In a recent episode of the Dealmakers’ Podcast, Jake Schwartz, co-founder of General Assembly and Brave Health, shared his captivating entrepreneurial journey. From his formative years on a farm to spearheading successful startups, Jake’s story is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and a profound understanding of the business world.
Brave Health has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Samsung NEXT, Union Square Ventures, City Light Capital, and Town Hall Ventures.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Mastering unit economics is essential for sustainable business growth.
- True success transcends external validation and lies in making a meaningful impact.
- Balancing passion with industry viability is crucial for entrepreneurial success.
- Entrepreneurship demands a fusion of creativity and structured execution.
- Adaptability is key – be ready to pivot in response to market dynamics.
- Mentorship plays a pivotal role in guiding the next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Entrepreneurial grit and innovation can revolutionize even the most challenging sectors, like healthcare.
For a winning deck, see the commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here).
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About Jake Schwartz:
Jake Schwartz is a Co-Founder and serves as Executive Chairman at Brave Health. He co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer at General Assembly.
Jake also serves as a Venture Partner at New Form Capital. He grew up learning about healthcare from his father, an emergency medicine specialist.
Now, he brings his expertise in building mission-driven, tech-enabled businesses to Brave Health. Jake is an entrepreneur and an advisor for early and growth-stage businesses in Web, mobile, and digital media.
Jake is the Founder of The Office Space Guys. He completed an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. degree in American Studies from Yale University.
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Connect with Jake Schwartz:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have a really amazing founder. You know a founder that is a successfully exited founder. You know he is a definitely one of those founders that has helped you know without a doubt to shape the ecosystem. The venture ecosystem. New York you know for sure you know something that I have seen and and a ton of respect you know for what he’s done for his journey and we’re going to be learning quite a bit on you know, exits about raising money about what does he mean you know to really build a business and. And all in between now when it comes to really the journey of building something so without fartherdo. Let’s welcome our guest today Jake Schwartz welcome to the show. So originally born in Portland Oregon
Jake Schwartz: Um, hey thanks glad to be here.
Alejandro Cremades: So how is life growing out there.
Jake Schwartz: Well, you know my parents were East Coast refugees and and they settled and actually outside of Portland in ah on a farm and when I was really young. Um, and you know my dad was I would almost think of was an early. Yeah. Early apocalypse junkie and and wanted to be self-sufficient and so had you know a year’s supply of gasoline and chickens and sheep and the whole thing even though you know he was he was an er doctor so it was that was my you know my first. First phase of life and then you know we grew up in the in the suburbs of Oregon or Portland was not nearly as cool then as it is now that’s I will say that. Oh yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Definitely a lot happening in Portland nowadays. So so good stuff now now in your case, you know how do you decide that you know you want to pack the box and come over to yell to study.
Jake Schwartz: Um, oh I mean that yeah you know it’s funny. Um I don’t even really at this stage remember other than I think my parents kind of told me that was the way it was goingnna be you know? Ah I I don’t think I got a lot of you know I.
Alejandro Cremades: I Hear you.
Jake Schwartz: Not necessarily that I was going to go to Yale or something like that. But you know I wasn’t going to just look you know in the pacific northwest and I was going to have to to meet my potential I think was sort of the message that was sent and so I think I was I was a theater kid and in high school. So um, yale was attractive to me because of that.
Alejandro Cremades: And also music I mean music for those people that can’t see you right now you know you have all types of instruments and I’m sure that the music you know also has a has been able to shape your creativity and who you are as an entrepreneur to know how do you? How do you think? that’s the case.
Jake Schwartz: And that’s.
Jake Schwartz: Ah.
