Dave Morin insights from Facebook, Path, and 250+ investmentsMarch 23
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One of my favorite humans and a fantastic product designer and a fantastic investor. Mr. Dave Morin is back on the program. I don't know when you were last on this week in startups, but years
ago I think it was during path. So it must during the half. That must have been 67 maybe eight years ago.
It is so incredible. The legacy of path for people who don't know you were famous for being part of the team that helped build Facebook. Yeah. And you were there
from years 2006 until
2010. Soap Republic. Maybe you were employees. 50 year?
Yeah, it's I'm not actually sure what the number is. I did it in my office, Will you? In the 1st 1? That interview recently in CNN found number 29. I don't think that's accurate. I think it's waiter than that. But you know, the 1st 100 for sure.
University Avenue or Yeah. Wow. Yeah. What was it like when there were 50 or less people at Facebook?
mean it. Would you describe the atmosphere? Electric? Huh? Um, anything's possible.
there was sort of,
ah sense of,
um I mean,
it's interesting because we were actually quite small in in context,
with a few 1,000,000 users,
at the time,
that was actually a lot,
and but in the grand scheme of today,
we were only working on college campuses back then.
And so our market was the 10 million college students that,
you know, go to college in the United States. And so we had, like, half the market, and we were very excited to have half the market there. Yeah, and we didn't think of it as, um, like a You know, I think we had these grand ambitions, like maybe we could change the world, but it was very much like that was like a mid twenties group of mid twenties kids in an office above it, you know, restaurant. Palo Alto.
Um, and so, you know, there was kind of this frenetic youth, you know, energy of the 25 year old sets. Well, Mark was 19.
Um, this crazy mark was 19 years old. How would you describe him at that age? I mean, he was a kid, obviously, but he's super mature, right?
Yeah. You mean now or no, then? Yeah. I mean back then. Certainly. I mean, Mark's always been one of the smartest people that I've ever met in my entire life.
Hasn't changed. Wick like, like, very easy to process stuff or book. Smart. How would you describe his genius? Um, where would you describe it as genius or just super focused? How would you describe it? Yeah,
Book smart, very well studied and read, incredible forward-thinker and incredibly technically gifted. He is also enormously competitive and determined.
I think it's ah,
combination of book smart,
is very well studied in red,
sort of foresight forward thinking,
but in a way that is uncommon.
you don't meet many people where you truly believe they're 3 to 4 steps.
You this about chess masters,
They can see 33 steps ahead, Mark, Like, was always playing multi dimensional chess. And right now, I could see it was like he could see the whole board and think through all the different options. And it was so it wasn't just prosecutor mission quickly. It was like, you know, ability to kind of like see the whole game in a way that most people don't obviously also technically gifted. I mean, it's
he could write code. Yeah,
you don't run into many founders. That can do both, right? Um, And then I think there's also this thing, which, you know he's enormously determined. His dirt termination and competitive will is, I think I think it's empirically proven at this point. Is arguably best in the world, and
so just enormous competitors. Er, predator, natural, preternatural, preternaturally thing is a word like it means, like just above, like the normal human condition. I think,
yeah, I mean, he he kind of is almost like a world class athlete in a way like there's this drive and on kind of like unlimited energy. That's pretty amazing. And that's pretty cool, I guess. The other thing I would say is a lot of people don't know this, but Mark has a really big heart, and he's sexually like a. I've always viewed it that his heart's generally in the right place and, like, you know, most people don't see that side of him. I think it's cool that he's talking a lot more in public this year.
Yeah, he's doing a podcast,
in fact, Yeah, and I think that's good because my experience of working with them was that he always made you better, you know? And you know, I've worked with leaders of different kinds, and Mark was one of those people who, when you would go to him for feedback or to do a product review or something, Sometimes they were difficult. But more often than not, you would spend, like a really long time debating things right, like and you would leave either that conversation or a series of 10 were, I don't know, 100 conversations over an entire year having thought through every single possible way to think about something. And I don't know you here that you don't hear that about a lot of leaders. You hear that? They just tell you what to do. And
like that, Steve Jobs Ian like, maybe comes down from God. Who knows if that's true, too, because he's people forget. These companies were filled with humans, and then this mythology starts. The person tends to clam up and maybe get on the defensive, circle the wagons. People around them don't talk. That seems to have happened to suck as well, like he kind of clammed up a little bit like not talking to the public. And then it leads to everybody to question what is his motivation? Yeah, and I think that what drives him one
of the things that I try to say, um, having done a couple of podcasts recently is that Facebook's a difficult company, and it's a difficult brand. And the reason why is that it's human. It's, you know, what is Facebook? Facebook? Is this, like a map of all of humanity and all of its connections and all of the interactions between all of those
humans and roll bad? And yeah,
and we're all human and we all know that we do good things and bad things. We make mistakes. We every one of us is making mistakes, like even with the people closest to us and our lives. Every single day you miss communicate, right? And so here you are, sitting at the center of a system where it's just like full of humans trying to communicate with each other. And so the brand is always, I think, going to feel very flawed because of that.
and Twitter has that as well,
Twitter has it as well where you know you want people to have freedom of speech.
