fbpx

Episode 200: Talking Unreasonable with Daniel Epstein (Part 2)


Fueled by the desire of creating an organization to help entrepreneurs, startups, an Unreasonable Group was born. Daniel Epstein, one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders alongside the likes of Tim Cook & Bill Gates, he’s banking on entrepreneurs and the community he’s built to, slowly but surely, change the world. In the second part of another incredible episode, Adam Stott and Daniel Epstein talk about how Unreasonable Group was founded to help start-ups and entrepreneurs to raise capital.

Daniel’s unfettered belief in entrepreneurs led him to found and become the CEO of Unreasonable Group – An organization dedicated to supporting an international Fellowship for growth-stage entrepreneurs who are profitably solving global issues. Today Unreasonable actively supports over 200 growth-stage CEOs; channels exclusive deal-flow to hundreds of investors and investment funds; and partners with multinational brands and institutions to discover profit in solving global challenges.

Show Highlights:

  • How can you be a part of the Unreasonable Group if you are an entrepreneur or a start-up
  • Daniel explains what “commitments” are when you get in the Unreasonable Fellowship
  • Having raised millions of dollars in capital, what Daniel thinks about people’s attitude about raising capital
  • How the COVID-29 Pandemic has affected Daniel’s company
  • Profit vs Profiteering

Links Mentioned:

Big Business Events Members Network
Know more about the Unreasonable Group or the Unreasonable collective at unreasonablegroup.com

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Daniel Epstein: 

The US called Aerofarms and it’s 390 times more efficient than traditional agriculture, what would take 390 hectares of land, they do in one hectare. They do it without any soil, and without the need for sunlight so growing underground is doing that underneath the streets of London just awesome companies.


Adam Stott:

00:18 that sounds awesome. How do you choose how to get involved with these companies? I mean, you know that. Certainly, you know, certainly interested in how do you choose, before I say that, those kind of things, strength and vulnerability, absolutely. So we’ve got a quick question here we’ll come back to intermission in a minute. 00:40 keenly we’ve got someone saying hi Daniel that’s coming from Dan Moses one of our clients. 00:45 saying as ourselves wow that’s incredible. Brooke has asked a question as well which we’ll come back to we do the questions that, we got few questions to do. We will come up through to Natasha San and she loves that. I mean, that’s an awesome concept. How do you decide to get involved with that business? Right yeah. How does that come across your desk and what do you do for that business? Daniel, get involved with that and dive into it and what do you do with that kind of business? How that does work?


Daniel Epstein: 
So there’s no application to become a part of what we refer to as the unreasonable fellowship, you handpick can we privately invite the companies. If you are interested, though, we have a contact form justreasonablegroup.com. You can click Connect and you can reach out to us. Okay, but you know for us the reason we don’t have an application process is we’ve learned that the best entrepreneurs in the world they don’t apply for things, why because they’re so focused that we’re using them so effective is their heads down, really unroot kind of what’s right in front of them and so we handpick and then we privately invite entrepreneurs into the fellowship, and we support them for life. I mean our promises will give you an unfair advantage in perpetuity. So long as you’re running a company that’s trying to solve a societal environmental challenge so that’s kind of our key 01:58 

Adam Stott:
01:59 fundamentals a societal or environmental challenge and our problem to solve that in a different way. So if anybody 02:08 out there doing that, then certainly go on there and let them know, like, because that would be awesome. 02:16 you know, I’ve cancelled a time that focusing on, and you know what, some of the people with this ideas, and I mean like one things that we do is we run pre-Covid, we wound run free events all over the country. And we’d run a free event and I would make anywhere from 100 to 350 entrepreneurs at once, and we will talk to those people and the people had the wackiest ideas so we’ve made like 10 people like wacky ideas that were pretty cool but wacky and they are looking for connections, and usually it was a environment or 02:59 there will be people out there so if you know somebody like that, then certainly a direct and source Daniels, it sounds like he’s making a real difference that he selects on that basis and then when you select them, or what happens right. What’s interesting about it? 

