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    About this Episode

    Sam (@thesamparr) and Shaan (@shaanvp) are back talking news, trends, interesting products and businesses. Today Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) happened to drop by to talk investing and celebrity life. Join our FB group: facebook.com/groups/ourfirstmillion. Topics for today: Brandless.com shutting down (2:58), Buying dying businesses (7:53), Hybrid VC's (9:32), Launch of Ramp Capital (11:13), Corporate universities & online degrees (13:47), Lance Armstrong joins! (18:26), New beverage companies (21:07), Is investing boring? (22:47), Hotels offering more experiences (27:07), Are celebs on Cameo broke? (30:12) and Shaan's last minute meeting idea (33:35).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Building relationships with loyal fans and prioritizing quality is more important than chasing quantity in terms of audience size.
    • The concept of Brandless, offering affordable and ethical products, still holds potential if approached with a fresh start, lower costs, and a focus on meeting consumer demand.
    • A specialized service can navigate the closure process, maximize value, and provide stability for venture capital firms by offering expertise in winding down and closing tech companies.
    • New players like Ramp and Brex offer faster credit processes, potential for money-saving, and corporate universities present opportunities for disruption and innovation in finance and education.
    • Universities and corporations can generate revenue and enhance their brand by partnering with external companies to offer online education programs, tapping into the growing demand for online education.
    • Engaging content, seizing opportunities, and understanding market trends are key factors in finding success in the media industry and the beverage industry.
    • Not all investors are the same, and entrepreneurs should consider the value an investor brings beyond just money. The right investor can provide guidance, connections, and help navigate challenges for a company's growth and success.
    • Building a strong network and leveraging influence can attract interesting investment opportunities and drive success in various ventures.
    • Celebrity pricing on platforms like Cameo is not always indicative of their financial well-being, as high charges may signify struggles and low charges may suggest success. Don't judge based on appearance or pricing alone.
    • The use of innovative meeting technology can greatly improve communication and productivity, making meetings more effective and efficient for businesses.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Quality over Quantity: Fostering deep connections with dedicated fans is more valuable than reaching a larger audience.

    It's more important to have a smaller group of loyal fans who love your product or content than to have a larger audience who only kind of likes it. This realization came from the experience of the podcast hosts, who received numerous messages and reviews from dedicated listeners who considered their show to be a favorite and a part of their routine. While the hosts had goals of growing their podcast to reach a larger audience, they realized that the true value lies in connecting deeply with a smaller group of people who genuinely appreciate what they offer. This insight serves as a reminder to prioritize building relationships with loyal fans and focusing on quality rather than solely chasing quantity.

    The downfall of Brandless: unrealistic expectations, lack of proven business model, leadership incompetencies, and market dynamics.

    Brandless faced challenges due to raising a large amount of money too early on and setting unrealistic expectations. The company raised $200 million from SoftBank without having proven their business model or achieving product-market fit. This put immense pressure on the company to become a billion-dollar company, which ultimately led to their downfall. Additionally, there were leadership incompetencies and a lack of understanding of market dynamics. However, the concept of brandless, offering high-quality and affordable products, resonates with consumers who are becoming more value-conscious and prioritize ethical sourcing. Despite the company's failure, there is potential for a brandless-like concept to succeed if approached with a clean slate, lower burn rate, and a focus on meeting consumer demand.

    Simplifying the closure process for tech companies

    There is potential for a specialized service that helps wind down and close tech companies. This service would handle the process of selling off assets, terminating the company officially, and ensuring a smooth transition for investors. The idea is similar to being an "undertaker" for dying businesses, offering expertise in navigating the closure process and maximizing value. Additionally, the conversation touches on the changing landscape of venture capital firms, suggesting that some may shift towards becoming hedge funds or private equity funds, focusing on buying and operating companies rather than solely aiming for IPOs or acquisitions. This hybrid model could provide more stability and cash flow for VCs.

