Over the weekend, I came across Shervin Pishevar’s new podcast, Start. Although episode 1 is short (only 4 minutes) it is packed with wisdom, and a great introduction to Shervin’s investing and life philosophy.
You can listen to the full podcast episode here.
*Transcribed 7/6/2020. Any mistakes should be attributed to me.
Many times, I talk about the love principle as a key principle in entrepreneurship and investing.
When my daughter was 11 years old, we were at her favorite sushi place, and she asked me, “Dad, how do you invest?” I told her that I use the love principle. That if you’re going to invest in something, you have to love the product, the founders, the team, the company, the market. And if you don’t love any one of those things, most likely, it’s not going to be a great investment. One that’s going to change the world.
And she looked at me and she said, “Well dad, I love Great America.” And she was right. She would go to Great America with her best friends, almost every weekend. And she said, “Is that an example?” And I said, “Absolutely. That’s a great example. You love Great America, so now you should go do what’s called diligence. Go and study Great America as a business. Go interview the employees.”
And she did that. She treated it like a homework project. And she came back, after going to Great America, and interviewing employees, and she said, “Dad, the company is called Cedar Fair (that owns Great America). Everyone loves the CEO. There’s a bunch of rides that are coming that they’re investing in that are going to be very exciting. And, the 49ers are building a billion-dollar stadium right next to Great America. Basically on the same property.” And I said, “Well, there you go. That’s a great job on your diligence.”
And we looked it up, and it was a public company, and she made her first investment. And she returned 100% on that stock. And she’s using the profits from that investment to start her own company now, that she started when she was 18. And she’s launching soon.
And so, it was an important lesson in learning about the love principle. And I was watching an interview recently, with Jerry Seinfeld, and he was being interviewed by someone and he said, basically, you have to love what you do. The same love principle. And when you love something, you are tireless about it. It’s not about having the willpower to go through it. It’s about the love.
And my greatest investments, my greatest experiences with companies and founders and teams and products and helping build global brands, have always been about the love. Has been about the times you’re talking to a founder at any hour… I was talking to one of my favorite founders last night, at midnight, checking in on them. Checking in on his round, checking in on his company. And it was a joyous thing for me to do, and there is love there.
And when founders and teams feel like they are supported and loved, guess what happens? They thrive. And they work through their mistakes. They learn, they grow. Because they feel like they can take the risk to be vulnerable, and to ask for help. To ask for mentorship. And that’s only possible when there’s love.
If you enjoyed this podcast, and want to follow Shervin, you can do so at his Twitter @shervin.