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The Portal, The Mob, Advice vs. Encouragement, History of Smash Notes, Photography and what makes the perfect picture - July 31, 2019

Smash Notes podcast.

August 01

Thank you for subscribing to Smash Notes. In this week’s episode:

- The story of how a mob forced one entrepreneur on a path of lifetime profitability

- Why Science is in danger and how to fix it

- The story of how Smash Notes was born

- Hiten Shah and Steli Efti advice on giving advice

- Christopher Michel on what it takes to capture the perfect image

If you have not heard Smash Notes guest segment from last week, check out Stewart Alsop III and his take on a conversation with Peter Thiel.

Huge thanks to Donald DeSantis for providing music for this week's episode. In 2018 Donald drove out of NYC with his backcountry skis and a guitar, headed for the Canadian Rockies. He did not know how to play, but with a little help from his friends, Donald started writing, recording and sharing songs with friends. In this episode, you hear his single called Hollywood. You can follow @donalddesantis on Instagram to stay on top of his music.

Good night, and good luck! Please subscribe.

~Kirill (@kirillzubovsky)

p.s. Do you do probiotics? Great! Do your gut a favor and check out Jetson.

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Welcome to Smash Notes a podcast that brings you weekly summaries off the best podcasts on the Internet. To start off this episode on a good note, I'd like to play a piece of music by my friend Donald De Santis. Donald is the Seattle entrepreneur who was previously a co founder of real estate Company called Hightower. In 2008 he needed a break, so he packed his back country skis and a guitar and drove out to Canadian. Rockies at first didn't know how to play, but then he started writing his own music. His friends encouraged him to record it and put it online. And so he did. He still freaked out by that a little bit, but just give it a listen. He's pretty great. If you like what you hear the links to Donald and showing up


was in a dream. Cocaine and that silver screen paparazzi, too. Follow me straight to his father. May stray Tiu loca found a crowded Those Gatorade major does people around lately. Oh, wait to Mavis Tribe ran into Mr. Okay. Wait.


If you want to hear the rest of the song and four put it in the end of the episode. Now let's get to this week's smash notes. Remember a week ago I promised to tell you about an entrepreneur who appeared in my other podcasts rad dad and then got a bunch of E. V. C's knocking on his door? Well, that was Michael Fitzgerald from submittal. Michael came on my podcast to talk about his life, his company what it's like to be an entrepreneur, Montana, what it's like to be an interpreting oris terminal cancer and raising BC rounds Ah, what he felt like going through y Combinator and much, much more. If you haven't heard that whole episode yet, I highly recommend you do today, though I just want to share a small segment where Michael shares a story about his first experience and entrepreneurship, where he learned how to take a small idea into massively profitable company.

This this guy was amazing. He essentially remanufactured clutches that kids would put into there. Um, they like, you know, super up a Honda. They put these Kevlar clutches into them and and, uh um, and this guy built remanufactured him. He'd go get a used clutch dip in Kevlar, and then we'd sell it online and people were. But these were, like 700 to $2000 items, and we were selling, like, 10 a day,

and he just couldn't believe it, you know, because he had previously only sold retail. And suddenly we're sending clutches toe like air bases in Saudi Arabia. Sir, what do you think was the key to the fact that this clutch master think took off? Because, you know, a lot of people looking for inspiration looking to start a company. But here it says, like, okay, high school dropout, when I haven't sold something that people really wanted, Is it the whole PGS make something people want mantra? Is that what got it started?

I mean, you should interview him because he I was just fascinated by him. I mean, this was 20 years ago. Some of the slaughter the story a little bit, but, um, what he told me was, you know, he was just in, like, school. And so he was younger is 16 or 17 and he lived near Long Beach, maybe somewhere in south of L. A. And he would go to a long beat.

