Do you like RSS? Add Smash Notes to your daily!
Rad Dad, hosted by Kirill Zubovsky on Smash Notes

Jason Calacanis - Entrepreneur turned Investor shares his insight about success, hard work, education, and the future.

Rad Dad, hosted by Kirill Zubovsky podcast.

March 24

Do you want to get inspired? This episode is for you.

Jason Calacanis is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He was one of the early believes in Uber, Calm, Robinhood and many others. He is a host of the show This Week in Startups, and the author of Angel, a founder of Launch.co, Inside.com, and a friend to many rich and famous folks in Silicon Valley.

On this episode, Jason shares his views and wisdom, advice that he's accumulated throughout his career, and lessons learned from other successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and Jeff Bezos.

0:00
0:00
download episode
0:0

everyone. Welcome to the podcast today. My guest is Jason Call canIs. Jason is an investor and awesome Dad. He's an entrepreneur. A writer, a podcaster. He's everything. Jason. Welcome.

0:13

Thanks for having me on the practice, love about guest.

0:16

Thank you. And I'm really excited to have you because you've been around the block for a while and you've seen things both professionally and, you know, socially. And I want to know everything. Kind of how you grew up, how it build Jason, who you are today and how it turned you into an amazing dad. And you know all the wisdom you can impart on us just a short time.

0:40
How is Jason Calacanis dealing with the covid19 quarantine?

He is social-distancing and spending time with kids, family, and in deep existential thoughts.



Yes. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shore of Orion. Um, quote from Blade Runner. The tears in the rain monologue, Um, which is actually quite a propos. I mean, we're sitting here in day. Well, he's in San Francisco. I've been quarantine. I guess tomorrow will be two weeks, and so I've been home left my house. I think I've gone to my office twice just to require podcasts with social distancing. Obviously,

I was remote back guests. Just one of the person in the office, My my producer, but we kept our social distance and be the 70 symptoms. But it is really Ah, crazy time right now and thinking about mortality and thinking about why we're here. Ah, and what's important in life and the priority stack is really important for some people. I think, Ah, crises is when this happens. I think it's just human nature. If somebody who's a friend of your size or God forbid or there's a terrorist attack like 9 11 or this Corona virus, whenever we see mortality, unfair death, people dying too young,

it really does. I find make people assess what they're doing in life and, you know, not everybody ever. Many people never assess what they're doing. I try to do that all the time. Like, should I be doing this? Is this the best use of my time? Am I loving doing this? Is there something I would love to do more? Ah, and you know, that's really existentially, Um, obviously.

And, you know, big picture like, what is the purpose of this? You know, quick spin. We have around the planet a couple of times before we die and around the sun, you know, And, uh, I think about that at that time like this. And I see a lot of people I know who maybe don't think about it that often Really? Starting Thio. Um considerate. And that's actually a ah, several lining to these events in my experience is that people really assess what they're doing in life.

2:44

Actually, that is a perfect place for my first question because I just heard you're on the podcast with, um, Dave Morin. It's from a while ago, but you guys talking about mental health and start ups and how it's never really talked about until recently. And the suicide rate is pretty high for founders with these thoughts of suicide and giving that world has stuck at home now and have time to reflect. You know, on one on one hand, I see you on social media, promoting kind off hot, high stress involvement, and startups maybe not stress, but like if you if you're gonna do it, you gotta go all out, all right. You got to really work hard and,

like, take two jobs. If you have todo the kind the kind of attitude on the other hand, it's important to be with your family. So how do you think about it now? Now that you've invested in Stara has done your own startups? You know what? Where do you balance?

3:36
What makes for a healthy work-life balance?

It all depends on your aspirations. If you desire to start a billion-dollar venture backed high-growth company, you are going to have to work harder. If you are satisfied with a small business that just makes money to live off, chance are you won't work as hard.



Yeah, it's, um it's a great question. I think it's a healthy dialogue that you see on Twitter frequently. And if you choose to do a start up company in the venture capital backed world, now, that's not all startups, but generally the terms. Start ups referred to high growth startup venture back start ups. That's what people are referring to most the time when they say startups, but they could also mean a startup of one. Like I started a podcast where I started a blogger where I started, um, a T shirt line. It's just me making T shirts. Those are also start ups, I guess.

Technically so let's really defined high growth startups versus projects and start ups, right, because there's a spectrum, and when you were talking about the all the way to the right, the things that are high growth that carries with it a certain amount of commitment and a certain intensity level. Now if you go in the middle. That's obviously probably half the amount of stressed and the girl with the left what I would call like projects, pursuits that make money. Ah, those things don't require much stress or intensity at all. So if I do a podcast and it makes you know, I don't know $5000 a month in patri on subscriptions, um, that could be extremely low stress. And it could pay my rent and my mortgage if I lived in a really calm place. And so that's different than taking other people's money.

The money from people's retirements or college endowments, et cetera, that venture capitalist give and have people saying We need to triple triple triple revenue over the 1st 3 years and then double double double revenue over the next three years. The person doing the $5000 a month podcast doesn't care about that right. That's not a big deal there. There don't have a bunch amounts to feed. So that's the difference is people are talking about two different things, just like people say, I play basketball now. If you're LeBron James and you play basketball or rest in peace Kobe Bryant, that's different than me playing basketball. You're playing best well on the weekends. And then in between, there might be college basketball or you're on a league and you're more committed or you're playing at the Y M C A.

5:59

You see Larry?

6:0

Yeah. I'm still here.

6:1

Okay. Yeah, It's a really good headset. Yeah, it really sounds

6:6

quite. Thank you. Shout out the Plantronics. This crazy $400 head said I got as a gift from the guy from Zoom. Eric. Guy founded Zoom sent me a headset because he saw me praising Zoom on my Twitter. And then they had the Plantronics people send me a headset, and it's like, Oh, my God, that's so generous. Thank you.

6:23

It was just a few days ago, so he actually sent you a headset.

6:26

72 headsets, and I was like, I didn't want to accept them from him. I never accept any free stuff because it's never free. Boys have an agenda, but I really want to have him on the podcast. Was, like, absolutely feel free to send them. And I'll give you a shout out and, uh, yeah, come on. The podcast. I don't think he knows. I have a podcast or what it is. I'm trying to educate him, and I have a bad guest. Well,

6:46

it's amazing, though. You know, speaking of high girls, start up zooms done fantastically well over the last couple of years. But he seems like the most approachable CEO on Twitter. He's always there, responding to people and always kind and polite.

7:0

Yeah, I mean, it costs you nothing to be kind and polite and being on Twitter. It's just a great way for people to get to know you and your company. I highly recommend it, but you know, to your original point about stress and stuff like that, I am fine with people taking on hi intensity pursuits if they choose to do so. And the problem on Twitter, I find is there's a bunch of people who are trying to score points and protect people who are downtrodden and, you know, virtual signal to their tribe that oh my Lord, you are being oppressed because you work so hard for the man in this venture capital industrial complex. And wait a second that people opt into that if they're opting into being an astronaut sitting on the tip of a rocket ship and putting a bunch of really flammable stuff under the rock it like they chose to get on the rocket. They chose to be an astronaut. You could choose to be a bus driver. You could choose to write up bicycle and you could choose to walk.

Where's the free will in all of this? Like, that's something that's been lost, I think in the madness of social media and people feeling the need to defend other people who are who have agency and we make choices in life. And that, I think, is why social media so maddening to some people because they're like, Wait a second, you're saying that people can't learn a new skill and you're saying that poor people can't learn a new skill. It's feels pretty biased to me that you're, you know, maybe that it's hard to be poor. Listen, I was pouring my life. I know it's hard lily paper paycheck, the paycheck.

