Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
The Peel

The Peel

By The Peel

Exploring the world’s greatest startup stories.

Get a behind the scenes look into the founding stories of your favorite companies. Learn how the industries they operate in actually work, and learn playbooks and tactics you can use to launch and scale your own business.
Available on
Apple Podcasts Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

🎮 Growing Medal to Tens of Millions of Gamers | Pim de Witte (Co-founder and CEO, Medal)

The PeelAug 16, 2023

00:00
01:10:56
Secrets to Product Market Fit with Wade Foster (Co-founder and CEO of Zapier)

Secrets to Product Market Fit with Wade Foster (Co-founder and CEO of Zapier)

Wade Foster is the Co-founder and CEO of Zapier, an automation platform that helps you work faster. Wade and his co-founders Mike and Bryan started the company in 2011, and have always done things a bit differently. From being a startup based in Missouri, working as a remote team since 2011, and raising very little outside capital despite being one of the fastest growing startups in the world.

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts. Get compliant with security and privacy frameworks like SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR, and more. Sign-up here:
bit.ly/3QOr2eo

Topics discussed include:

The founding story of Zapier
Wade’s contrarian take on Product Market Fit
Why new products are usually built on emerging distribution channels
How Wade deals with imposter syndrome
Never raising more money after a $1.3 million Seed during YC
How Zapier thinks about it’s product roadmap
Shutting the company down for a weeklong AI hackathon
Why Wade thinks LLMs will unlock new types of product interfaces
How he delegates work without losing track of the details


Referenced:

zapier.com


Where to find Wade:

Twitter: twitter.com/wadefoster
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/wadefoster


Where to find Turner:

Newsletter: www.thespl.it
Twitter: twitter.com/TurnerNovak
Banana Capital: bananacapital.vc


Production and distribution by: www.supermix.io
— Want to sponsor the show? docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
Nov 30, 202301:13:02
How Solugen is Saving the $5 Trillion Chemical Industry (Co-founders Gaurab Chakrabarti & Sean Hunt)

How Solugen is Saving the $5 Trillion Chemical Industry (Co-founders Gaurab Chakrabarti & Sean Hunt)

Gaurab Chakrabarti and Sean Hunt are the Co-founders of Solugen, which replaces petroleum based products with plant-derived substitutes without sacrificing affordability or performance. They met playing poker in college, kickstarted the company with $10k from an MIT pitch competition, and have since scaled the business to over nine-figures in revenue.

Solugen has raised over $642 million from investors like Fifty Years, Lowercarbon Capital, Founders Fund, Refactor Capital, and Cantos Ventures.

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://bit.ly/47sxTQ0

Topics discussed:

  • How the chemicals industry touches 25% of US GDP
  • Why the industry is like real estate: fragmented and focused on asset utilization
  • The reason chemicals companies have terrible NPS scores
  • How Solugen’s manufacturing process converts plants and C02 into chemicals
  • Meeting over a game of poker while getting their PhD’s
  • Winning $10k from an MIT pitch competition to capture 10% of the float spa market in Dallas, Texas
  • Why the first wave of Cleantech startup fail
  • Why logistics and supply chain are the biggest problems in Chemicals
  • Their framework for thinking big, but taking little steps to get there
  • Running their homemade metal catalyst reactor at YC Demo Day
  • Launching, scaling, and selling a CPG wipes company to prove their chemicals worked
  • Building their first factory (the BioForge) on the site of an exploded wax distillery
  • Their strategy for getting large, multinational companies to try their products

Referenced:

Where to find Gaurab:

Where to find Sean:

Where to find Turner:

Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io


For sponsorship inquirieshttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Nov 15, 202301:06:58
Secrets of the $131 Billion Parking Industry with Jonathon Barkl (Co-founder and CEO of AirGarage)

Secrets of the $131 Billion Parking Industry with Jonathon Barkl (Co-founder and CEO of AirGarage)

Jonathon Barkl is the Co-founder and CEO of AirGarage, a full-stack parking management company that helps real estate owners increase their income.

Jonathon and his co-founders Chelsea and Scott started the company in 2017. They’ve since raised roughly $15 million from investors including Founders Fund, Floodgate, a16z, Abstract, and prior guest of the show Ryan Delk.

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts. Get compliant with security and privacy frameworks like SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR, and more.

Sign-up here: https://bit.ly/3QOr2eo

Topics discussed:

  • A crash course on the business model of parking
  • Why parking lots make most of their money from tickets and towing
  • The reason American cities dedicate up to 30% of space to parking
  • How the $131 Billion parking industry evolved to be so complicated and outdated
  • Why dynamic pricing in parking is harder than hotels and airlines
  • The three primary business models for a parking lot
  • Why Air Garage can increase a parking lots profitability by 4-5x
  • How part of its business was inspired by scooter companies like Bird and Lime
  • Starting “Airbnb for Driveways” in 2016 to solve their own problem as college students
  • The sales lessons Jonathon learned doing door-to-door sales in the Arizona heat
  • How getting scammed out of $6,000 led to pivoting their business model
  • Moving to San Francisco with no connections and raising a Seed round
  • How they closed a Series A in a week
  • The importance of investor brand when hiring early employees
  • Why Jonathon cares so much about branding as a parking company

Referenced:

Where to find Jonathon:

Where to find Turner:

Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io


Want to sponsor the show? 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Nov 08, 202302:07:32
Raising $61 Million to Fortify Open Source Software with Dan Lorenc, Co-founder & CEO of Chainguard

Raising $61 Million to Fortify Open Source Software with Dan Lorenc, Co-founder & CEO of Chainguard

Dan Lorenc is the Co-founder and CEO of Chainguard, the best way to secure your open source software. Dan and his co-founders Kim, Matt, and Ville started the company in 2021 after spending a decade working together at Google on all things open source and software security. They’ve since raised $116 million from investors including Spark (led Series B), Sequoia (led Series A), Amplify (led Seed), The Chainsmoker’s Mantis VC, Banana Capital, and dozens of angels in the cyber security and open source communities. — Topics discussed:

