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Special: Invest Like the Best on Acquired

Special: Invest Like the Best on Acquired

Wed, 07 Oct 2020 02:49

On this special episode of Acquired, we're joined by a master interviewer himself, Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like the Best. We turn the tables and cover the most fascinating story he's never told on ILTB... his own! What is O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, and how are they bringing "AWS-level" innovation to the sleepy wealth management industry? How did he go from Notre Dame philosophy major to quant researcher to (arguably) technology CEO and now also an early-stage venture investor... all while simultaneously building one of the world's top new business media empires? Acquired is here to explore it all.

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Playbook Special! Patrick’s Favorite Themes from 5 Years of ILTB:


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Sweet. Nice. That was great. You guys do awesome, awesome preparatory work. I was by far the, by far the best one I've done by far. Welcome to this special episode of acquired, the podcast about great technology companies in the stories and playbooks behind them. I'm Ben Gilbert and I'm the co-founder of Pioneer Square Labs, a startup studio and venture firm in Seattle. And I'm David Rosenthal and I am a angel investor and independent advisor to startups based in San Francisco. And we are your hosts. Now you'll notice this is a very abnormal episode for us. I didn't say a number. We didn't talk about a company in the intro. David, what is this episode that we were doing today? We have a very, very special guest episode we've been looking forward to. I think all of us to do in for a long time. We have Patrick O'Shaughnessy CEO of O'Shaughnessy asset management and also host of the Invest Like The Best podcast. One of our very favorite shows here at acquired and so excited to have them on. So Patrick is a master interviewer as we all know. He gets these amazing guests, talks all about their businesses and their stories. Other than I think like the old episode you did with your dad, your audience doesn't get to hear about you. We want to hear about your business. What is this O'Shaughnessy asset management thing? How did you come into this? You're a philosophy major. Now you're running a quant fund. You have a venture fund. You've built this amazing podcast empire. We're going to dive all into it. Welcome Patrick. Thank you guys so much for having me. I'm always hesitant to do any of these because I'm scared of boring people with the same stories. But there's a mutual aberration society here of all the podcasts I listen to. Yours is the most regular. So it's an honor to be here. Thank you for having me. Thanks for joining us. Well, before we dive in, if you love acquired and you want to hone your own craft of company building, you should join the acquired community of limited partners. You'll get access to the LP show where we dive deeper into the fundamentals of company building and investing in addition to our LP monthly calls where we talk with all of you directly. And of course, our book club in Zoom calls with the authors. So if you aren't already an LP, you can click the link in the show notes or go to slash LP and all new listeners get a seven day free trial. Our presenting sponsor for this episode is not a sponsor, but another podcast that we love and want to recommend called the founders podcast. We have seen dozens of tweets that say something like my favorite podcast is acquired and founder. So we knew there's a natural fit. We know the host of founders. Well, David Senra. Hi, David. Hey, Ben. Hey, David. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me. I like how they group us together. And then they say it's like the best curriculum for founders and executives. It really is. We use your show for research a lot. I listened to your episode of the story of Akyo Marina before we did our Sony episodes. This incredible primer. You know, he's actually a good example of why people listen to founders into acquired because all of his great entrepreneurs and investors, they had deep historical knowledge about the work that came before them. So like the founder of Sony, who did he influence? Steve Jobs talked about him over and over again if you do the research. But I think this is one of the reasons why people love both of our shows and there's such good compliments is on acquired. We focus on company histories. You tell the histories of the individual people. You're the people version of acquired and where the company version of founders listeners. The other fun thing to note is David will hit a topic from a bunch of different angles. So I just listened to an episode on Edwin Land from a biography that David did. David, it was the third fourth time you've done Polaroid. I've read five biographies of Edwin Land and I think I've made eight episodes of them because in my opinion, the greatest such printer to ever do it, my favorite entrepreneur personally is Steve Jobs. And if you go back and listen to like a 20 year old Steve Jobs, he's talking about Edwin Land's My Hero. So the reason I did that is because I want to find out like I have my heroes. Who were their heroes? And the beauty of this is the people may die, but the idea is never do. And so Edwin Land had passed away way before the apex of Apple. But Steve was still able to use those ideas and now he's gone and we can use those ideas. And so I think what requires doing what a founder trying to do as well is find the best ideas in history and push them down to generations. Make sure they're not lost history. I love that. Well listeners, go check out the founders podcast after this episode. You can search for it in any podcast player. Lots of companies that David covers that we have yet to dive into here on acquired. So for more indulgence on companies and founders, go check it out. And now on to our special with Patrick O'Shaughnessy of Invest Like The Best. All right. Well, before Invest Like The Best, there was well actually not before Invest Like The Best is we'll get into the first iteration. There was O'Shaughnessy asset management. Of course, where you are CEO. But before that, there was O'Shaughnessy Capital Management. And that was started by your dad, right, Patrick? It was. Yeah. In 1990, I guess technically in 1987, so it goes way back for the first several years. It was a research firm, not an asset management firm that might be a theme we referred to back and forth today, which is the combination of open research and open ideas and asset management and how the two interrelate. But technically it was 1987, but began as an asset management firm in 95 96. You guys, how did I think still have a close relationship with RBC, right, the Royal Bank of Canada? We do. Yeah. So the Royal Bank is a fascinating business and incredible business that most people probably won't know. I've actually been lucky to be more places in Canada than probably all but a few Canadians love the country and love that company. There are largest, our longest standing client. They actually are the only outside owner of our business. They own a minority stake in our business. So a deep, long partnership with them has been a common thread through my career. There's an interesting story. Maybe we can come back to about a pivotal role they played in the first couple of years of my career in the times that I did get to see all those tiny corners of Canada. That's amazing. We definitely got to put a pin in that and come back. So Osana, see capital management in the kind of core insight as I understand it, that your dad had was that there was academic research around quantitative methods for investing and for screening and identifying equities, I believe equities, or maybe all types of assets to invest in. He was really a pioneer in putting that, I guess, his fair to characterize it as a data-driven approach to the old Ben Graham style, Graham and dad value investing. Is that a fair way to characterize the insight that he had? Yeah, I think a common misconception about Quants in general where I would count us is that we're value investors. We're not slaves to value. It just happens to be one of those things that has worked really well historically. There are other things that are very different from value that work too. But the original work was shockingly simple and oftentimes I find this is the case that no one had just gone to look at data to see what kinds of stocks with what kinds of attributes tended to do well. The original version of the research was literally the dogs of the Dow strategy, which is nothing more than taking of the 30 Dow stocks, the 10 stocks that have the highest dividend yield, buying them, holding them a year, redoing that same rule set a year later with a single trade. I think the first person to bring that research all the way back to the inception of the Dow 30. What he found was, look, this arguably stupidly simple strategy did better than the Dow itself and that the two pillars of that were the discipline with which it was implemented. You never deviated from a very specific process or rule set just buying stuff for a lower price. Of course, that strategy, like any strategy that gets discovered, tends to fade in its significance, but not necessarily go away. That was the original research that I think kicked off our entire journey as a company way back in the 80s with an incredibly simple by hand microfeesh collected data set going back to the 1920s. What's the first time microfeesh has come up on acquired? Powerful set of stuff you can find. If you're willing to just go grind and put in the work and find differentiated data sets, maybe we'll talk about this too, it's often not the modeling exercise that matters. It's the information that you're able to access, clean, normalize and control. Not a lot of people are at the library looking through microfeesh. This is a mentioned library. The other, to my mind, at least, kind of like key piece of, even like super early in this first iteration of the firm, that you guys, I think we're pioneers in is marrying this investing and your approach and this whole quantity of approach with media and evangelizing too. Invest like the best that we all know and love today is the second iteration of investing like the best, right? It is. I catch a lot of flack for the title like it's some corny, rhymy title, which I suppose it is on face value. The reason I named it this was, so my dad's first book he's written for, his first book was called Invest Like The Best and the whole premise, so this this actually predated what became Oshonzi Capital was that he was hired by large pension funds to effectively model their managers, the famous managers of the day, the Peter Lynch's of the world, for example, the John Templeton's. And what he did was create like clone portfolios by super simplifying their investment strategies into a rule set. And so the idea of the book was extract lessons from the behavior and investments of very famous successful managers and have it as a tool that you can carry with you or even use directly in your investing. And so I just thought, oh, that's kind of cool. You know, I'm basically going to do a version of that where I'm talking to people because I'm interested in getting them to share portable lessons with me and everybody else. So it would be kind of a neat tip of the hat to my dad's original research. I thought about that for about two seconds, you know, it just popped into mind and that's how it got named. But yes, there's a lot of continuity here around a commitment to I was called learning in public. I feel like that's becoming a cliche phrase, but I can like claim to using that that that very early on, but I do believe deeply in the power of doing that. So that first iteration capital management and the barester and ends up acquiring it, it becomes I think the the Lynch pin and biggest part of barester and asset management practice right before obviously before the financial crash in 2008. There's an intermediate step, which is actually quite interesting, which was in the late 90s, the team that was out of Sean C capital began to build a business called netfolio. Netfolio was a version of like if motif investing and wealthfront had a had a baby, it would have been netfolio back in the late 90s sort of an idea that was inevitable, but just ultimately too early for its time. So that whole team was building a, you know, effectively a robo advisor in the late 1990s was a part of that whole boom and bus cycle. I mean, it was like the quintessential story of tons of money raised and targeted at consumers, targeted direct to consumer. Well, come back to that when we talk to you about canvas later on, because we're doing something very different. But again, returning to our technology roots, if I was to credit any two patterns that are in common between me and my dad, even though he we never really talked about this. It was a sort of implicit. It was this love of technology and this love of open research. It definitely carries through. Wouldn't netfolio is the idea like, so I mean, with today, if I go to wealthfront, it's very set and forget I pick basically the amount of risk exposure I'm open to and it does all the rebalancing for me with netfolio. Did it bring in that idea of the clone portfolios? Like, could I invest like my favorite value investor? You know, I never got far enough where all the different product ideas came to fruition. At first, it was very simple versions of the same screens that were being run at a Seanency capital management, which was all around the quantitative research that team had done. And largely from a book called What Works on Wall Street, which was sort of the book that created the asset management firm, which is kind of an interesting directional story. And that was about it. I think the plans may have been to expand types of strategies and