Naveen Jain has created a whole string of successful startups. Now with his seventh venture, he is tackling a problem faced by eight billion people around the world. The startup, Viome, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Glico, Khosla Ventures, WestRiver Group, and Physician Partners.
In this episode, you will learn:
- How to think about exits and acquisitions
- How to build your team and lead them
- How Viome works
- Building the right board, and how to manage them well
- How to raise $170M for your startup
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.
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 Naveen Jain:
Naveen Jain is an intensely curious entrepreneur who is focused on ideas that will push humanity forward. He is the author of the award-winning book Moonshots: Creating a World of Abundance. His current moonshot adventures are Viome and Moon Express.
As a serial entrepreneur, Naveen Jain previously founded InfoSpace, Intelius, and TalentWise.
Viome’s singular mission is to “make illness optional.” Viome has built an AI-driven platform that analyzes the interaction between food, our microbiome, and our human cells in order to develop precision nutrition to prevent and reverse chronic diseases.
Moon Express is the only company globally with permission to harvest resources from the moon—developing the infrastructure needed to push humanity forward toward a true multi-planetary society.
In addition to his current moonshots, Naveen Jain is the Vice-Chairman of the Board at Singularity University, where he focuses on educating and inspiring leaders to utilize innovative technologies to address humanity’s greatest challenges.
Naveen Jain is also on the Board of the XPRIZE Foundation, an organization that uses incentivized prize competition to push the limits of what’s possible — to change the world for the better.
Naveen Jain has been the recipient of many honors for his entrepreneurial successes. These include: “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, “Most Creative Person” by Fast Company, “Top 20 Entrepreneurs” & “Lifetime Achievement Award” for leadership by Red Herring. “Medal of Honor” by Ellis Island, and “Top 50 Philanthropists” by Town & Country Magazine.
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Connect with Naveen Jain:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Already hello everyone and welcome to the dealmaker show. So today. We have a we have a really exciting guest I mean he is a legend I mean he’s done it so many times that I’ve even lost track on how many companies he’s built scale taken public you name it I know that day he wants to leave you all with a lot of lessons. With a lot of good nuggets. You know there to learn and to inspire you all on your own journey so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guests today Naveen Jane welcome to the show. Hey.
Naveen Jain: Um, but Alejandro what a pleasure and honor to be with you I’ve been just looking forward to this for a long time.
Alejandro Cremades: So so let us let let us all get to know you just a tiny bit. You know give us a little of file of a walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up in new daily.
Naveen Jain: You know I’m going to focus more not on me because I am just so unimportant in a human journey. So I want to focus more on just my background is simple I am an accidental entrepreneur. Who just wanted to do great things for myself and my family and at this decade of my life I am fully focused on helping others actually live their dreams giving them the lessons I have learned over the last fifty three years on what. Actually 1 has to do to be successful in life. What success really is how do you you know create your own legacy and what do you want your legacy to be.
Alejandro Cremades: So then let’s let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about that. So obviously you know like 1 of the things that that is happening now that that you’ve definitely learned a lot I mean when you created your first company. You were able because right now I mean it’s crazy the environment that we’re in right? So you got all these banks. Are they faulting. You know we got the ups and downs of what’s happening with the market and and you know people are really getting impacted by this you know and all these all these entrepreneurs that are listening to us. You know are really going to experience. You know this this craziness this uncertainty so you really have. Being exposed to the ups and downs I mean you were exposed to the dot com bust you were exposed to the all wait ah financial crisis. So I guess you know during those up swings because I mean info space. For example, you took it public you know during the dotcom bubble in no time just in a couple of years with a bunch of. Colleagues from Microsoft but I guess what did you learn and what could you share with the audience about handling this storm and and really you know dealing with the upsrings of ah of of a downturn like perhaps the one that we’re experiencing now. So.
