Crazy Until It's Not: Startups, Venture Capital & Big Ideas

My firstminute | Ben Lovett, Co-founder of Mumford & Sons, Communion and Venue Group | Roelof Botha, Partner Sequoia

April 08, 2021 firstminute capital Season 2 Episode 1
Crazy Until It's Not: Startups, Venture Capital & Big Ideas
My firstminute | Ben Lovett, Co-founder of Mumford & Sons, Communion and Venue Group | Roelof Botha, Partner Sequoia
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As we wrap up 2022, we’ve looked back at firstminute capital’s first podcast “My firstminute” from 2020 and 2021. 


My firstminute talked to some of the world’s top investors, founders and thought-leaders about the first minutes of their careers, some of the battles they’ve overcome and their advice on navigating the world today. When discussing ‘the world today’, many guests addressed the effects of Covid-19 as this series was recorded in the height of the pandemic. Each episode concludes with a Q&A with fellow entrepreneurs.


Today’s episode (originally recorded in March 2021) features Sequoia investor extraordinaire, Roelof Botha, known for his investments in Instagram, YouTube, MongoDB, Unity, Eventbrite, Square, 23andMe, Bird, Evernote, BridgeBio and many more; alongside Grammy Award-winning musician, producer, and two-time entrepreneur, Ben Lovett. 


They discuss how entrepreneurship and creativity are intrinsically linked to one another and the role that luck and humility played in their careers.  


Listen to the advice that Roelof and Ben give to budding entrepreneurs alongside how he tests for authenticity in founders and how to spot a good opportunity. 


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First Minute Capital is a $250 million seed fund founded in 2017

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and proudly backed by a number of star technology founders,

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including over 100 unicorn founders.

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The manifest miniseries is an opportunity to talk to some of the world's

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top founders, investors and thought leaders around how they got started.

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Some battles

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that they fought along the way and how they think about the world today.

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Part of our DNA at first minute is to take the wisdom

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and lessons learned from one generation of successful entrepreneurs

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and share those lessons with the next generation of rising stars.

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And that's really what this series, my first minute, is about.

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My name is Spencer Crawley.

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I'm co-founder and general partner at First Bennet Capital.

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And today I'm speaking to Rolfe Porter

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and Ben

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Lovett.

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But we're back with a bang today

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with Ben and Rohloff and the real, real treat to have them both for an hour.

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We've control of just before us all hands and and it's really,

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really nice to have you both.

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So Ben Rohloff, thank you both for joining.

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Really, really appreciate it.

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And actually, the suggestion of Ben

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actually made my life very easy by volunteering to introduce themselves.

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Ben, over to you.

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Cool.

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Yeah, I think.

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Nice to meet everyone.

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I think the context around my life is really centered around people.

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I'm obsessed with people have been since a young age.

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I've got three siblings, was the youngest.

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So that kind of immediately came in to quite a

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quite large group.

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And then I always was a social being all the way through school.

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I went to school in London to a day school there, and then

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had a dream that I was going to be an astrophysicist.

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Well, it's very hard at school and I went and began that journey,

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actually started taking my completed 20 credits at Stanford

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with a view to being an astrophysicist one day, but

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had a major kind of

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awakening

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as one of my favorite musicians of my life,

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a guy called Branford Marsalis, the saxophone player.

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I was performing on campus at Stanford, and

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and I ended up having the fortune longer story for another day.

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But of meeting him, you know, kind of as a spotty teenager,

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just introduced myself to him and ended up having lunch.

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And he basically was like

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he turned my impressionable mind towards maybe I should be doing something else

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that's a bit more emotive and a bit more focused on my material passion,

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which is people.

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And that came down to writing songs, expressing myself. And

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then I really wanted to make a go of it.

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So moved back to London, 18 years old.

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I kind of agreed with my, my dad, David Lovett.

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He was

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the managing director at Arthur Andersen,

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and then he was the managing partner for Alixpartners for a number of years.

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And we made it we cut a deal that I would go back to university

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in five years if I didn't sign a signed a record deal.

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So I had from 18 to 23 and during that time I had a few things

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to do, had to get some income because he wasn't going to support this

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in terms of cash in the in the wallet

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to buy buy beers on the weekends and stuff.

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So went out and start getting some some day

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job work going works in warehouses mostly.

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There's some stuff in recruitment, just whatever I could get paid to do

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and I also started a company when I was 18

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with a couple of friends, school communion, communion music,

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which is still around today, 16 years on as a record label publishing company.

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And it was a promotions business and a lot of that was around

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trying to elevate folks that were kind of on the fringes of the mainstream

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musicians who are writing songs that you may not have obviously thought

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of as being radio hits and finding a way to making them successful.

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So over those next couple of years, kind of

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before Mumford Sons even became a thing,

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we had a lot of a lot of success doing that.

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And kind of early, early hit artists included

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people like Ben Howard and Michael Kiwanuka and Gotye.

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You know, that was all around us or 2010

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times sales, nine and ten.

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And we had been beginning working with those assets ahead of that.

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We got an invite as a band.

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So I started started the band with with again, a few friends.

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Marcus and I went to school.

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We go back since we were seven years old together

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and we decided to have a go writing together

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and touring and and that was an amazing kind of chemistry match.

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We had actually played together with another band and our teens and early

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teens.

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And then, you know, one thing led to another.

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We found ourselves out in

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in South by Southwest

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one year, I think it was 2009,

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we met a

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an incredible man called Daniel Glass

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who subsequently went on to sign the band.

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And we were working with Universal outside of North America.

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But Daniel and his team at Glass Night were taking care of our releases

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for for North America and still do.

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And we met Daniel that we.

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Oh, thank you as well.

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Like yeah yeah they made a connection

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and and and and so of course I'm going with the communion.

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I moved to New York around 2011

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from London

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and in 2015

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decided to having kind of seen a lot of the consolidation

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of the live events industry and

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a lot of the challenges for independence in the live events industry

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decided to start a company called Venue Group with my brother and my dad,

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which is still going today.

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And we are growing

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currently in the process of

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rolling out 12 venues across the US and UK.

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We've had a lot of joy in London with a couple of places,

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O'Meara and Lafayette and yeah,

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that's kind of my life in a nutshell.

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Like I said, it all comes down to being fascinated by people.

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The journey we go on, the emotions we feel,

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the interaction between us all and what makes people tick.

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And that has manifested itself into writing songs

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and putting on festivals and building venues.

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And so when asked to have a conversation, especially with someone

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like wrote off, I was excited

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to learn more about another human being, which is kind of why I did it.

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Thank you so many things we're going to come back

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through from founding things to understanding people.

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So roll off over over to you.

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Spencer I think we should reverse the order.

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You know,

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I think, you know, Ben, as a as an artist understands the art of crescendo.

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I feel like I'm going to die crescendos here. So.

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So when I was presented with this opportunity, I jumped at it

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because I absolutely love the music that you make.

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And many of the artists that you've supported through Communion

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are in my lists favorite songs.

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So I really appreciate everything you do, and you're

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sort of the quintessential Renaissance man with this combination of intellect,

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the ability to study physics and incredible musical talent.

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As somebody whose children

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immediately ask him

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to stop humming along to songs

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of jealousy in the most positive sense of the word.

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So admire what you do.

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I grew up in South Africa, so we have a collection of people here.

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Today was probably accents

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that are maybe a little bit foreign to an American audience.

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I finished high school in 1990, which is the year that the ANC

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was unbanned and Nelson Mandela was released.

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As it turns out, my grandfather was actually a prominent

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politician in South Africa and he served in Nelson Mandela's cabinet

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after the first democratic election.

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And unfortunately, my grandmother passed away and he retired from politics,

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but he was minister of foreign affairs, which is sort of

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an equivalent of foreign secretary in the United States.

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And it meant that I had this

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view of the world and an aspiration to go and play on a bigger stage as possible.

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So I decided to become a British actuary

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when I finished high school and I went to university.

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So I studied natural science, economics and statistics

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and had a deep love of math.

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And then realized that if I didn't want to be an actuary,

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got an opportunity to come to Stanford as well.

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And I got an MBA here in 2000.

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As it

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turns out, there was an

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emerging markets currency crisis in 1998, and the rand that I'd saved to come

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to Stanford lost 40% of its value literally the month before I came,

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and I didn't have enough money to get through business school.

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And so by the time that Ellen made me my third offer to join x dot

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com PayPal, the combined company in March of 2000, I said, yes

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because I didn't have enough money, partly

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because I didn't have enough money to pay rent the next month.

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And so I joined PayPal while I was at school, helped the company, built

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its financial models, joined full time after I graduated, became

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the CFO, took the company public the first time it went public in 2002.

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And then eBay acquired us later that year.

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Michael Moritz, who is one of the partners at Sequoia

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Capital, after the acquisition, asked me if I'd interview

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because they were looking for somebody who had a computer science degree

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who was in product management, an enterprise software company.

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And I sort of pointed out that I didn't meet any of the three criteria,

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but Sheryl interview

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and I left every interview thinking it was the last interview,

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and I was surprised that they made me an offer.

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And for years I was wondering whether we're going to figure out

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that I wasn't the person they were looking for.

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But it worked out in the end.

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I've been there for 18 years.

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I've invested in a variety of companies, so I have really eclectic interests.

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So I invested in YouTube.

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The three founders of Friends of mine from PayPal days.

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So there were literally

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just the three of them in a garage in Menlo Park when they first started,

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and we were their first business address and I worked with them every day

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for the first couple of months as we got that business going

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out to invest in another social media company, Instagram.

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With my financial services background, I helped us invest in Square,

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where I'm still a board got involved there over a decade ago.

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I took a keen interest in bioinformatics and genetics

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just after the Human Genome Project

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and invested in a company called Natera, which is not a public company,

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and it's the leading technology for helping people have healthy babies,

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which is just incredible when you think about the

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you know, when you go to the companies office

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and you see all the photographs that people send in of of healthy babies,

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it really touches you emotionally

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and understanding that this company is making a huge difference in the world.

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And that led subsequently

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to our investment in 23 and me, where I'm still on the board as well.

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And then a couple of other companies, you know, Eventbrite in the event management

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space, MongoDB, a database company, Unity, which is a software development tool.

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It just

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I love learning about new businesses and I love understanding why entrepreneurs

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do what they do, what motivates them, and where they got their ideas.

