My guests today are Rich Barton and Brad Gerstner. Brad is the founder of Altimeter Capital and is one of my favorite active investors. Brad and Altimeter were one of the largest investors in Snowflake in its earlier days and continue to invest in iconic modern businesses with an extreme focus. Rich has one of the most impressive resumes in the business world. He founded Expedia, Glassdoor, and Zillow; He’s a longtime Netflix board member, since before they went public; he’s a venture partner at Benchmark Capital; and he give back through the Barton family foundation. Our conversation covers Rich’s “power to the people,” strategy, Brad and Rich’s perspectives on taking companies public through SPACs vs. IPOs, and their perspectives on how to build a great company. This one is so fun, we even discuss how to come up with company names, talk about the importance Wizard of Oz, and explore the importance of big hairy audacious goals. I really enjoyed this conversation with two of the smartest people I know, and I hope you will too.
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(2:59) – (First question) – How Brad and Rich met
(5:57) – The instant click between them
(7:21) – The power to the people perspective
(7:29) – Brad Gerstner Podcast Episode
(10:21) – Delivering information to consumers
(11:31) – The investing perception of data-delivery businesses
(13:54) – How they use SPACs
(17:38) – How entrepreneurs view SPACs
(20:17) – Lessons from their involvement in Altimeter Growth Corp
(23:57) – Defining value add investor in the public and private markets
(26:36) – The Wizard of OZ and Pygmalions
(30:41) – Leadership mold at businesses and big audacious goals
(30:44) – No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
(36:05) – Frank Slootman’s leadership style
(36:12) – Amp It Up
(46:13) – TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth Story
(38:11) – Courage in leadership
(41:33) – Physical businesses vs digital only businesses
(43:34) – Getting companies fit
(45:39) – Lessons around talent density
(48:28) – State of the world and markets today since the inception of the pandemic
(53:46) – Making up words for companies and fertile ground
(56:45) – Go to market model vs business model
(58:50) – Early days of product market sales
(1:03:03) – Advice to early investors and entrepreneurs for the future of their careers
(1:08:10) – The board challenge
(1:12:06) – What question are they working hard to answer right now
(1:16:09) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Rich
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