Ep469: Brennan Spellacy – Differentiate Between One-Way and Two-Way Doors in Your Life

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Quick take

BIO: Brennan Spellacy is one of the co-founders and CEO of Patch, the platform for negative emissions.

STORY: Brennan got offered a full-time junior software development job at Shopify after completing his internship, but he turned it down so that he could go back to complete his degree. The job came with stock options that would be worth an eight-figure today. He never got to use his degree.

LEARNING: Seek help from the right people when making decisions. Ask yourself if your decision is permanent or nonpermanent.


“When you’re making a decision, ask yourself if it can easily be undone or it’s permanent.”

Brennan Spellacy


Guest profile

Brennan Spellacy is one of the co-founders and CEO of Patch, the platform for negative emissions. Prior to starting Patch, Brennan worked in a range of product and engineering roles at Sonder and Shopify.

Worst investment ever

Brennan got offered a full-time junior software development job at Shopify after completing his internship. He still had two years of university remaining, so he turned the job down to go back to school.

What Brennan regrets most is missing out on the stock options that came with the job. These options would be worth an eight-figure today. And the sad part is that Brennan never really used his degree.

Lessons learned

  • Understand asymmetric risk and asymmetric upside so that you can make an objective decision.
  • Understanding your value system will help you make sure you’re optimizing for that when making a decision.
  • Weigh both permanent and nonpermanent decisions.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Don’t beat yourself up too much because you’re not a multimillionaire. When it comes to recognizing opportunities, sometimes you only get more clarity as you grow older.
  • Money is just one aspect of decision-making.
  • Make sure your decision-making process is good. Take your time and talk to the right people.

Actionable advice

if you’re at some crossroads, get robust data on both sides before you make your decision.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Brennan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to grow Patch to about 35 or 40 employees.

Parting words


“Sometimes, you got to just shoot your shot and leave it all out there.”

Brennan Spellacy


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community we know that to win in investing you must take risks but to win big you've got to reduce it. Join our community to claim your podcast listener discount on my valuation masterclass Boot Camp, where students learn how to value companies like a pro and advance their career. Go to my worst investment ever.com to join our community for free fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests. Brennan spell se rennen. Are you ready to rock? I am. Alright, well, let me introduce you to the audience. Brendan is one of the co founders and CEO of patch the platform for negative emissions. Prior to starting Panch. Brennan worked in a range of product and engineering roles at sonder and schomp. Shopify. Easy for me to say, Brendon, take a minute. And Philippe further tidbits about your life.

Brennan Spellacy 01:09
Yeah, absolutely. Well, first and foremost, as your thank you so much for having me. I mean, as far as my life I grew up in New York, I'm a dual citizen, and American and Canadian. So it's actually studied up north at a school called McGill, some chemical engineering with the intention of working in renewable energy, that ended up not working out, I end up becoming a programmer at Shopify, like you mentioned, and then joined us on or shortly after that, and then ended up founding patch about 15 months ago. Starting Pat, for, I guess, for listeners, just a little bit extra context on what patches, you can kind of think of us as a two sided marketplace for carbon markets. And so what that means is on the supply side of our ecosystem, we have all these different ways to sequester carbon. For those who don't know, sequestering carbon refers to taking carbon out of the atmosphere with the intention of mitigating climate change, you then take that capacity to sequester that carbon, make it transactional, electronically through the patch platform, and then expose it through both a visual interface. So you can kind of think of it like an Airbnb for carbon, or a programmatic interface, which is an API. And for again, for those who don't know, an API is how computers talk to each other. So you can essentially build climate positive or carbon neutral applications using the patch API. So we work with a really wide variety of companies across crypto, FinTech, ecommerce logistics travel, to launch sustainable products. And so the way to think about patches, we help you stand up a sustainability program in a fraction of the time.

Andrew Stotz 02:45
And maybe you could explain like a case study or an example of a company that something that people would, because even for me, as I think about it, it's still a little bit esoteric, tell it, can you tell us about a company that you know, that found patch? And has really, you know, put to use what you have?