You want certain people to have anonymity because they might need it.
And you want free expression.
But with the skiff systems at scale,
it seems they always tend to break down.
So given your experience with path Twitter being a user and having helped build Facebook two of the,
top five most legendary social products in the world do you think the world should be connected?
Or do you think groups of people should be connected?
Cause it seems like Zuckerberg now is saying,
You know what?
Maybe everybody should kind of be connected,
but maybe we should break people into smaller groups,
and that would be more manageable. How do you think about it? Cause you seem to have this Dunbar number 50 person, 100 person limit was your spin on path. And now Zuckerberg, five years later, is copying you again. He's really studies your approach, and I don't mean that to drive him more as a compliment to you. Yeah. Do you think that connecting everybody is a good idea? Now that we're in your 15 of that experiment?
Facebook has enabled an interconnected world and shifted our social norms for the better.
I think that just like I just said,
this is a very human one of the stories that I always like to tell is that in 2006 we had this problem where the narrative in the public was Oh,
if you joined Facebook and you post the wrong thing,
you might get fired because we're all of these people that we're getting fired.
But it was around the Internet business back then remembers this narrative like there were people getting fired and it was almost always for having a photo of you drinking a beer on the weekend.
And this went on for,
six months or a year.
And then after a year,
I don't know how long the actual time period is,
but it was some period of time.
more and more people started having photos of themselves not just hanging out with their family or their friends,
but having fun on the weekends and going to Las Vegas or going in golfing or whatever.
what started to happen is the norm shifted. Everyone started to realize, Oh, everybody drinks on the weekends, their friends right? And it was this strange thing where, like suddenly the norm shifted and So the system had to start to account for that, right? Or maybe it didn't at all. It just did its thing and change the Normans. Okay, Like now people don't care that, you know, people have a photo drinking. And so you see this kind of play out over and over in the Facebook story, Whether it was the very beginning when Mark started it,
you know, the his first product at Harvard Was this product called? I think it was called Facemash or something. If you look at the original article from launching Facebook at Harvard, he literally says, um, I got in trouble for launching this other thing. They told me that it needed to have this. You know, this list of privacy thing. So I built those in and launch this new thing. Yeah, and that's kind of the story, like forever with Facebook is like society uses whatever the current tool set is, then some norms change. Some don't and then things need to evolve in the system.
And so Facebook's been pretty good. I think it like hearing that feedback and then making the necessary changes. So your question is more like, well, where are we now? Yeah. I mean, I think it's good that the world is connected to, you know, a network. It's it's kind of amazing that you can I could, like, pick this phone up right now and post a tweet. And who knows, it could end up in every country in the world, like or no one,
right? Right. That's, like kind of amazing. And that's the case for anyone with a mobile phone. Yeah, like that was impossible 20 years ago, right? And you had to have, like, this equipment or something to get a message out, right? So broadcast studio, that's really positive. But, um and I think we've done a lot of experiments and I mean,
you and I have invested in or built. Yeah, it's almost hard to catalogue the number of use cases that we've tried to build that air social in nature on the Internet, and some of them got really big. Some of them didn't work out at all. Um, some of them became the ones that carried these networks toe like the scale that they're at, um and then they get to that size and they need toe. Add new use cases. And so where are we now? I don't know. I think that and a lot of ways a lot of these cases that everybody's talking about today are already around, right, like Facebook groups, is one of the largest products on the Internet. Nobody really talks about it that way,
but I think there's you can look in there filings. I mean, it's like I think there's north of a 1,000,000,000 1/2 people using various Facebook groups, and it's not like that is built that product, you know today, right? Because Mark, you know, it's shifted the strategy like that. Products always been around, Um, and same goes for all these messaging APS and things like this. Um,
I think there's
a lot more nuanced to this than people are talking about right now. And, for example, I saw that last week or two weeks ago. Facebook did a developers conference, and they talked about how they're testing, removing likes from instagram in Canada. To me, that's the kind of stuff that's the most interesting, like we can get into privacy and security like these air, different things. There's their security meaning what technology literally secures the connection between your phone and the other phones and its servers. That's one question. Then there's questions of privacy. Like who owns the data? Do you own the data? Can you move your data? There's all these data questions. Then there's this, like Maur nuanced level, which
is like, What
is the actual implementation of the products And what are the details, right? Like when you like something who can see that you like something? If you like something, does a push notification happen? You know, there's all these sort of this, like, kind of behavioural new on this nuance, like you and I interacting right now, you're nodding or
not. Not thinking about it raises an eyebrow,
and there's these things that go on. I think in these social networks, where there's there's feedback loops, and then there's these signals that gets sent out like that really do affect the way that you think about what you're posting into here or who's in the room with me. You know, like if you and I weren't alone or we didn't have a live stream, we might behave differently. Sure, and so that's the thing I think about these networks, which we don't really You don't see that talked about it all in the big public narratives, right? Like, oh, should Facebook turnoff the ability to see who your friends are on the profile or you know those things
When we get back from twit commercial,
let's get to brass tacks.
