Jason Calacanis interviews Chris Sacca on This Week in Startups. It’s an amazing, 2-part episode full of straight talk about the current state of startups. There are many great stories and interesting nuggets of information sprinkled throughout. I’m still listening so I’ll update this post with my favorites sections but feel free to share your favorite bits in the comments below.
Three things that are in the “founder gene”
- Ev Williams doesn’t see that failure is a possibility. He’s like one of those free climbers they can climb a mountain without ropes but they never fear the consequences of a fall.
- Travis Kalanick (founder of Uber) is an unreasonably fast-moving person. Travis will show you the expansion plan and it makes me nervous.
- Kevin Systrom (co-founder of Instagram) is magnetic. Look into his eyes and there’s no doubt he’s going to succeed with his vision for his company.
20 mins into part one, Chris talks about how he dug himself out of a huge financial hole where he was millions in debt.
1 hour in Chris talks about his fund, Lowercase Capital, and how he has nearly $1B under management. His newest investments are in content production companies, a space he’s been watching closely for years and now thinks is ripe for investment. The capital costs of producing content have come down dramatically and you now have high production shows such as This Week in Startups and Leo LaPorte’s This Week in Tech that can be produced at a fraction of the cost of what they used to cost just a few years ago.
Chris managed Google’s $4.7B bid for wireless spectrum. Thanks to their participation, the FCC added the stipulation that the winner of the bid honor open device and open access. Chris reminds us that this is why Verizon LTE iPhones are unlocked.
At 1:50:15 Chris and Jason turn to talk about the sorry state of middle America and how it’s been impacted by politics. Chris refers to a post by Spark Capital VC Bijan Sabet and his post of what it was like to attend a private event with Barak Obama.