Founders

Founders

Learn from entrepreneurs that came before you.

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    Sam Zemurray: Cuyamel Fruit Company (The Banana King)

    Sam Z, Sam the Banana Man, El Amigo, the Big Russian, the Gringo –he was not an easy person, nor is his biography without controversy. To some, it's the story of a great man, a pioneer in business, a hero. To others, its the story of a pirate, a conquistador, who took without asking.

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    Ed Catmull: Pixar

    Ed Catmull is the founder of Pixar and the current president of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation. Trained as a computer scientist he pursued the goal of creating the first feature length computer animated film. After 20 years he achieved his goal. Having worked with both George Lucas and Steve Jobs, Ed has accumulated a lifetime of knowledge on how to build and maintain a creative environment. He share his ideas in the book Creativity Inc: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Inspiration.

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    Levi Strauss: Levi Strauss & Co

    0:01 Levi was one of the men who set that firm foundation

    2:12 Leave a review on Apple Podcasts, take a screenshot, and email it to foundersreviews@gmail.com and I will reply with podcasts that I created exclusively for reviewers

    17:35 I do not have at this time a specific occupation...I will share the fate that has been assigned to me

    22:29 Enduring hardship for the ultimate goal

    29:24 A hole in the market

    42:00 Levi starts his business cold

    54:18 The dangers of shipping by sea

    1:04:42 Inventing Jeans by accident

    1:10:00 Overnight success 20 years in the making

    1:17:40 How Levi was able to serve customers who were illiterate or spoke another language

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    Jack Ma: Alibaba

    0:01 Crazy Jack

    6:59 The internet is filling the void created by state planning

    20:35 Jack has made a career out of being underestimated: “I am a very simple guy. I am not smart. I might have a smart face but I’ve got very stupid brains.”

    24:43 Jack’s early life / Discipline and Curiosity

    40:00 Jack Magic: “ Nobody saw the opportunity in this business. We didn’t make much money at first, but Jack persevered…I respect him tremendously for he has a a great ability to motivate people and he can invest things that seem hopeless with exciting possibility. He can make those around him get excited about life.”

    47:06 Jack’s first time on the Internet

    55:45 Another lucky break: Meeting Yahoo Founder Jerry Yang

    57:02 Making money from shrimp

    1:00:43 The worst deal he ever made

    1:04:45 Masayoshi Son: Founder of Softbank

    1:10:16 Be the last man standing

    1:13:32 Ebay vs Alibaba: A case study in what not to do

    1:23:00 Yahoo’s billion dollar bet

    1:27:00 Jack’s unique reaction to the financial crisis

    1:33:12 Alipay’s ownership changes ( one of the craziest stories I’ve read)

    1:46:10 If I had another life, I would keep my company private

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    Peter Thiel: PayPal, Palantir, & Founders Fund

    1:45 Culture Eats Strategy

    3:56 Conspiracy as a metaphor for a company.

    6:02 It is a story of poetic justice on a grand scale plotted silently for nearly a decade.

    15:25 Something in these pages planted itself deep into Thiel's mind when he first read it long ago.

    21:40 It was ruthless efficiency and hyper competence.

    34:36 You were driven to entrepreneurship because it was a safe space from consensus and from convention.

    38:52 What if I do something about this? What might happen? What might happen if I do nothing? Which is riskier, to act or to ignore?

    59:06 Sometimes these books teach us what not to do.

    1:11:10 Unknown unknowns > known knowns

    1:25:47 How you do one thing is how you do all things.

    1:30:35 He had always been aggressive. He wouldn't have gotten where he was in life if he wasn't.

    1:32:38 Companies routinely focus on silly things.

    1:37:17 The greatest sin of a leader.

    1:41:37 How powerful and resourceful is Peter Thiel?

    1:47:29 Just keep asking why.

    1:53:37 Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you for the laws too slow. I'll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt

    1:58:50 Brilliant thinking is rare but courage is even in shorter supply

    2:01:39 The business version of our contrarian question is: What valuable company is nobody building?

    2:16:11 This Twisted logic is part of human nature, but it's disastrous in business. If you can recognize competition as a destructive force instead of a sign of value, you're already more sane than most.

    2:19:53 Steve Jobs saw that you can change the world through careful planning. Not by listening to focus groups feedback or copying others success.

    2:21:05 You can have agency not just over your own life, but over a small and important part of the world. It begins by rejecting the unjust tyranny of chance.

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    Elon Musk: SpaceX, Tesla, and PayPal #2

    0:47 I don't want to be the person who ever has to compete with Elon

    2:45 Musk expects you to keep up

    4:41 Short of building an actual money-crushing machine, Musk could not have picked a faster way to destroy his fortune. He became a one-man, ultra-risk-taking venture capital shop

    5:22 Revisit old ideas

    7:49 It was not unusual for him to read ten hours a day

    9:32 His approach to dating mirrors his approach to work

    10:59 Humans are deeply mimetic

    14:37 Thinking from first principles

    17:40 What it is like to work with Elon Musk

    19:28 He would place this urgency that he expected the revenue in ten years to be ten million dollars a day and that every day we were slower to achieve our goals was a day of missing out on that money

    23:29 What he went through in 2008 would have broken anyone else. He didn't just survive. He kept working and stayed focused

    25:39 A tenet of Elon's companies: make as many things yourself as possible

    27:31 The power of the individual in an age of infinite leverage

    29:37 The Internet taught me nearly everything I know. It is the modern day equivalent to the library of Alexandria, except it's much harder to burn to the ground. It is indispensable for realizing human rights, combating inequality, accelerating development, and quickening the pace of human progress

    30:19 Focusing on the endpoint

    32:00 Grand Theft Life

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    David Packard: Hewlett-Packard

    0:01 How Steve Jobs was inspired by David Packard

    1:00 Books are the original hyperlinks

    4:30 Profit is the measure of how well we work together

    9:00 HP's first product

    11:00 Podcasts before podcasts

    14:00 Many of the things I learned in this process were invaluable, and not available in business schools.

    15:00 More businesses die from indigestion than starvation.

    16:30 The importance of maintaining a narrow focus

    20:00 Growth from profit

    21:00 Lessons from the Great Depression = No long term debt

    26:30 A Maverick's persistence

    29:00 How to avoid layoffs in a recession

    30:20 Employees should outgrow you

    31:00 The perils of centralization

    35:25 Closing with optimism

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    The Wright Brothers

    2:30 Unyielding determination

    4:00 Jocko's concept of GOOD

    6:30 The ability to focus on an idea for a long time is the antidote to short bursts of dopamine we get from checking social feeds all day.

    13:00 The beginning of their side business

    16:00 The importance of heroes

    18:30 Rereading / revisiting old ideas

    22:00 Books transformed idle curiosity into the active zeal of workers

    24:30 Wilbur Wright on risk: “The man who wishes to keep at the problem long enough to really learn anything positively must not take dangerous risks. Carelessness and overconfidence are usually more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks.”

    25:00 Jeff Bezos on stress

    28:00 Discover things for yourself

    31:00 Success it most certainly was.

    33:30 Profitability of flying machines

    35:00 The distribution channel of flying machines

    38:00 Wilbur Wright on the idea of flight: "In the enthusiasm being shown around me, I see not merely an outburst intended to glorify a person, but a tribute to an idea that has always impassioned mankind. I sometimes think that the desire to fly after the fashion of birds is an ideal handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air."

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