Neil Patel

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John de Souza has already launched and exited three companies. His latest startup is taking on a huge and pressing problem. Their solution has already attracted substantial investment from big investors. The venture, Ample has acquired funding from top-tier investors like Blackstone Group, Banco Santander, Disruptive Innovation Fund, and PTT Public Company. Go to Zencastr and fill out the contact information so Zencastr can help you, bring your business story to life.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Ample is changing the EV charging situation
  • The right time to raise money for your startup
  • His top advice for other entrepreneurs


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

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About John de Souza:

A serial entrepreneur, John has founded and held senior management positions in several startup companies.

John co-founded Flash Communications, a startup company that developed real-time two-way messaging systems acquired by Microsoft. John was Co-Founder and Director of Smartleaf, a financial software company that provided account management solutions, and later, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at DESoFT, a startup company acquired by Merrill Lynch that developed online real-time brokerage systems for retail brokerage firms.

John started his career in healthcare performing research on guidance systems for robotic surgery at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Additionally, he was the head of the Technology Practice in Goldman Sachs’ Private Equity Group investing in healthcare and technology.

John received a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from College des Ingenieurs in France.

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Connect with John de Souza:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Hey, guys. Today’s episode is brought to you by Zencastr. I remember back in the day when I was looking at putting together Zencastr. I was looking for a solution that would help me in putting things together. Essentially, this is what allowed me to bring DealMakers to life. Basically, Zencastr, what it is is an all-in-one solution where you just send a link to the person that you’re looking to interview. They would plug in their computer with their video, with the audio, and then you are good to go. You would piece everything together, give it to your audio engineer or even edit it yourself, and you are off to the races. Now, if you’re looking at getting into podcasting, you should definitely check Zencastr out, and you could also get a 30% discount, and this is the discount code that you will be able to redeem by going to Lastly, I was very much blown away when I found out that investing in wine has been one of the best-kept secrets amongst the wealthy. This is now not the case anymore. I came across this solution, which is called VinoVest, and they are a great solution that allows you to diversify investing by implementing or including wines into your portfolio. Take a look at this: wine has one-third of the volatility of the stock market, and yet it has outperformed the global equities market over the past 30 years with 10.6% annualized revenues. It’s a really good way to diversify your portfolio, and you could also get two months of free investing by just going to, and by going there, you will be able to redeem your discount.
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Alejandro: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. Wow so today we have an own boli guest I mean someone that has done it so many times that I even go diy you know when I heard how many times you know he’s ba scale financed. Exited you know to like incredible companies like Microsoft Merrk I mean you name it I think that you’re gonna be quite inspired with the with his journey and we’re gonna be learning quite a bit here so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guests today John de Souza: this soha welcome to the show. So originally born in.

John de Souza: Ah, thank you for having me here.

Alejandro: Ethiopia so give us a little bit of a walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up.

John de Souza: So as spawn in ethiopian artists. Um Ethiopia is a phenomenal place for those that haven’t had a chance to visit. It’s stepie worth visiting to None incredible, incredible natural scenery but wonderful people and good food. Um. We we left Ethiopia actually doing a a tough time way back. This is when they actually had ah a coup that occurred in the company in the country and we ended up leaving end up in a few different countries eventually ended up in in Dubai where I finished my high school and then came to the us for for.

Alejandro: And you’ve moved quite a bit I mean Ethiopia in the us s I mean you said do I too now madrid I guess 1 thing that that I like to ask you is how do you think your worldview has shapen up as a result of.

John de Souza: College.

Alejandro: Being in all these different places all around the world. So.