Daniel Epstein: 
The only 03:18 ad is just the solutions we select there are only for profit companies can add and growth stage and development, and their impacts baked into the DNA of their profit model. So the more money they make, the more impact that I have in the world, and then we look for hyper scalability, right so that might have, you know, regional relevance where they proved the concept, but we want to work with entrepreneurs who have a global ambition to solve a problem, full stop. And so that kind of gets the scale so what do we actually do when we find the entrepreneurs point of induction into the fellowship is an initial program pre-COVID that was in essence 12 days we’d get together in person, highly immersive experience with about, about 12 to 15 entrepreneurs throughout that I you know nearly two weeks experience will bring in about 60 or so of our mentors from all around the world and then we’ll have a private investor gathering as well as part of that. And our goal in this program, this is what most the world thinks we do for the entrepreneurs are these immersive gatherings, we want to make that the most productive two weeks that you’ve had in your entrepreneurial life, most productive for your company, but also most productive for you as an individual, in terms of like wellness and leadership style and creating culture and hiring teams and so on.

And you’re typically a reasonable fellow who walks out of that program will have a little bit over 100 commitments and commitments can be hey I want to, you know, help with your cross continental supply chain challenges in bringing solar from India into East Africa, or it could be, I want to license your technology and put it into you know our supply chains or it could be I want to invest, or it could be I’d love to be on your board, but they’ll have about 100 commitments coming out of that program, but the truth is these programs, although they’re really intense, or intensive, that’s the start of our relationship so we treat them as the point of induction into the fellowship. 

And what that looks like ongoing right if you know we say we support you into perpetuity. There are a couple things. So you’ll get matched up with typically say five to eight other CEOs and the unreasonable fellowship, and they’ll come together and what we refer to as a grove. So once a month, they’ll drop in with each other small group, and they’ll drop in with each other anywhere between two to four hours, and in that grove, you know what’s shared there is not shared anywhere else. So this is a we refer to it as absolute confidentiality, which means nobody no one ever shares what’s discussed. 

That creates the right environment where you can say hey, it can be any type of issue right like, I’m worried about my health, I’m so stressed out and I wanted to cardiac arrest last year and I think it’s gonna happen again and I don’t have to balance. You know the work I have in front of me with my stress or it could be my marriage is struggling, I don’t know how to like balance those two things or it could be like hey, my board of directors is totally dysfunctional. Like how do you solve this could be anything, what they’re doing though in these groups every month, they’re coming to each other with their biggest challenges in life and work and family and this is modeled after a group called YPO, we’ve taken a lot of their methodologies in terms of CEO peer to peer coaching. 


So every month you get together with that group, you know beyond that anytime you’re raising capital. Our team will immediately jump on and you’ll be, we work with over 1000 sources of capital so we’ll immediately connect our entrepreneurs into those sources of capital and that’s I mentioned earlier it’s, you know, foundations sovereign wealth funds private equity groups governments individuals but only be.

Adam Stott:

One thing I love to do for the audience because there’s, you know somebody that has massive experience in raising capital. And of course there is the relationship capital aspects and there is your relationships. Is there any tips that you can get by with just a couple of tips. Yeah. So first of all, can we talk about people’s attitude towards raising capital like the small business like, one of the things that I really understand the principles and certainly my first business, you know, even by the top by the eight by the age of, you know, 27, I’ve raised like 9 million from our business, capital. A lot of people don’t have the almost like sometimes the guts to go and say right, I want to bank myself or raise the capital, and they misunderstand the importance of it. 

So what do you think about people’s attitude towards raising capita? But what should a small entrepreneur do should they raise capital, or should they should they grow their business organically what would your perspective be on that?


Daniel Epstein: 
Two things, it depends. Right, obviously if you’re a healthcare biotech company you have to raise capital because you’re not going to make revenue anytime soon, but different companies can’t. I think the first thing I always say is the best capital is revenue. If you can get your product out into market and start selling. You know there’s, and I think that in the entrepreneurial world we get caught up in financing, a lot of times right so you know they raise 50 million and so on and there’s a little bit of FOMO and whatever that might be. But, hands down the best capital is revenue. It’s better than philanthropic it’s better than anything, it means that your product or service is out there in the market and you can get feedback to improve it.

Adam Stott:
Essentially is somebody that works in that world for you to say that, and that’s awesome, because obviously people listening, that you know, there is no excuse for not taking action is that right don’t make it happen. Right, 08:34 because as Daniel 08:34.