We're both parents.
What do you think about letting your kids into the things that,
let's face it,
you created in the world or help create?
Do you want your kids to embrace this social and online world when we get back?
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Welcome back to Angela podcast. My guest today is Dave Morin, and we're not gonna talk about Facebook the entire episode. But having Dave here, one of the earliest architects of Facebook and not talking to him about Facebook and path would be a huge omission on my part. So we're gonna do another couple of minutes about talking about Facebook before we go into your unbelievable list of investments. All birds, Twitter Venmo nest Robin Hood Air table Pinterest, Postmates stripe. My lord, what a collection of investments that you've made yourself is an angel and with slow ventures. So, um, when we left our hero that you on the brake? I'm curious, you know,
Chairman says doesn't let his kids anywhere near it. Sean Parker. Ah, very vocal about Hey, we built these things to be addicting and they're too addicting. Chris used the co founder and roommate of Zuckerberg saying, Break up Facebook and the WHATS app founders one of them saying, You should delete Facebook and Instagram founders leaving in a huff over how instagram was being architect. And I think we're being treated. We don't know the full story there yet, but anyway, there's a collection of people who helped build the product and who are looking at it now, saying to varying degrees, Ah, maybe this is Frankenstein. Or maybe this needs to be rethought.
How do you think about it when you think about your kids? My kids are kids embracing this future. Do you want them on social media? Do you think it needs to be tweaked a bit before they should go on it? This is when the rubber hits the road, right? Yeah. Yeah. Like your kids get Get a phone? Yeah. Yeah. You
I've spent the last since I sold path.
the primary project that I've been working on is called Sunrise,
it's a nonprofit initiative,
which is focused on trying to find cures for depression and all forms of mental health.
through the process of working on that,
I came across a lot of science that I didn't know,
and I have helped make some great science happen.
and but one of the things that I started to learn about pretty early on,
you know, this was around maybe 2015 2016 was the burden, um, or burden. Maybe is the wrong way to put it. But the true tax that social media and the Internet, I think, are having on not just our brains but the brains of our kids. And yeah, it's a real thing. And I don't think you can hide in. The guy could come on here and pretend like it's not. Yeah, we're say that I don't feel responsibility. Um, Teoh,
think about it. try toe improve the at least the conversation. If not, you know, the implementation of some of these things.
We've created an organization to help with the issue so obvious you care deeply about depression and people getting out of it.
And the studies have shown that this can make people anxious.
and in fact,
anxiety and depression or correlated also make people depressed.
It is what it is.
I don't think anybody created social networks,
whether it was my space were linked in or Facebook or a path to create anxiety in the world created with good intentions.
But there is a cost to it,
which is anxiety.
What do you think is causing the anxiety?
Is that the foam?
is that the constant interruptions and the screen time?
What do you What is your best guest as to it?
And how does it affect you personally?
How How have you personally, Dave managed her own usage of the technology. Have you slowed it down? Do you look at your you know, amount of posting and try to contextualize it and reduce it?
I've I've really taken I guess I could answer those in reverse order my own personal,
And I guess in my phone one of the key things that I tell everyone is to turn off all notifications except for your core communications like phone.
And you're maybe one texting app.
That's like your main one.
mostly so that you're on offense,
Like if you let the phone get your attention rather than you controlling your own attention,
then you're always on defense,
and that's that's kind of a bummer.
and I also don't have any social lapse on my first page.