  • What is the “software supply chain”?
  • How the SolarWinds breach created the software supply chain security market
  • The history of open source software
  • Why open source software makes software supply chains even less secure
  • The moment Dan and his co-founders decided to start Chainguard
  • Why they started selling consulting services before even building a product
  • The reason their first two products solved completely different problems (top-down and bottoms-up), and why the one that didn’t work at first is now their main business
  • Why Chainguard decided to focus on a broad communications and marketing strategy so early on
  • How Dan gets quoted in major media publications as an early stage startup founder
  • Why Chainguard uses memes for marketing
  • Why Dan thinks startups should “make content optimized for the group chat”
  • How they raised their Seed round from Amplify a week after leaving Google
  • Raising a Series A from Sequoia as the market started collapsing in Spring of 2022
  • Dan’s advice for founders on dealing with investor inbound when not fundraising
  • Why he wish he hired sales reps sooner
  • Raising a Series B from Spark Capital to accelerate their enterprise sales process

— Referenced:

  • https://www.chainguard.dev
  • https://www.sigstore.dev/
  • Battling the Trojan Horse in Open Source: https://www.sequoiacap.com/article/dan-lorenc-chainguard-spotlight/
  • Chainguard Series B Announcement: https://www.chainguard.dev/unchained/series-b-funding
  • Dan’s favorite open source project: https://github.com/jqlang/jq
  • Reflections on Trusting Trust: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rdriley/487/papers/Thompson_1984_ReflectionsonTrustingTrust.pdf

— Where to find Dan:

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/lorenc_dan
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danlorenc

— Where to find Turner:

  • Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak
  • Banana Capital: https://bananacapital.vc

— Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io — Want to sponsor the show? https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Nov 02, 202301:20:25
From Food Stamps to a $20 Million Fund with Nichole Wischoff

From Food Stamps to a $20 Million Fund with Nichole Wischoff

Nichole Wischoff is the founder of Wischoff Ventures, a Pre-Seed and Seed firm that invests up to $1 million in non sexy industries. Nichole closed her first fund in 2021, and previously was an early employee at Blend (NYSE:BLND), One (acquired by Walmart in 2022), and Built.

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts. Sign-up here: https://bit.ly/3Sif1PH

Topics discussed include:

• Growing up on food stamps in Arkansas

• How studying abroad in Belgium changed Nichole’s life

• How falling in love with running got her into college and her first job

• Why Taylor Swift could be the first female President

• Opening a bakery to pay rent while teaching English in Spain

• Getting her first job at Citi’s non-profit housing financing team

• Leveraging that experience to get a job in fintech

• Making her first angel investment in Vesta

• How Nichole got One Financial its first 25k users

• Helping sell One Financial to Walmart

• How Lee Fixel and Chad Byers helped raise her first $5m fund

• Lessons learned going from a $5m to $20m fund in 2022

• Nichole’s advice for anyone raising their first fund

• Behind the scenes of her viral “Third Tier VC” moment

Referenced:
•Taylor Swift (Acquired’s Version): https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/taylor-swift-acquireds-version

• Nichole’s $20m Fund Announcement https://techcrunch.com/2022/12/16/solo-gp-nichole-wischoff-raises-20m-fund-backed-by-peter-thiel-to-invest-in-unsexy-businesses/

• J Cal’s “3rd or 4th Investor in Uber” Montage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK4Mku_s4H4

Where to find Nichole:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/NWischoff

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholewischoff

• Wischoff Ventures: https://www.wischoff.com/

Where to find Turner:

• Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak

• Banana Capital: https://bananacapital.vc

Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io


Want to sponsor the show? https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Oct 25, 202301:08:21
Lessons From Scaling Pilot to a $1.2 Billion Valuation with Co-founder and CEO Waseem Daher

Lessons From Scaling Pilot to a $1.2 Billion Valuation with Co-founder and CEO Waseem Daher

Waseem Daher is the Co-founder and CEO of Pilot, the bookkeeping, CFO, and tax provider for startups and fast growing businesses. Prior to Pilot, Waseem and his co-founders Jeff and Jessica sold companies to Oracle and Dropbox.

Waseem, Jeff, and Jessica started Pilot in 2017, and have since raised over $160 million from investors like Index Ventures, Stripe, Sequoia, Whale Rock, Jeff Bezos, and over 40+ angel investors.

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://bit.ly/3FoYm52

In this episode, we discuss:
• Why Waseem’s building a startup that does your accounting
• The reason he first started doing his own bookkeeping, and why he doesn’t recommend it to other founders
• When startups should build something themselves and when to outsource
• All the mistakes Waseem made building and selling his first two startups to Oracle and Dropbox
• How to avoid “fake work”
• How to get ROI from conferences
• His disastrous first ever meeting with a VC
• Why the best fundraising advice is to build a business that doesn’t need to raise money
• “Companies are bought, not sold” and his framework for startup M&A
• Why it’s a mistake to build your startup just to be acquired
• Why consensus startup ideas rarely work, and the best startups need some secret or structural change that no one else has noticed yet
• Why tech-enabled service businesses are so hard to scale
• How Pilot got its first customers
• Pilot’s unique approach to raising its Seed round
• The initial scare when raising their Series A
• Why its Series B was half of what they could have raised


Where to find Waseem:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/waseem

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wdaher

• Newsletter: https://waseem.substack.com/

Where to find Turner:

• Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak

Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io

For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Oct 17, 202301:11:20
Bootstrapping Webflow to $10M ARR, and scaling to a $4B Valuation with Vlad Magdalin (Co-founder & CEO)

Bootstrapping Webflow to $10M ARR, and scaling to a $4B Valuation with Vlad Magdalin (Co-founder & CEO)

Vlad Magdalin is the Co-founder and CEO of Webflow, software that empowers designers to build websites without code. Vlad started the company with his co-founders Sergie Magdalin and Bryant Chou in 2013, and has since raised roughly $335 million supported by investors like Accel, Khosla Ventures, YCombinator, Capital G, and Eric Bahn.

— — — —

Brought to you by Mercury, the bank built for startups. Join more than 100,000 startups and venture capital firms on Mercury, the powerful and intuitive way for ambitious companies to bank.Sign-up now: https://bit.ly/46ImCuD

Disclaimer: Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust; Members FDIC.

