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Creator Lab

Learning from the very best entrepreneurs and change-makers of our time. We dig deep into their stories, have honest conversations about how they made their ideas come to life and the lessons learned along the way.
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Nov 11, 2017

Julien Smith is the co-founder & CEO of Breather. They provide an on-demand network of private meeting rooms designed for work, meetings and focus. They’ve raised over $80m to date and are on a strong trajectory of growth. Before that, Julien was a best selling author, speaker & podcaster. In this conversation, Julien and Bilal discuss how he thinks about pattern detection, how he used these frameworks to develop the idea for Breather & how you can apply this to your own work.

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Full show notes & timestamps:
https://www.creatorlab.fm/julien-smith-breather-detecting-patterns/

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Time Stamps:

  • 1:52 - Who are you/what do you do
  • 2:30 - Detecting patterns. Is that that what you’re good at?
  • 4:10 - Scale & growth of Breather, how did Julien get there
  • 6:43 - When Julien started Breather, how many units did he start with & how do they keep them secure?
  • 8:09 - What does Breather's customer base look like? What are their customer segments?
  • 8:58 - How big is this market? How do you estimate market size?
  • 9:50 - Thinking about security for a physical space - digital vs analog locks.
  • 11:30 - Growing up in Canada & what did Julien want to be when he grew up?
  • 13:20 - Learning what you’re good at and 360 reviews 
  • 17:10 - How Julien thinks about detecting patterns? Is this something we can learn to become better at?
  • 20:25 - Is detecting patterns a skill or luck?
  • 24:10 - Detecting patterns: is it a learned behavior? Discussing Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet. 
  • 28:30 - the value of the expert generalist
  • 30:00 - What sources of information do you follow? Books, podcasts, people, etc?
  • 33:30 - What can people do to accelerate the process of growing and connecting with people they can learn from?
  • 36:00 - Jeff Bezos story of the regret minimization framework
  • 39:30 - What were some of the macro trends he identified to help start Breather? Are there certain macro trends that he sees right now?
  • 42:20 - Cities + network effects + timing
  • 46:02 - Bilal discusses idea for supper clubs platform
  • 47:50 - Omnifocus app he uses for tasks
  • 48:10 - Developing healthy habits? Streaks app
  • 51:40 - What is Julien’s routine and a typical day? Morning pages. The creative habit. 
  • 55:05 - What is motivating Julien right now?
  • 56:30 - What does success mean to you? 
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