December 24, 2021 – Over the past year, we recorded 75 shows for the Absolute Return Podcast. In a new holiday tradition, here is a list of our top 10 favourite CEO discussions on the podcast:

Episode #189: Bill Gross, CEO of Heliogen

Bill’s advice for founders that are just beginning their entrepreneurship journey: “Follow your heart. There are so many ups and downs in starting a company that you need to be so passionate about what you’re doing, that you use that to carry you through the tough times.”

Episode #133: Playboy CEO Ben Kohn

Ben’s thoughts on the benefits of becoming a public company: “My goal when I had stepped into Playboy was to always take the company back as a public company. I wanted it to have, and especially with my M&A skill, I want it to have the most flexible capital structure. Can I have a structure that has cash? That has equity? That could borrow money? As an operator, but really having that flexible capital structure to take advantage of the opportunities that I know exist in the marketplace from a deal perspective.”

Episode #121: John Delaney, CEO of Revolution Acceleration Acquisition

John’s focus on innovation driving opportunities: “I’m really intrigued about the pace of innovation and its impact on the world and how disruptive it is. But also, how many opportunities there are to actually make the world a better place for innovation… Because ultimately innovation solves every problem, whether it’s climate change, we’re going to have to innovate our way out of all these issues.”

Episode #168: IonQ CEO Peter Chapman 

Peter’s lifelong interest in the technology industry: “I started off my career at the birth of the personal computer industry some 40 years ago. And I have watched over, you know, that time waves of technologies such as the personal computer, internet and mobile devices and see them impact every industry and drive the economy as a result. So, you know, it’s being a technologist. You want to be able to kind of look for the formation of these waves and get out in front and be part of them because that’s, what’s driving the technology industry and the rest. And then as a technologist, if you miss out on one of these waves, you quickly become irrelevant.”

Episode #167: Planet Labs CEO Will Marshall

Will’s prediction on extraterrestrial life: “I don’t think it’s very likely that UFO’s will visit the planet, but I think it’s very likely that there’s life in the universe. And in fact, I’ll make a prediction for you. I would predict we will find life off earth within ten years.”

Episode #119: Matterport CEO RJ Pittman

RJ’s ideas on the opportunity in real estate technology: “It is a massive opportunity to not just disrupt, but really transform the largest asset class in the world. I mean, let’s remember, the built world as we describe it, which are all the buildings of all types in the world, is a $230 trillion dollar asset class. It’s three times the sum total of all publicly listed companies in the world and growing”

Episode #148: DMY Technology CEO Niccolo De Masi

Niccolo on what makes DMY a successful repeat SPAC sponsor: “We’re here to be successful long-term. Everyone in our ecosystem at dMY has to be successful. So, PIPE investors have to succeed our IPO, our S-1 IPO investors and our blank check companies have to succeed. Of course, the companies we bring public have to succeed, and everyone who comes in to buy piece of these businesses later on, of course, have to succeed, the management teams have to and that requires pricing properly.”

Episode #141: Rice Acquisition CEO Danny Rice

Danny on the importance of natural gas in energy transition: “Over the last decade, we saw U.S. carbon dioxide emissions go down from the period of 2008 to 2018. Now it wasn’t because of wind and solar development. It was because of growing natural gas development, displacing coal demand in the United States.”

Episode #128: Pat Roney, CEO Of Vintage Wine Estates

Pat’s forecast for growth of the wine industry: “Over the last 25 years, the total market has doubled over the last 50 years, it’s quadruple. Yet, we’re still very, very low per capita consumption compared to Europeans. Were almost a third of what they are… It’s a $45 billion dollar category that’s been around for thousands of years and it has continued to demonstrate growth.”

Episode #173: Alex Rodrigues, CEO Of Embark Trucks

Alex on the importance of specialization: “Instead of trying to do a little bit of everything and trying to build a general-purpose product, one of the key lessons I took away from all those years of competitive robotics is that the people who win are the people who build something that’s just simple enough to do the job. And so, we focus on a niche application.”


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