    Disrupting traditional banking and fostering innovation in education

    The launch of Ramp and Brex in the business credit card space highlights the inefficiencies of traditional banks. These new players offer faster and more efficient processes for raising credit limits and obtaining funds. Additionally, Ramp's feature of analyzing credit card spending to identify repetitive purchases demonstrates the potential for saving money within businesses. The key differentiating factor between Ramp and Brex is that Brex focuses on offering better rewards, while Ramp aims to save businesses money. These companies generate revenue by negotiating a portion of the merchant fees charged by credit card companies. The rise of corporate universities also presents a significant trend, as companies seek to create their own pipelines of skilled employees through specialized training programs. Overall, there are opportunities for companies to disrupt and innovate in the financial and education sectors.

    Leveraging partnerships for online education programs

    Universities are partnering with external companies to offer online degrees and certificate programs in order to generate incremental revenue. These companies handle all the technology, services, and student acquisition, allowing universities to focus on their core competencies. This trend has led to the emergence of billion-dollar companies that facilitate these partnerships. Similarly, corporations can take advantage of this trend by creating their own education programs or boot camps and partnering with external companies to handle the logistics. By doing so, corporations can enhance their brand, attract talent early on, and even earn recruiter fees when hiring program participants. This approach offers a way to leverage the growing demand for online education programs in various industries.

    The Power of Sharing Ideas and Authentic Conversations

    Successful entrepreneurs like Lance Armstrong and Sam Parr have found value in sharing their ideas and conversations through various media platforms. They have seen that people enjoy listening to their discussions, whether it's through podcasts, videos, or other formats. This shows that there is an audience for authentic and unfiltered conversations, even if they go on for hours like Joe Rogan's podcast. Additionally, they have noticed the popularity of crime-themed podcasts, indicating a widespread interest in true crime stories. Furthermore, the success of companies like Waterloo sparkling water demonstrates the potential for innovation and growth in the beverage industry. Overall, these examples highlight the importance of engaging content, seizing opportunities, and understanding market trends.

    The Importance of Choosing the Right Investor

    In short, one big takeaway from this conversation is that not all investors are created equal. Some investors offer more than just financial support; they provide valuable guidance, connections, and help navigate challenges for the companies they invest in. On the other hand, there are investors who may not be as involved or offer the same level of assistance. It is important for entrepreneurs to carefully consider the value an investor brings beyond just the capital they provide. The best companies often find themselves in a position where they don't need much help from their investors because they are already successful and self-sufficient. Ultimately, finding the right investor who can truly contribute to a company's growth and success is crucial.

    Leveraging influence and connections for business success.

    Lance Armstrong has recognized the value of connections and building a strong network. As a celebrity investor with a popular podcast, Armstrong has leveraged his reach and reputation to attract interesting deal flow and investment opportunities. He understands the power of having a core audience of 15 million people and the potential impact it can have on integrating and promoting businesses. He also emphasizes the importance of having a kickass advisory board to provide guidance and expertise. This discussion also touches on the idea of offering unique experiences in the hotel industry, similar to what Jimmy Buffett has successfully done. Overall, Armstrong's strategy revolves around leveraging his influence and connections to drive success in various ventures.

    The Unpredictability of Celebrity Finances on Cameo

    In short, one big takeaway from the conversation is that celebrities charging higher amounts on platforms like Cameo may not necessarily be financially well-off. The hosts discussed how charging a lower amount could indicate a celebrity's success, while higher charges could imply financial struggles. Lance Armstrong mentioned his own high rate on Cameo and expressed doubt about why anyone would pay it. The hosts also mentioned examples of celebrities who charged low prices and seemed to be in a better financial position. This conversation highlights the unpredictability of celebrity finances and reminds us not to make assumptions based solely on appearance or pricing on platforms like Cameo.

    Enhancing Meetings with Innovative Technology

    There is a need for innovative meeting technology to make meetings more effective and efficient. Meetings are a fundamental part of big companies, and a significant amount of time and resources are spent in them. However, when you look at a meeting, there is often a lack of technology, with only video conferencing being a common tool. Building a meeting kit or device that enhances communication and productivity in meetings could have a substantial impact on businesses. This could involve a physical device where participants can push a button to indicate when they want to speak, ensuring fair participation and avoiding interruptions. While there are some tools available for scheduling and conference calling, there is still room for improvement in optimizing the actual meeting process.

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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