Office Hours: NFTs, Bullish Investments, and EmpathyThe Prof G Show with Scott Galloway
- 1,251 views
- 5 Apr 2021
Welcome to our first solo Office Hours episode. Scott answers a question about whether he could create a Prof G coin and build his own rundle. He also tells us the investment opportunities he likes in the Edtech and Telehealth spaces, shares resources for learning more about finance, and explains why business leaders need to practice empathy.
Have a question for Scott? Email a voice recording to email@example.com
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Welcome to the first edition of the property shows office hours on a Monday.
Oh, my God, so exciting. I need to pay. Anyways, more like a little more like my dog gets very excited and and he piddles, the dog is pedaling and it's so cute, it's not gross. It's not a 56 year old whose prostate has become the size of a basketball and needs to pee 14 times a day. It's adorable. I'm excited and I'm pedaling. This is the part of the show where we answer your question about the business world, big tech entrepreneurship and whatever else is on your mind.
If you'd like to submit a question, please email a voice recording to office hours at property media dotcom.
First question. Hi, properly, this is Hunter from Dallas, Texas. I was listening to your most recent show on NFTE and thinking about the conversations you have about both that dispersion and Rundle's. And I was wondering if the NT is a mechanism for the intersection of all of those. So perhaps there is a Prof. Julie coin that you issue in connection with that you get money up front. The coin owner gets exclusive property content pivot content section for content.
Your NYU lectures, you only issue five more or ten more a year. So there is scarcity at it. It goes up in value. You have a recurring revenue model.
I'm curious as to your reactions to that or if I'm mixing and matching concepts.
Thanks so much for all your work, Hunter from Dallas. So I'd like to offer officially offer you a job to come run my life. I think that makes a lot of sense. I was thinking about something similar. So first of anyone who creates intellectual property or likes to think that, you know, they're in the business of content creation and we all inflate the value of our content, is asking themselves one question, can I get rich off ineptness?
So where I went with NAFTA is similar to what you're talking about? I think about it in terms of education. One of the things that threatens the business model of universities is that it's episodic. So we find people at a specific point in their life, whether they're 18 for undergrad or twenty four for grad school. And they have to they have to be in a certain demographic. One 66 percent of the populace has been prohibited from pursuing graduate education because they don't have an undergraduate degree.
The reality is probably two thirds of the population, even of 18 year olds, is probably college, probably just isn't a realistic option anymore because of the costs or because of their current circumstances. So the question is, how do we move away from an episodic marketplace that where the addressable market is limited because of the construct of the offering, if you will, and move it to something that has broader opportunities for a broader demographic set a 45 year old single mother that wants to access education or learning, a twenty eight year old who doesn't have a ton of money but finally has some money and wants that certification so they can onramp into a better economic future.
And I wonder if the way we do that as universities establish some sort of Coinbase program with acerca, you buy a coin. And maybe if you're from a low income household, the government spends 30, 50, 80 percent or finances 30, 50, 80 percent of the value of that coin. And the coin entitles you to lifelong learning and career services. So you get a coin at the University of California, San Diego, which has fantastic sciences. But it's not only a four year education in La Hoya, it's access to that education where if you finish a certain amount of coursework, whenever you get that certification, you also get career services.
You also get access to a job or around the sciences. You get membership in a lifelong community that's focused on University of California, San Diego, helping out the local community, helping each other. Could we have could education become coin based? And it would provide us with access perhaps to better finance, smooth out the revenue in the earnings of universities, and perhaps create a more egalitarian or a less discriminatory university system. We talk about how college has become so expensive that it's effectively a caste system now.
And it is it's become the enforcer of the caste system as opposed to the greatest upward lubricant for the middle class, which is what it was when I applied to UCLA in the mid 90s. Actually, I applied in the late eighties. Let's just go at the mid 90s anyway.
Anyway, the notion that creating scarcity and that's what FDR and FDR are essentially saying as as a tribal species, we like to think actually that's not true. It's not a tribal species as a species, it tries to attract mates. Survival is our first instinct. Number two is propagation. And the way you become more attractive to a potential mate is to resources. And one way you signal that you have resources is that you own are in possession of scarce things.
So someone walks into your living room and they see a Picasso on the wall and they think, I'd like to have sex with this person because this person appreciates art and this person has enough resources to acquire something of this that is this scarce. So and have to play on our need for scarcity and we become obsessed. With things that are scarce, for example, for example, when we don't have food, we very rationally become obsessed with it. When we don't have opportunities to mate, we become obsessed with finding a mate because every fiber in our being is telling us we need to survive and then be propagate.