John de Souza: I think there are two None is I think worldviews is a great. It gives you a very global perspective you realize in some ways it is a small world. But more importantly that we are all interconnected what happens in None place dramatically impacts the rest of world and I think. Recently we we all got a taste of that from what happened with with covid what happened with the war in Ukraine that the impacts we’re all interconnected but when you travel a lot I had that feeling way back that it’s all but also gives you a different it gives you the ability to get comfortable with change. And as I think about being entrepreneur that ability to go through and and adapt learn is is vital. It’s hard to be a not vulnerable without doing that and having been in a lot of different countries different cultures different languages you you learn that adaptation and you also learn how to do. How how to interact and and work with people from different different places and I think today’s society that’s despiteal you can’t do ah you can’t do a business without connecting with a lot of people and and that has really helped.

Alejandro: Now in your case is is pretty interesting because you study the in pen mit. But then you did your Mba in Europe I mean why did you go to Europe because I mean once you’ve experienced some of the best schools in the world I mean I’m not saying that Europe has bad schools. But I think it’s a different mindset right? that why you have here in the us. So. Why did you make that shift for the Nba.

John de Souza: You say I realize that having been in some countries up at that point that every country’s very different and I’d already spent multiple years in the us I had a very good sense for how it was to go through and study and and work in in the Us. But I realized that long term I needed. I needed to understand other places europe was critical I realized that Europe is is important for multiple reasons I want to get comfortable going there and doing business there and there was a reason for going through and I also spent time later on in in Asia going through and and living and working in Japan and so just in terms of saying of it I said a long time I knew out. Ah, need a global approach and I I didn’t want to sort of to leave out these other very important parts from from you know the past of farming my my background.

Alejandro: Now in your case you know, very interesting. You know as part of your background that doing the Nba in Europe I mean we say in Europe but that time you know we’re talking all the late 90 s you know, being an entrepreneur was weird right? I mean there in Europe I still remember graduating like like a little bit later but. But it’s either. You became a lawyer or or a banker or a consultant right in like None of the big ones but being an entrepreneur was like something you quite unique and I’m sure that for you. Also I mean right? after your Nba you went at it with your first company. So how did you come about? you know with that idea and then also. Why did you think it was a good idea to to to to bring it to life and go through that route of of starting your own thing.

John de Souza: Well it is. It is a funny story because when I was finishing in in France. The internet was just starting and I I remember going through and spending a lot of time with it and realizing that the internet was going to change a lot of things you know I literally had a presentation called. The internet is going to be big and France was unique at the time because they had a system called Minitel and they sat there and I realized that all you had to do in France was take everything on minital and put it on the internet and you’d be so far ahead of every other place so I went through and I actually met with multiple companies and all. And tried to persuade him I said look you have this on minitta. Let’s do this. We just start porting it at the time it was hard to persuade people and they they said look mini tell internet will never take over from mini tell manyta will be there forever. You know this is and so I got frustrated and and that frustration is what led me back into. Us at the time to start the first company ni instant messaging but I felt that that perspective was incredible and I I feel at the time at least France has and it still has incredible research and incredible engineers. But I felt that that the risk of venturing out and starting something was. Difficult for some of them to to go through himself.

Alejandro: So with this business I mean obviously you guys were doing instant messaging and None company None day exit right? I mean unbelievable now in this case was was it like much different than the way that the venture world is today when it comes to perhaps capitalizing a business.

John de Souza: It. It was very different because I feel like when I did the first startup the the cost was very high so just to do simple things you needed to I remember buying server ax setting up the None service. Everything took time took money and. It required you to have a tremendous amount of expertise if I were to contrast that to today literally anybody could decide. They want to develop a mobile app and without much effort you could probably go through and create it that is not the case back then you needed you needed to go through and really have a lot of expertise. You need a lot of financing to go to go through and do it. And it was also a world where there was a huge premium on software I would see the software revolution was going on back then versus I feel right now that same revolution it went through in software has gone through a lot of other spaces hardwares and fabrication and other things. So I think right now it’s expanded a lot. But capital needs were very different. Everything took time and a lot more money back then.

Alejandro: Now in this case I mean the company flash communications. It ended up being acquired by Microsoft I mean that’s a wow. So at what point does Microsoft come in the picture.

