8 episodes

CEOs talk candidly about their business and reveal insights you won't find anywhere else. Join a niche audience of C-suite executives, investors, and entrepreneurs from around the planet.

The Eccentric CEO Aman Y. Agarwal

    • Entrepreneurship

CEOs talk candidly about their business and reveal insights you won't find anywhere else. Join a niche audience of C-suite executives, investors, and entrepreneurs from around the planet.

    The Economics of Self-Driving "Motorcycles" — Ain McKendrick

    The Economics of Self-Driving "Motorcycles" — Ain McKendrick

    You've heard a lot about self-driving cars and electric vehicles. They're cool, about to change the world, yada yada yada.

    Today, I bring to you the MOST thorough and transparent discussion anywhere online about the business side of this industry.

    Everything from the development, manufacturing and operational costs of autonomous cars, to various revenue and pricing models, how the state-of-the-art technical challenges can be cleverly hijacked, and whatever else you need to know as an investor or analyst in this field.

    My guest today is Ain McKendrick, CEO of Faction, a company that develops self-driving fleets of 3-wheel electric vehicles. Given our shared history in this industry, this is an informative episode you don't want to miss.

    0:19 — Terminology around "consumer transport," "vehicle-on-demand," etc

    2:06 — Use cases in the micro-logistics and urban transport market

    6:29 — Cars vs Motorcycles, from production, operations and regulatory standpoints

    10:24 — Difference between the power sports and automotive industries

    12:00 — Worldwide adoption of motorcycles vs North America

    15:32 — Pricing, revenue and go-to-market models for Faction's driverless technology

    18:47 — Faction's platform "DriveLink," how it makes the vehicles safe, and their addressable market

    23:12 — The marginal costs of upgrading a vehicle to different levels of autonomy: real numbers

    29:10 — Doing the cold math on manufacturing and operation costs of self-driving vehicles, and getting to a viable product

    37:01 — How putting humans in the loop is better for drivers

    38:21 — Building a state-of-the-art autonomy stack: what is still R&D, and what can be outsourced?

    43:55 — The 3 generations of teleoperation (human control/supervision) in driverless vehicles

    50:10 — Why you HAVE to build a vehicle from scratch, even if you don't plan to manufacture them yourself

    52:55 — What a typical week looks like for Ain, and how he tries to make productive decisions

    55:06 — Investor sentiment evolved around autonomy and electric vehicles over the last few years


    Faction: www.factionmoto.com


    • 1 hr
    Independent Documentary Filmmaking — Jennifer Huang

    Independent Documentary Filmmaking — Jennifer Huang

    What makes a "successful" social documentary film? How do these filmmakers measure their "impact," how do they get funded, and what is it really like to be in the middle of this journey?

    Today we talk about the "business" side of making independent social documentary films.

    Jennifer Huang, Founder of Treeclimber Media, is a director, producer and fascinating character. She's currently making "The Long Rescue", a film about human trafficking.

    She teaches us everything she knows about navigating the film industry and the challenges faced by independent films.


    2:00 — Case studies of very "successful" social documentaries

    4:00 — How they define "impact" and set goals

    9:43 — The thorny topic of distribution of documentary films

    11:43 — ROI of getting your film into festivals, Netflix, Amazon Prime

    15:30 — Traditional model of film distribution

    18:34 — How film rights are negotiated

    21:09 — What film aggregators do

    25:03 — Getting your film on online streaming platforms

    27:52 — Differences in making a film for theaters vs streaming

    33:13 — Fundraising and other revenue streams

    42:19 — Slice of Jennifer's life: what it's really like


    Correction: The film about sexual abuse in the military is called The Invisible War, not The Hunting Ground as mentioned in the podcast — though both are from the same filmmaker.

    • 50 min
    Japan's Counterintuitive Real Estate Market - Ziv Nakajima-Magen

    Japan's Counterintuitive Real Estate Market - Ziv Nakajima-Magen

    Today we do a DEEP dive into Japan's real estate investment landscape. We discuss what makes it unique, and look at both the buyer's and seller's sides.

    My guest is Ziv Nakajima-Magen, the cofounder of Nippon Tradings International - a firm that has helped broker international property deals in Japan for 10 years.

    If you're a modern real-estate investor, this is probably the single-most informative piece of content you'll need to understand this market.


    1:42 - Bad for capital gains, great for cash flow

    3:35 - Why local realtors often don't work with foreigners

    8:44 - How an old population and low birth rate affect the market

    13:10 - The buildings themselves: legislations, maintenance costs, etc

    16:53 - Attractive areas in the commercial sector

    23:21 - COVID impact: why the residential sector still did very well, etc

    27:56 - Financing and mortgages, both pre- and post-COVID

    31:36 - Rents: the numbers

    36:22 - Rent negotiation

    40:02 - Why people sell despite low capital gains and high cash flow?

    44:28 - Who typically invests in Japanese real estate?

    51:08 - Other emerging markets like Latin America and Africa

    53:31 - Buyer's journey through Nippon Tradings

    1:00:19 - Property price negotiation and competition in Japan

    1:04:38 - Challenges for Nippon Tradings as a company





    • 1 hr 8 min
    U.S. Stocks Trading in the Middle East - Abdelazim El Toukhy

    U.S. Stocks Trading in the Middle East - Abdelazim El Toukhy

    Investing in the American stock market isn’t simple or straightforward for international investors, and there’s a big barrier to entry if you’re not very rich.

    Abdelazim El Toukhy is the Founder and CEO of Ticr, a Robinhood-style trading platform for people in the Middle East / North Africa regions.

    In this episode, you’ll learn how the industry is set up, how people in this region typically invest their money, what current solutions exist, and what it takes to solve this problem. Azim talks about the whole industry ecosystem as well as the compliance/licensing challenges they are facing right now.


    01:25 – Current process of U.S. stock investing in the Middle East, different options available

    07:15 – The landscape of brokers and middlemen explained

    11:56 – How this expands to different countries and geographies

    14:04 – Challenges of building an overseas trading platform – licensing etc

    18:30 – How Ticr solves it – system, stakeholders, business model

    23:00 – Costs of legal compliance

    25:43 – Other ways Ticr differentiates itself, differences in investor preferences between US and EMEA

    33:45 – Ticr’s education platform

    35:53 – Competition

    38:51 – How sanctions and international politics affect the business

    41:50 – Azim’s personal journey in entrepreneurship

    50:00 – Fundraising thoughts

    • 55 min
    "Social Network" for Real Estate Maintenance - David Albrecht

    "Social Network" for Real Estate Maintenance - David Albrecht

    Real Estate has to be maintained regularly just to keep it from losing value, and it costs the industry a lot of money every year. Surprisingly, most of this real estate maintenance is never recorded anywhere.

    Today you'll learn about the business of real estate maintenance, and how technology can help us save BILLIONS of dollars per year in this yet-to-be-disrupted space.

    Our guest is David Albrecht, and he's the Founder CEO of Shortbar. He is building a product called Dials (dials.co) which is not only a tool to track and make sense of real estate maintenance, but at the same time a unique "social media" tool for contractors!


    01:41 - Inspiration for Dials and overview of industry

    06:26 - What "Github" is and why it's revolutionary for other industries

    08:56 - Target customers and their biggest pain points

    20:15 - Business model and critical features

    29:45 - Why nobody uses existing software options

    32:24 - The social networking aspect, pricing model

    40:21 - How Silicon Valley sees the rest of America

    48:21 - The business plan and fundraising logic

    1:04:49 - Aman begins nerding out over topic of engineering culture

    1:08:04 - Challenges

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Education in the Japanese "Casino" Industry - Robert Oda

    Education in the Japanese "Casino" Industry - Robert Oda

    How is the Japanese casino industry different from the rest of the world? How do casinos make money, and how does it affect the way they hire and train their most important employees - the dealers? Today, you get a glimpse behind the curtain.

    Robert Oda is the founder of IRGI, an innovative education + tech company in this unique market.

    Robert shares everything he knows, and also gives away an incredibly honest truth about his industry that you'll want to hear (37:48).


    1:45 - What makes the Japanese casino industry unique?

    5:30 - Why the industry is hot now: history, legality, new opportunities

    14:10 - A school that trains casino dealers

    21:30 - Gambling addiction, how it's perceived in different markets

    25:44 - What goes into a world-class dealer training experience, how big is the market for dealers

    37:48 - Twist in the story: it's a dead business???

    57:45 - A tech product for the dealer community


    Get a beautiful video tour of Robert's academy: https://youtu.be/qMvqRn7AIgA

    Robert's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertoda/


    • 1 hr 20 min

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