October 24, 2022 – On today’s show we welcome special guest, Social Leverage Founder Howard Lindzon. Social Leverage is a venture capital firm that specializes in early-stage and seed-stage investments in the Software, Consumer, and Fintech industries.
On the show, Howard discusses:
- How he initially got into investing and what is appealing about early-stage investing
- Key lessons learned from his hits and misses within startups, angel investing and venture capital
- What he thinks is in store for NFTs, crypto and web3 in the future
- His thoughts on the current market environment
- And more
Welcome investors to The Absolute Return Podcast. Your source for stock market analysis, global macro musings and hedge fund investment strategies, your hosts, Julian Klymochko, and Michael Kesslering aim to bring you the knowledge and analysis you need to become a more intelligent and wealthier investor. This episode is brought to you by Accelerate Financial Technologies. Accelerate because performance matters. Find out more at accelerateshares.com.
Julian Klymochko: How are you? Welcome to the show. Super excited to have you on the podcast today. How are things going?
Howard Lindzon: Things are good. Are we talking like dates or like, are we supposed to be non-specific about what time of year or what the markets are doing, or what do you?
Julian Klymochko: However, you want to do it. We can do it. It was a wild swing in the market today. 500 basis points.
Howard Lindzon: No, I’m just talking about like October 2022. Like, if that’s okay.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah. Oh yeah, definitely. We can provide some context.
Howard Lindzon: We’re all going bro. We’re all going to die in the ocean.
Julian Klymochko: [Laugh], yeah. Tough times for you know, basically all risk assets, but specifically more so on the riskier side, the higher beta growthy type names. But prior to getting into the current market environment, which I’d like to touch on later in the show. I wanted to kick things off just getting a little bit of details about yourself. I know that your Canadian living in Phoenix, but how did you initially get into investing?
Howard Lindzon: I think I was late to it. My dad was a securities attorney and part of that Canadian, you know, whatever you call that, Canadian, Vancouver penny stock oil energy in the seventies kind of markets. And you know, if you’re in Canada in the markets, you’re in the energy of materials and commodities.
Julian Klymochko: Yep.
Howard Lindzon: So that bored, as a kid, I had none of that interested me. I was into comedy and sports and getting out of the house, like leaving. I sensed craziness in the household. So anyway, so I moved at a young age to the states. I grew up rather born on third base, so, you know, middle class, upper middle class, Jewish Toronto family, not many cares in the world. Luckily for me in 1965 being born. So, I’ve had nothing but luck and being born at the right time. So, I feel like be pretty hard to screw that whole thing up. So, to increase my odds of success, I moved to Arizona where the sun shines, so yeah, life’s been good as an investor. I think I got the bug. The true bug was probably during, you know, I had my first little bit of money in the early nineties. And like anybody that shapes your career, there’s two things that shape your career, like your risk appetite, like your childhood, or some event that happens when you’re young or in your teens and when you first make your first investment, what’s the market like? So, for me, the events that shaped how I think about investing was my parents got, you know, I grew up wealthy, I guess. And you know, when my parents got divorced, when I was in my early twenties, I got, you know, handed, taking care of my mom in a certain lump sum of money. And, you know, being in school and worrying about myself and also not knowing anything about the markets and having to like, make sure your mom doesn’t run out of money for whatever, she’s probably only 40.
Your risk, you know, you become in a way the manner that you can’t lose that money otherwise you’ll be supporting her. So, I had to learn by that. And so, I was always just then generally conservative and looked at the world like, Oh God, like if I screw this up, I’m going to be taking care of my mom. And the math was never going to work for me because she didn’t have enough money. So, that shapes the way you think of the world. And then the second thing is, my first investment was during the go-go nineties, right? I got money. I had started at a company. I was doing really well, and we had capital and I didn’t really know the markets that well, but you know, brokers used to cold call you if they smelled any success. And I got cold call, and we did well, like, it was fun. And you know, if you learn in a bull market, you really haven’t learned much. So, yeah, that’s how I got the bug in a bull market in the nighties. It was like kind of the semiconductor pre-internet boom, the semiconductor healthcare you know, fifty cent spread on Microsoft. The good old days, you know when men were men, and everybody ripped you off
Julian Klymochko: [Laugh] Yeah, probably massive commissions from that broker who cold called you, but with that bull market.
