Panic with Friends - Howard Lindzon

Hello, I’m Howard. I’ve been a financial industry entrepreneur and investor for over 20 years. I am a General Partner at Social Leverage - we invest in seed stage software companies. I was a co-founder of Stocktwits and a seed investor in Robinhood and Etoro. On this podcast, you will hear interviews with great entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, traders, and friends about their companies, their track records, and their new fave ideas and trends. This includes best ideas, worst investments, biggest failure, daily habits, and recommended reading. I know your time is precious, so I promise to keep it simple and on point.

Paul Tran - Founder, CEO, and Visionary Behind ...
I’m happy to have my good friend Paul Tran of Manscaped back on Panic with Friends. He’s an incredible founder, entrepreneur, product person, and marketer. He continues to build a global omnichannel brand at an epic pace. We’re really proud seed investors in our Social Leverage Fund III.  I’m constantly writing about the urgency and importance of marketing, and Paul and his team are world-class. It's not so easy to just go online and do marketing nowadays. You have to have a lot of skills across multiple sectors. The Manscaped team continues to be creative and test new media formats over and over again with great success. Every entrepreneur can learn something by listening to Paul. His insights on building an enduring brand and how he thinks about growth are timeless. Enjoy the episode. You’ll learn a lot.  BTW, visit Manscaped and use the promo code ‘Howie’ for 20 percent off your first order.
51 min
Frederik, CEO & Co-founder of Secfi - the Start...
I’m really, really excited to have Frederik Mijnhardt, the CEO and Co-founder of Secfi on Panic today. Frederik and Secfi (Social Leverage Fund III) are an incredible educational resource and service for founders and startup employees. I’ve talked about, tweeted about, and written about how important it is for those early startup employees to deal with liquidity and things like exercising their options in a tax-efficient way. Startup equity is complex. COVID had many startup employees learning the hard way – and more recently with the Series I at Stripe, noted for both its size, and its tender offer coming in at 50 percent lower than the previous round. As we continue to see more of these “down rounds” and lackluster IPO windows, Frederik and his team are helping employees make the most of their equity and make more informed decisions. I’ll say it again – this is an important topic so please forward this to anyone you know that founded or works at a startup – whether it’s a company that has just raised a seed round or a company on its way to an IPO.
50 min
Barry Ritholtz - Chairman and CIO of Ritholtz W...
I’m excited to have my good friend Barry Ritholtz back on the show. Barry is the Chairman and CIO of Rithotz Wealth Management, an author, a newspaper columnist, and the host of the Bloomberg Podcast Masters in Business. He also runs a blog called The Big Picture, along with Josh Brown and Michael Batnick. I had Josh Brown on a few weeks ago, so I really wanted to bring Barry on to further the discussion. And who better to discuss the recent banking crisis than the guy who wrote the book on the Great Financial Crisis? (Bailout Nation). We cover how the market drives the narrative, and Barry shares his insight on a COVID-induced ‘reset’, the Fed, inflation, and how it all might play out moving forward. Enjoy!
58 min
Axos Bank CEO Greg Garrabrants Explains the Rec...
The past week and a half was pretty tough – everyone on Twitter went from Ukraine war expert to Bank run expert after the Silicon Valley Bank debacle. There were even rumors of bank CEOs flying in to visit old man Warren Buffet in Omaha over the weekend before last. I’m no expert, and I honestly have know idea how all this plays out in the very short term, so I had my friend and longtime Regional Bank CEO Greg Garrabrants of Axos Bank ($18.4 billion in assets) come on ‘Panic’ to talk about it all. Who better to talk about it than a CEO who survived without taking TARP money way back in the ole ‘great financial crisis’?  We all just learned a big lesson. You saw what fear looked like, and the potential for panic to spread because of politics. Hopefully this episode helps calm some people. We’re not recommending anything, only that you understand your banking products. It is your money – you have to understand how sweep works, how FDIC insurance works, and you need to understand the balance sheet of your bank. 
53 min
Talking Testosterone and Longevity with Hone He...
