Founders

Founders

For every episode I read a biography of an entrepreneur and pull out ideas you can use in your business.

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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

    11:16 Get subscriber only podcasts here (Every other podcast is only available to subscribers): https://www.patreon.com/founderspodcast

    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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    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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    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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    Paul English: Kayak

    7:00 Kayak sells for $1.8 billion

    12:00 I'm paying attention. I want meetings of three people, not ten.

    15:00 Someday this boy's going to get hit by a truck full of money, and I'm going to be standing beside him.

    22:30 A description of Paul's bi polar disorder

    31:00 The economics of games

    36:30 Learning how to negotiate from his Dad

    43:00 The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven't figured this out yet.

    50:00 Leaving a $1,000,000 behind.

    55:00 Applying the lessons he learned from watching his Dad negotiate

    58:30 The entrepreneur of ice.

    1:01:00 Consistency doesn't matter. Only invention matters.

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    James Dyson: The Dyson Company

    :01 I am a creator of products, a builder of things

    13:30 The best kind of business is one where you can sell a product at a high price with a good margin, and in enormous volumes.

    16:00 One sentence summary of this book: Difference, and retention of total control

    20:00 Misfits are not born or made; they make themselves

    24:30 The parallels of running and building companies

    30:00 People who inspired him

    34:00 I am only celebrating my stubbornness. I am claiming nothing but the virtues of a mule

    43:00 When selling something new, do not mix your messages. Consumers can not understand multiple new ideas

    47:00 Entrenched professionals are always going to resist more than private consumers

    55:00 Don't make your products too wide. Narrow it down

    1:02:01 The "Edisonian Principle of Development"

    1:15:00 Total control is what this whole thing had been about

    1:18:00 James' Design Philosophy

    1:31:00 If you make something, sell it yourself

    1:33:00 James' Business Philosophy

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    Jim Clark: Netscape, Silicon Graphics, & WebMD

    0:01 He grew up poor, dropped out of high school, and made himself 3 or 4 billion dollars

    8:00 New Growth Theory

    11:15 "Growth is just another word for change."

    15:00 "The notion of what constituted useful work had broadened."

    18:00 "If everyone was patient there'd be no new companies."

    21:00 Turning his life around at 38

    30:00 Jim's idea to avoid the Innovator's Dilemma

    33:00 The beginning of Netscape

    38:00 The fast eat the slow

    40:00 The people you don't want

    43:00 The difference between a pig and a chicken ("They had wanted to be chickens; Clark forced them to be pigs")

    48:00 All chips on 00 / Diversification is for idiots

    56:00 Moving the goalposts / "Mama, I'm going to show Plainview."

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    John Carmack & John Romero: DOOM

    :01 The business model of podcasts

    19:00 Intro to Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

    30:00 "We’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets. We’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows—we can’t earn any money that way. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him you do that—and um—forget the money. If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time...You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid! It is absolutely stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is—somebody is interested in everything—anything you can be interested in, you will find others who are..." —Alan Watts

    36:00 John Carmack's personality and early life

    44:00 If you want to understand the entrepreneur, study the juvenile delinquent

    51:00 How ID Software was born

    57:00 How the two Johns process time

    1:00:00 The shareware business model

    1:06:00 All of science and technology and culture and learning and academics is built upon using the work that others have done before

    1:15:00 ID Software financials

    1:21:00 Keep things simple: Just focus on making great games

    1:25:30 The business model of Doom

    1:37:00 The beginning of the end of the partnership between John Carmack and John Romero

    1:44:00 Different philosophies on how to run a business / what happens when you abandon frugality

    2:00:00 In the information age, the barriers just aren't there

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    Steve Jobs #2

    0:30 Learning from great company-builders

    5:00 Steve Jobs verbal mastery

    10:00 The failed negotiations between NeXT and IBM

    18:00 "But how can he be a turnaround expert when he eats his lunch alone in his office, with food served to him on china that looks like it came from Versailles?"

    22:00 "You can't go to the library and find a book titled The Business Model for Animation. The reason you can't is because there's only one company [Disney] that's ever done it well, and they were not interested in telling the world how lucrative it was."