Howard Lindzon: Yeah, but think about today, they complaining, you know, I was an investor in Robinhood. I was like, the joy to me was like, who cared? Like, you know, forgetting how carried away everything got. When I started investing, Microsoft was 24 by 24.50. So, imagine buying on the offer plus commission. Stock would have to move 4% for you to break even. Like, just think about it. And we still did it.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah.
Howard Lindzon: We still thought we had an [Inaudible 00:5:24]. And here we are, we can buy 24.01, and you think you’re getting ripped off. So, the world’s come a long way,
Julian Klymochko: It’s never good enough, is it?
Howard Lindzon: And so that one sense spread is too much and citadel’s the devil, so let’s bring back 24 by 24.50 spreads where a guy in a bad jacket is making all the money. I don’t know, like, you know, it’s just funny. Like if you can’t laugh at that, like people are just hassles.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah.
Howard Lindzon: People just don’t respect history and what people put up with before. So, I just luckily look at the world that way and go, people are just, you know, they’re never going to be happy. And there’s a great thing about the community it shows penis to women. Now is [Inaudible 00:6:13], we talk about, I forget his name, the funny guy. But he got you know, you can’t show your penis, it turns out to women. I’m joking because, like he was an animal about it. But anyways, he had this bit about you know, we’re flying in a plane and people are complaining.
Julian Klymochko: Oh, that’s Louis C.K. Right?
Howard Lindzon: Yeah. Louis C.K. is doing that bit. And I’m like, all right, like, the guy’s a psycho, I’m sure, but like, what a funny bit like everything we do is like, we’re all hurdling through space at 400 miles an hour in a chair, whether your day trading or using your AirPods or you know, yelling about Verizon or whatever, we’re complaining about that moment and just insanity.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah. If your Twitter feed is delayed by five seconds, you got to yell and curse. But I digress, reading a bunch of your stuff online and your prolific poster, blogger, social media follower. I’ve heard you describe yourself as a trend-based investor. You’re always looking for those kinds of overarching themes. What resonates with you with respect to identifying and investing in industry trends?
Howard Lindzon: So, I know great quotes that seem to, whenever I, every six months I’ll post them on Twitter and, sorry, the gardener is going off in the background here. My friend JP Vaswani said to me, he’s a really wise guy, and he said, there’s no such thing as information overload, only filter failure. So, this goes back to the plane hurling through space, like when I got into the market, we were trading off 20-minute delayed quotes on Yahoo Finance, right? And we thought we were like on top of the world. And so, to me, you can, and today I stand as far away from the machine as possible, even though I started stocked with. So, it’s not how close you are to the pipe. Listen, unless that’s your job and your billionaire, you know, playing that game is just very hard.
The alienness scrimmage type investing. So, you know, standing as far away from the pipe is how I think you make money, but you better have an edge. And my edges is, luckily very smart people I wrote there sharing. And so as long as I follow the very smartest people, I’m ahead of the game and tune out all the noise. So, and then the second thesis is nature or in sports, you know, if you go online and look at a picture of a great white shark or any kind of large shark, there’s a school of pilot fish that’s swim, you know, I don’t know, halfway down through the shark and backwards and in a formation and underneath the shark. And they live a pretty good life. That’s a pilot fish.
And they are just following the shark, they’re not getting in front of the sharks, so they get eaten and they’re hiding out underneath the sharks, so no one’s attacking them. And just that picture to me proves that you don’t have to be first and, but as long as you’re near the head of the pack and not too greedy, you can make a lot of money. And then on and cycling the Peloton, if you watch the Tour de France, forgetting the drugs and who’s the best, but if you watch the elegance of the Peloton, it’s all about conservation of energy. And everybody takes a turn at the pack and what is it, 33% faster in a pack than you can ride alone? So, you know, find your Peloton, you know, be respectful of who’s breaking the wind and who’s leading, and the amount of extra energy they have to exert to take risk and pave the way. So, if you can manage your expectations and greed around those things, it’s pretty easy to be a trend follower. So that’s kind of how I put it.