I put him in a folder on the second page. Um, that's like a simple solution. There's some social APS that I just don't even have on my phone. Um, and you know, everyone's personal. I tend to not be fundamentalist about this. I don't really believe in fundamentalism is in general, because if you take a fundamentalist position in anything than it sort of takes over your mind and becomes this thing
that you're focused. So you're not quitting Facebook, deleting Twitter and deleting your account. But you put it on the second page. I removed my social accounts and put a Google doc in my tray on slack when I was writing the book because I said, You know what? My company's need me and my book and my audience needs me to finish this goddamn book. And I wrote the book in 19 days. The primary writing of it was 19 days because I realized I was spending an hour to two hours on varying degrees of social messaging if and when I recaptured that. Oh, my Lord. And the book is such a great joy for me to look at and see it in Chinese and see it in Japanese, and people stopped on the street that it's hard for me to stop using Twitter because I'm addicted to that. But the long term benefit of having that book in the world feels so much better to me than my daily Twitter. But I haven't figured out how to fundamentally change it. Could be Daniel steal if I deleted my twitter again.
Yeah, I don't think that anybody has a good answer to this, right, because And this, I guess, is maybe my more, um ah, nuanced answer to your question, which is that my perspective on this is like Well, is that you know, you ask these questions. Is this good for the world? Like, do you let your kids are you gonna take a fundamentalist physician on it?
Um, I have
much more of Ah,
guess Transcendent include kind of notion on this,
which is that Look,
we're here now,
Like we created the internet and we even created WiFi like one of the things that I think about a lot is that social media and gets almost too much of the burden of the of the hate When there's places that I go like,
I grew up in Montana,
I like to go skiing in backcountry.
I'm like outdoorsmen,
and there's places you can go and there's no Internet.
that solves a social problem.
There's some lodges that I know of that have no internet,
and it's actually got me thinking like,
like, did you know that the FCC makes it illegal to block WiFi? Yeah, and that's kind of a strange thing. When you think about it, it's like, Well, I've seen this. You take WiFi out of the equation and everyone's super social and
hanging out with each other. And they love it. Yeah, and seconds. Incredible. Burden's been lifted.
and but you can't block it,
which is like,
a really interesting thing.
And so is it.
Is it just social Media's responsibility?
I don't know.
I think that,
um you know,
I really think that if you look at history right when we shifted from the ah ah,
working a lot with our bodies and farms and sort of the Industrial age post World War two and we shifted into working in office buildings.
the notion of a gym had not exist, but in the first half of this century, and the gym became a thing after we all started working in offices and we were working in our brains, not our bodies. And Lauren. So you needed a gym? If you look at the numbers last year, and you know, you've got the column book over there, and we talked about calm earlier columns now worth a $1,000,000,000 meditation. APS were actually the most popular category in the APP store last year. Why is that happening? You know, why is the Jewell cigarette the most popular thing for youth in the country. Well, you've got this new technology called the Internet, and on it is these social media ecosystems, and they take all of our attention. And no matter what the business model, they just You spend a lot of your time
in there, they're addicting,
and there's a lot of social signalling going on. And so you get anxious, you get depressed foam. Oh, all kinds of things, right? And so that creates a set of feelings that we don't have the tools to deal with. And we don't have the structures and six I ity to deal with. So what's happening? Well, you have soulcycle spreading all over the country. You've got meditation APS in the APP store or the biggest category. You know, people, you've got cannabis legalizing
across the country, self medicating it.
Yeah, and so these tools are starting to appear. Yeah, that helps balance out this new technology, right, Because you know, you can really get I think negative about like, Well, the technology is causing all these problems, and those are important. Yes, but you can also look on the other side and say wow, like LGBT rights like, move forward faster than, like, I think it would have ever moved forward if we were still in the mass media
To each their own, but whether amazing professional athletes, or high performing entrepreneurs, anxiety is equally distributed.
In fact, the social stigma around it is only making it harder for people to share their feelings, leading to more anxiety.
age, right? Yeah.
To each their own, but whether amazing professional athletes, or high performing entrepreneurs, anxiety is equally distributed.
In fact, the social stigma around it is only making it harder for people to share their feelings, leading to more anxiety.
I've seen this happen with depression and anxiety. When I first started working on the project, I didn't want to talk to anybody publicly that I'm doing this like, um,
you know, did you feel a sense of shame? Or or people would judge you differently because I assume that you started this because you have some level of depression or anxiety.
Yeah. I mean, I I think that, like, I felt, whether it was rational or not, there's a stigma out there. And yeah, maybe people think of me differently or, you know,
started working on it, and every single entrepreneur that I sat down with told me their story of dealing with depression or going through this horrible time or being suicidal, you know? And I started to realize, Wow, not only am I not alone, I'm really not alone,
right? No, it seems toe over. Index in Founders.
Yeah. I mean, it's it's unbelievable. Like we could really get into this, but we will. This is kind of Ah, you know it's a very real thing, and, um and so that stigma. I mean, just in the last four years, his like, so rapidly changed, I don't think you could account it to anything other than social media.
Really. When people are willing to go on, social media say, Listen, I'm suffering from depression, I have anxiety. I'm in pain chart for me to get out of bed in the morning or do what I do and people are like, But you're rich and powerful and you're in the N B. A Hoosick hat who played with LeBron James
and Cleveland. Yeah, he was
an amazing voice. He wrote a whole article about it where Michael Phelps and you're like, Wow, this great Olympian with this incredible basketball players, People have money and power and celebrity, and they're depressed. How is it possible? And people start to realize that it is not correlated with your success in life.
I funded this movie.
There's a documentary,
it's not out yet,
but it's called The Weight of Gold.
it's it's really unbelievable.
is it about Phelps?
Phelps is one of the executive producers,
um unbelievable number of Olympic athletes that ah did enormous number of interviews talking about depression,
suicide Just the fact that when you spent your whole life working out every single day and then you get to winning the gold and then your famous for like a week,
and then it's gone postpartum like of allele.
You either loved the actual sort of struggle to get there or didn't you were only focused on the gold.
So when you hit that moment and then there was nothing after it.
Life means nothing. Yeah, versus the some of them really love, actually the struggle part. And they're like, No, what? Everything's cool. Yeah, and so there's Ah, yeah, doesn't matter what type of athlete you are or whether you're an entrepreneur, high performer The risk is just enormously
It's so interesting.
I used to run marathons,
and I always had post New York City marathon.
Depression isn't and I don't have like,
I'm not an inch anxious or depressed person,
but I remember acutely I would be very sad on the Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Chris Abeley.
This is over.
All that training is gone,
and I have to mentally just look at the metal and say What now and then?
Eventually I started to realize,
I could have run the Hawaii in the box or I could cherish the journey and the enjoyment of doing the 12 the 15 the 18 mile runs.
And it was not final,
and I was able to process it.
But I do remember one of the few times I felt depression in my life and then,
after 9 11 had PTSD very strongly but undiagnosed.
And I had to get treated for it. Took me, like, two or three years that I need to get traded for it. I don't think I've ever told the story here, but I used to just cry when I would hear an ambulance. Sometimes I have to, like, excuse myself mixed. I would have get trigger. I think about people falling out of the building. And that's me, Jason Calacanis, like I'm a strong guy, like I can handle
it. That's the real thing. And
that is a real thing when
you're able to weren't in New York that feel that way, right? Yeah, yeah, I know. I can't even imagine being there. Honestly.
if you have a brother who's a firefighter and your grandfather was a firefighter.
Hits very close to home when your brother is calling you cause my brother would call me.
That's a oh,
how how was your day?
And he'd say,
I I I was in the He's in the honor guard guard.
I had to honor guards today.
I had three honor guards today.
He would go to Queens to Staten Island to Brooklyn.
10 a.m. So are 1 p.m. Four PM Just tow have,
Fire's line up for another funeral was,
ah, brutal early. We get back from this quick break. I want to talk to you. About what? What are the ways founders can get help? Because since we're here at this moment, I think this is a unique opportunity for us to talk about how founders can get help when they're feeling this, especially from their investors and angels who have been through it before. When we get back on Angel, hiring is always hard, and it's getting really hard today because we've got unemployment at historic lows. Also, many people just throw a job posting out there they put it on their job board or some random message board or dumping your slack room. That's not gonna work. It's not gonna work.
But what is goingto work is to go ahead and use Lincoln. Lincoln is where 610 million members visit, and they do that to make connections, learn and grow as professionals. And sometimes they're looking to discover new job opportunities. Or sometimes they're passive job seekers. And that is the secret. Not everybody's going to a job board every day looking for jobs. But Lincoln will present opportunities to those hundreds of millions of Lincoln users. And here's how easy it is. You just simply go to Lincoln, and it's really easy because you say where you're looking for the person you put in your job, you can then look for what experiences you want them to have. How many years of marketing you set a budget boom. It's up and running, and you will find somebody quickly.
