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    #35 - King of Kickstarter

    Trust and open communication are essential in establishing successful partnerships with manufacturing partners in different countries. Exuding confidence and charisma can greatly impact their belief in your idea and willingness to work harder for you.

    enJanuary 15, 2020

    About this Episode

    Shaan sits down with Peter Dering (@peterdering), Founder & CEO of Peak Design, maker of beautiful, highly functional redesigns of photography equipment. He quit his construction job and traveled the world with $25K in savings. After awhile, he found it to be a pain in the ass carrying his camera around with him. So he thought of a camera holder clip that’d go onto your bag strap. Next thing you know, he filmed a kickstarter video to accompany his simple yet revolutionary product and within 90 seconds of launching he had his first sale. Bags, tripods, straps. Almost every year Peak Design releases some sort of iteration of an outdated piece of equipment and it SELLS. Last year they employed 38 people and did $70m in revenue. He owns 100% of it. Like I said, you want to be this guy. He talks about the process of how you actually create a physical product from scratch, how to work with international distributors, why and how he structured a public benefit entity, how to offset business carbon footprint and how much it ACTUALLY costs (it's tiny!). Have a listen to learn how to kickstart your own carbon-neutral Kickstarter empire.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Combining passion, personal experiences, and understanding market demand can lead to significant achievements in entrepreneurship.
    • Trying new experiences, such as studying abroad, can lead to unforgettable memories and personal growth. Identifying and solving real problems with simple, clear solutions can create products that resonate with customers.
    • Success in business can be achieved through trial and error, leveraging available resources, and having a strong belief in your product's usefulness. Crowdfunding platforms provide a viable option for generating funds and bringing your vision to life.
    • Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have the potential to turn simple ideas into successful businesses, showcasing the power of innovation and the importance of confidence in achieving crowdfunding success.
    • Utilizing digital media and online platforms can greatly expand a business's reach and generate sales, while collaborating with international distributors opens up new markets and revenue streams.
    • Finding a balance between proactive and reactive approaches, prioritizing innovation and product quality, is vital for long-term success in the digital landscape.
    • Peak Design prioritizes the happiness and fulfillment of its employees by maintaining a lean workforce and low overhead, allowing for continuous growth while staying true to their values and creating a positive workplace environment.
    • Climate Neutral helps brands take immediate action against climate change by measuring, reducing, and offsetting their carbon footprints, ensuring a sustainable future.
    • Businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to carbon reduction solutions by purchasing verified carbon offsets, ultimately playing a significant role in mitigating climate change.
    • Businesses should prioritize environmental consciousness, embrace sustainable practices, and foster trustworthy partnerships to succeed in a socially responsible and sustainable future.
    • Trust and open communication are essential in establishing successful partnerships with manufacturing partners in different countries. Exuding confidence and charisma can greatly impact their belief in your idea and willingness to work harder for you.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Passion, Personal Experience, and Market Demand: The Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success.

    Success in entrepreneurship often comes from a combination of passion, personal experiences, and a keen understanding of market demand. Peter Dering, the founder of Peak Design, highlights this through his journey. He began his entrepreneurial venture after a transformative personal trip where he discovered his love for photography. This experience, coupled with his background as an engineer, led him to create a company that focuses on designing camera accessories. Additionally, Dering's success with Kickstarter campaigns highlights the importance of connecting with and meeting the needs of customers. His story reminds us that pursuing a business idea that aligns with our personal interests and addressing a market gap can lead to significant achievements.

    Embracing Novelty: The Rewards of Trying New Things

    Embracing novelty and doing something for the first time, like traveling, can be incredibly rewarding. Both Peter Dering and Shaan Puri emphasize the value of studying abroad and the unique experiences it brings. They highlight that the people who take the plunge and study abroad often can't stop talking about it and don't regret their decision. This insight leads to the understanding that trying new things can lead to unforgettable memories and personal growth. Additionally, the conversation highlights the importance of identifying and solving real problems, regardless of the industry. By focusing on the actual issues and executing solutions elegantly, businesses can create products that truly resonate with customers. The power of simplicity and clarity in principles is also emphasized.