make it more and more customizable, which I think would have been a powerful concept one that we're playing with today. But never never quite made it there. So it's chassis was fairly straightforward, but it wasn't passive. Like, like, wealthfront and betterment are just low cost index rebalancing. It did offer active strategies. So then obviously 2008 happens. It was like February 2008, a few months before Lehman. So then you guys take the practice and spin it back out of bear, right? And that's the birth of what we all know today. I'll sound as the asset management, right? Yeah, I can now speak to this from experience, not from from story, because now I'm now I've entered the picture. So we actually left in the year before the March blow 2008 blow up of Bear Stearns in the summer of 2007. So technically the first day of Osam was July 3rd 2007, which we call those timing. Osam Independence Day. It was just sometimes luck of the Irish helps. We definitely were lucky, maybe in more ways than good. The plan had already been in motion long before the two structured high grade credit hedge funds that were sort of the canary in the great financial crisis coal mine began to blow up. Patrick, you were graduating 2007 as well. I did. Yeah, I graduated two months earlier. Oh my gosh. So I did too. I started working in the analyst program at UBS in the TMT group there. And God, I remember whenever it was when those hedge funds blew up and JP Morgan acquired assets a bear for two dollars a share. Somebody taped a two dollar bill to the road. Do you remember this? The revolving door on his headquarters in Midtown? I remember hearing the news in March. Again, like I started and it sounds like you too started our careers on Wall Street thinking like, wow, this is a great place to be a market seem to just kind of go up. You know, I didn't really have the 2000, you know, stain on my brain. My awareness of the market was O2-07, which was this just like up into the right scenario. And the first several months was more of that in my career. And so I was very green. I hadn't studied, you know, we'll talk about I hadn't studied finance or business. I really didn't know anything. It saw the the shit hit the fan. So the famous thing that I remember because we knew so many bear people was thinking that someone had screwed up the price that it wasn't two. It must have been at least $20, right? Like there's no way it could be two dollars. And so I'll never forget. I'll never forget that that image of the two dollar bill plastered up against that beautiful bear stirons building, which you know, was part of the deal when Lehman acquired bear that, you know, just that building alone was like a billion dollar building. And they got it for nothing. So what a wild and looking back, you know, it was the aftermath of the crisis was was really hard for me because it forced me to learn so much so quickly in a very stressful environment with clients that are angry and upset about, you know, losing a lot of money. Ultimately, I was formidable. I'm glad that I started my career with that sort of event. Better than having one, you know, later in the ones career or after a rosy period. What does that look like when you take the firm and sort of spin it out of bear stir and structurally? Like how do you do something entrepreneurial like that with existing assets of an asset management firm? So it's complicated. The way that we ultimately did it was highly unusual where we had a as as divorces go had the friendliest of possible divorces with bear. There was literally a period where, you know, an asset management track records are everything. And so track records break if they're not continuous. So we actually had portfolio management team members as dual employees of bear stirns and Oshanasi asset management. 14 people, not including myself, left bear and were the sort of foundation foundational team for OSAAM. I spent a big chunk of my, you know, that early summer calling the first tire. I'm technically the first employee, yeah. Well, I'm also the first intern at first, although that didn't last long. So I spent a lot of my time transferring clients over. You know, we had billions and billions of dollars and thousands of accounts and it was a rude awakening for what business is like and all about. It was as friendly as it could be, meaning they helped us make it continuous and a good experience for the clients or as good as we could make it. It's interesting to basically start a business that's already a fairly large going concern. But nonetheless have to treat it like a brand new business with all the all the trouble that that that entails. But it was a great education for me again. I hadn't studied this stuff. So I had I had to learn by doing and I treasure those early days, even though it was stressful and hard. Okay, my plan here was to get right into the business model of sort of OSAAM since I think a lot of our listeners are not finance native. But we've touched a few times on your education now and how you didn't sort of come from this. Take us through how you decided what to study in college and did you intend to go into the family business or not? So I'm a big believer that hardship early on often shapes someone's personality and character later on. And one of my hardships early on in life was was completely self-imposed, which was I was a horrifically bad student in high school. I moved from a very small, very small class size school in eighth and ninth grade to an enormous 4,000 student public high school in Connecticut for high school. I had this realization that I could do effectively no work and get bees. That was a big change for me and basically meant I got to play more video games and hang out with my friends more and play Frisbee and soccer more. So I did all those things probably more valuable to your life and career now, right? I mean, again, I never look back on scars with regret because they sort of form they sort of form things later. So I assumed through stupidity and some arrogance and entitlement that I would get into the University of Notre Dame where my family has a long deep history. I didn't. And I also because I had that thought didn't apply to other schools that were safety schools. I applied kind of only to reach schools. So I was I was rejected by each of those schools on the same day. So I got I think six, you know, of those small envelopes that no college applicant wants to get all at once. I ended up going to a regional school that had a compatible curriculum with Notre Dame so that it would be easy for me to transfer there. When I went to that smaller school, it was a Minnesota where I'm from originally. I took the opportunity to reverse that course. I studied really hard. I declared as a history major. I was always interested. I was always interested in things. I just hated being told what to read or what to learn. And what I found in the first philosophy class I took at that school, the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, was that philosophy let me guide my own education in a very distinct and unique way. And I just felt instantly in love with it because the professor was basically saying go read anything you want and make an argument to me. I was like, oh, that's like what I do anyway. Like that sounds that sounds great. And so when I went to Notre Dame, which at the time had the best that wasn't by design, it was just luck had the best philosophy department arguably in the world. Despite being a religious school, it had an unbelievable, I'll call it secular philosophy department with some incredibly famous philosophers as as my professors. And that was my education. My education was twice per semester per class, read a ton of stuff on a topic, synthesize it and write a paper. And that was my schooling. I just loved that way of learning because it was so like I said, so self-directed. So that was the background story in in philosophy that sort of reignited or maybe even arguably ignited a love of learning that I, you know, I still have, I just love the topic. I can talk about it all day. I still read a lot of philosophy. I think it's a great way to build a foundation for how to think. I'm very lucky that that that that whole story played out the way it did even though at times it was it was pretty rough and stressful as a teenager. Wow. What a great way also to prepare you for like the other part of your career now that like nobody could have seen coming at that point. I mean, it gets podcast existed. I remember downloading some to my iPod in college, but like, I was I was very shy, you know, like as a kid, I actually think I've completely changed. I'm not shy at all now, but I was very shy and certainly like on the personality test would, would test highly introverted. God, if you had told me I'd be doing this kind of thing in 10 years when I was, you know, 18, I would have told you you're out of your mind. But yeah, sure enough, here we are. Thanks, James. Wow. Coming out of Notre Dame, like, well, had you been thinking all along? I mean, just didn't all this stuff my dad doesn't finance it and like I might do, I like, yeah, how did you end up being employee number one at this startup? The truth is I didn't think about it at all. And I delayed it and procrastinated this decision. I kind of thought I would go to law school just because I liked arguing. I liked constructing arguments. I liked the competition of it. I liked being like a truth-seeking missile, you know, above all else. So that was kind of my default path that I would, you know, have a summer off and study for the LSATs and maybe go, go become a lawyer. And I just got lucky, right? The timing was just right that the business was getting set up and I couldn't argue with the logic that it would be pretty smart to watch and help a business get set up. Like that's valuable experience, no matter who you are. And so I just jumped on it. And that was it. There was no more magic to it than that. I don't think I actually even really read my dad's work or books. We didn't ever even talked about it at home until after college. So when I say I knew nothing about investing, like I knew nothing about investing when I graduated, like I didn't know what an equity was. And I had never, I joke all the time, like I had never used Excel. Like I didn't even know what that was as a tool in college. Again, because I'm just reading, reading and writing basically. Which is amazing given like your dad tell stories of bringing piles of computers with him on family vacation to back test models against historical stock market trends. Like what was your view of that growing up? My view that was that he was at the house, but we were body surfing and booby boarding and you know, in the waves. And I didn't much care. Yeah. Again, I think a gift that that any parent can give their kid is tremendous support and care for their interest without imposing one's own interests onto their children. And you know, that's something that I'll emulate and repeat with my kids. So yeah, we just we weren't bludgeoned with it. It wasn't dinner table conversation. It was maybe that strange now looking back on it given that's what is all his mind share was going to. But but yeah, we were just we were at the beach while he was doing that. Yeah, it's so funny. I can relate so much to I mean, obviously very different but so much of the story. You know, yeah, when I showed up man for analyst training, well, analyst training was fun. But my first couple months in the group, C UBS French literature in college French literature. Yeah, arguably philosophy. Although I did more like theater and stuff. Man, I'd never used to sell either. I just got hammered like I was bottom of the class like for a long time. Just that learning curve. But like you say, like, you know, coming in with a fresh mind and just having that it's a stretch to call it adversity. But like, hey, you got to sink or swim. You got to learn this stuff and like having a liberal arts education and being prepared to learn. Got to just think like it and serve ended up serving me super well and sounds like you too. I think the best thing that can come out of any early education is just the feeling of what it's like to enjoy learning in whatever whatever area that happens to be it opens the door for you to be a high slope learner and other stuff like if you're if you're curious and let that be the the pole mechanism versus some sort of push mechanism, which as I mentioned just doesn't work for me. I think that's the skill that really matters and and you can figure excel out if it's a means to an interesting and curious end for you and any other tool that we have at our fingertips. So I think becoming a high slope learner and like getting the experience of how fun that can be is really the only truly valuable thing that college or some other formal education can best don't on you. Man, you're reminding me of that I had this moment. I remember sitting in college physics freshman year. I sort of what the engineering route. But when I was sitting in that lecture and I remember connecting the dots between how orbit works and why I can't throw a baseball very far and understanding how that manifested in the equations we were learning like this this teacher this lecture we've the most amazing narrative between the practice theory and those two concepts and putting them together. And I just remember like I still remember the high that I had from the flow state of what a pleasure it was to learn that. And a lot of ways I think all three of us are constantly chasing that in how do we learn something new in such a complete and well-illustrated way that it's it's thrilling and enjoyable to learn. Could agree more. I mean that's what everyone should be chasing really on in life. I think. Yeah. Well, and always. Okay. So speaking of learning, you had to learn educator us and our listeners to what is the this business you were setting up? Oh, so I was the asset management. Like how does an asset management firm work