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Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders

Revealing conversations with the leading creators of our time. From proven entrepreneurs building the companies of the future, to non-profit founders creating change and the artists shaping our culture - we go beyond the surface to find the nuance in what it takes to turn your ideas, into action.
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Now displaying: September, 2020
Sep 30, 2020

Who is Josh?

Josh Clemente is the founder of Levels. He’s a mechanical engineer, CrossFit L2 trainer + previously leads teams at Hyperloop + SpaceX where he developed life support systems for astronauts going into space.

In this conversation, we discuss the importance of optimizing your metabolic health, how software can drive behavior change + the future of health tech.

Full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3B1RJvlff74


Topics We Discuss

  • what is metabolic health + why is it important?
  • stories from working with Elon Musk at SpaceX & Hyperloop
  • why you should monitor your glucose
  • the myth of the “balanced diet”
  • know who to trust when it comes to nutrition science
  • actionable advice on improving nutrition, exercise, sleep + stress
  • how software can help drive behavior change


Full Time Stamps (YouTube)

  • 00:00:00 Intro
  • 00:01:21 Welcome
  • 00:02:26 What is Metabolic Health?
  • 00:03:54 SpaceX
  • 00:06:28 Hyperloop
  • 00:08:21 Inspiration for Levels
  • 00:17:17 The Myth of a Balanced Diet
  • 00:21:29 Why You Should Monitor Glucose
  • 00:25:07 Knowing Who To Trust On Nutrition?
  • 00:27:52 Using Levels
  • 00:36:50 Price Per User + Team
  • 00:44:55 Funding Levels
  • 00:47:04 The First 3-6 Months
  • 00:50:52 Branding + Finding An Audience
  • 00:54:03 Marketing Lifestyle Apps
  • 00:57:25 The Future of Health Tech – Integrating Health Data
  • 01:02:18 Collecting Health Data + Influencing the Health Care System
  • 01:06:56 4 Parts of Health: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep + Stress
  • 01:15:08 Wrap-Up
Sep 23, 2020

Subscribe + watch on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/42U2VfWp2Go

Let me know what you think on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/bzaidi

Who is Jim?

Jim McKelvey is an entrepreneur, glass-blowing artist + philanthropist.

He’s most well known as the co-founder of Square, the financial payments company he started with Jack Dorsey (founder of Twitter). Jim also co-founded the non-profit “Launch Code” and he’s an independent Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve

Jim’s book, The Innovation Stack, is available for purchase. Or sign up to the email list at the bottom of this post to win 1 of 5 copies we’re giving away to listeners

Topics We Discuss:

  • the origin story of Square
  • Square's 14 part "innovation stack" that allowed them to win in this tough market
  • reducing the cost of a card reader from $1000 to $0.97
  • going up against Amazon + winning
  • examples of innovation stacks from other companies
  • the unbanked + underbanked
  • his thoughts on digital currencies
  • invention vs innovation
  • entrepreneurship vs owning a business
  • if "billionaires should exist" + his "billionaire moment"
  • why being a billionaire ≠ happiness

Book Giveaway
We’re giving away 5 copies of Jim’s book to email subscribers, details here:
https://www.creatorlab.fm/jim-mckelvey-square-co-founder/

Timestamps (YouTube)

https://youtu.be/42U2VfWp2Go

  • 00:00:00 Intro
  • 00:00:49 Welcome
  • 00:01:50 Early Career as a Glassblower
  • 00:03:10 Meeting Jack Dorsey
  • 00:05:59 Beginning of Square
  • 00:10:59 Underserved Markets
  • 00:15:13 Studying a Market for Something That Doesn’t Exist
  • 00:19:03 The Unbanked + Underbanked
  • 00:24:49 Square’s Innovation Stack
  • 00:28:21 Invention vs Innovation
  • 00:30:21 Getting Square's First Users
  • 00:33:38 What Were The Large Existing Players Missing?
  • 00:42:22 The Delusion of Innovation
  • 00:45:26 How Square Went Up Against Amazon + Won
  • 00:50:43 Entrepreneur vs Business Owner
  • 00:52:32 His “Billionaire” Moment
  • 00:54:52 Being Treated Like a “Walking Wallet”
  • 00:56:33 Should Billionaires Exist?
  • 01:00:21 Industries That are Ripe for Innovation
  • 01:05:30 Digital Currency
  • 01:08:13 Advice on Investing
  • 01:10:30 "If you inherit wealth, you're not rich"
  • 01:12:24 Being Rich ≠ Being Happy
  • 01:13:44 Philanthropy
  • 01:16:39 Dealing with the hardest period of his life
  • 01:19:33 Wrap Up
Thank you to our partner
 
This week's episode is supported by InstaSleep Mint Melts, the drug-free, convenient sleep aid.
 
They’re easy to take without water & melt in your mouth like a mint. They’re designed to help you fall asleep faster & wake up without feeling groggy in the morning.
 
If you’ve had issues sleeping like I have, try them out - available at select Walgreens stores and their website: www.upgradeyoursleep.com
Sep 16, 2020
Subscribe + Watch on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/JcJIvhXdbt0

Let me know what you think on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/bzaidi

Who Is Kat Cole?
 