There’s a massive unspoken epidemic going on globally in men’s health right now – low T-scores; and practically no one is talking about it. Lots of ‘youts’ are running around on an empty tank and don’t even know it. It’s an interesting and very important topic; and it's at the top of a lot of people’s minds, even if it’s a bit taboo to talk about. But it's something that matters to me, so I wanted to dive in deep and figure out what it all means. My guest today makes checking, monitoring, and boosting your t-score accessible and affordable. I’ve used the service myself (Ellen made me check mine), and as luck would have it, I'm also an indirect investor in Saad’s company. I’ve got a feeling this will be my most evergreen episode. Enjoy!
55 min
Howard Lindzon - Errors of Omission and other I...
In this episode, I’m back in the hot seat again while my producer Knut grills me on what I’m calling my ‘errors of omission’. It’s part of my plan this year to cover various points in my career. Previously I've discussed details on Wallstrip and Stocktwits. Both of those episodes answered a lot of the questions I've been asked over the years.  But one of the questions I’m asked most often as an investor and entrepreneur is, “Howard, what’s your biggest mistake, your biggest miss?” I’ve been in this game for a while now – so it’s a splendid idea to finally share them in a format where everyone can learn from my mistakes.  I lay out my biggest errors, or what I would call errors of omission versus errors of commission, in the spirit of Bessemer Ventures “anti-portfolio” – that is some of the biggest ones they missed, like AirBnb, Coinbase, and eBay to name a few. I cover three of my biggest whiffs. It's part of the joy of investing, the irreverence, having the cojones to create a whole anti-portfolio and share it. You may have even heard of one or two of mine.
31 min
Downtown Josh Brown on the Past, Present, and F...
I couldn’t be more excited to have my good friend Downtown Josh Brown on the show! Josh and I go way back to the early, early days of Stocktwits. He’s built what’s probably the biggest financial media brand outside of CNBCq and has managed to thrive amidst the people who like to hate on people who are doing well on social media; so I’ve got lots and lots of questions about the finance industry and media. We dig a bit into AI, crypto, web2 survivors, and where we’re at with web3. You’re going to really enjoy our conversation.
51 min
Helene Meisler, Queen of Price and Sentiment - ...
I’m excited to have Helene Meisler back on the show!  She was last here in June, and with all that’s been going on in the markets lately it felt time to check back in. I’ve been following her work since the start of – she knows her stuff and loves talking about the markets. She’s a connoisseur of the chart – what I like to call ‘chart art’ – and is a mentor to thousands who want to learn about technical analysis, price, and sentiment. She’s one of maybe two people I know who called it back in June as we were ‘groping for a bottom’. We talk a little tennis, a little pickleball, and most importantly, we talk about how she feels going forward here in 2023. 
47 min
Nate Cooper of Barrel Ventures on the Multi-Tri...
I’m excited to have my friend Nate Cooper, partner at Barrel Ventures, on the show as our second in-studio guest. Nate invests in seed stage companies in the food and beverage space. He’s excited about anything pre-farm to post fork and everything in between. Nate views our food ecosystem as broken, with a multi-trillion dollar opportunity waiting for those who solve it. I’m a personal LP in Nate’s fund, and am passionate about food and packaging; these industries are enormous, and while everybody’s been focused on web 2, the world keeps humming along. We don’t realize how important these things are until they’re taken away from us. The market is resilient, and the money eventually rotates into things that actually matter. 
43 min
Panic With Friends with ME (Howard).... The Sto...
As I mentioned when I covered how I built Wallstrip, I’m doing more origin stories over the next year. I’m covering my own projects as well as those of the ten or fifteen people from the companies I’ve loved and the products I’ve used in Web 2. There were mostly good exits, but there were also a few that we learned from.  In today’s episode I’m back in the hot seat covering the lessons learned from building Stocktwits in a Web 2 world. Knut and Riley join me as we talk about what worked back then, and what it will take to succeed building a company moving forward.  This is a very different era. Back then money was the game in a zero interest rate world. Today I think it’s more about the craft, and less about money. Do you know who your customer is? What are your margins? How are you going to make money, and how are you going to get your users? If founders and investors aren’t asking those questions today, they could be looking at massive losses down the road. I hope this helps and maybe gives you a peak at what might be coming around the corner as AI seems to be eating the world right now. Enjoy!
51 min
Ted Seides of Capital Allocators on Choosing yo...