I get it, Um, but that doesn't mean that somebody who is poor, whose lower middle class can go online right now and learning a skill instantly. If you wanna learn how to be ah program or a writer. A podcaster. Ah, graphic designer. All that information is out there for free. If you want to go to M I t. You can literally take the courses for free right now. And instead of celebrating the opportunity, everybody is obsessing over, you know, some perceived lack of opportunity. And I don't think that the downside in our society right now is anywhere near the potential upside.

And we really need to steer people towards the opportunity and show them Here is the path. Go learn the skills. Thes skills are marketable. These skills are in need. Um, and here's how you learn. Like I found, people are have such learned helplessness. In some cases, they don't know how to learn. Like, I'll have young people come work for me and they have not been taught howto learn. I mean, forget about learning, knowing basic math and you know, the English language and how to write.

Um, people don't know how to learn how to learn. They don't know how to form a question and s and find the people who can answer that question and then go pursue their own mastery of a specific skill. And I think mastery of scales is really the future for our kids on for adults right now in the workforce and just generally in life, being able to master skills makes you independent and powerful and strong. Um, and gives you agency in your life. And that's what I'm focusing on. What? My daughter. So I have three kids, three daughters, very blessed to be a girl. Dad. Hashtag girl down shot out Kobe Bryant rest in peace. And I am really focused on that.

And when stuff hits the fan like we have right now, um, I've already got my generator. I already know how to use a firearm. I already know how to purify water. I know afore he caught things stockpiled. I am ready for the zombie apocalypse because I was trained as a boy Scout and look things up online. And I know howto um, survive this kind of stuff. Um, maybe not to the extent of a Green Beret or a Navy seal, obviously, but or a prepper. But I have a pretty good idea of what it takes if things were to break down in society and the food chambers, um, for some reason,

compromised and I'll be able to take care of my family. So I think that's what people have toe really think about is how independent are you, how quickly things will learn new skills. And that's what I try to work on with founders, because found herself select for a group of people who really want to try to change the world. And I really try to work with them on what skills do they need in order to, ah, make that happen? And sometimes they don't know. They don't know what skills they need, And that's really the great part about being an angel. Investors. You get to tell people like it's almost like being, ah, somebody who's training people on how to be a pilot. It's like,

Well, I've never flown over mountains this high. It's like, Okay, here's how you do it. You know it's gonna be some updrafts. It's gonna be dangerous. You're gonna need to keep your you know, um, you're gonna need to keep your oxygen levels in the cockpit appropriate when you get to a certain, uh, altitude, right?

12:9

Yes. That's really my job consulting. They call it read page one, teach peace, too.

12:14

Ah, I like that read. Page will read Page one. Teach page

12:18

two. Yeah, I got it. Yeah, I learned that from my wife. That's what she usually does. She'll sleep in a book and then she knows it by the morning kind of thing. It worries. But how do you think we got here? I mean to me, I've noticed that too. But to me, it's unbelievable that people don't necessarily want to learn. I don't know how to learn because it seems like, you know, if you've got the time, that's the only thing in your hands.

I mean, I love to create, though that were so for me create, you know, I don't want to consume. So I want to make something. But it seems like indeed we got to a place where kids are not even encouraged to go and just figure things out. What's cost that?

12:53
Why are people feeling so helpless today?

Jason speculates that we are now living in a society where surviving has gotten so easy that it removes the edge and fear.

On the other hand, work, entrepreneurship, and capital has become portable, and you are now competing with anyone who can do your work, around the world. It could be demoralizing.



Yeah, I don't know exactly. Actually, never given this, but it's a good question. I could speculate on some reasons that come to mind of why people have learned helplessness. Um, you know, I think our society as a society gets easier and easier, you know, to live and survive in eyes in the western world and Europe would be first in America right behind it. I think maybe the edge gets taken off. And, you know, when you see people who come from families that are first generation immigrants, they have this, like,

hustle and EJ and fear. Um, and I just looked at my own life and, you know, my grand parents were very scared of running out of food as an example, right? Um and they were vigilant about that. And then, you know, maybe my parents were less and then maybe me even less and, you know, people grow up and they saw their parents doing very well. They saw them go toe college, get jobs for life. And I think, as you know,

globalization happened for people in the Western world. They started to lose jobs to places where people wanted the work more. We're willing to do it at a lower rate. And, you know, that led to a little bit of this disconcerting feeling like, Oh, my God, where are those jobs? And when I graduate, is there gonna be a job for me? And what is my skill? What is my contribution. Um, and then I'm gonna have a worse Ah, fate and my parents.

Right. And so now you know, if you want to, I talked before about how all that information is available to learn how to be a graphic designer developer, a sales executive and str sells development rep. Who works with the sales executive. Because all that information is out there. That means people in Manila Ah, you know we're in Singapore or in Romania wherever South America can also provide those skills. And so you're seeing startups that have development teams in Budapest or in San Paulo as much as they have them in America. So if the developer of the task of being a developer, Bert, can now be learned online around the world, that means, and if remote work on top of that, it's becoming so prevalent.

And even during this crises, obviously everybody is being forced to do it. So now, even CEOs and you know old people and boomers are being forced to download, zoom and use it instead of having in person meetings and what they're used to. That means work can travel around the world. It's just portable entrepreneurship is portable capital is portable because it's so portable, it can move anywhere. That means you're going from, Um, instead of just competing against people in your city, your state, your country it's talking about. You're competing against everybody who speaks English in the world, which is a growing number of people. And maybe,

even if some companies, I don't have a problem. Ah, exporting work to non English speaking countries. Ah, that it's even bigger. And I'm trying to think about which jobs you could actually do that. I guess you could do it if you had some in between who did speak the language. So if a bunch of people were speaking Chinese and we're building software for an American company as long as there was somebody in the American company who spoke Chinese and were able to bridge that gap, you know, now you're really talking about competing with the Globe, and that's where I think a lot of young people in this country you have two choices. You can realize you're competing against the globe and be, ah, competitors and compete. Or you can give up and say the system's rigged and I don't want to compete and I think a lot of people feel like that the system's rigged.

It's too hard. Only rich people get richer and nobody can come up. And but that, to me, is, um, just really devastating to see because it's not true. I see people who come from very modest beginnings all the time Start Cos learn new skills become major contributors inside of high growth companies today, people don't care if you went to M I. T. Where you taught yourself the skills that that m i t person has, and that is crazy. When I grew up and I came out of school in the early nineties, if you had an M I t degree versus an N Y U degree versus a city college degree, you've got three different salaries. You know,

100 k 75 K 50 day. Literally. Your salary was Paige, too. Your college degree and even just the ability to get the job, respect your college degree. And there was somebody who went and did all the open courseware. And I was talking to somebody very notable in the industry would say who? But you know, suffice to say you would you know, every 100% of people listening to this podcast know the person. And I said, Hey, if somebody came to you and they had gone to M I t and taking all this, eh, I ah course where And then another person had gone to the open software and done it all on their nights and weekends while being an uber driver and showed you their work.

And both people showed you the work and the work was equal. Which person would you pick? Which person would you pick? The person who did it over to over four years or the person who did it at night over four years. And we can

18:11

make sense to pick the person who did it over at night because they were disadvantaged and they got to the same results. So it just

18:17

making exactly it makes them a better candidate because they're more resilient. They have more grit. You have more desire that have more hustle should think about that. You one person pays 1/4 $1,000,000 spends four years of life. Another person does it in two years on mate on weekends and spend $0

18:36
What does Jason Calacanis think of bootstrapped businesses?