— — — —

Topics discussed include:

• The history of web browsers, websites, and web design

• Why websites are the ultimate economic enablers

• How Webflow empowers anyone to design websites without code

• Why website design is a gateway into programming

• How the movement to CSS and web standards in the 2000’s and 2010’s created the opportunity for Webflow to build a product around responsive design

• Moving to the US with his parents and five siblings as refugees from the USSR at nine years old

• How losing half of their luggage and immigration documents in the move enabled his dad to buy the family’s first computer

• The first website Vlad ever designed for a Brad Pitt movie

• How his experience dropping out of a computer science degree to work in 3D animation at Pixar, then going back to school gave him the idea for Webflow

• Failing to build Webflow three times between 2005 and 2008

• Why the spouses and partners of founders are the unsung heroes of startups

• The moment he immediately quit his job and attempted Webflow for the fourth time

• Burning three months of runway on a Kickstarter that never went live

• Liquidating his retirement account, paying rent with credit cards, and selling and leasing back the family car’s to keep the business running

• Vlad’s exuberant optimism that kept him going for 10 years

• Failing to get into YC, and the crazy story behind getting accepted the second time

• The trajectory-altering customer and fundraising advice they got from Paul Graham

• The “Investing on Principle” contract they signed with Accel who led Webflow’s Series A

• Why Vlad thinks every startup founder should operate with the assumption they’ll never be able to raise money again


Referenced:

• Inventing on Principle (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUv66718DII

• Inventing on Principle (Transcript): https://jamesclear.com/great-speeches/inventing-on-principle-by-bret-victor

• The Infinite Game: https://simonsinek.com/books/the-infinite-game/


Where to find Vlad:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/callmevlad

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vladmagdalin


Where to find Turner:

• Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak


Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io


Want to sponsor the show? https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Oct 10, 202301:21:04
What is OpenStore? How Keith Rabois is Acquiring Shopify Brands

What is OpenStore? How Keith Rabois is Acquiring Shopify Brands

Keith is the Co-founder and CEO of OpenStore, a portfolio of brands building its own shopping destination. Before starting OpenStore, Keith was an early executive at companies like PayPal, eBay, LinkedIn, and Square, a co-founder of OpenDoor, and an early investor in companies like DoorDash, Faire, Affirm, Webflow, Ramp, and Stripe, and is also currently a General Partner at Founders Fund

Keith started the company in 2021 with co-founders Jack Abraham, Matt Lanter, and Jeremy Wood, and has since raised over $150 million supported by investors like Atomic, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Lux Capital, and Vine Ventures.


Brought to you by Packsmith, better fulfillment for growing brands. Sign-up here
bit.ly/PacksmithBanana


In this episode, we discuss:
• The 3-minute conversation that started OpenStore
• All the problems that still exist in ecommerce
• Why Instagram Shopping failed
• What Keith and team are building at OpenStore
• Why Wish failed
• The margin profile of most consumer brands
• A crash course on contribution margin and profitability for startup founders
• How OpenStore gets 3x higher contribution margin than other consumer brands
• As a VC, the one thing Keith looks for in the founders he backs
• A framework for founders and investors to consider when incubating companies
• Why Keith thinks no great SF-based startups has been founded since March of 2020
• The reasons he moved to Miami
• Why he’s bearish on most AI startups
• His favorite interview questions for candidates

Referenced:
• Email Keith - keith@foundersfund.com

Where to find Keith:
• Twitter: twitter.com/rabois
• LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/keith

Where to find Turner:
• Newsletter: www.thespl.it
• Twitter: twitter.com/TurnerNovak

Production and distribution by: www.supermix.io
Want to sponsor the show? docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
Oct 03, 202301:10:01
The $4 Trillion Business of Financial Crime with Natasha Vernier, Co-founder and CEO of Cable

The $4 Trillion Business of Financial Crime with Natasha Vernier, Co-founder and CEO of Cable

Natasha Vernier is the Co-founder and CEO of Cable, the all-in-one effectiveness testing platform for financial services. Prior to Cable, Natasha joined UK neobank Monzo when it had less than 100 customers. She built and led their financial crime team for five years, and is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the world on financial crime, which amounts to over $4 trillion per year, or 4% of global GDP.


Natasha started Cable in 2020 with her co-founder Katie Savitz, and has since raised over $16 million supported by investors like LocalGlobe, CRV, Stage 2, and Jump Capital.

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://bit.ly/3ZyBhWM

Topics discussed:

• How crime is a $4 trillion market

• Why 80% of crime is carried out for financial gains

• Why the UN estimates we only catch 0.2% of financial crime

• The reason banks are incentivized to stop fraud, but not crime

• Why it's so hard to stop financial crimes

• How $20B in financial crime was committed on crypto rails in 2022

• What “Synthetic ID Fraud” is, and why it's the fastest growing type of fraud in the US

• What Natasha thinks are the new frontiers of fraud

• Joining Monzo as one of the first employees and staying through a $4B valuation

• What it’s like to be fully invested in a startup when you’re not a founder

• Building Cable to enable regulatory and financial crime teams

• Raising a Pre-Seed round and signing the first customer without a product built

• Why compliance officers want to buy complicated products

• How Natasha diversified her cap table, raising a Seed round from CRV and a group of angels with broad skill sets, ethnicity, race, and sexuality

• How she got two funds to pre-empt her Series A

• Why founding a startup means getting punched in the face every day, and her biggest mistake is not enjoying the little things sooner

• The two founders she most looks up to

• The one interview question she asks every candidate at Cable


Referenced:

• Cable’s site: https://cable.tech

• Cable’s Seed round: https://community.cable.tech/weve-raised-5-3m-from-crv-localglobe-and-a-diverse-group-of-exceptional-angels/

• How They Built the Hoover Dam (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXFjLaUxpaw

• How Vegas Became VEGAS (Part 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QNuYHEzS2o


Where to find Natasha:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/natashavernier

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/natashavernier


Where to find Turner:

• Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak


Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io


Want to sponsor the show? https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Sep 26, 202301:05:52
Growing Deel to $300M+ ARR in Four Years with Co-founder and CEO Alex Bouaziz

Growing Deel to $300M+ ARR in Four Years with Co-founder and CEO Alex Bouaziz

Alex Bouaziz is the Co-founder and CEO of Deel, a full stack global HR and payroll platform. But the company didn’t start that way, and we’ll talk through Alex and his co-founder Shuo’s journey from zero to one, starting with a product that helped startups hire international employees.

Alex and Shuo launched the company one week before YC Demo day in 2019, and have since scaled to 20,000+ customers and raised over $685 million. They’re supported by investors like YC, a16z, Spark Capital, Weekend Fund, Coatue, SV Angel, Soma Capital, Quiet Capital, and angels like Lachy Groom, Nat Friedman, Ryan Petersen, Alexis Ohanian, John Zimmer, Dara Khosrowshahi, Rex Salisbury, Justin Mateen, and more.

