307 episodes

Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at https://joincolossus.com/

Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy Colossus

    • Business

Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at https://joincolossus.com/

    Justin Waldron - The Future of Social Gaming - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 50]

    Justin Waldron - The Future of Social Gaming - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 50]

    My guest today is Justin Waldron, co-founder and President of Playco. Justin is a pioneer of the social gaming industry after he co-founded Zynga at age 19, and he has continued to build games ever since. In our conversation, we cover how Justin sees the future of gaming as social platforms evolve, how gaming may be the next tool for content creation, and how Playco has approached aligning incentives for game creators and players. As talk of the metaverse becomes more mainstream, it’s fascinating to hear directly from those around it. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Justin Waldron.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
     
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    This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for e-commerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience.
     
    See why brands like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad trust Klaviyo to grow their business. For a free trial, check out klaviyo.com/founders.



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    This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2, HIPAA or ISO 27001 reports at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick. 
     
    -----
     
    Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, 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: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
     
    Show Notes
    [00:02:47] - [First question] - His thoughts on the metaverse and why it’s so interesting
    [00:06:07] - The ways hardware and software will shape the future of digital worlds
    [00:08:23] - Examples of how these digital experiences might look in the years to come
    [00:10:45] - His background, history, and his life before founding Playco
    [00:16:31] - Ways content creates human interactions and its role in user retention
    [00:18:43] - How successful social media platforms encourage user interaction 
    [00:20:51] - Games becoming a way to create content and being a creation tool
    [00:23:06] - This history of user-generated content for pre-existing games
    [00:27:32] - Defining what instant gaming is and how it’s different from traditional gaming
    [00:30:24] - The technological problems and hurdles in creating games that load instantly
    [00:34:00] - Parallels between instant gaming and cloud-powered processing
    [00:36:43] - What types of games are most desirable for games shared via links
    [00:38:58] - The feel of this model working in real-time and the project that’s furthest along
    [00:41:37] - Lessons learned about working with and structuring partnerships with social media and content creation giants
    [00:45:06] - Ways in which social network platforms are evolving
    [00:48:04] - Playco’s business model and smart approaches to generating revenue
    [00:50:28] - The role NFTs might play in instant gaming and making crypto mainstream
    [00:53:03] - Crypto wallets and building one in house versus using a 3rd party wallet
    [00:54:17] - What the best case scenario will look like for Playco in a decade from now
    [01:00:44] - Other companies to go check out that leverage and empower individuals 

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Daniel Ek - Enabling Creators Everywhere

    Daniel Ek - Enabling Creators Everywhere

    Today is a special episode because it marks five years since I released the first episode of Invest Like the Best. Over those years, I’ve learned so much from so many investors and builders, but today’s guest may have taught me the most.
     
    Daniel Ek is the CEO and founder of Spotify, and I find him to be one of the most thoughtful business leaders in the world. Daniel is the perfect guest for this special occasion because he exemplifies the curiosity, humility, leadership, and dogged determination that I think characterizes the best investors and operators.
     
    In our conversation, we discuss the differences between the world of bits and atoms, how Daniel gets up to speed in challenging new fields, and why Europe might be a sleeping giant about to wake. We then bring the discussion back to Spotify, the evolving creator ecosystem, and Daniel’s frameworks for leading the business into its next chapter of growth.
     
    Over the past 5 years, we’ve produced more than 300 of these shows and reached nearly 30 million people. I am deeply thankful to the guests who’ve been willing to share their knowledge with us all and even more thankful to everyone who has taken the time to listen and learn alongside me. This has truly been the greatest pleasure of my career, and I don’t plan on ever stopping this journey.
     
    Now, Please enjoy my conversation with a great friend, Daniel Ek.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
     
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    This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you've been scrambling to keep up with the deluge of IPOs and SPACs these days, Canalyst has models on Robinhood, Marqeta, Grab, and everything in between. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/patrick.
     
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    This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep. Eight Sleep's new Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at your perfect temperature. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. To embrace the future of sleep and get $150 off your new mattress go to eightsleep.com/patrick or use code "Patrick".
     
