Ideas, businesses and companies that have no template hear the word “no” a lot. What mindset does it take to bet on the ventures that are considered to be on the fringe? Why is entrepreneurship so similar to poker? How do you get people to buy into an idea that requires a leap in forward-vision? On this episode, Bullpen co-founder Paul Martino shares his journey and the insights behind his greatest successes.
If the people with the money have that level of certitude about a future, you know you gotta bet the other way. –Paul Martino
There’s three kinds of people in venture capital, people pickers, product pickers and market pickers.
Acquisitions tend to go well when there’s a piece of human talent that can be used to accelerate the plan.
We are way better at hacking the past than hacking the future.
At the start of the show, Paul shares the legendary story of a chance meeting with Mark Maples and the impact Bill Campbell had on Silicone Valley. Next, he shared on going to grad school because it was hard to start a company as a 20 year old back in the early and mid 90s. We also talked about the kind of ventures Bullpen likes to invest in and why they believe in backing the outsiders. Paul also shared a legendary story about how Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky in 48 hours. Towards the end of the show, he talked about what he learned with his venture Tribe, and future plans for Bullpen.
Paul also shared insights on;
The temperament required in an entrepreneur
Why Silicon Valley is a herd animal
Transitioning from geek to the front office guy
How to get up from the canvas after defeat
The trough of disillusionment
The temperament required to be a good poker player is the same temperament you need to be an entrepreneur. Both require a lucky break and the ability to capitalize on it. If you want to be an entrepreneur you’ve got to play the game enough times, and when you’re coming into the game as an outsider, it’s important to have a chip on the shoulder directed to the venture ecosystem. As is the case with the game of poker, what determines whether you’re legendary or not, is what you do with the cards you’re dealt. All the failures help you put the pieces together to make the next opportunity a success.
Paul is the founder of four companies including Ahpah Software (a computer security firm acquired by InterTrust); Tribe (one of the world’s first social networks), and Aggregate Knowledge (a big data advertising attribution company acquired in 2014 by Neustar). Paul’s early online gaming innovations in multi-player user experience from almost 20 years ago are the inspiration for several of the modern social gaming offerings. He is the holder of over a dozen core patents covering social networking and big data. Go to BullPenCap.com for more information or find him on LinkedIn Linkedin.com/in/PaulJMartino.