In this episode, we discuss:

• The initial insight around remote work that started Deel in 2019

• How they initially built the wrong solution

• Pivoting one week before YC demo day

• Listening to customers to build a better product

• Growing 20% every month for a year

• Being a default optimist

• Dealing with the emotional ups and downs of building a startup

• Moving at “Deel Speed”, and how the team operates so fast

• Deel’s remote-first approach and its “WeWork Squads”

• His advice to other leaders building remote teams

• Why founders shouldn’t share too much information with early investors

• How Alex’s approach to fundraising changed through his Seed to Series D rounds

• Why founders should always be selling their product

• How picking board members is a form of marriage, and what founders should prioritize when picking them

• Why Deel raised a Series A and B in a three month span despite only burning $300k since closing its Seed round

• How deep pocketed investors unlock optionality as a company scales

• The benefits to taking on lots of angel investors

• How Deel prioritized international expansion as it grew

• Deel’s new Visa / immigration and HR AI products

• Two things Alex would do differently if he could start over

• The founders he most looks up to

Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/growing-deel-to-300m-arr-in-four


Where to find Alex:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bouazizalex
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexbouaziz/


Where to find Turner:
Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak


Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io


For sponsorship inquirieshttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform


Sep 20, 202353:54
How Semil Shah Built Haystack

How Semil Shah Built Haystack

Semil Shah is the Founder of Haystack, an institutional venture capital firm that backs outlier founders at the earliest stages. Semil started Haystack in 2013, and has since invested in X unicorns like DoorDash, Instacart, Figma, HashiCorp, Ironclad, Carta, Applied Intuition, and Opendoor.

This episode takes us behind the scenes of Semil’s two decade journey building Haystack from scratch. We’ll dive into how he raised and deployed each of the first six Haystack funds, including all the mistakes made along the way, plus the details around Haystack’s new $75 million and $25 million funds announced the date this episode was published.

Read Haystack's announcement here: https://semilshah.com/2023/09/10/announcing-haystack-vii-same-model-fresh-funds-and-new-era/

Brought to you by Mercury, the bank built for startups. Join more than 100,000 startups and venture capital firms on Mercury, the powerful and intuitive way for ambitious companies to bank.

Sign-up now: https://bit.ly/3sQRzOw

Listen to my conversation with Immad, the Co-founder and CEO of Mercury:

  • Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/24ujuXZ2uws48bvwOh9NcR
  • Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lessons-from-building-mercury-with-immad-akhund-co/id1694440669?i=1000619360042

Disclaimer: Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust; Members FDIC.

Topics discussed include:

  • Juggling multiple jobs while living paycheck to paycheck his first eight years in Silicon Valley
  • Failing to get his first job in venture three times
  • Investing in the Seed rounds of unicorns DoorDash, Instacart, Hashicorp, and Envoy within the first six months of starting Haystack
  • Why he initially thought Haystack would be a short-term thing
  • Turning down multiple lucrative job offers two years in
  • How the best LPs evaluate VC funds on the “Entry Ownership to Fund Size” ratio
  • Semil’s strategy of “crawl, walk, run” to increase Haystack’s check sizes over time
  • The pain he felt failing to hit his target fund size on the first four fundraises and how he handled it
  • Why everyone should “pre-market” a fundraise, and how to do it
  • The things most founders don’t appreciate about raising a venture fund
  • Fighting to invest in Ironclad’s Seed round before he had his next fund raised
  • How LPs reference VCs, and how a VC can become referenceable
  • Why Haystack Fund IV was the scariest fund to raise
  • How Semil builds relationships with LPs
  • The hardest questions he faced raising each fund and what other VCs should anticipate while raising their own fund
  • How LP investment committees make decisions
  • What’s going on behind the scenes at most large venture LPs today
  • Why the traditional advice of “finding an anchor LP” makes no sense
  • Spilling his secret on the best quarter to fundraise
  • Why VCs should fundraise with a hard cap on fund size
  • Why every VC should appreciate and remember how LPs supported them through the pandemic
  • All the details on Haystack’s new $75 million and $25 million funds
  • Semil’s plan for the next 10 years
  • Three pieces of advice for emerging fund managers

Where to find Semil:

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/semil
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/semilshah/

Where to find Turner:

  • Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak

Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io/

For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Sep 10, 202301:09:49
🧪 The Einstein of Ecommerce: Bootstrapping to 9-Figures in Revenue with Sean Frank (CEO, Ridge Wallet)

🧪 The Einstein of Ecommerce: Bootstrapping to 9-Figures in Revenue with Sean Frank (CEO, Ridge Wallet)

Sean Frank is the CEO of Ridge Wallet, a men’s wallet and accessories brand that does over 9-figures in annual revenue. The company started in 2012 and raised $266,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to sell the first 5,200 wallets. Ridge hasn’t raised a single dollar of outside capital since, and has also expanded into new categories like rings, knives, watches, backpacks, and keys, with dozens of more products coming soon. Sean is known in some circles as the “Einstein of Ecommerce”, and he gives us an inside look at running a consumer brand in 2023.


Brought to you by Packsmith, better fulfillment for growing brands: https://bit.ly/PacksmithBanana


In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why wallets are a terrible product category
  • How Ridge has 80% gross margins
  • Why brands should generally not raise venture capital
  • When a founder should step down as CEO, and how to hire a new one
  • Why Ridge is one of the top 10 advertisers on Twitter
  • When and how to hire a marketing agency
  • Why Ridge never raised outside capital
  • Closing clients in a 1991 Honda Civic
  • A crash course on the men’s and women’s fashion markets
  • Why Sean thinks women’s fashion will have 50% return rates this holiday season
  • Investing in a watch manufacturer and building a factory in Arizona to vertically integrate
  • Why every company needs a core competency
  • The simple tech stack Ridge uses to run their business
  • Why Crocs is a great business
  • Sponsoring 5,000+ influencers
  • Why Amazon shut down its private label program and every brand should sell on it
  • Why influencer marketing performs so well, and how to start and scale an influencer marketing program
  • Why more companies should incorporate creators in their content
  • How FTX and other crypto companies inflated influencer marketing prices
  • Paying $1,000,000 to hire a creator in-house
  • How the Ridge Wallet has saved customers from a bullet and a chainsaw