You would go to the docks every day and essentially helped out. Like work is a scab, you know, like if a ship came in and they needed one more person, he would help out. And then he started learning how to drive a forklift, and he, um So you'd show up every day with the forklift and he would rent it out. He bought a forklift and he would rent it out. And if I remember correctly, he eventually got it like a fleet of four cliffs. And so he and somebody's would come and rent them, rent out the forklift every day to these to these ah, to the incoming ships. And then one day, somebody essentially,

um, gave me a deal he couldn't refuse and suggested he stopped because he was he wasn't unionized or something. And, uh, you know, there are people who care about that, namely the mob, right? And so he was asked to never come back with his service is again. And so he was. I think he was in a little bit out of luck. Um, and he had all these forklifts. And so he started thinking about like, who? Who did he write checks to And one of the things that always broke on these machines were these clutches.

And so he started. Figure out howto remanufacture clutch because you could go get the original for free and I, um, um at a dump or something, and then he would re manufacturing by dipping them in this molten Kevlar and actually making them better than the original. That was Michael Fitzgerald, the founder of submitted ill dot com, talking about his early start of Korea, the company called Clash Masters. I really like the segment because I feel like it's ultimate entrepreneurship, where you take something that costs nothing and then turn it into a lot of money. That's amazing. The episode with Michael on Rad that is full of little gems like this. So I highly encourage you to listen to the whole episode. I don't always encourage full episodes, but I think this one is really,

really good, even though it is two hours long. But if you want a place to start checkouts, mash notes notes on this episode and then see the parts that resonate with you the most. By the way, submit A bill is also hiring, so if you live in a crappy, dusty place like I don't know, Mountain View, California, and you want to move to a place with actual mountains like Missoula, Montana. Also check out submittal dot com slash jobs and see if there's one for you. Now. This next episode is from the new podcast Cole The Portal. It's by Eric Weinstein,

who is the managing director at Teal Capital. You know Peter Thiel, the very controversial Silicon Valley figure. Well, this might come in the shocker, but the podcast is also quite controversial. If you want to know more about the portal as a podcast, I'll put a link in the show notes. You should check out my smash notes, and we'll give you a really good idea of what the portal is going to be about. But now I wanna share a segment with you as to why Eric Weinstein is frustrated with the science and the way it is presented today, which I think will illustrate quite well how the podcast is presented on why it's probably going to be one of the most exciting podcasts in the near future. I'm very frustrated that very often when you see top quality scientists going into let's say public outreach mode that they very often adulterated the subject matter in an attempt to make it more understandable. Now, of course, that's inevitable when you have people specializing in very difficult subjects that they've studied for years.

But I also feel that partially what happened is that we got into a habit of underestimating the intelligence of the audience rather than giving the audience need toe look up some terminology to make some forays of their own. With the search engine. We've gotten them into a complacent state where if they don't immediately understand something, then somehow the fault is with the broadcaster. Well, I think we reject this for a very simple reason. Do you remember when TV was called the idiot box? I know that I'm of an age that that was a very common thing to do once upon a time. But if you look at all the amazing things that have been happening on TV, it's totally changed the format. Tow watch something like Game of Thrones of The Sopranos or madmen. And why is that? Because the character lines and this story lines and development are so much more complex than anything people are able to do in a smaller format that, in fact, television quite surprisingly, became the most distinguished media in which one can now,

right? Well, likewise, I think we need to do the same thing for the public discussion of science. We need to draw more of you in and count on the fact that we've been underestimating the intelligence of our followers for quite some time and start playing up to your level. I don't know about you, but I wholeheartedly agree, and I'm really looking forward to this new podcast. It seems that in today's media age, we expect answers to be simple. Either a or B. It's black or white, but in reality that's not true. So I think everyone who is trying to push people to think on their own to think creatively and to gather ideas into understand topics on their own. It deserves a following, by the way.

From that episode, it sounds like Peter Feel was willing to fund the portal as the podcast. But Eric Weinstein said no. Well, if anybody here knows Peter Feel and you want to tell him about smash notes, I am probably not going to say no, and I'll happily get some funding to grow this and to get more podcasts and notes out there. So just saying if you pro science and you wanna be pro Ah, logical reasoning and thinking and I knew ideas. Well, this is a good place to be now, speaking of me and just like everyone else, I love me. If you remember last week's MASH notes, it wasn't done by me. It was instead down by Stuart L.