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the podcast where we talk about angel investing. But we spent the 1st 25 minutes of this podcast talking with my good friend Dave Morin, um, about Facebook, social media, the Internet, anxiety, depression. My PTSD is anxiety and depression and had to contend with it. And we're gonna get into the angel investing part. And you're really in for a treat because it's very rare. Have somebody on the podcast who is as good or better oven investor than I am. And this is one of those few instances Robin Hood Twitter Pinterest, blue bottle, slack stripe, Postmates,
Venmo, Airbnb, Dropbox, Wealthfront, Cora cast prayer table or old birds. And he's on the board of Eventbrite, which recently went public. Congratulations on that. You and I deal with founders who are calling us on the phone. I had one call me one day crying in the shower and said, I just puked and I said, Where are you? Said I'm in my bathroom. I said, Where's your family? And said downstairs,
waiting in the car and I can't move And I said, You know what? We shot this company down, Get you a job somewhere and then in two years, start another one. It's just a video game. We can put another quarter in and hit the reset button. Don't worry about it. I'll back you up for the next three cos you're a winner in my book. But it was one of the most shocking experiences to me because I had given everybody a speech after seeing, um, the founder of Ah ico Mom killed himself. Sadly, Ah, Jody Sherman. And then,
um, the founder of Ah Austin Heinz from Cambridge, Analytica came brand sciences or something. Science is both of them have been on the genetics and, like all of them, had been on the podcast. Um, well, yeah, well, when you think about if you have 1000 people on your podcast which is what we've had after 10 years over a question you're gonna have to people. Actually, they were one in 500 would be way, way higher indexing than in America's. That one in 100,000 or something suicide rates. You look it up.
Austin Heinz. Yeah. Um, what should they do when you're feeling depressed when you're feeling anxiety, What have you learned for you? For people you work with is the right thing to do.
Number one, you should have a coach. Your health is number one. Professional athletes get coaches, and nutritionist, and so on to keep them going. It's important that founders approach their health with the same degree of importance.
I think number one,
you should have a coach,
out of the gate.
If you're a founder,
you need to treat yourself like a Olympic athlete.
Um and you know,
an athlete whether your warriors athlete or ah,
that solo sports,
You don't go into it without a coach,
and some kind of infrastructure that's helping to not not,
not just, like, make sure that you're, like, sort of okay, but they're, like, actually actively in the game with you and trying to help you make sure that you're, um, performing at a high level. But also helping you understand, like, this is really hard, right? Like, you know,
if you actually talk to a professional athletes. They've got meditation coaches and yoga coaches. And I'm a Susan, Susan, nutritionist and nutrition and cold plunges. I mean all kinds of stuff, right? And so I think founders need to take it a lot more seriously that their health is number one, right? We've kind of got this culture where we give people an enormous amount of money, you know, fill their company's bank account with millions of dollars. They've never managed that before. That's an instant pressure cooker on top of you know, the narratives and the people sort of barking at you every day about success in yada yada. And so I think you need to have a therapist or a coach.
You know, somebody who's really trained in this stuff, like That's number one, Um, and so that's like your preventative medicine, right? Um, and then when things actually get really hard, I mean, ideally, you've got people either on your board or angel investors like you and me that are people that you can call and actually be honest with you. I've always tried to be that person around the founders that I'm with, You know, a name slow venture. Slow ventures for
that reason. Uh, take it easy. There's no rush here.
Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, I always tell people like when you're starting a company, you better be ready, tow. Spend 10 years and 10,000 luncheon dinners, talking aboutthe same thing. So we have to be a really long journey right yourself. Yeah. I mean, look what uber just went public. Like both were in those rooms, right? Like, 10 years. 10 years ago. I think it was your dinner, like a lot of
them. Right? And you were there from that fast. You
don't even get
me started on the story I was in. Go ahead. I started now. I was
in the Airbnb with Travis and Garrett and Melody in
Paris. You're kidding. Not joking. And you passed. Ah, see that I have a similar story because I wasn't an angel investor. Were you Angel investing actively back? No, see, that's the thing. So
At the time when Uber was getting ready to launch. although friends with the founders, Dave was still very broke. He was focused on his job at Facebook and did not feel it was right to be diluting his attention to somewhere else.
