Bernard Moon (Accelerator Investing gone global)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Bernard Moon and I talk about:

  • What is the right amount of co-founders and how can you validate if a co-founder is a great fit? Is a seasoned entrepreneur or college drop-out the better choice?
  • How SparkLabs Global Ventures found success investing in companies in Asia (especially in South Korea and Australia).
  • Is attention more important than money as a startup?
  • What influence does religion have on entrepreneurship?
  • Are we in a simulation (and Bernard’s surprising answer!)
  • How to do Basic Research right.
  • and much more!

You can watch this episode on Youtube – The Judgment Call Podcast Episode #44 – Bernard Moon (Accelerator Investing gone global).

Bernard Moon is the co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Group, which is a network of accelerators and venture capital funds that has invested in over 300 companies across 6 continents since 2013.



Torsten Jacobi: The difficulty of finding the right cofounders and having cofounders in the first place and I think I’ve been going all over the place and from my own personal experience, I started out with a big founders team and we were inexperienced and squabbling all the time and we didn’t have a CEO so it was a mess. It was a hot mess. I felt often we were all bright individuals. It was very difficult for us to once we hit certain bumps in the road to figure out which way we should go and the investors didn’t help. The investors actually tried to sow the vision between us because they tried to get as many people as they could on their side so it was a tough time and then I went from this relatively large founder team to smaller and smaller teams and right now I’m running one just by myself as the sole founder. I feel in my personal progression that is something that I enjoy so I went from a team where I had very little control to one. I have all the control I want. Obviously I’m missing out on certain inputs so that’s hard for me to measure. Where do you stand on this? What’s your best scenario for bringing founders together? I know Sparklabs is really focused on the older stage. It’s really focused on accelerator programs so you likely have much younger founders. That would be my assumption. Where do you stand on that?

Bernard Moon: I think the literature and data is out there which we tend to agree with whether it’s even practices like Y Combinator or ours. We generally don’t accept solo founders. I think even various studies from MIT have shown that the success of a startup exponentially jumps from a solo founder to two. Maybe a little benefit for three but definitely plateaus after three and four. Before it gets a little dicey I think. If there’s a large team like that in terms of making decisions and dynamics. Ideally, especially I would say for teams that are in their 20s and 30s, I would personally feel more comfortable if there’s at least two cofounders. We have taken exceptions even within Sparklabs of backing solo founders if it’s a unique industry but definitely also if the entrepreneur is older and more seasoned. That’s where I think we give more leeway into that situation if they’re in their 40s and 50s. They have the built in network. They have the experiences and as long as they’re more self reflective, then I think that gives comfort in why we accepted some of the solo founder startups into our programs. Like I said generally, I mean it’s dicey because the data is out there where it shows that startup success increases with cofounders but also on the flip side at least what a third of found up failure is because of cofounder dynamics. It’s because people don’t get along and when crap hits the fan, shit hits the fan, people’s worst characters or true characters come out. I say startups more so than even from my own experience. Startups are same to even playing certain sports. I always used to say when I was younger, you don’t see a person’s true character come out until they play on the basketball court.

Torsten Jacobi: You have to take them driving. I think that would be my first test. I would drive with people and they would be in the driver’s seat and that would tell us something about their personality. But I think it’s so hard. I think one is the numbers and if I would be a VC, I would have the same hesitation about single founders because if you ever disagree with that person, there’s no backup plan. So all the knowledge is gone. You basically have to shut down an early stage startup unless it’s already has grown into a good amount of employees. So I totally share that from an investor’s perspective. I think personally it’s not necessarily so if you don’t go for a VC model. But on the other hand, how do you find these people? How do you test these cofounders? I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve tried all kinds of things. I find it incredibly difficult to come up with a good test scenario. So there’s people you wipe with personally and there’s these people where you feel you have a common connection. But they’re pretty psycho, right? So they have skills and they say that about Steve Jobs. They have great skills when they go out and sell stuff. But that’s actually something they can use within that relationship. You are in with another cofounder and they completely eliminate you if they want to. So it’s recognizing someone’s personality and then also figuring out if that personality is something you can work with for the long term and also anticipating all that crap you probably have to go through. I as a founder, I still think and I had Rob on and he said, well, he knows what to do now. He’s, he’s, you know, he had a bunch of startups. But I feel it’s for me, it’s still a crapshoot.

Bernard Moon: Well, I mean, the flip side is if you think about it and not saying anything about you, but you know, if a person isn’t able to find that cofounder, that’s also reflective of, you know, their own network or their own ability and flexibility to work with people, right? So a lot of success isn’t just about cofounder, but it’s actually about managing and working with the team that you build, right? And then if you, you know, you know, if you aren’t able to lead and convince and build consensus or all the other aspects, right, then that also brings, you know, question into, I would say, a solo founder’s ability to execute, right?

Torsten Jacobi: So I can totally see that scenario as well. When you go to financials, the financial industry, when you’re looking to hedge funds, they’re typically solo founders, they rarely call, they rarely are teams, right? And it is because it’s easier, it seems to get investors than to get cofounders you can really wide with for the next 30 years. So often these things, you know, they’re little hands off, but they run for much longer time.

Bernard Moon: Yeah, but even, you know, I mean, even like, you know, the long time VC, John Doar said, you know, you have to expect your cofounders, you know, to go into battle, right? They’re going to go into battle and war, and that’s what a starter is. And you have to know who’s in the trenches with you, right? So that’s, that is the hard part. And that’s why sometimes, you know, I would say that you really have to get to know a person before you do business with them. Like you said, I don’t think it’s just, you know, driving could be one test, but it’s really sort of seeing the worst of them and seeing whether you could work with them or not. How do you trigger this? Well, that is a difficult part. I mean, I would say I had two situations, even in my past, like my very first startup in, you know, in the late 90s, right? It was with actually my, it was with two cofounders I did my first two startups with. And then one of them, Jimmy, is my cofounder for Spark Labs, right? And Jimmy, we were friends with since our freshman year in college. And then he brought in his high school friend. And luckily it worked out because sometimes you say you don’t do startups with close friends, right? But we would battle it out even to the point of yelling and screaming at each other in meeting rooms, but we never took it personally, right? So I knew that I knew their character and I could, I could trust them on our second startup. We did bring one exec in that was great on paper, right? Like top schools, top consulting firm, you know, big tech had resume pedigree references actually even checked out too. But when shit hit the fan, right? He looked out for himself, right? Sure, when our startup was going well, but once it took a nose dive, you know, I would say true character comes out, right? So it is hard to test like somehow you could, you could try to hunt for that, but nothing’s for certain. I mean, now I’m more cautious even when we assess companies in terms of trying to check references. If the references are of course neutral, that’s a no brainer, right? That means that someone’s not willing to say this guy’s awesome or whatever and he’s being political, right? So that’s a red flag in itself. But how do you really find like the negatives? And that’s what you try to search for and find and prod and test. And I don’t do it often, but sometimes I’ll do role playing and be more aggressive in when I’m talking to the founders to sort of try to push buttons. And sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. I mean, luckily, I mean, luckily out of like the 300 plus startups we’ve done, we’ve only had maybe, you know, I would say less than 10 of conflicts among co founders and maybe only one really bad co founder that was like lying about everything. So we got lucky in that. But that situation, the one that was like a compulsive liar almost, I would say we, after that, we were we were diligent on checking for background.

Torsten Jacobi: I find this the crux and I had Daniel Groson, he runs his accelerator, which is completely virtual, right? He never gets to see the team, at least not by default. It can’t happen. And they do online events. They do just real world events, offline events, but generally it’s online. And he was putting quite a bit of effort into the big five and personality traits that that give you a predictive model of people’s success, startup success, but also the way founder teams should be structured. And unfortunately, it doesn’t have a lot of predictive data. So that you can run a lot of numbers, but it’s not very predictive. That’s kind of the bad news there. And I guess people change so much and things they’re able to adopt, right? They’re able to adopt their personal survival strategies. Do you think there’s something to it? Do you think you can use metrics to improve this? Or we just don’t know enough about how the mind actually works.

Bernard Moon: Yeah, I mean, I worked at a family office that, you know, we did a battery of tests, right, in terms of personality, intuitive, analytical thinking. But I think in a regular working environment, it can work, right? Like I said, people, some on paper, especially like firms at McKinsey, they’re big on like what they call cursey temperament, which is essentially the Myers Brig in another form, right? Yeah, that’s the precursor of the five. Yeah, so they, you know, there’s different firms that use that. And I think it can work in a corporate setting. But I don’t think so in a startup setting, because that’s where you get outliers, outliers of emotion, outliers of situation. Like I said, you go through big swings, ups and downs, like big wins, big failures, right? And then that’s when, you know, as I mentioned before, the worst of a person’s character comes out, right? And it depends on how they behave and also, you know, how the team reacts. And it’s really hard to assess that on these different assessment, personality assessment tests. Because it doesn’t get the, you know, it’s not even called, I want to say it’s even outlier situations. It’s just more, you know, the more harsher situations of the reality of startup life.

Torsten Jacobi: Yeah. Yeah, and I guess you also you also need a particular kind of people, right? So they, it’s harder, the sample size is just different than when you compare it to general psychology. Give me an idea though about Spark Labs. So you did two things from what I gather. One is that you have your own VC fund with external investors and you do your own investments, but also you run accelerators all over the globe. And you do this from what I can gather and correct me if that’s wrong on your own account to invest in startups, but also you do this for other companies like Mercedes Bands, for instance, right?

Bernard Moon: No, our core for the accelerators, they’re actually structured like VC funds, for the most part. They’re just smaller. You know, you know, they could go up to like 10, 15 million. We invest in these companies. So we define accelerator, there’s incubators that are more sort of, I would say mom and pop ish helping out people with business plans, providing space. We are like the YC model, right? YC initially started out as investing, you know, 20,000 for up to six or 7%. Right? So we do the same. And, you know, YC now is 120,000 for six, seven percent. We invest 100K for up to 6%. So it’s investment model driven there. And we have done some corporate accelerators and programs. So the Mercedes one is actually more of a program that we did with them. So overall, those spark labs on the accelerator side, we’re I would say ROI driven, right? We’re investing these companies. And we have LPs for each one. And then we, you know, we nurture them. It is a structured program, whether it’s four months or six months. And then we, you know, like any firm, we actually continue to keep in touch with all the accelerator graduates and they come to us and they still bother us for their subsequent rounds and stages for help.