Jake Schwartz: Oh yeah, well I mean I’ve been I’ve been playing music for as long as I can remember and um, you know that was my first aspiration out of college I wanted to be a singer songwriter and a record producer and you know I’ve had been in. You know had little groups and bands and and things like that over the years um this is all sort of a post covid when we moved up to the woods here. Um, you know, post-selling general assembly. You know this was sort of my dream was to have ah you know an office. That’s really a recording studio and so this is my sort of collection of instruments and. Got the whole sort of setup and you know during covid when there was not much going on and before we had my my my first son you know I have lots of time to be in here and I wrote you know tons of music and you know I actually think songwriting is such an interesting form because it’s It’s both incredibly creative but also very structured and I think entrepreneurship is very similar to that and that there is this? Um, it’s no doubt an art form and you can bring your whole self to it and so many moments of creativity and generation that come out of it but the more discipline. And structure and the chops that you have around it. Um, you know, definitely affects the quality of the final output and I think that sort of I sort of think of those as very similar disciplines that way and I’ve always sort of been interested in that intersection between.
Jake Schwartz: Um, you know the left brain and the right brain and creativity and and structure.
Alejandro Cremades: And obviously you had this love for music. It sounds like you tested music. You tested you know the idea of going to law school too. So what do you think you know like pushed you away from those 2 routes. Okay.
Jake Schwartz: Um, well ah, music was interesting because I went out not knowing anything about the real world and sort of just thought oh I’m a smart young whippersnappper. Maybe I you know I could figure out how to make that work and and you know so many people. The advice we give young people on how to pursue their careers is so backwards and I mean I see some people saying the right things now. So many years later but um, you know this idea of do what you love and follow your dreams and I think that’s true to a certain like you should be. You need to think about you know, follow your bliss so to speak. But. You know nothing about how the world actually operates or what you’re really good at or how you want to spend your days when you’re young and if you focus on the industry. Um, you know some industries are much more conducive to having a fruitful career and happiness and being able to grow and develop and some are not. And you know the the output of that industry may not be the right way to judge whether or not it’s an industry you want to be part of um, in many ways I think the inputs of that industry are much more conducive to that kind of evaluation and so. You know that’s like that first realization I think a lot of people have that and I mean I I love music I think the other thing I found is the more I tried to like sort of focus my ambition on somehow trying to break into music the more I found I hated music and that it’s a terrible curse and so you know I think.
Jake Schwartz: At that moment at the time napster had just come out. Um, you know it was the year two thousand and it was very clear that something terrible was happening to the reporting industry and the money in that industry was just being sucked out and so even I didn’t know very much but I could tell something was. Not right? and that this was not a place that I was going to be able to thrive. Um I think it’s also possible I just didn’t want it bad enough and I think I think the reality is with those really competitive creative fields. The game is how bad do you want it? What are you willing to sacrifice how hard are you willing to. Work towards an uncertain outcome and I think I I was too attached to my ability to succeed to just go all in on something like that at the time. And and then you know then it was like ah like everyone I mean this is really in some ways. What I’m talking about is the origin story of general assembly here because all of these experiences I sort of talk about this a lost and lonely period. So what do you do when you’re like oh my god I don’t know what I’m it’s supposed to do and I missed that offramp after college. Oh I’ll go to law school. That’s what everybody was doing at the time. And I feel like I was saved from a terrible fate by not going to law school and that was just you know sort of luck of the draw September Eleventh happened I was in New York I kind of like hustled my way into some you know, got interested in finance which you know because I didn’t understand it and I think.
Jake Schwartz: The best thing I had going for me is I was things I didn’t understand I wanted to like learn more about and so I just kind of dug in on these things that were foreign to me and got into my first sort of jobs on the buy side and kind of learned it clearly um wasn’t a great place for me long term but I learned what I you know. A lot about the world I learned what I didn’t like and I think I came out of that whole period in the 20 s being like wow it was really volatile I knew I was never going to be a good employee and if that was the the game I had to play I was going to lose or at least be very mediocre. And so I knew I had to find a different way a different path. Um, you know I had started a couple you know little small entrepreneurial ventures a nonprofit performing art space. We had a little music stage and a record label there. We had an illegal bar. Um, and then I started a little roving art gallery just because I was curious about that and then. Eventually I took all that stuff and I said I got to go back to business school and just like put it all together because this is it just feels a little skitzo and all over the place and that led to you know that went to business school and I think I was a little older I had done a little more stuff in New York and I went around a business school and I was like what is this. What is going on there. Um, a lot of money. Um not a ton of content and a lot of people who seemed kind of in this weird you know midway point in their career and not really sure where they were going and.