So scarcity creates obsession. So investors are really tapping into one of the one of the most powerful instincts, and that is scarcity, scarcity, results and obsession such that we can survive and scarcity coin based education, a coin for the Proff. I don't know. I worry that that type of commitment, a lifelong commitment I don't want to make to any institution or any individual. I also worry that coins might have an externality that you can see a portfolio of college grads sell or coin themselves or mutualise themselves and sell a portion of their future earnings to people.
And I wonder if young people end up making bad decisions and passing off five, 10, 20, 30 percent of their or 80 percent of their future revenues via a coin that I wonder if that might end up being, I don't know, have some negative externalities. As you get older and you realize that you owe 30 percent of your earnings to people that you sold sold it to 20 years ago, they did something similar with David Bowie's catalog where they basically securitized it.
So I think there's a lot here. I also think there's going to be a need for regulation to ensure that young people don't make really stupid decisions, that they end up regretting the rest of their life.
But a thoughtful question. Hunter from Dallas, next question, Prof.
Gee, this is Julio in St. Louis. He recently talked about the dispersion that's happening in the health care industry, corporate headquarters and higher education. And you specifically mentioned you like Solanos and Restoration Hardware for the dispersion happening in headquarters. Curious, who do you like in the next one to three years in the health care and higher education? Thank you for your time. Love your show.
Julio and St. Louis, St. Louis, a city that I think is going to boom. Why? Why? What is the key? What is the epicenter of economic growth, do you think? Well, it's a place with great weather, no oil. It's a place that has great density of population. That's part of it more than anything. More than anything. Julio, the key to economic growth in any geography is a world class university, specifically a world class engineering university, because software is eating the world.
And what does St. Louis have? WashU Probably. Probably the university. I would argue maybe with the exception of, I don't know, Carnegie Mellon. That has come further faster in the last 20 years. No one had heard of Washio and now it is one of the premier universities in the nation. What's going to happen? A group of talented graduates from the engineering school are going to decide to start a business in St. Louis because they like it there.
It's going to be successful. They're going to sell it for a shit ton of money and they're going to decide to stay there and live their lives there. And then they're going to start angel funds and venture capital funds and the ecosystem of innovation. The disruption epicenter or a new disruption epicenter will be in St. Louis. And they will be fueled by the fact that the traditional epicenter, the San Francisco's, the Bostons and to a lesser extent than New York's, have become so expensive yet bad, especially San Francisco, that that will fuel what I'll call the tier, not even the tier two cities, but the tier one and some.
I'm very bullish on St. Louis, but that's not why you called in. OK, according to research by McColm Capital Group, venture funding in the digital health sector was up sixty six percent in 2020, with a record 14 billion raised in 637 deals. That's compared to eight point nine billion across six hundred and fifteen deals in twenty nineteen. Telemedicine funding reach four point three billion in 2020 companies. I like disclosure ninety eight point six I invested in. That's actually one of the biggest investments I've ever made.
Raised one hundred and eighteen million in its series EE funding round in October 2020, including the series EE ninety eight point six has raised a total of 250 million since its founding in 2015. And they're trying to take a what I'll call and play offense around health care, and that is access primary care through your phone for, I don't know, something like forty or fifty cents a month per employee selling into the enterprise such that they can pull up their phone and through a series of API driven questions, get to the right professional.
And instead of having disease or health care, be a disease driven defensive gestalt or is it guys make it offensive and more about health care and and addressing that rash before it becomes an infection and you end up in the emergency room. I think telemedicine is absolutely going to boom. What you're seeing is this interesting dynamic where the remote guise of the telemedicine guys have new competition from the legacy players who are forced to incorporate new technologies as a function of covid.
But I think this is a fantastic space. I've also invested and I'm talking my own book, but I'm voting with my feet in a company called Measured. It's a seed investment. And I'm trying to think about over the last 12 months, my wealth has increased substantially and I have some guilt around that in that there is so much suffering. Specifically, half a million households in America have lost someone and in the top 10 percent are living their best lives.
And I thought, OK, other than just the guilt, what can I do about it? One of the things I'm trying to do about it is do some seed stage investing, because I think it's going to be an incredible opportunity for startups. And I hate seed stage investing. I hate every new idea. I don't get it. I'm not good at it. I don't like young CEOs. I find them like infants, annoying yet very needy.