Where to find Sean:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SeanEcom
Substack: http://seanecom.substack.com/
Podcast: https://9operators.com/


Where to find Turner:
Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak


Referenced:
https://www.amazon.com/Great-CEO-Within-Tactical-Building-ebook/dp/B07ZLGQZYC
https://www.theloganbartlettshow.com/
https://www.maryruthorganics.com/


Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io

For sponsorship inquirieshttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Aug 31, 202301:05:11
Modern Treasury: How to Move Quadrillions of Dollars, with Co-founder and CEO Dimitri Dadiomov

Modern Treasury: How to Move Quadrillions of Dollars, with Co-founder and CEO Dimitri Dadiomov

Dimitri Dadiomov is the Co-founder and CEO of Modern Treasury, an operating system for the new era of payments. Dimitri and his co-founders Matt and Sam started the company in 2018 after running into the same problem working together at their previous startup. Modern Treasury has since raised over $183 million, supported by investors like YCombinator, Benchmark, Altimeter, Salesforce Ventures, Quiet Capital, WndrCo, TQ Ventures, and Edward Lando.
Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts:
bit.ly/3OwGdGC
Sign-up for Ramp and get $500: bit.ly/3KSqfFV
Read the transcript: www.thespl.it/p/how-to-move-quadrillions-of-dollars

In this episode, we discuss:

How the global banking system moves over $1 quadrillion per year

Why B2B products should be easy to use with broad use cases

What makes a good API business

Why the YC application is a great forcing function for founders

How it took them six months to get their first customer, but never pivoted

Why the first customers of a B2B business should get more credit

How PLG helped build a better product

Finding holes in the market for an initial go-to-market strategy

The depth of Modern Treasury’s product

Why they should have built a sales team sooner

How deep customer relationships across many industries helped them raise a Series A

Why it’s important to go slow to go fast

How Dimitri set an intentional culture around studying other businesses

When distribution can be more important than product

What happened inside Modern Treasury during the collapse of SVB and Signature Bank

Why Dimitri sends Saturday update emails to entire company

The founders Dimitri really admires


Where to find Dimitri:
Twitter: twitter.com/dadiomov
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/dadiomov/
Where to find Turner:
Newsletter: www.thespl.it
Twitter: twitter.com/TurnerNovak
Read the transcript: www.thespl.it/p/how-to-move-quadrillions-of-dollars

Production and distribution by: www.supermix.io
For sponsorship inquiries: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
Aug 24, 202301:11:58
🎮 Growing Medal to Tens of Millions of Gamers | Pim de Witte (Co-founder and CEO, Medal)

🎮 Growing Medal to Tens of Millions of Gamers | Pim de Witte (Co-founder and CEO, Medal)

Pim de Witte is the Co-founder and CEO of Medal, which enables millions of gamers to capture and share their favorite gaming moments with friends. Pim started the company in 2015 and has since raised over $72 million, supported by investors like OMERS Ventures, Makers Fund, Dune Ventures, and Horizon Ventures.
Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts:
bit.ly/3OwGdGC
Read the transcript: www.thespl.it/p/growing-medal-to-tens-of-millions

In this episode, we discuss:

Why we play video games

Why 200 million gamers play Roblox

Learning to code at 13 to build a private Runescape server that did $1.5 million in revenue

Why paid acquisition is so important in mobile gaming

Why consumer platforms need a social inflection point

How Medal blew up during COVID

Why multiplayer platforms die when network effects unravel

Why Medal’s Seed round was so hard to raise

Pim’s biggest mistake building Medal

His three favorite interview questions

Medal’s unique hybrid in-person / remote work environment

Why it’s a mistake to focus on competitors instead of customers

Why rapid iteration is everything

How to acquire another startup

Why building product is the ultimate game

How Elon’s changes at Twitter caused a great reset in tech


Where to find Pim:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PimDeWitte
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/pimdw/
Where to find Turner:
Newsletter: www.thespl.it
Twitter: twitter.com/TurnerNovak
Read the transcript: www.thespl.it/p/growing-medal-to-tens-of-millions

Production and distribution by: www.supermix.io
For sponsorship inquiries: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
Aug 16, 202301:10:56
The Business of Newsletters with Kendall Baker, “The Sports Newsletter Guy”

The Business of Newsletters with Kendall Baker, “The Sports Newsletter Guy”

Kendall Baker currently leads Yahoo’s sports newsletter business. In 2017 he launched the first daily sports newsletter called Sports Internet, which he sold to Axios in 2019. Before Sports Internet, he convinced the founders of The Hustle to focus their online tech blog on a daily newsletter, which he wrote for a year and a half. And before The Hustle, he produced SportsCenter at ESPN. He’s spent nearly a decade at the intersection of daily news and sports, and this episode is packed with insights on both.


Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://bit.ly/3OwGdGC

Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-business-of-newsletters

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The history of the newsletter industry
  • Why the best writers delete more than they write
  • How he got on ESPN SportsCenter
  • A crash course on the sports media business
  • How to write a daily newsletter
  • The importance of experimenting
  • How he got his first dollar of revenue
  • Why Kendall spent $0 on growth
  • Selling his “Sports Internet” newsletter to Axios
  • Why Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, reads Kendall’s writing
  • Why Yahoo’s the next rocketship
  • The surging momentum in US soccer
  • And the most underrated athletes (current and all-time)


Listen on other platforms:

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-business-of-newsletters-kendall-baker/id1694440669?i=1000624033211

YouTube: https://youtu.be/4es4p7sFMf0


Where to find Kendall:

Twitter https://twitter.com/kendallbaker


Where to find Turner:

Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak

Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-business-of-newsletters


Production and distribution byhttps://www.supermix.io


For sponsorship inquirieshttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

Aug 10, 202301:32:58
🏀 How Overtime Grew to 85 Million Fans | Dan Porter (Co-founder and CEO, Overtime)

🏀 How Overtime Grew to 85 Million Fans | Dan Porter (Co-founder and CEO, Overtime)

Dan Porter is the Co-founder and CEO of Overtime, a sports network for the next generation of fans. OT reaches 85 million fans per month and runs a basketball league (Overtime Elite, OTE), a flag football league (OT7), and is launching a boxing league (OTX) the week this episode airs.