    Embracing Resourcefulness and Determination in Entrepreneurship

    Starting a business or developing a product doesn't always require extensive knowledge or expertise in a particular field. Peter Dering's story demonstrates that even without knowing how to make a product or run a business, success can still be achieved through trial and error, resourcefulness, and a strong belief in the product's usefulness. Despite not having a mechanical engineering background or access to advanced design software, Dering utilized the tools and resources at his disposal, such as SketchUp and 3D printing, to create prototypes and refine his concept. Furthermore, his mindset and realistic approach to risk-taking allowed him to pursue his idea without the need for external funding or support. By leveraging crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, entrepreneurs can pre-sell their products, generating the necessary funds to bring their vision to life. It's a testament to the power of determination, resourcefulness, and simplicity in turning an idea into a successful venture.

    The Power of Crowdfunding: Transforming Ideas into Reality

    In short, one big takeaway from this conversation is the power of crowdfunding, specifically through platforms like Kickstarter. Peter Dering's experience with Kickstarter showcases how it can transform a simple idea into a successful reality. By utilizing crowdfunding, he was able to get upfront cash from backers in exchange for providing them with a product at a discounted price. Although Kickstarter initially intended to support artists looking to bring their creations to life, entrepreneurs like Dering were able to adapt the platform to their needs. This demonstrates the potential for innovation and disruption in traditional business models. Moreover, Dering's story emphasizes the importance of confidence and belief in one's ideas, as it played a significant role in his Kickstarter success.

    Leveraging Online Platforms: Peter Dering's Success Story

    Peter Dering's success with Kickstarter campaigns and international distribution highlights the power of leveraging online platforms and networks to grow a business. Despite minimal marketing efforts, simply emailing friends and family and posting on Facebook, Dering's product gained traction through influential blogs like petapixel and Gizmodo. This demonstrates the potential reach and impact of digital media in spreading awareness and generating sales. Additionally, Dering's collaboration with international distributors allowed him to tap into new markets and establish a presence in various countries, further expanding his customer base and revenue streams. The story underscores the importance of embracing technology and utilizing online platforms to amplify marketing efforts and reach a global audience.

    The importance of being proactive and reactive in business while prioritizing product excellence

    Being reactive and adaptable in business can be just as important as being proactive. While being proactive can create opportunities, being overly proactive can lead to inefficiency and wasted resources. Reactivity allows for flexibility and the ability to respond to what is directly in front of you. Additionally, being a product-focused company, rather than a marketing-focused company, can have strengths and weaknesses. While brand loyalty is essential, if a company doesn't prioritize innovation and creating superior products, competition may eventually outbid them in the digital landscape. Ultimately, the key is to find a balance between being proactive and reactive, while always prioritizing product excellence.

    Prioritizing Happiness and Fulfillment for Employees

    Peak Design's main focus is not just about making money or creating products that people love. The primary goal of the company is to prioritize the happiness and fulfillment of its employees. By keeping the overhead low and maintaining a lean workforce, they ensure that the company culture remains intact and free from any disruptive changes. This approach allows them to continuously add new team members without compromising their values. The founders believe that the purpose of being in business is to find greater fulfillment in their own lives. They aim to build a company where they and their employees genuinely enjoy what they do, create innovative products, receive customer feedback, and generate revenue to sustain a positive workplace environment. This transparency and devotion to their mission have led them to become a public benefit corporation, shifting the focus away from maximizing shareholder value and towards upholding their mission and purpose.

    Climate Neutral: Measuring, Reducing, and Offsetting Carbon Footprints

    Peter Dering's organization, Climate Neutral, aims to address the issue of climate change in a concrete and actionable way. By measuring and reducing their carbon footprint, as well as offsetting the remaining emissions, brands can earn the certified climate neutral label. This label signifies that the brand is taking responsibility for its environmental impact and actively working towards a sustainable future. Peter's own experience of measuring his company's carbon footprint and the high costs involved drove him to develop a tool that would make footprint measurement more accessible and affordable for businesses. Climate Neutral's approach emphasizes the need for immediate action rather than vague future commitments, in order to combat the urgency of climate change effectively.

    A market-based solution to combat climate change

    Carbon offsets offer a market-based solution to combat climate change. By purchasing verified carbon offsets, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the demand for carbon reduction solutions. While there may be concerns about the availability of enough carbon offsets, creating a market for them incentivizes the production of more offsets. These offsets can come from various sources, such as landfill gas projects or reforestation efforts. The key is to increase demand for carbon offsets, which will drive the creation and implementation of more carbon reduction initiatives. Ultimately, by supporting and participating in the carbon offset market, businesses can play a significant role in mitigating climate change.

