Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call click here.

Austin Russell is the cofounder and CEO of Luminar which is an autonomous vehicle sensor and software company. The company has raised over $250 million from investors like Peter Thiel, The Westle Group, Canvas Ventures, Moore Capital, 1517 Fund, GVA Capital, Invariantes Fund, and Corning to name a few.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Balancing top-down and bottom-up thinking
  • Why self-financing your startup
  • The importance of sticking to it, and never stopping building
  • Balancing advice and sticking to your gut
  • Drowning out the self-doubt and questioning if you are crazy


For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).

Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

About Austin Russell:

Austin Russell is an engineer, entrepreneur, and LiDAR industry pioneer for Autonomous Vehicles.

Austin Russell founded Luminar at the age of 17 while pursuing research in optical technologies and exploring applications across the medical, augmented reality, robotics, and automotive industries.

After a brief stint in the Stanford applied physics department, Austin Russell accepted the Thiel Fellowship to pursue his vision of developing a new kind of sensor technology with a mission to make autonomous vehicles both safe and ubiquitous.

In 2017, Austin Russell was recognized as one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 and Forbes’ 30 under 30.


Connect with Austin Russell:

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Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. So today we have a guest whose background is really unbelievable. We’re going to learn a lot about self-driving cars — a lot about building things. And without further ado, Austin Russell, from Luminar Technologies, welcome to the show today.

Austin Russell: Thank you. Great to be here.

Alejandro: So originally from Orange County. Austin, how was life growing up there?

Austin Russell: It was good. It was great being in a nice environment in SoCal, growing up. We’re not quite the taxing of Silicon Valley where I am now — well we also have our office in Florida, too. But, yeah, it was definitely interesting in a non-traditional upbringing, so to say, or educational background where — always had an innate desire from Day One of understanding and wanting to know how things worked, why they worked, the way they worked. With that, it was a big inspiration from when I was like two years old and up, I memorized the periodic table, and always I was interested in the whole science-technology realm. I ended up converting my parent’s garage into an optics and electrics lab back when I was 11, 12 to be able to execute on some of these projects, and programs, and other things. I built a bit of software up to that point, too. Just going all-in on that. It was great to have parents that were supportive of it. They definitely weren’t familiar with the kind of things I was working on coming from where my dad is on the commercial real estate side. Mom did a number of things, public speaking, and other things in a prior life. Yeah, it was definitely a good one.

Alejandro: What got you into applied physics because I believe that this is what you went after. That was the initial plan to do at Stanford.

Austin Russell: Yeah. Really, the whole applied physics domain, you can say I always had an interest in seeing things applied into the real world. I know there’s a lot of great work that goes on in the world — theoretical physics and systems and other things. It’s important to me whenever I think about working on something, what is the end impact that it has? When you think about the big picture in society as a whole in industry. It’s funny. I started out working when I was young, working on some software stuff in the software domain. I realized all the software is just limited by the hardware that it runs on. I got into the hardware side, computer systems, everything. That’s limited by the electrical work, and I got into electrical engineering and other aspects of that. Ultimately, though, I realized that all the hardware is limited by the physics that it runs on effectively, and got into the whole applied physics domain of how do we make all these new systems work in the real world. That also led me to get into optics and photonics specifically. I saw that as a new frontier of how we apply physics into the real world to solve problems in new dimensions. When you talk about fields like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and those kinds of things, they’re relatively established. They have larger degree programs on a huge number of colleges out there. Surrounding that, there are larger defined fields. I think when you get deep into the whole applied physics domain, and even especially with optics, and photonics, and laser systems, that’s where there’s a lot of new ground to be had, and that’s where I went all-in on, early on.

Alejandro: What happened? You got into Stanford, and the initial plan didn’t pan out as expected.

Austin Russell: [Laughter] Yeah. Exactly. Fortunately, I did have a time instead of going to some of my later years of high school, I ended up going to a place called the Beckman Laser Institute for a bit. They saw a lot of the great work that I was doing. That was a helpful springboard into the Stanford Applied Physics School there. Yeah, I only lasted about six months before — I mean, I always kind of knew that I wanted to go all-in on a company. I think it was Peter Thiel and crew with the Fellowship Program that convinced me to go all the way in asap, given that the time is right. Actually, for the first time of the various projects that I worked on, I formed a commercial venture around it and thought that with an opportunity that I was seeing to create a new type of sensing system for autonomous vehicles. They’ve been using the same types of core hardware for even a decade prior to that, back when I was first starting out on this. Much less even today, it hasn’t advanced much. That’s where I saw an opportunity of how do you take a holistic view of this? Really think of it differently and build a purpose-built solution from the ground up. That’s what excited me, even though I knew it was going to be a multi-year journey ahead.