Torsten Jacobi: Yeah. So you have, you run all these programs in parallel. So there’s one where you said it’s 25,000. There’s one for 100,000. And I guess there’s a fund.

Bernard Moon: Yeah. I mean, we have separate teams running them. So we found a cookie cutter sort of approach where when we first launched spark labs, Korea, December 2012, we found success. I mean, Korea is a very competitive market. There was already, you know, 20 plus accelerators within that market. But I would say in two years by, you know, early, mid 2015, we started getting, you know, almost first look at a lot of the hot startups at the seed stage. And we decided to replicate that model. And then, you know, we launched in Taipei and AgTech, FruTech Focus Accelerator in Australia. And we just found the right people, basically gave them our playbook, helped them with the network, and then also sort of show them how we look at companies and assessing startups. And we found success. I mean, we found it on the marketing and branding side where we built up spark labs, Korea, now it hosts, you know, the largest startup demo day in the world, right? 3,000 people attend these half day events twice a year. Taiwan has also grown to the largest startup demo day in Taiwan. You know, this past November, we just, they just hosted a thousand in person demo day in Taipei. And Australia too, I’d say within two years, they also became the leading accelerator in Australia. And they host a demo day of like 500 people. But it’s not just the optics of it, it’s performance. I mean, it’s not to solicit investment at all. But, you know, like some of our funds like Korea, the early ones, ROI is up like almost 1200%. Another one is also our second funds up like 700%. So we do well in terms of obviously the positioning, we’re able to generate the deal flow, but we’re also able to select the winners. So we’ve just executed well on that side.

Torsten Jacobi: And when you do these investments, the startups typically go through all these stages. So they come in, you know, with the 25,000 of small investment, go to 100,000. And then you do a follow up investing. At one stage, and I saw in your presentations, you invested in about 300 different startups. But those are, they’re all of all stages together. Well, what is kind of the majority of this? Are most of them $20,000 bets?

Bernard Moon: No, that was early. Now it’s, we put 100,000, most of them on the accelerator side. Majority are the accelerator companies. And those companies range now, you know, sort of similar to how YC matured, right? So we have a mix in each batch now. It’s, we try to mix it up where there’s some bootstrap, but a fair amount of companies that already raised capital, you know, whether it’s half million, up to 5 million actually now apply to our accelerators. And so most of them, they actually don’t need capital from us, right? They don’t need our 100,000 if they’ve already raised like 2, 3 million. They just want access to the Spark Labs network, or maybe to work with a specific partner. So that’s where we’ve built our reputation where, you know, we’ve become the leading accelerator in, you know, in Asia, clearly, where people apply to our different programs because they want our help to accelerate their business, right? So again, it’s not about capital anymore. And I think that’s where, you know, we found that, and our thesis is that most of these markets and ecosystems, whether a geography or a vertical, there really is only room for the top two or three accelerators. I do think in the long term, they’ll be accelerator shakeout because it is about, you know, capturing the deal flow and reputation and performance, unless you’re obviously a more, you know, economic development project or supported by the government.

Torsten Jacobi: Yeah. Well, it seems there is an early stage bubble right now, right? There seems to be a lot of interest into early stage, but because the valuation seemed or the amount of money and it requires a relatively low. So it seemed to be relatively easy to pull off for someone who already was interested in angel investing and to bring in other LPs for a mini fund. So it seems a lot of people are interested, you know, I feel the early stage investing now, which is often the form of an accelerator is kind of the angel investing of 15 years ago. So a lot of people are gravitating towards because of the success of the model. And I think it’s definitely showing its success too. I’m definitely newbie to the accelerator model. So I don’t actually know enough how founders assess the value that’s being created by the accelerator. And I think it will eventually shake out itself, as you say, and I agree with you into whatever the internet does, right? So you find a relatively small number of competitors where 80, 90% of the market share is with the leading company. And it seems like you already mentioned that the benefit that founders see moves away from capital and goes more towards attention, right? So it’s marketing, it’s a stamp of approval, it’s their way to get on to the next round. And I always wonder, will we really see like an accelerator, maybe they’re already out there, that is basically not even offering any funding, but just offers a blueprint for entrepreneurship, probably a new business plan, as you say, that a lot of help to be done. But in the end only gives you attention, right? It has an influencer network, maybe it has a huge marketing network, you can plug into. Sometimes I feel for a lot of startups, and then probably depends if you go consumer, if you go for B2B. My attention is much more difficult to get than money?

Bernard Moon: Yeah, I mean, I think in the past years, I don’t know how strong the attempts were, but there have been attempts to provide that programming, right, and connectivity without the capital, right? But I don’t think those programs are successful. And I do think it has to do with just the concept of money, right? Money sort of binds the two entities together, whether it’s like Y Combinator, to all their participants, right? And kudos to Y Combinator, I mean, I think they’re what, 16 or 17 years in. If anything, their influence has grown, right? And just to be totally blunt, I mean, we’re only eight, we’re a young firm, we’re eight years in. But I remember when I first heard of YC, when they’re asking, you know, whatever, 6% for 20,000. I was talking with my co founder, Jimmy, at that time, we’re like, man, who would get 6% for 20,000? Like, we did our first startup on like, our savings and credit cards, we were like, man, I’d rather just get two credit cards and max it out. We’re joking about that.