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I said, Well, I to use the word eclectic, I think like then

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your eclectic range of interest and experience leads to pretty rich

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pickings for a conversation.

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So why don't we tee off with that last thought of yours rolled off?

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And you know, Ben, you obviously know worldwide as a musician,

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but as an entrepreneur, you're gaining an increasingly prominent reputation.

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What what you spoke about understanding people as being a driver for you.

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Does the motivation for starting businesses

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feel a bit like the motivation for being a musician or what's

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what's different, what's what's what feels the same?

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I think entrepreneurship and creativity are kind of

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inextricably linked, that they use a very similar part of the brain.

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It's just about the application right?

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It's the creation of a

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of a song is

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the same as in some ways the creation of a product package

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or an org chart or

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like involves thinking of something that doesn't exist

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and creating it and then implementing it.

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Same with a couplet or a melody.

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I think that

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sort that underlies all of it for me

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is I'm just really interested to know why people do anything.

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You know, we're born with no inputs, we have instincts

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and we go about the world and things happen to us.

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And a mixture between our kind of nature and nurture leads to

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a series of decisions

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that we make and reactions that we make that

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inform an entire life.

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And I think it's just so interesting that kind of

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I've always liked the idea of being able to charter of my own course.

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Mumford & Sons

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is a is a very independently minded bands.

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Communion is a pretty independent record label and promotions company.

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Venue Group is a family business,

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partly just out of an idea that you could

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you could pick up and go at any point and

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and that adaptability

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means that you can stay true to the idea

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of being human.

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Things change.

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And sometimes there's a lag between what's going on in the world

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and the markets and the financial markets especially, and what you need to be doing

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at any given moment.

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I'm looking forward to having my very first child this year

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and it would be

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impacts of that and decisions that I'll make around that,

00:14:20:04 - 00:14:24:26
that I weave within my course, within my own life.

00:14:24:26 - 00:14:27:21
I encourage anyone who works. That's not just a leadership thing.

00:14:27:21 - 00:14:33:04
That's not something that's not a and a privilege of a CEO.

00:14:33:09 - 00:14:33:29
I think of that.

00:14:33:29 - 00:14:37:21
So a culture that can be creative so that you empower people

00:14:37:21 - 00:14:40:27
to be true to themselves and ultimately

00:14:40:27 - 00:14:43:19
be aligned with their unique genetic code.

00:14:44:17 - 00:14:49:06
Because any time that we've tried to standardize people into boxes

00:14:49:06 - 00:14:54:02
and stack them up into anything that feels formulaic, I think this failed.

00:14:54:15 - 00:14:55:26
And the more time that we allow that

00:14:55:26 - 00:15:01:02
to kind of lift the lid on that, the more exciting it gets.

00:15:01:02 - 00:15:03:16
So again, knowing that there's a,

00:15:04:18 - 00:15:04:25
you know,

00:15:04:25 - 00:15:08:11
over 100 entrepreneurs who share that mindset, I think

00:15:08:17 - 00:15:11:26
I think that's really exciting on this on this call today.

00:15:12:09 - 00:15:15:08
Which say and I think empowering those around

00:15:15:25 - 00:15:19:05
us is also something that's that we're going to come back to.

00:15:19:05 - 00:15:20:18
I think really.

00:15:20:18 - 00:15:24:19
I'm curious before we ask you about, you know, you obsess

00:15:24:19 - 00:15:28:15
about why entrepreneurs doing things and what personal problems that

00:15:28:21 - 00:15:30:00
that they're trying to solve.

00:15:30:00 - 00:15:34:15
But for yourself as an investor, what the some of the thoughts

00:15:34:15 - 00:15:38:01
that that Ben shared that resonate with why you do what you do.

00:15:38:11 - 00:15:40:11
It does it's

00:15:40:21 - 00:15:43:24
the pieces I've been thinking about is the creator piece.

00:15:43:24 - 00:15:46:21
So an artist and an entrepreneur in some sense of these

00:15:47:18 - 00:15:49:19
people who create something out of nothing.

00:15:49:19 - 00:15:52:02
And this beautiful piece of music didn't exist.

00:15:52:02 - 00:15:55:02
The software that helps you achieve something didn't exist.

00:15:55:02 - 00:15:58:00
Somebody had an idea and they not only had the idea,

00:15:58:10 - 00:16:01:10
but they had the energy to turn that into something

00:16:01:18 - 00:16:04:23
and probably iterated and failed along the way.

00:16:05:09 - 00:16:06:24
These things are not linear and I think that

00:16:06:24 - 00:16:10:19
sometimes taken for granted that, you know, oh, this this beautiful song

00:16:10:19 - 00:16:14:26
pops out or this beautiful poem pops out and this beautiful company pops up.

00:16:15:07 - 00:16:16:18
It's hard work.

00:16:16:18 - 00:16:19:12
And this failure along the way and there's, you know, all the drafts

00:16:19:12 - 00:16:22:04
that are lying on the floor that nobody recognized.

00:16:22:04 - 00:16:27:09
I mean, when they do these images of the the monsters and you see all the sketches

00:16:27:09 - 00:16:30:21
that were underneath that eventually led to the beautiful painting that you see.

00:16:30:21 - 00:16:32:26
Now you realize that it's an iterative process.

00:16:32:26 - 00:16:36:12
And so so I love that, you know, wonderful parallels

00:16:36:12 - 00:16:39:22
me with what you've done is communion is backing the unknown underdog.

00:16:40:14 - 00:16:42:25
Yeah the artists that you mentioned earlier,

00:16:43:13 - 00:16:45:09
I remember the first time I listened to Gotye.

00:16:45:09 - 00:16:48:09
And you know, I love discovering that new artists,

00:16:48:09 - 00:16:49:29
I love being at the forefront of being able

00:16:49:29 - 00:16:52:10
to tell my friends about a new musician that I've discovered.

00:16:52:10 - 00:16:53:15
And to me, there's something similar

00:16:53:15 - 00:16:56:10
about discovering a company that isn't yet a household name.

00:16:57:00 - 00:16:59:24
You know, it's wonderful to be involved in businesses that once,

00:16:59:24 - 00:17:03:11
you know, when you invested in YouTube, there were 9000 users for YouTube,

00:17:03:17 - 00:17:07:13
9000 registered users for a service that today has billions of users.

00:17:07:17 - 00:17:10:14
It's wonderful to be at that inception and to be able to help that

00:17:10:25 - 00:17:13:00
underdog realize their ambition.

00:17:13:21 - 00:17:16:11
And the last piece I'd say is imagination is the thing that I think

00:17:16:11 - 00:17:19:26
is under underappreciated when it comes to technology startups.

00:17:20:26 - 00:17:24:02
It's really incredible to think about what these companies can turn into

00:17:24:02 - 00:17:27:16
if you just think long term instead of just you know, what's going to

00:17:27:25 - 00:17:30:04
be accomplished in the next week, the next month,

00:17:30:04 - 00:17:31:21
you see the kernel of something new.

00:17:31:21 - 00:17:33:21
Imagine what it could be in a decade's time.

00:17:34:03 - 00:17:38:17
Because the journey of failure is is something to be relished

00:17:38:23 - 00:17:41:12
and it's something that you can practice as well.

00:17:41:22 - 00:17:42:06
Right.

00:17:42:06 - 00:17:44:14
So you can you can practice to love it

00:17:44:14 - 00:17:49:10
and see big things growing up for me in my house where we had one computer

00:17:49:28 - 00:17:54:11
that we installed in the mid-nineties that was like the home computer,

00:17:54:18 - 00:17:57:22
the password to get on that computer was anything is possible.

00:17:57:28 - 00:18:00:07
So that basically describes my mother.

00:18:00:07 - 00:18:03:09
And then the other thing was that as opposed to outside my bedroom,

00:18:03:26 - 00:18:06:13
which my dad, which is sort of a growing body

00:18:06:13 - 00:18:10:21
going off into the distance and it said success is a journey, not a destination.

00:18:11:17 - 00:18:16:01
And I think I think the Post was kind of a mixture of both of those.

00:18:16:01 - 00:18:18:15
To your first point right off, I think we just have to

00:18:19:20 - 00:18:22:16
you have to enjoy

00:18:22:16 - 00:18:25:18
the hardships of failure

00:18:25:18 - 00:18:28:13
and the pushbacks, and

00:18:28:18 - 00:18:31:00
because otherwise you end up being a better winner.

00:18:31:26 - 00:18:34:19
Why even even even if you are lucky enough to win

00:18:34:19 - 00:18:40:16
and there's not all of this stuff, and if you haven't enjoys

00:18:40:17 - 00:18:43:08
how you got there, then you end up feeling quite

00:18:44:09 - 00:18:45:04
discombobulated.

00:18:45:04 - 00:18:49:20
I've met I've met some people who I'm shocked at how hollow and

00:18:50:10 - 00:18:55:25
and kind of sad that supposed riches and victories are and fame or whatever

00:18:55:25 - 00:19:00:09
it is, because I've actually never really kind of taken stock as they gone.

00:19:01:06 - 00:19:05:28
And I've always been aware by looking up as you go and

00:19:06:20 - 00:19:10:01
and kind of being okay with things not going

00:19:10:10 - 00:19:13:04
okay on any given day and going to bed and being like that was

00:19:13:07 - 00:19:14:15
that was part of the process.

00:19:14:15 - 00:19:16:20
And has a certain amount of humility or

00:19:18:10 - 00:19:20:12
submissiveness to the process.

00:19:20:12 - 00:19:24:18
I'm thrilled that you touch on luck because it's it's early in the week

00:19:24:18 - 00:19:28:24
watching an old interview of of roll off to sit down for business school

00:19:28:24 - 00:19:32:10
talking about about luck and success being both both necessary

00:19:32:19 - 00:19:35:27
sorry luck and skill rather both being necessary for success, but

00:19:36:00 - 00:19:38:08
but not sufficient on their own.

00:19:39:01 - 00:19:42:21
Does maybe to you, I'd love to talk about the role

00:19:42:21 - 00:19:46:23
that plays in music then, but maybe just before that roll off

00:19:47:12 - 00:19:51:28
does for you as an investor, you have moments in your life

00:19:51:28 - 00:19:54:05
that you look back on where you felt, Yeah, I was.

00:19:54:05 - 00:19:55:20
I was in my decision making.