Alejandro: The Thiel Fellowship, how did you come across them? Was it like they went to your school, and they gave a speech, or it was like researching on the internet, or they came to you? How did that happen?

Austin Russell: They pretty much found me. A lot of it was word-of-mouth within the communities and circles. I think, fortunately, they made a big splash with the program, which was, you could say, I think it was slightly controversial when it was first coming out just because it was like the whole narrative of like pay someone 100k to go drop out of school. At the time, the president of Harvard — and they had this quote on the front page of the Thiel Fellowship website, “The single most misguided bit of philanthropy in all of history.” So it was definitely interesting. That said, though, I think what people didn’t realize is that there’s a certain group or breed of entrepreneurs that were already working on their own projects. They want to get out in the real world; they want to build something where either the timing is right to be able to build some product, and/or I think academia works for the vast majority of the population out there and wanted to take that path. I think at the same time, though, there’s that entrepreneurial bug. They just want to build. You want to get hands-on. Of course, the best way to do that is scale something and get out in the real world. At the end of the day, you have to be able to finance things accordingly and build a company around it and make it happen. It was inspirational to me. The thing about even the tagline is like, “Get 100k” or whatever. That’s not the interesting thing about that program. It’s the network and just the relevant knowledge and information that you have, this is the kind of stuff that you can’t learn in business school. When you’re talking to all these other founders and people that have built hugely successful companies, and the right mentors they bring in, and the whole network there. That’s the kind of thing that’s valuable as a young entrepreneur, understanding how this stuff really works. And it’s something you certainly wouldn’t get in any environment or school.

Alejandro: Yeah. So then, you got the 100k. You dropped out of school, and obviously, you had a very interesting discussion with your parents. So what happens next?

Austin Russell: [Laughter] Yeah, I went all-in on the business. At this time, I was effectively — I mean, 100k is cool, but that, unfortunately, doesn’t fund a scaling business off the bat. So I was able to self-fund a lot of the initial stages from some of the earlier projects that I was working on. And other capital I had made and invested and whatnot. I ended up bringing on a first handful of folks and groups in the company. At the time, we had an office in Southern California that I had some contacts and other things there. My uncle came onboard. He was an electrical engineer that did well, and he was an amazing one. We had a group, and someone ended up bringing on as a co-founder, Jason Eichenholz and team in Orlando that realized there was a huge crowd and dense population of some of these LiDAR specific engineers. LiDAR’s the system that we build for autonomous vehicles. It was kind of random, but it turns out the highest concentration of these types of LiDAR engineers that I ever knew anywhere in the world because of the huge defense presence that’s historically been there and a lot of the original LiDAR programs were with these defense programs. We’re talking Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, L3 Systems, Raytheon, and, of course, you have NASA and Cape Canaveral all right there. So we ended up building a dual office out there along with the one out here in Silicon Valley, building up those teams. The key thing, though, is that this is not something — with a software company, as you’re building it out, you can start to see results more and more over time. 

Alejandro: How old were you when you started the business?

Austin Russell: I was around 16, 17, I think, when the formal entity was founded. That was right around the time when I was dropping out of Stanford, going fulltime on the business. I had worked on some of the more foundational work earlier on. It’s been about a solid seven or eight years on the company that I’ve been building up. The first five years of it, though, were operating in stealth mode building out the core technology. It’s the foundation for what we have today. That was something that was interesting and different for us. This is something that we knew it was going to be a multi-year journey going into this because the solution that we had was to build out all the different components that go into this sensing system from scratch to enable a completely different level of performance and capability and sensing capability to allow these autonomous cars to go and see everything in the world and the environment around them. So with that, we transitioned originally from crazy ideas in my head to technology on a benchtop to now productized version to the systems, and now working with a number of major automakers and OEMs in the real world. But it took about five or six years, 100 million dollars into the product development-plus, and hundreds of specialized engineers to be able to make that product happen in the first place, and allow us to have this commercial success.

Alejandro: Talk to us about the business model, Austin.

Austin Russell: Absolutely. What it comes down to is that the core of the business model is centered around a value proposition in the first place, which is what we’re able to do with this LiDAR Sensing System allow autonomous cars now go from seeing some things some of the time to all things all of the time. And allow them to get a clear understanding of what’s going on. The way that we do that is by allowing you to see far distances, up to 250 meters into the distance for even normally very hard-to-see low reflectivity or dark objects, as you’d say. And at the same time, have enough resolution to be able to clearly make out what’s going on. This is something that has been a huge challenge in the industry where they’re good at seeing things 99% of the time. What it comes down to is that they end up missing that last 1% of all the different edge cases. As I’m sure you can imagine, seeing 99% of people or missing 1 in 100 is not an acceptable failure rate in this kind of industry. So that’s why you have to go out and see the edge, like the object that’s way up in the road, the kid that runs out in the street chasing after a ball. If there’s a stalled car up ahead, or whatever it may be, things that are thrown at you, you have to be dynamic. That’s something that our whole claim to fame or what we pride ourselves on is really the only company to solve that problem, get them to require performance specifications. That’s the core of what powers the business model that allows us to sell to three key verticals. There’s the consumer vehicle side of it for automakers. There’s robotaxis, which is the whole ridesharing world and what we’ve seen in the emergence of the Ubers and Lyfts of this world. Then lastly, the whole trucking side of things, enabling autonomous trucking players. We’re that key system that powers the vehicle platforms. In some cases, also the software, in addition to the hardware that allows them to enable true autonomy and handle a lot of these different edge cases they might not normally be able to. Those are the markets that we’re going after and what we’ve been focused on now. Whereas, we’re past the initial technology phase. We have a technology that works. It’s there. We have that product. That’s what we spent so long trying to achieve. Now, it’s all in the commercial side, and that’s where we’ve ramped up from starting with — I think in the beginning of last year, we had four key launch partners with this. As automakers, we now have 40 different companies that we’re working with or partnered with on this, including 12 of the top 15 automakers on their development programs. It’s been an exciting ramp.

Alejandro: Very cool. Obviously, for getting to where you are now, it requires funding. So how much capital have you guys raised?

Austin Russell: We’ve raised over 250 million at this stage. It definitely takes a non-trivial amount of capital to be able to see this all the way through. And I think it’s interesting. Hopefully, we should, in the scheme of things, see this as extremely efficient in terms of how we’re deploying these, how we work through as what we’re doing with this is hoping to be the first company to be powering what you would call true autonomy in series production. That’s the whole goal for the next phase of the business. That’s also what takes a lot of capital. When we’re taking not just a development product, development program, this is getting out into real production vehicles. It’s capital-intensive for sure along the way.

Alejandro: Raising all that money, 250 million at 24 and earlier years, that pretty impressive. What have you learned about fundraising, Austin?

Austin Russell: Well, it’s an interesting arc on this side because — it’s funny, back in the initial days of when I was first doing this. There’s definitely that element of thinking that I’m totally crazy and like, “What are you doing? What’s going on?” It was very difficult to try to attract capital in the early periods, as you can imagine. I was a 17-year-old going around and saying, “Oh, I have a bunch of cool ideas for how to change the” — well, then, even non-existent autonomous vehicle industry in the very nascent days of the advertence of autonomy. So execute on a plan for a brand new technology that’s going to require hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of engineers along the way to be able to see it through. As you can imagine.


Alejandro: It was an uphill battle.

Austin Russell: It’s been an uphill battle. It was. I think it turned a lot after people saw — I was able to get away on a shoestring budget — a really shoestring budget early on. Talk about at some point some of the crazy ways that I was actually financing the company early-on. The way that I was scaling it up is that by bootstrapping it initially and providing the first — when you get those first seed checks in, in this case from some other projects that I had going on, it helps a huge amount because you can focus all-in on the business. You don’t have to worry about some of the initial capital raising. Also, that’s where a lot of venture capitalists take the most of any given company or the most sizable chunks and how we’re able to make things efficient and preserving from an equity perspective too. At the end of the day, you have to prove the milestones. After we built up the initial technology and showed, “Hey, this actually works.” I think it was mind-blowing to a lot of people. And getting the right supporters in the industry along the way and have the vision to see what I was doing just as Peter Thiel saw that vision with his crew early-on for the Fellows. And get the right people along the way. We’ve had everything like laser physicists that invested early-on and other angel supporters along the way to ultimately scaling up and bringing on other corporate investors and strategics and hedge funds. And, of course, Silicon Valley venture capital firms. But I think it became very clear a year or two in that this wasn’t just an interesting technology for technology’s sake or a flash in the pan, but this was going to be a long journey ahead that hopefully we executed on it and made it happen would be game-changing for the transportation industry at large. So that’s what excited investors to get on board ultimately.

