45 episodes

Business Breakdowns is a series of conversations with investors and operators diving deep into a single business. For each business, we explore its history, its business model, its competitive advantages, and what makes it tick. Learn more and stay up to date at www.joincolossus.com

Business Breakdowns Colossus

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Business Breakdowns is a series of conversations with investors and operators diving deep into a single business. For each business, we explore its history, its business model, its competitive advantages, and what makes it tick. Learn more and stay up to date at www.joincolossus.com

    Peloton: Reinventing the Wheel

    Peloton: Reinventing the Wheel

    This is Jesse Pujji, and today we’re breaking down Peloton. Peloton was founded over ten years ago with the idea of making the best in-person gym classes available at home. By delivering eye-catching hardware and compelling content, it has since become the largest interactive fitness platform in the world with over 6 million members. Peloton’s rise has not been without challenges, however, and the business’s economic model is under debate as we speak.
     
    To break down Peloton, I’m joined by my brother Vinny Pujji, partner at Left Lane Capital, a growth-stage investment firm focused on consumer businesses. We discuss Peloton’s success in creating a new fitness category, the impact of the pandemic on its financials, and why it may make sense for Peloton to build its own music label. Please enjoy this breakdown of Peloton.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Much of the foundational prep for these episodes starts with research on the Tegus platform. With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Coinbase, Hinge Health, Farfetch, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. If you're ready to go deeper on any company and you appreciate the value of primary research, head to tegus.co/breakdowns for a free trial.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Quartr. With Quartr, you can access conference calls, investor presentations, transcripts, and earnings reports – straight from your pocket. Quartr is 100% free and includes companies from 12 markets including the US, the UK, Canada, India, and all the Scandanavian countries. Quartr is available for both iOS and Android, so check out the app today.



    -----
     
    Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
     
    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss



    Show Notes
    [00:03:37] - [First question] - What Peloton is and what they do
    [00:04:59] - How most consumers experience their brand
    [00:05:40] - Their customer base and the size of their business today
    [00:06:22] - The founding story and what lead to Peloton 
    [00:10:10] - What business they started with and how they’ve expanded their offerings
    [00:12:03] - Complexities of direct to consumer hardware distribution
    [00:13:01] - Scope of the global fitness and wellness market writ large
    [00:14:42] - Unit economics of Peloton’s business
    [00:19:03] - Contributing factors that draw on their cash and working capital 
    [00:22:46] - What would solve their current liquidity problem
    [00:25:11] - Their latest treadmill product and their subscription product
    [00:26:22] - Thoughts on why management has struggled with their forecasts
    [00:29:44] - The competitive landscape as it exists today and how they compete
    [00:33:16] - Whether or not Peloton will experience a boom and bust cycle
    [00:35:18] - What Peloton does very well that separates them from their competitors
    [00:36:52] - Gamifying fitness and incorporating a live feature
    [00:38:59] - How music plays into their business and its role in their future 
    [00:41:45] - Whether they are a subscription or hardware business
    [00:43:59] - What has to go right in order to scale their market cap in the next decade
    [00:45:08] - Their approach to marketing and what drives their engine
    [00:47:17] - What will have gone wrong if Peloton doesn’t survive the coming decade
    [00:50:28] - What can we lea

    • 53 min
    Cannabis: Legalizing the Leaf

    Cannabis: Legalizing the Leaf

    This is Jesse Pujji and today we are breaking down the emerging industry of cannabis. After spending decades as an illegal drug, US states have begun to make regulatory changes and build legalized marijuana marketplaces. To help me break down this market, I am joined by Jeff Hoffman of Marathon Partners Equity Management. Jeff is co-portfolio manager of a fund, which invests in US public cannabis companies. We discuss exactly what those regulatory changes look like, the difference between federal and state laws, and companies across the value chain that are showing up in public markets. I hope you enjoy this breakdown.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Tegus. With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Coinbase, Hinge Health, Farfetch, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. If you're ready to go deeper on any company and you appreciate the value of primary research, head to tegus.co/breakdowns for a free trial.



    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by MITIMCo. As the endowment office of MIT, MITIMCo searches for investment firms that are focused on achieving exceptional long-term investment returns. MITIMCo's goal is to create long-term relationships. They will partner with firms as early as Day 1 and do not ask for general partner economics in return. Visit MITIMCo’s website to learn more about their unconventional emerging manager approach, including examples of managers they have backed. While they only partner with a handful of new firms each year, they have also created and published resources for the broader universe of emerging managers to benefit from, making them even more unusual in the LP world. Visit www.mitimco.org to learn more.