Dan started Overtime with his co-founder Zack Weiner in 2016, and has since raised over $215 million. OT is supported by investors like the late ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern, Jeff Bezos, Drake, Carmelo Anthony, Trae Young, over 25 other NBA players, Spark Capital, Redpoint, a16z, Greycroft, Afore Capital, and Banana Capital. [Turner Novak and Banana Capital are investors in Overtime].

Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: ⁠http://bit.ly/3Qk4RNd

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The business of sports
  • Why people love sports
  • The founding story of Overtime
  • How to raise money for a unique idea
  • Overtime’s very first product
  • How to bet on technological change
  • The changing professional sports landscape
  • How to launch a sports league
  • Why founders must obsess over their product
  • Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/how-overtime-grew-to-85-million-fans

    Where to find Dan: Twitter: ⁠https://twitter.com/tfadp⁠ LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/danporter/⁠

    Where to find Turner: Newsletter: ⁠https://www.thespl.it⁠ Twitter: ⁠https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak⁠ LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/TurnerNovak⁠

    Where to find The Peel: YouTube: ⁠https://www.youtube.com/@ThePeelPod⁠ Instagram: ⁠https://www.instagram.com/ThePeelPod⁠ TikTok: ⁠https://www.tiktok.com/@ThePeelPodcast⁠

    Read the full transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/how-overtime-grew-to-85-million-fans

    Production and distribution by: ⁠https://www.supermix.io⁠

    For sponsorship inquiries: ⁠https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform⁠

    Aug 02, 202301:08:10
    🍫 How to Build a $70 Million Chocolate Factory | Nick Saltarelli (Co-founder, Mid-Day Squares)

    🍫 How to Build a $70 Million Chocolate Factory | Nick Saltarelli (Co-founder, Mid-Day Squares)

    Nick Saltarelli is the Co-founder of Mid-Day Squares, a healthy, functional chocolate bar. Nick, his wife Lezlie, and her brother Jake started the company in 2018 from their kitchen in Montreal, and have since built their own factory with $70 million in capacity, and grown the company to a $26 million revenue run rate. Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/building-a-70-million-chocolate-factory In this episode, we discuss: The history of the $200 billion chocolate market Competing against 100+ year-old monopolies Finding a huge opportunity in healthier chocolate The dirty secrets of contract manufacturing Why no one knows how to make a Snickers bar, and Coca-Cola doesn't have a patent How to build a moat in CPG Why Mid-Day Squares had to build their own factory Making chocolate like Tesla makes cars Copying Facebook’s launch strategy Measuring product market fit in CPG Almost running out of money during COVID Why every founding team should go to therapy Surviving an 85% drop in revenue How to raise a bridge round Building an enduring brand Why marketers should study the music industry Timestamps [00:00:00] Intro [00:03:07] The insane politics of chocolate [00:04:53] The history of chocolate [00:07:11] The enormous market for chocolate [00:10:24] The nutrition of chocolate [00:15:00] The Mid-Day Squares origin story [00:20:05] Creating the first product [00:25:53] Why Coca-Cola never filed a patent on their formula [00:29:08] Why they built their own manufacturing plant [00:31:35] A crazy and creative fundraising strategy [00:39:26] Taking over an island and finding PMF [00:46:32] Raising $2m to prove 2 things [00:47:15] Automating production and navigating manufacturing chaos [00:51:11] Why he had to "plead with the government on public TV” [00:53:51] On "eating shit sandwiches” [00:57:30] The COVID mistake that dropped revenue by 85% [01:03:02] Advice for raising a bridge round [01:04:55] How to build fans not customers [01:07:12] How to build in public [01:12:23] Rapid fire questions Where to find Nick Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickywonka Where to find Turner LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/turnernovak Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak Where to follow The Peel podcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ThePeelPod Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ThePeelPod TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ThePeelPodcast Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/building-a-70-million-chocolate-factory Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
    Jul 27, 202301:16:47
    🍕 The $1.3 Billion Pizza Business: How Ilir Sela (Founder & CEO, Slice) is Arming the Pizza Rebels

    🍕 The $1.3 Billion Pizza Business: How Ilir Sela (Founder & CEO, Slice) is Arming the Pizza Rebels

    Ilir Sela is the Founder & CEO of Slice, the online ordering and all-in-one software platform that helps pizzeria’s manage their business. Ilir started the company in 2010 as MyPizza, rebranded to Slice in 2015, and has since raised over $125 million and supports over 20,000 independent pizza shops. Slice is supported by investors like GGV, KKR, 01 Advisors, Primary Ventures, FJ Labs, and RiverPark Ventures. Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/arming-the-pizza-rebels-ilir-sela In this episode we cover - The three reasons small pizza shops are growing 24x faster than big chains - How franchising and "reverse franchising" works - Ilir's biggest mistakes building a franchise business before starting Slice - How to explain a new business model to investors - The customer acquisition benefits of a multi-product model - Bootstrapping Slice to $3 million in profit - Turning down two acquisition offers, one that would have made him nine figures personally - Why MrBeast Burger failed - Why we don't need more cloud kitchens - Empowering entrepreneurs to open their own pizza shops - Building a strong board - Advice for founders selling to small businesses Referenced Cloud Kitchens: ⁠https://www.thefoodcorridor.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloud-kitchens-ghost-kitchens/ Frank Slootman from Snowflake, who Illir said inspires him: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankslootman/ Growth in independent pizzerias vs big chains in 2022: ⁠https://www.pmq.com/pizza-power-report-2023/ Jeff Richards from GGV Capital, who invested in Slice and gave Illir some advice mentioned in the podcast: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffrichards/ Michelle Obama on whether pizza is a vegetable: ⁠https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G14qNHPE4qo&t=21s ⁠ MrBeast’s MrBeast Burger: ⁠https://www.mrbeastburger.com/ The growth of Domino’s stock since 2010: ⁠https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/25/dominos-stock-yields-higher-returns-than-google-since-ipos.html Slice’s website: ⁠https://slicelife.com/ Where to find Turner Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak Where to find Ilir: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ilirsela Twitter: https://twitter.com/ilirsela Timestamps [00:03:34]: The enormous and fascinating pizza industry [00:04:30]: Why there are so many independent pizza shops [00:07:33]: Illir's deep family history with pizza [00:10:43]: What Slice provides independent pizzerias [00:14:21]: The origins of Slice (mypizza.com) [00:16:55]: Building "Nerd Force" before Slice [00:18:22]: How franchises like “Nerd Force” work [00:22:15]: Selling his first company: Nerd Force [00:23:46]: Forming the idea for Slice [00:27:19]: The very first customers [00:32:37]: Turning down $18 million to double down on Slice [00:33:41]: Raising money and starting Slice phase 2.0 [00:39:27]: An acquisition offer that was “tough to say no to” [00:41:55]: Slice's focus now and in the near future [00:45:01]: Why there are so many pizza shops [00:46:46]: Hot takes on Cloud Kitchen and Beast Burgers [00:51:55]: Why online customers are worth 4x more than offline ones [00:53:32]: Why some investors doubted Slice [00:57:58]: The underrated value of a good board [01:00:57]: Advice for founders serving small businesses [01:03:29]: Hitting $500m annual revenue with Slice 3.0 [01:04:31]: Other categories Slice could go after [01:06:25]: Rapid fire questions Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/arming-the-pizza-rebels-ilir-sela Production and distribution by: https://supermix.io For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
    Jul 20, 202301:13:45
    🏥 Making Healthcare a Product, Not a Service | Adrian Aoun (Founder and CEO, Forward)