"Bootstrappers are my people." ~ Jason.

There are two groups of people in the world: people who write checks and people who are so good at what they do, the are so resourceful, they build it themselves.

Jason loves to invest in people who were able to elevate themselves without a handout.



doesn't mean think about that, Jason doesn't mean you would have been more respect for a founder who grind it without venture funds,

18:44
What does Jason Calacanis think of bootstrapped businesses?

"Bootstrappers are my people." ~ Jason.

There are two groups of people in the world: people who write checks and people who are so good at what they do, the are so resourceful, they build it themselves.

Jason loves to invest in people who were able to elevate themselves without a handout.



you know? Yeah, of course. They I say it in my book. I mean, boots, trappers are my people. You come to be with the bootstrap company. They got to $10,000 a month and revenue. Jason Calacanis dot com. You bootstrapped it to tank and revenue. I want to be on your captive. I want to meet you. I wanna have you come on at the accelerator. Let's get to work. Let's roll. I mean,

come on. There's two groups of people in the world like there's people who write checks and by, um, you know, resource is to build stuff. And then there's people who are so good at what they do. They are the resource they do build it themselves. You know, the reason I was really good at editorial for a long time building in Detroit, all brands, whether it's podcaster, blog's or newsletters is because I could do that work myself like I know how to do a good podcast. I can actually hosts the podcast. I know how to interview people. I know how to do events because I could be the emcee of the event. If I had to hire an emceed,

you realize how screwed I would be As a conference producer like the conference Producers, you don't see many conference producers who don't host their own events. You don't see many podcast companies where the person running the pockets company is not the tip of the spear and podcasting. Bill Simmons is the best podcaster at the ringer. Joe Rogan runs one of the hottest companies in podcasting. The Rogan podcast Leo Laporte runs this week intact, and he is the, you know, uh, tip of the spear for that podcasting company, if you are talented and lead from the front leading from the front is just so amazing because then everybody with you is like, Wow, that person knows how to cook scallops and they cooked them perfectly. I could learn from them. Oh, that person's got sold out all the ads in their pockets. So that person has the most people following them on Twitter that really got a Twitter great lead from the front lead by example.

20:30

So early on, you said that you like helping entrepreneurs in your incubator and the ones the investment to figure out which skills they need to grow in orbit around their company at the same time. If we think of J. Rogan, who's great at his podcast, you know, he doubled down on the skill that he is good at. So between the two, which one do you think is more important? Two. Basically grow the one thing you're really good at or be really good at everything. But not as

20:56

yeah, on both of these things have their Ah, you could argue both sides. It used to be in the N. B. A. You had three point specialists. You had people who you would put in the game when you need a three pointer, right? And ah, the Knicks had one named Novak. Steve Novak. He was unbelievable. 40% thresher. You put him in. He couldn't play defense, you know,

he might have been on the smaller side. Could have been a liability in the paint rebounding. I'm not sure of his exact statistics, but when he would you give him the ball three times in a row, he's sitting two or three of those two out of three. Probably. Ah, were you given the ball 10 times? He's hitting for a 10 right? It's and he's getting pay 50% more per shot because you get three points instead of two. And then they realized Wait a second if a tall person could shoot threes is really impossible to defend. These tall folks don't shoot threes very well, but all of a sudden Kevin Durant and Chris stops posing us. We're hitting three pointers, and I was like, Wait a second.

Now you've got somebody who's really tall who could hit three. Well, then we should have him on Lee. Take two types of shots. The highest percentage shot, which is under the basket. A layup or doing a three pointer. Right? And so the fact that you can do many skills is really a good thing, because then you have somebody like she kill O'Neill, who was incredible. The paint couldn't sure three, and if you found him, he couldn't shoot his free throws. It was a terrible free throw shooter, so they actually developed a strategy to neutralize Shaquille O'Neal called Hack a Shack. You would have found Shaquille O'Neal put him on the line And that was better than letting anybody else shoot the ball and his arms would just be covered in bruises and welts by the end of the game. And they literally had toe, you know, think about changing rules because of the hack shack.

22:43
Should you master a skill or learn many different ones instead?

Get to 60-70% proficiency on a large range of skills and then also go deep on one of them.



Um, So what you're saying is important to figure out what game you're playing, what skills you got and how to mix the two.

22:49
Should you master a skill or learn many different ones instead?

Get to 60-70% proficiency on a large range of skills and then also go deep on one of them.



I like the idea of being able to get to 60 or 70% proficiency on a large range of skills and then also being great at one of the two of them. And so when I started my magazine, I was not a photographer or a graphic designer taking one graphic design course in Syria photography courses. But then I went and got, Ah, some training in those things, and I started taking the photos for our magazine. And then when I worked with photographers, I could speak the language, you know, and I could talk to them about how they were composing the shot and what I was looking for. I could talk to a designer about the font. I could talk to them about how they crop. The photo and so I like the idea of being really ah as a leader and a founder of a company having a lot of different skills. And it turns out of you expose yourself to a lot of different types of disciplines You could have range and a really good book whole range about this. People who are cross disciplinary really can start to figure out things in other disciplines and apply trans they see in one discipline to another. So,

for example, let me just think out loud here. You might learn in, um ah, doing enterprise cells, right? The enterprise sales People might learn about funnels like making somebody aware of your product having them. Ah, sign up for a demo, have them used the product and then have them pay for the product. And then consumer people might learn about having people invite other people in vire ality in their products. And then somebody like slack might take the viral ality of Twitter and Facebook and apply it to slack and allow anybody in a slack tiu to invite other people to the slack and at mention them et cetera, right? And so the people who can go cross disciplinary and take lessons from different disciplines and apply them to other disciplines. Tend to have breakout success, and that's having range is very powerful.

There's not one that's one, and that's one of the great things about I think life and business, parenting, etcetera. There's a lot of different ways to win. There's a lot of different ways to win. There's not one way to cook chicken, so there's not one way ah, you know, to get from New York City. Thio. Um, you know, California, you could take a train. You could take a plane. You could drive. You could take the drive to the south. You could take a drive through Canada, lots of different ways to get from one place to the other.

25:17

I wonder if it's personality specific, and if this attitude is what you grew up with, or you taught yourself it because I know a lot of people who would say there is only one way to cook the chicken the way that's in the recipe, and if you do anything else, it's not the chicken anymore, right? And is this just being the founder and then investor that made your mind work this way? Or do you think is just how you grew up

25:40
Are you friends with the right people?

The most successful founders are opportunistic and take control of the world. They never feel victimized.

