Parker Conrad - Building a Compound Company - [Invest Like the Best, EP.303]
My guest today is Parker Conrad, co-founder and CEO of Rippling. I wanted to speak to Parker because he is building Rippling in a way that we don’t come across often. Rather than focus narrowly on one product, he is building a suite of interrelated products simultaneously to carry out the functions of HR, Finance, and IT for companies. He calls it a compound company and we discuss the idea, as well as some of his other non-traditional theories, in detail. Please enjoy this conversation with Parker Conrad.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.
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[00:02:36 ] - [First question] - Overview of what a compound startup is
[00:06:32 ] - What he’s learned about picking customers effectively
[00:08:48 ] - Key chapters when it comes to building a compound startup
[00:13:48 ] - What great looks like at the base level infrastructure of employee data
[00:20:15 ] - His overall philosophy on product development writ large
[00:25:09 ] - His role as a capital allocator and distributing resources to his teams
[00:27:19 ] - The amount of products they offer and whether or not there’s a tradeoff between time, cost, and quality when building software
[00:31:36 ] - Possibly incorporating an app-like store on top of their existing infrastructure
[00:34:43 ] - Speed and the kinds of people that can sustain it for long periods of time
[00:36:30 ] - What motivates him on a personal level and harnessing motivation in general
[00:42:31 ] - Whether or not there’s an end to feeling hurt by false public perceptions when building in public
[00:44:12 ] - The intersection of leadership and communication inside of a business and what he’s learned about great communication
[00:48:00 ] - The paradox of how focusing on non-scalable actions perpetuates growth and productivity and his views on productivity-per-person
[00:50:36 ] - The best example of a moment that required the most grit and perseverance while building his company
[00:52:28 ] - How to successfully get former founders to come work for him
[00:54:47 ] - What good private equity investors do
[00:58:31 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him