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    Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes. 
     
    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, and Ben Thompson.
     
    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: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
     
    Show Notes
    [00:03:37] - [First question] - Building atoms versus bits and if we’re destined to return to atoms
    [00:08:04] - What makes early-stage atoms companies more challenging to build
    [00:10:20] - Whether or not we’re starting to see cross-pollinating of infrastructure companies into other sectors
    [00:13:00] - His process for learning about new fields when he knows nothing
    [00:16:12] - Big and interesting problems that we will need to solve 
    [00:19:35] - The nature of healthcare’s technological adoption compared to other sectors
    [00:24:13] - Downstream unlocks of collecting and observing big pools of data
    [00:30:00] - What he has found effective about taking an idea from 0 to 1 
    [00:33:40] - Lessons learned about compounding change and staying patient
    [00:37:17] - History of European technology and its unique regional characteristics
    [00:42:40] - Cultural and continental traits that may make Europe a technological leader 
    [00:45:42] - Characterizing the m

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Gabby Dizon - Mapping the Metaverse Economy - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 49]

    Gabby Dizon - Mapping the Metaverse Economy - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 49]

    My guest today is Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games or YGG. In 2020, Gabby and his co-founders built YGG around the growing “play-to-earn” economy within blockchain-based games. Based in the Philippines, YGG effectively backs players - who might not otherwise be able to afford to play - in exchange for a share of their profits. Today, YGG is paying out over a $1mn US dollars a week to players within its community - largely concentrated in their home country of the Philippines.
     
    The play-to-earn model has seen its most rapid growth in the popular NFT-based game “Axie Infinity”. Players earn tokens within the game which can be exchanged into local currencies or be used to purchase more digital assets. For a sense of how this market has expanded, Axie Infinity has already reported over $1.5bn in sales over its history- and nearly $900mn over the last 30 days.
     
    The speed at which these games and the ecosystems around them are growing is remarkable. In our conversation, Gabby explains YGG’s decentralized structure, the unit economics of their business model, and how he deals with the volatility of crypto assets when trying to build a durable, long-term business. We also discuss the broader metaverse landscape, how it might evolve, what might derail it, and the technicalities of building a token-based, as opposed to equity-based, business.
     
    I hope you enjoy this wild conversation with Gabby Dizon.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for e-commerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience.
     
    See why brands like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad trust Klaviyo to grow their business. For a free trial, check out klaviyo.com/founders.
     
    -----
     
    This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2, HIPAA or ISO 27001 reports at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick. 
     
    -----
     
    Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, 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: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
     
    Show Notes
    [00:03:34] - [First question] - What Yield Guild Games is and what they do
    [00:04:30] - The growing popularity of play-to-earn games in the metaverse 
    [00:06:07] - Major categories of digital assets that exist today 
    [00:08:11] - How players can earn money playing Axie Infinity
    [00:10:47] - The business model of YGG and what they offer to players
    [00:12:42] - Potential earnings of playing Axie Infinity
    [00:15:03] - Possible risks to demand and what the Axie economy could be in a few years
    [00:17:54] - Evaluating games that are worth investing in
    [00:19:55] - The kinds of things that will be most valuable across games in the future
    [00:21:37] - Differences in value between cosmetic and utilitarian in-game purchases
    [00:23:04] - Key focuses of YGG over the near future
    [00:24:47] - What’s different about labor and capital in the metaverse
    [00:27:11] - How tokenomics works and value grows for a DAO
    [00:29:02] - Ways DAOs are better or worse than traditional equity tables
    [00:30:11] - The state of YGGs economics today
    [00:31:16] - The Guild’s player retention and growing their scholars
    [00:32:54] - Barriers to entry for building a competitive DAO like YGG
    [00:34:14] - What mad

    • 56 min
    Scott Malpass - Building a Great Endowment

    Scott Malpass - Building a Great Endowment

    My guest today is Scott Malpass. Scott was the CIO of Notre Dame's endowment for 32 years and has always been a pioneer at the forefront of the endowment investing world - leading Notre Dame's early investments into Sequoia as well as some of the premier fund managers in China decades ago. Scott built the endowment into a powerhouse, scaling it from $400 million to over $12 billion of assets under management across 175 managers. In our conversation, we talk about the qualities he looks for in great investors, how asset classes have evolved over his 30 years of investing, and how Scott recruited top talent to work at Notre Dame’s endowment. Scott is clearly on the Mt. Rushmore of institutional investors, and I’m lucky to consider him a mentor and a friend. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Scott Malpass.