00:19:55:20 - 00:19:57:22
Super lucky with something that happened. I don't know.

00:19:57:22 - 00:19:59:22
I picked that right, but I didn't see that.

00:19:59:27 - 00:20:01:10
And it became a great success.

00:20:01:10 - 00:20:05:08
And and how has how is luck played a role in your life as an investor?

00:20:05:21 - 00:20:07:02
A huge role.

00:20:07:02 - 00:20:10:07
To some extent you have to create this serendipity.

00:20:10:07 - 00:20:13:09
So I had a sense that Silicon Valley was an incredible place

00:20:13:19 - 00:20:14:17
sitting in South Africa.

00:20:14:17 - 00:20:18:10
I didn't know what venture capital was when I first landed in California,

00:20:18:25 - 00:20:21:06
but I had this intuition from everything that I've been reading,

00:20:21:06 - 00:20:25:26
that there was something special happening with new company creation and changing

00:20:25:26 - 00:20:28:28
the future here in the epicenter of technology in the Bay Area.

00:20:28:28 - 00:20:29:11
And so

00:20:30:12 - 00:20:31:17
I was smart enough to get here.

00:20:31:17 - 00:20:33:09
I didn't know where it would lead.

00:20:33:09 - 00:20:35:13
And so I often encouraged people earlier in their career,

00:20:35:13 - 00:20:40:00
put yourself in a position to be lucky, open up doors of possibilities.

00:20:40:16 - 00:20:43:12
The worst thing to do is to close the options that are available to you.

00:20:43:16 - 00:20:45:18
And if you take a well-trodden path, you know

00:20:45:19 - 00:20:47:21
you're never going to do anything unusual or special.

00:20:48:00 - 00:20:51:18
So take that chance, take that meeting, you know, whether it was,

00:20:51:29 - 00:20:55:08
you know, one of my classmates at Stanford who introduced me to Elon,

00:20:55:24 - 00:20:58:26
and I was interested in the intersection of financial services and technology.

00:20:58:26 - 00:21:02:27
But serendipitously there was this Australian friend of mine.

00:21:02:27 - 00:21:04:05
We were on the rugby team together

00:21:04:05 - 00:21:06:20
at the business school and he said, Oh, I met this guy.

00:21:06:20 - 00:21:09:13
Elon is starting a fintech company, you should go meet him.

00:21:09:13 - 00:21:11:11
And that's how that introduction happened.

00:21:11:11 - 00:21:12:24
And I was willing to take the chance.

00:21:12:24 - 00:21:17:25
I think being willing to put yourself out there and being willing to look stupid.

00:21:17:25 - 00:21:21:00
Sometimes I think too often people are trapped

00:21:21:00 - 00:21:23:07
by fear, the fear of failure.

00:21:24:01 - 00:21:26:27
And everybody who's been successful has had so many failures.

00:21:26:27 - 00:21:30:28
You know, Max Levchin, who is the co-founder of PayPal, was bankrupt twice

00:21:32:01 - 00:21:34:11
to failed companies before he started Paypal

00:21:34:11 - 00:21:35:08


00:21:35:09 - 00:21:38:12
And instead of being tail between his legs and giving up, he just persevered.

00:21:38:12 - 00:21:40:20
And, you know, you had lots of other great ideas.

00:21:40:20 - 00:21:42:24
And the next one was a huge success.

00:21:42:24 - 00:21:45:11
And he's another huge success now with a company called Affirm.

00:21:45:11 - 00:21:48:13
So you just, you know, take another at bat.

00:21:48:13 - 00:21:50:01
Just take another chance.

00:21:50:01 - 00:21:52:00
We've got Nelly listening in our mind.

00:21:52:00 - 00:21:54:19
She's been a previous superstar guest with with Max.

00:21:54:19 - 00:21:56:15
So we might we might turn it in any later.

00:21:56:15 - 00:21:59:10
But and Ben, to go to your father's poster of

00:21:59:12 - 00:22:03:04
of of success, being that that journey rather than the outcome,

00:22:03:15 - 00:22:06:22
does it does your journey feel nonlinear to use lost?

00:22:07:10 - 00:22:11:18
Does it does it feel like a bumpy ride and a wonderful way?

00:22:11:18 - 00:22:13:07
Yeah, definitely. And

00:22:15:01 - 00:22:16:05
today I'm

00:22:16:05 - 00:22:18:26
happy that it didn't work out the way I hoped it was.

00:22:19:14 - 00:22:22:14
You know, I went through a

00:22:22:25 - 00:22:24:10
very library

00:22:24:10 - 00:22:27:13
divorce in 2015 and it was one of those life

00:22:27:13 - 00:22:32:08
changing moments where I saw kind of a 50 year plan crumble before my eyes.

00:22:32:26 - 00:22:37:04
And at the time I thought, Wow, that's it.

00:22:37:04 - 00:22:41:15
Everything I do from here is going to be kind of the B version of the planet,

00:22:43:01 - 00:22:44:15
which couldn't have been more wrong.

00:22:44:15 - 00:22:49:05
Like every time that's something major, you know, nothing's been as major as that.

00:22:49:10 - 00:22:52:20
Anything that's been a major setback or failure in my life

00:22:53:09 - 00:22:57:01
that I kind of have now learned to be somewhat

00:22:57:03 - 00:23:01:15
okay and happy with the idea that that I was I was wrong.

00:23:02:03 - 00:23:05:11
That was not the way that was not the formula, that was not there.

00:23:06:00 - 00:23:09:25
That was not the content of the approach or the plan that was the right

00:23:10:15 - 00:23:11:10
the right path.

00:23:12:10 - 00:23:13:14
But you can't dwell on it.

00:23:13:14 - 00:23:14:01
And I

00:23:14:01 - 00:23:15:22
it certainly hasn't made me more famous,

00:23:15:22 - 00:23:18:05
but if anything, it's made me more reckless.

00:23:18:05 - 00:23:20:02
More reckless and more up for the risk.

00:23:20:02 - 00:23:24:11
And and I do know people who I lost,

00:23:25:18 - 00:23:27:20
friends and colleagues and people

00:23:27:20 - 00:23:32:00
who are very much paralyzed by fear.

00:23:32:00 - 00:23:36:18
And I just think of the reality that we don't get to choose when we don't

00:23:37:29 - 00:23:39:28
in the sense that,

00:23:40:01 - 00:23:43:17
you know, this idea of I guess it's more like, I can't do that.

00:23:43:20 - 00:23:47:15
I can't I can't risk what I have right now and trying to save up for this.

00:23:47:15 - 00:23:53:05
And that's all assuming that you have some sort of control over your time period

00:23:53:06 - 00:23:56:20
and what your actual lifespan is going to be and what's going to happen.

00:23:56:27 - 00:23:59:00
You know, I think that it's

00:24:00:10 - 00:24:02:00
that life is very short,

00:24:02:00 - 00:24:05:08
even if you're lucky enough to kind of clocked up the oxygen area,

00:24:06:11 - 00:24:10:02
you know, the for the four innings.

00:24:10:02 - 00:24:13:08
But and I just think we need to we need to be

00:24:13:08 - 00:24:16:23
we need to embrace the idea that that is many different chapters

00:24:16:23 - 00:24:20:02
and potentially even different novels within our within our life

00:24:20:02 - 00:24:23:20
to be able to just have a go, it could be a complete success.

00:24:23:26 - 00:24:25:27
It could be a failure, could be whatever.

00:24:25:27 - 00:24:28:27
And then you just sort of dust yourself off and you go again, I love

00:24:28:27 - 00:24:32:24
how many lives and I wrote was a great example of this obviously is on is

00:24:33:02 - 00:24:35:17
is enjoying and many life life

00:24:37:11 - 00:24:39:11
and I hope to do the same

00:24:39:11 - 00:24:42:23
in any way to really move on to that next life is to

00:24:42:27 - 00:24:46:16
to have a proper full 100% engagement in your current one.

00:24:47:16 - 00:24:50:01
Also sounds like your cut out for seed investing as well.

00:24:50:15 - 00:24:52:26
So I hope you write off.

00:24:53:02 - 00:24:54:02
On that theme.

00:24:54:02 - 00:24:57:17
I'm trying to think about the precise code, but Picasso said something about how

00:24:58:16 - 00:24:59:07
to learn to paint.

00:24:59:07 - 00:25:01:27
You almost have to go back to being a child,

00:25:01:27 - 00:25:04:05
and as we grow older, we become so inhibited.

00:25:04:28 - 00:25:08:01
And there's something to me about and I tell this to young team members

00:25:08:01 - 00:25:09:27
who join us at Square, you need to maintain

00:25:09:27 - 00:25:13:21
a certain sense of naivete, a willingness to believe, a willingness to dream.

00:25:14:14 - 00:25:16:26
And that's what can unlock really special achievements.

00:25:16:26 - 00:25:20:00
But as soon as you become trapped and cloistered in your own

00:25:20:00 - 00:25:22:16
phobias, that's when you just end up with mediocrity.

00:25:23:10 - 00:25:24:11
So think like a child.

00:25:24:11 - 00:25:27:08
Just don't become a curmudgeon at the.

00:25:27:28 - 00:25:30:25
A quick Google suggests every child is an artist.

00:25:30:25 - 00:25:35:24
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

00:25:35:24 - 00:25:38:20
I think for everyone listening, it's pretty self-evident

00:25:38:20 - 00:25:43:09
how self-aware you both are and how thoughtful you both are.

00:25:44:14 - 00:25:47:07
How you both plan your your lives and your businesses

00:25:47:07 - 00:25:52:03
you both spoke to, to jumping forward five, ten, 15 years and looking back

00:25:53:01 - 00:25:55:09
maybe to start with, you roll off

00:25:55:09 - 00:25:58:09
because you do it both for Sequoia, but you also do it for your portfolio funders.

00:25:58:27 - 00:26:02:02
Could you maybe share some insight of how you do that?

00:26:02:02 - 00:26:05:21
And, and, and what what comes from it? Sure.

00:26:05:21 - 00:26:08:11
So like I mentioned, I'm still on the board at Square.

00:26:08:24 - 00:26:11:28
We we invested very early, you know, in just a very small company.

00:26:11:28 - 00:26:16:08
And Larry Summers joined the board, the former US Treasury secretary,

00:26:16:19 - 00:26:20:18
and he gave us a fabulous exercise for offsite event, which was to do a pre

00:26:20:19 - 00:26:24:00
mortem and a pre parade.