If you geek-out on capital, money, and podcasts like I do, you're going to love this discussion with my friend Ted Seides, founder of Capital Allocators. Ted’s built an ecosystem that includes advisory services, education, events and podcasts. I was introduced to Ted a few years back by Jan van Eck, who’s also been on my podcast. Ted went to Yale, and then got his MBA from Harvard (but we’re not going to hold that against him) He also co-founded Protégé Partners – a multibillion-dollar investment firm he ran from 2002 to 2015. In 2017 Ted launched the Capital Allocators podcast, which reached over 13.5 million downloads in December of 2022. I checked in with Ted to talk about the recent FTX fraud; he was around in the days of Bernie Madoff and has a really different take on how managers should think about these events. I wanted his take on how the SEC has been rambling on recently about the ability for LPs to sue Venture Capitalists and what it all means for the industry. In addition, I wanted people to get an inside look at the industry and understand how the sausage is made – how people think at this level, and what you’re up against. You’re competing against a machine that’s there to beat the hell out of you, so it’s very hard to have an edge. This is why I talk the people that call me out of being a VC or starting a hedge fund. Ted’s the right guy to talk with about this stuff. He did it for a living. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
47 min
Trung Phan - Twitter Legend, Content Creator an...
I’m excited to have creator Trung Phan on the show today. He’s mastered Twitter, even getting Elon Musk to talk to him, and that’s impressive. Trung’s one of the funniest and interesting feeds I follow on Twitter – covering business, the media, and tech. I wanted to find out how it feels to be in the center of a hurricane of memes and pick his brain on what he’s thinking about media moving forward. It’s always fun talking to someone at the top of their game, so I also wanted to find out about his new AI startup, Bearly AI. I've managed to pull a few tips from him on the magical mystery of going viral, and a few twitter feed tips everyone should find useful. Enjoy!
54 min
Pranav Kanade - Moving from TradFI to Web3 and ...
In today’s episode I’m talking to a friend of mine, Pranav Kanade, who happens to work for another really good friend of mine, Jan van Eck. Pranav was in the financial industry for a while, and like many, went down the crypto rabbit hole a couple of years ago. Jan, who’s a good friend, mentor, and a legend in the financial industry, went down the crypto rabbit hole himself and has been forever trying to do a Bitcoin ETF — doing the good work of dealing with the red tape and corralling the regulators.  Jan’s tasked Pranav with building a crypto fund; and I’ve been trying to learn all this since forever, so I wanted to check in with Pranav. 2022 was obviously one of the most wild, fraud-ridden years in financial history, so I wanted to continue learning from someone who now makes his full living from this – and find out how he’s reacting in the bear market. As we try to dissect the industry here on Panic with Friends, I’m asking the same type of questions I ask him each month after reading his analysis. And you can be certain Pranav will be a regular on the show. Let’s learn together as new entrepreneurs and investors continue to build out the future of the web. Enjoy!
57 min
Howard Lindzon - The Wolf of Wallstrip (EP.236)
No, you haven’t entered the Twilight Zone. Yes, I’m the host of Panic with Friends, but in today’s special episode, I’m the guest. My producer Knut Jensen has turned the tables and put me in the hot seat. With so many questions about how and why I started Wallstrip, I felt it was time to lay it all out. And hopefully this answers a lot of those questions. We cover the good, the bad, and the funny times building my first internet company – and how those lessons carried over when I started Stocktwits – lessons like finding the right mentor and having domain experience around an idea,  and the three key ingredients: product, team and timing. It’s a different spin on Panic with Friends where we’re going back and telling these types of stories with our best founders, so you’ll be seeing more episodes like this in the future. And of course, the big question on Wallstrip, would I do it again? You’ll have to listen to find out!
46 min
Douglas Boneparth of Bone Fide Wealth on Person...
Today’s guest is a friend of mine, Douglas Boneparth – a financial advisor, and some would say if the Olympics had a hair category, a shoe-in to represent Team USA. As long time listeners know, there are two fundamental things I believe with respect to money; Jim O’Shaughnessy’s perspective about young people being time billionaires, so get going and just steal from yourself and start investing – take it right off the top of your paycheck. Get started now. The second thing is to get an advisor, someone working for you and explaining how things work. I’m always recommending people speak to somebody – to find the right person, and Doug is at the cutting edge as an advisor. We cover some really good stuff, some good lessons, and hope 2023 will be fantastic for everyone. Enjoy!