It sounds, it never appealed to me, right? It sounds, it sounds crazy to his initial equation, to be honest. It was something where I felt a lot like you. It’s like, I don’t, I mean, there is certainly the follow up investment run, but I never understood the YC model. Maybe I never understood the accelerator model. Maybe that’s my problem. Well, well, that’s a thing. The funny thing is now, obviously, we’re drinking a Kool Aid, right? Yeah, you’ve been going through this process. So I’m curious where your change of heart comes from? Well, when we launched it, at first, you know, we, you know, we were flexible in our terms, right? But as we understood the value that we provided, right, and it’s not just whatever, you know, selling something right now, it’s, you know, we did provide actual value to the companies. And then there was the network that grew and the brand and reputation. So that’s why we also became more stringent on our terms. And, you know, we would, you know, ask for that up to 6% for 100, 100, 100,000 investment. And we did find that it is the money that binds. So, you know, I don’t think there will be a movement towards like doing these programs without sort of that money transaction, right? Regardless of whether they need the capital or not, it does bind them to the program or binds them to us, right? And from there, obviously, if you execute well, right, and the entrepreneurs like you, they become your best evangelists, right? And they say, which a lot of companies have done now, you know, example is one company, they actually raised 2.5 million before entering our program. And afterwards, I would say they, they loved it. So they referred another entrepreneur that also raised close to the same amount and said, Hey, you have to do spark labs, right? Because they actually really help you out in this, in this manner. Yeah. Well, one thing I noticed, and I think this is, this is maybe, it’s kind of an accident. I noted AWS is very generous with startup credits, right? So there is an accelerator program, there is different stages, and you probably know better. But in one of those, you get up to, I think, $500,000 of free AWS credits. But only if you go through an accelerator program, I think that’s incredibly generous. And of course, that’s, that’s kind of like an investment right there, right? Because for a lot of startups, server costs is probably the biggest expense of the payroll. Yeah, I mean, there’s so many now in the ecosystem. I mean, if you add it up, even like, not just AWS credits, but all these software credits, I mean, that’s how the big tech companies get leads, right? So we added up like some of our programs, they have like credits for like over a million on various services. So it’s not, now it’s become such a commodity. I don’t think startups look at that. I mean, unless you’re completely outside server costs, right? You know, they do really look at the program elements, you know, what, what they’re known for, they look at obviously the metrics afterwards. And that’s why, you know, sort of what, you know, whatever you think of them, like Y Combinator is the global leader. And if anything, their influence just has grown, right? When you look back at Y Combinator, certainly in inspiration, I guess, for your current company, what do you feel was really the ingredient for the success there? Did they just happen to an opportunity they didn’t know much about and it just took off? What was the some hidden genius that they brought to the forefront? I think I mean, Paul Graham definitely had foresight into creating the program, right? And I think one of the best moves is that he moved from Boston to Silicon Valley and really brought it there. And then he just tapped into, you know, and built that network that surrounded YC. And he did it very well in terms of the graduates that went through the program, and then sort of creating that ecosystem, right? And it just only continually sort of grew, and he created the feeding frenzy that it was on their demo days. You know, he capped, initials capped at what, three or four hundred attendees, right, of just investors. And we take a different approach, though, because we’re in these more, I would say, less mature markets in Silicon Valley. So that’s why our demo day, we open it up, right? Because we want to create excitement and interest in startups and the ecosystem. So that’s why in South Korea, even there was, I would say, one of the more mature ecosystems in the world globally, it’s still nowhere close to Silicon Valley. So that’s why we grew it from like 200 to 500 to 1000 to 2000. And now, like, the most I attend was over 3000 people. And we definitely don’t inflate the numbers. It’s like, 3000 people come for this event from across the spectrum of the ecosystem. You know, we have 400 plus VCs, plus corporate, you know, corporate development execs, to entrepreneurs, to, you know, government officials, everything. Yeah, I’m curious about South Korea. I don’t know anything about it. I mean, I do know South Korea, but not the venture market in particular. And what do you feel is very different in South Korea? So we know we have this irrational exuberance of public markets currently in the US, everyone wants to go public and is able to go public. It seems a little bit of backing through the aspects. We have quite a bit of an IPO boom. Just before that, we had just moving valuations. And there’s a bunch of companies in the unicorns who seem to be completely outsized in their valuation in between. There seems to be kind of an empty zone. And then we have a bit of a bubble, we think, who knows, of early state startups and serious A rounds. Where is the Korean market right now? And where is most of the money coming from? Is that local money? Is that money from China? Is it American money? Yeah, so Korea, I mean, background is that, you know, it’s, you know, a country of 50 million. And I would say, interesting, even since the 90s, it’s sort of outsized in terms of its consumer consumption, right? So it’s the sixth largest ecommerce market in the world, right? It’s fourth or fifth largest, depending on the metrics. So for luxury goods, so a lot of these markets, you know, even though it’s 11th or I think 12th largest economy in the world, it’s like top, top 10. And so from this, you’re able to create multi billion dollar tech unicorns since the 90s. And innovation has been occurring. I’m not sure if you’ve seen like, like Bloomberg does their innovation index, like Korea has been number one, like something like, I forgot, seven out of the past nine years. Yes, of course. I mean, these stats, and I mean, I’ve been to South Korea like a thousand times. So I am pretty familiar with all those. I don’t speak any Korean, but you know, I can say a few words. I don’t need it. But, but I, I did the Korea itself as an economy seems an amazing success story. But do I was never aware and because that’s my ignorance, what the venture market is like there, it seemed to be a backboarder, but seemingly it’s the opposite. Yeah, like I said, so, you know, since even the 90s, there, you know, mid 90s, 95, 96, Nexon was created. That’s a, the leading gaming company in South Korea. It’s a $20 billion market cap. Naver or NHN occurred, which is a leading internet portal. They’re actually the creators of line, which is a chat app. That’s number one in Japan and Taiwan and other Asian countries. And then the venture, that’s about the venture capital market or space. So Korea is a very healthy ecosystem at the seed and series A. There’s some gaps, I would say at the mid stage, but interestingly, interestingly enough, the mid stage market has been filled by top firms throughout the world. Like Sequoia Capital in the US is the one that led coupons series C around 100 million. So coupons are going to go public, you know, within the week, right? Subsequently, SoftBank, later SoftBank’s vision fund also invested in the coupon, like $2 billion recently. And even companies such as Cliner, firms such as Cliner, they also invested in a mid stage round for a FinTech play called TOS. Meeting firms in China also come into Korea, like Hill House, which is the largest hedge fund in China. They’ve been very active in the Korean venture market at the mid stage. And Singapore Sovereign Fund, GIC, they’ve been active to a lot of Japanese VC firms, you know, even though it’s already crowded in the early stage with Korean firms, they also seek out deals. And I spoke with one Japanese VC, they said they look at Korea more than Japan, because it’s more mature. Korea is under this amazing trajectory. And then when you look at the investments you’ve done with Sparklips Korea’s arm, what kind of technology in terms of startups or in terms of the way they are organized, what do you feel is quite a difference to the US? Assuming we know what the US kind of looks like right now, maybe things are changing so quickly on the ground in the US here as well. Maybe I’m just not aware of it. Well, I mean, in terms of just general sort of financing and valuation, when the US sort of, I guess, pops and goes up and down in terms of like this seed valuation, Korea sort of follows. Some of the valuations I think were a bit high in the Korean market at times. And then in terms of like different types of technologies, I mean, now Korea is maturing where you see a lot of different plays, right? Let’s say if you look at China for a while, it was a lot more consumer plays. But during that time, so a few years back, Korea was turning out not just consumer plays, but a lot of enterprise startups, whether it’s SaaS or AI or a lot of deep tech. Biotech Korea has always been strong on. So we’ve seen a lot of startups and innovation come out of that space, biotech and medical devices for the past like eight years since we were founded. Interesting trend is also the past three, three, four years. A lot of the founding teams that apply to our accelerator program, they’ve been older because they’re from biotech or deep tech plays. And you see these, you know, execs from Samsung or LG or other places come out to do their first startup. So I think the average age, I don’t have the latest data, but the average age in South Korea, first time entrepreneurs is trending like the US. So the US average age of first time entrepreneurs is like 40, 41, right? So you get obviously the 20… Oh, it’s that high. I wouldn’t guess like 30, early 30s. No, no, it’s 40, 41. There’s been several studies that have shown that it’s because obviously the consumer startups are done by, you know, usually 20 somethings, but these sort of quote unquote, I would say harder tech problems. There are people in their 40s and 50s. And so that’s the same thing we’ve seen in Korea now is it’s trending much older. So we have a lot of first time entrepreneurs that are in their 40s and 50s that come to us for funding or apply to our accelerator. Yeah. One thing that I’ve been debating back and forth here on the podcast is kind of this old idea. And I think it’s that there’s quite a bit of philosophy in there. When you think of the ideal entrepreneur you want to find and we can classify this into what kind of startup are you looking at? Would you lean towards someone who is literally the 18 year old drop out of college has an idea that seems to be taking off and is going viral already on YouTube? Or would you rather have the entrepreneur who’s very seasoned, right, who has the visitum who knows all the pitfalls and all over the industries? What do you think makes the better entrepreneur or is there no such thing as the best entrepreneur they all have their own place? Yeah, I don’t think I have that cookie cutter sort of framework at all, right, because as long as let’s say if it’s a consumer play, you know, ideally it would be someone in their 20s, right? Maybe not right out of college, but it could be around that age like mid 20s. Now, maybe a bit more mature, but if it’s someone like, you know, still in college but has some sense of maturity and self reflection, you know, that that’s someone that I would gravitate towards. And again, of course, it depends on the industry too that they’re trying to tackle, right, because it’s it’s not just about obviously age or even experience, it’s also about, you know, their sort of worldview, right, and how they think and process things and how they interact with people, right? The worst is if someone is, you know, regardless of age, if they’re, let’s say, too stubborn and unwilling to listen, right, that’s definitely a red flag for me personally. So Steve Jobs type? Yeah, yes. Yeah, so you would pass on Steve Jobs? Unless obviously their vision is incredible, right, and then you obviously have to sort of bite the bullet and deal with it, right? Yeah, exactly. But that’s, that’s so hard to figure out because, you know, what I think these grand rules make sense. Somebody wants to work with a real ass, right? I was talking to Jay Zhao about that. He said, you know, that’s just really difficult. But sometimes you have to so you can’t exclude those people either. So I think the secret source of finding that that product market fit and the founders fit, that seems to be, and we are not trillionaires. So we would have figured it out, we would all be trillionaires, we don’t have to worry about it anymore. It seems to be something that is a moving target, and nobody has a real good rule for this, right? So if you if you have something that scales up and is super popular in your Mark Zuckerberg, you probably have some social shortcomings, but nobody cares because your starter has a trillion users already. And if you if you are sitting on a pool where you have to sell more on an idea where that’s not the Isabella Coke that Stephanie hasn’t taken off yet, then you just have to be nicer. Is that kind of the bottom line? Yeah, and I also think that’s where the benefit of working in a team setting even on the VC side helps, right? Because someone like me, I’m pretty thick skinned, so I don’t get bothered by much, right? So, you know, if someone’s like a jerk, I’m, you know, I could deal with it, right? Or I’ll talk back to them and, you know, you know, sort of at least calm them down, right? Or, you know, what a couple of our seals, they’re horrible at communicating, right? You send them an email, they don’t reply for two, three weeks, right? And my partners, they get upset at it. So I’m like, I’ll just deal with it, right? Because I don’t really care. But on the flip side, there’s certain personality traits that maybe I don’t like, but my partner, Jimmy or Frank, you know, they might be able to deal with it better. So I think that’s where the benefit of working