Chris Sacca on Shark Tank, Building Your Business, and Startup Mistakes


Chris Sacca

“Mullet wigs change everything.” Chris Sacca

Sometimes one interview just isn’t enough. That was certainly the case with my good friend, Chris Sacca. Chris (who I interviewed before) was recently the cover story of the Midas Issue of Forbes magazine. He was on the cover because he’s a newly minted billionaire and the proprietor of what will likely be the most successful venture capital fund in history: LOWERCASE Capital.

He’s an early-stage investor in companies like Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Kickstarter, and many more.

Also, he wears cowboy shirts, has a great beard, and is hilarious, which is reason enough to bring him back for more. In this episode, he answers all of your most pressing questions based on your votes and feedback. You’ll find some fantastic responses, ranging from life advice to business recommendations and everything in between.


Want to hear another episode with an entrepreneur on Shark Tank? — Listen to my conversation with Daymond John. In this special episode, Daymond asks me the questions that can help you turn any weakness into a strength (stream below or right-click here to download):

This episode is brought to you by Foodist Kitchen. Sometimes the most life-changing habits are the ones we put off, and learning to cook is at the top of that list. I only finally took the plunge when writing The 4-Hour Chef, and it turned my eating and my life into high definition. Foodist Kitchen is a 30-day program that teaches you how to cook without recipes, and I highly recommend it. Chopping and sautéing are just a small part of the whole deal — you also need to know what flavors taste good together and what it means to cook until done.

Foodist Kitchen brings all these skills together so you can walk into the kitchen, open the fridge, and have an intuitive sense of what to cook and how to do it. It was created by Darya Rose, who’s a friend of mine and one of my cooking mentors for The 4-Hour Chef. She has offered a $15 discount off your membership, so check out to learn more about the program.

This episode is also brought to you by Exo Protein. These guys are making protein bars using cricket protein powder. Before you look disgusted, I bet they taste better than any protein bar you’ve ever had before! With recipes that were developed by a three-Michelin-star chef, the bars are paleo-friendly, with no gluten, no grains, no soy, no dairy, and they won’t spike your glycemic response. In fact, they’re less processed than any other protein bars you’ll be able to find.

Exo Protein is offering a deep discount to Tim Ferriss Show listeners — if you go to today, you can try a sampler pack with all of the most popular flavors for less than $10. This is a startup with limited inventory that sells out all the time, so act fast!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you could team up with any entrepreneur to help your business grow (like on Shark Tank), who would it be and why? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

Periscope | Twitter | Instagram

Show Notes

  • Suggestions for Chris Sacca’s DJ handle? [04:20]
  • Finding and hiring a good technical co-founder vs. exporting to a mobile web development company to retain equity [05:19]
  • Chris’s commencement speech message [07:02]
  • What are the keys to success for an amazing disco night? [08:28]
  • What are situations where startups should not take investor money? [10:29]
  • Which person would Chris like Tim to interview? [12:09]
  • What’s Chris’s best advice for getting down to business when it’s getting tough? [14:07]
  • Are you on offense or defense? [17:23]
  • If Chris could move his family anywhere and start fresh, where would it be? [18:22]
  • How does Chris envision the impact of rapid technological advancement on the future of humanity? [22:01]
  • Is Walmart good or evil? [25:34]
  • Is society headed toward utopia or dystopia? [27:28]
  • Why does Chris think cultivating an empathetic perspective toward business is important? [30:31]
  • Is education the answer to the world’s problems? [32:50]
  • If Chris were to start his own school, what would be its focus? [34:30]
  • What real-world, transferable lessons has Chris learned from Ironman triathlons and other feats of strength? [35:28]
  • Is Chris more inclined to invest in a proven entrepreneur or a first-timer with experience relevant to their field? [36:54]
  • How can venture capitalists bring more diversity to their firms and portfolios? [38:27]
  • What’s the best way to learn and improve in a startup environment? [43:46]
  • Does Chris foresee a time when he’ll be bored with investing? [44:19]
  • How to schedule a vitally important meeting to interact with Chris during his Shark Tank appearance. [49:09]

People Mentioned

Posted on: January 15, 2016.