Brennan Spellacy 03:03
Yeah, absolutely. So oh, there's actually this great idea to see brand that sells probiotics called Seed, see, if.com, super easy to remember. And a huge kind of brand pillar of seed is the idea of sustainable living and healthy living, and really having kind of this link between both, like one's body and the earth. And so when they were actually putting their program together, a huge kind of piece that was important to them was sustainability. And the unfortunate reality is, based on how supply chains work today, there's no way to produce any product, really, in an emission, this faction, you know, we're kind of working through a lot more global energy, recyclable materials, etc. But at the end of the day, every kind of product is going to have a footprint. And so what we ended up doing, as soon as they actually came to us said, Hey, we want to basically neutralize our carbon footprint, we know what it is. And so what they actually did was every time they integrated patches API into their order management system. And so whenever an order for a box of probiotics, or a box, or whatever their new product actually might be kind of comes across their warehouse. They have a software system that pings patches API that says, hey, that that box of pills was 100 kilograms of co2 to produce. And so they send that 100 kilogram number into patch, we then match it with an appropriate provider based on their settings. Settings can be geography, price, things like this, not all carbon is created equal. And then that capacity then shows up on the desk of the supplier who's required to sequester that carbon and basically patch manages all that behind the scenes complexity to make sure that work actually gets done.

Andrew Stotz 04:47
And when we think about the carbon footprint of a company like seed, we're talking about you know, they use electricity to heat or cool their operation. They use electricity to run their operation. They make try to offset some of that with solar or something like that. There also is chemicals that are derived from fossil fuels that are being used as fertilizer, that type of thing. So they add all that up and they understand their carbon footprint. That part's pretty clear. What's not clear to me is the other part where you said that, that that okay, now now they say, okay, you know, we we've consumed, or we have this much responsibility for this much carbon, please help us because we don't we don't have the capacity to somehow deal with that. So on the other end, when that comes on to the other side of the marketplace, that it sounds like what patch is doing, what exactly are they doing? What does that mean, on the other side of that?

Brennan Spellacy 05:45
Yeah, absolutely. So on the, that's the supply side, okay. And so the supply side and the patch world are essentially these groups of people called carbon offset developers are carbon removal developers. And so a carbon removal or carbon offset developer is essentially a business or an organization that develops land with the intent of compensating or sequestering carbon. And so that can be as familiar as planting a forest where they can actually sequester carbon through photosynthesis, where the carbon is actually stored in the biomass of that tree. But that can also be as foreign or as human engineered something like direct our carbon capture, where you can think of direct or carbon capture as these large fans suck ambient air through this machine, and machine actually filters out the carbon and leaves it behind, and the pure air comes out the other side. And so what we're doing is we're essentially like a work queue, we're saying, Hey, you have 100 kilos here, 10 tonnes, they're 10 times here. And they're actually receiving that work and then executing on it, because they have a separate software experience that no buyers see that they actually manage their work on patch through. So they're providing us proof of fulfillment, where fulfillment is the carbon is sequestered. And then once they provide that fulfillment to us, we release funds. And so we're acting as this intermediary to kind of both aggregate demand but also make sure the transaction is secure and safe for both parties involved.

Andrew Stotz 07:12
And so basically, you're matching supply and demand, which basically means that suppliers are much more likely to develop supply if they know that they're going to get a consistent demand coming through the platform. And therefore, this is really, you know, this is this is easy business for them now, as opposed to them having to find that some that demand on their own through a network of salespeople or whatever that would be, would that be describing it? Right?

Brennan Spellacy 07:43
Yeah, no, that's absolutely accurate. I mean, I think I'd be naive to say we were the majority of the kind of wallets or spend or purchasing power of any specific supplier today, because we are just a 15 month old startup. That being said, the intent is to eventually kind of hit the scale where we're no driving 3040 50 60% of the sales for any one of our suppliers.

Andrew Stotz 08:07
And how was that supplier, finding that demand? Before you came along?