Daniel Epstein: 
Get on it you might fall over. Right, I mean, I think when you’re looking at raising investment right, there’s a couple tears but I typically the first type of folks, you would raise capital from a you know it’s known as the three F’s, friends, families and fools. And I think what it’s getting at is your first capital is relational to the extreme because you don’t have a product yet you probably don’t even have a prototype yet if you know that’s where you’re at, at that stage of development and so you are raising from people who specifically believe in you. Either this gets yes absolutely like access or relationships and you know how much privilege does somebody have in their friends or families are, you know, the folks they can talk to but that gets to your point of just getting yourself out there in a really big way at that early stage but no they’re gonna bet on you. I say once you start raising more traditional capital, whether it’s angel investors or venture. What oftentimes happens is the people who run the due diligence are the investors on the entrepreneur, and they’ll run heavy due diligence. And I think, entrepreneurs, forget to do the same with their investors, I would say if you’re raising capital from anybody. Look at their portfolio of entrepreneurs and reach out directly to those companies, you can reach out to the contact form, you know, typically if you say hey I’m looking at raising from x fund and I know they financed you can we talk about it. Typically they’re gonna say yes and when you get on that phone you’re gonna hear like either like they’re fantastic investor, you know they’ve been a partner to us and an ally, or it’s been horrendous, like, you know, like, whatever that is. But I think that.


Adam Stott:
Some people so desperate at that stage where capital we have just typed anyone. And yeah, that is a problem isn’t?


Daniel Epstein: 
It can be really dangerous because what you want it, like, one you want to do like that background check in it and also you can ask the fund. If you say hey I would like to talk to you know these six investments that I know are in your portfolio. Can you connect me if they say no, that’s a big red flag. In that sense, right. So, part of it is just doing your homework. Think about the long term, yes, you might want that money now but it can ruin your business and it can make your life horrible if you get the wrong type of investor.


And then the other part is know what the pressure is on the investor, what are their expectations? Right, and I think this takes a little bit of understanding of just how like venture capital, like, typically works for folks by, you know, the, the partners in a venture capital fund, they’re raising money from other people. And those other people have an expectation on the timeline for return. Right. So, if a fund is normally 10 years in length. You want to sit down with the investor and say, Okay, how many years into the fund are you right now, and how quickly do you need, you know, a financial exit from the investment into my company because you want to really make certain that those are lined up with your expectation so if you sit with a friend who’s maybe four years into their life of their current fund, they’re going to need you to turn around really quickly and you may not be able to be and so part of its that and then part of its knowing, just what’s their intention with the capital, or do you feel values aligned with that investor, because you are getting married to them, and it is it’s a reasonable analogy.

Adam Stott:
Yeah, absolutely.

Daniel Epstein: 
Yeah. And I find that from an investor’s perspective when an entrepreneur does come to an investor and says hey yeah I’m really enjoyed working with you, of course, but I do have a number of questions that I would love to get grounded into sure we’re aligned right can you connect me to these references, can you tell me about your timeline where are you at in your allocation, or what do you typically look for that is a huge sign of strength. If you’re an investor looking at an entrepreneur you say okay why they’re taking this seriously, just as seriously as I hope they’re taking you know their broader work made so it’s not something to be shy about, but I think that the power dynamics feel really one way, but if you do come in and ask the right questions, I find that like then you can kind of move to the same side of the table in some ways.

Adam Stott:
Awesome, great advice there without shadow of a doubt. So, one of the investments that we’ve recently made into air protein, which I was certainly interested in. Exercising this morning I badly injured my back so much, with air protein. 12:48 tell me more about it.

Daniel Epstein: 
Unfortunately, sorry to hear that it’s the worst. Honestly, yeah, so air protein that’s the first investment that we placed as part of a new initiative we call the unreasonable collective and reasonable collective but you know, we’ll talk about. 

We’re trying to give opportunity to individual investors to be able to invest into the best companies in essence, almost primed companies for advancement across the unreasonable fellowship and, you know, these companies are raising anywhere between, let’s say, 20 and $100 million in their financing rounds and so individuals who aren’t billionaires, you know, normally cannot get into these companies, and we want to change the demographics of that and allow it so that you or I could be able to invest so air protein was the first company that we syndicated an opportunity into, it’s led by an amazing entrepreneur named Dr. Lisa Dyson. She’s based out of California, not far too many but a lot more kind of PhDs than most people should have said she’s brilliant, she’s taken a technology out of NASA, where NASA was looking at if we’re going to travel to Mars. We have astronauts living in a confined environment for about a year. You know, it was at least what they were looking at originally, they’re going to be breathing out a lot of carbon dioxide, and they’re gonna need sources of food. So how can we deal with that and so they basically bio engineered bacteria or microbes were to take away that can eat carbon dioxide in the air and convert it into protein. 