period and how do you guys work? Well, the thing about traditional asset managers is it's in many ways the simplest business model on planet earth and one arguably one of the best if you do it right. So it's literally as simple as you take control over other people's assets. You're given discretion to trade their assets on their behalf. This could be wealthy individuals working with a financial advisor could be a huge pension fund. It could be a corporate pension plan, whatever whatever that might be. And you're given discretion over the assets. You're hired to transact and trade and invest on their behalf. And traditionally in a long, lonely context, you're paid a percent of those assets that's quite small, you know, sub one percent of those assets these days as an annual fee for your services. And it's just a management fee. And in hedge funds, there's the extra layer of usually carried interest like you would see in venture capital firms, but the big, long, only managers that just buy stocks on the long side, just to hold them will charge some flat asset management fee. And that's the entire business, right? So it's a function of how much you manage. And the beautiful thing about it is that it's recurring. So it's very sass like in that sense. It's a recurring revenue stream. Also, there are no accounts receivable, right? So you tend to strip the fee that you're generating directly from the asset base that you control itself. So it's a very, very, it's an incredibly simple model. So you obviously want to design strategies that can accommodate some assets, maybe not too much in assets, because any strategy sorts of die as it gets too big. But in public markets, this can be billions and billions of dollars. And that's it. That's the entire business model. So the functions of the business are just like any other business. There's product, which is the investment strategy that's run by a research team, a chief investment officer, you know, in our case, a team of quantitative researchers, building predictive models to buy stocks. That's the research function or product function. And then there's the distribution side of the house. So people talking to those investment advisors, telling them about our strategy, convincing them that we're better than, you know, the next guy, maintaining relationships, telling them about performance, all these sorts of things. And then there's the sort of operations and support functions inside the business, like any other business. So it is in many ways the world's simplest business model. And arguably, one of the oldest too, you know, financial advice of one way shape performance been around literally forever. And that's how our business was structured, you know, out of the gate. Nothing nothing complicated. Was there or is there also the equivalent of a carried component, a performance component, or is it all just the as a management fee? It totally depends on the firm. Some charge a performance incentive fee above and beyond the performance of a certain benchmark. So let's say you're hired to manage US stock portfolio. If you beat the S&P by 10%, you get to keep, you know, two of that 10% on a dollar basis. So sometimes managers charge that way. The much more common is just a flat asset management fee that's based on assets. But you can contractually do anything you want. And sometimes sometimes big investors like to pay zero management fee and a generous incentive fee. So that basically the only time you make money is if you do your job and beat the broad market. Why do you think it is that historically it's been common for long only public asset managers to be fee based and venture capital private equity hedge fund managers to have such a heavy performance component? Well, we could debate that's the latter part of that statement these days. But I think it's just capacity, right? The reality is that if you were to give me in our, you know, US large cap strategy of billion dollars tomorrow, we'd execute it in a day or two and we wouldn't move the stocks that that we're trading. I mean, think of the challenge of putting a billion dollars to work in almost any venture context. It's incredibly hard to do. There's just not enough capacity to go around. And therefore you need, you need to incentivize the managers with potential reward. And because the capacity is capped, you need to have that be something like an incentive fee like carried interest. So there's a lot that we could talk about in this space and the alignment of incentives and how this should work. You could argue that someone that gets paid carry should not get be able to get rich on management fees. Obviously in practice, that's that's not always the case and usually not the case for successful firms. They get rich both ways. But that's the primary driver is that I, you know, a strategy like ours in public markets going to accommodate billions tomorrow with no marginal real marginal cost to us and without affecting the market price. I mean, we've seen this experiment play out over the last 10 years in the private markets and in particularly in the quote unquote venture flavor of the private markets like billions of dollars have come in and they have impacted the market hugely. Yeah, massively, massively increase prices. And like you say, it's hard to efficiently put a billion dollars to work in certainly private companies, but particularly venture and like, you know, that's why we got two and a half years of joking about the soft bank vision fund every time anybody was bringing up venture returns because, you know, they have a blunt instrument in deploying these billion dollar checks. That was one firm. Yeah, that literally impacted the whole market. I won't name names, but, you know, I've heard from founders who have taken soft bank money about the absurdity of the process of diligence that went with that. And I just think it's crazy. I think that amount of money to put it to work, you have to be cutting enormous checks and doing so fairly liberally. So it's no surprise the impact that has on prices. Wait, absurdly a lot of diligence or absurdly not enough. Absolutely not enough. If you're thinking about even the biggest hedge funds and the amount of work they would do to deploy, say, a billion dollars into a business, it is crazy. Like, I live more in the circle of public market analysts, even though now, or, you know, I'm spending a lot of my time in the early stage markets, but sometimes I feel like I'm an alien on a different planet because the sort of work done on companies is just so different. Charlie Sonshurst described this as the East Coast versus West Coast mentality. I think that's a good episode you did. A lot of one of the best. He's one of the best. And I think that the right answer is somewhere in between those two mentalities, but yeah, I think there's a lot to be learned from each for the other. The West Coast has had a nice run here. So, you know, it's hard to argue with with the way they've been doing things given the results. But I think the public market mindset applied to private markets is a powerful concept, but in the context of some of the biggest venture investors, I don't think I wasn't the air, so I can't say for sure, but I don't think the same degree of rigor was applied to the work being done. Well, thank you for illustrating sort of the vanilla asset management model, particularly for long-only public funds or long-only public managers. How does OSAAM deviate from that and how has it sort of deviated over the years? So, I would say the major deviation has happened in the last couple of years, which is our move to become much more of a software business. So, we still are an asset manager in the sense of the business model. We charge people in asset management fee based on the assets they have with us. But the way that we're accessed and the way we deliver our product, they'll call it, is now heavily through a piece of software that we call Canvas. If I'm good at anything, it's just collecting really good ideas and applying them liberally without a lot of second-guessing from the smartest people I can find. And so, in many ways, what we've done with Canvas is just borrowing some of the best lessons I've uncovered. And we've uncovered as a team over the last three or four years. Chathen, who we both know really well, had a huge hand in this, which he knows, and I've told him several times in terms of our go-to-market strategy, so many others, a heavy hand, and how we thought about product. But I think of us today as a software business that happens to monetize through asset management. I'm happy to walk into the origins there. But I would say that's the primary deviation between us and the every man asset manager. Patrick, you're on acquired. Please walk us through the origins of that. Happily. So, when I was kind of in the early days of the podcast, the podcast was nothing more than an open search for me after having really honestly maxed out my abilities as a quantitative researcher. The lack of statistics background caught up to me. I did a lot. I'm proud of the work I did. But the team that's on our team today would, even the ones that are very young, absolutely run circles around me five times a day, in terms of the actual work being done. So, I had to find some new way to add value. And what I agreed to do with a couple of my friends was to do this very openly. And I tried six or seven different things, different formats for doing this, the podcast is the one that stuck. And I was basically just looking for areas that interested me. What could I find that was applied to our business? I could understand, I felt like I could intelligently apply. And most of that ended up being around the world of software. So, I got especially enamored of the early Amazon Web Services story. And the story of Andy Jassy and his TA Stint, which is this program at Amazon, where the senior team has sort of like a, always, not maybe not always, but often have like a shadow staff member called a technical assistant at TA. Started at Microsoft under Bill Gates. Right. And Jassy was, was Bayesos's TA for, you know, in 2003 or whatever year it was. And then had this brilliant insight of, well, it's repurposed the infrastructure we built for our retail business and turn the dams on Web Services. So, I talked to a lot of people at Amazon. And I just like getting on the phone with people. I find them pretty good at getting, getting to the people with the right information and just getting them talking. And so, I got a lot of context around how this worked in the early days. And I thought, holy crap, you know, we have the same, obviously much smaller scale, but we have the same general type of opportunity. We're a quant firm. So, we've built all this crazy infrastructure, ripping third party vendors out one by one over 10 years, rebuilding a software solution internally to help us do our jobs. We had a full-time dev team that was just building internal tools. And so, the question became, well, if this had a beautiful front end skin on it, you know, what would the product be? What would it look like? Let's go through that exercise. And we kind of poked and prodded on a couple different things and settled on the final model that we call Canvas, which does exactly that. It literally is our internal tools as a service to let you design extremely customized investment strategies through a web-based portal, which we then do all the trading and implementation on, all the reporting on for the benefit of generally very high net worth individuals through their financial advisor. So, what we work on is software. So, it's obviously client-facing like end users. In my mind, it's client-facing. Our client are the advisors. So, the people that use Canvas are themselves advisors? Correct. So, I'll make up a, you know, RIA, RISTER Investment Advisor firm. We'll call it John Doe Capital. So, John Doe Capital has five advisors, some support staff. They manage a billion dollars for 10 families. Let's just say they're really very wealthy families. Those families have outsourced their investment function to the advisor. They trust them. They they trust them to oversee their their their states and their investments. Those advisors typically today don't don't pick stocks themselves. They used to, well, wait decades ago, then they moved to picking mutual funds. Then to managers, it's it's evolved. But usually they outsource the function that could mean hiring Vanguard to do it very low cost. They could mean hiring an active manager like us. And they make that decision based on a lot of research. What we do basically is say, well, we're going to do all that. But you don't you don't just get to pick like option A, B or C. Instead, you get to design exactly the strategy that you want. That's specific to the circumstances and preferences of the end of your client. Yeah. Of the actual end investor will call them. And that might be particularities around their tax preferences or around what kinds of stocks they're willing to own. What sort of risks they have in their life like arguably if you're you know a Facebook executive, maybe maybe you want to route some of your investment risk in different parts of the economy, not not double down on on the same sector. So that there's all these sort of variables. Everyone's life's a little bit different and preferences are different. And this software allows advisors to show their clients something very unique. That's that's totally tailored to them. This is awesome. It truly is a AWS story. Like you guys were serving clients yourselves. And now you're serving clients yourselves and other advisors who are serving clients. Correct. And our goal is to make the advisor central here. Right. So that much like you know, again, maybe Shopify is another interesting example that I've thought a lot about with merchants as the as the North Star versus customers as the North Star that Amazon has built its business on. And you could think of advisors sort of like us building for