John de Souza: So when we were actually going through I think one of the things that got Microsoft very interested in what we were doing is we had a specific focus for enterprises where we allowed enterprises to go through setup manager their instant messaging systems and that fit. Very well with what they were going through and and doing at Microsoft as well. So yeah, they reached out and went through met them and it was actually a surprisingly quick process to go through but they realized the time that it fits very well. I would give Microsoft a lot of credit for realizing that in instant message was going to be very important at the time a lot of people didn’t realize why you need instant messaging at all the number of people that said wait you have email. Why would you need and instant messaging but to realize that it was a different form of communication. They realized it and they also realized that applicability. Not rich and only the general consumer but also to enterprises.

Alejandro: Now What did you? Also I mean being access having access to the full cycle as an entrepreneur is is a really big deal because once you see how it is then you know that you can do it again. So in this case I mean going through that full cycle I mean what kind of visibility. Do you think he gave you on the entrepreneurial journey.

John de Souza: Ah, you know I think what do you realize is that as you do your first start. We’re making lots of mistakes you’re learning a true everything seems hard. The none time you just setting up a corporation. You don’t know what’s involved so the learning curve is is very steep. You’re going through and and I think the first one. So getting it under your belt makes it much easier. The none time so just like everything else wants to do multiple times you get a lot of expertise and it gets easier as you go through process. So I think there was one in terms of going through it teaches you it teaches you. What your own stylelus. Every has their own style in terms of going through and doing it. But it also teaches you what you need from the team around you. So I think all those were very important ah learnings to go through It also helped understand the full financing. You know when you think about? do you want to raise money from from angels from seed sage. It was the time we went through and understood each of those what their motivations are you know what works what doesn’t work but also taught me None find little thing which is the importance of in a way it does a transform amount of luck involved in it and we were lucky that we exited before the meltdown now on my none startup. We we you know we were going to accept. We were three weeks this this that met help you three weeks we’d actually sign a definitive agreements to get required and then you had the I configued all the crises out there I think this was the 2008 crisis and and when everything melted down. The company just walked away. So the first one we were really lucky in that we exited it in a phenomenal market so it was a great time to exit with my third one I learned when you need to sort of sort of take a deep breath tighten your belt and and really just. Know that it soon be a ah long run and and make sure you’re ready for it.

Alejandro: Timing timing is of the essence now as they say once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur because after the exit of Flash communications you win at it again. So tell us about how you came about with this next initiative and then most importantly, what did you learn from it.

John de Souza: So the as it being an entrepreneur is very addictive. It’s there’s just the ability to see something created and watch it grow is something you enjoy a tremendous amount with this current initiative and actually with my last one did this together with my cofounder. Har hassuna and I tell you None interesting thing that people don’t talk a lot about is it is a lot more fun doing it with somebody else. It. So I think we’re lucky we’ve actually worked together now for nearly seventeen years and it it makes when you go through a startup. It is a tremendous range of emotions you go through. You know they’re good times bad times sometimes you. You have a day where you get None or 3 piece of bad news in one day when you’re doing it with somebody that you trust and like working with it completely changes that experience so say for me as people think about starting I would always say it’s it’s a lot more fun. It’s something you enjoy if you find something you can work with and enjoy working with. And del part also helps you bounce each other so you know somebody’s going through a tough frame. You have somebody else there. So for me I think part of the the enjoyment and all and and coincient doing the start is is sort of working with somebody who ah you know who’s who’s a brother to me I’d say we’ve worked. We’ve been through the good times bad times together and.

Alejandro: And smartleaf you know again None company None exit you know, acquired by Mary Lynch so you know one thing that is interesting here is the shifts that you’ve done you know from 1 type of industry to another and you typically go to industries where you have no previous track record. So.

John de Souza: And trust each other implicitly.

John de Souza: And.

Alejandro: How do you go about that that.

