Episode 19

#19 Angel Investor and Self-described Radical Feminist, Adam Quinton, Takes on the SV “Mirrorocracy”

Why is it smart business to invest in founding teams that include women? Should all female founders seek angel or venture capital? Adam Quinton and Kelly Hoey chat about Adam’s outspoken and unwavering support for female entrepreneurs, his calling out the bias that exists among Silicon Valley VCs, and his advice for female founders. Adam is Founder/CEO of Lucas Point Ventures and an active investor in and advisor to early stage companies. His investments include The Muse, Rapt Media, VenueBook, Hire an Esquire, Pinks and Greens, Validately and Snaps.

Notes

Female Founders Outperform Their Male Peers First Round Review

Mike Tyson explains one of his most famous quotes by Mike Berardino, Sun Sentinel

Snaps

The Invention of Science by David Wootton, iBooks

How I’ve Made Smart Hires As My Company Quadrupled In 10 Months by Kathryn Minshew, Fast Company

This Tech CEO Has 4 Power Steps For Entrepreneur Resilience by Leo King, Forbes

Margaret Thatcher, ‘Iron Lady’ Who Set Britain on New Course, Dies at 87 by Joseph R. Gregory, New York Times

Additional Reading

The Paradox of Meritocracy – in Tech by Adam Quinton, LinkedIn

An Open Letter to Bethenny Frankel by Adam Quinton, LinkedIn

Adam Quinton and Kara Swisher call BS on VCs ‘unconscious bias’ at Inspirefest 2015 Siliconrepublic, YouTube

I’m a white guy in Silicon Valley and I’m done buying the meritocracy myth by Mike Eynon, Medium

Forbes deleted a white tech writer’s article that called Silicon Valley a ‘meritocracy’ by Dexter Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Ellen Pao Says Silicon Valley Isn’t A Meritocracy. It’s Not. by Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch

Introducing Project Include by Ellen Pao, Medium

Project Include: Moving from Words to Action, Freada Vapor Klein, Medium

6 questions every founder should ask before they raise capital by Katherine Hague, O’Reilly

No Venture Capital Needed, or Wanted by Janet Morrissey, New York Times

Meet An Entrepreneur Who Doesn’t Believe In Venture Capital by Amy Guttman, Forbes

Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places – How to Find a Co-founder First Round Review

How to Find a Co-Founder by Guy Kawasaki

Is it possible to raise funding before building the product/app? Quora

Guest bios & transcripts are available on www.broadmic.com.

Bio

ADAM QUINTON - As the Founder/CEO of Lucas Point Ventures I invest in and advise early stage companies. My focus is supporting diverse management teams. My investments include The Muse, Glassbreakers, Venuebook, Pinks and Greens, Snaps, Rapt Media, Hire an Esquire, Tactile Finance, Validately and NMRKT. I am on the Board of Pinks and Greens and serve as an Advisor to a number of companies as well as Chicago based techweek. In 2014 I served as Chief Financial Officer of leading NYC based cybersecurity company NopSec, another of my investees.

I am an Advisor/Mentor to several groups including San Francisco based Astia, Boulder based MergeLane, New York based 37 Angels, Menlo Park based Women's StartupLab and LA based Vinetta Project.

In 2014 I was named by AlleyWatch one of "25 Angel Investors in New York You Need to Know" and also one the "100 NYC Tech Influencers You Need to Know". In 2015 I was featured in Tech.co as "One of 8 VCs Making Waves" and in 2016 was named as one of "26 great people spearheading change in tech investment" by Silicon Republic.

I am an Executive in Residence at Hewlett Consulting Partners (HCP) a boutique consultancy, founded in 2009, focused on helping companies leverage top talent across the divides of gender, generation, geography, and culture. As a part of the HCP management team I focus on business development and offering expansion opportunities for the firm. That includes advising the management team on the enhancement of the firm's product and business development activities, strategic partnerships and digital offerings. I report to the firm's founder, Sylvia Hewlett.

In the not for profit space I sit on the Boards of the Center for Talent Innovation and International House, New York. At Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs I am an Adjunct Professor.

Previously I was a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and head of Global Macro Research leading a team of 175 professionals in 12 countries. I have 25 years of global investing and management experience and, with the help of many great colleagues, was fortunate to be a top ranked sell side investment analyst in all of the US, Asia and UK.

Transcript

Adam: You are not going to get funded in this day and age with a PowerPoint. You're not going to get funded to build an MVP.

Kelly: I'm Kelly Hoey, host of BroadMic. I speak with the most accomplished entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders about the issues that matter in building a business. You will get the inspiration as well as the picks and shovels you need to become a better entrepreneur. Be inspired, take action, think broad.

Today I have Adam Quinton in the studio. Adam is founder and CEO of Lucas Point Ventures and an active investor in and advisor to early-stage companies. His investments include The Muse, Rapt Media, VenueBook, Hire an Esquire, Pinks and Greens, Validately, and Snaps. Adam and I will chat about his outspoken and unwavering support for female entrepreneurs and for calling out the bias that exists among Silicon Valley venture capitalists, as well as his advice for female founders. Welcome, Adam.

Adam: Great to be here, Kelly.

Kelly: There's a lot of fun topics you and I get to discuss. But let's start with this. You started on Wall Street. Are you a feminist?

Adam: I got asked that before and I had to think about it. And I think I'm actually a radical feminist.

Kelly: Not just a feminist, a radical feminist. And how the heck did that happen?

Adam: It's a good question. I guess it came upon me over a period of time. A former colleague of mine who looked into the people in the company that I was working with at the time, looked at guys who she thought were male allies. She looked into whether they had daughters or whether there was something like that.

Of the group that she looked at, she found that they all had one thing in common, which was that they all have an innate sense of fairness. I'm quite happy if somebody describes me as having an innate sense of fairness. And if you're in high finance, if you're in small company finance, basically it isn't it worked out. There's a lot of things going on that aren't that fair.

Kelly: I like that, with innate sense of fairness, because sometimes when we...I don't know. Those moments when some men had their come-to-Jesus moments with when they recognized that women haven't been treated fairly, it's because they have a daughter. There's something about it that seems lame to me.

So I like this idea of innate sense of fairness. So what inspired you to go from financial services to becoming an angel investor?

Adam: So I left financial services in 2010 and I've been involved for a pretty long time. Frankly I was burned out and wanted to do something different, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. I wouldn't claim that I went into angel investing in a thoughtful, intentional way, because I did not.

I basically got into it by accident. A friend of mine, former colleague, mentioned to me that they were involved with an angel group, and maybe I should come along, and maybe it was interesting. I went along, and here I am. It's most of what I do now.

Kelly: Obviously I'm laughing because I think, in some ways, if we had thought about it, thinking you and I have been very parallel in many ways in our involvement in the startup community, if we'd actually researched and thought about it more, you're applying the rigor to entering angel investing as you did to making investments on Wall Street, or as I did doing due diligence as a lawyer, we may have hesitated. And I'd probably say for both of us, really getting involved, and in doing it out of sense of fairness, or this could be interesting, or a whole bunch of different reasons, has been absolutely transformational.

Adam: But importantly doing it to make money as well. It is investing. We are doing it to make money. An entirely rational person probably wouldn't do it because they would realize that some of the other things they invest in, unfortunately, are going to go to zero. But I'm doing it to make money personally.

Kelly: Yeah, and we're going to talk about that because you and I absolutely come from that same place of why we're investing in female-founded or diverse founding teams in terms of...this is about making money. You know what? Why don't we just get into that? What is your investment thesis and portfolio strategy?

Adam: I used to have one, but I realized that when I looked at what I had invested in, and I've invested in 15 companies now, that the most important thing above all others is who the founder or the founding team is. Their vision, their passion, their drive, their energy, all of those good things. So whilst I do genuinely tend to focus on the business of enterprise software stuff, the reality is if I look at what I've invested in and I think, "Why did I do it?" it's particularly and most importantly because I felt that the founder had something special. Whatever that was, and it can be a different special for different people. But the founder or founding team had something special that gave them a better-than-average chance of succeeding in a game where the odds are pretty low for founders. Most startups fail.

Kelly: Yeah. I want to come back to that topic and talk more about that because that's one of those things as a founder when you hear, oh, saw something special. They're all like, "What was it?" So I want you to think on that. We'll come back to it.

What was an aha moment when you looked at the market and said, "I'm going to focus on female-led tech companies?"

Adam: Well, one in particular was when I realized that the early-stage financial environment was an order of magnitude less fair, coming back to that term, than my previous institutional life in banking. So banking is a pretty tough industry for a number of groups of people, particularly women. So I was in an organization where we genuinely worried about the fact that, at senior levels, only something like 15% of our folks were women, and we were trying to do things about that.

You get into the startup world, and you're thinking, "Holy molly. Can it really be true that only 2.7% of venture-backed companies in the U.S. have women CEOs?" Hence my observation that it's an order of magnitude worse, which was pretty shocking to me because I didn't have an experience of early stage before.

And it, to my mind, gives the lie to the argument that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy. If it's a meritocracy, you can only justify that by saying that, what is it? Like 97% of all companies worthy of getting venture capital are backed by one group of people.

Is there something in the chromosomes that makes them uniquely right to be founders of companies that get backing? So the aha moment was really that statistic, the 2.7%. But then the flipside of that statistic, which is probably connected, which is that depending on whose numbers you look at, 94% of VCs are exactly like the people that they're backing, aka guys.

Kelly: And particular types of guys. So we can probably even unwind some of that stuff as well. All right, let's get into some practical advice because I think that's where things get really helpful. What do you look for when funding a startup?

Adam: I guess I look for three things, if I can have three things. The first one, which is hard to put your finger on sometimes, is can the "it," whatever that "it" is, be big? The point being that if you're investing in an early-stage company, and going back to your point before, you understand the math a little bit, for it to be worth investing in, it's got to be pretty big. You've got to generate, depending on how you do the math, something like 30 times return out of your winners to make up for all of your losers.

So unless you can be really big, and we can talk about what that means, but unless you can be really big, it's just not worth doing.

Kelly: Or it's not what we're looking to do as investors. So exactly...

Adam: It's not worth doing as an investor for me.

Kelly: Yeah, and then maybe other investors out there who want to be co-business owners, or they want to be there as investors who are operators.

Adam: And like, I'm sure, we'll to come to this, it may not be a business that you actually need to get outside capital into anyway.

Kelly: Oh yeah. We're going to talk about that.

Adam: So that's another topic which I think doesn't get enough coverage, and we can talk about that. So number one, if you can't be big, as an investor, it's not really going to be very appealing. Secondly, although I'm being a little bit hypocritical here because I said actually really it's the first thing, is the founding team, the founders, what is their vision? How much energy you have, how much commitment do they have? What insights are they bringing to the problem?

So unless you're big, like the teams are relevant, but it's the other way around as well. Then the third thing from an investor's point of view is, "Okay, so I think you can be big, and you've got a good team. What evidence is there that those first two things are real?"

By which I mean, depending obviously on what stage you're at, it can vary. But are you able, in the vernacular, to execute? So if you're really, really early, maybe you wouldn't have much signs of the fact that you can execute, you are the right team, and this is a big problem. But the further along you get, the more you have to show that yes, you are the team that understands this big problem, and stuff is happening, and the stuff, obviously depending on the your business you're in, can be dramatically different in terms of what it is. So there's no easy answer to that part of it. But big team relevant to your life cycle, whatever, traction. Those are the things. But every time I think of what I invested in, really it was the team that was the most important.

Kelly: It's always like the size... The problem, and the size of the market gets you to the threshold, because if someone was opening up, for you and I, the way we invest, if they were opening up a restaurant in Greenwich, Connecticut, we'd say, "Good luck to you. Let me know when it opens. I'll show up and have dinner." Not something I invest in, though it could be a very good and lucrative business. So the idea gets you to the doorstep, but it's who that team is that gets you over the threshold and really into the analysis.

Adam: I think the thing that I've learned, and this is just me talking, so it may not be worth anything, but what I've learned is the reason that the team is important is what you invest in today is almost certainly not what's going to exist in three years' time. The point being you can do as much analysis as you might want to do about this particular opportunity, market size, competition, blah, blah, blah.

But the reality is to use, the Muhammad Ali quote, "Everybody has a strategy until you get hit in the face." In the startup context, it's getting hit in the face by the reality of the idea that you had, actually it doesn't work. People don't want the "it." They want something that's like the "it," or delivered to them in a different way.

My personal example of that is a great company called Snaps, which I invested in several years ago. They've now got this incredible product, which is riding the wave of messaging. Basically creating customizable keyboards, where brand images become emojis. So it's like a really cool marketing play. So people say to me like, "How did you find that? How do you invest in that?"

I said, "I didn't actually invest in that." I'm technically invested in the company, but that's not what I invested in. When I invested in them, they were doing something not completely different, but radically different. The other classic example is Pinterest. The first Pinterest wasn't Pinterest. It became Pinterest.

So depending on what you're investing in, if it's successful, the one continuous thing from the "it" to the new "it" is the founder.

Kelly: So let's talk money. Should all...I can say "all female founders," but should all founders be seeking angel or venture capital?

Adam: Well, the simple answer is no. And being a fact-based person, the facts are something like this. There's X hundred thousand companies get started every year in the U.S. Of those, something like 70,000 get angel money. No more than 3,000 get VC money. So of most companies that get founded, none of which ever intended to be really big, so it's really a false argument in some respects, but the number of people going up that stack gets really very small at the top.

And to the extent that I would have one piece of advice around this, it's don't be obsessed about raising money as a validation of what you're doing. There's a lot of instances where either...I was literally listening to a company talking yesterday, and they are able to effectively bootstrap themselves initially by selling some consulting services, which fund the business.

Listening to what they were doing, it seems not implausible that they could actually do that to such an extent that they wouldn't need to raise any money from anyone. Now, if they wanted to be really big really fast and raise buttloads of money, they could do it differently, but there's obviously a dichotomy there between, as the cliché has it, whether you want to be rich or you want to be king, or queen for that matter.

So, particularly if you want to retain control, which you may or may not do, that's a personal decision, then raising money quickly is a way to lose control very quickly. And obviously in a female-founded context, the classic example is Sara Blakely founds Spanx, gets to a billion-dollar company, and she's not raised a dime from anyone.

So depending on what you're doing, you can do it, and to my point about bootstrapping and generating some consultancy revenues, depending on what you're doing, sometimes you can be self-funding. It's going to be a bit slower, but again, ultimately you have more control over your future. So there's no right answer to what an individual company should do because it's up to the founder ultimately.

But to your specific question, no, not everybody has to raise venture capital. Most founders don't. You definitely don't have to raise angel capital for the similar reasons. So think about whether you're raising the money because you really need it or because you feel some social pressure to do it because like otherwise you're not cool.

Kelly: Well, exactly. I'm thinking of two instance with female founders that I was talking to and they were feeling this pressure to fundraise. And I said to one of them, I said, "Just kind of stop for a minute here. You've been trying to fundraise for a couple of months. You probably have..." Realistically and this was fundraising in Canada. I said, "You probably have about another four months that you're going to be actively fundraising to get the final investors or close this round, do the documentation." All that kind of stuff.

So I said to her, "So tell me in four months what you could do if you focused all your energy on your business, and on sales." And she explained what she thought she could do. I said to her, "Sounds to me, in that amount of customer sales, that you've reached the amount you're trying to raise in a fundraise. Why don't you just focus on your business?" I think it gets to your point and it also could be...your thought on this, we focus so much on this very small area in terms of what people can get in funding.

As you pointed out, the percentage of companies that get angel or VC funding are minuscule. But they get this outsized amount of our attention. But how our business is getting off the ground. They're generating revenue, or they are being funded by someone's savings or credit cards. Get down to building a good business.

Adam: Second that motion.

Kelly: Second that, get on that one. For those female founders who...you think of Snaps, you think of Rapt Media, The Muse, Hire an Esquire, companies in your portfolio. Okay, female founders. What advice do you have for female founders of companies that should receive outside funding?

What should they be doing to get meetings with investors, and then any guidance you have for those founders when they're taking meetings with guys who don't have the same innate sense of fairness that you do?

Kelly: Well, that's a pretty open-ended question, and we could have a separate podcast on that. So I'll try and be succinct. I guess my key advice would be it's not easy for anybody. And that's slightly untrue because, for some people, it is too easy. But for male founders and female founders, generally it is pretty tough for everybody. It's hard to tell whether in an individual context there's something about you that is making it harder for you to raise money than it might otherwise be. It's very hard to unpack this.

But again, the fundamental point, it's hard for everybody. So to the extent that you're a female founder, I don't think it's particularly useful to you to overthink your own personal situation, if that makes any sense. You've got to be confident about what you're doing, just as any founder does. You've got to be willing to put yourself in front of investors and talk your story. But don't overthink, like, who you are and what you are.

And to the extent that there's a word that comes to mind there, which is a little bit clichéd, but it's, be your authentic self. To the point about getting meetings, presenting. There's a lot of dialogue around women present differently from men, generally speaking. Not all do but generally they may have different styles.

So should you present like a guy? Some people literally give that as a piece of advice. I think that's just not going to work. You present as you, and if people don't accept the you, move on.

Kelly: Yeah. I often advise or I have advised female founders, I would say it's not "present like a guy." But you get so used to hearing your own pitch because you're delivering it and practicing it, and if you've scripted it out, give it to someone else to read. And you sit there as the audience and receive that information. Because all of a sudden, you can realize, "Oh, I got a lot of jargon, or I make these assumptions, or I say this word a lot." Until I hear someone else reading it, I don't realize how vague, or annoying, or whatever it may be in terms of the presentation.

Adam: That's one of the benefits, powers, whatever you want to call it, of having a co-founder. Somebody is got to be the boss ultimately. Somebody is got to be the CEO. If not from day one, then at some point fairly soon if you're going to raise money. But if you have a co-founder or co-founders of whatever gender, you have the power of the other in the room with you.

The point being, like, Kelly pitches to Adam. If Kelly has a co-founder who's sitting next to Kelly, who's the proverbial fly on the wall--but they're not the fly on the wall, they're are actually in the thing--and can say, "Well, that really didn't go across very well."

Like, "Adam asked that question, and you totally flunked that one. This is maybe what you should have said." I think it's much more difficult for the solo founder. Again, whether they're men or women, frankly, but maybe a little bit more if they're women because you don't have that person next to you giving you that objective, "Hey, that really bombed that particular point."

Kelly: Your answers sucked. Yeah, exactly. Exactly, to explain. Or someone else to read the body language of the people you're in the room with. Because we do, we tell startups they have to get their pitch right, and they practice their pitch, and they're in accelerators, and they're all working on their pitch. And you're so obsessed with your pitch you forget to stop and look around and see what's the communication, how is it being received? You're so obsessed in the pitch as opposed to, "How am I communicating?"

Kelly: And I'm really mean actually in that what I do often is if Kelly's meeting me and Kelly says, "I'm going to get my laptop out and kind of go through my pitch." I say, "Look, I don't need to do that. You sent it to me in advance. I read it. I want to ask you some questions." Or, "What about this? What about that?"

So if nothing else, if you did send it to me, I don't always do this, so maybe I'm being a little...whatever. But I do at least try and look through it and be respectful of the fact that you sent me something. If you sent me something that I even look through for three minutes, you don't need to go through it again.

If I'm going to get use out of the time for me, it's saying, "Well, I didn't get the whole go-to market thing. Explain that. I understand the problem, and what you're doing, and where you came from, blah, blah, blah. I get all that, so I want to know about this." The mean thing about that is now you're totally off-kilter because you come in prepared to do this presentation and now you can't, and so, oh my God.

But it's part, at least for me as a mean person, giving you a test really, which is like, "Are you flexible enough to flip from presentation mode to answering mode? Are you able to be mentally agile around that? Can you think, "Okay, well, he's asking about this. I hadn't thought about that." Because it's very easy to be well-coached, to your point, to do a presentation.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do that, because oftentimes you do have to give the formal presentation, and you should do a good job, and you should nail it. But a lot of the time, I get more value from not listening to the presentation because they do end up being a bit canned. Everybody has got unique market positioning. Everybody has got a competitive chart where you're in the top right-hand corner.

Kelly: Who cares? Oh good, you're all on the top right. Find me someone...

Adam: And nobody else is in the top right either, remarkable.

Kelly: Find me someone striving for the middle, where it's crowded. Find me that person. I just like to have a laugh on that one. When's no a no?

Adam: Oh, that's a very good question. When is a no a no? A no is a no when it's a no. A no is a no when it's a "maybe" as well. I think that's the more difficult thing. A no is a no when it's, "Come back to me when you've got more traction." The problem from the founder's point of view, which I have a great deal of sympathy with, is most of the time, frankly, and speaking as the investor, the investor's self-interest.

You don't want to be too brutal when you say, "No," even if it is a no for obvious reasons. One is, "I don't want to offend you. Why should I do that? You're trying to do something really hard. I've got to be respectful of that." The other obvious one is, "You could be the next Facebook. I don't know. It doesn't feel like it. But if I piss you off now and you never want to talk to me again, in a year's time, when it's more obvious you're the next whatever, I'm totally closed out." So there're a whole bunch of reasons why, "What the hell is the no? What is the partial no?"

I think if you are fundraising in the moment, if it's a no, it's a no, if it's a "come back later," as far as you're concerned at that point in time, it's a no. What I'm saying there is if you're fundraising in the moment, you have a limited amount of time to meet investors, cut your losses. Don't double-think, "Should I go back to him? Should I go back to her?" because you can end up doing a lot of wheel-spinning.

And I guess I would encourage people to ask the question, "So when you say 'no,' what do you mean?" As I indicated before, what comes back at you might be really quite hard to decipher. But there may be some information content in it that is useful, and you will not get that information content, if you don't ask the question.

It could be, again, a generic, "Come back when you've got more traction," whatever that means. But then you can say, "Well, what does that mean? I've got 10 pilots now. What is more traction? Twenty pilots and five paying customers."

Kelly: Call them out on their bullshit.

Adam: Well, it may or may not be bullshit. But at least then you have a data point and you can go back to them. But again, deciphering what is the bullshit and what is not. What is the polite no? It's like a minefield. So again, particularly when you're fundraising in the moment, if somebody says no, politely just move on and don't worry about it because, if I can use this phrase, as you well know, Kelly, when you're fundraising, a lot of people tell you your baby is ugly.

And you've just got to accept that and not try and persuade them over and over again that the baby is really the most beautiful one in the world because if it is in a year's time, they'll come back to you anyway.

Kelly: So, Adam, how do entrepreneurs or other investors, how do they find you?

Adam: Well, to my point about being mean before, it's like a test. If you can't find me, then you've got a problem, frankly. You've listened to this podcast. My name is on the materials. Google my name. See what comes up. You will find emails, you'll find Twitter. I'm giving it away now, but my point...

Kelly: You're not hiding.

Adam: The point is I'm not hiding. It frankly amazes me. The number of people who you meet at a pitch event, or whatever it is, who will say, "Well, how do I find you?" Beside the fact that you're standing in front of me, you found me, for God's sake. It's like the Internet is a big thing and that you can find people really easily, whether it's LinkedIn, I've got a blog, I'm on Twitter. And the people give up at that stage. Again, I'm sort of happy because it just proves that if you can't even Google my name, I'm certainly not going to write you a check.

Kelly: It's such a great quote. No, I'm always shocked by...the qualities you look for in the founder and the amount of diligence and persistence they say they put into finding a problem and creating a solution. They need to put in the same amount of energy, in terms of researching and finding investors.

If you're not doing that, exactly. No one's just waiting around. We're not sitting on a park bench with our checkbooks waiting for some investment to magically land in our lap so we can cut a check. So all right, now you know. And if you haven't listened to this podcast before talking to Adam, shame on you.

All right, let's get to our pay-it-forward questions, Adam. I ask these of all of our guests. What are your primary sources of information?

Adam: I'm a Twitter addict. So I suck in a lot of stuff from that. Actually more than half of it's junk, but I use that a lot.

Kelly: How do you discover new information?

Adam: Did I just say I use Twitter a lot?

Kelly: What book are you reading?

Adam: I'm reading "The Invention of Science" by David Wootton.

Kelly: Wow. Do you have any rituals or habits you swear by?

Adam: Early to bed, early to rise.

Kelly: Who are the three entrepreneurs or leaders you follow or admire?

Adam: The three are... This is obviously totally self-serving. So I'm an investor in The Muse, and Kathryn Minshew, and Alex Cavalacos. I can use that as one unit. They're just amazing, doing incredibly well. Erika Trautman at Rapt Media is another founder that I got a lot of respect for, doing incredibly well, and both of those, by the way, had the raising as a female founder issue. How do I get around that? They both came through it very well. And then being slightly controversial, being a Brit of a certain age, the third one would have to be Margaret Thatcher.

Kelly: Extraordinary leader. Politics, it doesn't matter what your politics are, extraordinary leader. What's the best advice you ever received?

Adam: When you're good, you're never that good, and when you're bad, you're never that bad.

Kelly: Are there any particular myths you would like to dispel for our listeners?

Adam: For the founder listeners, it would be this. You are not going to get funded in this day and age with a PowerPoint. You're not going to get funded to build an MVP. You have to have, one, built something that the investor can touch or feel. Investors don't pay for that stuff anymore.

Kelly: What words of advice would you give to listeners about taking risks and closing the confidence gap?

Adam: Just put your Nike t-shirt on and just do it.

Kelly: What does think broad mean to you?

Adam: Think broad, well, I said before I was a radical feminist. So I guess I've got to talk in that context. I think the important thing for me about supporting female founders in the ecosystem generally is not being discriminatory in favor of a group. I see it as making sure that all demographics get a fairer shot, an equal opportunity.

So if that makes sense, that's what I think. Well, it's what I think even if I don't make sense anyway.

Kelly: It doesn't matter.

Adam: It doesn't matter.

Kelly: You've said it. It's been recorded. It's on this podcast.

Adam: Oh my God.

Kelly: Adam, thank you for being our first male voice on BroadMic.

Adam: Honored, honored. Truly honored.

Kelly: Thank you for listening to BroadMic. We welcome your feedback. Find us on Facebook, where you will have show notes and additional references for a deeper dive into today's topic. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.

Please review our podcast on iTunes, which will help other listeners discover BroadMic, and grow the BroadMic community. BroadMic is produced by Christy Mirabal, with editing by John Marshall Media. Our executive producer is Sara Weinheimer. Think broad.

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