The Tim Ferriss Show is generally the #1 business podcast on iTunes, and it was selected for iTunes' "Best of 2015." Each episode deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. If you want to 10x your productivity, click here.

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48 comments on “Chris Sacca on Shark Tank, Building Your Business, and Startup Mistakes

  1. Hey Tim I am big fan of yours and you have been someone I look really forward to. I work in video games and listen to your podcast during my morning workout and it’s great. I also follow many other artist 2d/3D talking about our artistic journey to perfecting our artistic craft. I know that at some point you wanted to be a comic book artist so I think this guy would bring your interest and be a perfect addition to your podcast if you get reach out to him and ask him your questions.Plus this guy works at blizzard and ended up designing a real mech robot for south korea how crazy that story must be…

    This podcast will show what I am talking about:

    Vitaly bulgarov you can find him over here:

    The South Korea mech post:



    Liked by 1 person

  2. so thrilled to listen to two intelligent minds. A Treat for this weekend first Eric Weinstein and now Chris Sacca, would listen these again and again during weekend


  3. Really enjoyable in-between-isode. Both funny and filled with provoking commentary and questions. I think that panel to interview Tim should include Chris, Tony Robbins, Derek Sivers and…God.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d pick an entrepreneur who started from nothing. I really enjoyed the episode with daymond John because I myself am running a business, but am cash-poor and time rich. It’s inspiring to see how people such as yourself and Daymond were able to build empires, not because of access to millions in seed money, but because you had the drive and will to win.


  5. After driving for Uber for a month I had a epiphany about creating some type of must-have, ‘ultimate tips & tricks for uber drivers’ style content to offer up to the 100’s of thousands (Im sure its millions in total) of new uber drivers out there as their driver base not only continues to rapidly expand worldwide with every given day, but also constantly churns out new drivers every few weeks from it’s existing base as the vast majority quit in frustration after only a few weeks when their actual income fails to live up to their expectations, and there’s always 2 more behind them looking to give it a try for every current driver that gives it up. Seems like the ultimate marketing opportunity to exploit, given the complete lack of significant content currently available on the subject, which is crazy when the first thing every new & frustrated uber driver out there does (at least before giving it up) is to frantically google for any advice they can find on the subject. Having zero experience in either creating said type of self-help style content or in deciding upon the most efficent mannor by which to monetize it myself, you seemed like the ultimate person to ask for advice in this situation. I’m aware the liklihood of you having the time and/or inclination to personally respond is far less likely to happen than publicly outlining what seems to be a fairly sure-fire opportunity for the first person to take advantage of this market’s unquenched thirst for any possible edge they can find is to result in someone else just picking up said idea off this thread & beating me to the punch… But given that I’m most likely not going to end up following through on the idea myself barring a little outside advice from someone like yourself to help me narrow down the focus (should it be a printed mini-guide in an uber for dummies-esque format or a pdf to download online for a small fee, or a website w/a small but recurring membership fee? Or a free blog that generates it’s income through advertisements dependant on the volume of traffic to the site?… I have no idea which medium for dispencing said content to focus on, and said lack of focus will probably prevent me from ever taking the first steps in actually doing something with this concept before the window of opportunity slips by and/or I simply forget about the idea alltogether…). If you did read this and find the few seconds to respond (even if its one sentence explaining why you dont think this concept would even be worth pursuing in practice), I would be incredibly grateful. Thanks.


    • Hey all. I’m Adrian with Poland, i read 4 h weekwork three months ago. This book very influance on the my life. I would like thank Tim per work i sacerfice
      i’m sorry to my language but i have just learned


  6. Tim, no doubt you get a ton of these requests – I have a licensing deal, and wanted to run it by you/partner with you; involves a completely untapped food/protein product category, which, if I tried to enter myself, the big boys would immediately copy what I’m doing, which is why I’m thinking licensing to them. I wouldn’t be offering this up to you if I didn’t think this was a worthwhile endeavor….. can we talk?! or 603 726 0221
    Yours with a penchant for monkey business, Richard🙂


  7. Chris is an interesting guy, but man, I wish he would give his bleeding heart a rest once and a while. Also, with his mountain of Twitter stock, I would bet he’s no longer close to tres commas.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love listening to smart people. Just love it! Thank you for this Tim!
    So agree with every point.
    Living around the world is the best school.
    We learn to use tech much earlier than we truly learn to use our biology.
    So on about the Tim’s fridge, although I’m the same in my own way. – Made me laugh really hard.