But I think it is good for the ecosystem to take some capital and invest it in early seed stage companies. One of those companies, a chemical measured. It's a weight loss platform that combines personalized meal plans, behavioral change and one on one guidance from registered dietitians. And it's a nice kid running it. And then let's talk about the big guys. I'm also a shareholder because I love investing in unregulated monopolies. Amazon, the Associated Press reported Amazon jumps into health care with telemedicine initiative.
The company recently announced that this summer will begin offering its Amazon Care telemedicine program to all Amazon employees and to private employers across the U.S. who want to join Amazon.
Oh, my gosh.
Talk about a ninja warrior move. What other company has taken their biggest expenses, whether it's fulfillment, health care, processing power, and turned each of those things into businesses that are probably on their own? One of the ten or twenty most valuable companies in the world? No one has ever done that. No one has ever done.
It's like take the biggest expenses in your house, whether it's food or rent, and figuring out a way to start a restaurant and a hotel out of your house and turn it into companies or small businesses that are worth more than the original house. That is what Amazon has done. It's as if the founder there was a genius where 170. Billion dollars. Oh, my God, he is, and yet he still gets into pissing matches with senators still prone and sending out depict, still prone to huge mistakes, all of us put on our pants one leg at a time, one leg at a time.
Anyways, Wal-Mart launched its first ever Wal-Mart Health Center in Dallas, Georgia, in 2019. That threw me off Dallas, Georgia. Hmm. You may want to think about a name change there.
You Georgians, you Georgians, as you're suppressing the vote, change the name of that city called Dallas. There's one Dallas. And it's a fairly kind of mundane city in Texas. Although people love Dallas, people love Dallas. And September 20 20, Wal-Mart piloted drone delivery of covid-19 at home tests. I think that's mostly for a press release, but it's an interesting idea. We'll see. OK, OK.
What other fields, what other fields, where do we want to where do we want to invest in education? According to New York Times, a report from CB Insights found that venture and equity financing for ed tech startups reached 13 billion globally in 2020. That's up from four point eight billion in twenty nineteen companies and opportunities. I think Google Career Certifications is really interesting. We talked about this in the pod the other week. These are opening massive opportunity for employers to accept candidates without certification from a higher ed institution.
We tend to focus on the problems with colleges, but probably the biggest problem is how drunk and in love with the graduates of elite institutions the corporations are. The U.S. corporation is still the greatest wealth creator in the history of mankind, and unfortunately, they have become total snobs and only want to hire people from Cornell because they went to Cornell, which is perpetuates this cycle of income inequality. So a Google certificate is not only a powerful idea, but what's even more powerful than that is Google has said that the graduates or the people who earn these certificates, they will perceive them.
They will evaluate them in the same context in terms of opportunities and compensation as they would someone with a college degree who is the gangster here. Coursera, which recently filed for its IPO, is reportedly valued at five billion dollars. That's going to kind of set the tone for EdTech. I'm pulling for Coursera. They're the original gangster. They got into it before it was cool. They have, I think, about three hundred million in revenues. And what's interesting is their consumer business is actually bigger than I anticipated it was.
I thought it was always going to be an enterprise business. But this is a company that is third of a billion dollars growing fast covid put wind in their sails. If this company comes out at a 10 or 15 billion, I think this is going to be a great IPO. I think it's going to be really successful. It'll ignite a flame. It was like, who is the head of the wildlings? I'm watching Game of Thrones again with my son, my thirteen year old son.
Totally inappropriate. And that's why we like it.
That's why we like it anyway. Anyway, this the head of the wildlings says I'm going to light a fire the likes of which the realm has never seen. If Coursera does well in its IPO and I'm going to try and buy stock in this thing, it's going to light a fire which the education realm has never seen.
This is very exciting. And of course, of course, Section four, that's my higher ed startup trying to democratize elite business education. We just raised thirty million.
I feel inadequate. I feel inadequate, only raising thirty million dollars. I heard an outlier has a deck out right now and they're trying to raise fifty million at a premium of 130 million on 600000 in revenues. Outlier basically says OK, calculus has been taught the same way for 500 years. Let's find the best calculus teacher and let's take the one and a half billion dollar business, which is how much young people spend on calculus courses in tuition across universities.
And let's charge three hundred dollars for it because let's find the best calculus teacher and just teach it the way it's supposed to be taught. And supposedly they didn't have much revenue and they raised money, 130 million. So I'm thinking, oh my God, I didn't raise enough money to hire an evaluation. But anyways, anyways, we taught ten thousand students last year, our market is mid-market professionals. Because when you think about think about this, think about this.