Who you hang out with changes how you think about the world.



and you know myself. Ah, you know, I was lucky enough. Two ah, have to fend for myself at the age of 17. And you know, having zero support from 17 on just lead to me having to fight really hard for everything I had now that could have cracked me. It could, Ah, it could have led me into Let's say I had kids in my twenties. Then I would not be, have had the freedom to then pursue entrepreneurial pursuits. So, you know, there's a Siri's of, I think lucky occurrences for me,

but you have course your childhood plays a lot in tow. You know how you perceive the world. Um, And if you feel empowered, ah, or if you feel like a victim and I mean the amount of people who complain and have this learned helplessness of this victim mentality is just stunning to me because on one hand, the people who self select to come to me and talk to me about there, businesses for angel investments and to come to our accelerator or maybe to be syndicated, those people who are looking for us to invest. Then they self selected people who are the opposite of victims, right? They're opportunists. They see opportunity everywhere and they feel empowered and they feel like anything is possible. And so when I run into people will feel the opposite. I feel like just grabbing them and saying Hey, come over here and hang out with this group of people So who you hang out with,

I think really change how you think about this. You know, I hang out with the most successful people in the world on a business basis and investment basis on then just arguably, you know, amongst the most successful in the world, you know, the technology, entrepreneurial crowd and metric rat are probably among the most successful world. There's other people who are super successful as well artists, parents, writers, nonprofit leaders, whatever, politicians. But in this group of people, when there is a challenge in the world,

they immediately start collecting gate of talking to experts and trying to figure it out. And I think it's one of the nice things you see with this Corona virus. There's a group of people who are on Twitter who biology being one of them who formerly worked at, um um ah, coin base and injuries And Horowitz. And he's like, Well, I know a lot about biotech and biology. I'm going to start tweeting about this, and I'm gonna collect all my information. And it's like, Wow, on David Sacks or Trauma Palihapitiya or Bill Girly or Jeff Skoll. There's a bunch of people out there talking about this stuff in real time, debating what we're doing. And there's another group of people you know the victims.

Or like, how dare you question if we should be staying home or not? A quarantine? How dare you question Ah, you know, these experts like, Well, this is a new blocks one type event, and asking questions is a bad thing. This is when we should be asking more questions. Oh, you shouldn't speculate, really. You shouldn't speculate. Of course you should speculate. Speculation is theorizing,

and having a theory is how you change the world. You you pursue different theories. Now I'm not saying you our cavalier about it, and you just say like, Yeah, we should just go back to work. But that's a valid question. I can't think of a more valid question to ask right now. Ah, then is quarantining everybody and having the economy collapse acceptable in the face of this crisis, which is going to do more damage, which people will. That which will cause more people to die is a really hard question for some people to handle.

29:23
What are the unintended consequences of covid19 lockdown?

"It's not even necessary money over people, because that would be like looking at it in the most first order, you know, superficial way. It's if a large number people lose their jobs cannot afford health care. Stop going to Dr Start abusing opioids or alcohol. Ah, full into depression commits suicide because they go bankrupt like you can actually track these things.

It just takes a moment of taking a deep breath and saying, Oh, there are second order effects and buried water effects of every action, and we have to think holistically when we do things in different systems in the world. So for every time you put an incentive out there, it could have dire consequences that you didn't expect the unintended consequences of actions at scale are things you really need to theorize in question and debate. And now you've got people who don't want to do that because crazy like you were talking about taking major action here, Should we be canceling?

Whoa, ah, student debt. Should we be giving businesses blank checks? Where should we be buying equity? Or should we be giving them loans? Should be giving them loans with no interest rate or some interest rate. If we have loans with that with an interest rate than people who have savings,

get interest that they could then spend if we don't have interest within, businesses can take money for free money and build more companies and build the economy faster. Okay, which is better? It's like, Yeah, I don't think anybody actually has the answer to that question of having no interest rate and more people investing in building things or having a modest interest rate or a medium interest rate that allows people to make money off of their savings, which they can then put to work.

And it promotes a healthier environment where people save more. Right now, there's no incentive to save. Obviously, if you've got 10% or 15% on the money you have in the bank, people like I'm gonna try to get 100,000 in the bank so I could make 15,000 on my interest. Now it's what I put 100,000 in the bank and get back $94,000 in 10 years. That doesn't make any sense."



Well, you don't want. In this particular case, people can't handle the idea that you might want to choose money over people.

29:30
What are the unintended consequences of covid19 lockdown?

"It's not even necessary money over people, because that would be like looking at it in the most first order, you know, superficial way. It's if a large number people lose their jobs cannot afford health care. Stop going to Dr Start abusing opioids or alcohol. Ah, full into depression commits suicide because they go bankrupt like you can actually track these things.

It just takes a moment of taking a deep breath and saying, Oh, there are second order effects and buried water effects of every action, and we have to think holistically when we do things in different systems in the world. So for every time you put an incentive out there, it could have dire consequences that you didn't expect the unintended consequences of actions at scale are things you really need to theorize in question and debate. And now you've got people who don't want to do that because crazy like you were talking about taking major action here, Should we be canceling?

Whoa, ah, student debt. Should we be giving businesses blank checks? Where should we be buying equity? Or should we be giving them loans? Should be giving them loans with no interest rate or some interest rate. If we have loans with that with an interest rate than people who have savings,

get interest that they could then spend if we don't have interest within, businesses can take money for free money and build more companies and build the economy faster. Okay, which is better? It's like, Yeah, I don't think anybody actually has the answer to that question of having no interest rate and more people investing in building things or having a modest interest rate or a medium interest rate that allows people to make money off of their savings, which they can then put to work.

And it promotes a healthier environment where people save more. Right now, there's no incentive to save. Obviously, if you've got 10% or 15% on the money you have in the bank, people like I'm gonna try to get 100,000 in the bank so I could make 15,000 on my interest. Now it's what I put 100,000 in the bank and get back $94,000 in 10 years. That doesn't make any sense."



It's not even necessary money over people, because that would be like looking at it in the most first order, you know, superficial way. It's if a large number people lose their jobs cannot afford health care. Stop going to Dr Start abusing opioids or alcohol. Ah, full into depression commits suicide because they go bankrupt like you can actually track these things. It just takes a moment of taking a deep breath and saying, Oh, there are second order effects and buried water effects of every action, and we have to think holistically when we do things in different systems in the world. So for every time you put an incentive out there, it could have dire consequences that you didn't expect the unintended consequences of actions at scale are things you really need to theorize in question and debate. And now you've got people who don't want to do that because crazy like you were talking about taking major action here, Should we be canceling? Whoa,

ah, student debt. Should we be giving businesses blank checks? Where should we be buying equity? Or should we be giving them loans? Should be giving them loans with no interest rate or some interest rate. If we have loans with that with an interest rate than people who have savings, get interest that they could then spend if we don't have interest within, businesses can take money for free money and build more companies and build the economy faster. Okay, which is better? It's like, Yeah, I don't think anybody actually has the answer to that question of having no interest rate and more people investing in building things or having a modest interest rate or a medium interest rate that allows people to make money off of their savings, which they can then put to work. And it promotes a healthier environment where people save more.

Right now, there's no incentive to save. Obviously, if you've got 10% or 15% on the money you have in the bank, people like I'm gonna try to get 100,000 in the bank so I could make 15,000 on my interest. Now it's what I put 100,000 in the bank and get back $94,000 in 10 years. That doesn't make any sense, right? So you really have to think these things through.

