entreprenurs is the first. All this starts with 502 00:32:22.119 --> 00:32:25.400 self awareness and it's one of the like, like all piece of advice. 503 00:32:25.559 --> 00:32:30.349 Really simple to hear but hard to do. If you can try and get 504 00:32:30.349 --> 00:32:34.190 a true understanding of what your strengths and weakness is our what motivate you, 505 00:32:34.349 --> 00:32:37.670 what demotivate you, what you're good at, what you're not good at, 506 00:32:37.109 --> 00:32:40.150 and not what your mom tells you good at or your significant other, but 507 00:32:40.269 --> 00:32:44.380 like realistically, when you get at I think if you can do that, 508 00:32:45.099 --> 00:32:49.779 it becomes the foundation of building block for a bunch of other aspects of leadership. 509 00:32:50.220 --> 00:32:52.660 So where do you need to get help? Where do you need how 510 00:32:52.700 --> 00:32:55.339 do you show this an authentic leader, etcetera, etcetera. But self awareness, 511 00:32:55.940 --> 00:33:00.009 I might argue, might it might be the biggest differentiator between success and 512 00:33:00.089 --> 00:33:02.730 failure. It's just do you understand what you're good at, what you're not 513 00:33:02.769 --> 00:33:06.970 good at, what your strengths? And this is our so any tools you 514 00:33:07.049 --> 00:33:10.089 can find understand yourself a little bit better to know where you again, where 515 00:33:10.089 --> 00:33:14.240 your stings weness are and how you can develop, to me, might be 516 00:33:14.440 --> 00:33:16.839 the first step. By first weeks might give Danny the thing. That's a 517 00:33:16.920 --> 00:33:21.480 great, great piece of Vice. are also just add to self awareness in 518 00:33:21.519 --> 00:33:23.319 terms of what you're actually trying to achieve with your business as well. Are 519 00:33:23.440 --> 00:33:30.230 you trying to bake a mass a business that has incredible impact, or are 520 00:33:30.349 --> 00:33:35.150 you trying to make a still very, very successful business, maybe not one 521 00:33:35.309 --> 00:33:37.509 that needs venture capital dollars? Right? Yeah, the last thing that's in 522 00:33:37.670 --> 00:33:42.059 my the world needs you. That's my other push. The world needs entpreneurship 523 00:33:42.099 --> 00:33:45.099 now more than ever. We need more eperners, we need more diversity and 524 00:33:45.140 --> 00:33:47.940 entrepreneurs. When need more entners? Were successful? It don't go off the 525 00:33:47.980 --> 00:33:53.619 rails. So my other pushes keep after because I'm a passionate believer of it. 526 00:33:53.900 --> 00:33:57.849 Any of the problems were stating solving the well, is it fun of 527 00:33:57.890 --> 00:34:00.890 problems right now? Are you going to bet on the government not for profit? 528 00:34:02.730 --> 00:34:06.970 Not a hundred times, I'll bet. I love that. I love 529 00:34:07.049 --> 00:34:08.969 that, Mike. This has been such a fun conversation. Thanks so much 530 00:34:08.969 --> 00:34:12.239 for coming on the show. Yeah, thanks for having like, I really 531 00:34:12.239 --> 00:34:14.840 enjoyed it. Great questions and there you have it. It was such a 532 00:34:14.960 --> 00:34:17.639 putter time with Mike. I highly recommend following him on twitter at Mike's mark 533 00:34:17.719 --> 00:34:21.480 low. If you enjoyed this episode, I love it if you'd write a 534 00:34:21.480 --> 00:34:23.869 review on the apple podcast. You're also welcome to follow me, your host, 535 00:34:23.989 --> 00:34:28.909 Mike, on twitter at my guelb and also follow for episode announcements at 536 00:34:28.989 --> 00:34:30.269 Consumer VC. Thanks for listening, everyone,