43 min
Going the Distance in Fashology with DSTNC Co-F...
I’m always excited to interview a portfolio company founder on Panic with Friends, so I’m doubly excited to have Nave Avimor, co-founder of DSTNC (Social Leverage Fund IV) on today’s show. The company is at the forefront of fashion and technology, or as I like to call it, ‘Fashology’ – for the modern cyclist. DSTNC (pronounced 'distance' - vowels removed) is a first of its kind global marketplace and content destination, curating the largest selection of high-end brands and performance products from around the world.
Nave and the team have done a phenomenal job over the last eight months or so, and with the site launched and a seed round raised, this is the right time to have him on. Not everything is about unicorns, and I finally get to dabble in fashology, something I’ve been talking about since the Oakley days. I’ve been able to invest and really try building a full-on Lifestyle brand without the hassle of the day-to-day. Nave’s traveled the world, knows the sport, and his partner has an eye for culture. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. 
46 min
Panic With Friends - The Year Ahead (EP.233)
In this episode I sit down with my producer Knut Jensen to take a look ahead as we turn the calendar to 2023. Knut’s panicked about his portfolio, and we sift the current landscape to find some reasons to be optimistic, though I’m not even sure I want to look back at 2022 – everything made sense, and nothing made sense. The biggest story happened towards the end; that was crypto and fraud. But my job here at Panic with Friends is to keep talking to really smart people and stay an inch ahead, a week ahead, a month ahead of where the trends are. We have to get back to the fundamentals, pick ourselves up and push forward into the new year. So it’s a good time to turn the page, clean things up, and start fresh.
40 min
Surfboard Founder and CEO Chuhan Wang on Cultiv...
My subject for today is governance, a pet peeve of mine. The lack of governance this funding cycle hasn’t been a good thing. We’ve got a lot of young people who’ve received capital and don’t know how to structure governance, prepare a board deck, or interact with their advisors and investors. Most of us learned from doing, and this generation will learn too; but when you put a lot of money in people’s hands you need to have governance, something we’re seeing more of with the WeWork breakdown and the FTX fraud. To stem this, we have to create tools and software that makes the process of governance tenable. My guest is Surfboard (Social Leverage Fund IV) founder and CEO Chuhan Wang. Her mission is to help founders, boards, and advisors stay in the loop with a better system for communication, board deck access and retrieval, and compilation – the overall world of corporate governance. Chuhan’s vision is to empower founders for success by responsibly harnessing the power of their boards and investors. With founders emerging from all corners of the world, and remote work being a trend, her modern board and investor experience will spark innovation in the next generation of founders.
42 min
Sami Issa of W3BCloud: Lessons Learned Post-FTX...
We’re here in late 2022 with a complete meltdown in crypto, and I’ve no idea what to make of it. So I wanted to bring Sami back on the show to get a gut check. Post FTX fraud I need to make sense of it all, because I’m still super bullish on this next iteration of the internet – web3, crypto – or whatever we’re calling it. They’re solving real problems for people like me, and I’m trying all these different products around NFTs and communities – but a lot has changed since Sami was here a short time ago. And infrastructure, where W3BCloud is focused, still has to happen if the next set of winners and entrepreneurs are going to build. I have a different set of questions for Sami who’s been in the hardware, machine, infrastructure side of computers for a very long time. It’s good to hear him explain things about this compute/infrastructure side of web3 and what it’s going to take to grow and scale in an era of decentralization and the blockchain. 
38 min
Pro Golfer Anne van Dam on the Business of Golf...
Normally on Panic I’m talking with investors, venture capitalists, traders, and entrepreneurs, but on today’s episode I’m bringing on professional golfer Anne van Dam. Her manager is a good friend of mine who discovered her back in her teens, and now she’s an LP in Social Leverage. We get into some investment talk with her interest in real estate and cover Colony Cooks, a ghost kitchen and virtual restaurant in Los Angeles founded by her boyfriend. Anne discusses her favorite places to visit, her favorite golf courses, and of course getting Social Leverage on her bag. She’s not superstitious, but with Social Leverage in her corner, I’m predicting victories this year for her on tour. Anne has a good head on her shoulders and knows what she wants to do. I hope you’re as inspired by our conversation as I was. I'm looking forward to a round with her the next time she's in Phoenix. Knut has offered to caddie for me.