John de Souza: So there’s ah I think there’s a lot of learning and need to when you go into a new space. What’s unique, the thing right now is it. It’s possible to quickly learn a new space and and to get comfortable with it. The amount of access to information you have is isrendous. So i’ve. Ah, personality you mentioned having lived in multiple countries and gone that I’m comfortable with a change in adaptation for some people when they think about something new. It could be scary. Ah None piece of advice I got a long time ago. Is they said if you can say yes more then you say no to new opportunities. And I’ve I’ve tried to read a lot. It gets you very comfortable with trying out new things. So in this in terms of going into new spaces and when you go into new space. Especially large spaces where you have a lot of a lot of change going in. It could be the healthcare industry where you you see and getting consumers a lot more involved in their health. It could be the energy transition wherere trying to move a large part of the the population from gas or to electric. There’s a lot of opportunity. So I look at those going to new space as ah and a huge opportunity. There’s a lot of learning you need to get but it gives you the ability to bring your experiences from other spaces into this. To see opportunity where other people don’t and I’ll give you ah just a simple example that when we went into the full. Ah this electric vehicle infrastructure space. We’re now sitting down with holler than we went through and looked at it. We realized very quickly that this experience of spending a long time waiting for your car to charge. Just was not going to be a great experience. We sat there and said it’s it’s a very painful experience coming into it with sort of fresh eyes. We just said, go fast forward. You know, None years if you’ve moved a large number of people over to to electric and they’re all spending hours every week charging. It’s going to actually destroy productivity is is some be a great experience. So not its sort was beneficial coming from outside to realize one is there’s a big problem and the none thing there was nobody really working on a good solution for it. So it gave us a chance to find it then was where the the hard world came for saying. What happened before what if people tried what are the new opportunities. Can we come up with a new way to go through and solve it that might actually solve the problem.

Alejandro: Now in in this case I mean obviously none amazing exit. The none 1 methelp you alluded to it. You know where you were empowering people to manage you know their health asa community with none of of people in there now this one you know was acquired by Merck and you were talking about timing. And now you know obviously we it sounds you know everyone is sounding the alarm you know on the type of market that we’re going into and and all of that stuff which I mean even Jamie diamondmon the other day were saying that there’s like a hurricane coming the Tesla you know founder of a elam ma saying that there’s going to be like a. You know, like the worst economy 10% you know cut on jobs I mean I guess the the question here, especially given your understanding of cycles because you’ve lived through the dot com bust now you are you know you? you actually went through the great recession as well and now you know it sounds that we may go into another downturn. It sounds like you’ve seen this before and as they say history repeats. So how do you think you know that people should go about you know weathering the storm during those downturns. What what have you learned from going through through through this to so in 2 separate occasions. We two separate companies.

John de Souza: Um, so I think one is is the realization that we we may go through a downturn but you will get through the down term as well and what gives you the comfortable about that is people are actually creating things that do make our life more productive make it better. If you look at what you spend your money on is on things that actually have added a lot of value to you so I feel in a way. Ah, much better are the companies right now than if you look back at bus so a lot of companies that that didn’t really add a lot of value. Ah, but but that’s not true. Every single time you use and None of these new.

Alejandro: Right? right.