Jake Schwartz: A lot of people at the time this is pre 2008 so a lot of people were treating as just this vacation on their wed easy riches on the other side and you know working for private equity or hedge funds or something like that and when I got out um the financial crisis hit and I saw just everybody get crushed people who thought they were set and were. Bending into debt in order to go trips around the world for business school and it was so glamorous and fun. All of a sudden were unemployed and um I had always a little bit more of that paranoia and so I came out okay, but you know a couple years into my first job after business school. Nothing could really happen. You know everything was frozen because of that financial crisis and I just had a moment of real truth for myself where I said um you know I don’t think like just the way I had come in I can’t be somebody else’s employee. There’s no easy path for me. I don’t care if I have to live you know under a bridge I’m going to be in charge of my own destiny and I’m not going to try to hitch my wagon to somebody else’s star and that was really the beginning of my life in many ways that moment of fear and jumping off into the unknown and I started hustling for. Whatever consulting gigs I could convince somebody to give me in order to pay my rent and I always left a day of the week for entrepreneurial things and 1 of those things was helping ah a young kid named Matt Brimer who was just out of Yale ah, who had this vision for a co-working space very early.
Jake Schwartz: And we got together and sort of jamming on the numbers and and that kind of stuff and and I was some like I think he had hosted like a yale entrepreneur meetup you know he’s like this 22 year old kid he still had yale business cards I remember which is hilarious and um and it was just you know I was like wow.
Alejandro Cremades: And how did you guys connect it initially.
Jake Schwartz: You’re going to go on this I know a little bit I was doing some stuff in commercial real estate I was like let me help you like avoid some of these mistakes you know I was the ripe old age of 30 so I was like a much more knowledgeable, right? right? And so. You know out of that we ended up recruiting one of his former cofounders Brad and and then we met um Adam um, along the way all sort of sharing this idea and really what was happening is there was this sense of this resurgence of New York as a startup hub and that and that. All became it was this thing called superconductor and then all of a sudden we changed the name thanks to our designer from ideo Mimi Chun who is incredible and the next thing you knew we were sort of off to the races with this this concept and it sold out immediately and we had this big choice. Do. We just keep building more spaces or do we try to build this into something else and you know it’s funny for years that building more spaces I was like well that seems just like the financial crisis. We’re just going to take on more and more leases and debt and then somehow magically it’s going to work out that doesn’t make any sense. And we had this room that was a classroom and and we decided to start running classes there and and really that became the origin story of this idea of could we do a better job than business school or law school or college at connecting people to jobs that they would actually.
Jake Schwartz: Love and have have a future and that was general assembly and so.
Alejandro Cremades: So so how are you guys saved what what ended up being the business model there. How were you guys making money.
Jake Schwartz: Um, really it was we We had these courses. Um, you know this was this this was what is now known you know and is somewhat common is the coding boot camp and we had them and for coding for Ux design for marketing for um, you know. Different types of software development data science and you know we would have these classrooms. We would do some stuff online but a lot was still offline and then we started opening classrooms in put spaces around the world. Um, when we sold we had over 30 different campuses. Um. And like you know on four different continents. So.
Alejandro Cremades: And also also you guys raised some money there know So how was the um, they what? what was the strategy. What was the strategy there to capitalize the business and and and get the right people.
Jake Schwartz: Oh yeah, so much.