merchants. We're building a platform that they can build an entire business on top of. And at the same time provide a really interesting solution to their clients. And so Patrick, I have the sort of vertical versus horizontal conflict question here brewing in my mind. How did you think about whether you should sell licenses to Canvas to OSAAM's competitors or not? So it's an interesting and ongoing question. I don't have a great answer to this. I'd like one definition of a platform which is that you're not using the same tools to compete against your clients. And there's a tension here. Like another one of my favorite little ideas from my podcast history was an observation from Keith Roboi. Then at Coastal Now it Founders Fund when he said all the money he had made in this career was building tools for the equivalent of merchants, let's say, having the merchants be too slow to adopt them. And then using the tool vertically integrated to compete against the legacy merchants. Open door. I always have these opposing views in my mind. But we have a long history with the R.A. community. We love working with them. We were one of the first firms in the late 90s to work with that community. It's a fast growing segment of wealth management. And we generally like the wonky stuff and are less good at the end client experience and the rest of the package. We're not interested in a state planning in particular. We're interested in investing. And so I think the role that we play is the right role to serve R.A.s and advisors as our primary clients in that part of the business and not the end user. It's one of those perennial questions and decisions. When you have a powerful product, it's a luxury to wonder, what all could we do with this? But I think ultimately the more you get distracted, the more you lose focus, the worse product you create. This is the perfect transition to talking about the other thing you've built over the past couple years on your own and within with the NOSAM. So you're Keither Boy episode. Fun, acquired history here. So good. At the end of it, you were, I think you've stopped doing this as much, but you were asking, you have your kind of this question, but you also asked people for book recommendations. Have you stopped doing that? Are you still doing that? I have stopped doing it mostly because I don't read books anymore for the most part, which is a strange departure given I used to read, you know, 100 a year. But because I've lost interest in books for the most part, nonfiction books specifically, I actually don't ask the question anymore. You just ask what podcast you listen to. But yeah, so Keith's answer to the books was seven powers. And Keith was like, hey, there's this book in the sky Hamilton Elmer, best kept secret in Silicon Valley. This is a fantastic book. And so I listened to that picked up the book, best said to Ben, I was like, Ben, you got to read this book. And we reached out to Hamilton and rest his history. I was like, really, David, I've never heard of it. Like, I don't know. And he's like, look, Reed Hastings says is the best business strategy book. And he's like, the best business strategy practitioner in the world. And I was like, okay, fine. It is amazing to be just flashing back. What was that six months ago? And oh my god, having skepticism there. Wow. I mean, just just to pile on there. I mean, I was introduced to Hamilton through Daniel, and I think I think it Daniel's the best strategist that I've spent personally spent time with. And he says the same thing about Hamilton. So or something similar anyway. So that's two pretty good ringing endorsements there. All be it from a very similar business model. It's Spotify and Netflix. Oh, one trying to be the other pretty quickly. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, yeah, seven powers is something I think about a lot. It's now a whole section on the acquired show, which we're going to make you go through for a few minutes. But okay. So like, invest like the best man. How did this happen? You wrote this. You've talked about your philosophy of growth without goals, which maybe you can get into here in a minute. This thing has taken on a life of its own. How did it start? Some of it's timing, right? Like it started in 2016. So before this like mega boom of podcasts, you know, I think sometimes better just be early or have the right timing than good. And that was definitely a component of it. I was probably one of the one of the first couple, what I would call high end investing podcasts. And it was just lucky timing that my friend, Jeff Graham, who had just written a book, I think it was called Dear Chairman, which was a story of eight different activist investment campaigns in public markets, including the letters that were written by the investor to the chairman. I mean, it's an awesome book. And Jeff was kind of marketing the book. And I came over who asked to, but we decided that we would record like an audio version of the major topics covered in the book. That was the first episode. I told my producer, Matthew, that I would commit to doing seven of them again, because if I don't have a habit, I don't do well. So I figured seven was like seven weeks felt like long enough. And the second episode was with Michael Mubison, and who was a recent research friend, I'll call him at the time. And a legend in the in the research and equity investing business. And it just sort of took off. It was one of those things that I think had product market fit in week two. And steadily has grown ever since. Turns out on the internet, like the more focused you are and the more wonky and niche you are, the bigger your audiences. Because I think the internet rewards the edges of distributions. And I just happened to be really interested in one of those edges, which was like deep, wonky business and investing discussions. And so I've just done it ever since. And for the longest time, I never really had any goal with it. I just wanted to talk to interesting people and let my own curiosity guide me to the next guest or let the past guest guide me to the next guest. And it grew organically from there. I never marketed it. I never did anything but tweet out a link to it. Still for the most part, although that's changed recently a little bit. Don't do anything extra. And that's kind of the whole boring story to be honest guys. There's not a whole lot more to it than that. I wish I should probably start making up like like all these founders that I should make up a much more like mythical or to be honest. It's a typical origin story. You're walking in the woods that like, you know, yeah, I just happen to be downtown one day in New York and that's where just offices were and we recorded an episode and then the rest is history. How did you decide on seven and how did you decide I'm going to find a producer like right out the gate before I even know if I'm doing this thing or not? I tried to edit the first one myself and literally got 45 seconds into it and said no, effing way. Am I doing this? So I asked on Twitter for somebody I got lucky that my producer Matthew Passey was was around to answer or something and he's been my partner this whole time. So I've never touched the, you know, production or engineering side of this whole thing. Just I just have the conversations. That's my role. Seven weeks. I've no idea. I probably made it up. I probably felt like enough that it wasn't a crazy commitment, but also enough that I actually had to think about, you know, five more people after those first two and go get them and sit down with them and actually put in some effort and to see if it worked. And by the third episode, I was like, oh, I'm going to do this the rest of my life. Like this is so much fun and talk about a cheat code as a way to get ideas and information. It's like I always joke now like books should be one tenth of their length most of them and you can get multiple books and equivalent of insight in a single hour conversation. So why not just do that, especially if you can go get the best people in the world. So it's pretty concurrent with this whole new strategy and building canvas, right? Yeah, it preceded it. So 2016 was the fall of 2016 when I started the podcast. I took over OSAAM in 2018. So there was a bit of a gap and then we really started building canvas in earnest in late that the very end of 2018. So we built it very fast and I sort of think about it like having APIs at our fingertips like we had already built so much of the core infrastructure. So it was really just tapping into the infrastructure. So even though people saw it and they're like, holy crap, you built this in three months, we said, well, really we built it in like 10 years, but we were able to move very quickly. And part of the reason for that was the lessons I was picking up and my team was picking up along the way in those first two years. And what the podcast was an intentional strategy to attract capital for OSAAM or then later on to attract customers for canvas? Never. I don't believe intentional marketing almost ever works. I feel like the best marketing is like how did this happen sort of question after the fact. And the podcast remains a critical marketing asset for everything I and we do. But it's never with the mind towards that. Like I'm never thinking, what can I, how can I like, subliminally design something to get people to call us on this? It's never, ever like that. I think of it very much as brand versus direct response marketing. So no, never, it was never part of a strategy session or something like that. And never will be because we just know that that would that would pervert the whole reason I think it's interesting in the first place. And your listeners would see right through it. I mean, this is one of the biggest, the smartest group in the world. Exactly. The biggest key tenant that David and I have about acquired is assume the audience is brilliant. And yes, not only they are well, you then attract brilliant people, but it forces you to play at a higher level so that you get to keep engaging brilliant people. Yeah, I think that's so important. Like the second people smell sales. Like it has a stench. And I never want to fall in that trap. So it will remain driven by what's interesting to us, not what we think other people want to hear or not some backdoor into a business outcome that we're trying to achieve. Are there moments you remember from the last four years that were like either like something happened at a particular show, a particular guest that moved the needle in a big way or where you just like were like holy crap. Like this is this is bigger than I realized. I try to not check the metrics too often because when I wrote a book when I was I was pretty young. I wrote a book when I was in my like mid to late 20s. And when it came out on Amazon, I remember checking the stupid Amazon, like ranking like so many times a day. It's like crack for authors. I hated that. And I was like, you know what I'm not going to do that this time. So I would check after an amazing episode that I just knew was awesome. I would check just out of curiosity. And for sure, there was like a steady organic growth rate with step function changes. And I actually called this the mobs and bounce because I've had Michael on I think four or five times now. And every time I do, there's like a 10% audience increase that then doesn't disintegrate. So he's he's my growth hack along with with a few others. But yeah, I tried to I tried to stay away from all that because again, like that's one of those feedback loops where I would feel like the listens were driving my thinking on what to do next versus just my curiosity. So I've really tried to stay away from that as much as I can, especially recently as the numbers have gotten very big. And just just ignore it and trust that if I if I'm curious, it will come across. If I'm doing something by wrote that will come across because the audience is so smart. So just just don't do that. At the same time, it has taken on this life of its own. You're doing a bunch more stuff around it. Can you tell us about what's next but for the show and how it's bled into the investment business as well for you? Sure. So, you know, COVID's been with all its misery for so many people. We've I've tried to take it as a as a personal blessing as in as many ways as we can. You know, the first of those blessings is the time I get to spend with my family now and not I was traveling a lot for work and you know, I've been home. I'm sitting in my home office right now. My my kids are I can kind of hear them in the background and I get to see them and my wife Lauren all the time. And that's the first blessing. The second is it just made I think it made it's made everyone realize the parts of what they were doing that were wasted effort or if not wasted things they just didn't really enjoy doing. And I just believe that enjoyment aligns with good outcomes for the most part because you just have more energy for stuff and and if you have more energy of more persistence to get through hard times and then some better outcomes are possible. So, I kind of asked the question like what would the perfect alignment be between my own enjoyment and curiosity and and and effort in the business. And I think the way that shakes out is what I'm going to do the next 20 or 30 or 40 years whatever it is is just try to be like a cartographer. Just try to map the best knowledge in the business and investing world in a pretty formal way. And again, I think probably my legacy as a quant makes me think about everything like what does the database schema look like for something like that like what is the atomic unit like if I'm writing data to a knowledge database like what is that what is a unit of data look like. How does the database structure do you know how is it accessed what front end do I build on top of all these questions that I think anyone in software would understand trying to think about what I do through that same lens. And that's