Prime Movers Lab
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Prime Movers Lab

Listen and Learn Vol. 3

My favorite podcast episodes from Q2 2021

Here’s my latest batch of podcast recommendations for your commute or summer road trip.

How I Built This: Diapers.com & Jet.com: Marc Lore

I found listening to Marc talk about building companies the equivalent of downing a double espresso — his passion for building huge, category-defining companies is infectious. He also has a unique view on fundraising, suggesting that companies should raise huge early rounds (i.e, $10mm+ Seed and $50mm+ Series A) to ensure that they can hire the very best people. It’s obviously not a fit for all startups but we did see how effective it can be with our co-investment with Marc in Archer.

‎The Tim Ferriss Show: Chip Wilson

I really enjoyed hearing Chip’s life journey leading up to him founding Lululemon. It was particularly interesting hearing his view on fostering the personal development of Lululemon’s employees. It’s something that we care about deeply at Prime Movers Lab and it was inspiring to hear how it can be applied to a company of their scale (10,000+ employees).

Starting Greatness: Christopher Lochhead

Christopher Lochhead is a legendary marketing thinker and proponent of the Category Design philosophy of marketing. The idea is that truly revolutionary companies should avoid the classic marketing tactic of developing their brand in reference to existing competitors and instead focus on defining a new category. In this context, the messaging is less about the benefits of your product vs the competition (e.g. Pepsi ads referencing Coke) and instead focuses on the problem the customer is dealing with. For example, Salesforce’s original marketing campaign had nothing to do with Salesforce’s features. Instead, it was an ideological campaign proselytizing the cloud over traditional software.

Here’s how he describes it in his words:

It’s one skill to compete for share in an existing market category. It’s a whole other skill to design, redesign or create the market category itself. And what I would posit to you is the most legendary entrepreneurs in history do not want their product, service or, frankly, even themselves to be compared to what came before. Marketing in its traditional definition, branding in its traditional definition, is by default a comparison game. Steve Jobs wanted everyone to be compared to him. Sara Blakely wanted everything that came after to be compared to her. They are a demarcation point. And there’s a distinction between capturing demand, which is what most people mean when they talk about marketing, and creating the demand. And that’s what the legends did. And that’s what category design is about.

Village Global’s Venture Stories: The 2020s, Economic Growth, and Deep Tech with Eli Dourado

Eli is an economist and senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. Previously he was the Head of Global Policy at our portfolio company, Boom Supersonic.

After listening to this episode, I think Eli might be a long-lost Prime Movers Lab team member. This conversation covers many of the topics that we care about here at Prime Movers Lab — longevity, atomically precise manufacturing, fusion, geothermal, space, supersonic travel, and more. I particularly liked his thought experiments around a future where inputs like energy are no longer scarce — what would we do, build, and create if we had effectively limitless and free clean energy?

‎The Tim Ferriss Show: #506: Balaji Srinivasan

Last but certainly not shortest is this incredible 3.5+ hour podcast between Balaji Srinivasan and Tim Ferriss. Balaji is an orthogonal thinker and there are countless insights to take away from this dense conversation on topics ranging from cryptocurrency, the media, drone warfare, India, the pseudonymous economy and more.

Bonus: The Black Pumas

In celebration of attending my first post-COVID concert earlier this week, I wanted to do a shoutout to local Austin band and Grammy nominee — The Black Pumas. Here’s their main single off of their debut eponymous album.

Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest in seed-stage companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation, and agriculture.

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