Alejandro: At 24, the journey that you’ve had already from a professional perspective is the journey that many are not going to have in a lifetime. It’s remarkable. The journey of an entrepreneur, as well, is not easy. I wanted to ask you, what has been, for you, the hardest moment in building this business, and perhaps what did you learn from it?

Austin Russell: It’s a great question. As a founder with any type of high-growth-type operation, it is an insane amount of work that goes into all this, and you want to say what’s the hardest part? I guess everything. To some extent, everything.

Alejandro: Right.

Austin Russell: You’re basically juggling 1,000 balls at a time. There are only so many you can drop without ensuring it has a negative impact on the business in terms of what you ultimately want to achieve in the long-term vision and revolutionizing the industry. I’d say the level of, in truth, the dedication we’ve had to have on this has been — obviously, many other entrepreneurs, and maybe some of the other folks you’ve talked to, it’s extremely intensive and relentless at times. There is no forgiveness when you’re responsible for everything about your own business. You have, also, a lot of people that are dependent on you to ultimately be able to deliver, dependent on the company, dependent on everything. Not to mention, people in the company, and even the partners that you’re working with outside the investors from the capital that you’ve brought on, it’s a lot of responsibility. I think you have to have this singular vision and goal in your mind of what you’re driving towards constantly like every minute of every hour of every day. If you don’t have that, it makes it that much harder to be able to meet the end goals in the first place. So it does definitely take a huge mental toll on things that when you’re cranking away 24/7, working 16-hour days as it may be. Especially in the earlier days of things, as much as possible you want to try to build up a team, build up stability, build out process at some stage after you get past the initial fuzziness as a startup and drive clarity into a lot of the business engagements and models and how you see yourself maturing as a company over the long run with an ultimate eye towards IPO, for example. That’s where it calms down a bit more. There’s no question about it; it’s stressful. At the same time, there are those that get challenged or troubled by that kind of stress, and then there’s those that thrive in that environment. When we look at hiring criteria and other things for people and culture fit, of course, that’s what we look to be able to have as a part of the team too of driving things forward, knowing that you have to deliver to put food on everyone’s plate at the end of the day, and make a huge impact for the larger industry. This is not a 9 to 5 thing by any means, either. But I think we have a lot of dedicated folks. At the end of the day, it’s obviously a lot more than just me or just even the relevant people, the advisors, and other folks that are brought on. It is a huge team effort that you have to structure in the right way to make it happen, and all move forward on together.

Alejandro: How many employees do you guys have now, Austin?

Austin Russell: We have a little over 350 at this point. The split is, we have almost about 100 out there in Palo Alto. We have about, plus or minus, maybe 230, 240 in Orlando. In Colorado, we have about 25, 30, or so. So a quick division of responsibilities out here, it’s where we have a lot of the core operations of the company in addition to our software. In Orlando is the core of the hardware engineering and our advanced manufacturing production. Then in Colorado, it was a chip design company that we acquired a few years ago.

Alejandro: I’m sure that a lot of people listening are wondering what your take is on where the self-driving space is heading as a whole?