going to be my primary focus now that manifests in a couple of ways. I like to be radically open with this stuff. So I'm going to publish a lot of those learnings as we go. We're probably going to open source that database in some in some interesting way. We are just in the process of launching our first early stage investment vehicle called positive sum that I'll be spending a ton of my time on because it aligns so clearly with this same exploration. So I kind of think about it as I'm just going to do one thing like I'm just going to find interesting things to learn about. I think I'm pretty good at getting to the best people in the world on those topics and somehow convincing them to share the lessons they've learned. And just try to mimic like be a human version of of these companies like what's a good example like a ship or something which is an API that sits on top of a bunch of other APIs. Like I just now I'm a good router. So when I get a question I'm lucky I get to add I get to rather than answer it which cares about my answer. I get to go ask the smartest person in the world on that topic what the answer to that question is and do it pretty quickly. And so I'm trying to be a router not not a originator. And that's going to be my goal and it's going to manifest inside the business in a lot of different ways. I mentioned the new fund. The podcast will be expanding. I'm going to try to convince ever more of the calls that I do for my normal job to be recorded which is kind of weird and radical but I think really helps the general public as long as we're not doing any harm to any company or any individual which we're very careful about or revealing sensitive information or anything like this. But I think that there's an opportunity to just hit a button a little more often than not when having normal conversations that anyone would have in the investment business as they're doing diligence and research and be radically transparent and hopefully create a lot of value for other builders out there in the process. To sort of paint a use case which is like a thing that I often do as an investor when I'm hearing a startup pitch to try and echo back what I'm sort of conjuring up in my head. You could imagine a situation where you're doing research on businesses where there are scale advantages and where you can with a very large audience amortize the cost of something and you stumble upon Spotify and what they're doing with podcasting, you stumble upon Netflix to keep the examples we've been talking about this whole episode. And then there are a few ways to click a play button where you get to hear various conversations between you and Daniel where we can sort of hear different insights about how he thought about that strategy from different times you've communicated with him. Is that sort of how you're thinking about it? Yeah, I think there's a question of what format does this take that becomes really user friendly and useful? I've built them in part of products that no one wanted to use and I don't I try to be very allergic to that so we'll iterate around this. I know for sure that capturing these lessons in a more formal way is going to be if only for our own benefit very valuable because when I look back at a given episode you know I even did it in preparation for this talk just like looking at the episode title and saying what lesson did that episode contain and it's it's amazing for many of them like I could just go through them right now and just tell you like here's what I remember and it's an incredibly powerful tool. It's easy for me because I'm the one that had the conversation. I think it's harder if you're listening you know like for a few of your episodes I could say yep here's the lesson I remember but it sure would be reinforcing and powerful if I could tap directly into that good stuff more directly and and with more control. And so I think your example is a good one of oh I found this interesting how do I keep pulling on the same string within the same ecosystem so it's two tasks right fill that database with good stuff and and find like incentive structures to keep writing good data to that database and then find a way to make it navigable for interested people through technology and software. You called yourself your vision and what you wanted to hear being a router going forward to my mind that actually I think undersells a little bit what you've already been doing and the opportunity to do going forward. This listener said to me once he's like hey you know what you guys are your knowledge curators like all the knowledge is out there like this is the thing about the internet this thing about acquired just the probably the thing about you too like all your guests have been on other shows like they they have interviews and other formats they're on YouTube and various talks the knowledge is out there what you do and is you're curating it and packaging it in the best most consumable form does that resonate with how you're thinking about things yeah there's there there's certainly is a curation aspect right like as as the amount of information and knowledge explodes due to the internet all of a sudden it becomes valuable to to feel the compress that or curate it in in a helpful way so that's 100% the part of it but but part of it too I guess is or is helping others frame things in a novel or different way than they have in the past like if I'm trying to get better at anything it's having just a really low tolerance for repetitious content with a person like when I'm interviewing somebody that's done a lot of interviews my goal is to have as much of it be novel and and to have their reaction be like huh like I never thought about that question before as often as I can and I find the best way to do that is I'm just easily bored and I have consumed so much content that if I've heard something before I'm just bored like then I feel like I'm wasting my time and so I have I by having a low tolerance for for that sort of stuff I think that's the second function it's curation and sort of like eaking stuff out that hasn't been explained or revealed in that specific way before and so that's kind of what I'm trying to do and be selfish about it like ultimately if you're selfish in solving your own problem that's usually a good a good policy and sometimes the questions I'm asking are I'm dealing with some problem one of our businesses and I don't know how to solve it and so I ask somebody that's really good how to solve it and then and then you find something great yeah exactly right well I have a I have a management question on this so you have these like multiple concurrent initiatives you've got sort of the codifying business knowledge and making it more navigable you've launched an early stage investment fund which is a completely different operational animal and decision-making framework then public long only equity investing and then you've also got which I think you should pitch listeners on this new podcast that by the time this is out this will be launched that I think will be right up a lot of people's alley first what is that and second how on earth do you manage to do these three things concurrently well also running a large existing business so I it's the most common question I get and the first part of the answer is that I work very hard and have a lot of energy for this stuff and sometimes having more hours that are productive in a day is an advantage so that's part of it the the second is I'm just ridiculously open about what I'm doing so you know all my stuff as does everybody else I don't have any other stuff what I generally find with with my in my relationships with other very successful people is they also have lots of other stuff that you just don't know about so so there's there's a little bit of like transparency making it seem like I'm doing more than others when in reality that's it's really not the case in my experience of highly curious people who just tend to do a lot and the last piece of it which is probably the most important and maybe interesting is the way I think about is I actually only do one thing and it just happens to show up in a lot of different like outcomes or side effects and that one thing is is this scout function like I am out trying to find what is the next interesting useful concept idea market area person product you know whatever that can be emulated borrowed copy mimicked whatever it might be in in a productive way for the people that use us for something so that takes the form of handing lessons off to my team at OSAM I work with a senior team there that I've been with for 14 years each all four of them so we know each other intimately well they're all more talented in most ways except for my talent maybe is the scout function they're all more talented than me in every other way so you know we're closely with them and I'm handing them stuff that's part of it and on the venture investing side you know I would actually argue that my training in public markets is awesome preparation for the time I'm now spending here it is different it's much more qualitative than quantitative but quantitative still matters a lot and what what I'm finding when I'm talking to founders especially around series a and especially if there's a data component or a modeling component to a product which these days is more and more common the kinds of questions were able to ask them about that they look at us funny like they can you can tell they've never been asked the question by other operators and practitioners like we are and so I just think it all feeds on each other to let us ask better it's all about asking better questions at the end of the day that's the one thing I do like just ask better questions and ask them of the right people and sometimes that manifests as a lead investment a participating investment an angel investment an idea for a product a podcast episode like whatever it might be those are the byproducts those are not the things themselves the thing itself is get better I guess I'll call it the art of conversation get better at asking questions that lead to interesting revealing answers that's it and that's really the only thing I try to focus on doing and then just build systems you know solve problems with technology not with people right so that my my friend Leora Avidar the founder of lob and now alt I love that answer that he gives to that question of what's a technology company it's it's a company that solves problems with technology so we versus people so we saw problems that way and and try to build really efficient systems that let us do more of the thing we're good at which in my case is I think asking good questions well the good news for you and you probably already know this but that was what Don Valentine said the number one most important job to be a great venture capitalist is is learning to ask the right questions and then learning to listen to the answers I don't think it's much more complicated than that like there's a lot of then once you open the right door then there's a lot of work that still has to happen you got to you have to underwrite the data you've got a channel check you've got to do you know you got to do all the hard we have to do the work but in my case the work is the most fun part like if I find a company that's interesting going and talking to the 10 most relevant industry companies or players in that space is kind of the most fun part and you know what a question I've been asking is like what if I recorded those conversations and and share them in some way shape perform and not not be too obvious maybe publish on a lag and again never do any harm that's what everyone does in investing they're reading stuff they're looking at information and they're talking to people that's it and then they're synthesizing everything so I'm going to do the same thing but what if I'm just radical about the way in which I share the positive aspects of those things so that others can benefit passively and everyone's the better and that's the question that I'm trying to answer well and here's the thing you do it the right way it benefits the companies too really you have a platform like xyz person at xyz firm does that and post it on the internet it's like oh well probably they would just start getting followers and traffic and fans of it if we would work you could build it up but you can make an argument to founders like no hey like we're gonna put this stuff out there like you're gonna get a flood of attention to your company from customers from talent from following funding it all starts to work in this well hopefully we're working this fly we all right we literally call it the flood and the flood is typically the call we get the next day from whoever it was that was on with some sort of with some sort of exploitive saying like what the hell like who is this audience like this is crazy another way to frame this would be just try to be the muse right don't try to be the don't try to be the visionary or the or the hero just try to be the muse that that gets other people talking about interesting things because everyone then likes that like that's why people listen to acquire they're there because you guys love this stuff so much and you put a lot of effort into it and you're there to learn and so they get to as well and then they're motivated to go apply those learnings call that person you know engage with that company whatever the case may be whether that's as a customer as capital as talent um you know or as a fan like it's it's a powerful flywheel that gets spinning and it speaks to you know it happens to also be a competitive advantage like you know we're going to talk about seven powers things that are one of my favorite questions is what is hardest to replicate about any given person company thing and good I mean with I don't know how much money it would take to replicate acquired I don't think you could do it you could it's its own thing so and that's true of the best media properties right they're they're very