Michael Kesslering: And then do you have any sectors would you say that you won’t invest in? Can you describe a little bit more about your approach of where you won’t go?
Howard Lindzon: That’s a good question. Because as I get older, I’m more indexing and so I guess I should say no because I do less stock picking as a rule, I pick companies for a living. So, picking stock I’ve never been that good at. But so, I guess no, to be honest, but if I’m going to buy a stock, it’s generally got to be a high growth. It’s got to be something that I’m uniquely understanding around a brand or a growth, otherwise, what’s my edge? Like, otherwise I’m going to sell it at the first sign of like a volatility because I don’t really understand it. But generally, it would be an airline which just has so much labor and energy costs where you can’t control truly the growth or a component company or like that’s reliant. Like if you make something for an iPhone, I don’t care how fast it’s growing, like Apple’s going to, you know, the scorpion and if you aren’t the scorpion, then you know, I try and be in the business as like control everything.
Julian Klymochko: So, are you taking like a barbell approach on one end, VC angel investing on the other end. Indexing, is that like a correct characterization?
Howard Lindzon: Yeah, I believe, like today I bought the queues a little bit. Like, I can’t pick stocks in this environment. Everybody’s negative. There’s no way to truly analyze companies in a bear market like this but it’s been so good for so long that we don’t know where all the skeletons are buried. So, you know, I try and do less individual stock thinking. I’m more like, where would I allocate certain amount of capital? What levels? And it’s much less stressful.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah, no doubt.
Howard Lindzon: And I’ve done it for so long and it’s so hard to beat the market for any length of time. If you want to be in the market and make 8 to 10%, then that’s what you should try and make, and the indexes do that for you. And if you want to try and beat the market, then that’s why I moved to venture investing because I felt like there was some alpha there because of my eyes and my ears and my network and my domain experience and my passion and my elbow grease and control the cap table that I felt at least. And if I’m going to go down with the ship, I’ll have a lot more control with it.
Julian Klymochko: So, I wanted to dig into your venture investing, angel investing. Now you’ve invested in quite a few startups. I was wondering if you could go through some of the hits and misses that you’ve learned over the early-stage venture investing career you’ve had?
Howard Lindzon: Well, a lot of it is, you know, people think I’m good at it now, so obviously I am, if people say I’m good, I am. You learn more from the misses. So, if I were look at like, oh, my misses, they all come from like preconceived ideas of what things should be, whether it’s valuation or whether it’s, you know, the market. So, I’ve had so many successes that you know, you have to look at the numbers and go, well, maybe it just was such a good market. So, we’ve been in such a good market for the meat of my investing career. So, you take out 99, 2000 you know I’ve been in a bull market, right? Like when I graduated from college, the semiconductor was coming into its own and you have Microsoft Windows. So, we’ve been in a tech boom for the better part of 30 years. So, I’m supposed to have done well. So, let’s frame it around that first, is that, you know, born on third base and then in my investing years having a couple successes and having some capital and then having a bull market I was supposed to be successful. I think what defines though maybe why I’ve beaten the market and done so well as an investor, you know, even beating the averages over a long period of time, is that I was curious and passionate about, you know, some things that gave me an edge. And for me that was, you know, for better or for worse, started investing in the nineties and seeing those spreads and being on the other end of a phone call from a broker and learning all the good and bad about that. And then being a Yahoo Finance user and the original Reddit, let’s call it, or the original Twitter and StockTwits, where if you hung out on the Amazon stream in 1998, that’s where Dan Loeb was, Mr. Pink. And that’s all the action was.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah.
