tv Technology and Innovation CSPAN January 4, 2015 2:00am-4:02am EST
t people trying to understand who we are and the others. people unlike ourselves. >> ok. i'm going to finish where i started, alex is great. you should see "the interrupters ," and he has some other projects coming up. i don't know if i should talk about them. you should be on the lookout for them. this is one of our great american journalists. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much. in some ways we have saved the best for last and you will be the richer for staying and hearing from david brooks. his best-loved work plumbs humanity. the washington ideas for them has considered these with some of the sharpest minds around. it is fitting we conclude with a look inward. here to explore character is david brooks. [applause]
>> thank you. i am the anti-climax. the only thing standing between you and the metro. not to let you ride the metro. hisses from the audience. there has been a lot of topics the last couple of days. there is one that is undergirding it, who we are and how we behave and whether we have character or not. the way i frame this, we have two sets of virtues. the resume virtues and the you e.g. virtues. the resume ones are the skills you have good at business, accounting, the eulogy is what they say after you are dead, courageous, brave, honest, capable of great love. we live in a society where everybody knows the eulogy version is more important, but we talk about the resume more.
we talk about public life more than private life even though if you don't have that private solidity, your public life falls apart. we are to morality what the victorians were to sex. we cover it in euphemism. we understand the character's destiny. whether talking about ebola trade policy, where it falls apart you have your scandal watergate, your system does not work. the people who have been good at government have had some essential character qualities. abraham lincoln suffered from depression and had a sense of providence. franklin roosevelt was a shallow guy until he had polio. that experience changed him and deep and gave him the empathy he needed to be a great president. we all know this, when we think
about what character is. i thought for the last three minutes i would try to think us through when we use the word character, what do we mean? the first thing we mean is some constancy. that the things that lead us astray are short-term, lust, fear, vanity gluttony. the things we call character our courage, honesty, humility. they are long-term. the people we say have character, they have a consistency of action. somebody with character is not a free floating bone wolf. they have a series of connections, connections to something that are big and that anchor them and make them stable . in the realm of intellect, those people have a set of permanent conviction about fundamental truth. they have a web of unconditional
love. in the realm of action, a commitment to thinks that transcend a single lifetime. projects that transcend a lifetime. the third thing we would say about somebody with character is there is something solid inside them. you have a central spot inside yourself, a place where you make your decisions especially your moral decisions and that piece of you is malleable by you. if you make choices, you engrave some permanent discipline on that piece. if you make fragmented decisions, selfish decisions you degrade that piece and you become fragmented. so when we mean character, we mean consistency over time. and then if you look at people like franklin roosevelt, how they get character, you see a couple of traits and a trajectory of their lives. those people are capable of great love. it is hard to imagine somebody we said had character is not
capable of great love and love humbles you. it reminds you you are not controlling your own brain. you do not choose to fall in love. it reminds you the riches in your life are not in yourself. they are in somebody else. and it elevates you. you want to serve your beloved. we become what we love. and then it lifts you up. the second thing we know about suffering, true of roosevelt and lincoln, usually those people have been through suffering. suffering has the same shape of love, but in the inverse. it humbles you because you can't control your own brain. you can't decide to suffer. second, it hollows you out. the centers you. a theologian has said suffering drags us beneath the busyness of
life and reminds us we are not the person we thought we were. the metaphor was suffering sinks into the basement of your soul and cars through the floor revealing a cavity below. and so you are emptied out. then it elevates you. people who have been through great suffering don't just want to party. i have some friends who lost a child, they did not say, we've been sad for two years, let's go out and party. they wanted to turn that suffering into something transcendent, so they created a foundation so other boys would not suffer the way their son had. so you are not just chasing personal happiness, you are chasing something transcendent. one of my heroes is samuel johnson, a journalist. he was born nearly dead. he had smallpox as a boy.
he was nursed with milk that had tuberculosis. so he was blind in one eye. the smallpox scarred his face. they took out part of his jaw. they kept his arm open to glean him for six years. he had a miserablehe was ugly, scarred nearly blind, oafish, tourette's syndrome, horrible fits of depression suicide attempts. and relative to the ideas festival, he wrote his way to character. he came to london, worked as a freelance writer for 12 years, getting nothing published under his own name, but a lot of brilliant stuff published anonymously. he could write 1800 words an hour, 30 words a minute. a friend of his was named a law professor and you nothing about the law. johnson wrote lectures for him for free.
what he did was write his way to the stability of the truth. he just tried to describe accurately the world he tethered himself to that. many of his effort is him's contain that stability, realism, intense honest realism. one is that a man of genius is seldom ruined by himself. it was an impressive struggle. that is the final thing we would say about solitude, i mean come about character. the people who have character are not the people who climb an external climb. if you see this dr. seuss book it is about the external climb to success. the eulogy virtues is not about an external struggle, but the internal struggle about the things you fear about yourself. johnson took all the things he feared about himself, his sloth, his envy, and he wrote about them head-on and named them and
grab them and they went away. whether it is lover suffering or self defeat, it is that same shape that is falling down and coming up. i think the people who have character and will be good leaders can write through that. there is a favorite passage of mine which captures some of this. the rich way people who are admirable develop. he wrote nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime. therefore, we must be saved by hope. nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history. therefore, we must be saved by faith. nothing we do however virtuous can be a comp list alone. therefore, we must be saved by love. no virtue -- can be accomplished alone. therefore, we must be saved by love.
thanks very >> next, silicon valley ceos talk about the problem of internet startups. after that, supreme court justices discuss life and the court. then a discussion with aol founder steve case. on "newsmakers," ken buck of colorado, elected as class president, talks about joining congress, and how he expects congress will operate. here is a portion of his remarks on raising the debt limit. >> mitch mcconnell said the u.s. would not default on its debt yet one of the big issues you
will face is raising the debt limit. under what circumstances would you vote to increase the debt limit? >> well, i think we have to make substantial progress on balancing the budget. if we do that, i will take a serious look at voting to increase the debt limit. but i'm not at all -- i don't believe that the consequences of failing to raise the debt limit our with the president and some others in the united states congress have said. i think we have a lot of room to cut our spending. and if we do that, we will in fact avoid the catastrophic consequences other leaders talk about. >> do you support the so-called john boehner rule, dollar for dollar cuts with spending increases? >> i think that is a minimum
threshold, and real cuts, not cuts that happened 10 years from now, 15 years from now where another congress will inevitably change those cuts. i think we have to have cuts that happened now. unfortunately, they are going to hurt, but the pain is caused by a history of irresponsible spending in the united states and by the united states government. >> and if not, could we face the possibility of a default? >> you know, i hope that we don't. i hope that congress and the president act responsibly and balance our budget, or at least move substantially in that direction. >> representative elect ken buck on "newsmakers" sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on
c-span. now, silicon valley ceo and venture capitalists discuss innovation. we hear from the ceo of uber talking about startup troubles. mark cuban on the inspiration behind his new messaging app. and elizabeth holmes on her diagnostic programming. a programming note, some of the language in this program may be offensive to some viewers. this is two hours. >> i just explained it. when people start to perceive you as the big guy, you are not allowed to be scrappy. if you are the little guy, that is cheered, that is lauded, that is the heroic startup story. like, i turned nothing into something on my last company
and foremost people they would call it a walk or a single. for me it felt like a home run. but again, as you get to a place where people perceive you as "the big guy" or "the man," you have to approach things differently and communicate differently, and we are not there yet. we want to be there, and we are going to get that her, but those are the things, those are the challenges we are facing and those are the things we are improving on. >> you recently hired david pluff, a former obama advisor to help you with the political war. you put it differently, you said it's a campaign that you are running. is bringing him on part of this creating a kind learner, gentler -- >> he does not start until the end of september. he was obama's 2008 campaign
manager and he was an advisor sort of in between the campaign and the white house in 2012. he is a pretty incredible guy. but the context is we view where we are at as there is a political campaign that is happening. we did not really realize it, but there is a political campaign that is happening and uber was the candidate. the opposition was the taxi cartel. they were the opponent. maybe there are some primaries going on that some other folks in the ridesharing space, etc. but the big opponent was the taxi cartel. they have been giving political donations for dozens of years tens of years, decades. they have been lobbying folks
for those same decades. >> bayonne local politicians. >> they have created a monopoly in every single city for taxis. the causes problems who want to get around the city efficiently and causes problems for creating jobs. it is not only that riders have no options, the drivers get stuck because there are no opportunities for jobs. in a situation like new york where a driver leases a car for $40,000 per year. that is the taxi. it's $40,000 per year. instead, it is just a taxi. and for that, for that privilege of leasing that car for 40 grand per year, he gets to be impoverished. and that's because he did not have options. >> and people cannot get rides. >> and that medallion, the license to own and operate a
