Mark Cuban is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Today we are focused on Mark's latest entrepreneurial endeavor, starting Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Company, the online pharmacy taking out the middlemen, meaning no price games and huge drug savings. As mentioned, Mark is also the proud owner of Dallas Mavericks, since his taking over they have competed in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2006 – and became NBA World Champions in 2011. Before Dallas Mavericks, Mark co-founded Broadcast.com – streaming audio over the internet. In just four short years, Broadcast.com (then Audionet) was sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion dollars. If that was not enough, Mark is also one of ABC’s “Sharks” on the hit show Shark Tank.
1.) Cost Plus Drugs: Origin
2.) Building the Team: Hiring
3.) Brand + Capital + Business Strategy:
4.) AMA with Mark Cuban:
Dannie Herzberg is a Partner @ Sequoia Capital and one of the great sales leaders of the last decade. Prior to entering the world of venture, Dannie spent 4 years at Slack as their Head of Enterprise Sales, there Dannie built & scaled the self-serve / SMB, mid-market, and enterprise sales orgs across the Americas as Slack grew from $100M - $1B in revenue. Before Slack, Dannie spent over 5 years at Hubspot building sales, opening an SF office, and then joining product to launch CRM & platform.
1.) How Dannie got her first job in sales at Hubspot through being a waitress in a Boston Diner? What were her biggest lessons from her 5 years scaling sales at Hubspot? How did Dannie's 4 years at Slack impact her operating and sales mindset today?
2.) The Playbook:
3.) The Hiring Process:
4.) Sales Onboarding:
Roger Ehrenberg is a Founding Partner @ IA Ventures, one of the most successful seed funds of the last decade with $475 million across their four funds. Previous investments include The Trade Desk, Datadog, Digital Ocean, Wise and Recorded Future. Most recently, Roger took a step away from the day-to-day running of the firm, since he started IA Sports Partners, investing in sports franchises and other sports-related assets. Last month, Roger, alongside his two sons, started Eberg Capital, an investment vehicle focused on web3, crypto, NFTs and next-gen infrastructure.
1.) How Roger made his way into the world of angel investing and venture having had a successful career on Wall St? How did seeing the booms and busts of the dot com and 2008 impact his investing mindset today? How does today compare to those times?
2.) The Investor Mindset:
3.) Investing Strategy:
Scott Sandell is the Managing General Partner of NEA, one of the leading firms of the last 3 decades with now close to $24Bn under management and a portfolio including Salesforce, Robinhood, Plaid, Databricks and more. As for Scott, since joining the firm in 1996 he has led investments in Salesforce.com, Tableau Software, WebEx and Workday and serves on the board of Robinhood, Cloudflare, Coursera and Divvy to name a few.
Rick Yang is a General Partner and Head of Consumer Investing @ NEA, since joining in 2007 he has led investments in the likes of Masterclass, Plaid, Robinhood and many more.
1.) How Rick came to meet Vlad, Robinhood Founder, for the first time? What impressed Rick most in that first meeting? How did the internal discussions proceed at NEA? Was it a unanimous decision to make the investment?
2.) The Market:
3.) The Traction:
4.) The Team:
Jonathan Neman is Co-Founder & CEO of Sweetgreen, the mission-driven restaurant brand that serves healthy food at scale. Alongside his co-founders, Jon has scaled Sweetgreen from one small restaurant to one of the US' leading food brands with over 5,000 employees, over 140 locations and $300M+ in revenue. If that was not enough, Jon is also an active board member of MeUndies.
1.) How Jon took the decision to leave his "dream job" as a consultant at Bain to start Sweetgreen? What did his Bain boss tell him that persuaded Jon it was the right decision to leave? How does Jon think about and advise people when it comes to choosing the safe vs the risky path?
2.) How Sweetgreen was not an Overnight Success:
3.) Brand + Capital + Business Strategy:
4.) Leading Through COVID:
Jon’s Favourite Book: Thinking, Fast and Slow: Daniel Kahneman
Anne Wojcicki is the Founder & CEO @ 23andme, offering DNA testing with the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown, personalized health insights, and more. To date, Anne has raised over $1BN for the company from the likes of Sequoia, GV, NEA and many more incredible names. Prior to founding 23andMe, Anne spent a decade on Wall Street investing in healthcare and felt frustrated by a system built around monetizing illness instead of incentivizing prevention. If that was not enough, Anne is also on the board of Cazoo and The Anne Wojcicki Foundation and is an active angel investor with investments in the likes of Embark and Maven Clinic.
1.) How Anne made her way from Wall St healthcare investing to founding one of the leading healthcare companies of the last decade in 23andme?
2.) Trust and Friendship:
Ali Partovi is the CEO @ Neo, a mentorship community and communal VC fund that announced their new $150M fund last year on the back of early hits from Fund I including Vanta and Kalshi. As an angel, Ali has made personal investments in Dropbox, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Convoy and many more. Prior to investing, Ali founded 2 companies, the first; LinkExchange which he sold to Microsoft for $265M in 1998 and the second, iLike which was acquired by Microsoft in 2009.
1.) How Ali made his way into the world of startups with the founding of his first company? How Ali made his way into angel investing and then starting and raising Neo, as a fund?
