Top Podcasts of the Week

Below is our “Top Podcast” episode with our curator, Colby Donovan!

Today we have an episode with a startup who is getting clients $50,000 in savings on average, a deep-dive on SPACs, a firm providing venture-debt, and a must-listen on decision making.

  • The Meb Faber Show: #243 — Doug Ludlow, MainStreet “We’d Like To Be There As America And The World Starts To Rebuild, And Give Tools To These Companies…Access To Capital And Financing In A Way They Wouldn’t Have Had Before. This is a must-listen for anyone who is running a small business or works with small business owners. Ludlow is the CEO of MainStreet, a startup making it easy for businesses to access government incentive programs (essentially Honey for small businesses). He explains most small businesses don’t have finance departments to research what local incentives exist (like Amazon HQ2) and they’ve developed AI to use the small business’ information to see what credits are available to them, whether it’s R&D, employee training, or location of the company. And as COVID pushes the remote work trend forward, city and state governments will focus on this more and more going forward, making their tool even more valuable to small businesses. To get an idea of the success they’ve had, the average company has saved roughly $50,000 by using their tools. [August 12, 2020–51 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Google | Website Link
  • This Week in Startups: E1095 The Next Unicorns E13: Roofstock CEO Gary Beasley is creating the real estate cloud, opening residential investing to millennials & more. Really interesting episode with a firm who is fractionalizing an asset that has historically required people to spend a significant amount of money to access. Roofstock is a fin-tech company that allows individuals to purchase shares in residential housing through their online marketplace. Instead of having to purchase residential properties themselves, Roofstock allows people to buy already vetted homes with existing tenants at fractional shares. Beasley provides a lot of information on their typical user: mostly 25–35 year olds who are purchasing shares of a $100,000-$300,000 home in a city in which they don’t reside. [August 12, 2020–57 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Google | Website Link
Alternative Investing
  • Village Global’s Venture Stories: Everything You Need To Know About SPACs with Anuj Abrol. Abrol is the founder of Witty Wealth and formerly Chief of Staff at Atrium. He does a great job providing information about SPAC’s — what they are, their strength and weaknesses, and why they are becoming more popular. He thinks SPACs benefit retail investors because they get access to private firms that VC’s and PEG’s are only able to invest in now. However, SPACs can still be risky since they’re very incentivized to buy a company even if it isn’t a profitable deal since they receive 20%. [August 11, 2020–54 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Google | Website Link
  • Lindzanity with Howard Lindzon: Billy Libby of Upper90 on Structured Financing — Panic with friends. Upper90 is taking a different form of providing capital to startups — instead of taking equity and diluting the founders’ ownership, it provides venture debt to firms who have predictable cash flows. Their thesis is too many firms are taking on investments and diluting themselves, and instead could utilize credit facilities. Upper90 has typically grown along with companies they invest in (the larger the facility needed, the more they will provide as long as the company has demonstrated remains a good credit risk). He talks about the company they have funded the most to date, Thorasio, which essentially rolls up Amazon FBA businesses (listen to that founder on this podcast). [August 9, 2020–56 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Google | Website Link
The Rest
  • ***Must Listen*** The Knowledge Project: #89 Maria Konnikova: Less Certainty, More Inquiry. This is a great episode (author David Epstein said so too) with Maria Konnikova, author of The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win. The episode starts a little slow with her story on what led her to start playing poker later in life after never playing a hand, but there are so many incredible takeaways afterwards. She talks about what makes a great coach, the importance of separating process from outcome, and honing your individual decision-making processes. She also touches on the idea of tilt and recognizing when you’re feeling an emotion that may be impacting your decision-making. [August 4, 2020–1 hour, 37 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Google | Website Link

I think what people need to understand about tilt and about emotion is that there’s nothing universal about how we react to things. So emotions are universal, but what triggers emotions, that’s very specific to a person.

  • Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris: #272: The Secrets of Gritty People | Angela Duckworth. Duckworth is a psychologist who deemed the term ‘grit’ that is ever-so popular today. She talks about the common misconceptions about grit and gritty people, the importance of rest along the way to your long-term goal, the relationship between grit and resilience, and where grit lies in times like today as we are going through a tough period. She frames the idea with her life, as she tragically just lost her father to COVID-19. [August 10, 2020–54 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Breaker | Overcast | Google | Website Link

I define grit as the combination of passion and perseverance for really long-term goals.


Chris Bloomstram (CIO, Semper Augustus Investments Group):

  1. American’s Great Depression by Murray N. Rothbard

Bruce Pearl (Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Auburn University):

  1. Success is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life by Rick Pitino

Shaan Puri (Special Projects, Twitch):

  1. Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling by Matthew Dicks

Mark Lutter (Director, Charter City Institute):

  1. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu


Good investing,

Meb Faber