31:30

You know, you just highlight a very important aspect of Silicon Valley. I think that that's why a lot of people, I think, don't understand. Second, Bella sometimes that you're not just stating answers. You actually looking for answers through questions and you asking all these questions and you're learning and whether it's a company or this virus, like people in Silicon Valley do that on daily basis all the time. It's normal. It's not even an argument, right is just exploration. And I know when I talked to people outside of Silicon Valley, they see and you know you're friends with Long Mosque and you're like big defender of test lying people looking testing and Seo like this is not going well. That is not going well and people in the Valley always just like, Well, let's look at the positives. Let's see what happens if we do achieve that, right? Yeah, just such a big difference between the world outside of Silicon Valley

32:17

and the Valley itself. There's a Silicon Valley and anybody who's Ah, any group of people that accumulates wealth quickly, uhm and who has massive influence over other people's lives should rightfully be questioned and examined. And so when Ricky Jervis gets up there at the Golden Globes and tells a bunch of celebrities who get rich very quickly and to have a lot of influence and power and says, we really don't need you to lecture us on how to live our lives, considering, you know, Los Angeles is Sodom and Gomorrah, like you guys are on your seventh wives and ah, a bunch of degenerates and you know, like make a ton of money, we really don't need your advice on how to live. Ah, after you, you know, have scandals or whatever,

like so yeah, you should question I'm not saying you should look at Silicon Valley people and say, Oh, just blindly accept what they say. I don't blindly accept what anybody says. I think like if you said Sucker, Berg has a bunch of advice for how to live a great life, I would tell you like, Yeah, probably not the person you want to go, too, if you want to have a person who's really good at stealing other people's ideas and executing on them better than those people and flawlessly and has absolutely no moral compass and just wants toe collect as much money as possible. Like, yeah, that's the person to talk to you about that. Yeah,

he's really good at that. I don't think is really the person to talk to about how to run a democracy or how to run a community, even though he's built the biggest community in the world. I think he's caused more problems than he's probably Ah, um solved. And so, you know, we've got to take this on us in a situation like situation. Some people might have great advice in one area and terrible rice in another,

33:58

we might diverge for a second, but give your all right now with this mild recession with the virus. Actually curious what you think about Silicon Valley And since you mess mentioned Zach, you know, it feels like for the last maybe 10 years Well, everything was great and money was plenty. There were a lot of people who would actually go on ask Zach for advice because that was exactly the company they wanted to run, and they would find the money. Um, do you think that was the case? And that would dry dry up now that we're in tough economic times? Or is that their latest trend?

34:31
What is Mark Zuckerberg best at?

Zuckerberg is the perfect person to ask about viral growth of your products and a number of other issues, advertising. how to make money from ads, how to explain people's privacy for your own personal gain...etc.



Well, listen, Zuckerberg is the perfect person to ask for about viral growth of your products. Um, and a number of other issues advertising how to make money from ads, had a compromise. People's privacy you, for your own personal gain, is a lot of things you could ask him. He's an expert on, um, and and if you look at the free money last decade of Silicon Valley from 2008 till just up until this crisis, it's been hey, growth at all costs or growth above all else. Somewhere between those two. Anyway, the North Star was growth and somewhere around uber going public lift going public,

Airbnb not going public yet, and Postmates door dash, not yet going public. People pump the brakes and said You did economics. The number one job of these businesses is no longer growth. The number one job is to make a profit off every transaction and to have a clear path to being a cash flowing machine as a company. And so, given that that people want to be a cash flowing machine, I want these companies to be a catch rowing machine. I think that's a, um, a very cool outcome, Um, is for to have private companies really go for the growth. But then at some point, say,

You know what? We got the growth. We figure that out. Let's just make sure that described the sustainable. So you know, there's a pendulum that swings both ways. After this, people are gonna be too conservative. They're gonna ask people to get to profitability in the 1st 18 months of their business is supposed to the 1st 8 years, and the truth probably lies somewhere between the two. But I'm going to be massively active. Um, you know, during and after this crises because number one, it's my job. My job is to support founders.

Um and inspire innovation. That's our mission statement at launch my investment company to m to support founders inspire innovation. And so we're gonna It's also gonna be great business because all these great cos people gonna be afraid to invest in companies, and we're just going toe attack it really hard. We're gonna hit it really hard. So any company that's got 10 2030 k and revenue a month, we're gonna just and they can't raise funding right now, we're gonna be right on that and be like, Hey, let's talk. Let's talk. You know, uh,

36:57
What's up with The Syndicate ?

Jason's Syndicate is analogous to Angel List and is the main driver for how Jason now aggregates angels to invest in his deals.



well, it makes I think it's the

36:59
What's up with The Syndicate ?

Jason's Syndicate is analogous to Angel List and is the main driver for how Jason now aggregates angels to invest in his deals.



right thing. It's the right thing to do, you know, in this kind of a situation.

37:1
What's up with The Syndicate ?

Jason's Syndicate is analogous to Angel List and is the main driver for how Jason now aggregates angels to invest in his deals.



And like you said, I think it relates to who you hang out with. That's what you learn where you hang out with the smart and successful people in the valley. If the people around you just chasing growth, you start doing that is well, because that's what people do. All right? Yeah. Precise. Are you still? Are you investing now purely out of your own fund? Or is there still sick? Where? Money. In there.

37:23

Yes, sir. I don't do Sequoia Scouts anymore, but I am a trained eye to train them. Um, I have my own fund, and I have the syndicate dot com We were on angel list. Great platform. You should join Angeles on. Join us many syndicates as you can there and learn. And then we left because we want to build our own team. No offense to Angel s novel. We love the team over there. They taught us how to do this, but we now have the syndicate dot com, which is not a competitive Angeles. It's just 4000 investors who invest in the also would be like if Angel ist was one giant syndicate.

That's what we have. So we have the largest individual syndicate in the world. Um, and we do about 30 deals a year, which is like, one every two weeks or so. We find another company, um, that we love. We put him through diligence, and then we will syndicate $250,000 to 2.5 million toe accredited investors. I write a deal memo founder, right to deal memo. They do a webinar and then people can choose. I want to put in two k or 200 k or I want to put in zero and I'll just read 30 Bill memos and I'll cherry pick. But when I want to do,

some people are just like I'll just put two K and teach deal and I'll do, well 30 deals and I will build my own little portfolio. Um, but angel investing is just, ah, great pursuit in terms of it's the most fun career you could never have that I found. Um, and I think it's also one of the most rewarding, both financially and, um, in terms of being able to hang out with the most interesting people in the world.

38:52

Well, like you said in your book, no risk, No reward, right?

38:55

Yeah, no gamble, no future sample, no future actually wrote it. No gamble, no Futa that wrote it like fanatically of how people would say, Jim and something. I think that's racist. I was like, really? Is phonetically spelling something you don't understand. People are. I wrote the book in, Brian Alvey would come over, he came over, I think 29 times on I would do about two or 3000 words. He would come over.

He'd edit them real quick, and then we talk about it. Then we go for a walk. We'll get some Mexican. True, both, Like Mexican food. Then we walked back to my house and talk about it a bit more. And what other topics you want to do? This. I'd say I got about 80 70 or 80% of it done in those 30 days on. And then we went to L. A. For the upfront conference and I said, Hey, I'm going down there.

Speak. Let's just go there. I'll get a suite and I got a suite at the ah standard hotel. Not really expensive, to be honest, but I got this big, sweet Ah, and we stayed together and I said, Let's just stay here until it's done and we have to 65,000 pages. We had about 10 more chapters we want, right. We sent it to the editor. She read it. Ah, Hollis over at, um,

HarperCollins business. And they said, It's perfect. Don't have the other 10 chapters you want. You want to just be done. And I'm right in the next book right now. So amusing. This corona virus Ah, um, holiday. Ah,

40:21

Fortress will start writing to write a book because you didn't have to suffer for years trying

40:26

to do the best part about it is I just, you know, I don't get to, um I am basically just hanging out with my best friend Brian, and it's an excuse to hang out together and so I would look for it from coming over just to hang out. We were just playing cards or talking. I wanna hang out. And so it was like a real motivation for me to get two or 3000 words done, and they have to see him have lunch with them. Um, you know,

40:51

just to anyone listening, they should check out Angel by Jason Call canIs. It's really like Amazon, right?

40:57

Yeah. Or audible, um, or Barnes and Noble in those places, I do the audible myself

41:4

and you just signed up for audible. Now I think it's free for first month, so, you know, you could get a great deal.