Howard Lindzon: We were the equivalent of meme stock. We thought the enemy was the hedge funds too in 98 and everybody thinks they invented this. Like, it’s so funny. Reddit is like, we’re taking down the man. Well, guess what? At 98, 99 we thought we were taken down the man on Yahoo Finance and nobody takes down the man. And I think Goldman and JP Morgan are doing just fine still, only the man can take down the man, right. Like who took down Lehman? Them not participating in the bailout of long-term capital management sealed their doom later on. You know, the man kills the man, but retail does not kill the man. So, it’s funny that I’ve lived through all those things and human behavior doesn’t change, but my edge was that I lived, I loved investing and I always hated the man, and I always hated media. And so, technology finally gave idiots like me the chance to build these things on our own. And so, my edge was knowing what was wrong with the products I was using and having the tech and money available to go try it myself and build the things, solving my own, scratching my own niches, solving my own problem. So, with Wallstrip, you know, I grew up in an era, Second City television in Toronto. So, I saw, I was completely, you know, I couldn’t believe how funny, like making fun of a news channel was, this is what Second City did back in the seventies.
And then, you know, having to endure watching CNBC as my source of news in my early investing career, I hated that. And so, I’m like, oh, like that needs to be disrupted and I couldn’t afford Bloomberg. So, I was always fascinated with like, how do you build a Bloomberg for everybody else? And then sure enough, YouTube, Twitter, like all these things, a line where I could go try it myself and Wallstrip was my idea to build, you know, when I pitch Fred Wilson, my idea to Fred was like, I’m going to build CNBC on YouTube. And Fred was a great ambassador, was like, Yeah, that’s actually a good idea. And then with Twitter it was like, I’m going to build the next Yahoo Finance you know, using Twitter. And that’s where Stock twits came from. And you know, with Robinhood, when I saw Robinhood, it was like, oh my god, finally an etrade, you know, of the next generation. So were all the things that I had like wanted, it wasn’t like I was inventing them, but I was just like, I didn’t see the future. I was like, this is just a better version of the future. And I think, you know, as long as you have that kind of curiosity and domain experience technology allows people to like kind of act these things out and participate in them.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah, that’s a good point. With respect to just better versions. If you look at Slack for example, obviously incredibly successful and got acquired for a huge sum, but it was basically just a better version of ICQ or AOL Messenger or MSN Messenger and the like. You did mention a couple startups that you founded. So not just investor but also founder. On your resume, Wallstrip and StockTwits. Now from the perspective of a founder, like what advice do you have for startup CEOs just getting going or they’re established and looking to raise capital?
Howard Lindzon: Ooh, I mean that’s just a pretty broad subject. I mean, I can’t only give advice to investors more than founders now. To founders. It’s like, does this, you know, we’ve seen this with crypto. There’s a lot of people who are chasing money versus, or influence over true passion. Businesses take 10 to 12 years, Robinhood even took 9 years, eToro on 12 years, StockTwits is 15 years. So, there’s this myth, I think, or this fantasy that maybe is because of the Zuckerberg movie and this era of Web2 where, you know, the cloud came along and you had this perfect storm of Amazon web services, the iPhone 0% interest rates. You know, those three things combined were like, at the same time were like a miracle. And then the social networks gave people the ability to scale.
And the arbitrage was Google and Twitter and Facebook. Didn’t really at the beginning care about monetization. You could do customer acquisition basically for free. So, that era was just a magical thing. We give too much credit to entrepreneurs and forever will in this last era, including myself, because it wasn’t that we were so smart, it was a perfect storm of tech money and timing in the world and being in America that you almost have to be an idiot, no offense to the people who didn’t get rich off web 2.0 to not make money. To me there was always the pressure of, oh my God, if I miss this, I’m a complete idiot. So, I think what founders today have to think about is like there’s no easy way to get customers anymore unless you understand TikTok, I guess.
So, it’s going to be more expensive to get customers. You got to build for the iPhone, the Android, and the mobile phone. So, unless you’re like, understand blockchain and building to the blockchain, it’s very expensive to start a tech company today because of engineers and it’s going to take a long time to get to the goal line. So, do you really have this burning desire to do this thing for 10 to 12 years? And so, I would put it back to the founder and say, you’re just lying to yourself if you don’t think it’s going to take 10 to 12 years. And generally, my job as a good investor is to try and talk, not poke holes in their idea, but poke holes in like their expectations of what the journey is going to be like.