in a team even on the VC side helps, because you could deal with the different personalities, you know, within your portfolio. Well, I always felt, and I think this is still something I haven’t fully figured out as well, is there’s so much incentive of both sides to lie, right? So in the initial process, obviously the entrepreneurs want to make their startup to look extremely big. There’s so many ways they can lie, because you can only verify so many things. On the investor side, they want their influence or their future impact to overstate. I wouldn’t call it lying necessarily, but we all kind of push the limits of what’s marketing, what’s boastful, and what’s actually a lie. And I think this keeps going on, right? You’re in this in this process, you have to report to the investors, certain kind of communication. I feel the incentives are actually for both sides to, especially if they’re looking at a more shorter term transaction. So they basically take your money, they spend it, and then they go on to the next investor. I feel like the way, how well the startup industry works is kind of amazing to me, because both sides have a lot of incentive to just at least the entrepreneurs have the incentive to take the money and run away to Russia. And for the investors is to, you know, sue everyone into oblivion. But it doesn’t happen, which is quite amazing to me. I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s no incentive to lie, right? Even, I would say. But there’s a big incentive to lie. That’s what I’m saying. I’m saying I disagree, right? Because you have to take a long view on it, right? Because for every cruise that pops there, you know, within a two, three year cycle, majority of the startups, especially at the seed stage, I think about it, Dropbox didn’t go public until 12 years after they went through IC, right? If you’re looking at that long view, it has to be a relationship. It has to be a marriage with you and the founders. And luckily, you know, the culture that we built, but also even the personalities, I mean, I think you sort of know me where I’m super blunt. I’m like blunt to a fault, right? And that’s actually even, you know, on these personality assessments, that might be one of my weaknesses because I’m too blunt, right? But it’s not just me. I mean, I’m the more harsh blunt person on the team, but everyone on our team is pretty transparent and actually, you know, asks for that in the same way of our founders, right? And if I could tell that they’re hiding something, I drill down or I get, you know, I get very, that’s where I get very annoyed, too, or I’ll get upset, right? So if you have to take a long view of these things, and so if that’s the case, then, you know, there’s no incentive to lie because the truth always comes out, I would say in some form or another, right? Yeah, I would agree with this. Think about it. It’s kind of like, like a bank that gives up mortgages, right? So obviously the info term. So, and so it’s the family that moves in, assuming that there’s a family, right? A single family home. And the bank says, well, we give you this loan for the next 30 years, and this kind of a partnership you give us, you give us, we give you a brand new home. And then when your family, you know, the kids are grown, you have enough money, and it’s all going to be fine. But there’s a huge incentive to just take the money, get the house, and you can’t pay the mortgage and run away, which is exactly what you can do in the US. Still, it doesn’t happen, right? So I’m amazed and that’s something that I feel is maybe stronger in the US than in Europe. But that’s hard to compare. I always felt the maze by the kind of the honesty and the brevity of people you interact with 99% and even online where people could really very easily defraud you. They rarely do. I’m amazed how well this works. So it’s probably a sign of a wider societal programming that we are under, which is good, right? Because we are ancestors of people who are honest and who realize that the honest behavior is the one that they want unless they want a really short life. Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s short term players out there always, right? And you might see more of the behavior, let’s say, for example, it could be like China, where you hear a lot of these startups sort of fraud and, you know, cover ups or ups or whatnot. But even in that society, things eventually come out. Maybe it’s a little too late for many investors. But, you know, I would say even some of the things that we caught some of our bad seals sort of exaggerating or lying about, you know, it came out either directly from our inquiry or one of our co investors, right? Because they assume that we might not talk to each other. Right? Those are the stupid entrepreneurs, I would say. But eventually, We talk to survivors, right? So this is a huge survivorship bias here. So obviously, the startups where you mentioned Dropbox where it worked out, they are the honest ones, and I agree with you. But there might be a lot of honest ones we don’t see. And there might be a lot of, I call them Steve Jobs type, who are not, they’re not liars, but they’re extremely in love with themselves in their own opinions. Maybe for good, maybe for worse, but they only know afterwards, right? So that’s the real problem. We don’t know when you’re still dealing with that entity that hasn’t grown into something useful yet. Yeah, so I mean, I think there’s difference between the incentive to lie versus bad behavior too. I would distinguish that, right? Because these CEOs who I would say I don’t like and how they treat people, right, even well known ones in the market, they might be transparent to their investors, right? Or forced to be at times. But then, you know, they don’t tell them about what’s going on. Like the more, I would say, detrimental behavior, right? Whether it’s culture, whether it’s like, you know, I don’t know, harassing a woman employee to cheating someone out of stock options or something like that, that doesn’t necessarily come into the forefront. So I mean, I think it sounds like that happened in one of the startups you were involved with. No, not with ours. So no, I’m just citing more public examples. See, I’m fishing for some, for some stories here. Well, no, like I said, even with probably content, no, I won’t name it. I won’t name it. But yeah, no, like I said, even with one of our problem CEOs, well, we confirmed it, but also even the investors started talking, right? And that’s why I was surprised. I was like, why, why did this person not assume we would eventually talk to our co investors and exchange notes and then find all this, right? So some people mistakenly think that, you know, investors are in different silos, right? So one more thing I was really curious about this. You would think of what technologies are really trending right now? Do you see there’s a lot of, you see these big major trends like hypo words, obviously, like AI, we see those coming up. What do you feel in the startups that you’ve seen you invested in the last 12 months, last 18 months, what’s like a major trending technology in your field? This is something that there is some real stamina to it. And that’s going to continue to be a strong trend, so to speak. Yeah, I’m not sure if any technology stands out for me. And I might be the worst one in my partners because I don’t get excited that easily. But there’s areas that some of my colleagues are excited about like precision medicine or, you know, wider uses of AI, because obviously AI was hot three, four years ago. And, you know, it was probably overstated with 70% of like startups saying their AI, you know, not having any real AI in it. But now you see actual sort of solid AI place and data place coming, you know, into market. So I think that’s interesting. See more and more sort of, at least in Asia, we see more enterprise software place. But again, that’s not new tech. I’m just trying to think if there’s any like new tech. You know, I think also you see this sort of trend, I would say not new technology, but in terms of sort of data, right, so different data aggregators, right, where, where, you know, before startups, obviously, would try to disrupt the middleman. But companies, you know, there’s companies out there that are becoming a middleman for data. Example is we invest in a company called Populous, you know, we were their first check. And they basically take mobility data from players such as Uber and Lyft. And they also add scooter data, traffic data, they package it, and sell it to cities or automakers and other players like that. Right. So, so that’s, that’s been interesting in the whole data, data space. This seems to be an endless amount of these plays. And maybe, maybe that’s, that’s really well needed of getting data that’s kind of, people don’t really know how, how valuable it is. So it’s usually not financial data where people already run AI on and trade immediately on it. But a lot of most hedge funds are open to, to basically throwing around $10,000 a month deals on data that makes them trade better. That’s a small number if you can trade a certain amount of volume. And there seems to be so much new data out there. Not all of this can be used for trading, but it can be used by someone else like a city, for instance, that has been gathered by all these devices kind of by accident. And it’s relatively cheap. And there’s always someone who can make money of this, right, either directly in trading or indirectly. I feel I just was talking to someone and we came up with like a few dozen of those plays that that seem to have the same market analytics. So you have low, you have high volume data for low price, and there’s someone on the other end very specialized who can make a lot of money of this. I wonder how sustainable that is. I mean, that’s definitely a trend. I think there’s a real value to it. I wonder if this is the spawn of a new industry, like a new oil industry or refinery industry, so to speak, or this is going to go away. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I think it’s already trending where we see several years ago, like you said, people might not have known what to do with the data, right, or how to package it or even corporates didn’t know how to execute on it. But, you know, on the surface, you know, you sort of question how could they not know, but they really didn’t know. And fast forward to now the past like, you know, a couple years where corporates are actually willing to pay a decent sum for the data, right, that’s already also sort of packaged and analyzed. So we’ve seen that in various industries that maybe we wouldn’t have imagined before, you know, whether it’s like, let’s say, pet industry data or different retail verticals, right, or different large industrial companies. So they’re all willing now to pay for the data. And I think it’s a trend in terms of that it’s here to stay because, you know, more and more sources of data are coming out and churning, more sensors are being like, placed everywhere across the world, right. So there’ll be more data data will only grow. This is a matter of how you analyze package and sell it, I think. So it is really here, like some people say, you know, data will be the new oil. So Yeah, I do think that the refinery business there will will will make a big impact. And we need a certain structure for this in order to feed that into AI, right. So the AI can, it still is reliant on relatively structured data models. There’s exceptions to this, but generally, it’s still still wants a certain data center that’s not too noisy. And but once we have that the I think the eyes can make can really execute a decision model on top of that. And that’s really, really cheap. That’s the amazing part how cheap it is. Right. So once you build these, these, these models once, you can, you can run off at the model, and it’s basically free. And you can make, you can fork it off. So you can, you can find sub models to it, define sub bonds to it. I think there’s something promising there as a, as a, as a how the world will look like in 20 years from now, where most of the decisions we do are actually not done by us, but are done by AI, because it’s so much cheaper and so much better. We can focus on that one decision per year. That’s really of importance. Yeah, I think it’ll make decision making more efficient, right. But it could also be sort of dangerous at times too, if you think about it, right. Because in some ways that, you know, the old school model of corporates, you know, the old school model of corporate, you know, strategic consulting firms like McKinsey and Bain to, you know, let them make that decision to fire people, right. People, you know, empower my pass off decisions to an AI model, right, to make hard decisions. And it might not be just firing people, right. It could be where to shoot missiles and everything else. Right. So I think there’s always a balance, right, moving forward in terms of thinking about the future of AI, right. So I think there’s a balance between moving forward and thinking about, like, how much you rely on AI and how much you pass off. Because at the end of the day, I always sort of look at human nature too, right. Most people, I say, jokingly. Yeah, there’s reserved spaces that I think, you know, shooting rockets, obviously, shooting missiles. That’s certainly not what you want AI to pull the trigger on. But I think there’s so many, there’s so many of these everyday decisions. I think it’s already out, are we taking, right. So, but should we, where should we go to get gas? I mean, there’s an app for all of this. And we might not call an AI, but no, the AI is just the next step. We don’t looking at raw data anymore. The data has been pre filtered to pre decision mechanisms. And, you know, police in many places, I just learned that couple of weeks ago, has kind of a minority report, pre crime analysis. So they look at license plates, and they have official recognition when they drive through the neighborhood. And it gives them a picture of how likely is that person involved in a crime, not just a rap sheet. Also, it makes a future prediction. They don’t have to act on this, right? That’s their decision. But it gives them that analysis data. Well, that’s like one of the gray areas that, you know, on a lighter note, not rockets, but obviously, such decisions, right? Like, you know, will those, will the analytics bias the police in that way too, right? It already does. We’re already biased by this. We’re biased, yes. So if anything, you would want, but if AI promotes better decision models, you would want that to actually counter