I didn't start till late. 09 And I was broke. I was full out broken ass, and I literally I looked up the email in I p o day, and I was like, Yeah, I literally I have this email with, like, Garrett, Travis and Melody like Dave, You're sleeping on the couch. You know, I'm saying what? I have to sleep on the couch and yeah, you know, and it's like crying. We were in Paris and
jamming on the idea. Yeah, I mean, that was literally we couldn't get cabs. So miss. And so it was like across Paris were like, the wrong
s so funny. Because on this podcast, they just produced a clip from the 2011. And he says, I was in Paris and I would get a bunch of founders to stay at an Airbnb. I always host everybody, and we were just jamming on ideas every night. And Garrett said, We can't get cabs. We should be able to push a button. We should higher. We should buy five limos, hire five drivers and just do like a time sharing that people don't realize that the original idea for uber was time sharing. I also have that and time sharing.
I literally have that
email. Yeah, the time
sharing concept. Have an email. After I got back from that Paris trip from Travis that says, Hey, man, we bought these cars, like, do you want to go in
on it with us on? I was literally broke. Yeah, I was literally broke because everyone thought the advisor Well, but, you know, at this point, this kind
of shows how fast
maybe you can learn something. And Silicon Valley, like I didn't
know anything about this stuff. Like angel investing in 2008. Like, I was still in the middle of building Facebook platform. And we were Facebook only had 50 million users, you know, we were hot, but it wasn't like this foregone conclusion. And we actually spent most of 2008 with a flat lining growth curve. Wow. And so I was like,
I got my own place is, like,
the last thing I was thinking about, right? And I was like, I can't afford to buy going on half of a car right now. You know, I can't even afford my own car
right now. Just program to say yes. Yeah, No, I'm and I have realized when you say yes as an angel, and that's got to be a good side wait for us. You know what you're gonna lose 50,000 100,000 to 55,000. Whatever it is when you say no, you have no idea what you've lost. Yeah, Could be 100 million. Could be a 1,000,000,000. Could be crazy. Yeah, it's a hard one, but we can't complain because you get a lot of make goods in this business. So yeah. I mean, let's get into it.
Maybe come back toe more. Resource is for Founder's later, but
yeah. Oh, yeah. More research is No. Let's
do it. Yeah, they're just like, you know, you sort of asked, like what else? I
said that coaches and for the coach on investors, you
can lean on.
investors you can lean on.
But beyond that,
I've invested in some great companies.
Bright side is one of the ones that I did recently,
it does digital diagnostics,
so you can go on there.
You take a test?
it figures out.
You know what your depression anxiety level is if you are,
using these standardized tests in the range, then they'll prescribe it for you and ship it to your door and then provide you with text based on video. Um, hello, therapy. So you
can get what's the name of the medication? Bright side, bright
side dot com. Yeah, very cool. So you can get it from afar and no stigma on. We did this mostly to expand access across the whole country. Yeah, but I do think it's important that people know that they're starting to be, um, some really wonderful resource is help.
that's the big thing is people have so much pride.
I think our generation were both Gen Xers.
It was kind of like there was a stigma and we were the first generation where you could be out of dinner and somebody would be like,
What are you taking it?
I'm taking my president and his prose.
That kind of emerged in the nineties,
and I remember my friends.
I was like,
what's that like?
And they're like,
some days I wake up and I'm in a fog and then some days I wake up and I want to take on the world.
That's the difference.
And I'm like,
I don't get it, but okay, I don't need to get it, I guess. And now these kids. I mean, I think they want a self medicate before they've even had the problem or even tried exercise. You're going for a run or going for turning off their device. People should start with exercise. Diet,
friendship, right? Yeah. I mean, that's the thing that I say to people like they're sort of, ah, spectrum. You could be sort of negative 10 right? Like suicidally depressed, weaken B plus 10 total thriving right and different tools for different people. But if your way down here on negative 10 that's one thing. Megaphone sort of neutral kind of sliding. There's important things like Last sugar eat less alcohol. Sugar is one of the things that people do not realize has an enormous impact on depression and anxiety. 80. Sugar. Reduce the sugar. Um, I was crossing
that. Is it the mania that it gives you or the dopamine? I wonder what
scientific we could get really into the science, but it would take a long time. I mean, just less sugar, less alcohol, more plants in your diet, like you don't have to get fundamentalist about. You know, Sony Computer,
Startups will consume all of your available time, so unless you consciously set time for yourself, startup will consume it.
whatever. It's just driving him or greed.
Startups will consume all of your available time, so unless you consciously set time for yourself, startup will consume it.
The number One thing I tell people is yoga and meditation like meditation. You can download APS, but if you can do yoga, if this is something you're really really struggling with, especially as a founder, like start going to yoga, allocate the time like
it's an hour, hour and 1/2. People
I don't have time for this stuff right?