Naveen Jain: Well first of all I want everyone to know that some of the best companies are started during recession some of the most successful companies were started when things were looking really really bad and this is the best time to start a company. The best time to start? a company is not when there is a absolute euphoria of everyone investing in everything because what happens is then there’s so much of free money out there. The people are building companies that have no business model. They’re just using the venture money to give away the product. It’s very difficult to build a company where your competitors are giving away their product because they have all these venture money the best time to really build a company when the markets are tough because now you’re actually building a company that has a business model a company that is providing a tremendous value to a customer. And you know in life life of an entrepreneur is when they are alive. How do you know? you’re alive is because you have a heartbeat what does a heartbeat look like it goes up and down and up and down and when it is smooth. You’re dead. If you’re looking for a life. That’s a smooth life as an entrepreneur you’re looking for a life of a dead person when you are seeing these ups and downs in your life. You know you are alive when you are down all you have to do is hunker down.
Naveen Jain: And know the next beat is going to be up and when you’re on top of that beat never become too arrogant because you know the winter is coming and winter shall come. That’s the lesson is that always focus on what is it that you’re doing that’s going to improve. People’s life and as we go along I can tell you that there is a framework that I have created for myself and I want to share that with everyone and then I’m going to show you higher how I apply that framework to every company I started including my most recent company that I started seven years ago when I’m going to show you. Framework and then I’m going to apply the framework so you have the context of how to apply the framework like so.
Alejandro Cremades: And and just so that the just so that the folks that are listening. You know, really understand this because obviously I mean this framework comes with with doing a lot and building a lot of companies. How many companies have you built.
Naveen Jain: Well this is my seventh venture and knock on plastic every single one of them have been widely successful and it’s not because I am smart. It’s not that somehow I’m gift to earth I am a normal person. It’s just that I have a framework that I use and in that anyone can use that by the way and that allows you to stay focused on what matters. So let me just get right to it every time I start a company I ask myself 3 questions why this.
Alejandro Cremades: Go for it.
Naveen Jain: why now why me the first question is why this why this is ask yourself god forbid I am actually successful in solving the problem that I set out to solve would it help a billion people live a better life. And now why do I see that is it’s not because I am somehow philanthropic and I want to help a billion people live a better life. Yes, we all want to do good in the world but it is really simple is any time you can build any product any service. That improves a 1000000000 people’s life. You can create a $100000000000 company but you don’t wake up in the morning and say I want to create $100000000000 company. What do I do making money is simply a byproduct of doing things that improve other people’s life. Let me manipulat it again making money is simply a byproduct of doing things that improve other people’s life and the reason is when you’re building something that they want they become your lifelong loyal customers and that is how you create a great sustainable company right.
Alejandro Cremades: So I want I it does but I want to double click on that. So as you’re thinking about creating you know that $100000000000 business and you’re thinking about impacting all these people’s lives. What does what does it look like when you are.
Naveen Jain: So does it make sense to you? yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Bally dating some of those ideas because I mean some of them may have legs and some of them may not so what does that process look like yeah.
Naveen Jain: Um, at here yeah again is start with not I have this solution what do I do you start with a problem here is a problem I’m trying to solve and is my solution leading me towards solving that problem or not so remember lot of the ingenious lot of the entrepreneurs says I have charged gp what do I do with that. What can I do with that. That’s not the question. The question you should say is he. I have this problem that billion people have in this world. Can I come up with this solution whether it happens to be blockchain or it doesn’t have a blockchain whether it is chat gp you doesn’t have check Gpd you’t start with the technology you use the technology to create a solution and many times i. You know I’m hear entrepreneurs I’m trying to build a company that’s a blockchain crypto chat gp company and what is ah what’s the problem you’re trying to solve I’m trying to figure out what do you do? It’s like I’m sorry that’s a wrong get you can’t just but. Every single thing people wanted. Let’s say let’s find some problem that can solve it here like so now coming back to that you know thing. So I’ll apply this by the way. Ah to why I apply that like the second part of the puzzle is why now despite what you may hear.
