Ep691: Zachary Resnick – Invest in People Not Just Ideas

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Quick take

BIO: In 2013, Zachary Resnick began to make a living from playing poker cash games and investing in other poker players, providing a unique understanding of risk management that is largely shaped through leveraging volatility to outperform others in the high-risk, high-reward situations of poker.

STORY: Zach invested in two founders with a brilliant idea and overlooked the fact that they were not A+ founders. He ended up riding the company down by more than 80%.

LEARNING: Back people that completely blow you away. People are super important, especially at the earlier stage of the business that you invest in.


“When investing in early-stage companies, the qualities of the founders are paramount and almost inarguably the most important thing for that company.”

Zachary Resnick


Guest profile

In 2013 Zachary Resnick began to make a living from playing cash games and investing in other poker players, providing a unique understanding of risk management that is largely shaped through leveraging volatility to outperform others in the high-risk, high-reward situations of poker.

In 2016 he made his first personal investment in Bitcoin and, by 2017, was focused on investing and trading crypto full-time.

In 2018 he founded Unbounded Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on payment infrastructure.

He is also the founder of FlyFlat – a luxury concierge service that specializes in last-minute, heavily discounted business and first-class air travel.

Worst investment ever

Zach’s company invested in these two founders, who loved the company’s media content on the blockchain world. The founders were building a solution that Zach believed was A+. It would be a 100x improvement to existing solutions. There was one problem, though; the founders were not A+ founders. This became the first startup Zach’s company rode down by more than 80% since he started the investment firm.

Lessons learned

  • Back people that completely blow you away.
  • People are super important, especially at the earlier stage of the business that you invest in.
  • Know your investing style.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • When investing in a startup, you’ve got to trust the founders, believe in the idea, have a ready market and ensure the startup has the muscle to execute the vision.

Actionable advice

If you’re in the startup investing business, especially in the early stage, meet with founders in-person before investing.

Zachary’s recommendations

For frequent, flexible travelers who fly business class and want to save money, Zach recommends checking out Fly Flat. Get $250 off your first flight by clicking here.

To enhance deeper thinking, Zach recommends reading great books such as The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life and Thinking Fast and Slow.

Zach recommends reading his first e-book, How A Scalable Blockchain Will Win, to learn more about how scalable and efficient blockchains will transform the internet and how data and payments operate worldwide.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Zachary’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to have more spaciousness in his life so he can spend more quality time with his amazing partner. Zach is now focused on working smarter and a little less hard.

Parting words


“Thank you for having me today, Andrew. I’ve learned a lot today.”

Zachary Resnick


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 an investing you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives to join me go to my worst investment ever.com and sign up for a free weekly become a better investor newsletter where I share how to reduce risk and create grow and protect your wealth. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests Zack Resnick, Zack, are you ready to join the business mission?

Zachary Resnick 00:43
I'm ready, Andrew, thanks for having me today.

Andrew Stotz 00:45
Yes, I'm excited to get you on in. I was thinking that we can talk about travel. That's an interesting one, huh? Well, let me introduce you to the audience. In 2013, Zach began to make a living from playing cash games and investing in other poker players, providing a unique understanding of risk management that is largely shaped through leveraging volatility to outperform others in the high risk, high reward situations of poker. In 2016, he made his first personal investment in Bitcoin and by 2017, was focused on investing in creating crypto full time. In 2018. He founded unbounded capital, an early stage venture capital firm focused on payment infrastructure. He is also the founder of fly flat, a luxury concierge service that specializes in last minute, heavily discounted business and first class air travel. Wow, Zach, take a minute and tell us about the unique value that you are bringing to this wonderful world.

Zachary Resnick 01:53
Well, thanks for having me, Andrew, and for the generous introduction. I feel like the greatest gift that I have to offer, you know, people that I meet in the world more broadly, is helping people kind of actualize their best lives and to become their best selves. In my work today, I primarily help people do that, through helping them build their company in the best way that they can and supporting them along that journey. And helping people travel and kind of the best way that they can. But you know, in my personal life, I just really love you know, supporting my friends and my family. And I feel like I'm able to help people look through and break through, you know, whether it's emotional or logical kind of blocks that are stopping them from, you know, living their best life in whatever way that is. And I really enjoyed doing it. And I'm lucky to already have had a lot of practice doing that. And I hope to both personally, professionally continue doing that for the rest of my life.