    Environmental consciousness, sustainable practices, consumer choice, and trustworthy partnerships in business.

    Businesses should strive to be environmentally conscious and transparent about their impact on the climate. The conversation highlighted the importance of knowing what you're buying and supporting, and the goal of becoming the norm rather than the exception in terms of sustainable practices. The dream scenario mentioned was when consumers actively choose not to support companies that don't pay for their carbon emissions, emphasizing the need for widespread adoption of climate neutrality. The discussion also touched on the importance of innovation and protecting intellectual property, with Peak Design experiencing success by shaking up the tripod industry. The key message was the significance of building trustworthy partnerships and genuinely caring for each other's needs in business relationships.

    Overcoming Language Barriers and Building Trust in International Manufacturing Partnerships

    When working with manufacturing partners in different countries, it can be nerve-wracking due to language barriers and imperfect communication. However, it is important to remember that most likely, the other person on the receiving end is a good person with correct intentions of developing a strong business. Therefore, it is worthwhile to extend trust and be open to building a relationship. Additionally, having initial success and exuding charisma and confidence can greatly impact the manufacturer's belief in your idea and their willingness to work harder for you. Building trust through personal interactions, even via email, can create a strong foundation for a successful partnership.

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    From PayPal Intern to Starting 4x Billion-Dollar Companies - Joe Lonsdale Interview

    From PayPal Intern to Starting 4x Billion-Dollar Companies - Joe Lonsdale Interview
    Episode 578: Shaan Puri ( https://twitter.com/ShaanVP ) sits down with Joe Lonsdale ( https://twitter.com/JTLonsdale ) to talk about how he leveraged one internship at PayPal into one billion dollar success after another. Today Joe is Managing Partner of 8VC and an early investor in Anduril. Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) The One Reason strategy (3:18) Learning Global Macro Finance from Peter Thiel (5:35) Taking multi-million dollar bets at 4:30am (8:43) Hire for raw IQ over expertise (10:33) Nurturing employees into unicorn founders (12:24) Solving hard problems with Addepar (13:53) Always “Being on” (15:32) How to spot opportunities for new businesses (21:10) How Epirus landed a military defense contract (27:09) Getting hits in hard domains (28:24) Business Idea: AI-powered Estate Planning (29:19) Business Idea: Business Process Outsourcing for local government (30:58) Big swings vs. base hits (31:49) Idea vs. execution (32:38) Focus vs. diversity of thought/attention (33:33) Insights from Elon’s inner circle (35:36) Joe Lonsdale’s unfair advantages (38:48) How to invest your time to make your first $1M (40:40) Working on an A+ problem as an intern at PayPal (43:15) Be within 2 standard deviations of top talent (44:14) Early days at Palantir (46:56) Building a top engineering culture (48:31) Borrowing trust as 21-year old defense contractor (52:22) Peter Thiel’s biggest contrarian bet — Links: • Joe's Twitter - https://twitter.com/JTLonsdale • Joe's blog - https://blog.joelonsdale.com/ • Joe's podcast - https://www.americanoptimist.com/ • 8VC - https://www.8vc.com/ • Addepar - https://addepar.com/  • Palantir - https://www.palantir.com/ • Epirus- https://www.epirusinc.com/ • OpenGov - https://opengov.com/ • Prologis - https://www.prologis.com/ • Lessons from Peter Thiel - https://joelonsdale.com/lessons-peter-thiel/ — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano Past guests on My First Million include Rob Dyrdek, Hasan Minhaj, Balaji Srinivasan, Jake Paul, Dr. Andrew Huberman, Gary Vee, Lance Armstrong, Sophia Amoruso, Ariel Helwani, Ramit Sethi, Stanley Druckenmiller, Peter Diamandis, Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Marc Lore, Jason Calacanis, Andrew Wilkinson, Julian Shapiro, Kat Cole, Codie Sanchez, Nader Al-Naji, Steph Smith, Trung Phan, Nick Huber, Anthony Pompliano, Ben Askren, Ramon Van Meer, Brianne Kimmel, Andrew Gazdecki, Scott Belsky, Moiz Ali, Dan Held, Elaine Zelby, Michael Saylor, Ryan Begelman, Jack Butcher, Reed Duchscher, Tai Lopez, Harley Finkelstein, Alexa von Tobel, Noah Kagan, Nick Bare, Greg Isenberg, James Altucher, Randy Hetrick and more. — Other episodes you might enjoy: • #224 Rob Dyrdek - How Tracking Every Second of His Life Took Rob Drydek from 0 to $405M in Exits • #209 Gary Vaynerchuk - Why NFTS Are the Future • #178 Balaji Srinivasan - Balaji on How to Fix the Media, Cloud Cities & Crypto • #169 - How One Man Started 5, Billion Dollar Companies, Dan Gilbert's Empire, & Talking With Warren Buffett • ​​​​#218 - Why You Should Take a Think Week Like Bill Gates • Dave Portnoy vs The World, Extreme Body Monitoring, The Future of Apparel Retail, "How Much is Anthony Pompliano Worth?", and More • How Mr Beast Got 100M Views in Less Than 4 Days, The $25M Chrome Extension, and More