    -----
     
    Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
     
    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss



    Show Notes
    [00:03:40] - [First question] - What is cannabis and the current size of the industry today
    [00:05:44] - Differentiating between THC and CBD 
    [00:06:46] - Whether or not the whole market is growing writ large
    [00:08:08] - The history of cannabis, the changing legal landscape, and key players today
    [00:10:51] - What the argument was for making cannabis a schedule 1 narcotic
    [00:11:48] - Is cannabis addictive, objectively speaking?
    [00:13:27] - The differing levels of when cannabis is or isn’t legal 
    [00:14:05] - Overview of the value chain involved in getting cannabis to a dispensary
    [00:15:18] - What an MSO is, how their operations work, and the marketplace today
    [00:20:31] - Regulatory catalysts that would allow this market to thrive
    [00:23:19] - The income statement of an MSO, their expenses, and how they differ from traditional businesses
    [00:26:44] - Different business models for MSOs depending on their geography 
    [00:29:31] - How the economics of MSOs compare to mom and pop shops 
    [00:31:30] - Normalizing margins and incentives to compete on price or participate in discount wars
    [00:33:48] - D2C, mobile-first, and delivery trends influencing distribution
    [00:35:53] - Whether or not cannabis is considered perishable 
    [00:36:43] - How the finance industry is evolving around cannabis 
    [00:38:44] - The role COVID played in helping the cannabis industry grow
    [00:41:03] - Will cannabis see a pullback in public interest as the world returns to normal
    [00:42:25] - Form fa

    • 52 min
    Finch Therapeutics: Empowering Immune Systems

    Finch Therapeutics: Empowering Immune Systems

    Today’s episode is part business breakdown and part biology breakdown as we explore Finch Therapeutics and their novel work on the microbiome, which plays a crucial role in regulating our immune system.
     
    To help break down these topics, I’m joined by Mark Smith, co-founder and CEO of Finch Therapeutics. Mark is a leader in the microbiome field and the perfect person to cross the bridge between business and science.
     
    As Mark outlines, we’ve made a lot of progress in living longer, but we are yet to make significant steps to living better. In our discussion, we explore what the microbiome is, why it’s so important, and the role that Finch plays in helping patients transform their lives. We then turn to the business side of developing therapeutics drugs and what Mark has learned there.
    Please enjoy this breakdown of Finch Therapeutics.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex began as the first corporate card for startups and now offers a full financial stack built for scale. Get 10-20x higher credit limits, uncapped rewards, easy deposits and payments, and expense management all in one. Grow your business faster with Brex.
     
    -----
     
    Scribe is the trusted transcription provider for the business and investing community. Scribe is designed to accurately transcribe messy, real-world audio and is unique in that it’s optimized for the complexities of enterprise audio, such as company and product names, currencies, accents and numbers. Visit kensho.com/breakdowns to learn more and unlock your free trial.
     
    -----
     
    Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
     
    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss



    Show Notes
    [00:02:55] - [First question] - What is the microbiome?
    [00:04:56] - Where the microbiome is inside the body
    [00:06:42] - Overview of what bacteria is in general terms and what they do for us
    [00:10:44] - What would happen to a human that didn’t have any bacteria
    [00:13:29] - Inflammatory auto-immune diseases and widespread antibiotics
    [00:14:32] - How seasonal allergies and gut bacteria are related
    [00:16:32] - Key contributors that have led to our current understanding of the microbiome
    [00:18:48] - Whether an absence or dominance of bacteria is more concerning
    [00:20:47] - The state of stool sample diagnostics today
    [00:22:52] - Tools available today for widespread microbial treatment and repair
    [00:24:48] - The science behind probiotics and whether or not they’re worth it
    [00:27:00] - Fecal transplants and supporting empirical evidence of their efficacy
    [00:31:39] - Addressable conditions that Finch Therapeutics seeks to solve
    [00:35:27] - What the end game looks like and the timeline to achieve it
    [00:40:05] - Is there a future where we use these therapeutics preventatively?
    [00:41:22] - Key risks that could threaten the growth of Finch in the coming decade
    [00:43:10] - What it’s been like running a company that is so different than its competitors
    [00:45:51] - Whether or not the regulatory and iterative pace of therapeutics will increase
    [00:48:19] - How much his lifestyle has changed given what he knows now in this field
    [00:50:50] - Other innovations taking place in the microbiome and related therapeutics
    [00:52:28] - What most has his attention outside of his field in health science today
    [00:53:24] - Learn more about the microbiome; I Contain Multitudes (book)
    [00:53:42] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

    • 56 min
    London Stock Exchange Group

    London Stock Exchange Group

    Today, we’ll be breaking down the London Stock Exchange, now referred to as LSEG. LSEG is a nearly £40 billion market cap business that plays an integral role in the infrastructure of the world’s financial markets. Since 2000, there have been at least 11 attempts at mergers and takeovers of the business by other exchanges and banks. The company itself made a notable acquisition when it closed on its M&A of Refinitiv from Blackstone in January of this year. The company offers a wide range of services, financial markets, and data exchanges, which make it an essential player in the world’s markets.
    To break down the business, Zack Fuss is joined by Nick Shenton of Artemis, a UK-based fund manager.


    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex began as the first corporate card for startups and now offers a full financial stack built for scale. Get 10-20x higher credit limits, uncapped rewards, easy deposits and payments, and expense management all in one. Grow your business faster with Brex.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Scribe. Scribe is the trusted transcription provider for the business and investing community. Scribe is designed to accurately transcribe messy, real-world audio and is unique in that it’s optimized for the complexities of enterprise audio, such as company and product names, currencies, accents and numbers. Visit kensho.com/breakdowns to learn more and unlock your free trial.
     
    -----
     
    Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
     
    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss
     
    Show Notes
    [00:02:47] - [First question] - The industry LSEG operates in and its role within it
    [00:05:37] - How to think about LSEG as a business and what drives their growth
    [00:07:33] - The model that allows for such high profit and how its pieces work together
    [00:14:21] - Overview of the data analytics side of their business 
    [00:18:29] - Trading & banking as a key component of their data analytics revenue
    [00:22:09] - Its 300-year history and what has led them to become such a dominant player
    [00:29:25] - Thoughts on the Refinitive asset they’ve acquired and its role in future success
    [00:33:04] - Key factors that allow LSEG to sell in adjacent markets and their competitive advantage
    [00:38:57] - Drivers behind the growth of the digital financial market industry
    [00:41:26] - Structural risks that could impede LSEG’s growth over the coming years
    [00:45:29] - Simplifying their story to help investors better understand their underlying growth
    [00:47:35] - Lessons for builders and investors when studying LSEG’s story

    • 52 min
    The National Football League

    The National Football League

    Today, we are breaking down The National Football League or, as most know it, The NFL. It’s a sport that dominates American Sundays from late summer into early winter. Behind what happens on the field is a $15 billion dollar business with a unique operating and ownership structure and many stakeholders. 
     
    To help break down the NFL, Jesse Pujji is joined by Jay Kapoor. Jay is currently General Partner of venture fund VSC Ventures, and prior to his career as an investor, Jay worked in the League Strategy office at the NFL. During the conversation, we break down some of the fascinating dynamics of the NFL, including how it dominates linear TV, the unique revenue considerations for the league and its teams, and what makes the NFL stand out relative to other sports. I hope you enjoy this breakdown of the NFL.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex began as the first corporate card for startups and now offers a full financial stack built for scale. Get 10-20x higher credit limits, uncapped rewards, easy deposits and payments, and expense management all in one. Grow your business faster with Brex.
     