    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
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    This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors. 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 Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.
     
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    This episode is brought to you by Hall Capital Partners. Hall Capital is always looking for exceptional investment talent at any stage and size, so if you are raising capital or looking for a career change in the San Francisco or New York areas, you should check them out at hallcapital.com or e-mail at invest@hallcapital.com. 
     
    ------
     
    Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, 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: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
     
    Show Notes
    [00:03:54] - [First question] - Finding his way to investing and Notre Dame
    [00:06:11] - Key milestones of running their endowment for so long
    [00:07:58] - What an endowment model is and how it’s evolved
    [00:10:30] - The ingredients that unite their shared successes
    [00:11:46] - His philosophy on building a differentiated investing team
    [00:13:11] - How he approached talent identification when hiring new managers
    [00:15:39] - The importance of understanding who someone was before they became an investor
    [00:17:12] - Episode: Steve Mandel, Investing Behind Change
    [00:17:28] - Whether or not someone has a reliable and solid core
    [00:19:03] - Differentiating between self-confidence and an over-inflated ego
    [00:20:27] - Evaluating real investing skills in an individual
    [00:21:44] - The most memorable major early partner he brought on to the endowment
    [00:23:14] - What made Don Valentine and Sequoia so special
    [00:24:21] - Forcing good long-term incentive alignment with a firm
    [00:26:35] - What makes a GP exceptional in how they treat LPs
    [00:28:01] - How many managers actually have the ability to create alpha
    [00:29:24] - His thoughts on venture capital and how he’s seen it evolve
    [00:32:40] - The role private equity played in his success and how it’s changed over the years
    [00:34:36] - Why diversify when managing such a large pool of capital
    [00:35:58] - Public equity as an area of opportunity relative to private and venture capital
    [00:38:08] - Bonds in an endowment and high net worth family offices
    [00:39:32] - Whether or not equities are still appealing
    [00:40:20] - Lessons from investing in China so early in his

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Mike Maples, Jr. - A Playbook for Startups - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 48]

    Mike Maples, Jr. - A Playbook for Startups - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 48]

    My guest today is Mike Maples, co-founder and partner of Floodgate. As a child of the computer revolution, Mike was deconstructing calculators in grade school, writing video games in high school, and inevitably found himself building businesses in Silicon Valley after college. After his success as an operator, Mike eventually transitioned to become a full-time venture investor in the 2000s, and has since built a track record that includes Twitter, Twitch, Lyft, Octa, and a long list of successful tech businesses.
     
    I'm not sure I've recorded a conversation with more applicable ideas and advice for company builders. We discussed early insights and secrets, value hypothesis testing, customer development, growth, team orchestration, and a lot more.
     
    This is a masterclass from somebody who has seen it all. Also, do not miss his answer to the kindest thing question at the end of the conversation. I hope you enjoy this great talk with Mike Maples.
     
    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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    This episode is brought to you by SnackMagic. SnackMagic is the only 100% customizable snack and swag service that allows recipients to build their own snack stash. Whether you want to thank your global team, need goodie bags for your upcoming hybrid event or want to stock your office pantry, the menu of over 1,000 types of snacks and sips covers just about every preference. Learn more and get 10% off your first order with code Patrick at snackmagic.com/patrick.
     
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    This episode is brought to you by Versett. Versett designs, builds, and scales digital platforms for some of the world's most ambitious companies. If you require a high-performance team to tackle a hard or ambiguous problem, then Versett is the firm to call. To check them out, visit versett.com/patrick . 
     