So, air protein, they’ve commercialized that technology out of NASA, They’re literally making chicken out of carbon dioxide. So without the need to raise or kill animals, and you know i mean the crazy stat on that is humans, we consume 70 billion animals, a year. It is like a hockey number right and if you look at the impact on the environment depends who you talk to, but upwards of about 30% of climate change is based on the way that we produce protein around the world. 

So this is literally taking carbon dioxide and converting it into new forms of protein like chicken. You can check it out to airprotein.com. Now, you know we’re privileged to be a part of that is a round that we invest in into, we actually got a discounted rate but it was led by Google Ventures and by our partners at Barclays. And so what’s so cool is you know just taking it close to home. Like, my parents are part of the unreasonable collective just as individuals and so you know they were able to invest into that deal that normally no individual would really have access to.

Adam Stott:
So that’s what the unreasonable collective is, so that’s bringing ordinary people the opportunity to invest in pretty much extraordinary companies is that 

Daniel Epstein: 
That’s a good 15:34 

Adam Stott:
15:35 you, Daniel, 


Daniel Epstein: 
You put it way better. Yeah, I would say it’s the board community, its community driven investment is really what it is and where it comes from my teammates, Fortiva, she runs our investment team. She was passing all of these investment opportunities to, you know, very large institutional funds like Blackrock or Blackstone or kind of so on and so forth. These are like multi-billion dollar investment funds. And Fortiva is an individual angel investor. She was realized I’m passing the best deals I’ve ever seen the most impactful deals I’ve ever seen to these really large institutions she’s like, why can’t people like me invest, right and in Fortiva’s case people like her, you know, she’s a working mom. She’s not a billionaire, she’s born in India she’s not from the US she’s working in New York now, she’s a woman of color, right I mean all of these things, and that she was realizing that people like her did not have the ability to participate into companies like the ones who have caliber that we have in our fellowship and so I want to change that. 

So she came to me with this idea for the collective and at first I said for Fortiva we have so much going on, like, I don’t know, she was like well let me, you know, just let me like put it down on paper, and let’s talk about she put it down on paper, look, this is, this is genius. This is one remarkably important kind of changing demographics of who has the ability to finance and who also gets financing, but also this is just a it’s a profound business case for the individual investor, to be able to participate in these really compelling companies. 

So that’s justreasonablecollective.com we really just launched in, I had a, we have just over 50 founding members started this year, and we work with funders all around the world. Sir, Stephen O’Brien, he’s knighted out of the UK, amazing entrepreneur, a member of parliament for a while out there from him to printers and princesses and we have you know the CTO of Accenture Paul Daugherty in one largest companies in the world over 500,000 employees, he sees technology trends, as well as anybody and then like my parents are a part of it so like we’re trying to give everyday people the ability to put their money into things that really matter. And we believe you hopefully produce outsized financial returns as well.


Adam Stott:

Awesome sounds brilliant. We’re gonna ask you the COVID question.

Daniel Epstein: 
Yeah, I saw a couple in there.

Adam Stott:
After this, we’re gonna jump in some of the questions that people had. And if you got a question today for I know we’ve got some questions in already, which we’re going to come back to in just a moment. But you’ve been watching all the way through well done so far we’re going to come up to those questions in a moment, the chance to ask a question you want to say hello to Daniel and ask him a question or ask him anything so I’m sure he’s top man he’s gonna be really happy to hear anything. 

Right, pop in the comments and let us know, even if it’s about branding, about media. So Daniel has been featured as one of the 50 world’s top leaders in Fortune Magazine, you’ve worked with some amazing people actually Danny won’t mention that the people you’ve actually worked with and some big time celebrities as well you’ve been involved, which is awesome. 


First of all, like, How is COVID enhanced the work that you’ve been doing this year we’ve unreasonable growth, what’s changed? You know what have you, you know, because you don’t know finds a way don’t they? If there’s a lot of people watching that might be looking to find their way. What are some of you might have done differently or some of the differences how’s that affected it?