    29:00 Bill Gates on Steve's simplicity

    33:00 Steve Jobs on being an artist

    34:00 Apple pays half billion dollars to rehire Steve Jobs

    38:00 "The company is one of the most amazing inventions of humans, this abstract construct that is incredibly powerful."

    42:00 Unlocking secrets

    45:00 Who gives a fuck about the channel?

    52:00 "It's not about how fast you do something, it's about doing your level best."

    55:00 Deep Restlessness

    59:00 "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."

    1:08:00 Bill Gates on the negotiations between Pixar and Disney

    1:12:00 Buy Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

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    Jeff Bezos: Amazon & Blue Origin

    :02 The Philosopher CEO

    9:00 Jeff Bezos in his 20s and the idea for Amazon

    21:00 Jeff Bezos’ regret minimization framework

    32:10 Customers not competitors

    40:00 Bezos on work life harmony

    43:00 There will be no John Sculley at Amazon

    46:30 Focus on the customer and frugality

    51:30 The founder of Costco gives Jeff Bezos advice

    59:05 “If you’re not good, Jeff will chew you up and spit you out. And if you’re good, he will jump on your back and ride you into the ground.”

    1:02:30 Jeff’s counterintuitive point on communication: “Communication is a sign of dysfunction.”

    1:08:15 A different approach to meetings/ working backwards from the press release

    1:13:00 No room for gatekeepers in the digital age

    1:15:01 An email from the first CFO of Amazon

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    Elon Musk Part 3: How and Why SpaceX Will Colonize Mars

    (4:38) In the most recent 1% of our species short existence we have become the first life on earth to know about the situation

    (8:41) The total market for satellite manufacturing, the launches that carry them to space, and related equipment and services has ballooned from $60 billion in 2004 to over $200 billion in 2015

    (9:13) Here is what SpaceX does: it takes things to space for people for money. Here is what SpaceX really does: it is an innovation machine trying to solve one big problem. The astronomical cost of space travel

    (20:35) For 1% we can buy life insurance

    (23:26) Up until 25 years ago there had never been such a thing as a global brain of god like information access and connectivity on this planet

    (31:21) Musk has said he doesn't care that much about your degree. Just raw talent, personality, and passion for the SpaceX mission

    (40:14) For domestic launches the ULA charges the government and the US taxpayer $380 million per launch. For a similar launch the US government pays SpaceX $133 million

    (45:55) Life has to be about more than just solving problems. There has to be things that inspire you

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    The Cook & The Chef: Elon Musk's Secret Sauce

    (3:55) Which leaves only two options: create or copy.

    (6:04) Conventional wisdom: If something is both a good idea and possible, it's already been done.

    (14:10) I'm fascinated by those rare people in history who manage to dramatically change the world during their short time here, and I've always liked to study those people and read their biographies. Those people know something the rest of us don't and we can learn something valuable from them.

    (20:28) Musk calls this reasoning from first principles. One of the most important parts of this podcast.

    (27:08) Conventional wisdom screamed at the top of its lungs for him to stop.

    (31:42) Your entire life runs on the software in your head. Why wouldn't you obsess over optimizing it?

    (36:17) We mistake the chef's originality for brilliant ingenuity.

    (41:16) The reason these outrageously smart people are so humble about what they know is that they are aware that unjustified certainty is the bane of understanding and the death of effective reasoning.

    (45:41) Conventional wisdom worships the status quo and always assumes that everything is the way it is for a good reason. And history is one long record of status quo dogma being proven wrong again and again, every time some chef comes around and changes things.

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    Thomas Edison

    (11:00) Edison starts his first business at 12 years old

    (20:00) Edison's discipline

    (38:00) Edison's rivalry with Alexander Graham Bell

    (1:00:00) Edison's friendship with Henry Ford

    (1:15:00) Edison's stoic nature

    (1:21:00) The death of Thomas Edison

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    Elon Musk: SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal, & Zip2

    (0:01) The case for reading more biographies

    (8:00) How to spend $180 million

    (23:00) Mice in space

    (45:00) Pain, suffering, and survival

    (1:10:00) Conclusion

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