Today, we’re releasing a conversation between John Collison and Charlie Munger. We've had this interview with Charlie scheduled to air for a while, coinciding with Stripe Press's launch of the amazing reprint of Poor Charlie's Almanack, which is released today.
We were all stunned last week when we heard the news of Charlie's passing, but having consulted with those close to him, everyone agreed that he'd want us to release this interview. I'm thankful to be able to learn from him just one more time in this interview. Please enjoy, and may Charlie Rest in Peace.
My guests this week are Peter Fenton and Victor Lazarte. Peter and Victor are both General Partners at Benchmark Capital. Of the six equal partners at the storied venture firm, Peter is the longest serving and Victor is the newest, having spent the past decade founding and building Wildlife Studios into one of the biggest independent mobile gaming companies in the world.
Peter has been a board member at Wildlife for the past four years and has a remarkable track record of tech investing over his two decades at Benchmark. In our discussion, we talk about the core motivators behind great entrepreneurs, Benchmark's unique operating philosophy, and what it's like to transition from builder to investor. Please enjoy this conversation with Peter Fenton and Victor Lazarte.
Today's episode is a conversation with Lior Susan, the Founder of Eclipse Ventures, whose mission is to unlock solutions to age-old physical industry problems through the intersection of bits and atoms. Lior is Israeli, and served in Israel's special forces before founding Ecplise.
The topic of conversation is one fellow investor's perspective of the terror attacks of October 7 and the path forward. I hope more than anything that collective action is in the direction of fewer people dying, and most importantly, zero innocent civilizations dying in Israel and in Gaza and Palestine.
This is not a political show, and it won't become one. This is a conversation with a person deeply and personally affected by the Hamas terror attacks of October 7, who I believe to be a very good person who wants to be a part of change in the right direction for everyone good in and around Israel and Gaza, regardless of their background, religion, or anything else about them.
Please enjoy my conversation with Lior Susan.
My guest today is Brad Jacobs. Brad’s resumé is remarkable. He has founded seven companies, all of which are billion-dollar or multibillion-dollar businesses. He has done 500 M&A transactions and raised $30 billion dollars of debt and equity capital. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman of XPO, a commercial trucking company that he started in 2011 and has grown into one of the largest logistics businesses in the world. Brad’s energy is infectious and our conversation unpacks his strategies for M&A, his propensity for speed, and methods for earning team buy-in. Please enjoy my conversation with Brad Jacobs.
My guests this week are Elizabeth Zalman and Jerry Neumann. Jerry has been on this show two times before. He’s an early-stage Venture Capitalist, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, and an excellent writer. Liz is a two-time founder, most recently co-founding StrongDM, in which Jerry was a seed investor. Together, they have written a somewhat contentious book called "Founder vs Investor" that lays bare the relationship at the core of most new businesses. They take specific moments in a start-up’s life up to IPO and share their experiences on the friction that inevitably appears. In our conversation, we discuss the strong reaction to the book, the incentive problem at the root of the relationship, and explore best practices for other founders and VCs to follow. Please enjoy my conversation with Jerry Neumann and Liz Zalman.
My guest today is Palmer Luckey. Palmer is the founder of Defense company Anduril Industries, which makes next-generation military technology for the US and its allies. Since bringing the company to life in 2017, Palmer and Anduril have disrupted the established order in the Defense industry. Prior to Anduril, Palmer founded Oculus VR, a virtual reality business that he sold to Facebook for $2 billion.
Palmer is only in his early 30s, but he has already experienced more than most people will in a 40-year career. We talk about innovation, invention, differentiated thinking, and so much more. Please enjoy this great discussion with Palmer Luckey.
Today’s guest is Aswath Damodaran, who is joining us for a second time on Invest Like the Best. Aswath is a Professor of Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business and is often referred to as the Dean of Valuation for his clarity of thought on the subject. This conversation picks up where we left off 18 months ago and covers a wide range of topics from macro risks to Nvidia and the process of crafting a personal investment philosophy. Please enjoy this great discussion with Aswath Damodaran.
