Business Casual
Business Casual
Jan 14, 2021
Esports close in on the competition
Play • 34 min

The NFL and NBA have enjoyed their position atop sports league standings for far too long. Now, there’s a new kind of league coming for their crown...esports.

With that competitive gap shrinking by the second, esports leagues have made good on a record year for viewership by 1) borrowing strategies that work for traditional sports leagues and 2) eschewing strategies that are woefully outdated. Taken together, that one-two punch means enormous potential for esports to outperform traditional leagues in the future.

To explain how that might happen, I brought in Johanna Faries, commissioner of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty league and former 12-year NFL exec. She’s seen it all, and she’s sharing it all with you. Don’t miss out.

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
Harry Stebbings
20VC: Klarna Founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski on Scaling Europe's Most Valuable Private Tech Company, How To Motivate and Challenge Your Team Most Effectively & The Biggest Lessons From Working with Mike Moritz
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the Founder and CEO @ Klarna, the company that makes online shopping simple, allowing you to buy what you need today and pay later. To date, Sebastian has raised over $2.1Bn for the company from the likes of Sequoia, Silver Lake, Blackrock, DST, Northzone, Creandum and even Snoop Dog to name a few. Klarna has been an incredible 16-year journey for Sebastian with it now being the most valuable private technology company in Europe with over 3,500 employees. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: I. The Importance Of Learning To Learn Fast What is the best way to learn fast? “People talk about it like there's this learning curve, and the best spot is at the place where you're challenged to the precise point where you're almost giving up, but not entirely. That's exactly it. “And I have this amazing swim teacher for my children, her name is Petra, and she's just fantastic. I just love watching her because she has this ability of taking my children in the pool and pushing them to that exact point where they are almost, almost giving up, and they're learning at such a pace. And if I can recreate such an environment in Klarna, if I can create an environment, if I can be part of creating an environment where we put people in that position where they just are exactly at that curve where they are challenged, supported, and kind of at the edge and being given the ability to learn really fast and really discover what it means to have an impact.” Does Sebastian compare his work to other companies’? “I don't think that much about what other people or other companies or other things out there could have done different. And there's pros and cons to that. But the benefits of that is that it speeds up my learning. Because a lot of people – and I've realized that as I manage other people – is that because they're so obsessed with trying to think about what other people could have done differently, and why situations arose, and why it wasn't their responsibility and so forth, they spend a lot of time on that, because we've unfortunately been brought up in some kind of guilt that it's bad to do wrong, and it's bad if it's our fault, and you want to avoid that. “And these psychological constraints, unfortunately, hinder people from developing much faster, because if you go into every situation and say, the only thing that's relevant here is what I could have done differently, what I could have learned from this – if that's the only thing, it's just like, whatever, I accept my responsibilities. What could I have done differently? If you only focus on that, you just learn much faster.” How does Sebastian transform his self-doubt into a positive? “I think self-doubt is not nothing. It's not a bad thing, right? It's a very healthy thing, if it represents you continuously trying to understand, am I doing the right thing? Is this something that I want to do? Am I making the right decisions? So I think it's extremely healthy to do that. I'm not saying it's not painful or tough when you have it. But I think it's a very positive thing. “I'm much more worried when people tell me they have no self-doubt. And then I'm like, uh-oh, because that means that you're not really reflecting on your actions, and you're not learning from them. So I wish I could give you something more comforting than that, but I would actually say enjoy it. Be happy that you have it, and it's gonna make you a better person.” II. Sebastian’s Management Philosophy What does Sebastian believe companies can learn from soccer? “I love the fact that Michael Moritz wrote this book that I still haven't read, so it's kind of funny that I'm referring to it, but he wrote this book about Ferguson, that manager of Manchester United. And I think it's very relevant, because today, the saying is that for people to be motivated at work, they need to have a higher purpose, the company needs to do something good, and so forth. And I am not disputing that, that is very true that it contributes to people's sense of purpose, and so forth. But before you even get to that level, we have to ask ourselves, what is it really that makes people motivated and enjoy themselves? And I think when I think about that, I often look at sports, because why do people love soccer? What's the higher purpose of winning Champions League? People say, oh, there's a massive higher purpose, but not entirely, you're not really making the planet better by winning. Still, people are massively engaged in these things. Why? “Because it's