    -----
     
    Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, 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: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
     
    Show Notes
    [00:03:08] - [First question] - His philosophy on the power of forcing a choice
    [00:04:43] - How he knows when he comes across a team that has an apple quality
    [00:07:39] - Exploring and hunting new inflections in ever-changing systems
    [00:10:37] - Why recognizing winning insights allows you to not have to predict the future
    [00:12:23] - Whether or not the evolving nature of the funding landscape changes his thinking
    [00:14:18] - An example of his insight framework and stress testing a team’s potential
    [00:17:21] - Practice reckless optimism
    [00:18:54] - Commonalities between teams and their ideas when they get inflections wrong 
    [00:20:12] - What the value hypothesis is and how to test it
    [00:22:15] - Ways that effective startup teams operate compared to big corporations 
    [00:25:36] - His involvement post-investment and where outsiders can be most helpful in a companies’ early days
    [00:28:34] - Lessons learned about finding, convincing, and marketing to their first customers 
    [00:32:13] - An example of early customer selection done phenomenally well
    [00:34:09] - Why it was possible for companies like Justin.TV and Lift to pivot so dramatically from their original ideas 
    [00:38:49] - Customer development and using good customers to your advantage
    [00:42:31] - Who went from founder to the best growth executive 
    [00:43:05] - What he thinks his firm will need to do to continue offering an apple to founders
    [00:46:08] - The most useful stress tests his firm can offer founders
    [00:46:52] - Defining category design and what t

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Renata Quintini and Roseanne Wincek - Investing at the Supercritical Stage

    Renata Quintini and Roseanne Wincek - Investing at the Supercritical Stage

    My guests today are Renata Quintini and Roseanne Wincek, co-founders and managing directors of Renegade Partners. Before launching Renegade, Renata and Roseanne were partners at high-profile VC firms, Lux Capital and IVP. 
     
    During our conversation, we explore their careers and what led them to launch Renegade. We cover what it means to invest at the “Supercritical Stage” in venture and dive into a variety of topics around this theme. We then discuss their investing philosophies more broadly, covering what best-in-class talent pipelines look like, what quality revenue means to them, and what worries them most in search of businesses with outsized potential returns. I think this episode highlights that even as competition in venture has intensified - the best VC partners can offer more than just capital.  I hope you enjoy my conversation with Renata and Roseanne.
     
    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. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.
     
    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 Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.
     
    ------
     
    This episode is brought to you by Hall Capital Partners. Hall Capital is always looking for exceptional investment talent at any stage and size, so if you are raising capital or looking for a career change in the San Francisco or New York areas, you should check them out at hallcapital.com or e-mail at invest@hallcapital.com. 
     
    ------
     
    Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, 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: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
     
    Show Notes
    [00:03:57] - [First question] - What the process of starting a new investment firm was like
    [00:05:22] - Why the world needs another venture firm
    [00:06:48] - The biggest takeaway from Renata's experience at a start-up Venture firm
    [00:07:51] - The inspiration for Renegade
    [00:11:48] - The most common mistakes made in the early stages of a company
    [00:15:14] - Key items to look into first when evaluating companies 
    [00:18:04] - Internal superpowers: helping a founder use their strengths
    [00:23:46] - Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
    [00:24:04] - What makes a good customer call
    [00:25:44] - How more than one Operating Partner changes the conversation and reveals more
    [00:27:59] - How businesses have changed in the past few years
    [00:30:31] - What companies that have good talent pipelines do to set themselves apart
    [00:35:36] - Lessons learned from working with Coda and its CEO, Shishir Mehrotra 
    [00:38:12] - Lessons learned from working with MasterClass
    [00:41:21] - Differentiating between high and low-quality revenue when evaluating a company
    [00:47:39] - What scares them about investing in outliers
    [00:51:07] - Improvements made as investors and catalysts for those changes
    [00:53:48] - Building an organization that will disrupt itself
    [00:56:43] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for them
     

    • 1 hr 1 min

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