sealed taxi, is worth a million dollars. why? because of the artificial scarcity. there are 13,000 taxis in new york. there were 13,000 in new york in the early 1950's. >> so does he go in and grease the wheel, bribe people, or is he a hammer, you are going to do this because i know people? how does he get stuff done? >> the way to think about it, he is the uber campaign manager. so that means policy, key medications, branding -- municationscommunications, branding, and strategy. >> and which of those four are you inserting cash? >> you will go to a city and say, look, you guys have the wrong policy. for instance miami, if you call
to get a town car, there is a law there that says if that car comes in 15 minutes you have to wait 45 minutes more before you are a legally allowed to enter the vehicle. if you enter before an hour has passed, that driver can be arrested. that's not good. >> so you're trying to fix that. >> when you say you want to fix that and meet with the city council person or meet with the deputy mayor or something, they literally say, there is no meeting unless you go through this guy. and this guy is a lobbyist. >> and that is where the cash is inserted. >> in the big scheme of things -- >> it is a dirty business. >> it's terrible. >> i'm glad you hired a professional to take care of that for you. how much of uber do you personally own at this point? >> i own a lot. >> more than 50% personally? >> i don't think it's
appropriate to talk about that here. >> you think it's inappropriate, on a stage, a site where it is known for breaking news about people's net worth. >> yes, we can talk about it later. >> when you introduce yourself, do you say i'm a billionaire, or is it still paper for you? >> that's kind of funny. i think a lot of people who know me know that i'm pretty much the same today as when i was -- >> i know you, and you are the same. >> so you know the answer to that question. >> so you just -- yeah. [laughter] >> are those taxi socks? >> you used to be one of the poorest rich people buy new, if that makes sense. >> what does that mean? >> i think you had made a million dollars, but you
immediately invested into new startups. now you are worth some number of billions of dollars, i think. i just kind of want to see a little bit of arrogance or something that i can make fun of. but i'm not really getting at. >> um, i'll work on that. >> all right, so two days ago i was in palo alto and i called for an uber and the uber came. on its way i get a call from the driver who says, were you going. us a couple miles. he hung up and canceled the route. son of a bench. -- son of a bitch. so first of all, i assume he has been fired now, right. for my point of view, the thing i liked about uber back in the day as i would never have that kind of shit pulled on me. uber changed all of that. are you changing so fast that some of the old taxi problems are coming into the system?
>> i mean, look, if you were to wave down a taxi in manhattan and say i'm going to brooklyn he's going to say hell no. and that's normal. and there is nobody to complain to. >> yeah. >> in the uber model, we are not perfect, but we really strive to be. so when that thing happens, we encourage the feedback. and folks who do this, drivers the partners who are doing this, they do not last in the system. >> so it is against the rules to engage in old taxi-like behavior. >> of course. but this is the tricky balance of this kind of business right is we have two sets of customers. there is the riders, but there is the drivers, too, and any policy that we have -- cancellation policies, minimum fares, things like this, in many cases it is good for one side
and bad for the other. so you do something good for the riders and then the drivers are upset. you do something good for the drivers and in the riders are upset. finding that principal balance is quite tricky, and it's why anytime there is a little policy tweak that we do, it kind of makes news and somebody is upset. but we really try to find that principal middleground. it's the right thing to do to take feedback from riders when there is a trip that did not quite meet expectations or meet standards. and ultimately, folks who are not meeting those standards should not be on the system because then you cannot offer high-quality service. but there is also a driver constituency that you have to be mindful of. i'm not saying in this case that hates that line, but that is part of the nuance of our business. >> you have been trained, son. >> i have not. >> you are smooth all of a
sudden. >> that's not truth. -- that's not true. >> before you would have been, he is fired. >> my team wishes i have taken training. have you seen some of the things i've said? >> yes, i have. [laughter] >> i had oatmeal this morning, so i'm a little calmer. >> ok, i'm glad. a nice balanced breakfast is a good way to start the day. >> yep. >> how many drivers does uber have now? >> we are in the hundreds of thousands. there are hundreds of thousands of partners connected to our system, right. >> how many are you bringing on every month? >> we are in the many tens of thousands. so like right now, you know, we are in the neck of the woods of about 50,000 new jobs a month being created. >> and from any deactivate every
month for poor for performance -- for poor performance. ? >> i don't have that number right now, but there are some number. >> you have a computer, lyft, which is annoying because you have to sit in the front and talk and they have these mustache things. i have not used to, but i have heard some people apparently half. they seem to be constantly whining that you are beating them, that you are trying to take their drivers by offering them incentives. i don't hear a lot about their business, but i hear a lot of whining. so my question is, would you consider buying them just to shut them up? [laughter] that is a valid m&a strategy, isn't it? just please shut up and we will buy you? >> this is an interesting question. i like to use -- i like to take the political analogy a little further and say of course the