Austin Russell: It’s a great question. This is one of those spaces where there’s a lot of noise, a lot of other stuff going on. We like to remain grounded in what’s the reality of the situation and leverage that to our advantage. I think there’s a lot of, you could say, overly ambitious timelines for high levels of autonomy that many were facing overall, or trying to be able to achieve in recent years. There’s been a greater sense of realism that’s been able to come about where people are like, “Hey, wait a minute.” The problem is actually really, really hard to be able to solve, and it goes back to that last 1% they were talking about. There’s a long tail associated with all of these different edge cases and all the crazy things that can happen when driving a vehicle. Things can work great most of the time, but it’s those edge cases that trip everything up. That’s why all these autonomous cars still have backup drivers behind them, ready to take over the wheel at any given moment whenever the vehicle makes a mistake in their autonomous test fields, which happens shockingly often. So that’s where it comes into play, and how do you solve that problem? How do we advance ourselves as an industry to deliver on this whole promise of saving lives, making autonomy happen in the real world? The way that we’ve seen and the approach that we’ve taken is we’re not trying to just advocate and go all-in for high levels of autonomy, drive anywhere anytime, and pure robotaxi-type efforts. I think those will have their time, but it’s more on the order of a decade from now than it is in a year or two. What we’ll actually see in the coming few years is more constrained use cases and applications of autonomy. Talk about the need for better sensing capabilities, and better sensing systems, and other stuff; this certainly helps a lot. But even then, it doesn’t get you to full autonomy alone. You have to actually collect and see all those different edge cases and examples before. So with the best sensing systems and the most constrained applications, you have to use all the leverage here possible. That’s where we can see this becoming feasible in a near-term timeframe. It’s a bit of a more conservative approach, you could almost call it, than some other types of companies out there, but this is the way that we’re getting into not just trucks or ridesharing vehicle autonomous development programs, but also consumer vehicles. Many did predict that consumer people would be the last to adopt this. It’s interesting because it flipped on its head where they’re actually now becoming the first in constrained applications like on freeways. For example, what we’re enabling for the automaker — if you want to take your car, let’s say on your commute to work, you drive it from your house onto the freeway. You can then enable an autonomous mode, take your hands off, eyes off, read a book, use your phone, work on your laptop, watch a movie, take a nap, whatever it may be, and then five minutes before the final exit you’ll have a planned manual takeover. You take over and then drive to the final destination. Starting out with that, and then expanding more and more to other domains via software over time, and on top of that, enabling better and better assisted driving capabilities and technologies with our sensing systems on surface streets and urban and suburban environments because the reality is that you don’t actually have to solve autonomy, or much less full autonomy to be able to save the million-something lives we lose out on the road every year. There’s a huge opportunity for safety there, and that’s something that we see as core to this. Getting it out there as quickly as possible is key, and that’s what’s driving us forward in that direction, whereas, we will see the other stuff. But when we talk about autonomous trucks, too, that’s something that’s going to be coming to light and coming to fruition in the relatively near future because it also is more constrained conditions where mostly focus on the long haul in freeway situations. But talk about consumer vehicles and other stuff, when can you actually buy a car with our technology in it and see it deployed? That’s coming not too far away in 2022. 

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Alejandro: Very nice. I’ve heard you talking a lot about problems and problem-solving. When we’re thinking about problems in the execution, how do you go about first analyzing, thinking about them, digesting them, and then diving into the execution? What does that process look like in Austin’s head?

Austin Russell: That’s a good question. I think the whole thing around building this kind of product in any new, emerging industry is that you effectively create the rules. There is no framework. There is no existing business model. There is no anything to work off of and no precedent, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing in the sense that you get to define how you want to work and operate in this industry. We’re carving that path in a large part for this part of autonomy that will hopefully help enable it for a number of our other partners. [0:31:42], their timeline to plan and see as many lives saved out in the real world as possible and as many deployed vehicles as possible. At the same time, the curse is there’s no established model that you can reference that you know works for sure to be able to operate off of. What ends up happening is this is extremely cross-functional, interdisciplinary work where you’re going to have to see the connections across the business and commercial side, the product and technology side, and other aspects of how you work with the other companies within this, not to mention the whole financial angle to this too and unit economics. But you have to see the cross-functional connections to derive the right approaches at this because, I will say, one bad decision or one bad tradeoff decision can effectively ruin all the great work that you’ve done and your strategy and company as a whole. Or even if you did have a great product if you take the wrong strategy and wrong approach to market and wrong approach to working with the right companies. Even just the wrong approach to how you achieve the specifications in the first place that are required or the wrong identification of those specifications. There are so many different dead ends and ways you can move through, and that defectively — the hard part of what I’ve had to do and we’ve had to do as a company is navigate the accordingly, get the signal through the noise. And by the way, there are a lot of things, and there’s a lot of talk in the industry. There’s a lot of stuff where you could say — people are looking left and right wondering who’s doing what and want to follow that direction. You have to see through the noise and solve the problem for yourself, understand what’s real and what’s not, what needs to be done. By the way, I would say we took that approach for the product engineering from Day One from having that top-down approach of identifying what are the actual end specifications we need to achieve, and then building up a bottoms-up solution to be able to ultimately achieve that in a unique way or had to be a unique way since there’s no off-the-shelf way to do it. That’s the whole value prop. Applying that same kind of mentality to other aspects of the business of top-down approach of what will sell this problem and then the bottom-up approach to how do we directly achieve that? That’s been what I’ve been doing effectively in guiding the company’s strategy.