    The Wild Story Of ‘Mr. Tull’ - From Laundromats To $3.5B Hollywood Production Company

    The Wild Story Of ‘Mr. Tull’ - From Laundromats To $3.5B Hollywood Production Company
    Episode 577: Sam Parr ( https://twitter.com/theSamParr ) and Shaan Puri ( https://twitter.com/ShaanVP ) talk about mysterious billionaire Thomas Tull.  Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) Blue Collar Billy of The Week: Thomas Tull (2:29) Moneyball strategy for movies (5:20) Formula for box office hits: Bigger is better (7:25) International appeal (specifically China) (8:22) Data analytics for movie marketing (13:15) Flywheels at the highest level (24:31) Moneyball for X (26:42) Business lessons from the UFC (31:03) We give Zuck PR advice (33:02) What Dana White taught me about marketing (34:06) Level 1: Sell a product (34:46) Level 2: Sell a solution not a product (35:20) Level 3: Sell a Lifestyle (36:55) Level 4: Sell a feeling (39:18) Level 5: Identity in a box (46:49) Why Sam's new project will fail (52:38) Shaan workshops Sam's idea — Links: • The Information article - https://tinyurl.com/4csvs9ab • Legendary - https://www.legendary.com/ • “We Don’t Sell Saddles Here” - https://tinyurl.com/2s39sjzf • SmartAsset - https://smartasset.com/ • Sam’s List - https://samslist.co/ — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano Past guests on My First Million include Rob Dyrdek, Hasan Minhaj, Balaji Srinivasan, Jake Paul, Dr. Andrew Huberman, Gary Vee, Lance Armstrong, Sophia Amoruso, Ariel Helwani, Ramit Sethi, Stanley Druckenmiller, Peter Diamandis, Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Marc Lore, Jason Calacanis, Andrew Wilkinson, Julian Shapiro, Kat Cole, Codie Sanchez, Nader Al-Naji, Steph Smith, Trung Phan, Nick Huber, Anthony Pompliano, Ben Askren, Ramon Van Meer, Brianne Kimmel, Andrew Gazdecki, Scott Belsky, Moiz Ali, Dan Held, Elaine Zelby, Michael Saylor, Ryan Begelman, Jack Butcher, Reed Duchscher, Tai Lopez, Harley Finkelstein, Alexa von Tobel, Noah Kagan, Nick Bare, Greg Isenberg, James Altucher, Randy Hetrick and more. — Other episodes you might enjoy: • #224 Rob Dyrdek - How Tracking Every Second of His Life Took Rob Drydek from 0 to $405M in Exits • #209 Gary Vaynerchuk - Why NFTS Are the Future • #178 Balaji Srinivasan - Balaji on How to Fix the Media, Cloud Cities & Crypto • #169 - How One Man Started 5, Billion Dollar Companies, Dan Gilbert's Empire, & Talking With Warren Buffett • ​​​​#218 - Why You Should Take a Think Week Like Bill Gates • Dave Portnoy vs The World, Extreme Body Monitoring, The Future of Apparel Retail, "How Much is Anthony Pompliano Worth?", and More • How Mr Beast Got 100M Views in Less Than 4 Days, The $25M Chrome Extension, and More