Andrew Stotz 02:54
That's interesting. I mean, I wonder if we think about the average listener myself. And, you know, we all have personal blocks, you know, it's just like, you just can't avoid it. And I'll tell the story, which I mentioned before on the podcast, but he said, I generally don't eat shellfish. And you say, Well, wait a minute, Andrew, what does that have to do with a personal block? Well, I don't know why it was, but I just never really ate shellfish. I mean, I would eat shrimp, and I would eat fish or whatever. But then my mom lives with me now in Bangkok. And she's been with me for almost seven years. Now, what since my father passed away. And we were just reminiscing about the time that my parents and my father and my sisters caught hepatitis when we were on a trip to stone harbor in New Jersey. And we got back home and my parents, my, my dad, and my sisters were, you know, quarantine in their room. That was the old day when you quarantine sick people. And so they were quarantine in their rooms, and like literally near death with hepatitis C or whatever that was at the time, which was terrifying. And the doctor told us that they probably got it from eating shellfish. And I thought whole. So that's the reason why I never was interested in eating shellfish. And I kind of forgot about that block. Right there. And so it's just an example of like, an unconscious block. And so I'm just curious, like, when you talk about like blocks and things like that, what are you talking about? And what do you see in either in yourself or in the people that you, you know, work with and talk to you.

Zachary Resnick 04:24
I mean, they really could be anything. So with poker, I took a pretty like rigorous approach to like, Okay, any type of like blocks that I have are like, directly impacting my ability to both enjoy my life playing poker, as well as to make money from playing the game. And there's a really wonderful book called the mental game of poker by Jared Tendler. And it kind of talks about the main what they call poker leaks. So these are like kind of deficiencies or things that could be improved in the way that you think that are stopping you from making more money playing poker. And you know, for me personally But the biggest thing has always been some degree of what Jared calls entitlement tilt, which you know, to translate for a broader audience is, basically, if you feel like you're a better poker player than someone else, but yet that person keeps winning, or getting lucky against you, it could potentially make you feel like, Oh, that's not fair. I've worked harder, I'm smarter, but this person is having more success than myself. It's not necessarily jealousy, but it's just something that stops you from really thinking about the things that really make you win and succeed. And I've seen that kind of happen for me. And it's been a big area of growth, I'm still working on when it comes to like, raising capital for my investment firm. So some, you know, the meetings that people that are have invested with me have all gone very well. And the vast majority of my investors, I kind of very much view as you know, equals and peers and people that I deeply respect, and they deeply respect me. But still, to this day, if there's people that I feel like are maybe not the smartest, most diligent investors, regardless of how old they are, and you know, they have kind of a degree of, you know, you're lucky to have a meeting with me, it's really hard for me to kind of share my story and what we do in the best way possible. So that's always something for me, that's kind of a blocker of like, okay, doesn't matter if you think you're smarter, or better, or whatever, than anyone else, like, the more you think about that, that just doesn't serve you at all. So I'm lucky to have a lot of people in my life, whether they've been, you know, coaches or investors, advisors, peers of mine on my team to help me kind of find that, and then that can be it for any one else, you know, I have a sibling who, unlike myself, has a lot of trouble advocating for himself, especially in the professional world. And I think I can sometimes help him see, well listen, like, actually, I know you're thinking this, but that isn't, that isn't really fair, and you're kind of justifying some unfair treatment that you're getting. And helping him see that and then kind of realize, Oh, why am I doing that? Okay, how could I better advocate for myself, or, you know, I'll talk with a founder, that's like, looking at a, you know, building some type of product, but maybe they haven't done the due diligence of really talking to their potential customers. And it's always easier to give advice than to, you know, execute on it, for sure. I can, you know, attest to that. But basically, if you have someone that, you know, can kind of knows what you're doing what you're working on, and then you talk to them about it. You know, that person then can help you see, okay, here are the areas where maybe you can spend a little more time thinking to spend a little more time doing, and you might have more success, and however that's defined for you. So those are kind of a couple examples been, you know, I aspire to be able to help people in a variety of different contexts, not just kind of, you know, money, startup related.

Andrew Stotz 07:53
It's, so we, that's a great resource. I'm just looking at the book, the mental game of poker proven strategies to improving tilt control, confidence, motivation, coping with variants, and more Jared Tendler. Yeah, it's 4.6 out of five, with 800 ratings. So really, really good book, I'm going to include a link in the show notes to the audio book, which I think it seems like that's a good book to listen to on Audible.

Zachary Resnick 08:19
Yeah. And there's a second book there. There's also he also has a mental game of golf. He has a lot of clients that have been in finance. So Jared is definitely great as has transformed my life. And I'm sure there's a lot of other books in that vein that maybe we'll talk about a little bit later on the podcast today.

Andrew Stotz 08:32
Yeah. exciting, exciting. And just take us through the journey from you know, you've got unbounded capital, and you've got fly flat. How did that come about? Were you which one was first? And then how do they relate to each other?

Zachary Resnick 08:49
Yeah, so in the, basically, during college, and for about maybe a little under a year or so after college, I was primarily focusing my life on like mastering skills, I wasn't so much concerned with building a big business or making lots of money, but it was primarily for me, then it was, you know, how can I become one of the best jazz arrangers and composers and trumpet players? That's what I focused on in my undergrad. And then how can I be, you know, an incredible poker player and poker, a mental game coach, and I worked really hard and set up my life such that the majority of my time I was like, by myself, like working on those skills for that. And then a major, you know, thing happened in my personal life and the end of 2017. And that kind of really changed the way that I thought about time and what I wanted to do, and I went from instead of trying to, you know, master skills, I wanted to, like, build, you know, organizations and things that can impact more people's lives directly where I can really work with more people and feel my, you know, impact on a personal level, and that led me to starting fly flat, which you know, at the time was professionalizing. A lot of like the travel hacks and hustles that will allowed me to travel around the world and international business and first class staying at luxury hotels largely for free in my early and mid 20s. And to help kind of scale that knowledge via the product we have today, that average is about 35% off the retail prices of international business and first class tickets specializing in last minute, and you know, more flexible travel. So I started that in the fall of 2017. And basically, it started as kind of a side hustle, and then just kept growing and growing and growing. And, you know, now today, we did, you know, millions dollars of revenue last year, and we serve today, some of the top, you know, founders in tech, crypto and finance, largely folks that you know, only really travel and those lie flat seats, that's kind of the name fly flat. And, you know, the organization now we have about 20 people on our staff, and, you know, serve hundreds of clients. And that is because it gives me a lot of joy, because I get to kind of share my little hacks and my secrets to help people, you know, not just save money, but you know, travel in a superior way, for less. And you know, as you can probably attest to living in Thailand, maybe spending some time in the States, the difference between a business or first class ticket and an economy ticket, in terms of being able to take advantage of your time somewhere is really a big deal. So yeah, that's kind of how that business started. We're just taking a lot of these like miles and points travel hustles I did for myself. And there's, you know, in between that they're at a couple kind of consulting businesses around miles and point stuff, but then fly flat, really productized it and got it to scale. And while I was doing fly, oh, sorry. Yeah,

Andrew Stotz 11:37
I just watched, what's the website? Y dash flat.org. Got it. And I'm here right now looking at it. Pretty cool. What's the revenue model? I mean, how does somebody, let's assume I mean, I'm just gonna assume you're gonna deliver on what you're saying, which is fantastic. And it's critical when you're doing whenever I'm traveling internationally. I mean, without, without, you know, traveling in business class. I mean, I remember when I first came to Thailand was 1989. And, you know, of course, I was crunched up in the middle of the seat because I was just a student, and all that. But what's the revenue model on this business? How does it work for the listener? They say, Oh, I need that. They're gonna come here. How's it gonna work?

Zachary Resnick 12:19
Yeah, well, actually, let's by the time you publish this, I'll give you a custom link. So we can have lifelight.com/whatever You'd like worst? Worst fly? flight.com/worst? You got it. No one else has that right now.

Andrew Stotz 12:33
There's very little competition to be the worst.

Zachary Resnick 12:36
Yeah. So because people are coming through you, they will get $250 off their first flight that they booked with us. But basically, you come to us and you're like, Hey, I am here. I want to get to there. And then you know, someone on my Concierge Team will get back to you, you know, within minutes. And we'll I ideally, have like a great quote, quote for you within an hour. Sometimes it takes a few hours if there's not an obvious solution. But always within a day, we'll have all your best options for you. And kind of a personalized way. We typically interact with our clients via chat groups, whether it's WhatsApp signal or Telegram, when we can also, you know, do email or phone or whatever our clients prefer. But basically, to the clients, we're just a concierge service that offers our services. For free. Most concierge services, you have to pay some type of membership fee for, but we have a very narrow focus. So rather than trying to boil the ocean, and help with all travel all things, we're like long haul international business and first class, and then the more you travel via one ways flexibly and last minute, the more value that we can add. So on the back end, we're arbitraging credit card miles and points and taking advantage of something called hidden city ticketing, in a way, and both of these things, if you google them, you'll see oh, there's like risk if I do hidden city too much. They'll take away my mileage account, or how do I know the miles are safe from arbitrage. But we have, you know, in the My worst, you know, investment podcast theme, we have very good risk management built over, you know, about a decade of my experience, and over a decade of my partner's experience in taking advantage of these travel hacks. So in the over five years, we've been in business, not a single one of our clients has ever had any issues at the airport or with their ticket, because we don't take advantage of every opportunity to save money only the ones when there's kind of no risk to the client. But you know, to be clear to the client, all that stuff is on the back end, you're just kind of interfacing in a chat group. And then if you'd like the option, you know, we charge your credit card, and then you go on the flight. So it's pretty easy. And yeah, for any listeners of this podcast, you can get $25 off your first flight by going to fly dashpot.com/worst So Andrew, we can talk maybe after the podcast and maybe a little more about about how it works and hopefully save you a couple grand on your next trip back to the States.

Andrew Stotz 14:58
Yeah, that's exciting. I mean, one of The thing is, is that I've seen blogs and stuff of guys that like, I hacked my way around the world, you know, and I went to all this stuff, and I'm like, Man, I did not have time to deal with that, you know, exactly on had time. And so where I see the advantage of this is like, Okay, I'm gonna pay you, because you, you're gonna, you're gonna get a share, I guess you're capturing a portion of the fee, or the amount that I'm paying. And your portion that you're capturing is because you've done all of that behind the scenes to get me exactly what I need. Exactly. But

Zachary Resnick 15:32
your price is still going to be cheaper than retail 100% of the time. So the more flexible you are, the higher percentage chance we have of a great deal. But on any business class flight, we'll be able to do at least like three or 4% off, whatever you can do yourself.

Andrew Stotz 15:47
And so what happens is, do you like sign in? Or you? What's the way to engage when someone comes on this site? I see there's lots of deals right here, like, you know, first class flight to Las Vegas.

Zachary Resnick 16:00
On the page, they'll just be like a hey, chat with a, you know, chat with a concierge. And it'll be pretty, pretty straightforward. But yeah, basically, we'll get to a group with your we have contractors that work around the world, 24/7 365 days a year, any hour of the day, in any country, you just ping us and so we'll respond to you very shortly.

Andrew Stotz 16:22
Exciting. Well, that's, I think that's something that's useful for everybody, because I know a lot of my listeners are traveling and it can be a bear. But now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story.

Zachary Resnick 16:44
Yeah, so I'm gonna give a little backstory on unbounded capital to kind of share how we're making this investment and some of the context. So unbounded capitals, a venture capital firm that is focused on micro payments and payment infrastructure, primarily those that are leveraging scalable blockchains, to be able to do that. So when I first got started in crypto and blockchain, you know, I wasn't particularly excited about this world of scalable blockchains. And payments, I was much more excited about kind of regulatory arbitrage and, you know, Bitcoin and Aetherium and tokens, and then over time, I think, realize that the real money to be made and investing in blockchain technology wasn't investing in tokens are investing in companies that make money off tokens, but investing in companies that leverage kind of the most efficient and powerful blockchains to solve some of the biggest problems in the world. And what we see is one of the kind of low hanging fruit for what blockchains can do today is the world of payments. So if you look at credit cards, you know, the minimum viable transaction with a credit card is maybe $1, dollar $52, because they're taking, you know, 1520 2530 cents, plus a few percentage points off the top. So if you charge 150 cents, basically all your money is going to the credit card processor and the banks and everything. So the most scalable blockchain in the world today has a median transaction fee of under 150 1,000th of a penny. So you can now charge someone a cent, a 10th of a cent and still have a really high gross margin. So that kind of innovation is at the heart of most of our portfolio companies today. And a lot of these companies are leveraging it not just for payments, but kind of these little payments are an important part of the stack. And that kind of gets me to this company that we made an investment in a number of years ago. And basically, we invested in these two founders that, you know, loved our content, you know, so on data capital has kind of built a media company, we've written books, podcasts, webinars, research reports. And that ends up attracting, you know, the types of founders and builders that share our vision of the world, even if it's maybe not the most popular view in the crypto and blockchain space, such that, you know, within our niche, we're kind of very well known, and often the preferred investment partner of the founders that we're working with, even if we're, you know, not so well known outside of this, you know, scalable blockchain world. So these founders, we've known socially, they've been tracking us reading our stuff for a while, and they're like, Hey, we're building this thing. And the thing is, you know, without giving too much away, the thing that they were building was like, a plus in terms of something we think is 100% going to happen, that is a huge, you know, 100x improvement to existing solutions, right now, the problem was, these founders were not a plus founders. So, you know, the, in retrospect, the timing was definitely awful, that we weren't confident that the timing would necessarily be there. Then, but maybe soon, but we were like a plus on product and what they were building, but we may be justified to ourselves that these were maybe like BD minus founders were really, they were they were lower than that. And the biggest learning and so this investment, you know, could they could still be kicking around are one of them could still be kicking around on this product today, we haven't really been in touch for some time. And, you know, the this was the first investment we fully wrote down,

Andrew Stotz 20:12
wrote down meaning down to zero.

Zachary Resnick 20:15
Yeah. Or, you know, not not zero, but down significantly, because it's still going and hasn't formally legal entity yet. But yes, there's the first company, we wrote down by more than, you know, 80%, I started my investment firm, which, you know, maybe that's going to be proud of most real estate investment firms are writing things down within a year or something, this maybe took about two years to fully write down. But to me, you know, if you're running an early stage venture capital firm, you expect most of your companies to fail. So it's not like this wasn't a particularly large check. For us, it was a relatively small check, it didn't have a huge impact on the portfolio. But to me, it was just the most glaring mistake of we valued too much our thesis, and how much we liked the idea for the product, rather than the people that can execute on that product. And I'd say that the reason I want to talk about that today is because for any people, whether they're angel investors, venture capitalists, aspiring founders or venture capitalists, oftentimes, you know, if you listen other like kind of VC StartUp podcast, people talk about, what's your algorithm? What's important when you make an investment? Is it the market size? Is the market? Is it the people? Is it you know, the timing, and everyone has different answers. And I, you know, maybe this is not the place to get into exactly what our kind of algorithm is qualitatively and quantitatively. But most importantly, when I started this firm, the part of my algorithm that was like, how important was the quality, the founders was way too low. And I think I got an higher conviction. And over time, since starting my investment firm, is that if you're investing in early stage companies, the qualities of the people that started that company, and that are running the company, are paramount, and almost in arguably the most important thing for that company. Yes, there are classic examples of maybe not super A plus founders that just nail the timing and the market and the product, and saw success. But I think if you want to, you know, not get lucky, but repeatedly back incredible companies at the early stage, you need to back people that just completely wow you and blow you away, you know, no exceptions for anything. And since we've started doing that, at our firm, everything's been a lot easier, a lot less stressful, we're not dealing with people, we're like, we're your investors. And like, we can have, we could have done this, like this is your company, how did you not do this in a week or a month or a year. So you know, in terms of like, it being it was definitely not the worst investment in terms of negatively affecting my life, or my investors or, you know, my business, but in terms of like, just the most glaring mistake, and quality of mistake, and we had to be clear, we made some version of that mistake. And a bunch of other companies that like right now we would have not invested in because even though their technology is was incredible, we think they're going after an incredible product, battery, just we're not greedy enough, not moving fast enough, didn't have all those kinds of essential elements that are required to building a great business, not necessarily just a fun product. So that I'd say is the biggest lesson I could impart on people investing in technology companies, people are super important. And you will probably meet people that have been successful technology investors that know basically nothing about technology, but are incredibly good at reading people and only invest on the people. Probably about half of the investors I look up to most even though I'm not like a solely by algorithm isn't 100% people, I know people that do that, and have made tons of money in their life doing that. So people are super important, especially at the earlier stage of the business that you invest in.

Andrew Stotz 23:57
So I've done a lot of investing over my life, in startups and in people in stocks and business and all that. And I've had some successes, I've had some failures, my worst investment ever was investing in a startup with a friend of mine, and who's still a friend of mine. And, you know, I developed a model that in fact, I've got a startup founder coming to see me for a second time today. Later in the afternoon here in Bangkok for a cup of coffee. But he's you know, we went through a bunch of stuff in the last meeting, and then we're meeting again today. But the point is, I came up with a model, I want you to think about this and help me it is something that I can refine on this and maybe our discussion can help the listeners out there. When I say the first thing that I'm looking for is trust. If there's anything that throws off the trust, like I just don't something doesn't feel right or I don't Yeah. So in my case, the guy that I was doing this with, I definitely trusted him and I and I think I correctly trusted him. So if we get back to trust the next thing is the idea If it's if I trust the guy, but the idea is crap, well, there's no point. But if the idea is kind of a wow, okay, that's interesting. Then I moved to the next. So I've got trust, I've got the idea. The next thing is the market, is this a tiny product or is this is the market is the market potential huge. If the market potential is huge, then okay, now it gets really interesting with the market potential is very small, which many startups are, you know, they just come with a very boutique, you know, solution or something, then I stop it there. But if I got trust, I've got the idea. I've got the market. The next question, and this is what I learned from my worst investment ever was execution, I didn't realize that the game wasn't really going to be able to execute on it. He just didn't have the management skills, he had the idea that you had so much, and that was where it fell apart. And then so if you get trust, you get the idea, you get the market, you get the execution. The last part for me is capital, because if you do well, you're going to need capital, and you don't want to be the only provider of capital, you want to make sure that the company's got different providers of capital and enough capital to really scale is there something I'm missing in that from your experience?

Zachary Resnick 26:13
You know, it's hard for me to say what is for sure missing, because, you know, I don't know what the startups you're looking at, and the types of opportunities, but what I can tell you is that my model used to look more like that. And now the execution of the person is decidedly higher than idea and market. And something I would also for us, again, this is just a stylistic thing. You know, when you invest in companies, fundamentally, you're buying something at x price, and you make money when you sell it at a higher price. Many angel investors and venture capitalists are like, just invest in the PSP, the best people and don't worry about price, pay whatever you need to to be into the best deals. You know, I don't think there's really any evidence that that works over the long term. There's lots of survivorship bias of the big investment firms talking about how they did that, and how some deals where you invested in insane valuation, and then they IPO at an even more insane valuation works out. But I think if you look at all the investment firms that invest in insane valuations, and those companies fail, you know, if you invest in one company at $100 million valuation, you need to own 15% of it. And it's a crazy valuation. Well, now, you could have invested maybe in three companies that are reasonable $33 million valuation, and it had three shots with the same amount of capital to be able to have a chance of getting a good return on investment. So

Andrew Stotz 27:32
that makes me think about adding two things to the So trust idea, market execution capital, and then price or valuation.

Zachary Resnick 27:40
Yeah, I would honestly say though, like ideas at the bottom of the barrel, so he's learning that that we've had is, I think it's much more about, you know, like, founder market fit, than it is about product market fit. So really, what you want is someone that is like one of the best people in the world to solve some problem. Because if they're one of the best to solve the problem, it doesn't matter how the hell, they'll solve it, they'll figure it out. So when I started, fly, fly, what we were doing that and how we were doing, it has like radically changed to where it is now. But fundamentally, like, I've been getting the best travel, you know, discounts and deals for myself, and I'm passionate about getting others to do it. So we, you know, we figured out, you know, you look at, you know, again, Fly Fly, it's not like a huge mega unicorn probably never will be. But you know, I love solving that problem, always want to solve it. So I think the actual solution, honestly, doesn't really matter that much. And frankly, unless you're an expert in that industry, like, okay, like, even if you're a smart guy, like, what is your intuition on an idea at the beginning stage really matter? So I would, I would adjust your model, you know, for broadly speaking startups without necessarily knowing if you're doing like, some type of niche that you have an expertise in. And I would say, you know, trust should be number one, but not necessarily just for making money, but just, that's just a personal value of mine, I don't want to work with people I don't trust and I don't like so, you know, trust and not an asshole is kind of number one, then quality of person execution, and then kind of the size of the market and the timeliness of the of the product, and then price. And then to me, like other capital providers, and ideas are like, well, well below that. Right? So that's, that's how we do investments at unbounded, but you know, there's, it's also I think about knowing your investing style. So there's all sorts of people that have made hand over fist investing in startups with crazy different iterations of that because they have different styles, they have different skill sets. So it's as much just like a knowing yourself, and what your skill set really is, as it is like there's one model that definitely works.

Andrew Stotz 29:47
So just I guess, for the audience out there, you know, I think it's a great kind of you made me think a lot about my model and the idea of the founder market fit the best person in the world to solve this point. problem, the reason why that's such a valuable thing is because, yeah, you're just gonna run into so many problems. And the original idea of what you had may not even be where you're at,

Zachary Resnick 30:10
it almost never is, you look at almost all the most successful companies. And you look at what they were starting originally, you know, and it very rarely resembles that.

Andrew Stotz 30:19
Yeah, that's that, that's great. So let's go back in time and say, based on what you learn from this story, and what you continue learn what would be one action you would recommend our listeners take if they were in the same situation, to avoid suffering the same fate.