Alejandro: One of the questions that I typically ask the guests that come on the show is — it’s been quite a ride for you. You started the company at 16, technically 17 when it was formed, but now you’re 24, and it’s been quite a ride. So now, if I had to ask you if you had the opportunity to have a chat with that younger Austin, perhaps the Austin that was 16 prior to launching the business, what would be that one piece of business advice that you would give to yourself before launching a business and why?

Austin Russell: That’s a good question. It’s a really good question. I would love to have a ten-hour chat — it would be like, “Do this. Don’t do this. Don’t do this. Do this. Don’t listen to this person. Definitely listen to that person.” It’s a good question. I think I had to learn early on how to think about — I’m thinking about everything from how you take in information, how you take in advice from folks, how you form your own opinions and thoughts on things, how you build or run a company, how we create this. At the same time, I think there’s something to be said about going through the journey and that drive of always wanting to know how is this going to pan out if we do this, this, and this? It’s almost exciting to have a plan in place. Not everything’s going to work out perfectly, according to plan by any means, but seeing that come alive over time, learning on the fly. There’s no real precedent. I think part of the enjoyment of this is the journey and going along that ride. It certainly has plenty of its own ups and downs along the way, but it’s really, really interesting. I think it’s hard to succinctly say anything. It all comes down to some of the subtle dynamics of building a business would make a world of difference. The thing I definitely would do is if they had some wire transfer info, I think I would self-finance it. I wish there was a world where you could finance things in previous history. Sometimes, I think of that if you had the credibility as a company like what we do now. How much more quickly would we have been able to achieve that? Where would we be now if we had that early on and didn’t have to build up? But at the same time, I’m sure that if we didn’t have as a company part of the exercise of learning how to build that in the first place, maybe it would have been different also on that side. So I think just keep at it. Stay strong and keep building. Never stop building. Stick to your gut. Stick to what makes sense. There are a lot of good advice, a lot of bad advice that you get along the way, a lot of noise. And, of course, building the team. That’s one other thing that I certainly would have taken a different look at how we structure a company from day one knowing what we know. A lot of the rules of traditionally building a business may not directly apply to this type of growth story. And even then, I was far from perfect. There are a lot of gaps and knowledge; hind sight’s 20/20 on this stuff. We’ve had plenty of our own challenges or hiccups or whatever it may be along the way on the product development side, on the people’s side, on whatever it is to ensure that everyone is working at their best, the best possible efficiency in driving things forward. It’s a complicated 2,000-piece puzzle that you have to put together. It’s never going to be perfect, but I think just knowing that if I execute on the plan — there’s always something at the back of your head that you almost have to drown out. It’s like, “Is this really crazy? Are we really doing this? Is this actually going to work?” Because you have a lot of the nay-sayers and other stuff, and you have a lot of, well, logic too. There are a lot of things that have to work out and come together. But at the end of the day, if you stick to the other stuff, it will work out. I think if that’s something that I’d communicate to my earlier self and always keep sticking to it, then that would be helpful. But I’ll have to think more on that altogether.

Alejandro: Love it. You have now at 24, I’m sure that this is not going to be the only rodeo, so we may need to do Part 2 or Part 3 on the next company. You never know. Austin, for the people that are listening and perhaps the ones that really enjoyed and are wondering what is the best way to reach out and say hi, what would you tell them?

Austin Russell: Shoot me an email. I’d say, I’m here. [email protected] and love to chat if you have some interesting insight or thoughts, or just want to hear more about some of the story and if I can be helpful at all. Thanks for hosting me on here. It’s great to outline some of the background story of where we are. Of course, I’m all focused now on what’s ahead and how to make all this happen and bring this industry to life as much as possible. 

Alejandro: Absolutely. You’re definitely making it happen and leading the way, Austin. So thank you so much for being on the Dealmakers show. I really appreciate it.

Austin Russell: Thank you so much. I appreciate the kind words. Of course. All right. Have a good one, Alejandro.


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