Naveen Jain: The number 1 predictor of success of an entrepreneur is timing people talk about? Oh it’s the idea people talk about the execution people talk about the team and yes, yes, they all matter. But the number 1 predictor of success is timing. How do you get the right timing and it’s not Luck. It’s a very simple method and method that I use ask yourself what had changed in the last one to 2 years But more importantly, what do you expect to happen in the next three to five years that will allow you to solve the problem at scale in the next 3 to 5 years and this problem could not have been solved five years ago that’s simple right that means are you actually intercepting tomorrow’s technology to solve tomorrow’s problem or you’re actually using yesterday’s technology to solve tomorrow’s problem right and now in this premium world. The second part or the puzzle is you actually ask yourself to solve the problem that I’m trying to solve which is ah you know 1000000000 people problem. What are the sub. Problems that have to be solved for my big problem to be solved right? and I’ll give you an example right? For example, you say hey I want to live on venus don’t ask me why that is the problem I need to solve that people need to be live on venus you don’t say oh that will never.
Naveen Jain: You simply say what are the problems that have to be solved. Well you have to be able to leave Earth orbit got it. You have to go from Earth orbit to venus got it. You have to be able to land on venus got it. Yeah to be able to live on venus got it. There are four problems like and let’s go step by step how to solve them right? But that’s really the framework you use so you never get caught up on how to do it, You simply focus on what needs to be done and then you see what is the things that you’re going to be doing.
Alejandro Cremades: So so go ahead, go ahead, Go ahead.
Naveen Jain: The last part is the most important part which is why me and why me is what questions I am asking that are different from what everyone else in the industry is asking because the questions you ask is the problems you solve right. So just by changing the question. It allows you to look at the problem very very differently so coming back to say for example, living on venus if someone were to say hey how are you going to live on venus. How are you going to grow the food for us to live there when you ask the question. How are you going to grow the food. Only one way to Solve. It is find a way to grow the food when you ask yourself slightly different question which is why do we eat food by simply asking. Why do we eat food. It says oh the reason we eat food is because we need energy and we need Nutrition. What are the different Ways. Can you get Energy. What are the different Ways. Can you get nutrition and suddenly you have 10 different ways of solving the problem than simply growing the food and that changes the perspective of how you look at the problem and what is most interesting about this alejandro is people who are expert in the field. Tend to never be destructive the experts that once you become an expert at something you become incrementalless or you become useless in my book when you are a non expert.
Naveen Jain: You are able to challenge the foundation of what every expert has taken it for granted and that’s how you’re able to rethink and recreate the foundation of the things that people have never solved before so your biggest liability that I know nothing about it becomes your biggest asset.
Alejandro Cremades: So now we got let’s say now we got the $100000000000 company okay or the 100000000000 idea of a company that we want to build now. The next thing are you been alluding to it is people so how do you go about finding the right match when it comes to the co-founder and then also how do you go about.
Naveen Jain: Does it make sense.
Naveen Jain: Um, yeah, yes, yes.
Alejandro Cremades: Getting the first employees that are going to help you in establishing the culture for the company.
Naveen Jain: Great Question. So remember when you are looking for a friend you want who is someone who is just like you. You want to hang out with them. You want to do you want to go out and do things because you want to look for someone who is just like you. Who enjoys the theme with things stay your way and you have great time together when you’re looking for a cofounder you want someone who is absolutely a like you someone who compliments you so you are that visionary who is constantly looking for the idea. And you want someone who is an operation guy who said you I don’t know why you’re cutting those trees but I’ll keep building the road behind it and like oh we lead to the light part right? And that’s the kind of things you want you want complementary skills you want like now other thing is. When you are finding someone as a co-partner you’re creating this culture. You have the people who join you they believe in you people who join you because they believe in your idea your job is to take the loyalty to you and move that to the cause. That means we are in it together to solve this Problem. It’s not about me. It’s about the problem we set out to solve and that’s how you’re no longer a cult leader. You’re simply an entrepreneur one day you may be but the cause will go on and that’s really the idea is to find.