00:26:24:00 - 00:26:25:15
And what we ended up doing was

00:26:26:16 - 00:26:28:29
forcing the company to think about five years from now,

00:26:29:03 - 00:26:33:16
you're wonderfully successful, you've achieved everything you imagine.

00:26:33:16 - 00:26:36:20
Write the script for how that occurred.

00:26:36:20 - 00:26:38:21
And then conversely, imagine it's five years now

00:26:38:21 - 00:26:40:24
and you didn't live up to those expectations.

00:26:40:24 - 00:26:43:01
In fact, it's been a miserable failure.

00:26:43:01 - 00:26:44:29
What might have led to that?

00:26:44:29 - 00:26:46:09
And we apply this in our companies.

00:26:46:09 - 00:26:47:28
We applied to ourselves at Sequoia.

00:26:47:28 - 00:26:51:01
We had an offsite and you know, the slides we had to fill out

00:26:51:01 - 00:26:53:27
was 20, 30 obituary for Sequoia.

00:26:54:11 - 00:26:56:03
What went wrong?

00:26:56:03 - 00:26:59:25
And it is an incredible way to focus your mind on the first order issues

00:26:59:25 - 00:27:01:28
because there's so many things that distract you every day

00:27:02:05 - 00:27:03:19
as you build your company

00:27:03:19 - 00:27:06:23
and not to trivialize those, those are important decisions.

00:27:07:08 - 00:27:09:20
But there are a couple of crucible decisions

00:27:10:09 - 00:27:12:23
that really determine the ultimate outcome of your company.

00:27:12:23 - 00:27:15:22
And it's very, very important for you as a founder to focus

00:27:15:22 - 00:27:17:28
on those crucible issues and to get them right.

00:27:18:16 - 00:27:21:24
It's like, well, everyone I think every early stage fund is got a free

00:27:22:07 - 00:27:26:04
Sequoia portfolio support less than three more times than pre parades.

00:27:26:22 - 00:27:30:01
So I don't know first minute might still that role a caveat

00:27:30:24 - 00:27:32:18
and now what about you and.

00:27:32:18 - 00:27:36:21
Way that's that's part of the beauty of ideas ideas are so wonderful to share

00:27:37:24 - 00:27:38:28
right it doesn't cost

00:27:38:28 - 00:27:41:28
me anything to share an idea like that just like I can learn from you.

00:27:41:28 - 00:27:44:28
And that's, you know, part of what's wonderful about the ecosystem of giving in

00:27:44:28 - 00:27:47:17
Silicon Valley is that ideas flourish.

00:27:47:28 - 00:27:49:28
I was listening to your Bloomberg interview last week

00:27:49:28 - 00:27:52:28
about the Sequoia memo, and it's that spirit of sharing,

00:27:53:20 - 00:27:57:10
I feel is part of, at least as an outsider, feels part of your DNA.

00:27:57:14 - 00:28:00:24
If then what about you in terms of how

00:28:01:21 - 00:28:04:23
how your behavior is sort of shaped by

00:28:06:06 - 00:28:08:03
your evidence, self-awareness?

00:28:08:03 - 00:28:09:02
I think

00:28:09:25 - 00:28:12:21
it's interesting because part of me

00:28:12:21 - 00:28:15:25
challenges the five year, because five years is a very long time.

00:28:17:16 - 00:28:19:05
And I do.

00:28:19:05 - 00:28:22:01
I do wonder and some of my own experiences have been

00:28:22:01 - 00:28:25:19
what a difference a year can make and what essence two years to make.

00:28:25:19 - 00:28:29:13
And people sometimes can almost like that five falls events

00:28:29:13 - 00:28:31:25
that trapping us talking about in terms of planning

00:28:32:13 - 00:28:35:17
you know there's probably lots of pre grades

00:28:35:18 - 00:28:38:10
and pre mortems to be done within the five year window as well.

00:28:38:28 - 00:28:42:26
But then I'm going to be more confusingly critical

00:28:43:05 - 00:28:46:29
and say that something that drives me on is kind of

00:28:46:29 - 00:28:50:24
what would they say about my life might have been spent on when I'm gone?

00:28:50:24 - 00:28:53:06
So I actually look at my eulogy.

00:28:53:06 - 00:28:57:19
I think about it probably morbidly too much and wonder when that time does come

00:28:58:01 - 00:29:01:07
and I don't get to choose when that's going to be, how I live.

00:29:01:07 - 00:29:05:29
Well, you know, will my family be proud of me?

00:29:05:29 - 00:29:09:08
Will my dependants among my my loved ones, will they

00:29:10:12 - 00:29:12:17
say that I was there for them, supported them?

00:29:12:17 - 00:29:16:27
Well, the industry that I work in say that I did something that contributed

00:29:16:27 - 00:29:17:14
towards it.

00:29:17:14 - 00:29:19:23
While a rather than a golf course.

00:29:21:06 - 00:29:23:11
Will there be strangers

00:29:23:11 - 00:29:26:00
who benefit since, you know, philanthropy

00:29:26:27 - 00:29:29:03
is some sort of and kind of

00:29:30:27 - 00:29:34:03
I'd like to suggest that somewhat of a study of concepts

00:29:34:07 - 00:29:37:07
within conversations like this, because it's seen as virtue signaling,

00:29:38:04 - 00:29:40:07
but it's not there's something incredibly

00:29:42:06 - 00:29:44:15
beautiful, especially if you think about a eulogy

00:29:44:15 - 00:29:49:28
where your life can benefit at least one of us, if not many more.

00:29:49:28 - 00:29:54:09
And if everyone had that approach than then we wouldn't be dealing

00:29:54:09 - 00:29:58:01
with the problems that we're dealing with, with the MDGs and all of that.

00:29:58:01 - 00:30:01:14
So I do I do think about paying for it a lot.

00:30:02:01 - 00:30:06:10
I do think about creating frameworks where I can be present if people around me

00:30:07:05 - 00:30:13:03
wash my face, people I tends to relationships.

00:30:13:03 - 00:30:16:06
And it's hard as this is a process that and it keeps me

00:30:16:13 - 00:30:18:00
this all gets me out of bed in the morning.

00:30:18:00 - 00:30:20:26
That being present and that intent resonates a lot.

00:30:20:27 - 00:30:24:25
Actually, I made a pact with my mum a few years ago saying that's,

00:30:25:00 - 00:30:27:19
you know, let's not wait until one of us is pegged

00:30:28:07 - 00:30:30:20
for the nicest things we say about each other to be in a eulogy

00:30:30:20 - 00:30:34:25
and to start thinking of everything as wholesomely as fulsomely as possible.

00:30:34:25 - 00:30:35:21
While we're also here

00:30:36:26 - 00:30:38:07
maybe to shift

00:30:38:07 - 00:30:42:21
gears a little bit, when you're investing, what do you invest in?

00:30:42:21 - 00:30:44:24
Do do tech investing?

00:30:44:24 - 00:30:47:23
How does how does it lots of lots of people,

00:30:47:23 - 00:30:50:15
I'm sure would love to know how you how you think about that.

00:30:50:28 - 00:30:55:01
I've invested a bunch of stuff I think similar to what an this

00:30:55:01 - 00:30:58:15
normally starts with fascination about the why

00:30:59:01 - 00:31:01:15
the entrepreneur and what's what's made them tick

00:31:02:21 - 00:31:06:08
sometimes more so than even what they've figured out this time around.

00:31:06:08 - 00:31:10:08
I like to sometimes just kind of jump in with people who what

00:31:10:17 - 00:31:14:00
I just believe in.

00:31:14:00 - 00:31:20:19
I've done various things and then I like the social platform.

00:31:20:19 - 00:31:23:29
The fashion company is a great menswear

00:31:24:00 - 00:31:27:10
company called Lestrange Strange.

00:31:27:10 - 00:31:31:23
I supported a few years ago and I just got names in equities, fastest

00:31:31:23 - 00:31:35:02
growing companies as the second fastest growing fashion brand out of the UK.

00:31:35:20 - 00:31:37:29
So that I'm very proud of them.

00:31:37:29 - 00:31:39:28
I definitely don't do it for my

00:31:41:09 - 00:31:44:05
I do it all pretty pretty quietly I don't know that's

00:31:44:09 - 00:31:46:07
probably the irony for am I ever talk about

00:31:46:07 - 00:31:49:08
investing in companies given the nature of that audience?

00:31:49:08 - 00:31:54:14
But generally speaking, I like to kind of elevate the people whose idea

00:31:54:14 - 00:31:58:13
it was rather than be the person who theoretically helped them grow.

00:31:59:13 - 00:32:01:22
But I, I sit through maybe

00:32:02:16 - 00:32:05:08
currently I'd say four calls a week

00:32:05:09 - 00:32:08:14
as well as best friends of my advisor

00:32:09:11 - 00:32:12:15
sister and give my give my $0.02 and my feedback.

00:32:12:23 - 00:32:14:26
And it's normally just a slightly less

00:32:14:26 - 00:32:19:20
male point of view, but suits go down well and I enjoy it.

00:32:19:28 - 00:32:23:05
And then on the other side, obviously been investing for years and record

00:32:24:10 - 00:32:27:24
companies at the end of the day, you invest in the careers and the catalogs

00:32:27:24 - 00:32:28:16
of artists

00:32:29:16 - 00:32:30:09
sometimes before

00:32:30:09 - 00:32:34:02
they've even written the songs, and you're not trapped

00:32:34:02 - 00:32:37:13
and you grow with them and there's lots of risk involved in that

00:32:38:07 - 00:32:42:14
and have had some successes and some failures during that.

00:32:42:22 - 00:32:45:25
But yeah, you know, I think the thing investment

00:32:47:18 - 00:32:49:16
is all around us in lots of different ways.

00:32:49:16 - 00:32:52:18
And I've, I've done my, my fair share, but nothing

00:32:52:18 - 00:32:55:05
like what you guys do is professional investors.

00:32:55:26 - 00:32:58:07
Yeah, write ups is slightly different league having backed

00:32:58:14 - 00:33:02:07
a few totemic businesses in the last few decades, we've just got started.

00:33:02:07 - 00:33:03:25
But right off, what's your killer tip for?

00:33:03:25 - 00:33:07:18
BET on as he as he does it's four pitches a week what would what would you say?