41:9

Yeah, I mean, books are like the most ridiculous value in the world. When you think about it like it's like a book is $10 and which is essentially free for everybody. Ah, where you go to the library and literally get it for free. And I think the library has audiobooks now, too. And I think you can get the e books of the audio books digitally. So didn't really back to what he's talking about earlier. Like No excuses. Like get smart, read books. You know, the average American watches, five hours of television a day.

41:48

It's not what you really have. Five hours

41:50

of time. Well, think about you. Get home. You're exhausted. Boom. You know?

41:54

Yeah. And now everybody is complaining about sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. Ah, the irony. But, um but let's talk about the future because, you know, in your book your proponent about how the robots are gonna take our jobs, the manual ones, But it's actually a good thing because it will reduce load on people to actually go and read the books that do something meaningful. And, um, you know, we talked about how competition is rising world, and it's gonna be hard. Thio. Well,

it's gonna be a lot harder to get that job because now you're competing with the rest of the world. So what do you do for your family? For your kids to prepare them, educate them, you know, and everything around that.

42:38
How can you learn a new skill in 2020?

YouTube! Open YouTube and look up how to do whatever it is that you need to do. There is a video out there for mostly everything.



So what skills do people need? Uh, when we get past, like, manual labor, um, where a lot of manual labor goes away. Well, people used to do very wrote two tasks, like be telephone operators where they would connect calls, right? Or, uh, they used to Ah, you know, Dr Ah, horses and buggies for people around town,

um, or people worked as farmers and milk cows, etcetera. So you're as those jobs go away, those people get to be redeployed to do other pursuits. And those pursuits now are instead of being fixed where you do something for a career. So you're a farmer for 40 years, 50 years? You know, you start working as a farmer when you're 18 and you do it tell you, you know I can't do it anymore. And you're 65 or 75. Um, I think things are gonna change, and you're going to need to learn new skills every 5 to 10 years. So the key thing you have to learn is how to learn.

And that's what I work on my daughter's, um, I teach. I have them learn how to learn and literally do that with employees and team members as well. I have so many team members who are like I've never done that before or I'm like, Fix this and they're like I don't know how to fix that. I'm like, Okay, you don't have to fix it and I literally pull, Take out my phone, open up YouTube and then say, How do I fix a clogged pump? And it's like, Here's how you fix a problem. There's four screws on the bottom. You undo it.

You take out the dirt, you, Ah, hose it. You put the four screws back like literally. That is an actual example for my life. We have a pump because water gets collected and narrow. The house and the pump stopped working. And I was like, Okay, let me go on YouTube and there's literally 50 videos on how to do anything. And, like I had dishwasher problems, the same thing. I just type in the model dishwasher. How to clear a jam learned clear.

Jim, we don't have to call a plumber every time now. Now these air seemed like really stupid. Obvious examples. Uh, but they really are valid. Um, and it's It's something that is a mindset change. You can learn anything. And one of the ways I've done that is just with my daughter, my older daughter. It's when she doesn't understand a word. Alexa or Syria really good at defining or pronouncing a word for you. And I have dyslexia, so I pronounce words wrong. Anybody who's listen to the pockets in which we butcher people's last names knows this.

And so I could say, Hey, Siri, define the word indefatigable And all of a sudden, serious gonna define that word for me. And ah,

45:31

that's a great hack. Never try it. This we should we should say, You know, Alexa, please define indefatigable and see if it plays in people's living rooms.

45:43

Sorry about that. Everybody. Uh, Alexa play Mark Knopfler. Sorry about that. I'm a big guy traits, man. So Oh, there we go. Oops,

45:55

it works. It does where? It just

45:58

did it. I got it happened. I was in my room. I Alexa show Alexa pause.

46:4

Right. So you used so usual this technology to learn yourself and to teach your kids to learn. And by the way, I just anecdotally because you mentioned YouTube. And I've got my 81 year old grandma visiting. She doesn't know what Google is like. She kind of does, but she doesn't know how to get there, but she knows how to YouTube. And the other day I said, Well, just Google that grandma, you know, she's like, what? I would just type that I'm like, Yeah,

she goes, Well, can I just type that in YouTube? It's amazing. Like we don't. Yeah, I've never actually realized that until talking to her, but even like kids, and you know how they say kids and old people are very similar. Yeah, you go.

46:44

You got exactly. Exactly.

46:47

But, I mean, you're a busy guy, you know? You've got two little twins hold then, Alex,

46:52

They're gonna before

46:53

this month, you know, four. Ah, that's still pretty young. I mean, minor. Three, almost three and five. And, you know, it's still pretty young age, right? Like, how do you guys do? What do you do is a family. I'm curious too. Um, you know, to engage the kids to do something together is both fun. and educational.

47:10
What does Jason do with his family in lockdown?

Jason and family are big on Montessori and Reggio activities, tools and techniques which center around the child. Anything the child can do, let them do it.

His 3 year olds cut food, while the 10 year old bakes their dinner. They know how to do it, and it's really rewarding to see your kids take care of themselves independently.



Oh, yeah. I mean, cooking is great. Physical activity is great. So you know, those things come right to mind for me. We started playing board games as well. With the 10 year old um, building. Things were big into the Montessori educational and the ratio educational, Um, systems. And so our philosophy is, I guess so. If you just type in Montessori activities or Montessori Tools or Reggio Activities Ratio tools as, ah parent,

you'll find all these very interesting, um, techniques, etcetera. And so one of them is anything the child could do for themselves. Let the child d'oh! So whether that's putting on clothes or cutting vegetables, and we were able to find these special knives on Amazon that are Montessori cutting knives. And so when we're making dinner, weaken literally. Put a three year old in front of a cutting board and give them a bunch of carrots, and they cut the carrots. Um, and then with our 10 year old now, you know we could say, Bake us a cake for dinner And here's and she just knows howto literally.

Bake a cake and you know, it's really rewarding when you watch a nine or 10 year old make a cake put in the oven and it's done. It's like, Wow, you know, like here we are 10 year olds baking cakes. I meet people in my life who don't know how to make coffee. We don't know howto are in their shirt. My mom taught me how to iron a shirt. I can iron my own shirts, ironed my own charts my whole life because I didn't have the money to pay for a dry cleaner. I know that that was stupid. You know, I don't do my own wash, no matter. Load the dishwasher,

just loading the dishwasher, Stupid thing like chores around the house because I work in the restaurant business. My dad was a taskmaster, and you would just give you a task after task. And he would, you know, be on you to do it right. Polishing the silverware, we had to make sure that you could see your reflection in the spoon and that there was literally when you examine the spoon and held it up. You don't see any streaks or anything, but we would send the, you know, silverware through the dishwasher, and then he would have says 45 and six year olds. My two brothers polish the silverware. Hey,

would have us count the money from the bar the night before, put it into stacks and fill out the deposit slip. This many hundreds as many fifties, this many tens, May 25 speak to is anyone's as many coins. And we had to then walk into the bank at the age of 6789 10 years old, handed to the teller, given the deposit slip and she'd look at school. Is your dad outside? Yeah, tell him I'll be up. Beards wasn't in my dad's restaurant and bar all time. Will CME appears this weekend? Um, because the, you know,

the bank tellers would hang out at my dad's bar in Brooklyn, and those kind of lessons make you really powerful in life. You know, you become super powerful. Um, I believe, and so anything you can d'oh. To just make yourself superhuman is a good idea. And no task too small, you know, knowing how to handle a firearm. You know, I'm not like I'm not a pro gun person, but we live in a country where there's a lot of guns and it could be civil unrest, and a kid might find a gun. At some point.