Jake Schwartz: Um, calling it strategy I think is really giving us way too much credit right? It was early on and I think when you’re young the venture capital shows up and I think we you know we we were smart enough to say should we do this should we not do it. But. I think in retrospect, of course we were going to do it. You know and it’s just how and when you when you’ve never done anything real before in business or you’ve been all little games all of a sudden somebody wants to write you a check for four or five million dollars like all of a sudden you can call your parents and say hey I have a real thing going on right? It’s too tempting. And um, and maybe it was the I mean it worked out for us. So I think from that perspective we can. We can say ah you know yay although I would say it. It made you know life really challenging for like 10 years because of it. So um.
Alejandro Cremades: No no kidding. Okay.
Jake Schwartz: You know? and so I think the strategy is we raise a little money we grew. Then we ran out of money as one does and then we needed to raise more money and so we had to tell a story that would allow us to raise more money and then we had to grow according to that story so that we could raise even more money. And before you knew it We had raised over $100000000 and um, you know that’s the point where it gets pretty Challenging. People don’t really talk about that I think as much as they should um which is that the more you know. Effectively until you’re a public company that those rounds of capital they call it equity but it’s preferred equity and preferred equity the way it works in venture Capital it Acts. You know I would say a lot like debt. Meaning there are people who get paid before you get paid and so you may have a valuation on paper that you know allows you to call your parents and make them really proud of you and get headlines and feel like you’re doing anything but you know your sort of theoretical net worth isn’t real at all and. Real challenge of all of these venture-backed businesses is finding a way to convert that this entity that has all this capital in it and a story into somebody writing an actual check for your actual business. Um to buy your shares.
Jake Schwartz: And that is the only that is really the only measure of success for most of these things. Um, you know sometimes they can actually get profitable and throw off cash Flow. That’s exceedingly rare I don’t think it should be as rare as this,, but it is and um, you know I think a lot. A lot of businesses get stuck in this place where they’ve raised so much money that it’s very very difficult to ever generate a return for their investors. Um, and if they can’t generate a return for their investors. It means their employees get nothing. They often get nothing or very little. And they’ve put an incredible amount of work and sweat and tears and energy and convince other people to put that work in those that sweat and tears and it ends up as a 0 um or a zombie or a zombie where it never goes to 0 just kind of sits there right.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, well I there. Ah yeah I mean ultimately on those on those same Journeys is first money in last money out and last money in first money out. So for the people listening So so obviously in this case, you know you guys.
Jake Schwartz: Um.
Alejandro Cremades: Were able to really reach the finish line and be able to get that nice. Check that they made everyone happy. So how did the whole conversation with the Adeco group. How did that they come about.
Jake Schwartz: Yes.
Jake Schwartz: Well I had this vision we had gotten to this stage where I realized you know we had. We had been very successful at getting a ton of people who were college graduates you know in the United States or you know similar type places around the world to pay with their own money.
Alejandro Cremades: Now.
Jake Schwartz: To come and learn these skills so they could get better jobs and we get started to experiment with other financing schemes right? Whether it’s you know, student loans or income share agreements were very hot at the time things like that. But the challenge with all of that was that. We saw you know our existing educational system in the United States is all built on taking on huge amounts of debt and we really wanted to be different than that and I sort of saw this path where if we kept going the only way to keep going would be to encourage more and more people to take more and more debt which sort of seemed like we were being. Part of the problem then and not part of the solution which really I had a hard time stomaching and as I looked at the whole sort of system. It became very clear to me that if what we were really trying to do was solve skills gaps where industry needed certain skills but couldn’t find. People with those skills to fill those slots and was preventing them from growing or expanding the way they wanted to that employers really would be the logical source of financing for this education and that you could sort of create a much more a vertically integrated sort of pipeline there. We called it. You know talent pipeline as a service is what we we were sort of marketing at the end and as I started to do that with this vision of employers sort of basically placing orders for talent upfront and then us using that those orders to finance the education of these individuals.