00:33:07:18 - 00:33:11:04
Don't forget X.

00:33:11:04 - 00:33:13:18
You mean as he's evaluating an idea.

00:33:13:18 - 00:33:14:20
Exactly. Exactly.

00:33:14:20 - 00:33:14:29
So I think.

00:33:14:29 - 00:33:17:29
Part of the skill that you've developed is understanding people.

00:33:17:29 - 00:33:21:23
So if you can spot artists sort of understanding the individual

00:33:22:09 - 00:33:25:19
and not judging them in a sort of judgmental sense,

00:33:25:19 - 00:33:28:07
just sort of evaluating them, I think is an a very important

00:33:28:07 - 00:33:31:08
skill for a startup company because you're backing the founders,

00:33:31:26 - 00:33:36:17
but you don't have years of financials and proven business models.

00:33:36:17 - 00:33:38:10
You're backing people.

00:33:38:10 - 00:33:40:11
It's a people business at the end of the day,

00:33:41:04 - 00:33:43:19
and you have to win their confidence and you have to believe in them.

00:33:43:19 - 00:33:47:02
You have to believe in their idea, and that they have the stamina

00:33:47:19 - 00:33:51:03
to persevere and go through the challenges of building a company

00:33:51:03 - 00:33:52:16
because it's not open to the right.

00:33:53:20 - 00:33:56:05
It's a rollercoaster ride with tremendous setbacks,

00:33:56:05 - 00:33:59:29
and it might seem glamorous to be, as thought, a founder is hard.

00:34:00:18 - 00:34:01:16
You know, when I was in PayPal,

00:34:01:16 - 00:34:04:04
we had three near-death experiences in the time that I was there.

00:34:04:18 - 00:34:06:06
You know, the fraudsters are trying to kill us.

00:34:06:06 - 00:34:09:03
We didn't have a business model initially. Then eBay was trying to kill.

00:34:09:03 - 00:34:10:04
I mean, it's difficult.

00:34:10:04 - 00:34:13:17
And, you know, you read these newspaper articles both to Palo Alto

00:34:13:17 - 00:34:16:26
and they were making fun of us thinking that we were, you know, delusional.

00:34:17:19 - 00:34:18:13
And you need

00:34:18:13 - 00:34:21:17
you need to be able to shed those things and just let it roll off your back.

00:34:22:15 - 00:34:26:16
The thing I look for when I when I meet a company is understanding the why.

00:34:26:16 - 00:34:27:22
We've spoken about that.

00:34:27:22 - 00:34:29:05
What gave rise to this idea?

00:34:29:05 - 00:34:33:26
What was the eureka moment that had you understand that this is an opportunity

00:34:34:13 - 00:34:38:13
and it's fascinating to understand the origin story for a company and it says

00:34:38:14 - 00:34:42:03
so much about the depth of understanding that somebody has about a particular field

00:34:42:24 - 00:34:44:27
and their understanding of what it takes to solve it,

00:34:44:27 - 00:34:48:16
not just at a first order level, but all all the way down.

00:34:48:16 - 00:34:51:10
Because if there were a good solution, they would probably have picked it.

00:34:51:10 - 00:34:53:18
They wouldn't have dared to build a company around it.

00:34:54:27 - 00:34:58:04
So off to the wiring, understand what is your value proposition?

00:34:58:08 - 00:35:01:18
Explain to me why the product or idea that you have is such

00:35:01:18 - 00:35:04:29
a compelling solution to the problem that you've described.

00:35:05:02 - 00:35:08:12
And then I figure out much later about, you know, can you turn it into business?

00:35:08:12 - 00:35:12:24
Because if you can deliver incredible value to an acute problem

00:35:13:04 - 00:35:17:14
to a large audience, you've got all the ingredients you need to get going.

00:35:17:14 - 00:35:20:23
I as a follow on to that role off, have a slightly selfish question,

00:35:20:23 - 00:35:24:01
which is every time we make a seed investment, I feel like have a sort of

00:35:24:01 - 00:35:27:01
minor existential crisis of there's a huge information gap.

00:35:27:01 - 00:35:28:13
We don't know how the market's evolving.

00:35:28:13 - 00:35:31:22
We don't have enough information, as you said, rally revenue, etc..

00:35:32:08 - 00:35:35:28
When when you look back at the moment of decision

00:35:35:28 - 00:35:39:27
making over your 18 years at Sequoia or that the unities

00:35:39:27 - 00:35:43:04
and 23 armies and scrums and YouTubes as well as the ones that didn't work,

00:35:43:28 - 00:35:48:14
was there a large variance between how confident you felt

00:35:48:19 - 00:35:51:27
at the time of investment as to, yes, we should do this?

00:35:52:08 - 00:35:53:19
That's a really interesting question.

00:35:54:20 - 00:35:54:28
I think

00:35:54:28 - 00:35:57:28
you get better over time and your judgment clearly improves.

00:35:57:28 - 00:35:59:22
I think clearly if I look back

00:35:59:22 - 00:36:02:21
to the early part of my career, I was confident of decisions that

00:36:03:14 - 00:36:05:27
there was things that I should have learned.

00:36:05:27 - 00:36:08:00
You know, the part of the analogy I gave people is

00:36:08:00 - 00:36:10:12
chess players can be world class at the age of 18.

00:36:10:16 - 00:36:12:18
Founders can be a world class of age of 18.

00:36:13:10 - 00:36:17:20
Surgeons are not because surgeons need a decade or two of experience,

00:36:17:20 - 00:36:21:01
and they probably can really good by the time they're 40, not when they're 20.

00:36:21:15 - 00:36:22:22
And I feel there's something similar

00:36:22:22 - 00:36:26:08
about investing where you gain experience at a time you see

00:36:26:26 - 00:36:30:08
you see examples of things and it's it never repeats precisely.

00:36:30:24 - 00:36:33:27
But you draw from those experience to improve your judgment over time.

00:36:33:27 - 00:36:36:21
And as you improve your judgment, your confidence improves.

00:36:37:04 - 00:36:40:15
But I still say you need to be there because there are so many unknowns

00:36:40:15 - 00:36:42:13
at the point that you intersect with the company.

00:36:42:13 - 00:36:45:05
I mean, just last year, I made a seed investment with,

00:36:45:05 - 00:36:47:17
you know, before the company's formation documents were ready

00:36:48:01 - 00:36:50:16
because the person described an idea and I loved it.

00:36:50:16 - 00:36:52:18
I just fell in love with the idea.

00:36:52:18 - 00:36:55:23
And part of what I look for is, can I can I get rid of the idea?

00:36:55:28 - 00:36:57:00
If the next day I struggle

00:36:57:00 - 00:36:59:06
to remember the meeting, then it's probably not a good sign.

00:36:59:06 - 00:37:01:10
In fact, I just can't let go of the idea.

00:37:01:10 - 00:37:04:28
If I want to tell people compulsively about this wonderful idea I just heard.

00:37:05:05 - 00:37:07:29
That to me is a great sign of something that I want to be involved with.

00:37:08:14 - 00:37:11:16
We have felt also listening and I'm wondering if it's feel.

00:37:11:16 - 00:37:14:06
But I won't I won't put you on the spot

00:37:14:23 - 00:37:17:07
then maybe we've got lots of questions coming through.

00:37:17:07 - 00:37:19:17
So I think I'll turn to questions in four or 5 minutes,

00:37:20:22 - 00:37:22:00
the maybe

00:37:22:00 - 00:37:24:24
two to think about

00:37:24:24 - 00:37:28:07
the intersection of music and tech streaming

00:37:28:07 - 00:37:31:00
is something that we're seeing lots of early stage companies

00:37:32:02 - 00:37:33:18
plan towards.

00:37:33:18 - 00:37:38:04
Do you think that that could change the music landscape, like how people

00:37:38:04 - 00:37:42:06
consume music content and therefore how artists produce that content?

00:37:42:06 - 00:37:44:22
Is that something that you're thinking about? Lots.

00:37:45:01 - 00:37:48:29
I really hope we don't get to a place where people are creating

00:37:50:02 - 00:37:51:16
upside down.

00:37:51:16 - 00:37:53:09
I the

00:37:54:07 - 00:37:56:16
the window in is the

00:37:56:16 - 00:37:59:14
the the instigation that's that's almost like you

00:38:01:02 - 00:38:04:11
you read about in a sees

00:38:04:13 - 00:38:08:13
and suddenly want to go and figure out how it's be crypto or an NFT

00:38:09:02 - 00:38:15:05
it's not about chasing the success and I, I would hope

00:38:15:05 - 00:38:20:03
that even in the developments in streaming and the idea that we're having

00:38:21:03 - 00:38:22:23
an amazing amount

00:38:22:23 - 00:38:25:20
of us added to of so access to

00:38:26:23 - 00:38:30:00
creativity isn't going to mean that people are trying to kind of

00:38:31:15 - 00:38:33:00
hard wired into that system

00:38:33:00 - 00:38:37:23
and find a way to maximize the output.

00:38:37:23 - 00:38:40:12
No, I think I think actually what we're seeing

00:38:41:02 - 00:38:44:26
is a lot of noise up here is about headlines, about things

00:38:44:26 - 00:38:48:27
and all those headlines of instead an agency that is trying to tell a story

00:38:49:05 - 00:38:52:14
and shed some light on something that's very not going very well.

00:38:52:26 - 00:38:55:04
What's going on underneath all of that,

00:38:55:21 - 00:38:59:21
I think, is a retreat to the more real.

00:39:01:07 - 00:39:03:04
I think that what we're seeing

00:39:03:04 - 00:39:05:23
with certain artists

00:39:06:05 - 00:39:09:29
in music is, is that they're finding a journey

00:39:09:29 - 00:39:13:03
in which to be the most authentic and honest version of themselves.

00:39:13:23 - 00:39:18:12
And because of the way in which access is so universal. Now,

00:39:19:21 - 00:39:21:24
people can people can touch that.

00:39:23:08 - 00:39:27:15
We're not kind of in the era of costumes and presents.

00:39:27:29 - 00:39:29:11
It's like

00:39:30:13 - 00:39:32:27
you're kind of exposed for the reality of who you are. So.

00:39:33:00 - 00:39:36:14
So I was saying the thing to a musician right now wouldn't

00:39:36:14 - 00:39:41:00
be like trying to second guess what the next tech development is not like.

