ANGEL INVESTING 101 WITH JASON CALACANIS
“Being delusional is a prerequisite for changing the world. You have to believe that you can. For a time, the idea that Elon Musk would be able to produce electric cars was delusional. Launching rocket ships is quite delusional. And yet he’s done both of those things. It’s controversial to say, but I do believe that the funding environment is an imperfect meritocracy. So while there are people who get funding who shouldn’t, the people who have breakout success will not be contained.”
As one of the world’s most successful angel investors who made his fortune hunting unicorns such as Uber and Thumbtack, there’s little Calacanis doesn’t know about the hustle. He talks pitching, investing and his new book, Angel.
PAYAL KADAKIA ON HOW FAILURE CAN LEAD TO SUCCESS
“To me, the most important lesson is don’t be afraid to fail. And fail quickly because it will tell you which direction to not go in. You need to look at the 80-20 rule. If I had got 80% there (with the first iteration), we could have optimized for the rest of the 20%. But it was so far off the mark. It’s important to recognize when you’re just completely off. The worst thing we could have done in that moment was to stay steady and kept going with the wrong product.”
Kadakia pivoted three times while building ClassPass into a fitness platform today worth $470m. She talks product/market fit, the importance of creativity and how to know when to step down as a founder.
BOB SUTTON ON HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A STARTUP A**HOLE
“If you look at research on what’s going to turn you into an a**hole, startups are almost the perfect recipe: Sleep deprivation, severe time and performance pressure, and power over other people. Startup founders are a bit like babies with loaded guns. There’s two parts to creating a non-a**hole friendly workplace: one is the founder’s mentality and the behaviors that they encourage. And then it’s who they attract to work for them.”
Sutton's worked inside some of the world’s leading tech companies, from Facebook to Uber. He talks how to avoid a**holes (including becoming one yourself), and his new book, The Asshole Survival Guide.
SEAN ELLIS ON HOW TO HACK GROWTH
“The important thing to understand is, how does the user actually get value from the product? Then create a metric around that – the north star. That tells everyone within the company: we're in the business to deliver this value. You need tools to understand, test and eventually automate. But you need to take quantitative data and make sure you qualitatively understand what’s going on – the power is when you combine the two. Being able to actually watch someone trying to use your product is super powerful. Sometimes it can be hard to see, just in the data, what the problems are.”
Ellis honed his growth hacking mastery at Dropbox, Qualaroo and LogMeIn – he even coined the term. He shares practical tips for taking your business to the next level.