And I always say people,
startups will consume all available time.
So design your life first for your health and let the startup consume the rest of the time.
I think that's really important.
provided prioritizing your relationship.
You for married if you girlfriend boyfriend date nights non negotiable,
Like make sure that your social life is built in,
and those kinds of things matter.
And that may be the last thing that will say is that there's a huge trend right now.
Everybody is talking about psychedelics, you know? Um, you know, at sunrise we funded a lot of the Phase two trials. Scylla, Cybill, it's I've been on the M in Paris, and I did a lot of work around that, um and these are important tools, but it's important that you use them with therapists that know what they're doing.
Taking them at a rave
is not the proper use. Yeah, and look, I'm not I'm not gonna give people life prescription, you know, But But to the extent that if this is a route you want to go all the micro doakes micro dozing talk, All of this stuff is nonsense. Like work with a therapist that knows what they're doing. Especially if you're down in negative 10. Like, you know, these tools were really, really useful. They're safe, they're powerful. They're moving their way through the FDA. But make sure you're working with
me. It's a mite with Holland book a whole a whole new mind. What is the Michael Pollen?
But how to change your
mind? How to change your mind. It's a great book because he's in sixties and he embrace psychedelics at Ovary, and he got a massive amount out of it. And there are ketamine trials right now at Stanford where people who have manic depression, like cannot get out of bed, are at a suicide risk. They're taking I V s. And it's not permanent that it is alleviating them. Tow level for weeks. Yeah, wait
on the Lord of the Academy and Research Foundation at sunrise. And, um, my co founder is Ah, she's, ah, my age, our age. But she spent her whole life in neuroscience at Columbia. She's one of the world experts and probably Dunmore Animal Trials of Academy. And you know, it really works, But just make sure you're working with a therapist that's doing it. The right format. Don't go to these in fusion centers that are doing it like dialysis. Find a real psychiatrist that's doing ketamine assisted psychotherapy, right, and
you're adding to it the conversation, the contacts in the Michael Palin talks. It's super important that you go into it with the right expectations and intentions, and you're doing it in the right location with the right dose of the right person who has experience with this is not something to just take a handful of mushrooms and go to Burning Man. Yes, that's I mean, it could be fun, show us. But that's not for
This is important.
And I think,
I guess I wanted to say it here because you asked the question because this is a trend.
Everyone's talking about it or your town.
they're good tools,
but make sure you're working with somebody knows what they're doing and don't think of it as I think of it.
Is brain surgery like you're going in tow?
and the other thing that I would say is,
as I've been going down this journey one of the things that, um I was sitting in the back of Columbia University with the guy who invented the or didn't even invent, but he discovered the serotonin receptor, and I said to him, Do you think we're gonna find a silver bullet? And he said, No, absolutely not. Depression Anxiety are wrapped up in memory and learning, and when you think about what these things are, they are traumas, their memories that, you know, somebody's been dwelling on. Maybe for 20 years
I've been aware of it. Yeah, and that means that they not only do they have, ah, software running, they have hardware. And you literally pulled out brain scans and showing me See these dendrites. That's like the little technical looking
things and embraces when your parents got in a fight. This is when you got robbed. This is, well,
it's literally a physical structure. Like we keep talking about the brain in Silicon Valley. Like its software, it's not in software and hardware and electricity and chemicals, right. And in order to actually change things psychedelics or silent meditation retreats or any of these altered states, experiences that you can do might show you your trauma. But in order to improve it, you actually have to set to training. It's no different than running a marathon. If you were gonna run a marathon next week and you weren't in shape, I did it. One time would be not fun. It's
where I did a five and 1/2 hour marathon. One time somebody gave me their number, like, two weeks before, I didn't know training won a three mile run, and then I did it and
you're hurting. Oh my
God, I didn't walk for two weeks, man. Totally, super
painful. And to change your muscles multiple times, right, you have to literally change the structure of your muscles for brains. No different. And so that's why yoga meditation like, are so valuable because they actually increase your resilience just like you increase the resilience of your muscle. And after you go through one of these experiences, you need to treat it as such that Okay, now I know my trauma. Don't keep going back to do these experiences over and over again to still, like re experience their trauma over and over again.
Well, that's it. For now. Join us next time for Part two. When David and Jason discuss how with some founders, success is an inevitability, and with others, they just know not to invest. Plus, Dave breaks down why he thinks there's going to be too Internets.