Sub, the founder off Crazy wisdom podcast. Stewart also interviewed me for his podcast about smash notes and one of the topics we covered this house smashing, Let's get started. And I know a lot of folks here were asking how smashing was got started on What's the point aside for this podcast? And I haven't had time to write a block post on that yet. So here's a quick segment. In case you're curious why the idea of smash nose came to be, well to thinks so. When I started my podcast that started interviewing like really interesting people. One of them was Casper baby pants. And if you're not pairing that doesn't tell you anything. Ah, but his real name is Chris Baloo, and he was lead singer for the presidents of the United States. So a lot of people know the song Peaches all right,

but they don't know who Gaspar Baby Pence's. And so I interviewed. I mean, he shared a ton of good stuff, not just about parenting, but about like his life is a musician, how he made decisions, you know, with the struggle with, and I really wanted to share that. But it was really hard to tell to people like Hago listen to an hour and 1/2 of me talking to Casper baby pants. And even if I said let go listen at minute 42 you know, that was still a lot to ask, So I needed a way to segment this podcast in to share hold a little bit, finding enough now that I build nationals, I haven't had enough time to go like edit my own podcast,

cause I'm always doing it to other people's, um, but that's where the idea came from because I really wanted to, like, present this information and then the way that it's really easy to share in bed, you know, take that stuff. And how is the reception been? So far? It's been pretty good. I mean, it's it's early, Like, said, it's only being about so funny enough. We recorded this a couple of weeks ago,

and since then things really picked up. I've got about 25,000 unique visitors in the month of July, so it's pretty exciting. If you want to hear more interesting conversations with creative minds, do check out crazy wisdom podcast. In fact, if you Google for crazy wisdom, smash notes, you'll find some notes on the podcast so you can decide we chip So you want to hear. And now I've got two more segments that I would like you to hear. This next segment is from a podcast goal. The startup chat was still in Hidden. Where to successful founders Talk about startup issues, stuff like how to deal with founders, money management, how to get marketing attribution,

et cetera, et cetera. Also, I think it's a great idea. They have pretty short episodes, and if you have a problem that they've talked about that, it's a great way to get it. Least one point of view. In speaking of which there last segment was on encouragement versus advice and basically, how to give better advice to other people. Not everybody is built the same. And I think there are people who are definitely thinking they're giving great advice. But in reality failing to help just the way these guys were, until they realized that there is a better way. So here, take a listen.

I think it's the way we think about it, right? Like I used to just pour on advice because, you know, I tend to be pretty intuitive about what somebody should do, right? Oh, or what I think we should do. It's not even what I think. It's what they should do, right? Like what the most rational, pragmatic, logical thing is. I used to be able to get past my emotion or their emotion. This is much easier to do when you're helping other people,

and what I realize is I They come to me. They want advice. With the end of the day. They want the definition of encouragement. They want support, confidence and hope right, if they're in a really crappy situation and they just need to go through it, they need hope right now. They're in a place where they don't know if what's gonna happen next, like bacon do or they can achieve. They need confidence, right? And if they're going through something legit, like emotionally tough, they need support, right?

And it's like the best thing we can do to influence somebody. In my opinion, at this point, after, you know, struggling with this is encouraged them and that doesn't mean we don't give our advice. That doesn't mean we don't do any of that. That just literally means that, like when we speak to each other, we can provide more encouragement and less prescriptive advice like you should do this or you should do that. And encouragement comes in the form of, like just listening and having compassion for whatever journey they're going on, because a lot of times advice, like is like, Oh, I know what they should do.

I know what they should do, but you lack compassion for what they're going through, like you're not actually listening. You're not actually paying attention to their emotion. You're not like that. Sometimes what I'll do is I'll mimic and reflect back on like are you feeling like this because it sounds like you're feeling like this, right? And that's really helpful, because then I'm not sitting there like, Oh, this is this is like, you know, I'm not ignoring their feelings. I know that sounds weird, but like that's really powerful. And sometimes,

like the words people use. Some folks don't like to, like, you know, speak of their feelings. So the words people use can give you a clue as to how they're feeling. And then when you ask them, Hey, are you feeling like this? Uh, they'll open up more and they'll actually talk to you in a more re away related to how they're feeling. So next time somebody is asking you for advice, consider their situation who they are as a person and perhaps change your approach to make sure that they get the best advice for them. At that point in time advice, the dough actually here and they'll actually action, all right.