Daniel Epstein: 
A lot of things, great question. It COVID affected every industry every sector every geography, in some in good ways and some and really kind of tragic ways. Yeah, I would say, for our fellows across the board that doing better actually in the COVID environment because they’re looking at future of healthcare, education, food access and all of that now has been accelerated like the shift of disruption has been accelerated towards more sustainable technologies, but for us as a team, when we realized that COVID was really serious you were supposed to run a program, just outside of London, I think, early March, and we called it off the day before, and we had this kind of, you know, like oh shit moment, we realized that you know our primary business model is partnerships with these multinationals, governments and, you know, they contract us to give them. I would say like relational access to the CEOs we support and part of that is through these in person gatherings that we run all around the world. 


And so when COVID came into kind of full thrust. We were a little nervous because we were like okay we run multi-week international sleep overs. In essence is a simple way. This is not gonna go well. So we went into scenario planning and I think what I could have done better as an entrepreneur I’d actually never done a kind of emergency scenario planning session and we did that internally within our company and if I’d do it again I’d bring in an expert, obviously like there are some things that it’s just really helpful to guide him through because I think we fumbled a little bit, I fumbled a little bit on that, and we had a worst case scenario, a likely case scenario and our best case and right where we actually ended up though, was in our best case scenario, so we got lucky, and this gets back to the power of quality relationships, all of our partners who could have, because the COVID pulled out of all of our contracts that one did. And in fact across the board, they invested more into the partnerships; I think that’s a testament to the quality of relationships that we were lucky enough to be able to form with them and to the importance of this work, especially entering COVID. 


But for us, this was a hard pivot, because we went from basically doing, almost all of the value creation that we were given to unreasonable files was in person in different ways throughout the year and then we had to move all of that virtually what we’ve seen is that a lot of what we do is actually more effective virtually because you can curate better. Right, well, like I mentioned, we have a network of over 600 mentors, and when we run an in person program, we really can’t bring more than 50 or 60 together. So you only get in a subset right when it’s virtual, let’s say you want to look at you know converting carbon dioxide into plastic, because you can sit you know IKEA can make tables, out of carbon dioxide. Right, so you might want to figure out how to get into IKEA supply chain. 

Well, now we run what we call brain trust and we can find 12 fermenters anywhere in the world who are specialists you know around that question, some of them work at IKEA that we can run that session for you, you know they can all be in their living rooms, and so we’ve seen right the remarkable 21:53. I think the the downsides to virtual, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this Adam as well but I went into it thinking this was gonna be easier. It’s actually much harder. It’s much easier to run an event in person, gathering in person because you can have, you know a little bit more whitespace like people a little bit more generous with it and when it’s virtual like we need to, or like our tic-tocs right how we facilitate our sessions we have it down to the minute, then they literally have like a minute to do this minute four do this minute six to this because you get to creative kind of breakthrough solutions. I think you need structure, but that much more so in a virtual environment so I think it’s a lot harder for us to do what we do virtually even in some ways is more effective. I think the downside to it is just the personal touch. 

In our programs, the most important tables, not a board room table it’s dinner table, and that’s where we drop in as people. Can you really build trust in relationships, when you drop in any talk about family or aspirations or mistakes, you know, whatever that might be. I had so I I’m missing that in a big way.

Adam Stott:
Those side conversations tend to march. I think that’s where you’re you’re saying those those little relationship builders and not virtually as they would be in person.

Daniel Epstein: 
You need that free space like to accelerate serendipity like you need to leave some room for serendipitous occurrences, and in a virtual world you’re just so structured, that I, you know, it’s a lot harder, but you know we’ll get through it right we’ll get vaccinated.

Adam Stott:
I do feel that there is a few social events and speaking. I think that there’s things that COVID is will make us do differently. But then it’s not that we want to bring back you know that we want to live without bringing two worlds together in the right way and things really useful like I mean you were in Colorado, I mean, Essex right you know I’m sure it’s probably a bit nicer, especially as he speaks blackout so where I am and he’s nice bright where you are.