What is the most common attribute among global business leaders, much less as global leaders? The American MBA, it's got recognized value.
It is transformational. We take human capital that's making seventy thousand dollars a year and we turn it into human capital. They can charge 140000 dollars a year to be rented by a corporation that is transformational. We can do that in 18 to 24 months.
But here's the thing. Here's the thing. Who is eligible to get an MBA?
First off, two thirds of the U.S. is not eligible because they don't have a college degree. If you're a single mother with a kid, you're not getting an MBA. You can't afford that sort of debt. You can't afford that sort of time commitment. If you're not between the ages of 24 and 30, you're kind of shit out of luck. If you don't have a half a million dollars of the capacity to forgo a half a million dollars and take on debt or forgo opportunity costs in terms of earnings, you'd give up, you can't get an MBA.
So basically the total addressable market, think about this, a globally recognized product. And what is the total output across top 20 business schools? What is it, 8000 students? 10000. Think about this. What other product in the world has this type of risk? Ignition globally, this type of value, this type of transformative value and its total customer base is eight or ten thousand people a year. So anyways, we're trying to democratize a lead business education by getting the best professors in the United States.
We charge 700 dollars. The basic callsign, if you will. The basic tagline is elite MBA instruction and learning for 10 percent of the price and one percent of the friction don't have to apply. We give out scholarships and so far we've educated about 12000 students from 27 countries. Anyways, I think this is just I think Caltech and EdTech are just such exciting places to to allocate your financial capital. If you're a little bit older and if you're a little bit younger to allocate your human capital.
I am very bullish.
Tech, health, tech and then remote.
Those are the three big areas of dispersion and where you want to invest your finite resources. Thanks for the question, Julio. We have one quick break before our final two questions. Stay with us. Support for this episode comes from Satava pioneers in the online mattress industry.
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That's atlases and dotcom team. Welcome back, question number three. Hi, Scott, this is Anna Coren from Des Moines, Iowa. I've only recently become interested in economics, finance and investment. My academic training is in rhetoric and later law, so I've not had any formal introduction into these topics. Can you suggest any books or sources that might give someone just learning about these things a good base for comprehension? Thanks for your help. Subscribe to newsletters newsletter Stylebook by NYT Morning Brew, Bloomberg's Five Things You Need to know to start your day.
Start just reading up on this stuff. Subscribe to various news sites. The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times. My favorite is the Financial Times. That salmon bitch. I love that thing. Barrence Little dense, but interesting in terms of specific stocks. Follow journalists and professors on Twitter who cover these topics. I think the gangster here, I think the absolute gangster here, the best teacher in the world, in my view, as my colleague Aswath Damodaran, who literally wrote the book on valuation, he has put all of his courses online on YouTube.
I would start reading his blog once you feel like you have the basics. And I would also take his course online, which you can take for free or you can take through Stern. I would say 60 percent of what I know about finance or valuation or my true beliefs or the things, the pillars of what I believe about stocks in the markets come from Professor Temodar. And I think he's just outstanding. I think Andrew Ross Sorkin and Deal Book Are Fantastic, is a fantastic blog and I think he is a great journalist.
I love the book Too Big to Fail, although I don't I don't know. I don't know if it really is a finance book more than it is kind of a soap opera. But I love I love Andrew's work anyways. And also Investopedia is a great resource for understanding the investment space and also buy a few stocks and then just track them and read all the news on them and try and understand market movements and get into the markets. I love the markets.
I check my stocks every day just because I enjoy I enjoy seeing what's going on and trying to understand. I make predictions around stocks. I get a lot of them wrong. But I think it's fun to build up and say, OK, this is why I think this stock is going to go up or go down. But there's a ton of resources out there. But more than anything, you have what's required, and that is you seem curious and interested.
Start setting up those alerts on your phone, those daily newsletters go online and take that class Marquart to murder and then subscribe to some great, great financial journalism out there.
Question number four, hypervisor. Gee, my name is Deetz. I'm twenty years old and I am currently an undergrad student at NYU. My question for you is, what do you think the space is if there is space for humility and empathy in successful business? And how do you think empathetic leadership can drive corporations to success? Thank you very much. I really enjoy your show. Have a great day.