Naveen Jain: A problem find people who associate with the problem find complementary group of people who can work together and then go out and send them on a mission and lead that mission By example, go out there and be the first person to be out there say here is what we’re going to do. Not sitting behind go charge at the tree but sir there’s a bullet coming down the path. Oh come back and it’s like an hit. You can’t do that.
Alejandro Cremades: So so okay, so now let’s say we got the cofounder we got the team. You know that is going to an expedition and you are now rallying everyone in order to dance the same song with the same moves towards getting to product Market Fit How does getting to product Market fit which is validation.
Naveen Jain: Um, yeah, yeah, yes.
Alejandro Cremades: Before you really think about raising money scale. How do you get to that product Market fit.
Naveen Jain: Very very simple. You start remember we said what problem are you trying to solve So when you go out and say here is a solution you go out to the people who have that problem and say does that solve your problem. Someone says I have a headache. And you give them a whitetamint and they say does you solve your problem. They said no it doesn’t solve my problem. Well, That’s not a product market fit what they’re looking for is an aspirin I mean so you need to say? do you have an aspirin or you still trying to sell that a sell them a supplement.
Alejandro Cremades: So so then in that case you know, let’s say now we got. We got the team we got product market fit. You know we got we got things you know, moving in the right in the right direction. At this point you start thinking about perhaps scale and I think that you know as we are expanding on people. We’re thinking about. Racing money too because you need capital and not not just the capital. But more importantly, the network that is giving you the capital. So how do you think about getting the right people for the right reasons to to push things behind you.
Naveen Jain: Yeah, well first of all the capital is not patriotic capital flows where the opportunities are so very interesting is people somehow feel the people who have money ah have the power and your job is to somehow convince them to part with their money. Remember they only make money when they invest they are looking for things to invest in what is your job your job to let them know you you to let them know that what you have is so awesome that everyone else wants it including them. And what you have is so valuable that they are fortunate to be part of it in the way you do that is essentially talk about this is billion people here is the problem here is my solutions here’s where I am here’s what I’m going to get there and show them step by step. How are you going to get there and now maybe it’s a great time for me to actually what I would say grounded because we have been talking about apps abstract and I want to ground it right? So I started this company called viome seven years ago my first question was why you know why? this. What was this? This was what if we can understand what causes people to have an onset and a progression of non-infectious diseases that means why do people develop diabetes. Why do people have depression. Why do people have heart disease.
Naveen Jain: Why do people have cancer. Why do people have alzheimer why do people have all of these chronic diseases and what if we can find out what is happening in the body that’s causing it because if we knew what was causing it. We can prevent. It. We can early diagnose it and we can actually. Reverse it if not reverse it at least to stop the progression of it and that was a fundamental problem. We said what if we could solve that would it help a billion people live a better life and the answer was 8000000000 because every one of us is going to suffer through that problem. So why this was very clear. The question came down to why now and we said look to solve this problem. The 3 things have to happen the cost you have to digitize the human body. We are an analog body if you have to digitize the human body Secondly once you digitize you’re going to have massive amount of data. Be able to process the data and the third will be using Ai to be able to understand what is going on and we said okay the cost of digitization seventy years ago was is about $1200 just to take 1 single sample and just digitize it acgt right? Somehow take a sequence of thing on a human body. And we said wow that’s a very high. You cannot help a billion people if that’s the cost but we realize in the last 2 to 3 years the cost has come down from $10000 to $1200 and we see look in the next 3 to 5 years This thing will come down to $100 and here is why.