42 min
Lewis Johnson of Capital Wealth Advisors on Deg...
My fishing buddy, Lewis Johnson, is back for his third round of Panic. As I’ve been saying frequently now, I’m just having friends on the podcast. People who have seen things that interest me, not famous – or infamous – people, for the sake of their fame. While Lewis isn’t particularly famous, he’s a steady hand and understands diversification and how cycles work. We touch on the “Bernie Madoff” moment that is now FTX. Lewis isn’t really active in crypto, but has been watching it play out. Swindles go on all along, and in a bull market no one seems to care. A bear market is the usual catalyst for these frauds. People start wanting their money back. We’ll check back with Lewis in three to six months, because this show is still about how we position ourselves; and he’s got a vision of how the world might look moving forward.
45 min
Jan van Eck of VanEck Funds on Global Markets, ...
I’ve been dying to get Jan on the podcast, and he’s finally here. After my brief podcast break, I've decided to have a lot of my friends on – people I like talking to about markets. Jan is one of those people. He’s super smart and well educated. I’m in the lucky position where I don’t have to be in the market, but because I’m fascinated by markets, started Stocktwits, love talking about them, and want to continue banging out some alpha, I invited Jan on the podcast.  We have a great discussion about debt. We talk about money flows, and while Jan wasn’t the earliest, but early enough with directionally putting his firm on a path towards crypto, he has a lot of insights there as well. People need to be thinking about the market in just a little different way than what worked in the past. You’ll learn a lot from our conversation. I know I did. 
53 min
Jim O’Shaughnessy on Twitter, Navigating the Cu...
The GOAT himself, Jim O’Shaughnessy is back for a record fourth appearance on Panic with Friends! And this time he’s slightly panicked by not being panicked. I convinced him to put on some slippers and start showing up for work. The last time he was on, we talked about the real panic; I’d come back from vacation fired out of a cannon – only wanting to talk to my close friends or pimp some of our companies. But today I’ve got a lot to talk to Jim about. He was guest number one on the show, and he was on just a few weeks ago – since then the Fed’s hiked another 75 basis points, Facebook’s imploded, and we have a new owner at Twitter. So sure, it makes sense if Jim might be a little panicked about not being panicked. Once again, Jim is the calm voice of reason helping me navigate the turbulent times we’ve found ourselves in. I hope you learn as much from our conversation as I did. 
59 min
Sami Issa and Maggie Love of W3BCloud on Poweri...
I’m excited to be doing this first episode in a series of shows over the next few months on blockchain, crypto, web3 – whatever you want to call it. As long-time listeners know, I’m a drafter behind smart people on web3. I’m learning as I go, yet being skeptical, and probing through it. I have my angle of attack and know how I want to spend the next few years working on blockchain, infrastructure, web3, NFTs, and community. And while I haven’t talked often enough about it, in full disclosure, Social Leverage Acquisition Corp ($SLAC), the company I’m CEO of, has announced a proposed merger with W3BCLOUD. In addition, Social Leverage (Fund IV) (where I’m a GP) is a shareholder and member of the sponsor group – but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it. So who better to have on to make sense of all this?
73 min
Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory on Turning Layups in...
My good friend Ben Hunt is here for the fourth time on Panic with Friends. He’s my go-to macro guy, and one of the smartest people to talk about the market with. And if I were going to do a show with any two people, like the All In podcast, it’d be Ben and Jim O’Shaughnessy for sure.  Ben has been dead on with so many topics, and we’ve got a ton of topics to talk about in this episode. I wanted to talk about the FED, inflation, and what would turn him bullish. I wanted to get some pointers on the global macro and the SPAC market, to include thoughts on Fat Nixon. I wanted to talk about Robinhood and Citadel, and I want him to chime in on Apple having a monopoly. I also wanted to get Ben’s thoughts about monetary policy as it relates to the UK pension debacle. I think you're going to get a lot out of our conversation. Enjoy!
67 min