unique so that comes from curiosity and authenticity so if you ride that and let it run you know this is five years deep now like it took it's the five years to be an overnight success story right like the number the numbers are enormous now but the the number was 571 people on the first episode for me for me so that's a great start I think ours is about 28 yeah I mean it's all it's all compounding right at the end of the day so so it ends up it ends up being a competitive advantage which I think is an important point it shouldn't be the reason you do it but it isn't it is a nice side effect yeah you teed it up so we jump into uh into seven powers you tell me I'm game I love this I love this framework so all right listeners probably to both of our shows know you know Hamilton Helmer seven powers that he's identified of he would characterize a power as both a benefit and a barrier like it's probably closest to the concept of a moat you know the Warren Buffett classic uh defensibility mo uh concept but it but it's also it's like it has to provide a benefit to customers and a barrier to competition of all types from coming in and eating your lunch and so the seven he's identified our counter positioning scale economies switching costs network economies process power branding and cornered resource and importantly here at the point I always try and make is this is what entitles you to generate profit in your business that doesn't just get arbitrage to weigh by competition yeah and in fact that is his he has a strict mathematical formal definition of power and it is long term differential profit margin so Patrick the very easy question to you is in your uh web of businesses and let's start with uh oh Sam to keep it simple to where do you derive power we're definitely gonna have to extend our end time here because you guys could give me going on this for a long time you know I'll just throw out examples and and this was maybe one case where several years ago probably three years ago I did literally sit down as I think probably everyone that reads seven powers does and say okay which one of these can I do which one do I already have or which one can I engineer so you know I'll just take through ones that I think are are relevant for one of the things that's going on in my world so I do think brand is is like the most straightforward one that I don't need to spend a lot of time on which is just like high quality low variance outcomes like that's how I think about brand like can can you just consistently deliver something really high quality so that you build trust with people you know trust takes time therefore it takes consistency there needs to be a high minimum quality bar uh I love that phrase from Toby Lutke I think about that a lot if you can do that consistently with whatever it is that you do you will build a good brand over time like the logo doesn't matter you know all this other stuff really matters less than just consistent high performance at a certain thing and and in many cases you can air drop a brand maybe it's possible maybe dollar-shape club did it I think arguably that wasn't a good business that really low lower tension and you know maybe wasn't it was an amazing story and that like everyone wants a hack to like create a brand instantly and it did it was a good idea yeah yeah there are exceptions there are hacks which can be very useful I'm not discounting them but I think a hack should be on top of some steadily compounding trust equation with the end audience so I do think we've established a brand you know what exactly it is we could argue over but I won't say a whole lot more about that and the barrier there is just I think time like you you know if you want to establish the same brand that you see today okay well we're five years ahead or ten years ahead or 20 years ahead depending on which of the brands you're talking about so I think time is a is a ultimate barrier to entry for some of the highest quality brands I love that hadn't thought about that brand is in specifically those terms of high quality low variance and time you think about of course like we've talked about a bunch on on Arsha when years two there's persistence and venture capital what is that persistence due to it's due to brand power of the top firms what is that brand power due to it's due to high performance low variance over time right so so that's the first maybe my favorite and I know it's Hamilton's favorite too because he's always said that to me when we've talked about it is counter positioning and here I just think it it is the radical transparency of the research process I joke with a lot of my friends who run investment firms that have that classic mysterious website that's just a logo and you know an info at email address and nothing else basically the digital velvet rope which which I love I'm close with a lot of these investors and and indeed oftentimes they are literally the best investors and so I respect the hell out of almost all of the people that have that website I joke that one of my goals is to convince as many of those people as possible to come on this podcast on my podcast which I've done many a time and have many more in my sites on long sales cycles but I do think there's an incredible counter positioning there I won't pick out a name but how am I going to as an investor now say with positive sum how am I going to beat one of these illustrious incredible and firms with track records and crazy brands and everything it's to do literally the opposite of that right to be the most open the most non proprietary investor on planet earth where I'm externalizing all the things that you're normally buying from them like if you get one of these great investors to be on your cap table you're you're accessing this thing in their brain that they've built up over time and I'm just saying no actually forget that like you're not getting my brain you're getting the positive side effects of me externalizing that process in a radically transparent way I think it would be very hard for most of those firms to completely change their their attitude on this topic to say nothing of their behavior like they're just they've been doing a certain thing a certain way for a long time so so that would be counter positioning do you think that that osam today has counter position or do you think it's actually that it's vulnerable to counter positioning and that it's more of these sort of incumbent that derives its power from what would you think branding and maybe scale economies so I think it's very counter position because to be able to build canvas you basically need a heavy quant background like firms that don't have that skill set this is a seriously complex problem that we're solving I mean it is it is non trivial to build I mean each of these things requires a complex modeling exercise they all have to integrate there's crazy optimizations that happen there's there's quite a lot of like compute understanding that that is required to make things happen fast like this is a really complicated problem most of the firms that I would get scared to hear that they're launching a canvas competitor are the most well-known quantitative hedge funds not long only firms and they're a business model and their whole thing is that they're proprietary you know research and insight and data that isn't shared so it's like the Bezos thing when he you know was asked about you know other big tech competitors and laughing saying you know those guys are used to software margins like I'm a retailer you know like it's it's an advantage sometimes to not be as fat and happy and have lived on a different business model and so I think we're very counter position with canvas specifically against the firms that would most scare me to be competitors and it's a lower margin business so I'm not worried about them we're not as up to speed on probably who those current people are in the bit like like 10 years ago if SAC is like we're building canvas that would terrify you but like they're not going to do that because they make their money from performance their hedge fund I'll use a salacious example not SAC actually wouldn't be one of them like like the most obvious example would do like Renaissance technologies right like that it's the most extreme example because it's absurd right they charge five and 50 or whatever it is and still and still produce you know 40 50% returns annually on their own capital like they're not launching a canvas competitor no but they could and it would be awesome that's the sort of thing I mean like the the most sophisticated and advanced research shops quantitative research shops just doesn't make sense for them to do this right now and we'll have at least a few years head start the other one I think about is you're going to get me going down all these now there's kind of a fun one in in cornered resource which Hamilton also acknowledges is the least common of the seven powers but nonetheless is an interesting one which is through a program that we call research partners Edo Sam which is a very simple trade we effectively give away our entire data library infrastructure and access to our team to independent researchers in order for them to do their own thing at their own pace in whatever way they want where the trade is we own we own the intellectual property that gets created for the most part these are retired engineers people in completely different fields the most famous of them is an anonymous guy on Twitter who's I think probably the smartest person I've ever met in my life not modest Jesse Livermore's his name although modest a very close friend and actually next week's podcast guest so Jesse as he goes by is has an engineering background of sorts very technical background again literally the smartest human being like if I could stick a human being on understanding a complex problem it would be him and he does these like months long deep dives with our data and teaches us as he goes and because we offer so much flexibility and we offer this data set for free again the thing that most firms like us keep as the most proprietary asset they become contractors with us and as a result we've captured some of the most interesting people like this in the world and I think have the best value proposition to them so that's a super tiny example of a cornered resource but we have benefited tremendously from those research partnerships and this is the one where I will admit to thinking about that program because of reading seven powers so actually the power came before the implementation and that one's been a smaller scale success but but a huge success nonetheless I thought you were going to say the podcast was a cornered resource within your case may be fair because obviously the CEO and you know major owner of the firm but one of the things I love from the book and Hamilton's work is that people are not cornered resources it has to be like like what you're describing like a people are not cornered resources because somebody else can hire them like they're arbitrageable has to be non arbitrageable and I love this it's like a cornered resource plus counter positioning that you built this practice of I would argue I don't know which you maybe you guys could tell me which where you would put this power but the I think of this more is just a flywheel than a power but there's got to be something in there so and traditionally like this fly we would would normally manifest as scale economies but maybe it's network effect here on the podcast side it's something like every week you get more listeners who are incredible who can have a positive impact on the guest which then helps you get ever more interesting guests who then help you grow the audience and and you spin that flywheel and therefore the best guests are just going to every week have a better reason to do yours instead of someone else's with their precious time and you just have to be patient with that like I always talk about it like someday you know I'll have I'll have Bezos and and and Elon on like back to back weeks like I'm just I'm convinced I will like I know how compounding works and maybe it's two years from now maybe it's five years from now like it's going to happen that's I think something that is a very hard to compete with what power it should be a sign under I have no idea but it's something to do with that kind of growth flywheel that that I again no amount of money I don't think goodbye yeah I've always thought about it not as a flywheel but I think this has been Thompsonism laddering up where once you sort of have someone on some wrong then they become a part of the way that you're able to describe the show to the next great guest well let's move on to playbook we've touched on several sort of playbook themes here and I think we should introduce a couple of new ones and kind of surmise surmise our takeaways where if you wanted to run a playbook similar to what Patrick has done over the various stages of these different businesses kind of what would it be David I'm curious you've got one here that we haven't touched specifically on but I think it's just an awesome observation there was a really interesting exchange on twitter I think Ben you sent this to me you texted this me when it happened a couple weeks ago of Taylor Pearson and Austin Rief from Morning Brew talking about the investment business chemical foes specifically VC or the investment business period obviously period for our purposes here really becoming the media business and I think you know referring to you Patrick and others as well you know uh you know Turner Novak's done such a great job building a platform for investing on twitter you know like Robbins Matthew Ball so many people and then Austin responded it's not just the investment business every business is turning into the media business in some way shape or form wasn't premeditated it sounds like for you to necessarily Patrick but like how do you think about that yeah how do you think about this you know very often