Naveen Jain: All the things that are happening in the industry this will cost will come down to hundred dollars and the time to do is now guess what happened cost of that did not come $200 it came down to $15 so while we were 10 times. Optimistic turns out, you are more like 5 times pessimistic. That’s the power of exponential technologies. The second thing was we realized that we don’t have access to supercomp computer to process this massive amount of data. We said look we could actually use cloud computing and just file away many cores and we did that on a cloud computing cost us $42 we took a deep breath and think that’s a lot of money but we realize it has come down to you know from $200 to $40 and we said the cost of computing is coming down cost of storage is coming down the cost of this thing has to come down down to $10 here. We sit today and it’s down to buck fifty. It is really. mmeting and everyone realized seven years ago even that ai is going to be there that will allow you to solve the problem. So we said let’s go and do that so that was why now and the big thing was why me I am not a scientist I’m not a biological site but. Being naive has an advantage and I say what are the questions people are asking today in the industry and we realize every company is asking the same question which is I want to know about your dna I want to know about your genes and it occurred to me with a simple high school biology that my genes don’t change.
Naveen Jain: When I become diabetic so you do my Dna test today and I gain hundred pounds so you can do my Dna testing again. So same same Dna now I become diabetic now I have a heart disease now I have depression I have cancer and I die and then you do my Dna again after I die. Still the same Dna we’re looking at the Dna of Kuten common right now point is Dna can’t even tell you you’re dead or alive. Let alone, you’re healthy or sick it occurred to us people are asking the wrong question they should be asking what genes are being expressed not what genes you have. So we can look at irony and um, we not gonna look at Dna that was the first problem. The second was 99% of all the genes in our body. Don’t come from our mom and dad they come from all these organisms that live in our gut in our mouth and we realize what if this is the key. To us our health and then I start googling them and say depression and Microbiome Alzyon and a microbiome parkinson’s and microbiome cancer and microbiome cancer therapy and microbiome turns out everything was connected and then it occurred to us everybody believes in the same thing. And the 10 companies doing microbiome testing. Why is this problem not getting solved you go back and see what question are they asking and it turns out and Andrew to date. They’re all asking the same wrong question they want to know what organisms are in your gut and it occurred to us.
Naveen Jain: What if these organisms are like human beings you could have 10000 different organisms producing the same thing that’s making you sick or the same organism can produce something good in 1 environment and something toxic in another environment just like a human being you take a person put them in a good environment. Good behavior. And a better environment bad behavior and that was the simple genesis. We say what? if we can find out what these organisms are producing and how that are changing the human gene expression if we can do that we can solve the problem I have no science background guess what now I went to every university every lab trying to find a solution. And I found the technology at Las Alvos national lab it started this company seven years ago First thing I did was hire the person who developed the technology at Los Alamos hired the person who actually was head of ib and Watson Research to do our Ai and this is what it does you can today. Go to wome.com and buy a test. We take a spit of your saliva touch of your tool finger prick of your blood and now we can tell you alejaru what’s your biological age. What is your cognitive health. What’s your heart health. What’s your gut health. What’s your oral health and then we tell you hey. Based on all the things we are seeing don’t eat broccoli and cabbage because your selfide production is too high is causing inflammation don’t eat a spinach because you can digest oxalate. You’re eating too much protein take a digestive enzyme with that because we see a lot of ammonia production.
Naveen Jain: By the way, don’t take vitamin b three or eat up acato because your duric acid production is too high and then we literally tell you here are the food you should eat and why here are the food you should avoid and why don’t take these supplements and you only need twenty two Milligram of per and every day take twenty seven Milligram of um elderberry take 89 Milligraph of amylase and we literally take all the vitamins you need minerals food extract digestive enzyme everything make the powder put them in the capsules ship it to you every month. There’s no premate stuff. We literally custom make it for you. And a andrewro wonderful things happened. We now analyze over half a million people five hundred thousand people and guess what we can not only show and we publish the paper. The people who take our personalized supplements and take our food guidance. Their depression level comes down by 47% their diabetes Sba one c come down by 30% their level of anxiety down by 32% their ibs clinical score ibs sss comes down by 40% simply using food as a medicine. Now we are able to diagnose the stage one and prestage one cancer in your mouth or throat simply with saliva 95% specificity and by the way we receive the fda breakthrough device designation for it right? So remember.