your biases, right? I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not sure. You know, bias is a bad word for high order pattern recognition formats, right? So basically, we think of biases because we, it has, it’s kind of this modern word for something where we applied the wrong decision algorithm. Instead of looking at particular information, we’re looking at the general picture. And that the question is, and I think this is a new topic where it comes in, because we were overwhelmed by more and more information and the easiest way, and maybe not the easiest way, I think everyone, including AI, so wants to make good decisions, has to vary their decision level. So once you have too much information, you obviously go a step back and say, no, this is too much. I can’t, there’s too much noise, so to speak. We need to go level higher and see what patterns do we see on that friend level. And if you see a pattern and you know already, there is a pattern there, you jump on it, because that’s the only thing you feel you can do with that amount of information. But I think this is exactly where AI comes in. It basically goes deeper in and can analyze more data and give us all this like pre information so we can focus on the highest level and don’t have to go back on, as you say, biases into categories that are not relevant anymore. But I can manipulate us, right? Some bad actor can change that. We will never know. But I think we already have that problem, but kind of we will lie on all this knowledge from my ancestors. We really don’t know if it works or what kind of, what biases are in there. I think it’s a rather question. Yeah. I mean, obviously I’m for it in terms of making life more efficient and if it’s like low level, mid level decisions, right? You know, depending on the case of these higher level decisions, you know, that’s where I would just be a little more cautious because, you know, I think it’s just because at the end day, it’s human nature, right? I would say most people are either lazy or afraid to make hard decisions, right? They’re worried about either their reputation. So that’s always a danger, right? Yeah. I’ve been pondering the influence and I don’t know if you ever thought about this. The influence of religious thinking and religious, but more is a matter of religion, not necessarily associated with one religion. I think there is certainly, we can talk about that too. I feel like the self fulfilling prophecy that we force ourselves to be positive, that we force ourselves or at least a subgroup of our population forces themselves to take a risk. And I’m not sure and that’s kind of my question. A, how much of an influence do you feel has religion and then B, going further into it, do you think that this kind of risk taking that’s encouraged by religion, very specific risk taking in the self fulfilling prophecy that there is a better world, there is a better life, there is a better, this what you do can lead to a better life for everyone. If this is something that can be done by say 99% of the population. I’m sorry, I got lost. You’re sort of asking in terms of like religion’s impact on what either society or entrepreneurship or what the frameworks are. Well, first society obviously immediately, but I think in entrepreneurship, it’s very, it really resembles entrepreneurship. So the idea, the proper way of looking at the world is probably, well, there’s all this nature out there and all they do is try to kill me. So you know what, I just going to stay in my cave and do nothing. That should be the proper outcome. But we obviously don’t do it because we’ve learned that we overestimate our chances of survival. We overestimate our own input. We overestimate the amount of free bill that’s out there, which is strange. It’s not rational, but it’s helped us to create this, this self fulfilling prophecy. And I think the same is true with entrepreneurship. Most entrepreneurs think they succeed due to odds are what 99% of early stage startups never go anywhere. But in the mind of that entrepreneur, you’re not, you’re the 1%. And it’s silly, right? The rationality and the way you deal with this self fulfilling prophecy, they are quite at odds. It’s interesting. Okay, I never thought about that way. I mean, you could say, I guess religion has an impact. I mean, depending on the religion, right? If it’s like sort of Judeo Christian, you know, I could see that influence because their God is positioned as a creator, right? Right? Where he worked. And then they sort of focus on the value of work, right? Whether it’s pilgrims progress or, or, or whatnot. I mean, you know, there’s this idea of progress and achievement and growth, right? In other religions, I guess framework, I’m not an expert in like Hinduism, but they’re in more of the set cats cast system. There isn’t this, you know, I think, you know, you’re more accepted of the position that you’re given, right? But then there’s also even, I would say, well, it’s interesting now to think about even now since you got me thinking about this like non religious frameworks, right? Because if you look at someone that is atheist and is, let’s say like a true determinist, right? If you look at Hawkins, right? Or even I would, I would guess I’m not sure of Elon Musk’s original religious background. But I would say he’s a determinist like Hawkins, where he believes it’s pure cause and effect world, right? And that means that eventually based on man’s evolutionary path, that we will eventually destroy the earth. So Hawkins theory was only way to save our race and humankind is to escape earth. And I think my guess is part of Musk’s sort of entrepreneurial drive is he’s, you know, I’m just guessing that he’s part determinists, and he wants to save us by going to Mars, right? And I think that’s a viewpoint of maybe not a large segment of the population, but some segment. So I think there’s different drivers. What I’m saying is there’s a religious component that could drive certain entrepreneurs, but there’s also a non religious framework of thinking that could drive entrepreneurs. Oh, for sure. For sure. What I’m trying to say is religion is kind of, I consider the software upgrade to our mind. And what I’m trying to say, it’s one of those big abstract things that everyone’s had. We used to be more than it is now, but now it’s more embodied in institutions and in the state than it is embodied in people’s minds, because that’s how we felt it was most efficient. And people don’t really realize the concept so much anymore. And because it’s so ingrained. And the point I’m trying to make is that entrepreneurship seems to be an irrational, long term, it’s not irrational. It’s very rational, but for the individual, not for the community, but for the individual, it seems to be an irrational optimism. But it turns out, and this is kind of the interesting part, and I think religion is just one part of this in general. This is deeply ingrained into our DNA and our thinking. It’s the sense of exploration, the sense of looking for something better, looking going to the stars. There’s another example. We always think there is maybe the grass is greener on the other side. And entrepreneurs take this to the next level. They take that risk and say, okay, I’m going to execute on disbelief, even if I don’t know if it’s true or not. And in that sense, I think it’s just like religion, but we can determine what we can talk about the specific differences. What I wanted to find out is, say we moderate 90% or 95% of the world to be an entrepreneur and to think like an entrepreneur. Do you think that’s sustainable? Are we able to go into this next future, right in this next future world where we only have one thought, because everything else is decided by AI and it’s perfect, including our food choices. And we don’t never have to worry about anything. But we have one thought and one decision that we make and that becomes a trillion dollar startup. Is that how everyone can operate on this planet? I would guess so, right? Because I would say the base core of human sort of nature is they have to have a purpose, right? And I think that purpose can be entrepreneurship, but it’s definitely this purpose of work, right? There’s that famous World War II story where one of the leaders of a Nazi concentration camp, what is it? I think he was reading Dotsiecki. So he took the theory, right, that once I think the camp was bombed and then they were making, I guess, whatever, they were making parts for, I think, tanks or something, right? And even though that the concentration camp members were against their purpose, there was some purpose, right? And then the camp was bombed. So he just had them mindlessly moving, you know, the rubble from one side of the camp to another. And then people started trying to kill themselves, because that didn’t have any purpose in mind. So what I’m saying is basically, everyone has a driving, they want some sense of purpose, right? And I don’t think there is, maybe I’m biased, a greater purpose than sort of creating something. It doesn’t have to be, let’s say, startup entrepreneurship, right? But it has to be some idea of creating something with a purpose. And so I could see, yes, you know, as AI drives away based decisions, right? And what are we left with the core? It’s a purpose for some type of work. And as we’re, you know, moving towards, obviously, more of independent entrepreneurs, people, you know, doing sort of more freelancing, right? I think that’ll be a core part of it, right? Whether it’s big or small entrepreneurship. Yeah, well, I think AI will take away any kind of repetitive work. And we think of the repetitive work that we don’t like and be happy that it’s gone away. But repetitive work is also where we create our excellence, right? Where we feel we invested 10,000 hours, and then we know more than anyone else in the industry, or at least as much. And I think what’s happening is that there’s only one person, one individual out there who goes through this cycle of learning a very small number. And then everyone can just use that model and be as efficient, you know, as we can play golf like Tiger Woods, maybe not with our mechanics, but we know how he does it. And so that will distribute in like an instantly through the internet. And then these productivity gains are massive, right? So if we actually adopt this, and we find a way to, I don’t know if the neural link is the way to do it, but we find a way to get our brain to learn as quickly as machines, we’re going to look at, you know, a GDP that’s 100 times higher than what we’re looking at right now in 20, 30 years from now. So that’s the science fiction story. But I feel there’s a lot, a lot of potential there. And hopefully it’s coming together. I think the adoption is the problem where I’ve been lamenting, especially the last 10, 15 years, where adoption wasn’t as strong as in many areas, social media, obviously, and there’s a bunch of others were exceptions, where adoption was missing. No, I would agree with that. Because if anything, you know, I’m not, I’m far from utopian. I’m more obviously someone that believes in human nature of Lord of the flies. But, you know, I think human potential is more untapped, right? If anything, we are too pessimistic of human nature, of education and the effects on it, right? And there hasn’t been equal opportunity across our societies, right? But if people are given a chance, I think they will surprise everyone and each other, right, to do more and achieve. And if AI sort of is a factor in leveling the playing field, I think I agree with you that you’ll see far more productivity, right? Whether it’s big or small across society. And just people have to be given access, right? I mean, there’s even, you know, a little off topic, but you know, like when Sebastian Thern was a, you know, he first put his course online at Stanford, right? I think I remember him giving a talk where he just said, surprisingly, like the top, I think like 100 students in the class were not Stanford students. They were the people that were tuning in outside and giving that effort, right? So it’s needed access to Stanford level education, and they were doing better than the Stanford students. Oh, yeah, I would have no, I would be surprised if there’s a Stanford student even in the top 100. I would be surprised because they rely on a very outdated, very rigorous selection standard, and you don’t even get everyone to choose from, right? They get a very small number of applications, and then they apply something from the 19th century, and that they would hit the top 100. I think that’s very unlikely. So yeah, that that might mean the education, you know, what we have on YouTube, the knowledge that we have, the all the professors have put stuff up there. And now that people have the access for basically free, that’s already changing our children right now. And it’s, it’s, it’s a massive change where the education that we thought is necessary becomes kind of just boredom, because it has, and I think this plays a big role in this COVID thing, is people wanted to get out of, they wanted to cloudify themselves, they wanted to escape those just kind of the, the regular exercise they were involved in that they felt has come to an end of their productivity growth. And we see that productivity growth was pretty terrible the last 30 years. And I think this is how everyone is now personalizing, extremely customizing their own experience of learning and how they work. And there’s something really fascinating about that, that we might see productivity figures, you know, there was this headline yesterday, I don’t know if it’s what’s the driver, but obviously COVID changed everything in terms of GDP growth. But it seems to be if you have a population that’s eager enough to adopt those, and I think the American population as eager as anyone on the planet, maybe together with Chinese and Koreans, if you adopt those, there’s an unlimited number of GDP growth you can multiple, you get the multiples of GDP growth, you can go to it. I feel we finally see this with COVID, because people said, okay, I get out of these routines, and I change my routine, I really want that, and I want to stay home and figure this out. And maybe it’s actually happening. Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting to see what will happen in a post COVID world, but, you know, people assume, you know, I’m still, you know, Jerry fell out for me in my mind, but, you know, structures, you know, the corporate structure, the walls of a company of being physically in person, you know, has that been restrictive on productivity in some people? Right, because when you deal with these structures, especially in large companies, right, then you could create more inefficiencies, right, with the walls, right, the tangible and intangible, right, people working from home, they don’t have to deal with the politics of kissing ass to their boss or their colleagues, you know, well, even have been complaining for a long time, right, this is a work environment that can easily go toxic. And they can’t really describe it to to male co workers, because they simply are not under the same pressure. And I think there’s a lot to it, right. So for them, it should be something they, they should excel a lot at this, right, now that the table has turned, so to speak. But I think it happens for everyone. And it’s especially when you when you see GitHub is a community where it’s completely free, right, but this oldest coding work there, and nobody asks if you’re qualified, nobody asks for your resume, it people ask, and they check your changes. And if they’re good, they’re good, it doesn’t matter if you’re 12 year old kid, or if you’re 90 year old retiree. Yeah, I think it’s good that, you know, especially platforms, like you mentioned, as GitHub, where it’s more, you know, a true merit based, right, because I could even say even in the VC industry, you have people that are, you know, some people that are lazy about their decision making, right. So they’ll naturally gravitate towards Oh, this guy’s a Stanford MIT grad, or they’ll be like, Oh, he worked, he was a PM at Google and Facebook, right. There’s these sort of lazy service level signals that some people might use, right. And part of it might be because they feel like they’re overwhelmed that they get, you know, 1000 startup pitches, they have to filter somehow. But I think, you know, you’re missing a lot of the talent out there in the world too, right. Yeah, it’s a terrible model that they use this, right. I mean, it’s better than no model. It’s a terrible model. Think about models. You know, are you a believer, I almost want to say, because it sounds like a cult records while thinking about the singularity, do you share that? What do you feel is going to happen in 20 years, or is just going to be the same as what we’ve seen the last 20 years? I’ll say I’m not like a big follower of singularity, right. I mean, what aspect in 20 years, like what, like that will completely be one or… Well, yeah, so one is that we jump, we have that ability to jump from carbon based to silicon based lifeform and the idea. But the way he describes it sounds completely ridiculous, right. But he’s been, if you go into what he’s been doing before, and he’s been a futurist predicting the next 20 years or 30 years out since the 70s, and he’s been spot on, like he predicted the internet will take off in 95, took off in 95. He’s had many, many success stories, he’s rarely been wrong. And what’s behind this is this, there’s a natural law, it seems, of the way technology progresses. And that has been very stable, doesn’t matter if there’s a war, there’s major war, COVID or not COVID. The only thing that changes is the adoption, but the technological progress seems to be very stable. And what he’s basically saying in that timeframe and now he pinpoints it at 2038, there’s so many different things that come together, all powered by the same thing, by CPU power basically, but so many things that come together that we basically can’t look beyond that because there is so much new technology that will come online in such a short timeframe because it’s suddenly so cheap, right, because CPU is so cheap. And I was just thinking about the iPhone in 10 years, just keeping the same progress we had for the last 10 years, how powerful it will be, I think it’s 100 times as powerful as the current iPhone in any aspect, it will cost the same amount of money, I don’t know about the inflation or deflation, but it will more or less cost the same amount of money. Yeah. I mean, but in terms of the vision that will be, let’s say, I don’t know, like half machine, half man, is that what you’re sort of referring to? No, that’s a little too much. I mean, that is a potential outcome, but it’s certainly the one that is most scary, but just in terms of medicine, so basically we don’t know what each cell is doing in our body because we don’t have a measure, we can’t measure it, we can’t look into it, and we can’t store that kind of information. But now with R and A, we have solved and R and A, we’re getting pretty close to it. Now we have to look into proteins, we have to eventually go into every single cell and then know what’s going on in that cell on a specific protein basis, but then this technology will be available in 10, 15 years. Once we have that, once we can measure it, we can fix it, right? So anything we can measure, we can fix it, it will take maybe five years longer. So you can literally change, you can make anyone a 28 year old by a push of a button. Two days later, you’re 28 years old and you have the body of a 28 years old. Once you know how it works, you can fix it all, right? The body parts is like a computer. Once you can fix any computer, you just have to put new parts in, and that’s extremely exciting, I feel. Yeah, I think it’s exciting, but it’s sort of interesting to, you know, again, like look at the drivers, like you mentioned, whether it’s religion, I brought up determinism, right? And here, I think, and I’m not sure if it’s Ray, but, you know, maybe some others in the field, you know, I think part of their drivers is this like fear of dying, right? You want to extend human life, right, to beyond 100 years and 200 years or, you know, some of these people that are in this, you know, whole singularity movement, they’re basically afraid of death, right, and their own mortality, right? So that’s sort of interesting to sort of think about, right, how these different sort of philosophies, or I would say faith, right, because sometimes it’s just as much faith as religion, right, that drives these people towards innovation, right? So yeah, very interesting. Well, there’s a lot of criticism that’s leveled against that, right, that they call it transhumanism in a bad or a good way, right? So how do we define ourselves as human if we change basically all the basics, the tenets of being human? And I don’t have a full answer in its heart, but I had David Orban on, and I thought he had all the answers. I was, he was basically just waiting for that, that nanotube that shoots us off to the start. I’m like, holy smokes, you’re like 300 years ahead in the future. He had it all solved, right? It was amazing, amazing to listen to. I learned so much, and it made me very optimistic, right? When you have someone who thinks it’s all figured out and it’s easy, like, you know, this is, I think, how how user adoption works in society. You have a friend or you have a family member who makes it really easy or you watch a YouTube movie and you’re like, okay, this is easy, okay, I’m going to adopt this. It’s not hard anymore. So I was, I was convinced to that school. I was converted. Well, yeah, so maybe like 30 years from now, we’ll all be transferred into robot bodies and shipped off to Jupiter and we’ll live forever and humanity will survive in one form or another. As crazy as this sounds, I think we have a shot at this. It sounds really crazy, but I think in 50 years from now, this could actually happen, and it would be cheap, right? It would be the same as going and taking an override for a couple of times. That’s right, that’s right. I would be really excited if that happens. Next question, I don’t know if you’re going to love this one either, but it’s related to all of this. And it’s a fascinating topic that can spawn up way more thinking. But do we do you think we live in the simulation? You know, is this theory out there that all this is just a simulation? I don’t know if you’ve seen the white paper, but it’s it’s been going into popular culture quite a bit. What’s your back feeling on it? No, I’m not a believer in the matrix. So yeah, I don’t I haven’t read the white paper, to be honest. So I can’t comment like in depth, if you want to sort of give me a synopsis. So I’m very happy to do it. Very happy because I think it’s fascinating. So the basic idea is that if if there is someone else out there, and it’s an intelligent being in that universe or even outside the universe, sooner or later, when we know that too, right, we simulate everything, that’s kind of the abstract thinking is simulating. But we also put all kinds of things into simulation, because we think it’s a risk free to see what actually happens on a certain circumstances. It’s called experimenting, or we play video games, all of those are basically, and it’s an abstraction of assimilation. And we feel that if we acquire this technological capability, and we might be a few hundred years or a few thousand years off, we, you know, records, well, things we only that’s not really far that far off, we would build something that resembles a simulation, right? It’s a universe where we resemble how the universe started the big bang them. Now we know how it works. And it was the size of a fingernail and then expanded and all of these things happen. What the assumption is, if if we would do it, and we are intelligent beings, I think, as someone who is also an intelligent being in that universe, somewhere else, or maybe outside the universe, would have had the same thought, not every single race, but every single civilization, but one of them would sooner or later get to this. And since we are all on this different trajectory, and we have billions of years, or millions of years on a different trajectory, depending on when the planet developed, the white paper says, or basically the way of thinking, not just white paper, the way of thinking is, well, most likely someone else would have started the simulation that could simulate a whole universe, or just a part of the universe, or just our solar system, whatever the level of the dead is. So if it’s potentially doable, someone must have done it. And then the question is, are the outside or inside the simulation, because it definitely exists? Well, it’d be interesting. Who is who is the original writer of the white paper? It would be if it’s like some fantasy person, I would take less credence on it. No, it’s a physicist. It’s a Danish physicist. Oh, good. That’s what I was going to say, actually. I was going to say, if it’s a physicist, that’d be interesting, because then it becomes, there are also worldview and research on the world. Because if you look, there’s a fair amount of physicists like Freeman, Dyson, and others, that theorize from their research that it leads them to believe in a god. There’s a god, and there’s someone that created order within that. But if you don’t believe in a god, then I think the natural sort of conclusion is it could be this simulation. Because you see the way that the universe is structured, and the order that you see from your own research and knowledge. So there’s been a fair amount of, I would say, physicists or certain fields like biochemists that lead into some greater being theory. So I think it would be one or the other. So actually, I didn’t know that the guy was a physicist, but that was my guess. That’s what it was, my guess. Yeah, it’s an interesting way how you look at this. It’s basically you’re saying it’s an atheist’s way of describing God, right? Exactly, exactly. That was my guess, and I’m not just saying it. I was going to say, oh, I was wondering when you were explaining it, is this guy a physicist? Whoever wrote it? Yeah, I mean, I find that I find that interesting, because we had this amazing amount of this explosion, this Cambium Embrosian of new thinking and innovation in the earliest 20th century. A lot of this was in Germany, Russia, right? And I’d say that’s my personal, my personal bias is probably overwhelmingly driven by Jewish and Christian scientists that basically all had that idea that science gets them closer to God, because it gives them a way to discover how God created the world. And once we figure out these patterns, well, sooner or later, we’re actually going to talk to God. Well, it wasn’t that simple, right? But this was a strong motivation, I think, was their religious belief, and especially Jewish and Christian. And I think what happened in the last 100 years is that talking about science and religion in the same sentence basically gets you banned, right? You’re gone from university. So it has become extremely atheist, and it kind of lost a little bit of its edge, you could say. Not that we didn’t have innovation, but I feel like a lot of scientists are very small minded in their particular field. Maybe they have to, but it’s a little, that’s not great sometimes to see from the outside. And I think now we see this going back that they are recreating a God, like you just assumed, right? That if you don’t think there is someone out there looking for us, this father figure, you might have to create one. And if you do so, you go through all those more difficult mind creation and balancing acts to recreate a demigod. Yeah, I would agree. I mean, it’s sort of interesting because even some of, I’m trying to remember the various physicists that I read, they actually were atheists. And then through their research, you know, they became whatever Jewish or Christian or something, right? Yeah. And so you’re right. This is sort of like the new modern day religion. When they go through this exercise and they’re researching the world, they’re just like, Oh, it can’t be this, you know, chaotic mess that created order, right? It wasn’t sort of, you know, that isn’t how the universe was created that there must have been some type of structure, you know, beforehand, right? So then they say, Oh, there must be a simulation. But that makes logical sense to me. You know, if you’re in that field and you’re studying the structure and order of the universe, right? And you’re deep in it. And that’s all you think about. I mean, it’s either you have no thoughts on it, or you go to religion, or you go to the simulation theory, right? That’s just logical to me. I guess we need those humans, right? We have that instinct. And the instinct is that it’s someone who is looking out for us. There is this father figure. And we don’t really, we have trouble, you know, whatever we discover, there’s always another layer, which is really, which is, I think it will never end, right? We discover atoms, and then we go a layer deeper, and then we find the individual makeups of the particles, and then we find the subparticle and the subparticle. It seemed to never end. And even if we know that, we realize, oh, man, the universe is basically all dark matter. So someone must have designed this whole thing. And it’s working so effortlessly, as a quantum computer, people say, as a lack of a better word, but this perfect system. And it’s, I think everyone, and I read that book, Intelligent Creation, which I thought was a fantastic book, it basically laid out that argument and said, you know, the probabilities, and that was written by a software developer and scientist, who’s deeply Christian. And he basically says, when you look at the probabilities, and he’s obviously the worldly Christian, but if you look at the probabilities, and if you recreate this, even if you have unlimited amounts of time, and it took, what, four billion years, it’s so unlikely that it’s just evolution. Obviously, evolution is there and evolution works. But the creation of new things in extremely complicated matters is less likely evolution. Evolution is definitely choosing things that work. But it has a hard time. From all we know, and how we write computer code, it doesn’t level up to a higher level of complexity. It chooses things, right? It’s like a genetic algorithm. And he made that argument. I thought it’s really fascinating to see him argue that there is someone out there and that I think it makes everyone feel so much better. Yeah, actually, I remember having a similar conversation a while ago with my one of my physics professors a while ago. And then, yeah, I don’t think he was like religious, right? But then he was like, he was like saying, hey, you know, at the start of the universe, like for these sort of atoms to converge and become even complex sugars, right? That’s the most that you’ve seen come out of this, like when they’ve done like sort of simulations and stuff, right? But to leap into like a living, living life form, it’s like, that’s a lot of like, randomness to create something so structured, right? So you’re just like, oh, there must be something else. I just remember having that. I remember him talking about that in class one day. It’s great. I mean, it’s hard. It is a hard argument, but it’s like, are we writing computer code by random? No, we don’t because it doesn’t work. But then AI is basically all randomness, right? It’s generating computer code now by randomness, and it’s 99% correct. So maybe randomness is all it takes. I haven’t made up my mind there. But I found that book really, really fascinating. Interesting, interesting. Yeah, yeah. So anyways, the simulator world, no, I don’t think I’m a believer, but I do understand the logic behind that. So yeah, yeah, I like how you classify this. And maybe that’s what’s going on in people’s minds. And maybe that’s my closing question. Do you feel there is, there is a saying that people say, you know, startups or entrepreneurship, in what we think of is, when companies go to Silicon Valley, they take some stolen piece of technology, often come some hackers, then you raise money on it, and then they do a lot of marketing and show it in people’s faces. This is what we think of startups, but shouldn’t we actually think of core innovation? So core innovation that happens in universities, happens with scientists or happens online now, irrespective of what the titles are. Isn’t that actually what drives us forward? I would say both is needed, but I am a big believer in basic research since my graduate school years. My professor at that time was Michael Crow. He was number three at Columbia. He was now he’s president of Arizona State University. And so if you look historically at the big leaps in innovation, like you said, whether it’s cellular communication, x rays, et cetera, that was all done by basic research. So I think overall US tech policy, you know, has gone away from that. They’ve gone to more applied, right? And there’s some like, you know, it shifted to some corporates like Microsoft used to do basic research, Google. But I think you need it still at the university level and at the corporate level, right? And I think we strayed too much from that. There should be increased funding back to basic research across the globe, across the globe, because that’s where you’re right. You do take these leaps in innovation when you’re just searching for something, right? Searching for something completely new, sort of this blank slate, right? And that’s where you do take these leaps in innovation that really affect and change society. So yeah, obviously, I’m a big believer in startup innovation and culture. But I think what is lacking right now globally is basic research. And we do need to go back to that. How would you pull it off to, given that universities seem to have their own, as an institution, a lot of people say they basically are failed institution now, that it seems to be the funding is drawing up, less people, less students go there and get overpriced degrees. There’s a lot of that. The research part of the university is not exact. I mean, there’s certainly shining examples, but it seems like from the outside as an institution of yesteryear, or a few decades ago. How would you pull up basic research these days outside of universities, if you could do it? Well, Juan, I think, you know, going back to the universities, it has to be at the government level, federal grant money that has dried up in these areas. It has to shift back to that. But then, again, also, it’s hard because it really is like these large corporates that can have the luxury to allocate budgets to basic research. And a corporate leader or CEO has to have that sort of vision. I mean, if not, then maybe you have to create these. I think there’s been some smaller institutions that have been created. But, you know, I don’t think their budgets are large enough to really make an impact. Maybe there has to be more privately initiated basic research labs. I haven’t done a deep dive in this area recently, so I don’t know the right answer for this. Yeah, one thing I thought you would mention immediately is kind of like an accelerator program, right? So it’s a mini grant where you basically get a mini white paper, so to speak, and anyone can apply. And then you run people through different kind of accelerator challenges, but we’re just basic research. It’s never going to make money necessarily. I mean, obviously, it can be side effect that we can talk about how we access property rights, but it would start from $500 or $100. I don’t even know what the minimum is. Maybe there isn’t one. You scale that up, and in terms of, it might be, I basically don’t have to go through all of those yourself. And then you scale someone up to, I don’t know, a few billion dollars eventually. But it’s all crowdsourced. It all comes off the internet. You never meet people necessarily. You just go through certain milestones. That seems to be the future of it. And it shouldn’t be in this, you know, the light bearded university. If it’s possible, maybe for basic research, it is impossible to use that accelerator model. Yeah. I don’t think it is just because I think the scale is much larger, right? Because you need budgets, and it’s definitely a long view, right? So it’s not going to be like a one year or even like a two year program if you could actually fund it. It’ll take like millions and a long view of like, I think 10 years out to fund these sort of labs or research. So that’s why I think it does need larger institutions, whether it’s, you know, government or big corps that could do this. Yeah, the large particle collider was at the price tag. It was like $20 billion. It wasn’t cheap. Exactly. It has to be from a larger, you know, institutional standpoint, right? And actually really government, right? The governments have to, I think, you know, shift back towards more basic research for these leaps of innovation to occur. Yeah. Well, it always seems like this is an area that’s extremely bureaucratic, and it’s, it’s so boring, you know, what he wants to be there. It’s not very attractive, and it attracts kind of the wrong type, not the people who necessarily want to innovate, except it attracts the people just want to have an easy life with bureaucratic money. That’s kind of in people’s minds, I think, and that’s why it has been kind of lost out on its appeal on public funding. Yeah, I mean, that’s also a cultural thing. I mean, again, it depends on the university and the culture that you set up within, you know, the labs of that university or even corporate, you know, corporate innovation labs. There’s always, you know, hopefully, again, I don’t know the landscape in detail, but hopefully, there’s sort of good cultures and entities versus bad ones. I mean, I had a friend that ran a, he ran a lab at the NIH, and he said it was horrible. He had like, 100 people under him. He said maybe 90 of them worked hard. Yeah, that’s what you would expect. Why would you, right? If it’s, if the money is coming irrespective of your results, like 99% shouldn’t do anything. I don’t know why, but if I get paid the same, if I do something useful or not, you know, that’s the end of everything. That’s socialism. Yeah, so he just got frustrated because, you know, he was surprised at the NIH lab. He thought people would be striving towards doing good, but people just got too comfortable, right? They got their back. They didn’t have any driver, even though he’s kind of pushed them. So he eventually left to go private. Yeah. But he was just very frustrated, right? So it’s setting up the right culture, but it is really hard to, I guess, motivate people, you know, under certain cultural norms, right, depending on the entity. Well, that’s kind of my big saying for a while is that we’re hitting the limits on how we can motivate people. And the problem was we had this, first we had real religion, so to speak, and it doesn’t have to be any specific religion, but it was the software upgrade that worked. And then we instituted it in states, and nobody even know what religion is, but we all live in a deeply Judeo Christian state in the US, at least, and it was kind of by default, right? We didn’t even know what was going on. We only knew it once we went to Islamic state, to Muslim state, not to ISIS. And then we see the differences when we go to India, which is built on very different, slightly different values, not necessarily very different values, but it was all based on how much can we actually tell people, and then they keep their motivation, and how do we reinforce this motivation? I think we’re hitting this limit now. We need to push people harder, but maybe we don’t have the monetary incentive, because money seems to be less of an issue to people. Maybe that’s just me, but in Silicon Valley, money is never the issue, right? It’s always something else. Maybe money is the issue. I don’t have a good gut feeling for it, but I feel this is the topic of the last 10 years, to be hitting the limits of how to motivate people, because their basics are covered, so to speak. They have Netflix and unlimited amount of movies to watch. They’re perfectly entertained. They’re dry. They have takeout food. That’s excellent. What else do you want? What else do you want? This is COVID for me. People are like, oh, man, this is all I want. So I stay home, and then I’m just going to exaggerate this COVID thing as much as possible, because I never have to go anywhere again. I think this is what happened. And now they’re all lazy, and they’re productive, but the motivation is still the biggest issue that we have. That’s definitely interesting points. I would agree with you, to some extent. There’s been this decline of religious influence even in the US, and it shifted to even things like politics, or Trumpism, or whatever, where people are trying to find a replacement. Not saying that they’re not, if they even didn’t have a religion, but I think people naturally try to find some center in their life to help ground them in their world, and it can be a political figure, like the crazies of some of the Trump supporters, or it could be other causes, left or right, or it could be other figures in their life. So it’s interesting that, regardless of hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution, people still seek purpose and center. I think we have been not doing as good a job, or maybe because just we have that certain Peterson’s argument, and the ceiling of human capacity is completely unknown. We go in these phases where we feel like 2000 years ago, human life was worth nothing, but now it seems to be worth quite a bit. But now we see that some individuals, Elon Musk is our favorite, obviously, right now, is having this outside impact just by being one brain, right? And obviously, there’s money to it, but in the end, he wasn’t born rich. So there is this, if we all would be like Elon Musk, and that was my earlier question of you all can be entrepreneurs, there is no limit to our human capacity, but how do we get people there? Because the old school motivations that work when people were a little less smart and a little less productive, they worked well, but now that they went to this next level, what do we do next? That’s kind of the question I’m partnering with. And what’s the best model to institute this? Got it, got it. Yeah, so it’s sort of interesting, right? Because once sort of basic needs are met, right? And, you know, poverty and hunger has been decreasing, obviously, over the past 20 years throughout the world. I mean, it’ll still be a problem. But if less of the population faces that, and they’re able to gain access to education, like we mentioned online or through apps or whatnot, there’ll be increased human potential, increased human impact. And I agree with you that there’ll be increased productivity. But there’s these, you know, sort of, I would say temptations on the side road towards increased human productivity, like you mentioned, better food, Netflix, right? We all look like in the matrix, man. That’s what I’m trying to say. This is our future. That’s right. So how do you, yeah, like the matrix, how do you keep Neil focused on the sidewalk instead of the lady in the red dress, right? Yeah, it’s hard because 90% of the population has no interest in this consciously. I mean, you can get them there, but you kind of can’t tell them the whole truth. I feel you kind of, you can tell them the truth, but you make it too complicated for most people to care. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think it’s a small subset of the population who cares, and they see the outsized gains the last 10 years. You know, the 1%, I think it’s a little more than 1%. But that’s certainly that’s what is inequality feeling. And I think it’s real where the inequality comes from, because in this new new uplift, it lifts everyone up, but I think it lifts a smaller, a small relatively small portion of the population up tremendously more. I mean, I guess the, I mean, you know, it’s always a common answer, but I do think it is education, right? I don’t think anyone is worse off, right, than 20 years ago. Very few people can make that argument, but compared to the expectations, I don’t know, maybe, but you know, the living standards in terms of what we can afford with the same amount of money, and it seems, you know, we have the income didn’t really rise broadly, but the, what we can afford, it seems to be pretty enormously, and that’s compared to 20, 30 years ago. Well, not everywhere, but not everyone. Yeah, but generally, I would agree. So I think it really is sort of education early on in terms of whatever, I’m not saying like, indoctrinate them, but create this sort of greater sense of purpose, right? Because you do sort of see it as even, I would say, let’s say even like South Korea, like 20 years, 30 years ago, when I used to visit like in my high school years, you know, it was a less developed economy and even society, right? And so there’s this movements of civil society and more nonprofits, which, you know, is more mature in, you know, certain European countries and the US, but now there’s a lot of a fair amount of nonprofit causes and people, you know, striving for the greater good, right? And there’s also obviously increased ethical standards. I mean, it’s still not, I would say, on level of the US. And I think the same way China, I think they’ll develop too, as long as there’s, you know, increased ethical standards, increased purpose and greater good. So I think, you know, there’ll be greater impact as most nations and societies across the board mature, right? I don’t like that word because it’s like that, like the European view on the world, right? So there’s a level of GDP amounts, you’re rich, you can’t grow anymore, which I think is complete bogus. There is no limit on human capacity. And we could all have hundreds of thousands of times in GDP. And it could be pretty quick. We don’t have to wait like South Korea, they never accepted that they have to be a poor country. Maybe just it was necessary. And, you know, 20 years later, 30 years later, they’re the richest country on the planet. Yeah, yeah, I’m not talking about economic maturity. I’m talking more like, you know, sort of cause or, you know, sort of, what is it, sort of, you know, civil impact. Awareness, yeah, yeah. Yeah, awareness and beyond like your own immediate family and caring for that. So I think you’ll see that. But then again, there’s the temptation of the maturity on the economic side, like you said, the Netflix, the good food, everything, right? So that’s where somehow this, you know, there has to be increased sort of, you know, education and impact at the early stages to our better models or examples or something, right? Or it’s the opportunities. I feel like we people don’t perceive the opportunities in saying, well, you I think you see it very different, but the opportunities and making money. And that’s easy, easy, but not, you know, because you’re scamming someone easy in the sense of it’s a fair amount of work you have to put in. And it seems for a lot of people, this this upside hasn’t been easier lately. I mean, the downside has been covered in a lot of places. That’s great. But we haven’t seen as many opportunities being generated. I think this is where people are holding back a little. But maybe maybe that’s six months old and it’s already still knowledge and it has changed a lot now. Yeah, it’s just tough. It’s this balance, right? Because it’s like, you know, there’s such here’s, you know, things that even haven’t changed about, you know, the impact of money and greed and on human nature for thousands of years, right? And you still see that within our society, within the US or even, you know, it’s prevalent prevalent in more developing countries are emerging markets, right? Yeah, I think it’s still that’s big into us, right, this this culture. And I think there’s this it is nothing. There’s nothing we can do relatively short term about that. And sometimes I’m not even sure, but I don’t know if you have time for this. But I’m not sure we have to write. So I always feel like we’ve been genetically selected to not be criminals for what how many generations, thousands of generations, but we still have a good amount of criminals wherever you go. I mean, it’s not, you know, Korea has less than the US, but it’s it still has criminals. But we we shouldn’t have them anymore, because we’ve been genetically selecting against them forever. So for me, I feel like all these things that we feel are not ideal, they are maybe not at the right percentage ratio, but they are necessary to keep this civilization to working. So criminals are keeping everyone else honest, but there is a place for them psychopath, there’s a place for them sociopath, there’s a place for them. So whatever people have in genetic makeup that isn’t ideal, there is a place for them, even if we don’t necessarily know what it is. And, you know, like Steve Jobs, right? So we really could element on his character shortcomings. But obviously, he found the place and made the world a better place by huge margin. Yeah, I don’t think we should ever expect perfection on human character, right? That there will always be the bad actors, regardless of how society progresses or technology advances, right? Because, you know, that’s why I think, you know, the good benefit of laws, right? Because I’ve actually seen that in Korea compared to the U.S. on certain things where certain areas where there’s less regulation, most people, even the quote unquote good people, will want to cross that line. That’s why I think most people would say are whims or they can’t hold their own nature. So that’s where I saw, you know, traveling to different countries, the benefits of having certain laws and regulation is it does keep people in check, right? Well, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. But there’s always edge cases that you haven’t solved with the laws, right? The laws are very, very absurd. You’re too far away from the real situation. And then this regulation obviously depresses entrepreneurship, because literally you can’t even experiment with anything anymore. Good or bad intentions involved, but it’s the outcome that counts, not the intention, right? If the outcome, even bad intentions, the outcome is great, we all happy. So that’s the big problem that we have this, these laws basically didn’t trace them back to the Roman Empire. We sit in this huge pile of laws that they have depressed entrepreneurship in so many places, unless, you know, technology changes everything again. But that’s when you when you see things taking off. And that’s why we haven’t seen take up, you know, that’s Peter Thiel’s thesis, obviously, in healthcare or in construction or in so many other places where none, no real productivity gains were made in the last 15 years, which is terrible, I feel. Oh, yeah, yeah. I’ve seen that definitely. If you’re talking about entrepreneurship, it’s interesting because, you know, I think even like several years ago, Time magazine had, you know, cited the US’s generous bankruptcy laws are a big driver of entrepreneurship. And I believe that because when you look at Korea, it’s interesting, even though there’s so much startup activity for years until I forgot exactly when recently, you know, for 30 years or whatever, the any CEO of a company can be legally responsible if a company goes under even a startup. So that’s a huge disincentive. And I used to joke around if that same law was in the US, like third of the startups in Silicon Valley would be gone. Right. If not more. Yeah, I mean, it trickled down into a mindset, not just the personal liabilities also mindset. And it’s very, very palpable in Germany and where I grew up, you know, the personally responsible for I don’t know forever, but whatever is in your company. And even if equity has been put in by the investors, there’s still a personal liability. It’s limited to certain amount. I forgot that the amount is quarter million dollars. So even if all the equity came from outside investors, and it was only equity, there’s no loans, you’re still responsible for paying every single employee with all your personal assets. Yeah, really. So this grassroots entrepreneurship, yes, you can encapsulate it and like, you know, the cloud is better. But like in that field where you have labor, where you have a certain amount of capital involved, it’s just you guarantee there’s no entrepreneurship with these kind of solutions. But they are what the population supports. Right. So there is a cultural, the impact of culture is huge on entrepreneurship, but it can be mediated. So it’s not at the end of it all. Right. If technology is big enough, pops up, say in the cloud, where you don’t need employees, where you have freelancers, where crypto is there, then this changes everything. You don’t have to change the laws, just people move on to the next phase. And I don’t know if you can, if there’s nobody ever pulled up deregulation, right. So we have something where industry just drops out of, out of importance, and then the laws are scrapped for this. But I think nobody ever even Trump tried to deregulate something. It just never happens because there’s all these vested interests, so much money. Why would you take the risk to deregulate? Yeah. So I mean, it’s interesting. So I would always say it’s like, you know, it’s surprising that Korea had such a vibrant, vibrant ecosystem, but they had this restrictive law, which sounds like it was similar to Germany until I think recently they’ve changed it. I forgot to what degree I’d have to ask my colleagues. But even I remember even reading in about like Greece, I didn’t know that to start a new business, it’s something like $50,000, $60,000. Right. Yeah. There’s a minimum. Yeah. Yeah. There’s a minimum. I’m like, why would you’re just like killing your startup culture off the bat? Right. So some of these countries, they don’t think about you know, a huge driver of economic growth throughout the US. And I’m sure even Germany with so many small and midsize companies and Korea similar to, I don’t think it’s like 90% like Germany, but something like 80%. Like it started by entrepreneurs, not tech entrepreneurs, but it could be like manufacturing small businesses. And if they stifle it like Greece does, then you’re missing out on like so much economic growth. Well, they focus on the downside, right. And they’re focused on the people who obviously abuse the system. And that’s that’s what created these laws. And the population is fine with this. They don’t, they limit the amount of change with these indirectly, right. So you can’t directly say, we don’t want to change much, but you can make laws of prohibit change. And that will work, right. So that’s, that’s obviously a big drama for for Europe is that the next January, the next 50 years of technologies, they don’t want anything to do with them. Most of the people there, there’s exceptions, right. But in general, as a culture, they’d rather ignore them and live the exact same life they lived the last 50 years. And that’s obviously not very helpful if you’re an entrepreneur, because you want to be where people really love you and not just where they leave you alone, because then you will never have any customers. True, true. So I’m very skeptical in Europe, but you know, there’s young people and they might do it differently. But there is this sense of this is the life we want them to never change. It’s perfect, which I think is really unique is a unique lifestyle. I think only you asked this so far out in the sunset period of any, any other country in the world, everyone else wants to develop with more or less flexibility. Yeah, it’s interesting. I mean, just a side note, even right before the pandemic, I went to Berlin to speak at this event. And actually, I like the, there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that are very passionate. But the funny thing is, majority of them were complaining about the ecosystem there and the investors. The investors sounded like, like old school investors from like 50 years ago. Yeah, all the others are gone. They never made any money and they left. And there weren’t that many in the first place, but there were a bunch like 20 years ago, but they’re all gone. They don’t exist anymore. They don’t take any risk. So you get like a bank loan or it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s just a nightmare. And it still is that way. There isn’t like Germany doesn’t have a real venture capital scene. It has a bunch, you know, but it’s, it’s very limited and compared to the size of the economy, it’s ridiculous. No, but it’s interesting because Berlin, like there’s, there’s a fair amount of startups that I met, like doing all these like sort of speed dating and friends referring. So there’s, it seems at least perception wise when I went there, like a very vibrant entrepreneurial community. I don’t know what that came about if there wasn’t the capital there. Right. I think despite the capital, they pulled it off. Yes. They despite the capital. I mean, they always had this alternative, you know, kind of a San Francisco style ethos in Berlin, at least in the 90s. And I think that really propelled people who were slightly different to, to go there. And it’s a, it’s a great city to be. I mean, I grew up in April. So that’s all good, but it never, I mean, maybe it did take off in the meantime, but I thought, I felt there was, it had way more potential that it could realize because of the funding shortage. But, you know, do you, a lot of them have, have used investors and some like the summer brothers, they literally, they make every business, they touch a billion dollar business. Yeah. That’s right. That’s right. So, so I don’t know if there’s still around the current investments. Anyways, that was awesome. Bernard, thanks for doing this. Thanks for taking the time. We got into so many topics, I think we raised so many questions. Yeah, that was fun. That was fun. You actually took me to pass where I never thought about either. So it’s good. Next time we have to provide more answers right behind, but we have to prepare better. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. Thanks for doing this. That was awesome. Okay, great. Thanks, man. Have a good day. Thanks, man. Talk soon. Talk to you. Bye bye.

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