opponent as the taxi cartel, but there is a primary race going on right now and there are some scrapping that happens in the primary race. i think that's part of it. in terms of m&a and how uber thinks about it, we have not acquired a single company. we sort of are just really focused on the product, building the business. we are in a couple hundred cities, 45 countries, and we are proud of that. we are proud of doing that in the timeframe we've done it. we have not spent time on the m&a side of things. >> that was approaching an answer. that's fine. >> how did i not approach it? >> i said would you buy them to shut them up. he said we have not bought companies, that's not the way we think about a full stop indirectly, you got there. >> we are not in acquisition mode right now. >> talk about the city bus.
the pool. >> the uber pool. >> so you drive a bunch of people and make it much of stops and somehow this is not a city bus. i don't get why that works and why anybody would use it. >> here is the idea. the idea is that you push a button, the car picks you up just like normal. >> ok. >> and while you are on your way to your destination, somebody else is going along the same route at the same time. and with less then let's call it two minutes or less deviation from your route, you pick some of the else up along the way. >> and they get in my car with me. >> that's correct. and what happens then -- >> this sounds a lot like a bus so far. >> understood. the difference is a bus you go to a corner a half-mile away
from you when you wait 15 minutes and sometimes it's on time and sometimes it's not. this comes just like the uber that you know. you push the button and and it's there exactly when you need it and where you want it. that is the uber magic. what happens is you are still getting the benefit of the bus you are still getting the benefit of carpooling by literally taking cars off the road. there is significant efficiencies in doing this right. >> it seems like to make this work -- i know you just started but to make this work you have to have a massive number of users for the network effect to kick in and make this viable. otherwise it seems like a would not work at all. >> so if we were just starting out in a particular city, and we are launching all the time, you cannot do it. there has to be a large number of people going from basically having routes that overlay each other at the same time and you
cannot do it in small cities where you are not big. but if you are big, you can start to make that work. and i think one part is liquidity. the other part is product. the product has to be just right, because there is a lot that can go wrong, especially if they are the second user from putting the button to making this all work. >> so do you think you have enough liquidity, as you call it, to make this work in san francisco, new york? >> i think we do. i think it is right on the edge of liquidity to make it work at scale. >> so lyft and others are doing copycat products. you are saying they are not going to be able to make this work because they are so much smaller? >> maybe this is a little bit of a hat tip, but i don't think that lyft copycat at this feature. i think that companies are often working on features at the same time and roll them out. but at the end of the day liquidity is going to matter on this and it's going to -- you
have to be very, very large to make it work. at least that's our sense of things. >> all right, we will see how that goes. i refuse to use that service, personally. >> fair enough. we are seeing good pickup. but fair enough. i cannot wait to do an uber pool and see you in the car and say gotcha. >> i don't want to do this thing where i'm stuck on a was with unwashed masses. i don't want to go out of my way to pick up yet another person. i want to go where i want to go. >> there is such an idea where they drop you off -- i cannot wait to see you on the uber poo l. then i'm the only person in the car and some of yes could come in. you could literally have a perpetual ride for the driver. what is interesting about that you think about the driver income side of this, utilizing that car and getting the income, and also how that affects prices
and really helps bring them down. it's a big deal. our whole thing is about bringing the cost of taking an uber below the cost of owning a car. and right now we are -- >> which the car manufacturers must love you talking about that. > the taxis what you dead and some of them seems like they might hire someone to hurt you and you have the ankle biter's -- who are you not fighting with? >> who am i not fighting with -- the nature of this business is that it is so disruptive, so insanely disruptive that there are a lot of incumbent in a lot of places that we have to persuade to come to the other side. >> so the answer is, almost no one.
tell me about the wins. it seems you have one all the battles -- won all the battles. >> we are starting to see the things from the u.s. in europe and we are working through it. we still have a decent assist from the city of san francisco from october 2010 but there was a law passed three weeks ago in california that reaffirmed with the public utility commission already said 1.5 years ago or more -- >> you feel good about california? colorado, new york, ec, any trouble spots? >> we are not in vegas, there are a few cities like that in vegas is a good example. >> and europe is a train wreck you are sledging through that?
