“I should be used as a mercenary, not a lifer.” – Tim Ferriss
In this episode, we have a change of pace…
Expa (@expa) is a startup studio. It was founded by Garrett Camp, who co-founded Uber. Every once in a blue moon, they put together a night of education. I was recently invited to participate as a speaker.
In this episode, we discuss the topic of startup design vs. lifestyle design.
As some of you know, I’ve been involved with various startups since 2007, including Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Duolingo, and other businesses that have grown to more than 100 million users or customers (full portfolio here).
On the other hand, I have written about lifestyle design many times over the years, and I’ve suggested that it can often replace traditional career planning. Lifestyle design focuses on the here and now.
How do we reconcile or combine these two different approaches to business?
Should you focus on building your “muse” and creating a cash-flow-driven business to fuel your ideal lifestyle (like this amazing family)? Or should you swing for the fences and bet it all on a equity-driven startup?
This podcast explores these topics — and many more — and aims to answer questions that I think are under-examined.
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Want to hear another podcast related to building a large audience from scratch? — Listen to this. In this episode, I explain how I did it and answer some of your most-asked questions (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Are you building a cash-flow business or a startup? What problems or questions do you currently face? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Learn more about Expa
- Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman
- Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson
- Getting Past No by William Ury
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
- Built to Sell by John Warrillow
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
- Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein
- Listen to interviews mentioned in this podcast:
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Small Giants by Bo Burlingham
- Learn more about Derek Sivers
Questions From the Interview
- How do you decide to invest in companies like Twitter and Uber? [8:06]
- Are we in a bubble? [16:31]
- Can you talk about your first business, BrainQUICKEN? [20:41]
- Can you talk a little about bootstrapped businesses vs. venture-backed businesses? [26:16]
- Are there examples of happy VC-backed founders? [29:16]
- What approaches have you seen that are successful in venture businesses, and do you actually work 4 hours a week? [30:46]
- Can you tell us about the distinction between a good CEO and a good founder? [36:16]
- How do you factor happiness into work ethic? [38:06]
- What are great examples of CEOs and founders who are killing it? [39:31]
- How has your understanding of neuroscience affected your writing? [43:36]
- Why prioritize wants vs. needs when starting a business? [47:46]
- Who are your favorite podcast guests and why? [49:26]
- Should a solo founder find a co-founder? [52:21]
- What have you changed your mind about in the last year or two? [55:16]
- Deconstructing “What next?“ in a lifestyle business, and the challenge of identifying “the one big problem.” [57:51]
- If you had to choose between being an investor, writer, or podcaster, which would it be? [1:03:16]