2.) How To Kill a $125M By Being Too Honest:
3.) The Meeting with Steve Jobs Did Not Go Well:
4.) U2, Airbnb and Google at Seed:
Ali’s Favourite Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Rob Schutz is Chief Growth Officer and Co-founder at Ro, the healthcare technology company building a patient-centric healthcare system. To date, Ro has raised over $870M with a last reported valuation of $5BN and under Rob’s growth leadership, Ro has become one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Prior to Ro, Rob was VP of Growth at Bark, the makers of BarkBox, and helped scale revenue from zero to $100 million. He also founded a Washington DC-based daily deals site that was acquired by kgbdeals in 2011.
1.) How Rob made his way into startups and growth through the world of daily deals? How that led to his leading growth for Bark and ultimately founding Ro? How did leading marketing for Bark impact his growth strategy today with Ro?
2.) What is "Growth" and When to Hire For It:
3.) How to Hire Growth Leader and Reps:
4.) How to Structure the Onboarding Process:
Frank Slootman currently serves as Chairman and CEO at Snowflake and has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive in the enterprise software industry. Prior to Snowflake, Frank served as CEO and President of ServiceNow taking the company from around $100M in revenue, through an IPO, to $1.4B. Before ServiceNow, Frank served as President of the Backup Recovery Systems Division at EMC following the acquisition of Data Domain Corporation/Data Domain, Inc., where he served as the CEO and President, leading the company through an IPO to its acquisition by EMC for $2.4B. You must check out Frank's book, Amp It Up. It can already be pre-ordered here.
1.) Narrow the Focus, Increase the Quality:
2.) When There is Doubt, There is No Doubt:
3.) Make The Good People Great:
4.) The Art of Leadership and Board Management:
Frank’s Favourite Book: Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favours the Brave, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
Devin Finzer is the Founder & CEO @ Opensea, the world's first and largest NFT marketplace allowing you to discover, collect, and sell extraordinary NFTs. To date, Devin has raised over $423M for the company with their last $300M round valuing Opensea at $13.3BN. Before changing the world of NFTs, Devin co-founded ClaimDog which was acquired by Credit Karma and before founding ClaimDog, Devin was an engineer at Pinterest. Do want to say, I always love Semil Shah's startup of the year, for 2021 it was Opensea, check out his piece here.
1.) How Devin made his way into the world of NFTs and came to found the first and largest NFT marketplace in the form of Opensea?
2.) The Scaling Story:
3.) The Next Decade of NFTs:
4.) The Future of NFT & Gaming:
Devin’s Favourite Book: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
Ralf Wenzel is the Founder & CEO @ JOKR, a global platform for instant retail delivery at a hyper-local scale serving both the US and LATAM. Ralf has raised over $260M for the company, most recently valuing it at $1.2BN. Prior to JOKR, Ralf spent 7 years as the Founder & CEO @ foodpanda, as well as, enjoying roles as Chief Strategy Officer @ Delivery Hero, Interim Chief Product and Experience Officer @ WeWork and even moving to the other side of the table as a Managing Partner with Softbank.
1.) What is the unit economic breakdown for quick commerce business models? What levers can be used to improve it over time?
2.) Comparing the US to LATAM:
3.) New Market Growth and Maturation:
4.) Business Model Expansions:
Mark Carney is Vice Chair of Brookfield Asset Management and Head of Transition Investing. Prior to Brookfield, Mark served as the Governor of the Bank of England from 2013 to 2020, and prior to that as Governor of the Bank of Canada from 2008 until 2013. Mark was also Chairman of the Financial Stability Board from 2011 to 2018. Mark is a long-time and well-known advocate for sustainability and is currently the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. If that was not enough, Mark serves on numerous other boards including Stripe, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum to name a few.
1.) How Mark made his entrance into the world of finance and came to the role of Governor of the Bank of Canada? How did that role lead to his becoming Governor of the Bank of England? How did seeing multiple booms and busts impact Mark's investing mindset?
2.) Governments, Central Banks and Regulation:
3.) The Winners and Losers:
4.) The Future of NFTs:
Mark’s Favourite Book: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO @ Whoop, the company on a mission to unlock human performance with their wearable device that is your digital fitness and health coach. To date, Will has raised over $400M for the company with the last round valuing Whoop at $3.6BN and with a cap table including the likes of Softbank, Accomplice, Founder Collective, Foundry Group, IVP and more.
1.) How Will went from being a professional athlete and college student to founding one of the hottest startups in fitness and healthcare? What are the similarities and differences of being an athlete and being a CEO?
2.) What does Will mean when he says, "there is value in the struggle early on"? How does Will advise founders on when to give up vs when to stay the course? If Will had not struggled with funding in the early days, would the Whoop journey be different? How does Will advise founders when it comes to taking funding when it is on the table? What are the nuances to this?
3.) In what way does Will believe "realism is overrated"? When does Will believe it is good to be realistic? In what ways can it be good to be idealistic? How did Will get some of the largest sports stars on the planet to use Whoop in the early days? Why did Will always refuse to pay sports stars to use Whoop? What were the benefits of doing this?
4.) How does Will define high performance? Why does Will believe it is crucial for leaders to disassociate their own personal feelings from the progress of their company? What advice does Will give to leaders in an attempt to do this? What has Will done to be a better CEO in the last year? What does Will believe are his biggest weaknesses as a CEO?
Will’s Favourite Book: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE