Every week I get the chance to sit across from some of the most impactful human forces in the world’s biggest industries, but not often do I get to kick it with one of my own friends. Dave and I have known each other for a few years, but his impeccable resume has lost none of its luster since getting to know him. You may recognize a couple of his laurels: Amazon and Google.
Dave is similar to some of our previous guests: a wildly successful investor who struck 21st century gold in San Francisco. His formula for finding future fortune always involves one key molecule: evergreen. We’re not talking environmental conservation, here (although I’m sure you could make a mint off an evergreen evergreen business), but building the kind of business that’s future-proof for generations to come.
Dave sizes up dozens of prospective investments each month. Much to my surprise, some of his strongest investment inclinations aren’t rooted in these future partners’ strong business acumen. The universal trait Dave has found in all his best budding entrepreneurs is actually the most public-facing quality of all: their character.
Instead of talking ROI and market impact, Dave opens the investment dialogue with their upbringing, family values, and what lessons that life has bestowed upon them — their actual life story. That being said, don’t think you can waltz up to an investment meeting, share some childhood memories, and smile your way into venture capital (or a job at Quest)… but it sure starts the ball rolling in the right direction.
The prospect of a hot new evergreen business whets Dave’s appetite like a neurologically nuanced book does mine. But Dave isn’ looking for someone on a cash-grab with an exit strategy; he’s looking for businesses that measure success by how well they deliver on their mission… maybe that’s why we hit it off so well.
And as a fair warning to my 2x or 3x listeners out there… Dave hits the IQ stage in high gear, so you might want to ease into this one at less than terminal velocity.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a successful brain coupling — that moment when your brainwaves mirror those of the person you’re speaking to. That’s exactly what happened when I shared the IQ stage with Jason Silva. He’s best known as the host of the Emmy-Award nominated smash hit Brain Games on National Geographic Channel. But to cut his resume off there is doing this man a great disservice. He’s the perfect blend of Carl Sagan and Ray Kurzweil with a bit of Mark Twain thrown in for good measure. His YouTube Channel “Shots of Awe” is on my must-watch list (at 2x), if you’re not subscribed, you should be. There he creates bite-sized pieces of content about the dichotomy of being human in an increasingly robotic world.
Jason has an encyclopedic knowledge of philosophy, futurism and literature – he’s loaded with such a humbling array of information that any conversation with him quickly detours down the rabbit hole of awesome. His unique outlook on the convergence of technology and humanity is so invigorating that it could instill hope about the future in the staunchest doomsday prepper.
It’s not every day that someone can humble me with their knowledge, but Jason’s brain absorbs information at a rate that gives me a run for my money. Although we only had an hour together, I could easily see myself pondering the future, infinity, the cosmos and everything in between with the guy for far longer. If his YouTube channel is comparable to an espresso shot of inspiration, consider this episode of Inside Quest the main course.
My obsession with the human brain knows no bounds. The more precisely we can study its workings, the better. As if I wasn’t sold on “The Institute for Health and Human Potential” by name alone, their full curriculum of leadership, emotional intelligence, and the neurological breakdown of performing under pressure is the kind of stuff I could study ALL DAY! This week’s special guest and thought leader is Bill Benjamin, Master of Emotion, partner and keynote speaker to the IHHP.
Bill’s crash-course in “Performing Under Pressure” is IQ 101: we’ll analyze how it comes into play in day-to-day life and break it down to a neurological level. You can have all the talent and knowledge in the world, but when you’re under the gun, the first thing to betray you will always be the same: your emotions.
Emotion can be disguised as momentum in the heat of battle. The rush experienced while bickering with a supervisor or loved one is the same rush you’d experience when challenged by a lion in the wild. It would seem our infinitely intricate brains are still ironically ancient.
A few weeks back, IQ guest Steven Kotler shared his tremendously triumphant story of the human spirit, which brought him back from the verge of suicide. He touched on the fascinating concept of “getting into the gap.” You’re going to feel the incoming sensory assault no matter what, but the way you process that feeling is up to you. Bill Benjamin is here to take this idea a step further.
Bill’s methods range from common, subtle hand gestures to breathing and meditation. I know what you’re thinking… but when advice like that comes from a guy with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, it’s worth paying attention. Bill Benjamin’s episode on Inside Quest touches upon the initial keys to cultivating a peak cerebral, chemical cascade which can help set you down a path for future success.
You look at his track record Howard Marks has more in common with a gambler than a leader of business. What separates him from the sea of other entrepreneurs occupying the same space is that where others see a lost cause, Howard sees an opportunity. When he and Bobby Kotick purchased Activision in the early 90’s, the company was bleeding money. After he and his partners invested everything into the dying company they saw it rise from the ashes of its former glory as an 80’s powerhouse video game development studio to the leading video game developer and publisher today.
The lessons learned from Howard Marks’ early career endeavors are what fuel his current company, StartEngine. They’ve set out to breathe new life into the small business ecosphere putting the power in the hands of the people by democratizing investments. Every business begins with a mission and Howard has helped over 60 companies define what their mission is.
Howard Marks aims to beat Silicon Valley at its own game by removing the boardroom barrier and giving the general public a seat at the entrepreneurial table. He’s an iconoclast, visionary and madman rolled into one and he’s revolutionizing the capitalist system one business at a time. If you’ve ever wanted to find out how to change the world, this is an episode you can’t afford to miss.