00:39:41:00 - 00:39:43:09
Go and think about your algorithm.

00:39:43:09 - 00:39:47:04
I'd say go and sit down with a guitar or piano

00:39:47:16 - 00:39:49:19
and go and write the best song your life.

00:39:50:05 - 00:39:53:16
And luckily, more people around the world in 2021

00:39:53:16 - 00:39:57:12
will be able to hear that in a short amount time than ever before.

00:39:58:03 - 00:39:58:20
But if you

00:39:58:20 - 00:40:01:17
haven't got anything to stop that, if there's nothing real at the beginning,

00:40:02:12 - 00:40:04:13
then you're here to take on Smart.

00:40:04:17 - 00:40:06:01
And we're seeing a lot of that.

00:40:06:01 - 00:40:10:11
And it makes up a lot of so fluff and noise in that higher level,

00:40:11:00 - 00:40:13:04
but there's still career losses to come

00:40:13:23 - 00:40:16:11
and they're the ones that we're focusing on.

00:40:16:11 - 00:40:21:12
So what their value proposition is, what their internal why is as an artist

00:40:22:25 - 00:40:26:10
and technology can amplify things incredibly effectively.

00:40:26:10 - 00:40:26:24
What now?

00:40:26:24 - 00:40:30:18
I just wouldn't I would never go through technology like that.

00:40:30:24 - 00:40:34:05
The word authenticity came to mind, as you were saying that, because that's

00:40:34:12 - 00:40:36:09
what we look for in entrepreneurs as well.

00:40:36:09 - 00:40:37:27
It's that authentic connection

00:40:37:27 - 00:40:40:14
between the entrepreneur and the problem that they're solving.

00:40:40:22 - 00:40:41:28
Yeah. Is that how.

00:40:41:28 - 00:40:45:14
Do you how there's a question on that from from Raj

00:40:45:14 - 00:40:49:27
and the audience roll off how do you test for authenticity.

00:40:49:27 - 00:40:52:27
You're asked to pose some questions and you try to understand the motivations.

00:40:53:13 - 00:40:54:13
So part of the questions

00:40:54:13 - 00:40:57:09
are to understand how deep the understand the problem at hand,

00:40:58:07 - 00:41:01:12
whether they're trying to build a company for the sake of building a company

00:41:01:12 - 00:41:02:22
that doesn't work.

00:41:02:22 - 00:41:04:12
I don't think you can become a great artist

00:41:04:12 - 00:41:05:19
because you want to be a great artist.

00:41:05:19 - 00:41:07:26
You become a great artist because you feel something

00:41:07:26 - 00:41:11:10
deep and you've got talent and passion and you can't bottle it.

00:41:11:25 - 00:41:13:25
You can't you can't force it out.

00:41:13:25 - 00:41:15:14
You're trying to restrain it almost.

00:41:15:14 - 00:41:18:07
You know, one of the quotes we have as a business is best

00:41:19:06 - 00:41:21:16
trying to hang on to thoroughbreds than pushing mules.

00:41:22:04 - 00:41:24:06
And you want to you want to get that person

00:41:24:06 - 00:41:27:15
who just has that authentic energy and truly wants to solve the problem.

00:41:27:15 - 00:41:28:10
And that really can help.

00:41:28:10 - 00:41:30:26
But bigger business they're going to build.

00:41:31:00 - 00:41:33:26
In my career, I have not come across entrepreneurs who walk in

00:41:33:26 - 00:41:36:15
and say they want to get rich or they want to build a big business.

00:41:36:27 - 00:41:39:26
It starts with the idea, the problem, the customer.

00:41:39:26 - 00:41:42:05
They're trying to serve the business

00:41:42:27 - 00:41:47:20
size as a consequence.

00:41:47:20 - 00:41:54:11
And now turning over to Q&A, David.

00:41:54:26 - 00:41:58:24
And so yeah, The Guardian launched their venture arm is now doing exciting.

00:41:58:25 - 00:42:00:20
You think so, David? Why don't you kick off?

00:42:00:20 - 00:42:01:06
Thank you.

00:42:01:06 - 00:42:05:04
What an amazing conversation with 2 to 2 human beings who kind of get it.

00:42:05:04 - 00:42:07:10
And it's lovely to hear.

00:42:07:10 - 00:42:09:16
I suppose I have multiple questions, I think.

00:42:09:16 - 00:42:13:13
I'm sorry to say that one of them probably is related to NFT. And.

00:42:13:25 - 00:42:16:13
Just trying to see whether your two brains could pick

00:42:16:13 - 00:42:20:10
through the reality of whether you think this is real.

00:42:20:10 - 00:42:21:01
I do think.

00:42:21:01 - 00:42:24:13
Perhaps from an artist's point of view that if you see

00:42:25:01 - 00:42:28:18
some of the positive news written around those sorts of currencies,

00:42:28:18 - 00:42:33:14
is it possible for individuals now to build deeper, more immersive

00:42:33:26 - 00:42:38:08
relationships with their communities and find a currency that is so dependent

00:42:38:08 - 00:42:41:12
on the quality of their output than the dependency of an.

00:42:41:12 - 00:42:43:09
Algorithm as a platform.

00:42:43:09 - 00:42:46:15
And I wondered whether you felt that there was some good

00:42:46:20 - 00:42:50:11
that could come from these currencies or whether you think it's just.

00:42:50:11 - 00:42:50:27
Like.

00:42:51:12 - 00:42:54:02
I've been on a bit of a crash course for the last,

00:42:54:19 - 00:42:58:25
I think as many of us have, but the last sort of four or five weeks I live with

00:42:59:29 - 00:43:02:26
a couple of friends and one of them

00:43:03:26 - 00:43:06:09
owns a company called Neon Gold or Selected Label,

00:43:07:08 - 00:43:10:21
and he's gone deep into the NFT space and is up all night on clubhouse

00:43:10:21 - 00:43:15:05
and I managed to get like a half an hour coffee so digestion in the morning.

00:43:15:21 - 00:43:19:28
And where I sit on it now is, is yes,

00:43:19:28 - 00:43:24:13
I do really like the idea that there's a level component to it.

00:43:24:13 - 00:43:29:00
There's a, you know, I'm kind of pretty socialistic in my thinking

00:43:29:00 - 00:43:33:13
and I like the idea that there can be a dispersal rather than this algorithmic

00:43:33:13 - 00:43:38:13
let's celebrate the kind of the queen bee type mentality I love.

00:43:38:13 - 00:43:41:03
That obviously means very much on that wavelength.

00:43:42:04 - 00:43:47:03
I also think that the principle of an ANC is

00:43:47:20 - 00:43:50:05
is kind of is kind of fun.

00:43:50:05 - 00:43:50:24
I don't know I don't know

00:43:50:24 - 00:43:53:22
whether I buy in to the amount in which people are spending around.

00:43:53:28 - 00:43:58:18
I think I think that the premise that something can be worth something

00:43:58:18 - 00:44:01:26
just because someone ascribes value to it, I think is actually

00:44:03:03 - 00:44:03:29
pretty righteous.

00:44:03:29 - 00:44:05:29
That is all right.

00:44:05:29 - 00:44:09:14
If you look at kind of poetry and songs

00:44:09:25 - 00:44:11:25
over the years

00:44:13:22 - 00:44:16:28
now, the three words Let It Be,

00:44:16:28 - 00:44:18:13
that's like

00:44:19:09 - 00:44:22:06
that means so much to so many millions of people.

00:44:22:06 - 00:44:28:06
And has generated so much value, both economic and otherwise.

00:44:28:23 - 00:44:31:09
But at the end of the day, you know, you could just say, well,

00:44:31:09 - 00:44:36:12
it's the same as just that I'm not paying £3 million for a JPEG.

00:44:36:12 - 00:44:39:01
And it's like, I'm not doing that with three words.

00:44:39:01 - 00:44:40:27
Let it be like, what's the big deal with that?

00:44:40:27 - 00:44:41:28
But it wasn't that.

00:44:41:28 - 00:44:44:26
It was the intention behind it and people got it.

00:44:45:11 - 00:44:47:25
If they didn't get it, they wouldn't have cared.

00:44:47:25 - 00:44:49:25
And I guarantee you, the tens of thousand songs

00:44:49:25 - 00:44:52:18
go out every day and people don't react to them.

00:44:52:28 - 00:44:55:01
So it's not that straightforward to do this stuff.

00:44:55:01 - 00:44:56:25
And I think that will play out.

00:44:56:25 - 00:44:57:04
Done.

00:44:57:04 - 00:45:00:01
And now Young six doing that,

00:45:01:12 - 00:45:03:18
it might seem obvious to other people

00:45:03:18 - 00:45:06:19
how to like cheat that system, but I actually think

00:45:06:19 - 00:45:09:07
there's something more going on and it's probably going to be around for

00:45:09:29 - 00:45:12:08
at least the remainder of this year.

00:45:12:08 - 00:45:13:15
It's not it's not beyond.

00:45:13:15 - 00:45:16:26
What about you on NFT?

00:45:16:26 - 00:45:21:01
I'm scratching my head around nfts because to some extent it feels like DRM

00:45:21:09 - 00:45:25:06
finally, but works.

00:45:25:06 - 00:45:26:25
What I'm probably more excited about

00:45:26:25 - 00:45:30:15
is the idea that you can build better tools for creators in general,

00:45:30:23 - 00:45:36:11
and that's part of the reason Square acquired Tidal recently.

00:45:36:11 - 00:45:38:18
I don't know if you saw that announcement and

00:45:39:18 - 00:45:41:29
I didn't know exactly how much NFT is or other things

00:45:42:03 - 00:45:44:12
form part of what will eventually build here.

00:45:44:12 - 00:45:48:08
But this idea that you can build far better tools for creators than exist today

00:45:48:12 - 00:45:49:28
and you get rid of the

00:45:49:28 - 00:45:53:29
the phenomenon of yesteryear with middlemen controlling the distribution

00:45:53:29 - 00:45:55:24
and the selection that we all benefit from.

00:45:55:24 - 00:45:58:05
And today, that's algorithmic. What is the future?

00:45:58:06 - 00:46:03:18
The future has to be different to help connect fans with artists they love.