    🏥 Making Healthcare a Product, Not a Service | Adrian Aoun (Founder and CEO, Forward)

    Adrian Aoun is the Founder and CEO of Forward Health, which is rebuilding healthcare as a product, not a service. Forward is supported by investors like Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Softbank, Expa, Marc Beinoff, Ashton Kutcher, The Weeknd, Lee Linden, Josh Kushner, First Round Capital, Eric Schmidt, DCVC, and more, Before starting Forward, Adrian worked with Larry Page at Google to setup and launch new companies inside of Alphabet. He joined Google through the acquisition of his AI startup Wavii, and spent his first year at Google helping create and build its AI division. Adrian was on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and is an angel investor in companies including Stripe, Uber, Anduril, and more. Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit In this episode, we discuss: Rad the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/making-healthcare-a-product-not-a - How the healthcare industry actually works - Why poor incentives make technology in the industry ROI-negative - The founding story of Forward - Why healthcare should be a product, not a service - Building doctor's offices like Tesla builds cars - Being Larry Page’s right hand man at Google - Building a “healthcare operating system” like Apple builds the app store - Adrian’s contrarian views on the food industry - Why animal farming is a bigger climate issue than you might think - Zuck: the man in the arena Where to find Turner: Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak Where to find Adrian: Twitter: https://twitter.com/adrianaoun LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianaoun Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/making-healthcare-a-product-not-a Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
    Jul 12, 202301:09:21
    Lessons From Building Mercury with Immad Akhund (Co-founder and CEO, Mercury)

    Lessons From Building Mercury with Immad Akhund (Co-founder and CEO, Mercury)

    Immad Akhund is the Co-founder and CEO of Mercury, a digitally native bank for startups. Mercury is supported by investors like a16z, Coatue, CRV, Chapter One, Ryan Peterson, Scott Belsky, Serena Williams, Terrence Rohan, Zach Coelius, Todd Goldberg, and more. Before Mercury, Immad was a part-time partner at YC, co-founded Heyzap which sold for $45 million, and co-founded and scaled Clickpass to millions of users. Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-future-of-banking-remote-work
    In this episode, we discuss: - The future of banking - Why Mercury’s beautiful onboarding was an accident - Cultural mistakes most startups make - Two lessons from selling his first company for $45 million - How to get free legal advice - Why it’s better to build a network of entrepreneurs than investors - How to fundraise - Why its contrarian to start a non-AI company right now - How Mercury is thinking about AI - Why each operational team has its own engineering team - The embarrassing pitch meeting that raised his Series A from a16z - How crypto used up all its goodwill - The hiring advice he gives every founder Where to find Immad: Twitter: https://twitter.com/immad LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iakhund Podcast: https://curiositypodcast.substack.com/ Where to find Turner: Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak Mentioned in this episode: Mercury https://www.mercury.com The Logan Bartlett Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcL_cjZDeFU Timestamps: (0:00) Intro (5:58) Mercury's "accidentally great" onboarding experience (8:13) The fundamental banking business model (9:34) The basics of banking regulation (11:07) How Mercury works with banks (13:27) The future of banking (19:34) Immad's previous startups (22:30) What culture actually means (27:06) Importance of ideas vs execution (32:03) Learning banking from scratch (35:54) Why the first banking partnership failed (37:56) Why the second banking partnership worked (39:24) The difference between compliance and risk teams (42:08) Why compliance is so relevant for better banking (50:13) The biggest mistake for doing remote work (51:21) Mercury Raise (53:33) The game theory of fundraising (54:54) Playbook for generating fundraising momentum (60:45) Common fundraising mistakes (63:12) Hilarious fundraising mishap in front of a16z (68:16) Companies that aren't like this shouldn't touch AI (70:57) Who will win big from AI? (72:10) Immad's take on crypto (86:14) Outro


    Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-future-of-banking-remote-work Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

    Jul 05, 202301:27:25
    How Primer Turns Teachers Into Superheroes | Ryan Delk (Co-founder and CEO, Primer)

    How Primer Turns Teachers Into Superheroes | Ryan Delk (Co-founder and CEO, Primer)

    Ryan Delk is the Co-Founder and CEO of Primer, a startup helping ambitious kids unlock their potential by empowering teachers to launch and run their own micro-schools. Primer’s supported by investors like Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Village Global, Susa Ventures, Sam Altman, Naval, Ryan Peterson, Amjad Masad, Julie Zhuo, Tobias Lutke, Lachy Groom, Howie Liu, Dylan Field, Packy McCormick, and many more. Before Primer, Ryan was the COO at peer-to-peer rental marketplace Omni (sold to Coinbase), and prior to that led Growth and Partnerships at Gumroad from $10,000 to $50 million in GMV. Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit

    Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/turning-techers-into-superheroes In this episode, we discuss: - How the $1 trillion US K-12 education system works - The broken incentive structures in education - Why teachers are superheroes - How to double a teacher’s income - Primer’s origin story - How to open a school - If online school works - Why founders make the best employees - How the US government wastes billions of dollars - Why everyone should care more about local politics Where to find Ryan: Twitter https://twitter.com/delk LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/delk/