Jake Schwartz: But would then have guaranteed jobs at the other end. It’s sort of a It’s a very logical system. There are parts of our vocational training systems that work like this. But if we could pull that off that would really that seems like the the sort of optimal answer to the the problems that we were seeing at the time and um. So I had actually been in conversations with a deco for a while because ah you know there is a you know staffing is an industry staffing and recruiting is an industry where they do get companies to pay for talent and so I sort of was sort of presenting and kind of always pitching to them this vision of. Imagine if we could go to your clients and create the talent they need and you can make more money on a talent placement than you do with a typical staffing or sort of commodified recruiting deal and you can do a lot of net good for the world and um. You know I think they were really enamored with that vision and um, you know we were a real business and that we had revenue and we had gross Margin. We were slightly profitable briefly. Um, but you know I would say. When you know after the acquisition occurred I think making that vision a reality within an already existing and pretty mature and I might say Rigid system that exists in a multinational public company.
Jake Schwartz: Um, was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated. Um and I guess they hadn’t participated although that’s sort of funny because you know they should have probably known a little bit more um about how how difficult that was going to be but. You know public companies. They they need to tell stories they want to have ideas of themselves. They want to change. It’s it’s not easy to be 1 of those older public companies. Um, and the 1 thing I will say for that whole experience is I’ll probably never overestimate a large mature public company ever again and what they’re capable of doing.
Jake Schwartz: Because it is very challenging when you get that stage to pivot or adjust or adapt at all. Um, so anyway, so you know did that? um you know Ge it would ah I’m you know the thing I’m most proud of is that we delivered a return for all of our investors.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, yeah, well that was a nice outcome though. 450000000
Jake Schwartz: Um, our you know employees all made money on that. My co-founders all made money on that and um, you know that getting all the way to the end delivering on those promises a specific. Especially to those early employees who really do so much heavy lifting in these startups and and I felt such an obligation to doing my absolute best to get a return for those people who had given so Much. Um and to be able to do that I’m very very proud of that. Accomplishment. Ah yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in the in in parallel also to this you know there was um, another company that you helped to you know, bring to life and that’s a brave health now in this case, you know it sounds like once you were done with the vesting and resting now with a general assembly.
Jake Schwartz: Ah.
Alejandro Cremades: Basically ah you decided to ah to jump in it. You know on the operational site. You know you know in this case, you know as the next chapter for you so tell us about brave health you know how were you involved initially and then at what point do you decide? Hey I think I’m going to jump on this one as my next chapter first.
Jake Schwartz: Um, that was really about um you know, ah 1 of my sort of I would call top executives at ga right? that those early employees that I think gave so much What’s so fun about those early stages is you have people who are young and talented and if you don’t. Give them limitations they can sometimes surprise everyone in how far they can go and Anna window. Ah really joined ga is like 1 of our first 2 or 3 employees as an individual contributor and you know within a. Ah, handful of years was running our entire p and l which at that point was like almost $80000000 and um and so I was like just you know a I feel an incredible amount of gratitude and loyalty for someone who. Who did that and went on that growth curve which is not easy personally or or otherwise to do and I said you know your next step is you got to see if you could be a Ceo and I think you would be great and you know I noticed that like you know so much of the entrepreneurial journey is. Is actually operating a growing company. It’s not starting something from 0 and yet it always struck me as a little bit um, unfair that that founders sort of typically are these people who are just crazy enough to start something but really not all of them can run that thing.
Jake Schwartz: And then the people who can run it typically you know, get a very small fraction of the spoils and so um I felt that Anna you know would be a great Ceo and I and I hope the experience of being a founder is really formed was formative for me. And so we started to think about ways that we might be able to do something together and um my my family my dad and my brother had a couple sort of their they’re healthcare people and so they had a couple clinics um sort of focused on this medicaid population and focused really at the time on on opioid. Abuse treatment a medically assisted treatment for opioid abuse and um, that was sort of the first model and it it pivoted from there. Um, you know we realized medicaid was the main payer and so we start talking to them and we realized that the the challenges of access for these types of services. Is way more dispersed than big cities so bricks and mortar really should not be the the main main strategy and that sort of led to this model that has now been going for quite some time which you know brave is is the largest virtual provider of behavioral health for the medicaid population. And we are trying to solve some of these really intractable problems. Um, it’s hard to sometimes from our perspective you know if you’re on a normal you know, commercial health insurance type plan. Um, you know you have access or you have cash that you can sort of use to supplement that for people on medicaid, it is um.