Naveen Jain: What we set out to do to find what was causing a disease so we can prevent it. We can early diagnose it guess what every single thing we were going to say we were going to do we were and able to do that in between now coming back to it. We started the company. We started to prove people that hey. We can do ah Rna Sequencing we are able to license the astrology we license the technology we raise the money then we go. We went out and say we can only do the gut microbiome because we can do everything at that time we’re going to just do the gut gut microbiome testing with this tool and we’re going to be able to understand what is happening in your gut. That will help us get to the next level of what is changing in the body and as soon as we did that that part we raise the series b and then we said look now we can look at everything and we have people that can show that our now stuff is actually working. We is the cc. And now that we have the diagnostic test for cancer. We now we building the channel for doctors and stuff and now we’re raising more money. So literally we took a stept at a time made the progress showed the progress and told people this is what we’re going to do and then we do it. This is. We’re going to do and we do it. And that’s what builds the confidence in people hundred and seventy million dollars
Alejandro Cremades: And how much capital have you guys raised today for biome now. Obviously you know that’s ah, a lot of millions that come with a lot of expectations too and and and vision you know vision is is everything so I guess imagine if you were to go to sleep tonight I mean.
Naveen Jain: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: And you wake up in a world where the vision of viome is fully realized what does that world look like.
Naveen Jain: Yes, ah, I’m so glad you asked because that’s actually what I tell every entrepreneur if you can’t visualize your vision. You don’t have a vision. So my vision of this world is very simple. Imagine your grandmother walking up the mountain and has you know without the walker. Imagine your loved ones who died from cancer didn’t have to die you could still be laughing with them imagine every one of your friends who is you know, committed to suicide because they are depressed doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone you know that is suffering from a pain and cannot enjoy their life that can actually be that. That means until the last day of your life. You’re living your life to the fullest and that’s the life. We all want to live is imagine living in a world where being sick is truly a matter of choices we make.
Alejandro Cremades: I Love that now. Obviously when when you get those people in when you get investors and I’m sure that you know a lot of people that are going to be listening. You know they’re either looking at raising money or they are going to be raising money soon money as we talked to earlier it comes with expectations.
Naveen Jain: Um, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: And the people typically that are going to give giving that are gonna be giving you the money, especially the ones that are leading the round of pricing that round they’re going to want a seat at the board when it comes to board dynamics and having an effective board that is going to be guiding.
Naveen Jain: Yeah, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: In a good way right? The strategy so that then management can take it and and and work on the execution. What does you know an effective board of directors look like okay.
Naveen Jain: Yeah, so first of all if your board of directors are not aligned with your vision and they don’t believe in you then you actually have a wrong board of directors board of directors should be there to support you guide you mentor you but they’re not. They to tell you what to do because if you are looking to your board for them to tell you what to do then you’re the wrong Ceo and all you have a wrong board because bo’s job is to hire and fire the Ceo if they don’t believe in you they should fire. You. They should be telling you what to do right. To me their job is to guide you and say hey in Naveen have you thought about this and you say yes I have thought about it. We are not going to do that and here is why we are not going to do that and that’s what your job is to say look a board thinks about your company once a quarter maybe for few hours. Ah, quarter. You spend 18 hour a day thinking about what you’re doing so how can you expect them to be telling you what to do, but they do have a perspective that you should listen but listening doesn’t mean following listening means taking that into account. And then telling them. Why is it the good idea that you’re going to be doing or why it’s a really shitty idea why you not be doing be doing it.
Alejandro Cremades: And now in this case, you know for you guys. You know you’ve done several rounds and you were alluding to it I mean you’ve done the C The a the B the C all all of the above now now in this case, you know like for you guys, you know as the.
Naveen Jain: Um, yes, yeah, Abc yeah yeah, yeah, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: There’s a few things here that that are interesting and that I find that founders listening are going to be encountering number 1 is you need to be ah in constant you know, just like the companies in hypergrowth mode. You got to be in hypergrowth mode too developing yourself so that the company is not outpacing you.
Naveen Jain: Um.
Naveen Jain: O.