I think observations like this are benefit from hindsight and it happens to be a strategy that just has worked for a lot of people in the last five to ten years and therefore feels tempting to go do the same thing I don't know how long the runway is for this like you know learn in public orientation in the investing business or just in general in businesses I think there's always an opportunity to have a content mindset I love Red Bull as an example that you know Red Bull says the content media business that happens to sell this weird drink I think that's really neat and there are some businesses that just really the thing they actually do well is the media thing and then the product is just like a value capture mechanism versus usually it's the other way around right we think of businesses as a product or service and then figure out how to distribute it or market it so I do think that the internet has created this funny inversion where with no gatekeepers to reaching the end audience it behooves you to create media or content because that's the way they're going to notice you like you have to stand out and the way to do that is to be as we discussed earlier at the tail of a distribution in some way don't be the Walter Cronkite solution that that pleases the most people the most average amount like that's a recipe for death on the internet go study mischief go study the extreme version Red Bull go study the extreme versions of this that are sort of unapologetic about their uniqueness and and then do your version of that thing I think it needs to just feel natural that like if you're having a strategy session about this once a week it's probably going to suck like you can't you can't engineer your way to a good version of this I think you just have to like make a decision to be public about your thinking process and have a really high I'll use Toby's phrase again have a really high minimum quality bar for what gets shared like I I type in delete a lot of stuff I write a lot of stuff that never sees light a day I like there needs to be back curation filter for people to continue to trust you so if you can do all that power to you I think it's a great way to reach whoever your end audiences I'm always hesitant when everyone's starting to agree that the one right way of doing things is xyz because that's happened to work like any distribution channel you know Facebook in the early days was super cheap and it's not now did a Google did a everywhere so so this was a really quote unquote cheap acquisition strategy for the last five or 10 years whether or not it will be in the next five or 10 is an open question that I don't have the answer to yeah really interesting thing is once you're at scale so this is contrasted against Facebook and Google once you're at scale this channel continues to be cheap at least relative to new entrance and I think you've definitely seen this with your podcast we've seen it with ours where because we had a call it for your head start on the podcast mania and planted our flags in our our respective niches and said this is the thing where we're done the internet about come join us like if we had to sort of pay per listener and we were doing that you know against anybody else who wanted to start a podcast for the same sort of reason like we don't have to do that because there's just so much organic goodness that comes out there from building that brand that's compounded over the years yeah I think a great question asked who is like do I personally already consume anything like what I'm contemplating putting out there and when I started the podcast the answer to that question was no that it didn't exist and it certainly didn't exist in the channel that I was going to do it in and so I just think like if you can just have that filter you know everyone was joking about these LinkedIn stories yesterday when I when I saw that I was like ooh like like I don't follow anyone on LinkedIn stories and I'll bet you that I'm going to in if it succeeds as a product in two years there's going to be some you know some star there that has currently has zero zero followers in that in that venue so when I see that sort of thing I get kind of excited because it's it's novel and you know early whereas right now like I think it's an interesting question if I were to launch this podcast with episode one tomorrow would I get anywhere maybe not even though the quality is good so I do think that like you want that mindset of do I already consume a lot of stuff like this and if the answer is yes like good luck and if the answer is no you're probably on to something I mean that's like a perfect playbook for our discussion thus far one thing I want to make sure we do is given you know you're not starting with episode one tomorrow you've done four years of episodes we talked about this before the show what are some playbook themes you've learned from your guests in your episodes over the years like as you look back the top things that have influenced you that have come out of your your episodes what stands out God I could literally just I could wrap and fire some off to you I'll just do that so I'll just go down a mental list here um Chathen put a good to taught me that in enterprise software you want to take what he calls the go slow to go fast approach of picking very carefully your early customers and then patiently building for them well beyond what feels comfortable meaning don't go get new customers beyond the original cohort before you let the product mature because you then make a much stronger product that fits the market better and can handle the scaling like one of the things that we've lived with canvas I mean we literally just Chathen told us to do something and we just did it with with canvas and we did not in question it it made sense to me it was I would have done the opposite naturally which is like go up into the right as fast as possible it was many customers as possible and thank God we didn't because the system any system is fragile right in the early days and it needs to have that slow organic growth one of my all-time favorite book is The Systems Bible by John Gaul and one of my favorite lessons from that book is you can't just air drop a complex system and have it work it's got to have evolved from a simple system and so there's an incredible wisdom in Chathen's advice to go very slow in the early days with enterprise software specifically and and reach product maturity that's one example I'll never forget when I I messaged Bill Gurley Chathen's partner and someone had raised this idea of creating a marketplace for obituary writers and the idea was can you can you have obituary writers on one side and living people on the other side that commission the writers to write you know a really high quality like retrospective obituary type thing on their on their life because newspapers no longer really did this as much as part of as part of crosscutting and I thought wow that's come and the stories were amazing like I read a couple of them that that the person with this idea had produced and I was like wow like that I would definitely buy that and I I said message you know Gurley and I think it's one of the smartest guys on so many things but marketplace is one of them and so I remember messaging him and saying you know what do you think and he just drew this little chart conceptually which was on one axis the producer penetration so what percent of obituary writers do you have signed on and on the other axis was the benefit to consumers as you so basically conceptually think about it as does the service keep getting better as you penetrate deeper into the supplier pool so that line should look straight and I think he said once you penetrate at a certain amount the marginal suppliers not going to make the service better and that's going to happen pretty early so you're going to get this little bump in the flat line that's not a good marketplace business and so like he then talks about that concept on your episode right I think so yeah and so like that little concept of just that little plot in my every time I see a marketplace now that's the very first thing I think of I've had benchmark guys on and girls on recently so I'm thinking about them but Chathen's idea that that open source as a business model is not about saving on R&D it's about building differentiated distribution among developers Matt Ball's idea in media that if we reach a metaverse it's not about you know ready player one it's about the interoperability of of the systems that let you move value through the system so there's no there's not these like Walt Gardens it's it's creating like a like a common layer a portable layer of information and value that would ultimately represent what a metaverse is I'm Charlie songhers idea that the best way to think about labor is to search an uncompetitive markets that you know Silicon Valley is a terrible place to look for labor but that's where everyone looks for labor that you should probably be looking at you know Bulgaria or something like this because there's talent everywhere and and yeah just on the internet and we've seen this have been gone fully remote so go go to uncompetitive places when you're looking for stuff I could do this all day I love Katrina Lakes idea that you know the next that legacy e-commerce she's the CEO of StitchFix that legacy e-commerce was all about speed convenience and price and that the future v-commerce will be about personalization it's the same concept we were talking about earlier where early internet was the explosion of information now it's like it's too much we need to cure it it down you know Daniel X idea about seeing around corners as a company scales and having that felt experience of what you're going to need if you're growing 30% a month in six months is not what the human brain is designed to process thinking about what a scale up looks like and getting around those corners as early as you can there's this amazing story that a woman named cat Cole who was the chief operating officer for focus brands which oversees synabon and several other you know Carvelle jambajus several other related date food brands she told me this story about these guys she was a hooters waitress says her first job and these guys kept giving her a hard time about chicken wings because they would order 50 and then insist when they ate all the bones that they'd only been given 45 they would give her a hard time every Friday and so finally one Friday as they were nearing the end she just showed up with 10 extra wings and sort of gave them hell about it all the guys buddies you know chastise them and and for men on they tipped well they thanked her you know she she just like she completely like inverted this whole thing on them and I find that that I've seen that a lot of ways like this inversion to deal with challenging people by going right back at them is incredibly powerful I could probably do like a whole another segment on everything Sarah Tadalos taught me I mean like everything she puts out is like a a toolkit to be you know messed with and thought about and maybe the last one I'll close with is one of my all-time favorites which is another venture investor named Josh Wolf runs Lux Capital and his idea of the directional arrow of progress which is I think you know one of the most obvious ideas after the fact that you can encounter which is basically just like a lot of these technology trends are plotting and you can sort of see what's going to happen based on what's happened in the past in my world like the cost of a commission for a trade in a brokerage account is a great example of this like you can just see technology making that cost go down every couple of years and Robin Hood's genius was they said let's extrapolate this directional arrow to its endpoint and go to zero let's jump the line so I think jumping the line on these directional arrows of progress is a really interesting way to generate business ideas in many ways that's what we're trying to do with canvas we've learned so much from covering Chinatech well Chinese companies period but Chinatech on acquired and that's one thing that really strikes me as a difference about the Chinese startup tech and venture ecosystem is like that's the primary thing that I think people think about over there like what's the trend what's like what's the plot and where's it going to end up that's not as common here in the West but should be when you meet these people I'm choosing one just for I realize that wasn't brief but but like trying to just distill something down you know there's 10 of those per person often so I mean that's the most fun part of this whole thing is just trying to extract these ideas Patrick you really should start some kind of like knowledge platform to explore ideas with passion like that great idea I might take you up on that I love it well Patrick I teed you up earlier to tell us about a new podcast laying on us yes so starting I guess it will have already come out when when this comes out on Thursdays it'll be on the same feed as as the invest like the best podcast but we'll call it like a mini series or a sub series which is going to be called founders field guide so from from that point forward Tuesdays will be for conversations with investors and sort of miscellaneous other Thursdays will be for conversations with founders and CEOs and builders maybe builders is the right word it'll it'll often be a founder what's interesting about this is that it's often quite hard to get investors talking and that's a fun challenge it's not hard to get founders talking so the access and the depth of conversation so far has been exemplary and I think we've already recorded maybe eight you know there's just going to be a wide wide range of really interesting private and public markets CEOs and founders that join us for that and the whole idea will be lessons from building their stories sort of portable things that they that we could take away for other people and and trying to again