Something might bring a gun to school, like teaching gun safety. Like when I learned how to shoot a 22 rifle or bow and arrow when I was a kid or I was an E m t first responder when I was 19 years old, 20 years old, that became the lowest level of an emergency. You know, medical technicians call the M T F. Our first responder was like Whatever 12 week course let you ride on an ambulance within the empty Um, and you're just knowing howto handle yourself in emergency situations. Self defense. Take one. Though. I practiced tae kwon do in my life like all of those things really build your confidence and make you When you go out into the world, you just feel a sense of more security and being self possessed.

51:5
How would you instill confidence in kids?

When you practice martial arts or you learn how to use a firearm, you learn how fragile you are. You learn how dangerous the world is and how to avoid those situations.

Being able to assess a situation, and to get through it on their own, without help, is what would give kids their confidence.



Yeah, it's actually mess. Was Jason

51:7
How would you instill confidence in kids?

When you practice martial arts or you learn how to use a firearm, you learn how fragile you are. You learn how dangerous the world is and how to avoid those situations.

Being able to assess a situation, and to get through it on their own, without help, is what would give kids their confidence.



Well, I mean, it's not even that I mean, listen, when you practice martial arts or you learn how to use a firearm, actually, what you learn is how fragile you are. You learn how dangerous um, the world can be and you learn how to avoid those situations. Sort of like Jet I training like really? Like the Jedi knights do not want to take their Not the Jedi. Knights are not looking to get in fights. They they don't want anybody to know they're a jet. I they have this, you know, light saber on their belt, and they never want to take it out like it's the last thing they want to do is take that likes a brown or turn it on or use it.

I mean, if they do use that, they use it sparingly. It's kind of the whole point. And I think that's, you know, one of those things that's important for kids and raising kids, and I'm no expert on it. But, you know, I'm doing the best I can and reading up on what makes people confident. And I think that's our job as parents is to to think about when they're in a situation and you're not there. How did they assess the situation and how did they get through that situation? Um, and, you know,

come out of it safe. Ah, and come out of those situations. You know, um, better off than when they went through them, right? Hopefully.

52:20

But you're wealthy now. You know, you don't have to struggle. Your kids don't have to struggle in the same way you've struggled. Yeah. How do you How do you keep yourself from wanting to just bubble Wrap them from everything?

52:31

Yeah. You know, I think when you're first generation and you've made money, which is the situation with may like, you really do not want to I think you understand. Like what Spoiling your kids and handed capping them can be. And so, you know, I've got my daughter's cleaning up after the Bulldogs and cleaning the dishwasher and making their own food, and they have to set the table clear the table. They have to wipe down the table. You have to write down the table, and then they have to be no streaks, and it's gotta be clean. So you can even if they're, ah, living in,

you know, a nice community or in a nice house, or they have some amount of privilege. Ah, you can make them appreciate stuff. I don't think these two things are mutually exclusive. I think people. Some people are lazy and they're just like, I just wanna protect my kids from everything. And, you know, they just give their kids anything they need, And it's like, Yeah, I'm into consequences and rewards and, you know,

learning no system. So if the kids are not respectful or there and they don't do their chores, you know they're not going to get dessert, they're not going to get their ipads or watch a movie, right? Um, they gotta learn stuff. And so But I don't think they need to suffer unnecessarily. Like I look back on my suffering as a kid, I don't think it needs to be that intense or acute s so I'm not a fan of, like, torturing kids, obviously, you know, meeting unnecessarily hard. Ah,

no, that would be probably unnecessary, but I think my dad was trying to make a point of, like, every detail matters. And I do think every detail matters, and so I am might have the politics of work tonight. Now that I think about it

54:25
What does Jason look for in LAUNCH founders?

Jason wants founders who are resilient, and hungry for the opportunity. The founders gotta know their numbers, have revenue, and be proactive about chasing their dream. They have to be serious about their mission.



now, I'm curious. Was the silverware version of your incubator right? What you're founders have to go through?

54:30
What does Jason look for in LAUNCH founders?

Jason wants founders who are resilient, and hungry for the opportunity. The founders gotta know their numbers, have revenue, and be proactive about chasing their dream. They have to be serious about their mission.



Yeah. I mean, I just, you know, that's a great question. Launch accelerator is intense and, ah, you know, there's all kinds of little tests that I put into it, and then my team, it's like, Oh, yeah, you know, this is unnecessary. We could make this more efficient. I'm like,

Yep, it could be more efficient than going to Dagobah. That's a long ride to Dag. A bone. Yeah. They could have their own house with air conditioning on Dagobah, where they can sleep outside and by the fire. Like I met Dagan bust the place where Yoda trained looks. Driver, um, people email me and they're like, I would like to pitch you my company and my great Send your deck Semi your revenue semi a chart on They're like, Well, let's have a meeting and I'm like, Yes, I mean your deck seven,

your revenue And then I'll let you know. Ah, you know, First volley of questions. Let's just do this on email, so I'll get less, um, 345 questions on email. Like, can you send me your revenue sentience section? Bye week? Ah, and for me, that's just a test. Like, Do you even have that chart Do you even have access to that information?

And some people like it is, and I'm like, Okay, I think they got back to me in 30 seconds. I best people like four questions. They're asking me to invest in their company. I asked for questions. I don't hear for them for two weeks. I'm like, Well, that was interesting. Ah, I guess you're really serious about your company. And, ah, other times,

you know, would tell people, Yeah, we're gonna have the in person interviews for the ah accelerator on these two dates. Or you should come to found a university. It's a free two day class. I've had people say, You know what? I can't take the two days out of my schedule. I'm too busy. And, you know, getting to San Francisco is really hard from San Jose. You know, it's like 90 minutes during rush hour, and I'm like,

Wow, I have people come from Australia. I have people come from Japan. I have people come from India. People come from Spain all around the world to come to found a university to spend two days with us or come to our accelerator and audit it So that's what I always tell people like after they meet, like three or four people on our team. Yeah. Come, come on. At the accelerate. Come spend a Thursday with us if they are in the zone, right? And that tells me everything I need to know people. And they're like, Oh, you know,

with this Corona virus, should we just do virtual? You can audit the class virtually. And I was like, Yeah, we could do that But then it takes no commitment. I'm looking for people who I guess I'm giving it away here, that it's a test. But if you don't have the common sense to Wen invited to an accelerator by one of the top three accelerators in the world to come audit a class when the founder of that who is that their investment uber and the first major investor in calm like you didn't take that opportunity when they personally invited you to come, well, you don't get it. You're not ready, right? Like they're just not ready. In my mind, Maybe that's too severe.

But you if I got invited to have lunch with Jeff Bezos in ah or if Masayoshi saw him wanted me to have lunch with him this week. And he said, Yeah, come to my office in Japan. You know what I would do right now? I would get off the phone with you immediately and say, Oh, yeah, it's great podcasts. I got five minutes. Laughter. You're less questions. And I would book a flight to Japan and

57:47
How did Jason Calacanis meet Jeff Bezos?

When Jeff Bezos was still angel investing, he offered to meet Jason in Seattle if Jason was ever in town. Immediately, Jason booked a flight and was on his way to Seattle.



I actually driving to the airport. You book it

57:50
How did Jason Calacanis meet Jeff Bezos?