Brennan Spellacy 08:14
b2b, b2b sales and b2b procurement really. So you know, hiring a bunch of folks and pounding the pavement reaching out to people, some large organizations actually have like Microsoft or Shopify actually, funnily enough for an RFP processes where they say, Hey, I want to procure $5 million, or $10 million worth of carbon removal from my sustainability goals. And so these organizations would apply to those. But there's actually all this long tail of demand that none of them actually have the time to capture, which is kind of patch a sweet spot, because we don't need to solve each individual organization, because it's software. And so it's really easy to kind of get folks on boarded programmatically, and then it kind of effectively runs itself, more or less, versus if a supplier would have to like have a paper contracts and how to DocuSign and actually work with each one of these folks directly. Because they don't have that kind of software and that automation piece in between them.

Andrew Stotz 09:07
Fascinating. And it also makes it easier for the demand side. So you're a small company, and you said we really want to live up to these goals. All you got to do is plug into that. And then you can immediately match up with the supply. One last question on this. I mean, I find it fascinating. You know, you look like such a young guy compared to my hairstyle that I just was, you know, just curious, you know, to think more about it. It's an impressive startup. And the question I have is basically when when on the demand side, when they put that into the system, and then somebody else, you know, responds to that and provides a supply. Is there a money transaction that's happening or is there a credit transaction or how does that work for let's say the, the demand side Do they need to put money into the system? Or how does that work?

Brennan Spellacy 10:03
Yeah, absolutely. So one of the other kind of added benefits of being a buyer on path is you don't have to negotiate payment terms or kind of, essentially do any sort of b2b procurement process with each supplier. And so if you wanted to buy, you know, from 15, suppliers, historically, we need 15 contracts with patch, you just need one contract. And so you got to sign up with us, you buy as much as you want, you know, 10 grams, 100,000 pounds, we can kind of, we can do it all on the platform, and we'll actually invoice you once a month. Once we take all those funds in. Depending on when that work gets done, we'll disperse it based on when we get proof of fulfillment. So some people commit to doing the work in 2021. Sometimes people are committing, it's almost like a futures contract where they're gonna do work in 2022, or 2023. And so by Well, essentially, from a flow of funds perspective, we're almost acting as an intermediary escrow agent, or we're kind of this neutral third party sitting in between the legal protections and indemnities on both sides, make sure that if anything goes wrong, we have recourse in either direction.

Andrew Stotz 11:09
That reminds me I read many years ago, The Four Hour Workweek, and Tim Ferriss talks about, you know, using Elance at the time, which has now become Upwork. And I started using it then. And I've actually, they gave me a report a while ago of how much money I had spent since I started on Upwork. And it had been a half a million dollars. Wow. So in other words, I've used it extensively. And when I explain it to people, I say, you know, there's just no way I could find this guy in Yugoslavia and this lady in Philippines, that really can do exactly what I need to be done. But more importantly, even if I found them, the contract, the trust, the distribution of funds, the protection, all that is done by the marketplace of Upwork. So now I'm understanding a little bit more about your business. And

Brennan Spellacy 12:02
I mean, if you understand software marketplaces, you for the most part understand patch, it's 80% of the same with 20% special sauce, because it's carbon markets, but it really operates like any other marketplace.

Andrew Stotz 12:13
And one, just kind of gonna get into the question, ladies and gentlemen, very soon, but just really last thing is tell us about your funding, you know, I don't know your valuation or your work with, you know, what, who is interested in funding your company? And what are you doing about funding? Yeah, absolutely.

Brennan Spellacy 12:33
So, we're in San Francisco, and we've had the privilege to have access to the kind of private financing capital networks that come with Silicon Valley. So most recently, we raised a four and a half million dollar seed round, led by Jeff Jordan, Andreessen Horowitz, that name might be familiar for folks, if you know, Airbnb, or Instacart, he sits on the board of both of these companies, as well as a few others. And, in addition, we actually today at like to like September 1, we actually closed our Series A, I won't say who it's worth, because we haven't announced yet. But depending on when this comes out, it may have already been announced, we're announcing mid September, and that's gonna be a $20 million round. And so heading in the right direction, we kind of have the capital on the team to get this done. And so it's really going to come down to if we're able to execute, if we're gonna end up being successful, which is the kind of best kind of situation I think to be in. It's very rare, you're in a situation where most things are, quote, unquote, in your control. And so that kind of feels like the situation we're in at least today. Do you see how I broke 12 months? But that's where I have a feeling right now.

Andrew Stotz 13:41
Exciting? Well, you know, one of the premises of this podcast is that one of the predictors of success is ultimately a person's ability to look back at the mistakes and failures and struggles that they've been through, you know, objectively. And so now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment, thinking it will be take a minute to fill any further tidbits about, you know, the circumstances leading up to it, and then tell us your story.

Brennan Spellacy 14:10
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So my worst investment ever actually goes back to my time at Shopify, so I'll provide a little extra extra context and kind of the lead up to it. And then, and then what ended up happening. So I had really just gotten a few both pharmacy and chemical engineering, internships. While I was at McGill, I was like betting like 19 or 19 or 20 at the time. And I didn't really want to do any of those things. You know, working on gas was like, essentially, against who I am. Now that you know what patches and so I really didn't want to work on these things. And all my friends who were in computer science, software engineering, were programming they're having an absolute blast, and I've asked him pretty cool and we were interesting, then, you know, food dynamics or something like that. So I was like, Oh, maybe I can learn how to program and kind of dive into that world. And so I attended a few hackathons. And so for those who don't know, a hackathon, it's kind of like a 24 or 48 hour straight programming contest. One actually, one, one actually, like learning how to program. And then I began applying to software engineering internships for that same summer summer of 2014, or 2015. And ended up getting interviews Shopify was awesome at the time, they had just raised their Series C, so they were hadn't even iPod yet. I think they were 300 350 people. And for whatever reason, like bombed every interview, essentially, if for whatever reason, they still gave me the job, they still gave me the internship for whatever reason, they saw something in me, got the role, actually learned how to program so I thought I knew how to program before I didn't. And then I actually learned, yeah, at least now I think I know, I may have another experience in the future where I realized I know nothing now but learn a serious, a serious amount more, while Shopify was incredible experience. And super supportive network and culture there. And round. I think it was either September or October, towards the end of my of that same year, towards the end of internship, we had four or five months. And the hiring manager at the time kind of came to me said, Hey, like, so we think it's been going crazy. Well, we'd love to have you join full time and as a kind of like a junior Junior software developer. And they had not realized that I had two years left of university. And so I came back. I was like, oh, like, you know, I saw school and that, oh, no, I didn't even realize that. I had totally forgotten no problem. If you want one, if you want to drop out or take a gap year, though, the offer still stands like we don't like Shopify is actually notorious for not caring about degrees or your background, which I think is incredible, and has actually led to that not to get unfair advantage, my opinion in many cases, but I've actually acquired a lot of really great talent, because people can be other companies can really overlook other people. And, you know, I basically went back and forth, seriously considered dropping out and not doing it. I stayed on for a little bit longer, did a little bit of extra contracting work. But then ended up leaving, and then finished my chemical engineering degree two years later, and then joined Sondra after that. The reason that was my worst investment ever is if I had stayed, and for those who don't know, the stock price, I think is like 500x, or something since that time or whatever, whatever I've done, I think I probably left between, like, made eight digits worth of stock on the table. So I'm scared like 10s of millions of dollars. And so that that one hurts because I basically gave up that opportunity to then spend money on tuition, and to get a degree that I would end up not using. Yep, maybe you said a little bit today with patch. And so and as well as just some intangible things that I certainly don't overlook as long as relationships I felt while at university. That being said, financially, it was a huge mistake. And here we are today.

Andrew Stotz 18:09
And how do you know that you would have? Were they offering stock in that time? Like as compensation? Or how do you know that you would have had stock?

Brennan Spellacy 18:21
Oh, yeah, so every every offer has well not stock, but it's options. So options priced at the fair market value at the time, which compared to the price today is basically been 99% or 99%. Differential.

Andrew Stotz 18:33
Okay. And I guess that the other question is, how do you know that you wouldn't have just spent that money and had a disastrous life? That's another question.

Brennan Spellacy 18:46
So spent the winter expending which money

Andrew Stotz 18:52
if you could have gotten I mean, I'm just joking around with kind of an alternate history. But sometimes when we think about the things that we miss, we missed some of the things. So yeah, I'm just teasing. But, one, I just wanted to mention one of the guys that was on this podcast, Junaid Iqbal. He was episode 340. And I just think it's important to note his business is called No degree.com. Now, it's not the same, in many cases as to what you're talking about is someone's getting a huge opportunity. They're really, you know, at the top of their game, and you know, they could get out of school or stay in this is for people that end up in the workforce and do not have a degree. And I just thought it was interesting that you mentioned that people are missing the companies or missing opportunities, and you know, just made me think about

Brennan Spellacy 19:42
that. Totally. No, I completely agree. Yeah.

Andrew Stotz 19:45
So So tell me what lessons did you learn from this?

Brennan Spellacy 19:49
Yeah, so I mean, I think that the biggest one like that's and honestly like, you don't actually feel the twangs of anxiety if you didn't feel that that Weighing of like 1000 mistake two years later is actually more like in the recent like, two or three years from today, looking back back at like 2016 2017 2018, when like, Shopify is basically like an unprecedented Bull Run. And really like the biggest learning there is understanding asymmetric risk, and asymmetric upside. And so if you kind of actually objectively looked at the situation or crossroads, I was at, you know, I had the option of either getting paid that day. So earning a good I did like decent entry level software engineering salary. To continue doing work I really enjoyed, or to kind of go back to school, there's nothing wrong with going back to school. The thing is, though, Miguel actually has a very generous degree deferral program. So there's no like Miguel does not disappear overnight. So there was like, when you think about asymmetric risk, it's like walking away from that offer, is incredibly, you're giving up a lot versus you're actually walking away from the guilt when you say, I'm gonna postpone it for a year. I'm gonna test the Shopify thing out, see if I like, if I don't, I can always go back to McGill. I've learned that lesson. I'm going to graduate one year later, nothing, nothing, you know, nothing. What's the question? I think arms. I think that's weird. I think last I think metric versus the opposite, where it's essentially a one way door to say no Shopify. Now, you could have gone back two years later, but there's actually a huge kind of differential in the stock appreciation, even in those two years. And so I think, for me, I should have kind of thought a little bit more critically around, you know, what is actually a very versus not like, what's the fleeting opportunity versus not and actually evaluated, I had laid out this plan, if I'm going to go to a four year school and do whatever else. I had new information at that time, I didn't actually reevaluate the plant critically, I just thought I had this a plan I'm going to stick to the plan that I have committed to follow through is an incredibly important attribute. That being said, if you have new information, it's worth reevaluating situation, because the calculus changes.

Andrew Stotz 22:01
And what was the force that was telling you, in your mind that you should just go back and finish this as it's something that you just always believed in? Your parents said, Look, you got to get an education or society? Or what was it that you know, drove you back to them?

Brennan Spellacy 22:16
Yeah, you know, I think it's probably a mix of things. I mean, first and foremost, I don't really perceive myself as a quitter. And so the idea of quitting something, I say, especially at the time just felt, honestly, if I was faced with a comparable situation today, I actually, truthfully cannot say if I react differently, like, I would like to think I would, but no, humans are rational. And I'm also like, human. So I can't say for certain. So first and foremost is like, if the idea of quitting, or even temporarily quitting, something just fell off. The second is my parents, like, I was very fortunate, where my parents were paying for my education was an incredibly privileged position to be in. And so I didn't want to essentially, I always viewed leaving as disrespectful, where that would be like, I'm almost, you know, so it's almost like a slap in the face that my family has worked incredibly hard to kind of actually make sure I don't have to come at university with any debt, which is certainly not a privilege, a lot of my peers or people with similar my age are afforded. Again, between these two things just kind of almost felt wrong to do. And that was really, it wasn't like, I was like, Oh, stop by, it's not gonna be a great company, or I'm gonna do way better things. If I have a degree, it was kind of almost more like, it makes it like societal or like my impression of what I should do, and then a bit of almost a moral obligation to kind of the privilege I've been afforded.

Andrew Stotz 23:37
So maybe I'll share a few things that I take away from you. I think that there's two words that I wrote down. One is opportunities. The other one is money. And I was thinking about, one of the things about youth is that it's sometimes hard to spot opportunities. I think about a friend of mine might might want my first boss in the financial world, many years late, during the 2008 crisis long after I worked for him. I couldn't get ahold of him for a little while. And I got to hold him eventually. And I said, Hey, where are you been? He says, Ah, sorry. You know, 2008 crisis is happening. Everything's falling apart. I needed to set up some particular investment structures, so I could buy Icelandic bonds. And I was like, What are you buying Icelandic bonds for? Because I mean, everything's crashing and currencies are crashing. He said, Yeah, the currencies down, you know, 40% in Iceland, and it's not in the EU. So it's got its own currency, it's collapsing. And the government is struggling with its banking system, and therefore to raise money. They're having to pay a very high interest rate. I believe that I can put money into the Icelandic bonds get a good interest rate that they're paying from the government. So it's like guaranteed almost, and I believe the Icelandic currency is going to appreciate eventually when we come out of this crisis, so I'm gonna win two ways. And I think I've locked in 20% return for the next 10 years with almost risk free money. Let me sit. That's why. That's when I That's why I've been really busy. And I had already been in the finance world for a while. And I just thought I didn't see that. You know, I didn't see it as the opportunity that he saw it as now, I definitely see opportunities much more clearly. And of course, you know, so I think the first message to the listener out there and said, you know, don't beat yourself up too much, that you're not a multi. Yeah, zillionaire because of the fact that sometimes the you have more clarity, you know, as you get older, when it comes to recognizing opportunity, of course, this whole podcast is, you know, hindsight bias, where we're looking back with the knowledge that we know. Now, the second thing is that, you know, I think it's, it's also, you demonstrate a little bit about the idea that, you know, money is one aspect of decision making Absolutely. One aspect, but it's not everything in. So I think that that kind of made me think about it. And then the last thing that I was just thinking about too, is I think a lot of people have kind of weak decision making structures. I'm not saying that yours was in this case, but I would say for the listeners out there, if you're facing a situation like this right now, you know, take the time to maybe write it down, write down the pros and cons, talk to other people about it, you know, and sometimes that can help you make better decisions, but not always, you got to talk to the right people. But those are some of the things I'm thinking about the identifying or opportunities, making decisions related to money versus other things. And then of course, you know, make sure your decision making processes good. Anything you'd add to that.

Brennan Spellacy 26:46
Yeah, I mean, I think kind of double clicking into the decision making process piece specifically, like, for the first time, like, I completely agree, and I almost like that second point you made folds a little bit into the decision making process, which is like understanding, like, what is your value system and make sure making sure you're optimizing for that, right. So if I was optimizing, explicitly, like I was earlier, kind of optimized a little bit more for like, relationship with my family, kind of the idea of maybe some relationship with myself and how I view myself and maybe not being a quitter, maybe that was important to me. But kind of going back to the decision making framework piece, there's a bit of like, really understanding truly what is like what I call a one way door to a door, which is like when you're making a decision, is it actually easily undone? Or is it permanent. And the thing that I really didn't appreciate at the time was I kept saying in both situations, Shopify will always be there. And Miguel will always be there. But the thing that I didn't really recognize at the time is the kind of temporal nature of the Shopify being there, if you will, where like the Shopify, in your in a growth stage, or hyper growth stage, startup, six to 12 months actually makes an enormous difference. But I didn't actually have that context. At the time, I had not really been exposed to that world at a slightly more macro level, versus, you know, MacGill year over year, like we know, it's been there for over 200 years is that it's not changing, okay? It's gonna be the same if I go like a year before a year after Shopify,

Andrew Stotz 28:18
you can't come back. Now this is a two day two way door.

Brennan Spellacy 28:21
Exactly. It's a two way door as well. It's not the curriculum is changing that much like we're learning, like how atoms interact with each other, I kind of like discover a new atom that's going to validate your entire education, like overnight, right, this stuff happens at a much longer timescale, versus, you know, technology, especially software licenses move like, you know, 612 18 months is actually a huge amount of time. It's really understanding the timescales and kind of what is a permanent versus a non permit decision. I think it's incredibly important.