John de Souza: I actually surprised I should say if if people look at what they can achieve in None ur today. It is remarkable. It’s just the number of things you could go through and do because you have the the platforms the applications the connectivity that allow you to do it and at least that back they if you look at I spoke a little bit about. Software and ability to when you start this with all the software right now. It’s gone beyond software. You actually have you have the ability to easily create applications which is great. The applications going to be built on tremendous data. You have the ability to collect a lot of data. Collect it. You have the ability to go through and and and analyze it do all this Ai do ah, do machine learning on it. You have the ability to to transfer the data if you can move tremendous amounts of data I think Google moves the data all the information that they have multiple times around the every day. Ability to go throughette. You also have the ability to do with like edge computing to do all this computing at the spot of which as it occurs or to use aws None these other services to do and all of these combined to allow you to get applications and tools at a tremendous value right now. So I actually think I feel very. Optimistic about what we have because the companies out there are making our lives better with real applications and all so we’ll go through a down term I I have no doubt that you know we’ll come through it and we’ll come through it with even better services out there. How do you get through downtown the you know the key term is you need to. At the start of it to make the adjustments because any adjustments that you’re and to make take time to work through your your company. So if you want to make adjustments make them early on. Don’t wait until the last second and then the second is is just being careful. So when you need to go to a backer market if you know if you need to rush back to market. It’s going to make things stuff. Think those are the key if you can if you can make those adjustments whether whether it you come out much stronger because you have that time to go through and you know make more enhancements get further in the markets when you come back to even a better company.

Alejandro: Now in your case now I mean imagine 3 exits right? So you didn’t have enough with 3 companies John de Souza: and you went at it again again with now your latest baby with ample. So obviously ample, you got started with it right? after you. Wrapped up the chapter with methelp. But but definitely a completely different sector you know from what you had done in the past and obviously a very exciting one and you guys have had remarkable traction already. So so how did you come across? you know the idea and. Why did you thought you know it was it was the idea to go with that.

John de Souza: Ah, so we I think a couple of things happened with hal and myself and we we were both looking to buy a car eight years ago and we were both thinking about electric cars and so we start looking at it I realized very quickly. What would have been more than making that transition over to to electric and. Ah, realized very quickly that it it worked well for a certain group of people people who have a garage you in charge your car there and then you don’t drive too far in the during the day or do you have a None car that’s not electric that when you need to you can switch over to. I didn’t fall in that. Yeah, resume me the only car I realized that for me that wouldn’t go through and work because you then need to have to change what you did to make sure you’re thinking a lot more about when do I charge a car is it okay, do a lot more planning I think people right now people are ah very busy. And giving them yet another overlay of things to think about just is sort of like the strawl that breaks the camels back if you you about to do a planning of your family this is and then need to plan their route make sure you can stop plan the the brakes for food to get charges now it just becomes too complicated so we realize that fast forward. We’re trying to move everybody over to electric. This was going to be a major problem. How do you solve the infrastructure, especially for fleets corporations that manage none of vehicles. This was going to add a tremendous burden so we looked at the 2 things we looked at initially was was there a solution that was going to be with charging that was going to solve this problem. And initially we had a lot of people that said hey and this is eight years ago but they said in a couple of years you’ll have these very fast charges you know half a megawatt or or more that can charge your car pretty quickly. You’ll have solidd safe batteries and this problem will be a non-issue. You’ll be charging your car in None to 10 minutes and and it’ll go away. But we realized back then is that it wasn’t just a question of developing the batteries that you take to charge. It wasn’t just a question of the the costs of developing these superhig charges you actually had to go through and upgrade the entire electric grid and the reason that is the electric grids were not set up or developed to provide. Tremendous amount of charge for short period in random parts all these different parts on on the grid they would they were meant for very predictable. We go through and provide predictable amount of energy wast and so we said we not want to go and solve all these problems. You know for none of decades. So we said let’s go and. Come up with a different solution and the reason people love gas a lot is you stop? You physically move the gas into your car none and driveway and that’s what brought us to the flight of let’s see if you’d get battery swapping to work for electric cars where you stop spend a few minutes move the batteries into car and and driveway.

Alejandro: Now for the people that are listening then John de Souza: to really get the business model of ample I mean what’s the business model. How do you guys make money. Yeah.