    Where to find Turner: Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak Timestamps: (3:42) The state of K-12 education in the US (6:35) The structural problem causing a radical misallocation of resources (8:00) The importance of teachers (9:34) The “totally flipped” incentive structure for teachers  (12:22) The problem of bureaucracy in education  (13:38) Primer’s thesis (14:52) How to start a school (16:00) How Primer helps teachers start their own schools (18:20) Using underutilized real estate to host micro-schools (20:05) Ryan’s take on digital vs in-person learning (21:59) How Primer supports teachers (23:21) Inspirational stories from Primer users (28:00) The underestimated entrepreneurship of teachers  (29:12) How Primer stays affordable for all users  (30:26) How Primer gets teachers on board  (32:04) The role of after-school activities  (33:07) How Primer sets its Curriculum (35:14) Ryan’s unique education and how it inspired Primer  (38:39) Why someone hadn’t solved this problem yet (40:24) Primer’s initial strategy (41:30) The breakfast that changed everything (42:09) The concept of “Barrels” from Keith Rabois (42:36) Finding and recruiting Ian Bravo (43:31) How Primer recruits ex-founders (44:52) The 3 things Primer screens for in teachers (46:27) What Primer messed up when launching (48:19) Re-thinking school admissions from first principles (51:03) How they convinced the very first teachers to try Primer (51:59) The ineffective usage of education spending (53:28) Policymakers prioritizing “signal over outcomes” (57:21) The worst public schools are worse than you think  (59:08) How the Government wastes billions of dollars and Ryan’s idea for solving this (61:31) The importance of increasing engagement with local politics (63:37) The vision for Primer

    Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/turning-techers-into-superheroes

    Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io/ For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

    Jun 29, 202301:05:15
    Selling $100 Million in Dog Collars | Ken Ehrman (Co-founder, Halo Collar)

    Selling $100 Million in Dog Collars | Ken Ehrman (Co-founder, Halo Collar)

    Ken Ehrman is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Halo Collar, a smart dog collar that tracks your dog with GPS. Halo Collar uses patented technology that allows customers to instantly create up to 20 unique virtual dog fences from their phone using GPS.

    Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit

    Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-iphone-for-your-dog-ken-ehrman


    In this episode, we discuss: - Working for Mike Markkula, the first investor in Apple - Building hardware and the importance of patents - Listening to customers, solving their problems, and sizing a market - Qualifying enterprise customers and selling with "calm confidence." - Early investors trying to buy 95% of his first company - Getting the US Post Office and Army to fund $15 million in R&D - Taking a company public in 1999 with $3 million in revenue - Using AI to train dog movements and make "the Apple Watch" for dogs - The crazy story of how he met his celebrity co-founder, Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer - What happened when they met famous TikToker Charli D'Amelio Where to find Ken: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ken-ehrman

    Where to find Turner: Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak

    Referenced: Buy the Halo Collar: https://www.halocollar.com/ Cesar Millan, 'the Dog Whisperer': https://www.cesarsway.com/ More on RFID tags: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukfpq71BoMo&ab_channel=ALLABOUTELECTRONICS Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-iphone-for-your-dog-ken-ehrman

    Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform

    Jun 28, 202348:07
    Sweetgreen: Building McDonald’s for the Next Generation, with Jonathan Neman (Co-founder and CEO)

    Sweetgreen: Building McDonald’s for the Next Generation, with Jonathan Neman (Co-founder and CEO)

    Jonathan Neman is Co-Founder & CEO of Sweetgreen, an American fast casual restaurant chain that serves salads. Jonathan and his co-founders started the company in 2007, opening their first restaurant just three months out of college. Sweetgreen opened its second and third locations in the middle of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, and went public in 2021 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sweetgreen’s focus on locally sourced quality ingredients has built it into a national brand with more than 200 restaurants across the US. Brought to you by Secureframe, the automated compliance platform built by compliance experts: https://secureframe.com/request-demo-4?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=062023-thesplit Read the transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-peel-episode-1-building-mcdonalds In this episode, we discuss: - How the restaurant industry actually works - How the US food system leads to over $2 trillion in indirect healthcare and environmental costs - Sweetgreen’s origin story - The early constraints that led to Sweetgreen’s ingenious business model - Launching a music festival headlined by Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and The Strokes - Killing a major product line to double down on online ordering in 2015 - How to build an enduring brand - Sweetgreen’s new salad subscription and gamified loyalty program - The surprising benefits of Sweetgreen’s new automated Infinite Kitchen - How the best entrepreneurs never give up Where to find Jonathan: Twitter https://twitter.com/jonnynemo LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-neman-9a28aa8/ Where to find Turner: Newsletter: https://www.thespl.it Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnerNovak Timestamps: (2:35) The state of the restaurant industry since 2007 (6:03) How COVID-19 changed the restaurant industry (9:05) The bad incentives holding back the US health system (10:58) How Sweetgreen built a local AND national brand (13:07) How he made $40,000 a year in high school (15:30) How a stint in Australia inspired Sweetgreen (17:45) Sweetgreen’s 50-person friends & family round (20:14) Challenges of opening the first restaurant (21:58) How a tiny 500-square-foot restaurant unlocked Sweetgreen's success (22:50) When sales suddenly dropped 70% (23:40) The moment he realized he wanted to start his own business (26:23) Opening early restaurants during the Global Financial Crisis (27:35) Using a farmer's market to start a music festival and promote Sweetgreen (29:49) Landing Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and The Strokes as festival headliners (32:41) Why they shut down their second-largest product line (35:16) Launching Sweetpass (a gamified loyalty program) (38:19) Launching Infinite Kitchen (a fully automated restaurant) (42:05) Online ordering trends (44:13) The challenge with customizable food (45:36) Using automation to reduce preparation error rates (46:50) Acquiring a startup built by MIT grad students (49:04) The surprising benefits of Infinite Kitchen (52:25) The key to making healthy food accessible (53:30) Unfortunate facts of the US food system (57:25) How to “do the right thing” AND maximize profits (59:58) His favorite board game is... (60:52) We need to stop glamorizing overnight success Read the full transcript: https://www.thespl.it/p/the-peel-episode-1-building-mcdonalds Production and distribution by: https://www.supermix.io For sponsorship inquiries: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebvhBlDDfHJyQdQWs8RwpFxWg-UbG0H-VFey05QSHvLxkZPQ/viewform
    Jun 27, 202301:04:12