    Schools. Modern education is so totally useless. Doesn’t teach basic “happy healthy life” skills. What about having an open mind? Curiosity? Love for exploration? Experiment? Bringing value? Making the world better? Solving real problems that do NOT have the answer yet? Thinking and analysis skills?

    Loved the podcast! Absolutely loved it!


  9. Chris,

    Thanks for the honest conversation. You speak from the heart.

    You radiate so much empathy and insight. You’re a highly intellectual human being with a MASSIVE heart. Congrats on your 3 beautiful kids.

    My favorite topic –
    • Why does Chris think cultivating an empathetic perspective toward business is important? [30:31]

    Investor Chris Sacca joins “Shark Tank” – USA Today


  10. So nice to hear someone with real influence who understands the importance and societal benefits of tackling leadership inequality – A genuinely thoughtful and intelligent commentary (helped by some brilliant questions).

    Really enjoyed this, thanks Chris and Tim

    p.s. Now what are we going to do about it?!


  11. Hi Tim,

    Thank you for the amazing podcasts and fourhourworkweek. I am really happy that I read your book and listened to your podcasts at a young age.

    I have quit my job last week to get the remote control of my life and enter the NR. I live in India where the life moves at a really past phase and I am glad that I could quit that race and be something that can value the world.

    And thanks to Chris. Best part : “Happy students with capital ‘H’ should be the mission of youth schools.”

    I am starting free high quality education in India and iterating on ways to solve this problem. I would love to hear from you.

    Thanks again,


  12. Chris Sacca episode- rocked my world in the best way possible -listened to it twice back to back already … I could echo so much said …it is an episode that I now consider a true gift for all my friends …Tim, thank you and your guests for keeping me ‘awake, accountable, humble and grateful’ fueled by true zeal for life… Wishing you all the best


  13. I’ll probably sound like a “fan girl” but I would team up with you Tim. I think you’d help our biz tremendously. Also if you ever want to do a “sponsored by” with Pete and I, we’d love it. We are launching a new line TODAY in SF at the Fancy Food Show that’s certified paleo, whole30 approved and damn delicious.
    Thanks for always inspiring me. My hubs and I are living the 4 hour body and loving it.



  14. Hi Tim, you asked who I would team up with (although knowing that my answer is like a letter being addressed to Santa )- a bit of a background-
    * I support parents of children with additional learning needs (ALN), promote and advocate for more inclusive education/society in Dubai, UAE. Being a one man (well women) band I run Include ME UAE FB page – posting daily (clearly I sleep little), and in the process of creating web page that should be like a live library storing great variety of resources for parents and educators supporting children with ALN that are science based and continuously expended and updated; dream is to become a platform for collaboration/meeting point for all who have impact on lives of children with ALN. Hope is to encourage inclusive education in local (Dubai, UAE) educational system that is at the moment openly selective and competitive, in which children with additional needs are not even offered places in local private overcharged (no public here) schools (I personally had to change four schools to place my daughter)…
    **Why am I so passionate about this – because I believe firmly- It is a Human Right of all children to an equatable education, to belong to their local communities and feel/be accepted like a valued member of the community.
    ***I would team up with companies that are creating better ‘in-the-classroom’ technologies for ALN children so I could add to their pool of ideas and expend their understanding of different channels of communication through which children can learn; brainstorm with programers on how to polish, upgrade and implement Universal Design for Learning in all schools for the benefit of all students; learn from marketers how to better design campaign, message and promote value of Inclusion in education and society… I do all this completely from my heart (because I am a (over-read on the topic) parent of a child with ALN and feel, to a good degree, qualified- Ms in Psychology) – non-profit and self-financed … So if Santa is listening – I wish I could be though/mentored on how to make my work/actions more impactful and meaningful… My apologies for not having any specific names of the companies- clearly my answer contributed zero to your discussion … Wishing you all the best, Milica


  15. Chris, the educational system you were describing and either looking for or looking to create to a very large degree already exists:

    I’ve seen several of their schools. My daughter went to one for six years. The students are very happy to be there and damn close to fully engaged. The grads are doers, real producers.

    One of the first things they do is teach the kids HOW TO learn. Not really taught anywhere. Then they move through all materials at their own pace. For their entire education.

    Understanding and application are far more than buzzwords in these schools.

    Leave any pre-conceived ideas at the door and this school will not disappoint.

    (Many tutors throughout the world also use the tech that these schools use)


  16. 2 questions Timmy
    1. Why do you prompt Wealthfront when Anthony Robbins already provided a service- Hightower- which is designed to help people that usually cant afford to access that kind of help. Just seems sad you didnt go down the more altruistic route of promoting Hightower instead of the rich banker fat cat one
    2. The psyilocibin research. Why? The worl doesnt need more drugs! Depressed people dont need just another chemical elixir to choose from! This one is obviously so exotic and tantalising- i think thats a problem. Wim Hof said breath will cure depression. Why arent you funding research into that? Imagine getting all depressed people to breath! Its free, available, universal, cant be licensed. Spend money on the compliance and education aspects.
    Instead you’re supporting research for a palliative cure external to the self. For something that has legal issues, availability issues, price issues, patent issues, side effect issues…the list goes on. And either it will get blocked by Big Pharma- or they’ll want to rip it off and own it in some abstracted isolated synthetic drug form. Are all the depressed people in India going to afford this drug? Or is only for upper middle class white american males that spend all day behind a computer and cant get an erection because they feel so hollow.
    I cant imagine a bigger red herring. This ‘chasing the silver bullet’ approach to ‘curing’ depression is a world class catastrophe and highly irresponsible.
    There are so many self care approaches, commencing with sunlight and hot meals, a very long list of things before one starts thinking of imposing upon the brain and energy body with chemical interventions. I thought you were a smarter guy than this. Some blind spots in this one, cuz.


    • Your description of psilocybin as an palliative external cure makes me think you do not know how psychostimulants work therapeutically.

      Luckily, Tim has done a number of excellent podcasts that (amongst other things) explore the topic. Check out
      – Sam Harriss
      – Martin Polenco + Dan Engle

      I think you will discover that the treatment form is quite the opposite of what you describe: the psychadelic experience is used to kickstart processes that, with proper guidance, can be translated to personal insights and growth.

      Being a psychologist, I agree that we should not expect “silver bullet” cures for mental disorders. However, given that the brain and thus our psychological state is undeniably affected by biochemical alterations, we may find great results from using drugs to kickstart and/or stimulate the therapeutic process.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. With the psychedelic drug thing
    It’s not teaching people tools
    It’s just teaching them a white man in a white coat gives a drug he got from another white man in a white coat that was made by another man or woman in a white coat
    And the drug makes everything better
    Like alcohol and valium and all the rest
    And you want to financially fund this.


  18. I’d want to team up with Marcus Lemonis. He works quickly and makes cohesive, yet simple plans that fulfill the dreams of the owner while ensuring job stability and opportunity for the employees. His no BS approach, combined with a complete understanding of human nature and business knowledge ultimately creates successful work environments that support American job evolution. Most importantly, he understands the absolute necessity to always do the right thing the right way, for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do.


  19. All the podcasts are pure gold for the most part. Can I recommend you tracking down. Bitcoin early adopter for a discussion? I would love to hear your line of questioning with a developer from such an interesting development/ movement/currency/commodity. Roger Ver is one name I could throw out there. Keep it up!


  20. It’s always good to hear Chris Sacca’s insights! I loved the first podcast with you and him, Tim. This one is great too.
    Your podcasts have been among my favorites since you started them. Keep it up, Tim!


  21. What a great Q&A. Chris seems like a very down to earth person. His ideas were also refreshing and unexpected from someone with such incredible wealth. I loved his comments on empathy and appreciated his thoughts and anecdotes on diversity in the valley. Thank you for the interview Chris and Tim and I would love to hear Tim interviewed panel-style!


