What are Mike’s favorite things about being a seed investor?
He says that when you get it right, you get to see these companies come out of nowhere and make a huge difference. He feels fortunate to get to work with startups, and that it’s fun to be more of a co-conspirator than an investor.
What is something that Mike learned as a parent?
What helped him was realizing that when you have kids, they owe you nothing. They didn’t decide to have you, but rather, you chose to have them. There’s a trap where parents want to have gratitude from their kids. Expecting it from them is a form of manipulation, which is the wrong reason to think that this is what parenting is about.
For Mike, what’s one big takeaway about life that he’s learned from his parents?
His parents used to tell him that you have what you have. Every day is a gift, and having the gift of being alive is a limited privilege. The real questions are, what do you want to do with your time? How do you want to make the most of your time? Mike says to not fall into this trap of learned helplessness of saying the world isn’t fair.
What is Mike's opinion of decision making?
Decisions are more like a product. A product should have a ship date and a quality level with a timed value of decisions. People don’t make wrong decisions because they don’t have the facts or framework to decide, but it’s because they let their emotions get attached with the decision; thus, it interferes with their judgement or timing of the decision.
What is something that Mike learned as a student?
That you have a bunch of free moves and they’re perishable. It’s easier to meet someone when you’re a student, rather than as another guy in Silicon Valley or elsewhere. While he was a student, he made a list of people he wanted to meet. If you don’t take these types of opportunities, they pass you by.
What should you do when you have an opportunity to meet a person you’ve been wanting to meet?
You should ask a set of questions that tease out secrets, rather than the common questions. Rather, you want to come up with questions to “get hit by the lucky truck” as Maples says. You want to create strategic luck.
Why do the odds seem stacked against a person as they’re older?
Mike thinks that once you turn 50, the odds are against you. At this age, your peer group is no longer at the edge. Whatever age you are as an investor, you should always be talking with those closest to what’s happening-- and this may be the younger generation in some cases, the millennials.
How much of an increase has the standard of living gone up since 1850?
The standard of living of humanity has went up fourteen fold from 1850 to 2000. There has been a shift of what it means to be poor because back then, rich people didn’t have what poor people have now. A fourteen fold increase in the standard of living within 150 years is a miracle.
Are robots really going to eat our jobs like some believe?
Mike believes no, they won’t eat our jobs as much as they’ll eat the need for people to join companies. The real question is, why can’t technology help talented people find customers and all the stuff that a company has? He believes that ideas like that will be more likely to happen than people out of work.