Alejandro Cremades: Ah, and and I find that that’s that’s ah, that’s um, that’s kind of like tough as um, as an obstacle that you’re going to have to deal with but then also the other one is going from being an early stage company to a grow stage company and how that transformation or how that transition looks like. Can you talk to us about those 2 obstacles.
Naveen Jain: Yeah, so first of all remember you and your investors need to be aligned on the goals and the kpis so when your investors are saying hey you know I think for the next one year we want us to focus on. Um, on showing that our product actually works in the way that we expect it to work and we don’t want us to be doubling our revenue and do you really believe? That’s the right path and if you all believe that’s the right path then? What do you? do you focused on building the science and building the efficacy and proving the efficacy. Rather than growing if you investors a saying look our science is well understood. Let’s double the things and you said look to double our revenue here is what we would need. We need 25000000 of marketing capital. We need to hire these 10 people who are going to be helping us marketing. And sales and here’s what the resources we need and once everyone is aligned not with your job to hire that team and execute you never ever fail. You never make a promise that you can’t deliver I’m a big believer. Under promise over deliver you never over promise and under deliververed. So I will never tell our investors we’re going to do 100000000 in revenue and do ninety nine I would tell them I would do 75 in revenue and do 99 right? Always making sure that you never miss your target. Ah now of course.
Naveen Jain: You know shit happens and shit has a tendency to happen and the best thing you can do is any time something happens that’s unexpected make sure your investor in your bowl are first to know from you before they hear from someone else. The good news. They can hear from someone else. You don’t need to share every single time you get written up. They can read about that but you never want them to be blindsided when there is a bad news. You want to be the first person to call them and say I want you to know this That’s how you develop trust and respect right? So you can say look. This is unexpecteded. We did not expect to happen and our revenue is going to not be 70 5000000 is going to be 60000000 right? But then said right, you told them and we made a new plan and there’s going to be 60 and you hope you’re still deliver 75.
Alejandro Cremades: You know there’s 1 word that they really comes out. You know as I hear you speaking here and that is integrity is being your word is being able to deliver on your promise and when you’re not going to be able to achieve that at least you’re in communication about it because that ultimately builds trust so I really love that now mean now.
Naveen Jain: Listen listen.
Alejandro Cremades: There’s 1 thing here as we are guiding you know folks listening in this master class of ah ideation you know product market fit people fundraising obviously as we’re thinking about this full cycle of building scaling and financing. There’s 1 thing that we’re missing here and that is the exit reaching. The finish line the promised land for all the people that you know pour their their ah heart and soul into the company. So in your case I mean you’ve done several exits I guess talk to us about acquisitions. You know at what point do you realize.
Naveen Jain: Um, yeah, so.
Alejandro Cremades: Is because you talked about timing earlier talk to us about timing and what point do you realize? it’s time to you know, look into get into an exit.
Naveen Jain: Yeah I am probably you know I am and never a big believer in having an exit block and here is why the minute you create an exit plot. You actually have you know, restricted yourself to what you can do. So if you say. My goal is to be acquired by Pfizer right? Guess what? you start to think like them. You start to act like them because you want to be there and guess what they have 0 interest in acquiring you because you’re like them right? Your job is very simple. You constantly wake up in the morning and says. Ah, many more lives can I improve and I’m going to constantly go out there earn the market share I’m going to constantly go out there and kick people’s ass and there is going to be always someone when you keep kicking their asses to say what would it take for you to stop kicking my ass and they’ll pay you what it takes to pay to stop clicking their ass. Your job is never to worry about acquisition. Your job is never to worry about an ipo here is what you should always remember when you build a shitty company There’s only one outcome when you build a great company. There are 10 different outcomes. You can think of right? So keep focus on building a great company. And the right outcome will happen. It is when you start to think I need an exit is when you start to make mistakes. Yeah, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: So then let’s talk about you know the riot outcome. Let’s say you know you’re building a super successful company and then all of a sudden you start to have suiters. How should people really navigate that a process because. Is very is very tough is probably the biggest decision of their life, especially if it’s their first time or they’re a first time founder how so they should navigate those waters.
