August 14, 2019

PT. 1 Interview: Tim Draper on Bitcoin, VC, and Space Travel

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Don’t forget Part 2 of the Tim Draper Podcast where we discuss Theranos, Californias & Spirituality.

Tim Draper on Bitcoin Theranos, Californias, Spirituality & More

Most people know Tim Draper (@TimDraper) as a venture capitalist and Bitcoin believer but did you know he also founded Draper University, he had a TV show, Meet the Drapers and wrote a book The Startup Hero in-between plane rides?

Tim Draper is one of the most prolific venture capitalists with investments in Tesla, Twitter, Hotmail, Twitch, Skype, Box, Carta, Coinbase and Robinhood.

Here are some of the hot topics we cover:

  • Bitcoin & Blockchain: What if airlines gave you Bitcoin instead of miles? What are the best use cases for blockchain?
  • Californias: What is the biggest challenge that made you think about quitting?
  • Space Travel: Would you go to the moon or Mars?
  • Theranos: What advice do you have for Elizabeth Holmes?
  • Spirituality: Do you believe in God?
  • Books: How To Be The Startup HeroThe Startup Game


Podcast Digest

Founding Draper University

After Tim built up DFJ, he got freedom. Feeling that DFJ became institutional and a little bureaucratic, and he felt that it was better to go off and operate on his own. He wanted DFH to be able to continue to operate the way it was, so he spun out and went solo. He started making investments. It was an enormous success. He funded Twitch, Cruise Automation, Robinhood, Carda, Coinbase, and made many many times on those investments. After talking to his family about this old hotel that he was about to buy, his son suggested a school and he thought, “Oh, that’s exactly it.” 

And Draper University of Heroes was born. People liked it and enjoyed being there, and enjoyed the curriculum he created. And after now eight years, they’ve now had about 1200 students, and the students have started about 400 companies. And they’ve ended up sending Tim deal flow of about 4000 companies. And they have come from 77 different countries. 

Tim Draper on bitcoin and airline miles

Tim thinks people never spend their airline miles. They make it very difficult to spend the airline miles. But bitcoin, sure. “I would much rather have bitcoin. I also think the airlines might benefit from.” He suspects that the accounting bills for United Airline Miles are very high relative to what value is created by those airline miles. And it is a great marketing value for United. “Bitcoin’s even better for like the entertainment world. Because when they create a movie, they might have like … A star Wars movie has 15,000 people and they have to send each of those 15,000 people a check every quarter. And that check might be for 3 cents or $4 and 22 cents. It costs them about $7 per check to send them out. It would be really easy to just build all that into a smart contract and drop Bitcoin into the 15,000 Bitcoin wallets.”

Writing books on flights 

Tim travels a lot to check in on his network on venture capitalists periodically and then goes to lots of different places, speak and talk to the world leaders. All those airplane flights made it so that he could basically write a book, on his iPhone, in the airplanes. “You’re on a plane for 13 hours or 17 hours or 4 hours or whatever. You pull out of your iPhone and you start writing and you get into the zone and you go, ‘Okay, what was that story? How do I remember it?’ And you lay it all out. And then I’d edit it on my computer when I’d get back, but it ended up not taking very little time over the course of about a year.”

Our Sponsors:

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This episode is sponsored by Lukka, an institutional-grade, back, and middle office accounting software and data services company that is bridging the gap between the business and blockchain world.

This podcast is presented by Republic an investment platform for private companies to raise capital and everyone to invest.
This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group, a  content, and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space.


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