My guests this week are the co-founders of Stripe, Patrick and John Collison. My conversation with John in 2020 is still one of our most popular. A key theme that emerged from that first discussion was John’s boundless curiosity for all things business and this conversation continues that thread. We talk about setting a strategy and culture that attracts ambition, why the returns to sweating the details are high, and how they view Stripe’s progress against their mission to increase the GDP of the internet. Please enjoy this great and wide-ranging discussion with John and Patrick Collison.
My guest this week is Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of leading game publisher Take-Two Interactive. Maybe most well-known for its hugely successful Grand Theft Auto game, Take-Two is a sophisticated, top-tier developer, publisher, and marketer of interactive entertainment that owns Rockstar Games and 2K. Strauss’s passion for entertainment led him strong and fast into the industry as he worked his way from sales to CEO and transitioned from motion picture to gaming.
Today we cover his approach to staying on the cutting edge of media development, unlocking talent and potential in those around you, and becoming the leader you were meant to be. His intensity and his standard for excellence come through clearly. Please enjoy my conversation with Strauss Zelnick.
My guests this week are Rick Buhrman and Paul Buser. Rick and Paul spent over a decade managing the public equity portfolio at Notre Dame’s Endowment before leaving in 2020 to set up a permanent capital vehicle called Sator Grove. As you’ll hear in this conversation, they know, have studied, or have invested with most of the world’s best capital allocators.
A few years ago, they also set up a class at Notre Dame for 40 of the college’s brightest students, called Art of Investing. The class is devoted to exploring the joys of compounding and each week, they bring in a world class investor or operator to share in detail how they’ve built their lives, portfolios, and businesses around the principles of compounding.
Starting next week, it will be available as a Colossus Podcast so that you too will be able to join their class and learn from the likes of Todd Combs, Andre Perold, Ho Nam and others. I’d encourage you to search Art of Investing in your podcast player and subscribe so you don’t miss the first episode. Now onto my discussion with Rick and Paul.
My guests today are Jack Altman and Miles Grimshaw. Jack is the co-founder and CEO of Lattice, an HR software platform. Miles is a General Partner at Benchmark, an early investor and Board Director at Lattice, as well as a former guest on Invest Like the Best. Jack started Lattice in 2015 and has scaled it into a multi-billion-dollar business that already serves over 5,000 organizations. In our discussion, we look at all aspects of building and scaling a software product from both an investor and operator’s perspective, which made this particularly fun to do. Please enjoy my conversation with Jack Altman and Miles Grimshaw.
My guest today is Michael Simanovsky. Mike is the Managing Partner of Conversant Capital, a real estate investment firm he founded in early 2020. Conversant aims to be the most flexible capital provider in real estate, investing across public and private markets as well as equities and credit. The firm will also incubate platforms where they see an opportunity to take advantage of a compelling theme that lacks existing business models for investment. We cover the most undersupplied part of the market, why he’s building Conversant to be so flexible, and the surprising appeal of billboards. Please enjoy my conversation with Mike Simanovsky.
My guest today is David Senra, the creator and host of Founders Podcast. With an incredible appetite for biographies, David has delved into the lives of over three hundred entrepreneurs, extracting invaluable wisdom that he shares with his audience each week. Throughout the conversation, we discuss David’s love of podcasts, and what can be gained from studying the lives of not just entrepreneurs, but of athletes and film directors alike. I hope you enjoy this conversation with David Senra.
My guest today is Will England, the CEO and Co-CIO of Walleye Capital. Walleye is a multi-strategy hedge fund headquartered in Minnesota that manages around $5 billion. Our conversation is a primer on multi-strategy hedge funds, which have become a force in markets through the success of firms like Millenium, Citadel, Point72, and Balyasny. We discuss the operational complexity behind the model, which managers best fit this type of investment style, and what happens in stress events like the Gamestop short squeeze in early 2021. We also talk about performance culture, the All Blacks, and Will’s experience as a US National Team rower. Please enjoy my conversation with Will England.
