The most successful founder in history part 2
Bill Gross on raising equity and building camaraderie
Tony Robbins always advocates learning from the best and Bill Gross is one of the best entrepreneurs on the planet, growing seven companies from zero to an astonishing $1 billion in value or more. In part one of the podcast, Bill talks about making employees think like owners by letting them share in the upside of your success and the biggest lessons he learned from setbacks in his endeavors.
In part two of the podcast, Tony gets a chance to talk with him about finding joy in fixing broken things, his advice on raising money and what Bill would like to be remembered for.
[02:20] Tony introduces Bill
[02:46] Where Bill’s optimism comes from
[03:25] Finding joy in trying to fix broken things
[03:48] Update on Carbon Capture
[04:30] Story of selling his company to Lotus
[05:13] Find a truth you know that others do not know
[05:55] Ben Rosen takes story back to Lotus
[06:25] Bill gets inspired by Multimedia PC
[06:55] How Bill created Idealab incubator
[07:45] When entrepreneurs should look for venture capital
[08:47] How Bill funded Knowledge Venture
[09:15] Showing your passion is important to show investors
[09:33] Bill’s advice on raising money
[10:36] Don’t try to raise what you need forever
[11:20] Bill’s philosophy on incentivizing employees
[12:15] Building camaraderie through incentives
[12:55] Importance of being generous in business deals
[13:20] Sharing the downsides before closing a deal
[14:16] The reasons companies succeed vs. fail
[14:45] Timing and execution matter the most
[15:36] How to know if it’s the right timing
[16:20] Missing the timing signals at Z.com
[16:45] What separates Idealab from other incubators
[17:24] Bill’s biggest failure that’s turned into success
[18:25] Navigating through the dot com crash
[19:00] When you should and shouldn’t take outside money
[19:31] Example: Sharing the story of EnergyVault
[20:03] How EnergyVault customers are changing the energy landscape
[20:38] The three technologies that will change our lives in the future
[21:48] What Bill would like to be remembered for
Bill Gross offers Tony many of his secrets to success in this interview. One is that to have a successful endeavor, you need to find the truth you know that no one else knows. This requires having trust in yourself and building trust in your workplace so your team will follow you even if everyone is telling them you’re wrong.
How to raise equity
Bill has raised funds for a number of companies, so of course Tony asked for advice to share with others. Bill’s first piece of advice is to show passion to your investors and demonstrate that you believe in your company so much that nothing will get in your way to grow it. This is the way to show that you will use fear instead of letting fear use you – and it has a powerful impact on potential investors. He also suggests raising small amounts to achieve progress before going on to raise larger amounts of equity.
Building camaraderie through incentives
Bill strives to make all his companies talkably different by building strong camaraderie. He’s found the best way to do this is to make everyone feel like they’re all in it together by offering them stakes in the company. This means everyone equally celebrates in the company’s success because it has a personal impact on them.
How Bill Gross would like to be remembered
Bill is an entrepreneur at heart, and the way he would like to be remembered is as someone who showed that you can use entrepreneurship to make the world a better place. Instead of trying to change government policy, he encourages entrepreneurs to use innovation to turn problems into solutions and always see obstacles as opportunities.