Auren Hoffman - A Deep Dive on Data - [Invest Like the Best, EP.320]
My guest this week is Auren Hoffman. Auren is the CEO of Safegraph, which curates data on physical locations. He also founded LiveRamp, a public data connectivity business. Auren knows more about data businesses than almost anyone I know and that is the topic of today’s discussion. We look at the business of data from every angle and finish with a fun masterclass on how to host a dinner party. Please enjoy my conversation with Auren Hoffman.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
This episode is brought to you by Tegus, the modern research platform for leading investors. Whether it’s quantitative analysis, company disclosures, management presentations, earnings calls - Tegus has tools for every step of your investment research. They even have over 4000 fully driveable financial models. Tegus’ maniacal focus on quality, as well as its depth, breadth and recency of content makes it the one-stop, end-to-end research platform for investors. Move faster, gather deep research to build conviction and surface high-quality, alpha-driving insights to find your differentiated edge with Tegus. As a listener, you can take the Tegus platform for a free test drive by visiting tegus.co/patrick.
Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
[00:03:16 ] - [First question] - His 2x2 matrix for categorizing different types of data businesses
[00:04:59 ] - An example of what he calls a religion company in his matrix
[00:07:03 ] - His notion of data currency
[00:08:23 ] - His definition of a great business
[00:09:46 ] - An example of a so-called application religion company in his proverbial matrix
[00:11:24 ] - Co-op and non-profit business models within and outside of the data sphere
[00:13:35 ] - The truth application quadrant of his matrix
[00:16:18 ] - How data has exploded in prevalence for the business world as a whole
[00:18:57 ] - How to think about the end market for data and its demand
[00:21:09 ] - Characteristics of a good data set and how to identify it
[00:23:14 ] - Other factors that impact the usability of a data set
[00:24:30 ] - Optimizing data collection itself
[00:26:30 ] - The slow growth that’s typical of early-stage data companies
[00:27:27 ] - Market share considerations for data businesses
[00:30:03 ] - Common struggles for data entrepreneurs
[00:34:01 ] - The genesis of his business; SafeGraph
[00:37:08 ] - The power of self-maintained and user-maintained databases
[00:40:16 ] - Typical customers and use cases for SafeGraph’s data
[00:41:08 ] - How SafeGraph and other companies protect against data theft
[00:42:12 ] - Frequency of change as a proxy for the value of a given data set
[00:45:32 ] - Categorizing inbound data based on the most important criteria
[00:47:07 ] - The founder personalities he finds in the data industry
[00:49:53 ] - Why he feels the data truth quadrant of his matrix is underdeveloped
[00:50:30 ] - Bloomberg as an important data company to study
[00:51:42 ] - The importance of transparency in business and in data distribution
[00:53:07 ] - Failure modes that he sees most commonly in data-based startups
[00:53:53 ] - Data businesses becoming application businesses and vice-versa
[00:57:35 ] - The great dinner parties he’s known for
[00:59:50 ] - How he makes the dinner parties appeal to introverts
[01:03:11 ] - Dead people he would most like to have as dinner guests
[01:04:09 ] - Questions he would ask the most influential religious figures
[01:06:20 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices