Ravi Gupta - Focus - [Invest Like the Best, EP.289]
My guest today is Ravi Gupta. Ravi spent a decade in private equity at KKR before joining Instacart as their first CFO and COO. He navigated them through a critical moment in their history and returned to investing in 2019 as a partner at Sequoia. Our discussion gets to the heart of what it means to build and invest in great businesses, and we talk a lot about the personal side of the journey, which tends to get overlooked. Please enjoy this great conversation with Ravi Gupta.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:34 ] - [First question] - Why it’s important to keep the main thing the main thing
[00:07:50 ] - Thoughts on the conflict of the main thing for a business and a person
[00:11:45 ] - The most painful episode of enacting this philosophy at Instacart
[00:16:13 ] - How this concept has manifested in his life as an investor at Sequoia
[00:19:16 ] - Amazon’s 14 leadership principles vs. his concept of focus
[00:24:48 ] - Whether or not the feedback loop for things that work are very short
[00:26:04 ] - The nature of joy and competitiveness in company culture
[00:29:01 ] - How he assesses the depth that motivation runs through people and companies
[00:32:43 ] - Analysis of his own motivations in life
[00:35:34 ] - Differences and shortcomings of virtuous and vicious motivators
[00:37:15 ] - How to accurately figure out someones motivators in a short period of time
[00:45:55 ] - What he’s looking for in companies given all of the ideas discussed so far
[00:51:11 ] - How his ideology manifests inside of Sequoia
[00:58:44 ] - What it’s like to mentor an apprentice and how to do it well
[01:02:40 ] - Adjusting behaviors to meet current markets where they’re at
[01:06:13 ] - Defining what a great product is
[01:07:56 ] - What he did to turn around Instacart by narrowing their focus
[01:12:28 ] - The things that most drove the switchover at Instacart
[01:14:53 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him