John de Souza: So none thing for us as as gas stations for electric cars. We’re delivering energy to your car. You you stop spend a few minutes there we take out the the depleted batteries put in new batteries into it and off you go and and we charge you for. The energy that we put into gar so very similar to to gas the now battery swapping for some people made has been tried before It’s actually been around for a very long time and if you look online, you’ll find videos from the 1940 s of actually in in Spain they had a. Ah, fleet of taxis over a batteries swale. So it’s been around the biggest so recent attempt occurred about a little over None years ago. A company got better place went through and and temporately raised a large amount of money then it didn’t work out so before we went very far. We spent a lot of time understanding the lessons from these previous experiences. To see what is it. We want to learn from them and we realized that the few things we wanted to do differently from what have been attempted before was the first is we wanted to make sure that we had a solution that didn’t require the car makers to go through and change all the costs to work with you because if you develop a solution then they all have to modify the cars. That’s never going to work the the none thing we want to do is we wanted to get a solution that allowed us to use it with different manufacturers and often before you have a solution that might work with None manufacturer and and that has worked so we looked at the best qualities of bad gas gas works across different cars works with any any car out there. And we wanted to bring that to swapping and on the other side we knew that in order for this to really scale you needed a way to deploy swapping stations very quickly and affordably across the world and so that is the last part. It’s coming up with a fully autoous swabbing station that we deploy in a few days.

Alejandro: Now in your guys’ case I mean having been at it for so long having gone through the full cycle as an entrepreneur you know how important these people and when you think about money. Think about Networks You think about people that’s the way that people have that have gone through it. You know, really think about it not just money itself. So In this case, you guys have raised quite a bit I mean how much habita have you guys raised and why did you end up going with the investors that you chose for this journey.

John de Souza: You’re exactly right is the investors that you raise are is still important so we’ve actually raised over 250,000,000 and have a mix of financial and strategic investors. The financial investors include more renters. We have blackstone. Um, and then we have some very specific mobility funds out there newground ventures mckb and a few others and then we also have on that side we have strategics and for us our strategics are all energy companies. You have shell. Andoss from Japan repsol from from Spain so you have energy companies that go through so those are the None types of investors that we have it was an interesting process going through and raising it because when we nishti so went and started speaking to people and told them. We have this idea for creating this fullyton station that can we can go through and deploy that will be able to swapcar batteries in a electric vehicle in a few minutes a lot of people thought we were crazy so we food did speak to a large number of investors and even though a lot of investors will tell you that. Their focus is is breakthrough technologies and are ah deep tech in the end, a lot of them want ah sort of the standard software companies or they want the next uber for something so it was it was hard to. To get people to understand opportunity. In fact, we even had a Vc come back to us and say look I love the team. We’ll give you the money but can you guys just focus on some sort of software startup as it is so was it initially hard to go through and and and raise it then messagees we have were incredible because they understood. Space they understood the energy space and they saw how this could work and I think the key thing for us is there are a lot of reasons why a company may fail. You know a lot of potential hurdles what you wanted? An investor is is understanding what could happen if things go right. And I think that’s the difference is I looking at investors that are thinking about the 50 reasons why this could fail and there there are probably a none reasons why it could fail but are you there with the people that are going to partner with you and say we’ll help you get the things to work out because we see the tremendous potential when it does work out.

Alejandro: So That’s incredible now in your guys’ case. Actually it took some time you know you got start about 2014 you raised the series a in 2000 in 2018. So why I mean obviously you guys were self-financing this thing but at what point did you realize you were ready. To accept external investment. So.

John de Souza: You know? So We we came into this space not being from the auto space and we also didn’t know if there was a solution we understood what would be required so we said before we take anybody else’s money. Let’s spend the time to actually go through and. Solve the really deep tech problems out there can can we actually create a battery of work in a car without us having them change anything can we have the same battery work across different cars. So We spent the first years so of really going through solving and proving all those problems and then once we knew we had solved all of those. Then we said were ready to go through so we basically didrisic from a technology perspective convince ourselves that we had everything we needed to actually go through and create as a solution that worked and was scalable and then we went and and did the series. A.