Andrew Stotz 28:48
Okay, so based upon what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn, let's think about a young person facing this same type of question. With the same knowledge that you had at the time of the situation, what one action would you recommend that they take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Brennan Spellacy 29:06
Yeah, truthfully, I think I would have most likely spoken a little bit. I don't think I weighed if I'm actually looking back to like trying to put myself in position I was back then versus today. I don't think I kind of floated this idea enough with my peer group or with the folks actually at Shopify. So I asked a lot of people, a lot of my classmates at McGill, I asked some of my professors, okay, it's already kind of a bias information, I asked my parents. And so those are kind of the three inputs, and those are all people who are quote unquote, Team Miguel versus Team Shopify. So actually, my inputs were actually incredibly biased. And so if I didn't have anyone to kind of weighing the other side of the equation, and if maybe I had spoken to Pierre or another manager at Shopify, who maybe had been there for a year before, they might have been able to tell me that The year before they were 50 people, and a year later they were 300. Okay, well, now that makes me understand growth rates a little bit better, right, versus I'd have that input. And so because I haven't, I wasn't able to evaluate the decision appropriately. So I think really kind of making sure if you're at a sort of crossroads, you have, like really robust data sources on both sides of a decision. I think it's incredibly important.

Andrew Stotz 30:20
I just want to I mean, I don't often comment about the advice, but I think it's really valuable. It's one of the lessons that I learned as an analyst, as a financial analyst in the stock market, I look at a company. And I tried to figure out what the reality is what the truth is. Yeah. What I mean by truth in the stock market is that you, it doesn't matter what you think, in your head, about something. What matters is how the market interprets that, in order to understand how the markets going to interpret that you need to understand the two sides. And I'm going to use what you said, I'm going to say, Team A, Team B, and say that there's opposing views. And so the best way that an analyst can try to solve that is find those opposing views. And find those people, and then interview them, talk to them, and then synthesize them. And what I've learned, and I love listening to debates and all that, what I've learned is that I've gone into many debates where I've listened. And I thought, I thought, I agree with Team A. And by the end, I agree with Team B. And what you realize is that actually, core principle to gaining new knowledge in our society, is debate. And it's because the extremes of any argument Team A versus Team B, is where you have so much passion to bring out the absolute strengths of those ideas. They may miss the weaknesses, but you're not really trying to judge that at that point. And so that a lot of times, I know in Thailand, people say we want more unity in our government, we want more unity in our people. And I always say that that is not democracy, democracy and the discovery of ideas, in particular, has to do with allowing extreme opposing views to exist, and then synthesizing those into some, you know, compromise in the case of government, or allow them to collide to generate new knowledge. And I just feel like in society, that's something that's quickly disappearing. And instead, it's like, I don't want to hear Team B, because I'm on Team A. So it's a good reminder for us to think about getting information from both teammate and Team B. So I think that's very valuable advice for the listeners.

Brennan Spellacy 32:59

Andrew Stotz 33:00
So last question. What is absolutely, what is your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Brennan Spellacy 33:06
Now more than goal for the next 12 months is to bring patch, we're about 13 people now we're gonna go to we're going to grow to about 35 or 40, over the next 12 months, so really finding a bunch of remarkable people to help us take much carbon out of the air and help a couple of companies do that along with us.

Andrew Stotz 33:24
Yeah, exciting. And you're going to have a lot of decisions to make along the way

Brennan Spellacy 33:28
we are, we're gonna listen, there's gonna be Team A Team B, C, D, E, F, and G, we got this. Unfortunately, it's not just the either or in many cases in the world we operate

Andrew Stotz 33:37
in. Exactly. And I think that for the listeners out there, let's watch this space because I think Brandon's got something interesting and you can see he has the ability to go back and think about how to improve upon decision making listeners. There you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my listener reduce risk and increase return in your life. To achieve this I created our community at my worst investment ever.com And when you join you get that special discount on the valuation masterclass boot camp so you know, how to value companies when you get into series a funding. As we conclude, Brennan, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a starts Academy I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Brennan Spellacy 34:33
No, not at all. I would really appreciate it. Andrew, if I really enjoyed the time. I hope folks understand asymmetric risk. And you know, look, sometimes sometimes you got to just shoot your shot and, you know, leave it all out there.

Andrew Stotz 34:48
And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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