Zack Kanter – All Things Business - [Invest Like the Best, EP.142]

08.13.2019 - By Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

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This week’s guest is, Zack Kanter, the founder and CEO of the Stedi.  Zack and I decided not to talk much about his business on this podcast and opted instead to explore more generally, so a bit of an introduction to what they do may be helpful here for some extra context. Stedi is a platform for exchanging and automating 300+ types of business-to-business transactions - transactions like purchase orders, invoices, etc. It’s a modern take on an archaic protocol called EDI - electronic data interchange, something I’d never even heard of until several months ago. Learning about EDI is a bit like finding out about the Matrix - every physical object you come across, from the food you ate for breakfast to the clothes you’re wearing and consumer electronics you use - anything with a barcode on it - was likely touched by EDI, often dozens of times before making it into your hands. Stedi is the first update to this messaging later in decades. Our conversation in this podcast is about business in general, starting with Zack’s fascination with Walmart and Amazon. I should also not that my family is a recent investor in Stedi, and I’m thankful to have learned a great deal from him over the past few months. Please enjoy our conversation.  For more episodes go to Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:52 - (First Question) – Interest in Walmart and Amazon             4:02 – Sam Walton: Made In America 4:49 – What from their success can be applied elsewhere 11:07– The idea of tempo with a business 17:17 – Ability for a business to expand laterally 24:33 - Magic of Amazon as a constitution 26:24 – The concept of the OODA loop             26:40 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War 31:51 – Orientation within software businesses             32:24 – The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small 38:03 – Lessons in building software             38:37– Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business 41:51 – Setting a common vision for a company 44:14 – Changing the dynamic of teams and how different size teams can accomplish different things 48:00 – How leaders should think about build vs buy 51:07 – The different types of value propositions 53:07 – Utility for companies 57:31 – Concept of network health and the best question from VCs 1:04:04 – Massive projects are less frequent in a world where we can do a lot quickly             1:04:08 – Wait but Why 1:09:37 – Just in time vs just in case learning framework 1:11:55 – His favorite question 1:13:39 – Why is most commonly heard advice wrong 1:18:06 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Zack   Learn More For more episodes go to  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

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