When Jeff Bezos was still angel investing, he offered to meet Jason in Seattle if Jason was ever in town. Immediately, Jason booked a flight and was on his way to Seattle.



as you're basically I mean, I wouldn't make any sense because I don't know what's going on with the flights right now, but, you know, I'd have to check in this case, but yes, in a previous life, I mean, I did not with Jeff Basin. So Jeff Bezos had said, You know, if you're ever in Seattle, let me know. I'd love to hear more about Weblogs Inc And then I told Brian, Keep your schedule open this week, which is three weeks from now or two weeks, or now that I emailed business.

I said, Hey, I'm gonna be in Seattle on Tuesday, Wednesday, and I'm leaving Thursday afternoon of this week if you want to. If you were seriously want to get together and talk about it, and he wrote back immediately and then took meeting. I had no other meetings. I said, I'm in. Said I lied. I shared a lot. And I just said, I'm in Seattle for these three days if you want to get together. Um, which admits I took the pressure off him.

You know, I said I was having other meetings now intended on having other meetings, I But that would be after Bezos took the meeting. And this is 15 years ago in basis. Wasn't Chuck Bass associate. He was taking meetings and he was investing personally and start ups. So, um, yeah, you know, like, you're just not ready. If, like, somebody important says, Hey,

come meet me for lunch like get on the fucking plane. You know, like at one point, Mark Cuban said, Hey, Brian, Jason, you want to come to the All Star Game this weekend? And it was like Tuesday or Wednesday and there's only one answer. Yes, we go there. We go into his suite and the two of us sit. There is nobody in the suite. We start eating hot dogs and drinking. Ah, some Diet Cokes,

and all of a sudden it's like tall guy walks in and it's, you know, like Dirk Nowitzki. And he's like, Hey, I'm Derek. I'm like, Hi, I'm Jason. This is Brian. Obvious. What do you D'oh! We have a block company. I love Marx. Blah, blah.

Mavericks like frantic. I made the logo. I registered the domain Pretty funny. Ah, so you know, you have to be willing to seize on these opportunities when they happen. And one time, somebody came all the way from Europe. They knew I wasn't gonna be there on a Thursday. They still came to meet the rest of my team and people on my team. We're like, That's ridiculous. We shouldn't let him do it. And I was like, So somebody's ambitious and you want to stop them from being ambitious? Okay,

Goes back to what we were talking about earlier that, you know, people have this learned helplessness and they have a victim mentality and, as opposed to a aggressive opportunistic, I could figure it out. Confidence on. That's what I'm looking for when I invest in people, I'm looking for people who have that who are self possessed, you know, they know what they're going to do they know how they're going to do it. They know why they're doing it. They know that they might foul. They know the reasons they might fail. They're going to try to avoid those reasons they know who they need to hire. They know they need to make a plan. They know they need to change the plan,

like being self possessed is really the common denominator in what makes you attractive to an investor. And I don't think ah, the investors even know that most of them. But this calm confidence, right, this self control and feeling composed right? You just know these people, they're composed, their self assured, right. Um

61:4

and, you know, that's what I sell her to possess

61:6

a person. Yeah. Yeah. What is it?

61:8

Well, one, it's free. And two, it doesn't actually require any skills. Everything you said does not require technical skills. You don't need to be good at anything. You just need to show up and do things.

61:23

Yeah. I mean, it is a skill to be an articulate person who is in control of their emotions and who can explain in a poised way, what they're doing. That is a specific skill. It's the skill of being self possessed. Now you can learn that Skilling curated and everything from you learning how to be safe in this world and resourceful that I talked about earlier. You know how to clear the You don't have to call a plumber to clear the clog in your drain. You can probably take a first shot it yourself or you're willing to learn how to be a graphic designer. Used a camera because you're starting a magazine. You know, the money to hire a graph designer or ah, photographer like this is what it's about. This is hustle. This is great. This is being self possessed,

62:12

huh? Well, I feel like we have to end here because this is just like you. Either go do this right now or just don't bother living.

62:25

Uh, listen, I mean, there are, as I always tell, people there are samurai and there are rice pickers like there are people who pick rice and their people were some rice. Both of them have a valid, important function world. I do not judge people who are farmers versus samurai warriors. There are people who ah, you know, um you know I work in a factory and put bolts on the on the car, and, you know, we need cars in the world, and that's a valid career choice. And then there are people who you know,

start the car cos it's not a judgment call one versus the other. But if you're going to do, if you're gonna pursue that entrepreneurial pursuit in that if you want to do that, you need to understand the level of sacrifice it takes and you have to really put the work in. Then you have to do the work, which is what I say in the book, over and over again. You got to do the work, and I say to my founders, and you know what? Some of them just give up. They don't want to do the work

63:22

well. The wants to succeed in the being Travis and Newberry that

63:26

you are Alex and calm. Crystal and Ruby love like Mae and Lead I. Q. I mean, we got a long list of him. Most startups fail, and nobody remembers the ones that found the only Remember the ones that succeed, that's it. Just keep building and keep trying. Take risk most people over estimate the downside. Most people overestimate the downside, but not the self possessed, not the rest Acres. Prime Minister. Been great. Thanks for inviting me.

63:53
What would Jason like to convey to his kids with his last breath?

He loves them, and he will always be there with them, and that they can do anything if they put in the effort, and do the work.



Can I ask you one last question short? So if you were to die tomorrow, what would you want to convey to your daughter's today?

64:2

Um wow, that is happy with their dad. Loves him, and I'll always be it out with them. Ah, and that they can do anything. They put their If they put in the effort, they do the work. Oh, that's really heavy, Dude, that's like Kobe Bryant. Question, huh? I mean, you do have to think about it Like especially at times like this. We started our conversation that,

like life is, life is short and people die. Ah, young, sometimes sadly, and people don't get to say goodbye sometimes on yeah, it's important that you those lessons be understood.

64:44

Yeah, well, it's something to plunder for the rest of the day. It's healthy. It's

64:48

a healthy thing. I appreciate you asking me the question. Actually, I know some people might think it's a more big question to ask or something. I think actually, it's a frame question asked like Makes you really considered Do ah do they know? Do they know that? Right? And I know what my 10 year old she knows that I think what my four year olds are starting to learn, that they're a little young. Maybe they'll listen to this podcast after I'm gone. Hopefully I'll make it to 110. My goal is to make it 210.

65:16

I'm hoping that the young by Silicon Valley

65:18

standards 110 years old is my goal. 49. Right now, I'd like to have more years in front of me. So, like Thio when I hit 50 neck the end of this year, I'd like to be 60 years in front of me. I'm hoping that scientists yet there, and I don't listen, I could be totally wheelchair bound for the last 10 years, and, you know, ah, not be able to ski and whatever, but just to be there and see those last 10 years, old boy, I think the world is just gonna Ah, yeah. I think the world is gonna get amazing over the next 50 years. I cannot wait.

65:55

Well, let's hope that your dreams come true. And you're 110 years old.

66:0

Yeah. All right. Well, let's do this podcast in

66:3

another 50 years. Thanks for sharing

66:5

50th anniversary of the spontaneous. Alright, ticker.

66:8

Cheers. Cheers, everyone. Thank you very much for listening to this episodes. This was Jason Cal, canIs, and you can find him at Jason on Twitter. Or you can look up his company, one of them launch dot C o. So it's L a u N c h dot ceo. And as always, if you like this episode than you think somebody should know about it. Please let them know in, send them a link. And if you have a second, just leave us a review on iTunes. It always helps to spread the word and let other people know about this episode already, folks, I'll see you next time. Have a great one.

share this

Suggested Episodes