And thanks for the thoughtful question and welcome to NYU. So I think capitalism is is really the ultimate cocktail of full body contact violence in terms of competition and trying to innovate and create a ton of friction and violence that creates prosperity for the company that results in tax revenues. So we can be more empathetic with our seniors and more empathetic with our parks and our Navy and ensure that homeless people have access to housing and that food insecure households have access to food.
I also think there's a ton of room for empathy within the organization. I think Marc Benioff, David Solomon are all like our empathetic people that want their employees to do well.
I think there's a nice role for a certain maternal or paternal approach to work where you see your employees, as I say, kids, but family, I think that's nice. And you see the community as your church and you want to you want to contribute. And I think successful companies have a lot of empathy, not only for their employees, but for their community. And I think there's evidence of it everywhere. They can be very philanthropic. I've always had and by the way, this is new for me.
When I was under the age of 40, I kind of bought into the Ayn Rand sort of Darwinistic capitalist Hunger Games philosophy. And every person who walked off the elevator and one of my companies had two bubbles, one bubble over the head with how much value they were adding. And the second bubble was how much they were costing the company. And if the second bubble became bigger than the first, I would sit them down and say, this is what you need to do.
And if they didn't, if if the cost bubble stayed higher than the value add bubble, I fired them and I was fairly rapacious about it. And my kind of the way I made my self feel better rationalize it was I was always generous with people on the way out. And I still think there's some value to that.
I think that you have to be a capitalist first with your own company or a for profit company. Having said that, having said that, I do feel that it's OK for a company or I think it's nice for a company to take a. The term is empathetic approach to its employees and try and put in place benefits and systems and a culture that is generous with people, I've always had a couple of people in my companies that I've always thought were a few bad decisions away from living in their car.
And it's OK to overpay people, specifically administrative people. I've always felt that if you're just straight supply and demand, the majority of CEOs or a lot of CEOs will say that labor should be based on supply and demand.
I think that's true of a senior level parts of a company. Those folks have the skills and the certification to command or or extract a lot of rent for their services. But our marketplace has resulted in one in five households with kids are food insecure. And I think at the administrative level, I think corporations, unless they have a responsibility but have the opportunity to step into a void through ridiculously fucking stupid economic, fiscal and legislative policies that have been weaponized by the shareholder class to basically erode the middle class and create a permanent underclass where you have a minimum wage of seven dollars and 25 cents an hour.
Oh, yeah, that makes sense to millionaires or billionaires have gone from one point nine trillion in wealth to fortunetelling over the last 10 years, and we've exploded minimum wage from seven twenty five to seven 25. So I think there's an opportunity to be empathetic. I think there's a huge opportunity as a manager to be empathetic, as a means of being a great manager, to try and understand people's objectives. Loyalty is a function of appreciation and a function of appreciation is how empathetic you are to really understand the people you work with, who work for you and understand what their priorities are, how they want, you know, what is important to them.
But in addition, in addition, I think corporations, unfortunately have had to fill some of the void and some have and some haven't. And some are part of the problem. But I don't think I've gone from being very Darwinistic about employees to feeling, especially at the administrative level, that it's OK to overpay that segment of your company. It's OK to give people perhaps more runway than I used to as a young man.
So I like capitalism. Full body contacted a corporate level, but that friction and that tension that creates profits and great products, it has to sit on a bed of empathy.
And I think that's the biggest danger to our society right now, because the ugly cousin, the ugly, fucked up, drug addicted, violent cousin to dispersion or to covid is that when we all withdraw to our homes or apartments, we don't have as much contact with people and we lose empathy.
There's great studies out of the UK showing that when a population or certain demographic increases in size and you don't live around them, you begin resenting them. And I worry that if we don't see the homeless fat, the single mom, people of different races at the movie theater or at the mall, we just lose empathy. So we all need an empathy practice. We need it at home. I'm an atheist. I don't pray, but I ask my sons to grab my hand at dinner and talk about what they're grateful for and then to talk about other people that they have empathy for, that they worry about them.
I think that's a good practice. I don't think it's something that just naturally happens to you. I think you need to have an empathy practice. And I also think we need an empathy practice at work, if you will.
Anyways, empathy is the key component. It's the chaser, the mixer, the glycerin to the nitro. That is competitiveness in a capitalist economy. Capitalism is all about friction and violence at a corporate level that sits on a bed of empathy. Thanks for the question. Apologies for the long winded answer. And welcome to NYU New York University.
Thanks for your questions, that's all for this episode. Again, if you'd like to submit a question, please email a voice recording to officers at Property Media Dotcom.
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