Michael Mayer – Pseudonymous Social Capital and Bottomless Coffee - [Invest Like the Best, EP.124]
Listen now
My guest this week is unique and so requires a short story. I met our guest Michael Mayer because of twitter. I followed and enjoyed one of several pseudonymous accounts that he maintains to experiment with ideas. His various accounts have wide followings. I think many of the best accounts on twitter are anonymous or pseudonymous, and I’ve always made a point to get to know the ones I like best. As it turns out, Michael was also an entrepreneur. He’d been building a new company and was raising a small amount of outside capital. I didn’t invest personally, in part because he raised it so quickly after I spoke with him. Ever since, I’ve gotten to know him better and followed his company, Bottomless, with interest. You know that I am always hyper transparent about any potential conflicts of interest, so it’s worth noting that while I am not an investor in this company, I expect to be at some point in the future. The topic of our conversation is both his social media activity and his company. I am a coffee fanatic, and the problem he is solving is one I live. I order a weekly bag of coffee beans, but I often have too much coffee or run out. Bottomless solves this by shipping you a simple scale which you keep wherever you store your coffee, connect to your Wi-Fi, and set your bag of coffee on. It automatically orders new coffee for you at the right time. Thus the name: Bottomless. If you like the conversation, check out bottomless.com  With this podcast, all I’m really trying to do is find, meet, and learn from interesting people. Michael certainly qualifies. I hope you enjoy this unique episode.   For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 2:06 - (First Question) – Why he writes under a pseudonym online 2:58 – Positive impacts of writing this way 3:45 – His background 5:02 – Habits he improved upon 7:03 – Where did his exploration into technology and start-ups come from             7:33 – Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions 10:32 – Elements of business that interest him most 13:26 – Building social capital vs the current state of education 17:06 – What information does he like to consume             18:17 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future             18:34 – Jerry Neumann blog Reaction Wheel | Podcast episode             18:39 – Kevin Simler’s blog  Melting Asphalt| Podcast Episode 21:01 – Why the current education system is busted 22:54 – Formation of his business 24:04 – Importance of making things legible 25:54 – On demand delivery vs subscription business models 30:16 – Early day in developing the scale for his business 33:50 – What he learned about coffee roasters 35:29 – thoughts on supplier power 36:17 – The customer relationship 39:50 – Best objections to his business 41:58 – Biggest operational/emotional challenges 42:56 – Best moment 44:39 – Time at Y combinator 46:28 – His unique co-founder story 49:47 – Marketing strategies and acquisition costs 51:37 – The idea of a commercial loop 53:27 – Discarded ideas, such as spaced repetition social networks 57:38 – Having a long-term plan vs reformatting a business into success 1:00:35 – What works on twitter based on his experience 1:03:09 – Most controversial opinion 1:05:59 – Kindest thing anyone has done   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick
More Episodes
This week I’m hosting an investor retreat and so thought it fitting to release this conversation with Priya Parker on the art of gathering. I’ve been interested in the topic of community and gathering for some time and along with the book The Art of Community, Priya’s book on the art of...
Published 05/21/19
This week’s conversation is about artificial intelligence and interplanetary travel. Its about content creation, thinking from first principles, and death progress units. Its about brain machine interfaces and why it is crucial that you be a chef and not a cook.  My guest is Tim Urban, along...
Published 05/14/19
My guest this week is Stephanie Cohen, who is the chief strategy officer for Goldman Sachs and a member of their management committee. Prior to her current role, she spent the majority of her career in the investment banking and M&A divisions at Goldman.  We discuss lessons learned from her...
Published 05/07/19