a team effort, there are clear roles, you know exactly what you're supposed to do – I'm supposed to put the ball in that score. And then it's very clear how you win, there is a referee that stops people from cheating. And so there's a lot of things in that environment that makes it motivating, that makes people engaged, and those things are usually lacking in companies.” How do you know when someone is at that crucial point of the learning curve? “The problem with a company is that it's a much more complex environment with a lot of other things going on in parallel in people's lives. And so I have definitely occasionally missed to see that people are beyond that point.” “In Sweden, there's this course called Situation Adopted Management, which basically means that there is no single management technique. You look into the situation, you try to understand it from multiple angles. And then depending on where that individual is, and how you perceive the mental status, and the mood of that individual, and so forth, you try to adapt. Either you coach or you challenge or you instruct or you do different things. There's not a single methodology that will allow you to deal with those situations. But a lot of it is empathy. It's the ability to look at people and read them, and try to understand, and ask them questions, and understand where they are.” III. How Sebastian Manages Complexity At Scale What are Sebastian’s biggest lessons learned from Klarna growing to 3000+ people spread across multiple offices across the world? * It’s the manager’s job to deal with the complexity in a company * It’s not for everyone What role does Sebastian believe a manager should play in a company as it scales? “I think a lot of times as a company grows, what ends up happening is the thing just becomes so complex. So management tries to organize the company in a way that makes sense to them and that is easy to understand for them. But the consequence of that often, unfortunately, is it makes no sense for the person who's actually doing the job. So they lose the purpose. Why am I coming to work? What are we trying to achieve? All of these things get lost. “So what we said is, we have to do the exact opposite. The critical element is that the people who are actually supposed to do something – not the manager – the people actually supposed to do something, if they program or to do a marketing campaign, or whatever they're doing, they need to come to work every day and feel I know exactly why I'm coming, I know how I'm contributing, I know who I'm contributing for, I know what value I'm creating. “And if that thing creates tons of complexity for us, as managers, because the whole system becomes much more complex, then that's what we're getting paid for. That's the one. That's why we're getting a good salary. Because we need to manage that complexity.” What does Sebastian look for in talent? “Keep very close on the recruitment … Especially in a country like Sweden, a country where a typical saying is, alla ska komma med, which means, everyone should come, everyone should join. And it's very nice. And I appreciate that with Swedish culture, I'm not trying to really call it. I think it's fantastic and it's a fantastic society. But as a consequence, it took us some time to conclude something which maybe in the US o…
37 min
Invest Like the Best
Invest Like the Best
Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Ryan Petersen - Where There Is Mystery, There Is Margin – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 22]
My guest today is Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of Flexport. Flexport is a technology platform for global trade. In this conversation, Ryan takes us through the fragmented world of international freight shipping, and we dive deep into the history and inefficiencies of the system. We also cover how shipping containers were standardized, how new protocols get adopted internationally, and the challenges of doing business in the “no man's land” of international waters. Ryan is the type of entrepreneur I enjoy talking to most: he has incredible domain knowledge, high energy and is tackling an enormous global problem. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ryan Petersen. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, 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 10,000 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 DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers. If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies, on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders. ----- 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 [00:03:24] - [First question] - Overview of what Flexport does [00:04:49] - His introduction into the world of shipping [00:06:49] - Difference between parcel and freight [00:08:53] - Market cap of the overall shipping industry [00:09:24] - Fragmentation of shipping and what Flexport is solving for [00:12:52] - Worst parts of the shipping world [00:15:34] - Improving the tech behind the shipping container [00:19:06] - Why the shipping container changed the world [00:19:07] - The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger [00:21:27] - Teams and outsider perspectives in solving problems [00:22:34] - How their business could make shipping more efficient and reduce costs [00:25:24] - Where the margins and profits are made in shipping [00:25:49] - Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger [00:27:11] - The finance side of shipping [00:28:56] - Maritime law and the ocean [00:30:57] - How much is left in the digitization of shipping [00:32:48] - The perfect state of shipping using Flexport [00:38:19] - Investing in hard assets to expand the business [00:41:03] - Lessons about building a business and global coordination [00:43:15] - Multidisciplinary thinking among their team [00:44:04] - Global supply chain issues in light of Covid and ocean policing [00:44:15] - Peter Zeihan Podcast Episode [00:47:59] - Testing out demand in the beginning [00:50:28] - The process of testing out new ideas and killing off losers [00:52:33] - Important lessons/themes for founders [00:54:51] - Hardest learned lesson, fundraising [00:58:06] - Other opportunities in shipping [00:59:47] - Lessons for creating a new standard [01:02:22] - Using their standardization to improve global relief work [01:04:40] - Creating synchronicity in a company [01:07:09] - What he’s excited about for the future [01:07:53] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him
1 hr 9 min
Acquired
Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
The New York Times Company
For the entire 20th Century, you’d be hard pressed to find a better business than an American newspaper — Warren Buffett famously described them as “franchises” — and no American newspaper stood taller than the New York Times. Controlled by a single family bound by a legal oath “to maintain the editorial independence and integrity of The New York Times and to continue it as an independent newspaper, entirely fearless, free of ulterior influence and unselfishly devoted to the public welfare”, the Times served as the paper of record for generations of Americans and people around the world. But no good thing lasts forever, and the dawn of the 21st Century saw both the Times and this once-mighty industry devastated by the dual disruptive forces of the internet and the 2008 financial crisis. And yet by 2021, The Times, essentially alone of its former peers, has reemerged from the American newspaper wreckage and transformed itself into a thriving digital business with an order of magnitude more subscribers than its print heyday. Curious how it all happened? We dive into 170 years of history to find out! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: * Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Unlike traditional buyers, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny * Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * https://bit.ly/acquired-vouch * http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase The New York Times Company Playbook: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/the-new-york-times-company ) 1. When you find yourself sitting in front of a big approaching demand wave... ride it!! * The New York (Daily) Times was founded during the newspaper boom of the 1850s, and similarly Adolph Ochs took over the local Chattanooga paper at the start of that city’s mining boom. * The NYT made huge investments in its reporting during the two World Wars as the public’s appetite for news exploded, while its rivals missed the ball worrying over preserving advertising space. Likewise NYT launched The Daily (which would become the biggest podcast in the world) immediately following Trump’s inauguration in early 2017. * Arguably NYT’s biggest business mistake was missing the cable wave -- which Rupert Murdoch leveraged brilliantly to build Fox News into the most valuable news media franchise in the world. 2. Where there’s an entrepreneurial will, there’s an entrepreneurial way. * Adolph Ochs bought the Chattanooga Times with $250 and sellers’ notes, and then acquired The New York Times out of bankruptcy with no personal money down and $100k of real estate debt. And turned them both into successes on a level no one (even himself at times) believed possible. 3. Recurring Acquired theme: the media business is still the second-best business of all time, behind technology. * Media’s ability to generate dual revenue streams (advertising and subscription) from the same content product generates enormous leverage on investment, AND most of those costs are fixed vs. variable (especially in a digital environment). 4. This is why “content is king” has always been true in the media industry. * NYT’s version of this strategy has always been to invest more in high-quality journalism than any of its peers. It was true in 1896 when Ochs took over, true during the World Wars and the Pentagon Papers, and perhaps has never been more true than today when NYT employs 1,700 journalists around the world and pays them an average of >2x the rest of the industry. 5. That said, distribution is critical as well. To build a world-class media organization you must be great at both content AND distribution. * In the old media landscape, NYT built great distribution through its printing and delivery operations, as well as savvy investments like the Index which led to libraries and researchers across the country relying on the Times as the “paper of record”. * However in today’s media landscape, the task of building great distribution falls on the newsroom and journalists themselves. The job is no longer finished once you hit publish -- reporters and editors must own the responsibility of getting their work in front of readers via social media and shareable story elements. Links: * The 2014 NYT Innovation Report: https://archive.org/details/pdfy-59s-4-I2qSvG6MnA/mode/2up * Mine Safety Disclosures’ NYT presentation: https://minesafetydisclosures.com/blog/newyorktimes Carve Outs: Ben: * Titan by Ron Chernow: https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Life-John-Rockefeller-Sr-ebook/dp/B000XUDGHG * Iteratively: https://iterative.ly David: * Sabaa Tahir’s Ember in the Ashes series: https://www.amazon.com/Ember-Ashes-3-Book/dp/B074VDZB17 Episode Sources: * http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2015/10/martin-nisenholtz-on-bringing-the-new-york-times-online/ * https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/99/09/19/daily/092299tifft-book-review.html?module=inline * https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0312.html * https://archive.org/details/pdfy-59s-4-I2qSvG6MnA/mode/2up * https://archives.cjr.org/cover_story/sulzberger_at_the_barricades.php * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Ochs * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Hays_Sulzberger * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Sumter * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dotdash * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_D._Morgan * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Jones_(publisher) * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Jarvis_Raymond * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigene_Ochs_Sulzberger * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_The_New_York_Times_Company#Television_stations * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_New_York_Times_employees * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Nisenholtz * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Building * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Company * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism * https://fintel.io/so/us/nyt * https://media.foxcorporation.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/2019/09/18223214/Fox-Annual-Report-2019_Mid.pdf * https://minesafetydisclosures.com/blog/newyorktimes * https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2015/08/new-york-times-heirs.html * https://nymag.com/news/features/40647/index4.html * https://nymag.com/news/media/51015/ * https://nytco-assets.nytimes.com/2021/02/Press-Release-12.27.2020-Final-for-posting.pdf * https://stratechery.com/2020/an-interview-with-buzzfeed-ceo-jonah-peretti/?utm_source=Memberful&utm_campaign=f14650dd37-daily_update_2020_11_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d4c7fece27-f14650dd37-110888309 * https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058Z4NOQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 * https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316836311/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 * https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=86354f1b322a4ec2a548e58ac3e83d49 * https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/05/11/new-york-times-sells-its-remaining-stake-boston-red-sox/ey4kwU4m6Xn2PYfcblrMcL/story.html * https://www.enwoven.com/collections/view/1277/timeline * https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcript…
3 hr 5 min
Financial Decoder
Financial Decoder
Charles Schwab
Are You Rationalizing an Investing Mistake?
If you save money and invest it consistently, your path toward meeting your goals may seem simple. But most investors quickly discover that there are hurdles in the way—including our own brains. There are many cognitive and emotional biases that can trap us, and investors sometimes rationalize falling prey to these biases in familiar ways. In this episode, Mark is joined by Brad Bartick, branch manager of the downtown Denver Schwab branch, and financial consultant Joanna Heckman to discuss four different biases that investors have faced recently and what they sound like in action. Subscribe to _Financial Decoder_ for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. _Financial Decoder_ is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance. This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance. Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0221-1EPK)
29 min
The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private Equity | Business Loans
The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private Equity | Business Loans
Nick Moran
271. LP Turned VC, Mistakes When Pitching to Allocators, and Managing Limited Partner Relationships (Marcelino Pantoja)
Marcelino Pantoja of Tribe Capital joins Nick to discuss LP Turned VC, Mistakes When Pitching to Allocators, and Managing Limited Partner Relationships. In this episode, we cover: * Walk us through your background and path to VC * Refresh on the thesis at Tribe? * Talk to us about the mindset of the allocator — what are their key objectives and what do they care about? * What are the biggest mistakes you see emerging managers making when pitching LPs? * Let's say an aspiring VC has a few years until they will raise from institutions... what should they be focusing on in order to create a really compelling offering in the medium term? * Let's say an emerging GP is raising from institutions imminently... what advice would you have for them? * Do you think it's significantly easier for an institution to make an investment in some coming from a large successful Tier 1 fund, spinoff, vs. a successful operator or angel? * What are the key challenge areas that the LP is really going to scrutinize on the spin-off and what are the areas under scrutiny for the operator? * Sometimes it's hard to get information on LPs from a distance... do you have any advice for fund managers that are trying to pre-qualify? * What is the difference between a good LP and one that may be a problem... how does a GP determine that early enough to avoid bringing on the wrong types of LPs? * In what ways is your job similar and different moving from LP to VC? * How do you compete against other firms for deals? I understand the value-add but the value has become competitive with a larger number of firms... how can you continue to win and do so at a price that makes sense for the return potential?
1 hr 6 min
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