Naveen Jain: Um, it’s very simple is that you know if you have suitors just remember it’s like dating doesn’t mean every single person you go out with you sleep with them. You did you to marry them right. You should have a conversation with everyone I mean I’m a big believer anytime I talk to people I go out to dinner with them I listen everyone out and you know and pointed at the end of the day. It’s up to them to make you an offer that you can’t refuse you don’t have to say anything. You don’t have say look hey let’s go down like I’m interested I’m not interested. You simply said look I am just so in love with what we are doing I wake up in the morning at four Zero a m I jump out of the bed I am loving what I’m doing here is what we’re going to do next year and let’s talk next year we year after here is our plan for next year guess what the more the more you think you’re not for sale the more everyone wants you the more they think you want to sell them the more the price goes down so my job is to listen to everyone get them as excited about my business as I am. Guess what someday they’re going to make you an offer that you can’t refuse and don’t not refuse it.
Alejandro Cremades: And you know one thing that they that I would love to ask you here. You know that just just hit me is I mean you you’re right now in your seventh company. Ah, you’ve been through the apps through the downs and I think that you yourself, you’ve been able to mature to as a result of this experience as an entrepreneur.
Naveen Jain: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: You know what I find that there’s been a lot of consciousness Now you know around ah perhaps founders really taking care of themselves and obviously you know with your company now with Viome, you’re helping people to really take care of themselves. How have you found for yourself as a founder That. Balance between the hustling and then also taking care of yourself. So.
Naveen Jain: Well so first of all, remember you can’t take you can do anything unless you are healthy and taking care of yourself when you are sick. You only have one wish which is to be healthy when you are healthy. You have many wishes so to me ah taking care of yourself is. Always part of taking care of your company because you can’t take care of your company unless you take care of yourself right? even on the airlines put your mask force before you have someone else right? You got to put your mask for before you can help anyone now having seen that people generally talk about this idea of work life balance and I think that’s just a bad. Bad way of looking at life because when you trying to say that 2 things needs to be balanced. You have already concluded that they cannot live together balance happens when they are opposing each other one goes up one goes down to me. The life and work is a continuum in that continuum there are days. There is more of one and there are days days more of other but there is never a balance. There is no such thing as balance when you think you are balanced. You suck at both your.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, yeah.
Naveen Jain: Home life tells you that you suck because you’re not spending enough time and people are working you suck you have and enough time so you suck at both There is no such thing as balance and now the main thing I would say will be. You know as we get towards the end is that find something that you’re willing to die for. And then live for it find something that is your calling that you wake up in the morning and you jump out of the bed wanting to do what you do the day you wake up and you still want to lie down for 5 moment. It’s in the bed you realize. What you’re doing. You should quit that day that is not your calling and you find your calling you never lie in bed and by the way every single company for the last thirty years I jump out of the bat every day at four zero am and in every company I have done. There comes a day. Where I just feel I want to lie down for 5 minutes and my wife always kicks me out of the bed and say go do something else I think you’re done with this company now.
Alejandro Cremades: I Love it. So I mean for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi what is but what is the best way for them to do so.
Naveen Jain: Well, you can always reach out to me on Linkedin. You can reach out to me on Instagram and at hadro for your audience I’m going to give them my personal email address my first name naveen last dot dot last name at Gmail.com so naveen.jenatgmail.com send me an email I read every email myself. So. Just go out there think so big that people think you are crazy and never be afraid to fail because you only fail when you give up everything else. It just a pivot. Well.
Alejandro Cremades: And you will need to fail in order to succeed I love that first.
Naveen Jain: It’s not failure your ideas may or may not work and every idea that does not work. It is stepping a stone to a different idea or a different way of doing things so you don’t fail unless you give up.
Alejandro Cremades: I love that well na mean thank you? So so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been on on earth to have you with us.
Naveen Jain: Well thank you Aljandra looking forward to your customers at next conversation.
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