00:46:03:18 - 00:46:06:26
And I think what I'm excited about with crypto in general has kind of changed

00:46:06:26 - 00:46:11:07
the way that the economics flow because ad supported business models have meant

00:46:11:07 - 00:46:16:02
that we are the product by definition, and you see the wave of

00:46:16:28 - 00:46:19:25
change against that, that people don't want to be the product

00:46:20:10 - 00:46:23:28
and the intrusion that it presents to our personal lives with all information

00:46:23:28 - 00:46:27:19
being sold and bartered is people resenting that.

00:46:27:28 - 00:46:30:19
So I'm really enthusiastic about maybe nfts

00:46:30:19 - 00:46:34:08
or maybe other forms of cryptocurrency enabling artists to get paid

00:46:34:08 - 00:46:37:04
for their work in a way that just is far more authentic.

00:46:37:27 - 00:46:38:26
And, you know,

00:46:40:02 - 00:46:41:10
that's all I have to say.

00:46:41:10 - 00:46:43:18
David Thank you, Paul, nice to see you.

00:46:44:18 - 00:46:46:21
Hi. I'm just interested to.

00:46:46:22 - 00:46:49:13
Hear what the panel have to say about.

00:46:50:03 - 00:46:52:06
The evolution of.

00:46:52:06 - 00:46:54:25
The organization for early stage companies.

00:46:55:17 - 00:46:56:14
A lot of people talking.

00:46:56:14 - 00:46:58:16
About staying fully distributed.

00:46:58:29 - 00:47:03:15
Other companies are saying perhaps hybrid solutions are going to be the way to go.

00:47:04:19 - 00:47:07:24
My concern is that I think that being.

00:47:07:24 - 00:47:11:19
Distributed works quite well for people who are further on in their careers.

00:47:12:04 - 00:47:13:01
People have.

00:47:13:01 - 00:47:14:24
Families and kids, great to be at home.

00:47:14:24 - 00:47:17:04
But if you're early in your. Career, if your young is single.

00:47:17:04 - 00:47:19:28
Perhaps you're going to benefit more.

00:47:19:28 - 00:47:24:13
From perhaps being in the office from an emotional point of view, from a

00:47:25:21 - 00:47:27:19
mentoring point of view.

00:47:27:19 - 00:47:30:25
These kind of serendipitous conversations that in fact, in real life

00:47:30:27 - 00:47:32:12
you talked about in.

00:47:32:12 - 00:47:35:06
What one should be looking for early in.

00:47:35:06 - 00:47:40:16
Your careers, you get those face to face in person, not necessarily so much.

00:47:40:28 - 00:47:42:21
If you're sitting at home looking at a screen.

00:47:42:21 - 00:47:46:00
So how do you think we can square this sort of desire.

00:47:46:00 - 00:47:49:18
To be to stay distributed. Together with

00:47:50:22 - 00:47:53:28
having the benefits of of being in person.

00:47:54:11 - 00:47:56:00
As as someone sat in the office?

00:47:56:00 - 00:47:57:17
Paul I love that question.

00:47:57:17 - 00:47:59:18
Paul co-founded Indeed.com.

00:48:00:02 - 00:48:02:27
I agree with you on the need for human connection.

00:48:03:13 - 00:48:07:18
All the surveys I've seen at our own company suggest that there is a minority

00:48:07:18 - 00:48:12:05
of maybe 15 to 20% of people who truly want to stay remote.

00:48:12:05 - 00:48:14:20
But the vast majority of people want to be back in the office

00:48:15:13 - 00:48:18:13
or in a hybrid fashion where they maybe have the flexibility

00:48:18:13 - 00:48:21:00
to spend a day, a week doing

00:48:21:00 - 00:48:23:29
work from home, an ability to focus and not be distracted

00:48:23:29 - 00:48:25:09
with too many meetings at the office.

00:48:25:09 - 00:48:27:14
And I think that's the future.

00:48:29:00 - 00:48:32:24
Often companies that are distributed still have pockets of excellence.

00:48:32:24 - 00:48:33:20
So unity,

00:48:33:20 - 00:48:37:16
where we got a hold of the company in 2009 when there were 30 people in Copenhagen,

00:48:37:29 - 00:48:41:13
they were a global organization from the get go

00:48:41:17 - 00:48:44:06
and they've developed into offices in over a dozen countries.

00:48:44:19 - 00:48:48:14
But where those offices reside, they're often able to concentrate talent.

00:48:48:14 - 00:48:52:09
And so people can go to an office in Montreal or in Copenhagen

00:48:52:09 - 00:48:56:08
or in San Francisco or in Singapore and meet with other like minded people.

00:48:56:08 - 00:48:58:00
And some people have been remote

00:48:58:00 - 00:49:00:18
completely from the get go at that company as well.

00:49:01:05 - 00:49:03:19
So I think we'll end up with that kind of a hybrid solution.

00:49:03:19 - 00:49:06:15
But I think the idea that all of us are going to be on our own

00:49:06:26 - 00:49:10:09
working from home or living in the office, as I like to say, indefinitely,

00:49:10:09 - 00:49:12:01
I just don't think that's the future.

00:49:12:01 - 00:49:14:12
We're a social species by definition.

00:49:15:14 - 00:49:17:04
That's my prediction.

00:49:17:04 - 00:49:19:08
That will be that will be music to Brent's ears right off.

00:49:19:20 - 00:49:22:27
Our own experience, when you agree with the with the auspices,

00:49:22:27 - 00:49:25:25
and we actually ask the staff kind of what they want.

00:49:27:10 - 00:49:29:03
And we've got two locations

00:49:29:03 - 00:49:32:03
in London and Nashville in Austin,

00:49:32:03 - 00:49:36:16
and 75% of people said they want to spend to a hybrid, similar to what Rolf

00:49:36:16 - 00:49:40:10
just said, with a few people saying, want to get to work every day, which we

00:49:41:10 - 00:49:43:09
can understand because their living situation

00:49:43:09 - 00:49:45:17
might be such that they actually want to work remotely.

00:49:46:11 - 00:49:48:18
And some people want to be remote all the time, which happens to be

00:49:48:18 - 00:49:51:06
the people with the best working situations.

00:49:52:09 - 00:49:55:16
So I do think that our plan and a lot of the projects

00:49:55:16 - 00:49:57:21
that we're working on that involve making mixed use

00:49:58:15 - 00:50:03:08
office staff next to the venues that we're building assumes that there's always

00:50:03:08 - 00:50:07:00
going to be a role for collaboration between people, I think is critical.

00:50:07:04 - 00:50:10:02
And then also the kind of after work element,

00:50:10:24 - 00:50:12:10
which is the kind of

00:50:12:10 - 00:50:15:26
the social work component I think is where people form connections and trust

00:50:15:26 - 00:50:20:04
that's critical to these businesses actually having some sort of mesh

00:50:20:08 - 00:50:23:16
issue and part beyond that's functional for carers.

00:50:23:16 - 00:50:26:01
Co-Founder of Brite Care, which is our first product

00:50:26:01 - 00:50:29:05
as a bioactive cream to help women with the pain of of UTIs.

00:50:29:05 - 00:50:30:22
So over to you.

00:50:30:22 - 00:50:32:08
Yeah I think my. Question is.

00:50:32:08 - 00:50:32:22
A bit more.

00:50:32:22 - 00:50:37:01
General and I think I really laughed like I'm also you're

00:50:37:01 - 00:50:38:09
in your conversation about.

00:50:38:09 - 00:50:40:15
That kind of like enjoying the journey and

00:50:41:20 - 00:50:43:01
and and

00:50:43:01 - 00:50:46:06
yeah and also, you know, celebrating like feathers in the nest.

00:50:46:06 - 00:50:48:11
And so I think. I would be more generally.

00:50:48:11 - 00:50:52:06
Interested along now, all these journeys and all these different kind of.

00:50:52:17 - 00:50:56:09
Lifetime projects you two have so far.

00:50:56:09 - 00:51:00:27
What is your your greatest learned lesson that you couldn't, for.

00:51:00:27 - 00:51:02:21
Example, share with someone.

00:51:02:21 - 00:51:04:19
Like me who. Is quite early on in.

00:51:04:19 - 00:51:09:07
This journey and is now know starting and the first company.

00:51:09:14 - 00:51:12:10
I think I'll just quickly say

00:51:12:10 - 00:51:15:29
what I've summed up to the team to the same degree and saying this

00:51:15:29 - 00:51:19:11
this year is of course, three things that I want the team

00:51:19:11 - 00:51:20:23
to focus on

00:51:22:17 - 00:51:25:01
so we can say these are learnings of the last couple of years

00:51:25:01 - 00:51:29:00
and this has been kind of the biggest learnings I've had as a C entrepreneur.

00:51:30:02 - 00:51:32:12
The company is now grown.

00:51:32:12 - 00:51:33:29
It's been worth over 100 million.

00:51:33:29 - 00:51:37:26
So I'm of at that stage now where I'm starting to really look back

00:51:37:26 - 00:51:40:05
on what we've done right and wrong and

00:51:41:13 - 00:51:42:23
three things

00:51:43:27 - 00:51:46:05
being is, number one,

00:51:46:24 - 00:51:47:08
burn out.

00:51:47:08 - 00:51:48:05
It's not cool

00:51:48:05 - 00:51:51:27
so that I just just making sure that that that encouragement people as you build

00:51:51:27 - 00:51:55:13
your team to not try and impress you

00:51:55:17 - 00:52:00:01
or other people in the company by staying the extra hour without any extra shift.

00:52:00:02 - 00:52:01:21
And I think those days are done.

00:52:01:21 - 00:52:05:16
I think you have to be able to find a way to balance being intense

00:52:05:20 - 00:52:09:09
and having productive output with having an actual life.

00:52:09:24 - 00:52:12:22
If you if you don't want something, if you don't want people blowing up

00:52:12:22 - 00:52:15:08
at the wrong moments and the wrong presentation.

00:52:15:08 - 00:52:16:17
So number one is wellbeing.

00:52:16:17 - 00:52:18:17
Number two is decisiveness.

00:52:18:17 - 00:52:21:13
I think decisiveness is why we've come out stronger from the pandemic

00:52:21:17 - 00:52:23:25
than a lot of other people in our industry.

00:52:23:25 - 00:52:27:25
And it's really important to be able to get all the information you need,

00:52:28:10 - 00:52:31:28
be able to make a decision and empower others within your organizations

00:52:32:03 - 00:52:33:02
to make a decision.