Jake Schwartz: You know, pretty terrible. The the level of access and availability you have for just basic. You know mental health services things like wow, my doctor thinks I might have some really you know chronic ptsd and wants me to see somebody so I I went you know I called around and nobody takes medicaid or. The place that takes medicaid told me that they might be able to see me in three months or they told me to come into a waiting room for two days and maybe I could get seen and so we’re trying to use technology and you know sort of sophisticated modern operational strategies to put that on its head. And make it so that anyone can be seen within you know, less than a week and we’ve made incredible headway in Florida um, where we started and um, you know we’re in a bunch of other states as well and growing there. Um, we’ve raised. Capital from some great partners union square ventures Rebeca Caden um Josh Cohen it’s city white and Anna Fagin and Andy Slavitt at town hall who are really medicaid experts and so um, you know.
Alejandro Cremades: And it’s over 50000000 or how much have you guys raised.
Jake Schwartz: Ah, you know I would not call this a measure. This is not ah something to brag about right? We’ve raised I think around 60000000 to date. Um, and you know we were I think lucky to raise justice I would say the window was closing in 2022 and um.
Alejandro Cremades: So yeah, okay.
Alejandro Cremades: Oh yeah.
Jake Schwartz: At the same time. My co-founder Anna who had been doing this for 5 years and really just I mean grinding in the desert right? It’s so it was healthcare care is just so brutal and she was um, ready to have her first kid and so there was this sort of moment of truth where. She had to go to maternity leave and was really really exhausted understandably from raising and doing this for so long and um and we also realized that there’s this very specific moment where all of a sudden our strategy of just raising more and more money. To go after this big market in this very sort of venturey way that that strategy had to be completely flipped on its head and I think um, you know I felt pretty strongly about that because I had been through this journey before and I kind of knew. You know one of I think the biggest lessons of the first time around is the time to pull the fire alarm and go into emergency mode is not when you’re already almost out of money it’s when the money is in the bank and so that was sort of this moment. We close the deal. Everything was sort of shifting all around us and and um it sort of was a time where I had you know I was sort of in a beautiful place I had my son who had been born I was hanging out at home sort of semi-re retired doing whatever I wanted and had to sort of be called back up to fill to slot in here and.
Jake Schwartz: Um, but I will say I’m so grateful now for that opportunity because it gave me sort of a chance to synthesize a lot of the lessons that I had um learned but not yet sort of processed from my first you know 10 years doing this with general assembly. And so you know this was you know this is sort of the new era right? and and and I had never had a chance to really be in a business in this moment of like you know there is no more money coming. You got to make this work. Um, you, you know the idea of that you will sell your business based on a revenue multiple. Right is sort of a form of just founder delusion that will really kill you and we have to like actually figure out what that path is going to be which means we have to start making different and difficult decisions right? now right? and that that you know about a year ago that’s when that started.
Alejandro Cremades: Now.
Jake Schwartz: Ah, for me and it’s been a journey for the year but I’ve learned just so much about what I already have learned and how to sort of put that together and I think my you know I would say my biggest the the part of the journey I’m on right now. Um, is figuring out how to do this job which I think I am good at but how to do this job without it being such an emotional roller coaster that everything else in my life falls away and it’s like it’s sort of this It’s like a miserable kind of. Log that with moments of euphoria and and a lot of moments of terror and and just my ways and like and trying to figure out if there’s another way to do it. That is a little less crazy making.
Alejandro Cremades: No kidding.