And we’ve gone through this boom where these [Inaudible 00:22:01] and $50 billion companies were born with disregard of the laws and reshaping laws and that was during a time where the China was open, and you could do business in Russia and those windows are shut or those doors are shut. So now we’re ending an era of like we’re not in an illiquid market yet, but we’re in an era of deglobalization, let’s call it. And we’re an era of a more expensive cost to capital. And more important what no one’s talking about, everybody’s talking about inflation, and I’m not worried about inflation as it regards input pricing because everybody will adjust, you know, prices will take care of itself. What people are not talking about in startup world, just, you know, I’m starting to talk about is the inflation of starting a business if forever it’s been cheap to start a business.
We are entering a pair where it’s never been more expensive to grow a business. So, as cheap as it is today to start a company because you can go build it on the blockchain and [Inaudible 00:23:07] contract and like you can truly build some of the blockchain. But if you’re not going to build to the blockchain and manage expectations of evaluation, which will be lower because you’re going to build a much smaller user base. But to go think that you’re going to be able to go start an e-commerce company and rely on Facebook for growth, that window is closed. We are entering one of the most expensive moments in time to start a tech company because once you raise that first capital, it’s going to be a grind to get new users. And because everybody’s attention. There are so many great places for your attention already.
So, I don’t think people are factoring how hard that is. So, we’re trying to hammer home to founders that like, you better really like what you’re doing and we’re going to come after you to make sure you understand that we’re not in this thing for two years because this is a marathon, not a race. So that’s my advice to founders. Don’t kid yourself really, it’s okay to work at another company. It’s okay to not perfectly love your job and it’s okay to be number a 100 employer or 200 employer. There’s lots to do. Not everybody can be CEO and founder.
Julian Klymochko: That’s a really interesting insight and I heard something very similar from CZ, the founder of Binance. He said, if you’re going to launch a business commit at least 10 years, because that’s how long it generally takes to build, and you sell.
Howard Lindzon: I say this from experience, but if my investors at StockTwits and they’re great investors and great guys had said Howard, listen, you’re 42 years old, everybody loves you, you’re smart, you’re coming off a win and you have this great idea, but, they should have said, but you know, the way we see this going is you’re not going to have scale. You’re going to be subscale; you’re going to be an ad-based business and you’re going to be battling giants. I mean, that would’ve been good advice to me. You know, they might not have been able to talk me out of it, but I wouldn’t be as aggravated as I am today and mad, you know, passive aggressively mad about the whole thing. Because I don’t think I would’ve started StockTwits if I knew 15 years later, I’d be battling trolls and dealing with ad-based business.
You know what I mean? And some scale is not a fun place to be. Now why Bullish is exactly the same thing. Subscale may not be a great place to be if your expectations have been scale, but subscale is a tremendous place to be if you focus on profitability early and take less money and bootstrap. So, it’s all about how you start the business. Meaning in a world that I think we’re going to live in a subscale world, it’s just about managing those expectations. Like, you know, what does a cap table look like in a subscale world? It’s going to look a lot different than how Uber looked.
Julian Klymochko: Now one big trend that we’ve seen play out over the past year or two has been Web3. Huge growth area, a lot going on there, Blockchain, crypto, NFTs. What do you think is in store for that space? I know you’ve blogged a little bit, posted a bit on NFTs, what do you think of them?
Howard Lindzon: Yeah, starting a company right now in the vision, you know, I like to think everything as a user and as a potential customer. And what’s exciting and infuriating about Web3 or Web 2.5 or just, you know, as I like to say, it’s an extension of the web, right? Like no matter how successful your Web3 business is, you’re probably going to have to buy Google ads or TV ads at some point. Google’s still buying television ads, you know, 20 years later. I’m just fascinated. Remember I’m 57 and I’m an old curmudgeon and I don’t know how to type well and I don’t know how to, you know, hook up a printer to my desktop.
