by Patrick O’Shaughnessy
My guest this week has a fascinating background. He has a PhD in biology but has split his time as both an investor and an operator. As an investor, he’s involved in companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, Opendoor, Stripe, Square, and Pinterest—not too shabby. As an operator, he helped both Google and Twitter scale their businesses, in the case of Twitter from 100 employees to 1500 over two years. He’s just written a book about these experiences called the High Growth Handbook.
Our talk centered on what makes for a good investment and more specifically how Elad identifies an interesting market. Operators and early-stage investors will find lots of nuggets in this fun conversation. Please enjoy.
For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.
Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.
Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
1:31 – (First Question) – Process for evaluating a young business
3:09 – Data factors for evaluating a business
5:08 – Reference checks
6:42 – Advice for companies that are reliant on product cyclicality
7:31 – High Growth Handbook
9:30 – Lessons learned from marketing and growing companies
12:09 – How do you hire the best people to improve your distribution
13:16 – How does he think about lifetime customer value vs customer acquisition cost
15:57 – Should companies just focus on the high margin power users
16:35 – Best ways to organize a company hierarchy
19:16 – His interest and background in the area of longevity research
21:52 – Changes he has made in his own life as a result of this longevity research
22:56 – Most effective use of a CEO’s time
24:58 – How he evaluates or identifies interesting markets for potential businesses
28:03 – Any markets that fit his criteria that are underappreciated by investors
30:02 – Worst practices for businesses
32:19 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him
33:20 – What would be the topic of his next book
34:40 – Biggest lessons he’s learned about markets