Alejandro: Now imagine you go to sleep tonight John de Souza: and you wake up in a world where the vision of ample is fully realized what what does that world look like.

John de Souza: You know I think for us is is to None is we get the transition over to electric and I’ll talk a little bit more about that. But the world would be where we do have a None electric cars on the road and. We haven’t actually they’re as productive if not more productive than they are right now with with gas I think that’s real, but this is in important one. A lot of people go through and equate going electric to going green. But if often that you can actually go electric and not go green and what I mean by that is an electric car can have a higher carbon footprint and. Ah, gascar in order to compensate for that and actually go green. You need to run it on renewable energy for for a while. What’s happening is people buy an electric car. They often buy it with a bigger battery than they need because they they have charging anxiety and so even they’re driving short in for None time or need they buy these. Larger batteries. They have a higher carbon footprint. But then they may be fast charging that car fast charging is often not working on renewable energy and may also degrade the battery so you end up using it not and necessary and renewable energy. You could be using it on on non-reable energy. And then you get rid of that car earlier because you’ve you’ve degraded the battery. The combination of that means that you may actually have been better keeping the gas car and and driving it for 1215 years than switching over so when you think about the vision we want to make sure that not only have you made the transition. We haven’t created anxiety for people. We’ve actually made it just as easy if not easier than their experience right now and we’ve made it beneficial for the for the environment by making something that really is is green. But.

Alejandro: Now obviously incredible journey that you’ve had John de Souza: as an entrepreneur I mean all these say companies that you build you know, scaled you know, exited unbelievable like to such big players like we were discussing Microsoft merrick mary lynch. I mean now. Obviously you’re working on your biggest baby date if you had the opportunity John de Souza: to have a chat with your younger self. Maybe that John de Souza: that was coming out of that and Nba and and having you know, being able to sit down that younger self and and and give that younger self one piece of advice before launching a company. What would that be and why given what you know now. So.

John de Souza: I think so couple of different one is I think the idea of the co-founder which I think is vital and one I think I told you realize later and ah ah attached with that is I realize all time that it’s yeah when choose a cofounder. Starting a company with a friend may not be the best thing because you may not be friends at I actually think it’s easier to become friends with a co-founder than it is to to cofound with a friend and I think there’s a very big difference. There. You know as I mentioned hollywood like is is a brother to me and. Worked together but we’ve learned part of work with somebody elses. You know what they got at you know they’re not going to get at and you know how to go through results of I think that’s critical. The none one is also the I would say the support system around you it is you know being a ah a founder is. A lot of work. It be stressful and you need to make sure you’re surrounded with family and friends that that provide you with support because it’s it’s Goingnna be ah ah, a tough journey. So I think those are important best thing the last part in terms of it is you can’t start it worrying about. Is it going to be a success or this set. A lot of variables in there. You need to enjoy the journey and people all say you really have to because that’s where you spend most of your time on it. So I realized for me that in going through and doing this is realization for me that it’s not important to me what people I don’t know and all think about to me. Or how they measure my success or go through what manages me is just the the family and support I have around me and whether venture succeeds or fails I still have the love and support of those around me and that’s really our important as an entrepreneur is then you you can focus on what you need to do and and push for it to be successful.

Alejandro: I love that John de Souza: because the entrepreneurial journey can be a very lonely journey and in many instances you know in many many many instances. It also involves depression because going through the ups and downseas is really difficult. So I love you know that you touched on. On on having that support around you. So so John de Souza: for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out and say hi hi.

John de Souza: And will if you reach out to me. Linkedin is great just you send me a quick message there. And yeah I respond very quickly and love me new people have lots of contacts out there I do spend my time partly in in Europe and madrid and partly in San Francisco ah so you know getting together for a drink in the a place is also a green way.

Alejandro: Amazing. Well hey John de Souza: thank you so much for being on the dealmaker show today. It has been an honor to have you with us.

John de Souza: Ah, thank you so much. It’s it’s fun talking to you.

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