    -----
     
    Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
     
    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss
     
    Show Notes
    [00:02:18] - [First question] - What is the NFL?
    [00:03:26] - The size and scale of the NFL as a business
    [00:04:55] - Points of growth on the league side and the team side
    [00:06:42] - The growth rate of the NFL over the past five years
    [00:07:24] - How many people are watching the NFL and the size of their audience
    [00:09:53] - The structure of the NFL compared to other major sports leagues
    [00:14:08] - Distribution of the revenue generated by media rights
    [00:15:53] - Other factors that make the NFL’s model unique 
    [00:18:11] - How the NFL came to dominate the landscape of American sports
    [00:21:26] - When the NFL became bigger than the MLB and why
    [00:23:00] - How viewership and media rights have changed over the years
    [00:24:52] - Complexity of scheduling games and creating scarcity
    [00:26:14] - How the NFL Schedule is Created
    [00:27:43] - Additional sources of revenue at the league level
    [00:30:54] - Major costs to operate the NFL at the national level
    [00:31:50] - Contributing factors that make annual operating costs $1.5 billion
    [00:32:29] - How much it costs to run an NFL game
    [00:33:35] - Major drivers and ways to increase the topline of the business
    [00:36:09] - How much of the league revenue share is distributed to team owners and players
    [00:39:06] - Seat sales, boxes, and sponsorship revenue
    [00:40:40] - Who owns stadiums and an overview from a management and cost perspective
    [00:42:43] - Non-player related operating costs
    [00:45:46] - Operating leverage as an owner in this business
    [00:47:08] - What a commissioner is and the governance model of the NFL
    [00:51:31] - Overview of an executive team beneath the owners
    [00:53:01] - Collective Bargaining Agreements 
    [00:57:15] - How enterprise value is created and why it’s growing so fast for the teams
    [00:59:11] - His perspective on comparing teams to assets generating revenue multiples
    [01:00:51] - Defining relevance in regards to the NFL and what it means for the future
    [01:04:39] - Plans to embrace a D2C model and the impact streaming might have on them
    [01:06:56] - How the Superbowl became such a pivotal sporting event and why they made it
    [01:11:35] - What will have to go right in order to grow exponentially over the coming decade

    • 1 hr 26 min
    NextEra Energy: The Renewable Leader

    NextEra Energy: The Renewable Leader

    I’m Zack Fuss and today we’re breaking down NextEra Energy. NextEra is America’s most valuable energy firm and consists primarily of two businesses; a high-quality regulated utility and a renewables business that is the world’s largest generator of wind and solar energy.
    To help break down the business, I’m joined by Mark Tomasovic, an investor at Energize VC. In our conversation, we discuss the structure of the energy market, what’s changed in the renewables space over the past twenty years, and how NextEra takes advantage of its cost of capital advantage. Please enjoy this breakdown of NextEra Energy.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex began as the first corporate card for startups and now offers a full financial stack built for scale. Get 10-20x higher credit limits, uncapped rewards, easy deposits and payments, and expense management all in one. Grow your business faster with Brex.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by MITIMCo. As the endowment office of MIT, MITIMCo searches for investment firms that are focused on achieving exceptional long-term investment returns. MITIMCo's goal is to create long-term relationships. They will partner with firms as early as Day 1 and do not ask for general partner economics in return. Visit MITIMCo’s website to learn more about their unconventional emerging manager approach, including examples of managers they have backed. While they only partner with a handful of new firms each year, they have also created and published resources for the broader universe of emerging managers to benefit from, making them even more unusual in the LP world. Visit www.mitimco.org to learn more.
     
    -----
     
    Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
     
    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss
     
    Show Notes
    [00:03:16] - [First question] - Mark’s background and how he thinks about the energy markets 
    [00:03:46] - A broad overview of the electricity market and how it’s structured
    [00:05:22] - The value chain and production line of energy from facility to customer
    [00:06:59] - What informs how much an energy company is allowed to earn
    [00:09:16] - Unregulated versus regulated markets and the risks and benefits of both
    [00:11:29] - How the retail electric market looks today and alternative production methods
    [00:12:40] - NextEra’s business fundamentals and their current scope and scale
    [00:14:45] - The two business arms of NextEra
    [00:16:00] - Inputs and costs of the low cost regulated utility side of NextEra
    [00:18:33] - NEER being the world’s largest generator of wind and solar
    [00:19:43] - How they’re able to get contracts and how they work 
    [00:20:03] - Comparison of revenue generated between their different branches
    [00:21:26] - How the regulated and unregulated arms work together for NextEra vs its competitors
    [00:22:30] - What their most important benchmark is and thoughts on gross margin and profits 
    [00:24:33] - Natural cost of capital advantage given the growing focus on ESG 
    [00:25:33] - How COVID impacted the energy space, specifically in electricity 
    [00:28:20] - Conventional energy production becoming more expensive in the near future 
    [00:30:10] - How reliant NextEra is on government subsidies  
    [00:31:20] - Where they spend all their revenue, the price of projects, and ROI
    [00:33:01] - How they evaluate projects 
    [00:34:19] - Structural differences in renewable energy business models today
    [00:36:18] - What could happen that could negat

    • 43 min

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