Daniel Epstein: 
But it’s cold. You are right there, Adam. I mean the gift of the experience is a lot of what we’re doing virtually will keep, and in the end we’ll have a hybrid approach the things you’ll do in person are the things you can only do in person. That’s also a better use of people’s time. When we come together in person were away from our families, you know, or whatever that might be. So I think coming out of everything we do is going to be strong and I think that’s true of a lot of companies but it’s been hard, it’s hard to pivot that quickly and the toughest thing for us has been, you know, managing kind of the energy and the kind of culture within the team, amongst so much uncertainty. And I think that’s, you know, pretty common story right now amongst entrepreneurs and CEOs, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t make it easier because other people are struggling to just been gotten tough there.

Adam Stott:
Absolutely, I love what you said that you did when you did your crisis. One of the things that I’ve said for years by people watching now I’m sure they’ve been watching all the way through that are our clients with me, that are always talking about decision making. And when I talk about decision making, I say you really want to look at what is the very worst thing that happened, what was the very best thing, what’s the most likely thing that can happen. 

And if you look at those three structures, you’re going to have a much you’re going to be able to have a better idea of this scenario is that it makes it so much easier. And it just seems that the most successful people you speak to, I’ve only recently bought this interview series back many years ago, I did something called a big business show, and it was really big names, and this one called really cool stuff and I did that all over the world in person, as well, but recently where I’ve been doing these interviews and talking to really successful people like yourself, the trends are you know he says like people, if you’re trying to decode success. Right, you see the habits and the habits the you know, the habits and the thinking this is a really good shortcut for a lot of people have questions, this one’s coming, where do these quick fire. We’ve been on plenty of time already been awesome so far. What are your thoughts on what could be the next big thing in marketing and I guess with my work and with so many different companies and working different worlds, what what’s your opinion on this I’ll be really interested in myself as I love marketing.

Daniel Epstein: 
Yeah, I think that great marketing is gonna move into the category of earned media versus paid for. I think that so many of the outlets are struggling with their financial models, but at the end of the day, the brands that people are going to really resonate with are the ones who are just doing phenomenally important work in the world and thereby earning the media like an example being Tesla, Tesla fired their PR department. Right, why because they’re getting covered all the time because they’re just doing very important work for the world and they’re doing it in a bold way. So in essence, they’re earning it and it’s, you know, a conversation we have with with our partners all the time it’s like hey just because we launched a new initiative that doesn’t mean that anybody’s gonna write about it, they’re gonna write about the stories of actual change that come out of it, because that’s right. 


And so I think that that’s where I would put my emphasis on is do things that are worth talking about. And the world will talk about them, more so than in the past it’s been easier to get out there with, I guess less noteworthy stories but now. If it’s not really noteworthy you have to pay for it. It’s hard to say do things that matter more that resonate more that are more 27:24.

Adam Stott:
Links and size to pretty much this interview, which is, I have a company right. Yes. Interesting. Good one from brook books one of our clients great guy. We’ve kind of covered this, but no one this, how have you adapted your business model network, over the usual I’ll give a quick follow on that? 


Daniel Epstein: 

Over the last year, business model has stayed the same. We got lucky without our partners, kind of stuck with us. We did evolve it with launching the collective this new investment product, but I know working has changed dramatically. And I think what we’ve seen, as I said is, we’ve been able to curate a lot better virtually we’ve had to get a lot more disciplined, with how we host virtual sessions and really structure them so that every minute matters, we realized that when it’s virtual for people to stay engaged. they need to be a part of the conversation so we don’t like master classes running those virtually, they tend not to work nearly as well as. Okay, let’s have a talk and they’ll break people out into separate rooms so they can talk amongst each other share those learnings and come back to the group that’s odd so we’ve had to change the methodology to ensure more engagement virtually but we have seen that it’s actually more effective in terms of productivity for our companies, because we can curate better. 

The only other thing I’d say is, you know, this last year we were able to, you know, line up with some, like amazing celebrities you know whether that’s kind of Pitbull, or you know that former president of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize winner Madam Sirleaf or presidential candidate so whatever that might be a part of it has been when it’s virtual it’s a much easier ask it’s like hey, we’d be a part of this conversation for an hour. Easier right then let’s fly you out to this place.


Adam Stott:
29:02 you can get hold of if you are tempted to do it. right, you know who you think is incredible, you know, and hence you know you’re on tonight. And we’ve got amazing people lined up, because the ask is a very different art,


Daniel Epstein: 
It’s an easier ask right?