Jake Schwartz: And that’s the journey that I’ve been on this time and it’s I would say um, really rewarded to get to try to work on that and work through some of that stuff and I think it’s something a lot of founders struggle with and um. It sort of got me from this place where after Ga I was like I never I was so Exhausted. It was like a ultra Marathon I was just like I it was like I was just curled up and I just didn’t want to do anything ever again and now I’m kind of charged up again and I’m like oh this, there’s there are there’s ways to do this that. Can work with a balanced life.
Alejandro Cremades: So talking about him you know, being charged up and and finding balance and then also executing here if you guys were to go to sleep tonight Now you and the team and and you wake up in a world where the vision of Brave Health is fully realized what does that world look like.
Jake Schwartz: Um, that’s a world in which we’re in all 50 states or close to it. Um, and where um, you know we are probably seeing hundreds of thousands of patients every month and helping them connect to mental health care in a way that helps them live a. Their lives in a more healthy and satisfying way and productive way and I think even more importantly is that we I think if we do our job right? I am hoping that we can sort of show that you know I should back up for a second. In in healthcare circles. It is sort of a a truism that you can’t make any money in medicaid and it is a place where it is not worth it to innovate or even try to do things different because you will just get chewed up by the machine and the big thing that we are trying to do here is prove that that’s wrong. The the world is shifted technology and paradigms have shifted and there is an opportunity to do something special and it’s not easy, but nothing. The secret is nothing really is easy and so this is if it’s it’s hard but worth it which is if we can get to the other side I think we will have built something special. But we will also have shown the world that this is an area where innovation is possible and um, we all would be beneficiaries of a world where medicaid is more effective and more efficient.
Alejandro Cremades: So now I want to ask you about the um, the past you know we’re talking about the future here but I want to talk about the past but with a lens of reflection. So let’s say I was to I was to bring you back in time I put you to a time machine and I bring you back in time hey you know to those moments where you were still in wharton.
Jake Schwartz: Her 5
Alejandro Cremades: And like looking around you and looking at what’s going on and incubating you know like what could be you know Ah, an idea you could bring to live and let’s say you had the opportunity of giving a piece of advice to that younger self to that younger Jake before launching a business. But will that be and why given what you know now.
Jake Schwartz: Um, unit economics is everything when you’re starting a business. Um, that’s framed in a very way that a wharton kid could understand too. But um, you know. I think that one of the lessons of the last ten years is there’s almost There’s no such thing as spending too much time in understanding watching and working on your unit economics when you’re building a business and um, that would probably what lesson 1.
Jake Schwartz: Um, I think a lesson to that I would probably. There’s a lot. Um, it’s hard to be pithy about some of these things. Um.
Jake Schwartz: Probably that the things you you you now think are the markers of success are the are the mere starts of the journey right? The the money raised the articles written the awards received. Those are not that those are not actually the game and if you play that game you will almost almost guarantee. You’ll be almost guaranteed to lose.
Alejandro Cremades: I hear you I hear you very very profound Jake I guess for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.
Jake Schwartz: Ah I mean I’m on all the all the channels I mean Linkedin you know Linkedin is kind of horrible right? But everybody’s on it I mean I’m I’m not I don’t hide so I’m I’m I’m everywhere. Um, but yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing.
Jake Schwartz: I mean I love hearing from people who are on a journey and I like I like you know I will say the 1 thing that I have found that I you know I like about being sort of at this stage. You know, having already exited and working on it and and having a little more distance is. The opportunity to afford to me to mentor other people right? and coach other people both on my my team at brave but also outside and other entrepreneurs and and um, it’s 1 of the most satisfying parts of this life that I have. Now is getting to see other people go on their journey right? which starts oftentimes from a very similar place to I was then and you know and getting to help them. You know you’ll never save that you can’t save them from all the little things but um.
Jake Schwartz: But you can definitely help people feel less alone and I think that’s that’s incredibly valuable you you I think you kind of do that too with what you do so are.
Alejandro Cremades: I love it? Well hey Jake it has been a true honor. Thank you so much for being with us on the dealmakerr show today.
Jake Schwartz: Oh happy that happy to be do it anytime all right? Thanks Bye bye.
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