So, you know, I’m still that guy like a hedge fund, you know, tapper of my keyboard. So, I love the term Web3 because Web2 is how I made all my money. So, I believe, you know, Web3, but I’m so mad at, you know, these false, like we live in a world where Apple and Schwab are my new villa, you know, and I love Apple because and Microsoft. I can’t believe how we’ve let these guys dominate us. Not because the products aren’t necessarily the best and I don’t think Microsoft’s are the best, but they’ve done a good job of acquiring and being Microsoft. But Apples are pretty much the best for consumers, but Schwab are the worst and they’ve never been in more dominating control of the pipe.
So, I really worry about those companies and how much control they have over us. So, what makes me excited about Web3 is trying to build a business and company that doesn’t ever have to cross paths with Apple. To me the art of the next generation is no one’s going to be able to deal with Apple, Schwab and Google and Microsoft. So, I got to avoid getting into that trap. So, I want to find businesses to me that are capped right and thought through, right? That could be successful without relying on any of those. That’s what Web3 means to me. And what Web3 has been so far is like, how do we get rid of Visa and Stripe? And I’m like, man, if you’re trying to do a startup that’s trying to go around Visa, like is worried about the 2% that Visa and Stripe are charging, then I don’t trust your instincts as a founder.
Like that’s the wrong mission, really. The real problem like we have is, how do I build a business without 20 engineers and designers who are worried about what their lunch is and their benefits are and making 350 a year? That was Web2. Web3 to me is how do I lightly build code in one website or one app on the web that allows people to have delight and utility that they want to be part of something. And that also means venture capital. How do I get rid of the thing that you needed the most in a Web2 era, which was venture capital? So, part of the art of Web3, which is really disappointing, even the smartest people take VC money is, aren’t we supposed to do Web3 without venture capital? If we’re going to do Web3 without Visa and MasterCard, I’d rather be able to rely on Visa, MasterCard, and Stripe than venture capitalists.
I think everybody’s like got the wrong enemy and the enemy is, is burn and Web3, the enemy is not the 2% fees, the enemy is churn and burn. So, when I look and think of Web3, churn is a big issue. Meaning if I run the best newsletter in the world and I’m hooked up to Stripe. Stripe isn’t my problem; you know what the problem is? Stripe’s so good. It’s not the 2% they charge, it’s that someone can disconnect from Stripe just because of something I say, right? Or just one bad idea. Or they’re having a bad week and their wife says, clean up all your subscription. And so, what really hurts Web2 is how good it is. Like it’s so easy to hook up, but it’s also so easy to unhook. So, churn is a huge thing for a small independent newsletter writer, whether you’re sub stack, or you know, writing investment newsletters because people can just come back to you, and we know that for a fact people just don’t come back, right? And it’s frustrating for someone to try and plan their small business to have churn. So, Web3 allows you to literally say, here’s how my business is going to work. You’re going to pay a lifetime membership or you’re going to pay this much and you’re going to pay more, and you can leave, but you got to come through the front door to leave. Meaning I’m going to charge you a thousand dollars for a lifetime membership and here’s my terms and you’re going to pay a thousand bucks and if you want to leave stand in line because there’s other people that will pay this or some price of that, but I’m only going to have 500 members and when you leave I’m going to collect a 10% you know, for all my headache, right?
Not from you but from the buyer. So, I think this whole idea of like knowing who your customer is and it’s kind of a country club meets a subscription business. You’re taking all those features that made the physical country club or the physical club hard to do, real estate and all that and actually making money off the transfer of title to another member and you can plan your business because you don’t have to have churns. So, the two best Web1, Web2 businesses are American Express Platinum or membership has its benefits and AAA, right? AAA was born at a time when there was no Google, so their name is AAA because that was how you got to the front of the phone book. Like if you wanted to advertise, they had a double A you know, double A Auto club.