like draw the lines between concepts and and and industries and and ways of building things that are valuable to people so we're really excited about that it'll be every Thursday and then who knows where we go from there I think we'll we'll end up publishing a lot of audio content in a variety of different ways as we as we do this learning process evermore transparently and in public that's awesome can we to listen to it well let's move to grading as acquired listeners know what a we're not going to let Patrick out of here without doing some grading but be for acquisitions and companies and deals that is more of a history we will render a grade a definitive grade on on how it's gone for situations that are still fluid we predict scenarios in the future and paint the a plus versus the f scenarios five 10 years out I think it'd be fun to do both of these with Patrick here so the first spin on this is looking at your own 10 year over the last couple years as osm CEO and what you've done you know how would how would you grade yourself I think there's just always room for improvement I think we have a platform now that has an extremely bright future and has a very large potential future it's still very early we don't share how much we're managing on that platform it's a significant amount this is canvas canvas yeah that has put us in a position again that's just different from most long only asset managers that's a sleepy business to be in like more of the market is just hiring vanguard so I wouldn't really want to be playing in that space long term so I think you know we're in a position now that we can benefit from technology versus being disrupted by it and therefore there's there's some points for that but as with everything it's all about execution and we're in the very early days so so I think I'll give us a tentative B plus to give us lots of room for improvement but because we have established something that we can really see building on for decades to come I think that's hard to do and and the team to be clear not me the team has done that building in insane fashion over the last 18 months it's kind of wild what they built with a relatively small team and how many engineers do you guys have so it's I'm like ashamed to admit it because we're trying to build this team out a lot you know it's it's full-time engineers maybe five I think people that see it think we have 30 so these people are absolutely cranking the research team are very technical so that's been a huge help and they've been a huge part of this as well but it's a team that's going to grow a lot to help us put some shape to the canvas business and you don't have to talk in numbers at all how do you price it and how does that compare to the pricing of a traditional asset manager and then how what's the sort of scaling factor on that yeah so it's incredibly simple pricing which I think people like it's dynamic so it depends on the settings you choose and all we're doing is we establish a minimum fee which is very you know very competitive with whatever and low so we won't go below that minimum fee so if the settings are the most vanilla I will still charge that that that number above that it's simply a pro-rated version of our normal fee for our services so if you're allocating more kind of away from the very basic public market index portfolio we do some of that too a lot of that but if you're allocating away from that the more different you get the higher fee you pay and it's a sliding scale up to a max where even the max is is lower than what a lot of long only asset managers would charge so it's dependent on the settings you choose we don't charge for extras you know like everything is included in one asset-based price clients have really liked that because it puts them in the driver's seat of if if if if fee is a really important variable to them that's under their control and and we're a platform that fulfills we don't dictate the terms so they can decide themselves and that's worked really nicely and and in terms of scale you know again we talked about this earlier the reason there's no performance fee in this is if you told me we had to ingest a hundred billion dollars to use an absurd number into this platform we could do it over the next year and and in in many cases it would be a it would be a crap ton of work but in many cases you know we would still end up owning a modest amount of these huge public companies and hopefully not affecting their prices so so it scales extremely well to very large numbers and that's how we think about it cool all right so the future what's the A plus scenario for osam and you over the next five years what's keeping you up at night what's the nightmare F scenario um well you know I guess the F scenario is the easiest one to think about right that everything just stops working and we've you know the the software fails or or there's large errors or you know technical problems or team problems or whatever and others just do a better job than we do again everything's execution so that scenario is that we fail and no one uses our service it's very hard for me to imagine a failure scenario in I'll call it the media side because I'm just going to keep doing this unless I get sicker informed or something like I think it will work to some degree I guess the failure would be status quo right that it just doesn't change from what it is today it doesn't help people anymore than it does today it's no more interesting it's no more navigable as we talked about earlier but I can assure you that's that that that scenario is not going to happen that that would be F A plus is hard for me to talk about because of this growth without goals idea that I sort of live by which is I really don't think about this sort of thing we don't have five or ten year goals personally for me they're wrong and dangerous I'm much better putting one foot in front of the other and having really strong habits that we can hang our hats on and so I try to engender that in our businesses as much as I can the further style go is to I was a video game player growing up the further style go is is think about them like boss battles like what like what's the next boss that we face and that's always very present and near term and and and objective and that's about as far of a goal as I'll set or or try to reach the rest is more about principles and we've talked about all those things already so public learning and clear value delivery customization for investors a technology flexible technology chassis and platform those are all key things that I just want to keep getting better at what that looks like in ten years I honestly have no idea and I won't let myself speculate or think about it because I just think it gets me off course. Okay well we got one less question for you that of course we have to ask Patrick what's the kindest thing that anyone has ever done for you so it's so hard to answer I've done this a few times where I've been asked the question and I've always want to give a new answer right I try to optimize for novelty so the the most common answers to these questions are people making a bet on other people early in their lives that or something you know family support I love those answers like whenever someone mentions some you know bigwig making a huge bet on a 20 something year old with no real evidence of prior success that just that makes me feel really good and that happened to me got so many times the true answer is something my cousin did for me which people can listen to in other podcasts he introduced me to my wife and my best man and several others in in a really interesting fashion in college where you know he's my cousin so he was obligated to bring me out for one night but he brought me out for like six months straight and just made it his personal mission to get me set up socially and my marriage resulted so I'm extremely thankful to him uh stay was Tim and then just the ongoing kindness of my family my wife my kids my my extended family those are the answers that are kind of uh they're the real answers but they're kind of boring I've given them before so I'll come up with with a unique one that's business related so actually we referenced it earlier and then we didn't circle back and so I'll close the loop so this has to do with the road bank of Canada so when I was 20 let's see when I was 23 or so this is right after the financial crisis had happened the market had crashed like I said they were our largest client um we managed money for everyday Canadian citizens right through mutual funds and in many cases 60% at the worst case in the worst time 60% of their money was gone and we were the ones that were responsible for that money now the market obviously was down a lot but so were we that was painful I mean that so what happened was I was sent around all over Canada we had all hands on deck and and I was I was a free resource so I was tasked with effectively going and explaining to a large chunk of Canada as a whole why we sucked so bad um and you're a little bit 23 at this time I was 23 as I mentioned I was introverted though I was always a good public speaker and so that's part of the reason they sent me but I was green I mean I I was really scared about being asked questions that I couldn't answer because I didn't know the strategies well enough I went on like a three week tour and so the the kindest thing I think was this group that I traveled with from the royal bank I'll do a special call out to a gentleman named Bill Hill Bill is the one who was the head of a major group there at RBC at the time he was with me the whole time and then it was a rotating band of other people he took a big risk doing this there was no other 23 year olds explaining performance of this magnitude at this scale to a whole country at the time I was legitimately scared like I I was really worried flying up to this trip I brought like way too many suits and he made fun of me for having like a carry on suitcase and it was a nordeal and Bill really held my hand through that whole process coached me up in an extremely positive way after every presentation I probably gave 50 presentations to rooms of like 50 to 150 people and every presentation he would let me suffer through the bad parts there was one time I tried to quote like a German philosopher and I forgot the quote I forgot the quote in the middle and he let me suffer through it he didn't like try to come save me like he let me get through it and then coached me afterwards you know if he ever listen to this he'll be surprised that this is my answer but it was very formative for me of just like gutting something out getting better realizing that like you just got to keep going and learning a lot in a very compressed period of time because of that pressure so he didn't have to do that he took a big risk by doing it he I could have sucked for all he knew and thankfully I didn't but I grew up a lot in that you know in that short period of time and so I'm I remain very thankful to Bill and the whole RBC team for for kind of holding my hand through that process I can't imagine 50 presentations about about that to rooms of 50 to 100 people you're a better better person for sure you need yeah everything after that was was was a little more straightforward but it was good good trial by fire and a great kindness I love it well Patrick I normally wrap the show up by letting folks know that if they like acquired and they want to go deeper they can become an LP why don't I turn that over to you and and if you're open to it let people know why they might think about that yeah I'm a wholehearted supporter of this thing you know it's so simple right which is this little deeper dive into what you guys have built that I think at least from my perspective is actually even more enjoyable than the main show it feels special to me because I know that it's a group of people like everyone listening to it has opted in and gone the extra mile to support you guys a little bit but also is just hyper curious and and the episodes are as good or better than the main ones to say nothing of all the other stuff that that comes with being an LP and so it's one of the best like little small chunks of money that I spend and I know a ton of these LPs that have done the same because I've sent them there and I would just encourage everyone listening to check it out it's not it won't break your wallet but but it will definitely expand your mind if you're interested in these topics that we've been talking about today and how businesses get built and how this how this investing business works I think it's awesome so you didn't coach me on this that's that's entirely my opinion and I highly encourage everyone go become an LP well thank you for taking that ball I passed you without letting you know that the past was coming so it's like a prop honest this there is amazing I believe I believe in the LP uh thanks Patrick well thanks so much listeners if you like the show feel free to subscribe if you like Patrick's show and want to tell folks hey this is where you can get more background on Patrick feel free to share it from your favorite local social media hilltop or with a friend or coworker go subscribe to invest like the best it is absolutely safe to say I've learned more from invest like the best than any other podcast and it is the one that I have the highest percentage likelihood to listen to any given episode just because I know and I have deep trust that if Patrick is having someone on I am going to learn something radical and new and if I even if it's a person I know like Jathan or that I've heard on 10 different talks because I'm obsessed like Michael Mobison there's always going to be a reason that you decided to have that person back on so it's an amazing show I know many of you already listened but but check it out if you don't hey man guys thank you so much for having me this has been awesome I really appreciate it yeah yeah all right listeners well with that we'll see you next time see you next time