  22. Tim – when I first started listening to this one, I wanted to stop in 3 min. Held on. Was amazing. The depth of Chris is awesome. Also looked up his graduation address, which is top class. Responding to Chris’ question – it would be great if some of these guys interview you as well. What touched me was how down to earth Chris is, and about being thankful for what we have.


  23. Good morning Tim ! I do not know how else to try to make a connection with Chris Sacca, so I’ll try through you. I have a product that I developed years ago that at this point would be perfect for the Uber Company. If you could somehow get me some sort of audience with Chris, I would very much appreciate it. I’m positive that he will be interested, I’m sure YOU will also be included in the end. Thank you so much for whatever you can do. Frank Carmona


  24. Sacca is BADASS.
    I listen to these while I run my startup coffee roasting company. I package coffee while I listen to these. These podcasts, particularly this one, has allowed me to 4x my coffee subscription box (not quite 10x like you guys) in less than a year. Aside from the tools and resources, the main thing it gives me is INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION to continue. you guys make it a “game” and I like that.

    so, ah,


    that’s what I meant to say.

    Marc Beauregard
    [Moderator: link removed]


  25. Hi TIM!
    What’s best place to create info-products, like software, that is affordable (cheap) for us mere mortals? Thanks!
    I am hoping to be able to have the job of my dreams. Run an online business but still have time for better things in life and travel for rest of my life. I have $100k of debts from poor stock decisions and had a malignant tumor (lucky i got it out while it was still tiny) scare few years back. So I am motivated to both earn a nice income for myself and enjoy my life.


  26. Some good tidbits BUT this guys white guilt was nauseating. How many times he mentioned his “white privilege” and how guilt ridden because he has money up the gazoo. Really don’t think most people walk around feeling guilty about their achievement or born into a particular race / ethnicity. Suffering just 70 years ago was unimaginable in Europe where most American are from. Please stop with the SJW shit.


    • Couldn’t agree more. It was nauseating to listen to. Silicon valley loves to push this liberal diversity agenda. What happened to meritocracy? Chris Sacca is basically saying we should hire/invest in more people from diverse backgrounds. Or put another way, we should hire/invest in people based on the color of their skin. Yeah..doesn’t sound so great when you put it like that, does it? We don’t need more women or blacks or whatever. We need the best people for the job.

      Here’s a tip Chris. Quit it with the white guilt and the virtue signalling. The world will be a better place for it.


  27. Was this the podcast where the app that helped you track, in a yes/no fashion whether you had accomplished something on that day? I think the example was, “had less than 2 drinks”…can anyone help me figure out which app that was mentioned?

    Thanks !


  28. Hi Tim, I am really enjoying the PodCasts, I am reading 4HWW – and love your sights and thoughts to different things. I am the leader of a school association for Entrepreneurship in Norway, and just wanted to say HI, and I hope your are planning a trip to Norway soon – As I do not think you have ever been here? It would be great! We could even do an event, as I am sure theres a lot of other Norwegians who would love to hear from you. Thanks for taking the taime to read this, I am sure there will be more!. L//Anna


  29. RE FORMAT. this podcast is a perfect example of WHY the TF interview format is 10000x more interesting and more engaging than listening to someone (regardless of how fascinating they are) drone on and on. =BORING. A TF podcast without Tim?!! no thanks.


  30. Completely agree with above startup mistakes.

    These are the most common startup mistakes which almost every startup founder is making. There are so many common startup mistakes but,

    1. Single Founder
    2. Launching too early
    3. Spending too much

    these 3 mistakes are very much common.

    If any startup has only a single founder then there would be more chances of getting failed because single person can’t be able to handle all the things.

    Having multiple founders help in finding different different solutions when we have any problem because different brains think differently and generate different ideas.

    Some people lauch their startups too early even when if they aren’t ready for it. So It is not good.

    And people also spend too much money after starting their startup in order to generate instant result which isn’t good. They must have to keep themself calm and should work hard.

    I am glad that you have listed all the major mistakes here. So Thanks for sharing it.😀