You had to have triple A and so, and they built this great membership with great services and guess what? There’s no supply limitation. If you want AAA, you can sign up. But they also are constantly worried about churn, right? Their whole business is to based on like how many people churn. And same thing with Amex Platinum. If you pay a 750 a year, you can have Amex, platinum, whatever, and they don’t care how many members there are because they’ll just keep selling Amex Platinum. I care as a user because I don’t understand what the benefits are. Like I know there’s tons, but it doesn’t really work for me because everybody has different needs. So, I keep canceling both. And in a Web3 world, everybody can offer a platinum service for their subscription, but they got to cap the supply. And that goes back to managing expectations and I can build a perfect subscription business in a Web3 world that takes Ethereum, that takes cash, you know, using all different types of, you know, chain crosslink products.
And my customers can be anywhere in the world can use any kind of currency, but what I have to manage is my own greed and not offer it to everybody. And so, I think what Web3 is solving churn and burn. Burn being have lower burn is not enough. Like the people that are doing Web3 for the right reason, which is to manage its churn and to manage burn, are going to be very happy if they do it for the right reasons. I think Web3 is phenomenal. But so far what we’ve seen is just a giant gold rush in a lot of unregulated scans and that’s not for me. I’m too old and I’ve seen it too many times before and you know, it’s been a bit of a headache, but the next thing coming is going to be great because people that really want to build, like when I see that I can copy and paste code from someone else’s, like FTX token, I can see how they made it. I can copy and paste the code, I can create my own loyalty rewards program, just change a few numbers and be live. That is incredible. But with great power comes great responsibility and I think a lot of people are over promising and under delivering and that’s not good.
Michael Kesslering: That’s really interesting perspective of, of Web3. One thing that you mentioned earlier was Fred Wilson being an investor in Wallstrip. How much has your personal investment style been influenced by him?
Howard Lindzon: I mean very little other than you know, more about his lifestyle and his, what would I say? The way he runs his life. Like the principles that he scans up, you know, for which is just more like you can’t be everywhere in all times. It’s hard to copy Fred because he is an MIT guy, and he grew up differently than most. Like if you look at what makes a good investor, obviously travel being exposed to a lot of things, you know, I don’t know if it’s speaking other languages, but it’s travel, it’s curiosity. I don’t think it matters where you went to school, but it probably sure helps that you went to MIT and then you know, you’re timing.
So, they had the same thing in sports where they frame someone the next Michael Jordan, well investing everybody wants to be the next a16z maybe Union Square. I think you can only pull out where the next Warren Buffet. Like draft behind certain faces. Because I went to ASU. I don’t think like an MIT person. I can’t code. So, there’s nothing I can take from Fred that would make me a good investor. I’m more impressed that Fred’s smart enough to invest in me. Because basically by investing in me, he’s realizing that the Larry David of investing is a good strategy. He’s like the dumbest guy in the room is a way to invest. So, it’s really more a testament to him than me. Like of course I want to copy as much about Fred as I can, but how do you copy a guy who’s willing to invest in me? Right. If he’s willing to invest in me and all these pensions aren’t willing to invest in me, then no one can copy Fred. Because the pension should be copying Fred, not me.
So, it’s like everybody’s asking the wrong question. Like, you know, the fact that Fred invested in me means that everybody should invest in me not the other way around.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah. Well, that’s a good point. And Howard, I know you got to run right away. One last question, fun question before you jump. What’s your favorite productivity hack? What keeps you so active?
Howard Lindzon: I think my product favorite productivity hack is that I have no idea how to be productive. And I think my favorite productivity hack is that I am my own assistant in that I manage my own calendar. Like when I get an email from someone who copies in there I cringe and copies in their assistant. I get it. Some people are better with an assistant.
Julian Klymochko: Yeah.
Howard Lindzon: But Jesus with Google Calendar and like email and text, I don’t know. So I think my favorite productivity hack is that I’m lucky enough to not have one.
Julian Klymochko: There you go. I agree with that sentiment and Howard thanks so much for coming on the show, showing your wisdom, your ideas, investments. All good stuff. Thank you so much. Chat soon.
Howard Lindzon: Thanks guys. Thanks Julian. Thanks to you both
Julian Klymochko: Take care. Bye everybody.
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