Hello, I’m Howard. I’ve been a financial industry entrepreneur and investor for over 20 years. I’m now focused on investing and advising.
On this podcast, you will hear interviews with great entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, traders, and friends about 'Street Alpha' ... how they have used their eyes, ears, and feet to crush the markets.
This includes best ideas, worst investments, biggest failure, daily habits, and recommended reading.
I know your time is precious so I promise to keep it simple and on point.
Episodes with Smash Notes
We're off to a bit of a rocky start to the new year. And that's why I called in my friend Jeff Richards to help make sense of it all. This episode marks Jeff's fourth stop on Panic with Friends since we started almost 2 years ago. People talk about bubbles all day, and I've been talking about these tiny bubbles we're witnessing right now --the ones that just pricked. So Jeff's here to talk about fundamentals versus valuations and the big picture as we come 70, 80, 90 percent, whatever it is, out of COVID for better or worse.
We welcome Sam Jones, Co-founder and CEO of OOOOO, back to the show to discuss his evolving plans for building a technology platform that helps brands and entrepreneurs share their products and services through live, interactive, shoppable videos. I’m a small investor in the company, and hope you’ll be OOOOO so excited about the future of the live-stream.
It's our last Panic of 2021. Knut and I take a look at what’s coming in 2022. But you can’t look ahead without taking a look back, so we discuss what we’ve learned from traders and investors and operators over the past year; and some themes like Miami, NFTs, TANG, Crypto, tiny bubbles, and speculation is entertainment. Looking ahead at the new version of the web, web3 or whatever you want to call it, it’s more than just ‘decentralization’ and the blockchain. We’ll need great companies that will be defined by skilled operators.
My guest today is a fintech operator turned investor. Frank is the real deal. He spent almost 13 years at CapitalOne, is the co-founder of QED Investors, and made the Midas List of Top 100 Investors four times. Everybody is a fanboy of somebody, and I’m a fanboy of Frank for sure – because he’s just raised a billion dollars, and he has the amazing ability to spot leaders in the fintech space. So sit back and listen and learn.
As long term listeners know, I struggle with sleep. I'm in perfect health with an incredible body and an incredible mind, yet perfect sleep continues to elude me. Luckily, the O'Shaughnessy's chimed in on one of my twitter rants and pointed the way to today's guest, Matteo Franceschetti. Matteo is the co-founder and CEO of Eight Sleep. Part of our discussion is a fascinating look into sleep, an area that consumes about a third of our lives; and has a massive impact on our health and longevity. In addition, we cover Matteo's previous startups, his experience with Y Combinator, and what it takes to grow a 'hardware' company in an environment where software is eating the world.
On this episode we’ve got not one, but two legends; Eren Bali and Russ Fradin. Now they're both working together on a company called Carbon Health. Eren founded it and Russ invested in it. Eren’s last company, Udemy, recently filed to go public. Russ was an investor in Udemy. We can’t talk much about Udemy since that’s a quiet period, but we dive into Carbon Health and learn a bit about healthcare from somebody who actually understands it and is trying to fix the system.
In a Panic with Friends first, I give myself the applause dub for some advice I’d passed to Justin back in 2014. I told him there are so many interesting things happening in fintech broadly, in the big picture, that if he wanted to go work on something for ten years that was really interesting and unknown, but with high asymmetric upside; then making that bet is probably a good move. And that’s just what he did. Justin spent about five years at Stripe, the biggest company you’ve never heard of, unless of course you’re in fintech. He’s now at Lightspeed, and we’re in our first deal together, Payitoff. We discuss all of this, how Justin sees a post-Stripe world, and his inevitable transition to venture capital. Enjoy!
What’s better than one Roy? Two! We’ve got Roy Erez and Roy Rubin from R-Squared Ventures on the show today. The two have teamed up to invest in Fintech, Enterprise/SMB SaaS, Marketplaces, and Digital Commerce. They’ve both founded, run, scaled, and sold businesses where they stayed on as corporate executives post acquisition. As angels, they’ve invested in over a few dozen startups, and they’re both passionate about supporting the companies and founders they back. I think you’re really going to enjoy this episode.
On this episode, my good friend and fellow Canadian, Michelle Zatlyn, stops by to talk about building a better internet. This feels like the right time in the right moment to talk about the internet, and Michelle is just the right person to talk with. She’s the Co-Founder, President and COO of Cloudflare, the company that helps the internet work. We discuss security, how things really work on the internet, where Cloudflare is headed, and how you grow even faster during COVID.
Dave is the founder and CEO of Upstart, the first consumer lending platform to use Machine Learning (ML) to price credit and automate the borrowing process. Prior to founding Upstart, Dave was President of Google Enterprise and built Google's billion-dollar cloud apps business worldwide, including product development, sales, marketing, and customer support. He started in Silicon Valley as a Product Manager at Apple and was an associate in Booz Allen's Information Technology practice. We cover the joy and glory of building a $25 billion plus company in just about nine years, and as we rarely get a public CEO on, I’ve got a lot of questions. We talk about business and the markets and lending and interest rates – pretty much how all these things work. Plus we get into remote work, raising venture capital, and the long slug of it all. Enjoy!
We’ve got Alex in the house for Round 2. He’s one of my favorite reads, one of my favorite thinkers; and works for one of my favorite companies: Shopify. (Well, maybe second only to Netflix) Alex has some real in-depth experience because of his time at Social Capital, he reads endlessly, thinks about fintech, and obviously understands e-commerce. We cover all that, discuss the joys of parenting, and round out with his really big passion around biotech.
This week’s episode features a new friend, David Sacks. Maybe you’ve heard of PayPal? David was their first COO. He’s been in the room with Elon, Peter, and Max. David’s the founder of Yammer, turned around Zenefits as interim CEO, and founded Craft Ventures. Add investments in Facebook, Uber, Space X, Palantir, Airbnb and Houzz. He’s also co-host of the All-In Podcast. But today he’s here to talk about the future. And it’s so bright, we’re gonna have to wear shades!