Almost exactly a year ago, Colossus entered into a partnership with David Senra and the Founders podcast to join the Colossus network. The show has since exploded with more devoted fans than any podcast that I've encountered. With that in mind, we are excited to share an example episode from his show here today on the director, James Cameron. It's my favorite recent episode of David's. Please enjoy this episode, and if you haven't already, subscribe to Founders.
This is what he learned from reading The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron by Rebecca Keegan and The Return of James Cameron, Box Office King by Zach Baron.
Join Colossus live in NYC with Patrick O’Shaughnessy and David Senra on Oct. 19.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
My guest today is Lee Ainslie, the founder of Maverick Capital. Lee started his investing career at Tiger Management where he worked for Julian Robertson. In 1993, he left to start Maverick and has built the firm into one of the top-performing hedge funds of the last 30 years. Lee doesn’t speak in public often so this is a fascinating insight into what it takes to build an enduring investment business - both psychologically and operationally. Throughout the conversation, we flick between his lessons building Maverick, his perspective on the market, and what he’s learned about the craft of investing. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Lee Ainslie.
Today, we are running a special episode from our show Founder's Field Guide. In this conversation, Nick Kokonas shares his experience of bringing a business mindset to the restaurant industry. It is one of our favorites at Colossus and there is something for everyone in this timeless conversation. Nick is the co-founder of 3 of the best restaurants and bars in America - Alinea, Next, and The Aviary as well as the co-founder and CEO of Tock, a comprehensive booking system for restaurants. He majored in philosophy before becoming a derivatives trader and is now one of the most well-known names in the hospitality industry.
My guest today is Des Traynor. Des is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Intercom - a customer service solution that helps businesses answer product questions, offer instant support, and automate sales. The business was founded in 2011 and its products operate within 25,000 businesses, including the likes of Amazon, Lyft and Atlassian. Our conversation is roughly split in half. First, we talk about AI and how it’s actually changing businesses like Intercom through products such as their OpenAI powered bot called Fin. We then talk about Des’s views as an investor, which includes an answer about software that I’ll remember for a long time. Please enjoy my conversation with Des Traynor.
My guest today is Samo Burja. Samo is the founder of consulting firm, Bismark Analysis, and has dedicated his life’s work to understanding why there has never been an immortal society. His research focuses on institutions, the founders behind them, how they rise and why they always fall in the end. As you’ll hear, Samo has an encyclopedic grasp of history and his work has led him to some fascinating theories about human progress, the nature of exceptional founders, and the future of different societies across the world. Please enjoy my conversation with Samo Burja.
My guest today is Chris Paik, who is a General Partner at early-stage venture firm, Pace Capital. Before Pace, Chris spent eight years building and investing alongside last week’s guest, Josh Kushner, at his firm Thrive Capital. During that time, he sat on the board of Twitch. Our conversation explores Chris’ frameworks for investing, from atomic value swaps to business model product fit and the seven deadly sins. We also discuss different consumer trends like the rise of virtual YouTubers, Apple’s Vision Pro, and why everyone graduates off YouTube. Please enjoy my conversation with Chris Paik.
My guest today is Josh Kushner, founder and managing partner of venture firm, Thrive Capital. Josh started Thrive in 2010 and launched its first institutional fund in 2011. That first institutional fund was $40 million and, in it, Thrive led Warby Parker’s Series A, invested in Instagram, and incubated a business, which Josh co-founded, called Oscar. Thrive has gone from strength to strength since then and now manages $15 billion with a small team of 9 investors. Their portfolio is stage agnostic and their track record includes many of the best known businesses from the past decade, including Spotify, Unity, Stripe, and Twitch among many more. Josh rarely speaks in public about the firm and their philosophy so it was a blast to do this with him. Please enjoy my great conversation with Josh Kushner.