Zachary Resnick 30:34
I think it's also meet with founders in person, again, if you're in the startup investing business, especially early stage, you need to be able to have, I think, some edge of investing in people and to be able to say, hey, here's why I can judge the character of people better than all these other really smart professional venture capitalists that are doing it. So first be able to have that. And then if you have that, why not take advantage of the information you can learn by going in person. So this, we made this investment, like, you know, in the height of kind of COVID lock downs. And, you know, I've always run my business businesses distributed well, before COVID. So I think, when everyone's getting crazed about zoom, I think Zoom is great. And I, you know, interact with my team on Zoom. But I think if you want to get a read on someone to give them money, we now make sure that we meet with everyone first. So even if that means getting on a plane doing something last minute, like me, or one of my partners will do that. Because we think that just adds a lot to, you know, understanding the person. So that's kind of one action, one action, besides just the process change of, you know, if you're not a plus founder, not even a consideration. Yeah, it's really that and then just making sure we meet in person, because I think if I, I still never met this person in person, I think like, if I met them in person, there would have been so many more kind of intuitive body signals to stay away. That would have been, you know, I ignored a few of them. But if I was in person, I probably wouldn't have ignored all of them, even back then without my process changes now.

Andrew Stotz 32:02
Yeah, that's great, great advice for everybody out there. And the guy that I'm meeting I, he was introduced to me, he's a founder of a company, he's introduced to me by a former student of mine, and she said, You guys should meet. And then I said, Well, he's doing something related to coffee. My business is related to coffee. So why don't you meet me at our coffee works Experience Center here in Bangkok. So we had a coffee together, he did a presentation, we went through a lot of discussion, he asked for a lot of feedback, because I kind of asked like, what do you want? You know, obviously, you want money. I understand that. But you know, what do you want? He says, Yeah, if you could give me some feedback, because I was recommended by a former student. And so basically, I gave him a lot of feedback. So what did I observe? I observed him taking notes. And I thought, Okay, that's good. And then I said, Look, these are this is, you know, and I gave him about six specific feedback on what the way he was presenting and that type of stuff. And then I said, if you want to talk again, then fix this. And if you fix these things, and you feel like that was valuable feedback, then come and see me next week, and this time coming to my house, and we're gonna have an espresso at my house. And then we're going to look at what you've changed what you haven't. And then we'll have a further discussion face to face. So that was our we met via zoom first, then we met face to face the first time and then this would be the second time. And I think, for everybody out there when you're investing, you know, and it's a critical thing, because people are getting phone calls a lot these days, like, Hey, I've got an investment opportunity data. And I'm like, Look, I think from what we learned from you meet face to face. So great advice. Let me ask you, what's the resource that you'd recommend for our listeners?

Zachary Resnick 33:43
Yeah, so you know, I've talked already a good amount about my travel business. So if you like to travel, especially if you're a flexible traveler, and you know, you fly business class and want to save some money, flight ashuelot.com/worst in terms of some kind of more deeper thinking things, I try to read as many books as possible. I've been, you know, news sober now, for a number of years. Well, I don't follow the news. I don't read the news. I use that valuable time and energy to help people in my personal you know, smaller circle, build my businesses and you know, read books. So I highly encourage you to do that to give yourself the time and space to kind of read something that someone has edited meticulously for a while rather than someone you know, tweeting or writing just that day. In terms of kind of really good we talked about you know, the mental game of poker, even if you're not a poker player, I think Jared Taylor's resources really apply well and

Andrew Stotz 34:35
I'll have a link to that in the show notes as well as the fly flat also for everybody that wants to click on that and get get the $250 off I think what you said

Zachary Resnick 34:44
yeah, no for sure. And I think a couple other supplemental mental game, or you know, not it's not a game for everyone set up on the playground towards game but for improving mental processes to the books have been most helpful for me. Probably not the first time this has been recommended thinking fast, thinking slow. Oh, Just one of the best books, it's really fucking dense, it's really hard to read. So don't read it with the goal of like I failed, if I don't read the whole thing, just find a chapter that resonates with you with maybe a type of decision making, you're having some issues with and spend the time to do that. And then you know, there's a book called Elephant in the brain, which may be, I don't know if you've heard this one, Andrew. But this one's great, which basically just shows, despite the fact that you know, we are civilized, and we're humans, and we have all these things. We're fundamentally we're still animals at heart. And so much of what society is, and a lot of the waste. And access is us not being honest about ourselves that we're status seeking, you know, mammals, and kind of looking at society of like, oh, actually, we're not trying to help people or do this noble thing. We're just couching that in us trying to beat our chest bigger for the other women in the tribe, basically. So elephant in the brain in terms of finding those mental blocks, thinking fast, thinking slow. And then if you want to learn more about, you know why we think at unmounted capital, that you know, scalable and efficient blockchains will transform the internet and the way data and payments operate in the world. Our first book, how scalable blockchain will win is on our website and Mountain Capital calm, I'll get you a direct link to the show notes. And in that book, we take 10 of the most core assumptions that most people think about crypto and blockchain. And we put those assumptions side by side with our more contrarian takes that amount of capital. So each chapter kind of goes through one of these main theses, and takes the consensus approach and puts it by you know, our, our approach and the reader can decide you know, what they like? So no, that's a lot. But I hope, whoever's listening to this finds value in something I've shared today. And perhaps one of the, you know, books or resources that are recommended.

Andrew Stotz 36:44
Fantastic, how a scalable blockchain will win, I love the idea of kind of putting things up side by side, because it helps us to kind of think about where things are at. And that I'll have links to all of that in the show notes. I mean, I'm, as you're speaking, I'm kind of quickly going through and looking at these things, Thinking Fast and Slow was, you know, an amazing, definitely an amazing book. And so I highly recommend that I'll get the elephant in the brain, one in the links. And of course, we got everything else in the link. So a lot of value there. My last question for you is, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Zachary Resnick 37:22
That's a great question. My number one goal personally for the next 12 months is to have more spaciousness in my life, so I could spend more quality time with my amazing partner. So I've been really focused on, you know, building my businesses, and often burning myself out and I think, you know, still working a little smarter, and maybe a little less hard. You know, we'll serve me personally, both professionally and personally. So I'm really working hard. You know, we're not really working. That's part of the problem trying to work smarter on working smarter and not working harder. So

Andrew Stotz 37:56
well. Fascinating. Here we have Zack who's new sober. For a while, how many years?

Zachary Resnick 38:06
Well, I thought I was truly new, sober for a number of years, but I was still using Twitter for professional reasons. And then I to be honest, I really only fully cut out Twitter at the end of last year. So I'd say I'm like, been 100%, new sober now for I guess, like four months, but I was sneaking a hit on Twitter. And I've been largely new sober for about, you know, six years now. Yeah.

Andrew Stotz 38:29
The reason why I never heard of that saying, but I'm alcohol and drugs sober for 40 years, but I'm a new sober originally, as a financial analyst in the stock market in Thailand, we read the newspaper every single morning, and, and it used to arrive at my my, in the old days, it would arrive at my home at 5am. And I would devour it before I went to the office. And then we would talk about what's in the news. But when one day, I walked into the office, and I realized that, hey, everybody's sitting here reading the same newspaper. And I thought to myself, if everybody's doing the same thing, then if I did something different, maybe that would be interesting or unique. And that's when I called up the newspaper companies and I said, Stop sending me the newspaper I to have them come in every day, I stopped my news. And at that time back in that those days, we didn't have the internet delivering us 24/7 news all the time. So I was pretty new Slover but I noticed I'm taking some, you know, hits on the side these days on Twitter. So I had to think about that. And for all the listeners out there, you know, the sooner you can get news out of your life, the better particularly now, because news is not really news anymore. It's just corporate promos. And there aren't hard hitting, you know, investigative journalists out there. And basically, they lock you up if you really, really go after the most powerful people and the most powerful governments you know, so it's it's it's a brutal situation and the result is that you just get a lot of corporate you know, news trying to form your mind on something and that doesn't help in the case of investing if you are trying to join the bandwagon. Well, there's a lot of fumes and exhaust in the back of the bandwagon, so get in front. Well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. If you've not yet joined that mission, just go to my worst investment ever.com and join my free weekly become a better investor newsletter to reduce risk in your life. As we conclude, Zach, I want to thank you again for joining our mission and on behalf of East dots 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?

Zachary Resnick 40:38
Thank you for having me today, Andrew. And you know, I've learned a lot today. So if you're listening, continue listening to this, this wonderful podcast and if you end up checking out any of my resources, I would appreciate any thoughts and comments you have, you can email me directly at Zach za ch@florida.flat.com. I'd love to hear from you.

Andrew Stotz 40:57
Wonderful. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. Let's celebrate that today. We added one more person to our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. 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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