00:52:33:02 - 00:52:38:04
Now, even if that is your most junior staff member, you need to be clear to them

00:52:38:04 - 00:52:42:08
what decisions they can make and and encourage them to make that decision.

00:52:42:19 - 00:52:46:11
Because if they just sit back kind of paralyzed, waiting to be told off

00:52:46:19 - 00:52:49:19
something, right or wrong, you're never going to be able to grow.

00:52:49:19 - 00:52:52:11
So I think decisiveness is critical within the company.

00:52:53:00 - 00:52:55:17
And the third one was patience.

00:52:55:21 - 00:52:58:02
That's the other that's the other theme of our company

00:52:58:02 - 00:53:02:09
this year is being patient to not try and get it all done at once

00:53:02:24 - 00:53:05:12
and that a lot can happen in a year or two.

00:53:05:27 - 00:53:09:06
And you just sort of let it let it naturally grow at the pace that it wants

00:53:09:08 - 00:53:10:29
grow at without forcing it so much

00:53:12:12 - 00:53:13:17
as a record executive or

00:53:13:17 - 00:53:16:28
doc base is so many years on and records.

00:53:17:10 - 00:53:19:24
And I've always admired him.

00:53:19:24 - 00:53:22:18
And he said to me once when I was struggling to get a certain

00:53:22:18 - 00:53:24:28
artist career off the ground, and he says,

00:53:25:27 - 00:53:28:06
Stop swimming upstream,

00:53:28:06 - 00:53:29:11
find your downstream.

00:53:29:11 - 00:53:31:08
Every now and then you need to swim upstream.

00:53:31:08 - 00:53:33:09
That's what the downstream is and go with it.

00:53:33:15 - 00:53:35:12
And then you're going to still be fighting.

00:53:35:12 - 00:53:37:03
I'm not going to wear yourself out.

00:53:37:03 - 00:53:40:00
So the kind of the patients spats where things really

00:53:41:01 - 00:53:45:24
came in, those would be my three one will

00:53:47:01 - 00:53:49:06
nanny. Welcome back. Hi.

00:53:49:06 - 00:53:50:21
Thank you for having me back.

00:53:50:21 - 00:53:52:20
I know you what.

00:53:52:20 - 00:53:54:18
To say to visionaries.

00:53:54:18 - 00:53:56:28
So my question is actually for a so.

00:53:56:28 - 00:54:00:05
When you do early stage funding and to some extent you're betting that

00:54:00:05 - 00:54:03:10
the company will anticipate and solve not in need of today, but

00:54:03:10 - 00:54:06:13
a needs that is pressing when the product is somewhat.

00:54:06:13 - 00:54:08:01
More mature.

00:54:08:01 - 00:54:10:07
So give or take three years from now.

00:54:10:13 - 00:54:13:15
While you have to bet on people and it's a primary. Bed.

00:54:13:21 - 00:54:15:15
You have to remain a visionary too.

00:54:15:15 - 00:54:16:17
So with a visionary.

00:54:16:17 - 00:54:19:21
Head on, what do you anticipate are the biggest problems three years

00:54:19:21 - 00:54:24:02
from now in both consumer and enterprise?

00:54:24:02 - 00:54:27:20
I'll give you 30 seconds to 10 seconds to join it right off the cuff.

00:54:27:20 - 00:54:29:20
Question, Nelly, I don't know if I'm going to share

00:54:29:20 - 00:54:35:19
my champagne with you next week.

00:54:35:19 - 00:54:40:02
Well, you know, the physicist Niels Bohr said the future holds

00:54:41:00 - 00:54:42:28
predictions very hard, especially about the future.

00:54:42:28 - 00:54:45:24
So I think for enterprises,

00:54:45:24 - 00:54:48:26
the biggest challenge is going to be the shift to cloud.

00:54:49:01 - 00:54:52:29
We're still in the very early innings of people moving their infrastructure

00:54:52:29 - 00:54:56:28
or from company owned data centers to the cloud.

00:54:57:28 - 00:55:00:19
For us to live in Silicon Valley, it feels like yesterday's news

00:55:00:19 - 00:55:02:06
because our companies have already been doing it.

00:55:02:06 - 00:55:06:27
But it's a big wave that is still going to roll over most of the world.

00:55:07:07 - 00:55:11:09
And coupled with that is how enterprises are going to take advantage of data

00:55:11:19 - 00:55:14:17
and machine learning and artificial intelligence to really make

00:55:14:17 - 00:55:19:02
their businesses systems of intelligence rather than just systems of engagement.

00:55:19:02 - 00:55:21:06
So I think that's the biggest challenge for enterprises.

00:55:21:06 - 00:55:24:11
And I think the availability of data scientists and machine

00:55:24:11 - 00:55:27:25
learning specialists is very low relative to the need.

00:55:28:07 - 00:55:29:27
And so that's going to be a huge bottleneck.

00:55:29:27 - 00:55:33:00
So I think I'm very interested in companies that really help improve

00:55:33:00 - 00:55:37:01
the productivity of the existing engineering and data science teams,

00:55:37:01 - 00:55:40:20
because that is an incredible bottleneck from a recruiting point of view

00:55:41:26 - 00:55:43:19
on consumer, I think

00:55:43:19 - 00:55:45:19
we're seeing a resurgence in consumer

00:55:46:08 - 00:55:50:03
and I think part of it is that people are tired of the beer moths that

00:55:50:22 - 00:55:54:11
that control our lives, where the products have become maybe a little bit stale.

00:55:54:26 - 00:55:58:22
We will have advertising based business models where we feel are the product.

00:55:59:14 - 00:56:02:21
And for the first time in several years, we're seeing people really experiment

00:56:02:21 - 00:56:03:15
with new ideas.

00:56:03:15 - 00:56:04:23
And so I think the opportunity

00:56:04:23 - 00:56:07:28
in some sense for consumer is re-imagining media in particular.

00:56:08:21 - 00:56:10:29
I think commerce is obviously on a very strong trajectory,

00:56:10:29 - 00:56:12:15
especially accelerated by COVID.

00:56:12:15 - 00:56:14:28
But I think media companies are going to be reinvented

00:56:14:28 - 00:56:17:19
and you're going to see the emergence of many more consumer facing

00:56:18:05 - 00:56:20:18
services than you have in the last five years.

00:56:21:03 - 00:56:22:01
Stefan's question was

00:56:23:15 - 00:56:24:09
actually also to

00:56:24:09 - 00:56:28:01
you right off, but that may be something that's been kitchen memos.

00:56:28:01 - 00:56:32:01
What what got you excited first about about YouTube and Instagram

00:56:32:01 - 00:56:34:03
because we have conversations and first minute

00:56:34:03 - 00:56:36:11
is that going to be an Instagram of music one day but

00:56:38:07 - 00:56:39:16
over development.

00:56:39:16 - 00:56:42:24
So with YouTube, the memo is actually available on the web

00:56:42:24 - 00:56:46:00
if you do a search YouTube investment where you can go find it.

00:56:46:00 - 00:56:49:22
It was disclosed as part of the lawsuit

00:56:50:07 - 00:56:53:25
with Universal Music against YouTube.

00:56:54:02 - 00:56:56:05
So against Google YouTube. So you can go find it.

00:56:56:05 - 00:56:57:12
So you can actually see what I wrote.

00:56:57:12 - 00:56:59:19
So I don't have to make stuff up.

00:56:59:19 - 00:57:01:03
And part of what you'll notice, by the way,

00:57:01:03 - 00:57:04:05
is that at no point could we have imagined that the company would be as big

00:57:04:05 - 00:57:05:10
as it turned out to be.

00:57:05:10 - 00:57:09:00
That's one of the lessons for me about stop investing, solving

00:57:09:00 - 00:57:11:24
authentic problem, and you will be surprised to the upside.

00:57:12:10 - 00:57:13:24
There was no notion at the time

00:57:13:24 - 00:57:16:11
that we thought that the company would be as big as it turned out to be.

00:57:16:28 - 00:57:19:18
There was a quality of the product experience that was unrivaled.

00:57:19:27 - 00:57:23:27
So if you just went and used the product, it was so different from any of the

00:57:23:29 - 00:57:26:19
video services that existed at the time, and they were many.

00:57:27:01 - 00:57:30:01
I mean, it's one of those classic things where it's very easy to not invest

00:57:30:01 - 00:57:33:02
because you see a dozen competitors and why does this one stand out?

00:57:33:14 - 00:57:38:18
But it's the same as somebody who plays music and just plays a few notes of key.

00:57:39:01 - 00:57:41:27
You notice, and suddenly it's not a beautiful piece of music.

00:57:41:27 - 00:57:45:12
Even if it's 99% accurate, it just doesn't quite sound right.

00:57:45:12 - 00:57:47:20
And there was something about how the founders, particularly

00:57:47:26 - 00:57:51:00
something that was truly beautiful and truly easy to use.

00:57:51:24 - 00:57:54:11
I had videos that had been stuck on my harddrive from

00:57:55:14 - 00:57:57:20
my honeymoon that I'd never shared with anybody,

00:57:58:00 - 00:58:00:24
and I was effortlessly able to upload them and share them with friends

00:58:00:24 - 00:58:01:26
and family around the world.

00:58:01:26 - 00:58:05:29
And that was an unlock I as a user that just opened up my imagination

00:58:05:29 - 00:58:09:24
to what could happen with YouTube as a user generated content site.

00:58:10:13 - 00:58:13:20
Instagram The Matrix was incredible.

00:58:13:20 - 00:58:16:27
It was the early days of mobile users loved the product.

00:58:18:12 - 00:58:22:08
I know that Roll Off has got something right after and I'm sure Ben does as well.

00:58:22:15 - 00:58:24:15
I just want to say a huge thank you to you both.

00:58:25:20 - 00:58:26:17
Really? Yeah.

00:58:26:17 - 00:58:29:24
What a fascinating, wonderful way to end a week here in London.

00:58:30:11 - 00:58:30:20
Roll off.

00:58:30:20 - 00:58:35:06
Enjoy your well, our break and then real, real pleasure to talk.

00:58:35:06 - 00:58:37:18
And thanks again for Daniel for making it happen.

00:58:38:01 - 00:58:40:12
But thank you to both and Spencer.

00:58:40:16 - 00:58:41:19
Thank you, Ben.

00:58:41:19 - 00:58:46:03
Yeah, there's a chance, but by the way.


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