And now, finally, the slash segment is something that I wanted to share for a very, very long time. This is an interview with one of my favorite photographers. Guy named Christopher Michael. He's a photographer and entrepreneur. In fact, he's had a very interesting career where he was a Navy pilot, that he worked in Pentagon. He did an M B A from Harvard Business School. He started a company, and eventually he decided to settle on being a photographer and just living a fulfilling life and creating imagery that people would remember in love in today's world, when it's so easy to take 50 photos in a blink of an eye. I love the segment where Christopher talks about what makes a great photograph and it's not a great camera. Have a listen class,

and I've taken classes with some of the best photographers in the world, and it's pretty interesting. One of those guys, in fact, really became a mentor of mine and informed of my photography, a guy named San Able who is at the National Geographic for like, 35 years. And you know, he's not a photographer, He's a philosopher. That digs measures, you know, and you get into the heads of these guys and you realize that there's a bigger game and play that's a lot broader than just composition and exposure, you know for sure. I mean, what do you think?

Like take Sam for example, what do you think about his story and his philosophy is really stuck with you and kind of changed the way you approach photography. Looked at photography. Well, I I it's gonna glad you brought that up. And in fact, I'm kind of embarrassed when I teach my class because I'm now a Sam able disciple because it's a good disciple week. You ever you ever meet someone where you're like I 100% agree with your approach, you know, and his approach is basically to make the best photograph you can every time you pick up the camera. And that's a very interesting idea. Towns obvious at first, but basically he uses, you know, all the techniques that he hasnt. We could talk about,

some of them if that's interesting to you, but I always make the best way to replicate. That doesn't mean that he's making a great photograph every time she's using a kind of discipline in the use of the camera and his engagement in the scene to solve the puzzle of the best possible image he can every time he shoots. So why that's so compelling is that you can't always control all the elements of the scene. But sometimes the world will conspire in your favor. And if you're using all the right techniques, you will get a great photograph. In fact, I only have one photograph in my home from another photographer, and it's Sam Abel's photograph. Its habits enables castration picture, and it's it's two of five right in front of me, and it is one of the most beautifully composed, perfectly put together photographs. And that photograph doesn't just happen that have happened because he is tuned into composition, toe micro compositions to light movements.

He's paying attention to the edges of the photograph. It's built into his brain, and in fact, when he does very little, plus processing doesn't crop. You mean that's personal personally, because he was a National Geographic for so long. But in a sense, he what he told me is he doesn't wantto have any other things happening in his brain other than to solve for those particular points in the equation. Because if you think, oh, I can fix that in post or I'll just get rid of that, you know, you start to get sloppy and your photography so that approach to always making the best photograph you can. Is that a transformational experience for me? And,

you know, my photographs are that much better because of it, and I think it's something we can all do. Even if you're just using an iPhone, you know, rather than take 50 pictures, just slow down and take. Take the one or two photos, but visualize the picture you want and make it happen. You can always make it all work, but you could make it work a lot of the time. So there you go. The best photograph isn't made by the best camera. It's the thought that scene set up in the simplicity of your method that can be repeated over and over again with an intention off. Capturing the best photo you can possibly capture is what makes the best photo. I bet you this logic applies beyond capturing photos as well.

And with that in mind, this concludes this week's edition off Smash notes as usual. If you like this episode, tell your partner. Tell your friends smashing those dot com slash subscribe. Check out the newsletter or the podcast, and if you know about something that I should definitely cover on smash notes. Send me an email to feedback at smash nose dot com. And now to finish it off the rest of that song by Donald The scientists called Hollywood


was in a dream. Okay, Nan, that silver screen paparazzi too. Follow me straight to his father. May stray Thio loca found a crowded booth. Gatorade major does people around later were to Mavis Tribe writhe. Hey, Hallie, fail down to my knees and pray. That's a 30 days. And in the dark I heard a voice a lot of trust in the life of a trois. Booth. Hey, wait. Hey, wait.

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