Adam Stott:
29:18 here and come and talk to a group of people and, you know, is this worthwhile, is it worth traveling time, is it worth being away from afar. So, Daniel you’re in your living room, can you come and, you know, tell us

Daniel Epstein: 
Come hang out for a little bit. 29:33 but yes.


Adam Stott:

Awesome, okay 29:37 also ask, are you working with any AI company so I mean just as far as.

Daniel Epstein: 
Yes, a huge amount, I had a good example if you look up sky hive. They’re great example today AI platform for the future of job training, job placement, but I would say that, probably a third of our company so almost 100 companies are deeply steeped in artificial intelligence and machine learning and deep learning, just as part of how they they operate in today’s market. And probably, maybe 15 to 20 are specifically AI companies. So yes, a lot of that and part of that is because when you when you look at a lot of these global challenges, you need to be able to make sense of big data is a huge hindrance towards moving the needle in the right direction itself a lot.


Adam Stott:
Awesome, awesome. We also this one, and the image changes, we’ve done that one on pre pandemic. We’ve got one, How would you define a societal change?

Daniel Epstein: 
Good question, actually, how we’re using fighters with an acronym we just said look what we’re really referring to are BFPS, which is stands for big fucking problems. It’s the best way we could put it. But yeah, I would say, part of it is slightly intuitive. 

Right, so yeah, for us, healthcare, food, water, renewable energy access, I would say renewable transportation as well I would look directly at a future of learning that’s from childhood education, up through, you know what it’s gonna look like to retrain workforces around the world as the digital era, kind of kicks into gear. But what we’re trying to see is a subtle impact for at least the companies we work with, we ask yourself the question, how are they positioned the impact to the lives of 10s of millions of people if this succeeds in a very meaningful way where their intended consequences. 

The benefit of them far outweigh their unintended consequences, right, because even if you look at a company like delight, that’s a company in the reasonable fellowship, they’ve brought solar to over 100 million people, before they didn’t have electricity. It’s a crazy statistic there are more people today who don’t have electricity than when Thomas Edison turned on the light bulb, because of population growth. It’s about 1.3. billion people right still yet to be happy BFP right. It’s so, so when you look at that right there’s an unintended consequence, which is you’re producing a lot of solar panels and batteries and there’s some waste with that does the unintended consequence far outweigh the benefit of the detriment of the AI. Yes, but without question you’re bringing electricity 100 million people you’re helping them come out of poverty, you’re saving them from a lot of health concerns you allow girls to study at night so on and so forth. 

But we will look at that. So, I would say, it varies from sector to sector but we’re looking for global aspirations of scale at least 10s of millions of people per company, and we want to ensure that they started the company to move the needle on that problem. Not that I that it was an opportunity to kind of stumbled upon. And at the end of the day, like, we would say look profit can be a great thing. It can be a bad thing. It could be a great thing profiteering is not the place that we play. we want to work with entrepreneurs who started their company because they wanted to solve the problem. And they saw profit as the tool.


Adam Stott:
Nice. Okay, lovely job, but it’s made for an amazing interview fascinating. 


Daniel Epstein: 
Fun hanging with you. But I wanted to ask you questions.


Adam Stott:
32:58 Yeah I think it’s been fascinating you know really really enjoyed it. I’m sure the audience has to, if anybody. I’ll just say at this stage if you’ve been watching all the way through. Comment a players, we know you’re in a play you stayed all the way with us, if you kind of joined on somewhere in the middle somewhere in between you can comment deeper. and if you’re just hearing what I’m saying now and you’re thinking about comments see 33:21 so we can identify you, but you know it’s been fascinating to me it’s been awesome. Thank you very much people can get in touch with you at theunreasonablegroup.com, if you want to look at the unreasonable collective was the domain for that?


Daniel Epstein: 

onlythebookcollective.com

Adam Stott:
You know Dan’s been, you know, fascinating if you have just caught this on the replay or you’re just tuning in. Now make sure you go back and watch all the way to the beginning because I think there’s a lot of lessons in here that are really going to make a difference to you in many ways. I think it’s been fascinating. So, you know, thank you very much, I really appreciate that. Daniel, you’ve been a superstar and has been brilliant has been tonight my man.

Daniel Epstein: 
Yeah, appreciate it very much, Adam.


Adam Stott:
Bye bye.

 

 

Leave a Comment