Kat is one of the most impressive business leaders in America. Fortune magazine named her on their 40 under 40 list & her story is often cited as an example of the “American Dream”.
 
She worked her way up from being a waitress at Hooters aged 17, to an exec at 26 and a president at 31.
 
Today, she’s the president of a parent company doing $4-5bil in sales in 60+ countries, across 6500+ locations.

Their 7 brands including Cinnabon, Carvel & Jamba Juice.
 
In this conversation you’ll learn how she thinks about growth, adapting products to emerging trends, using brand partnerships to grow & the factors that go into expanding internationally.
 
 
Five Things You’ll Learn
  • Lessons In Leadership – how to establish credibility, even as a young leader, to lead a team through any situation.

  • Emerging Trends + The Innovation Adoption Curve – how she thinks about adapting to emerging trends for brands like Cinnabon + Jamba Juice. Finding your place on the innovation adoption curve while holding onto where you came from.

  • Impact of Lockdown On Malls + Airports – how recent events have impacted their 6500+ locations in malls + airports, and where she sees opportunities

  • International Growth – the factors you should think through when expanding internationally, stories of mistakes made, and examples of situations she navigated in Argentina, Turkey + UAE

  • Brand Partnerships – controlling your brand when expanding with partners, and when to consider licensing vs franchising vs joint ventures
 
Time Stamps (YouTube)
  • 00:00:00 Preview
  • 00:02:04 Welcome
  • 00:05:01 From Waitress to Vice President of Hooters
  • 00:08:41 Invaluable Lessons In Leadership
  • 00:14:18 “I’m Friendly, But Not Your Friend”
  • 00:16:49 Blending Humility + Confidence
  • 00:20:57 Scale + Revenue of Focus Brands
  • 00:22:12 Case Study: Turning Around Cinnabon
  • 00:29:23 Opportunity = When Your Company Says “No”
  • 00:33:03 Approach To Testing New Products
  • 00:35:10 Adapting to Trends: Jamba + Cinnabon Example
  • 00:42:11 Jamba + The Innovation Adoption Curve
  • 00:48:54 Mall Traffic In 2020
  • 00:51:47 Prediction On Airport Traffic
  • 00:53:22 Increased Search Demand For “Near Me” + “Delivery”
  • 00:54:35 DTC vs Third-Party Delivery Services
  • 00:57:25 International Growth: Hooters in Argentina
  • 01:01:11 Importance of Cultural Context: Turkey Example
  • 01:04:47 International Context – Asking the Right Questions
  • 01:06:29 Factors To Consider When Expanding Internationally
  • 01:12:08 Growing Through Licensing, Franchising + Joint Ventures
  • 01:14:51 Brand Partnerships – Controlling Your Brand
  • 01:17:34 Wrap-Up
Thank you to our partner
 
This week's episode is supported by InstaSleep Mint Melts, the drug-free, convenient sleep aid.
 
They’re easy to take without water & melt in your mouth like a mint. They’re designed to help you fall asleep faster & wake up without feeling groggy in the morning.
 
If you’ve had issues sleeping like I have, try them out - available at select Walgreens stores and their website: www.upgradeyoursleep.com
Sep 8, 2020

Who Is Ryan?

Ryan Begelman co-founded Summit Series, described as “TED meets Burning Man” & “The Davos of Gen Y” by Forbes

They’ve become known for hosting incredible events with thousands of leading creators like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos & Jessica Alba. Summit acquired Powder Mountain, America’s largest ski resort after pre-selling the opportunity to their community.

Ryan also bought into Bisnow Media, became CEO & sold for a reported $50mil+, all without venture capital.


What You’ll Learn

Part 1: Business Frameworks + Backstory

  • Framework For Business Ideas – a technique to generate ideas: marketing, monetization + markets
  • Bootstrapping + Buying A Mountain – how they pre-sold an idea to their community to buy a mountain for $50mil + why you should consider bootstrapping too
  • Joint Venture Waterfalls – applying a concept from private equity to real estate + businesses
  • Dealflow – four ways to think about generating deal flow: hunting, trapping, farming, trading
  • Replacing Yourself – how to find, hire & train someone to replace you


Part 2: Holistic Entrepreneurship, Philosophy + Mental Fitness

  • Redefining Wealthy + Holistic Entrepreneurship – creating a well-rounded, fun & meaningful life through entrepreneurship
  • “Software For The Brain” – train your brain for mental fitness, developing awareness + neuroplasticity
  • Practical Philosophy – concepts from greek philosophy, Buddhism & stoicism to help you be less reactive + less annoyed
  • The Story of the Chinese Farmer – a parable about nature + grounding yourself in truth
  • Ego – is wanting to leave an indelible mark on humanity a form of ego or something to strive for?


Time Stamps (YouTube)

 

Thank you to our partner
 
This week's episode is supported by InstaSleep Mint Melts, the drug-free, convenient sleep aid.
 
They’re easy to take without water & melt in your mouth like a mint. They’re designed to help you fall asleep faster & wake up without feeling groggy in the morning.
 
If you’ve had issues sleeping like I have, try them out - available at select Walgreens stores and their website: www.upgradeyoursleep.com
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