>> our business is growing pretty good clip, faster than the u.s.. >> but in germany you ignored the van and drove in hugely but are you subject to 250,000 euro per drive penalties? >> there was a case in hamburg and the court decided we were breaking some rule and that case got suspended and even -- and then there was another case in frankfurt which said we are charging too much. >> i thought too little? >> they will get you one way or another and we said, just tell us what the prices and they won't tell us what the price should the -- be. and that is on appeal right now. >> in china things are going well? >> in china we are in five cities and beijing is the
fastest city -- it is either number two or number one, the fastest growth from a city at its age. >> you said beijing has 70,000 cabs. >> that's right. >> and new york? >> 13,000. >> orders of magnitude larger. >> i think a lot of folks in america don't know all the stuff going on in we're in north asia and south asia. middle east -- there is a lot of interesting stuff in china specifically. 70,000 drivers in shanghai and 200 cities in china that are over one million people. there is a lot going on there two big taxi companies or taxi apps that are in and all-out
war -- an all-out war, one partnered with alibaba -- hundreds of millions of dollars being subsidized on each side for these respective companies to grow and when, so there is this a chinese war going on. >> that makes me think, stay away from that market. two huge players with half $1 billion being subsidized and then you come in -- how do you win? >> what is really fun and awesome about china for us and me specifically is we get to be the little guy. for me that is like homecoming. we can see what happened and for me why not try? yes, i think you are right there are a lot of challenges
but how much fun is it to try and see and if you can persevere and make that work, that is really awesome. >> so, let's get down and dirty how will you make that work? >> i think they got a little bit of a head start, these subsidies , they are giving rides away for free and in exchange creating payments account -- payment accounts. so if you're smaller -- if kwa dee is smaller they will be subsidies and will be more expensive for the intercompany to retain market share in that world. there was a lot of interesting economic and competitive things going on and when you are the small guy there are a lot of things a small guy can do that a
guy -- >> you are a small guy in the sense that you arrive at your vague date balance sheet, how much is earmarked to fighting the price war in shanghai and aging -- beijing? >> we are so small that it will not cost us a lot to get in the game. >> every dollar you spend cost them more because they are bigger? >> right now we are doing right sharing -- ride sharing and we are just finding ways to make the economics work. uber always starts with -- how do we make a sustainable business? the competitive dynamic can push you down sometimes but ultimately you have to have a sustainable business and that is part of our culture. at the end of the day we will try to offer the cheapest, most reliable ride in china.
on the product side there are benefits to have uber roles versus the other guys and it will be interesting to see how we go against those guys going big. >> last question, we are double overtime am a complete his regard for everyone else, if uber -- if uber fails, what is it that will kill you if you had to guess? the politics? the competitors? what is your biggest threat? >> that is interesting -- i think the stress will kill me. i think it would be the stress. [laughter] the last company was crazy stressful because i did not have any money and was always trying to make it work and i say i got 100 knows -- 100 no's per day
for six years straight. this is a different kind of stress, four years in and you have to find ways to find that center, balance and sanity because again -- we are getting bigger and people look at us that way and you have to find that new balance. right now that is stressful. we are working hard to find. >> maybe you could do pilates? >> i am down. >> thank you very much. >> thanks. [applause] >> awesome stuff -- a quick announcement because a combination of michael arrington and electricity have slowed us down this morning. we have a couple contest
today's is called disrupt vine and that is the theme you are working on, if you can submit a vine we will give away a mini drone tomorrow and if you need more information it is on the hashed -- the website. our next guest is a super genius, do not confuse him with our techcrunch volunteers in green, he is a huge deal, not that our volunteers are not. he had his hand in paypal, yelp and now a firm. he has been developing in mobile years before we thought it was important, welcome alex wilhelm from techcrunch. >> good morning. thank you. how is it going? >> great. >> it has been one year since you are here last time, wearing the same shirt.
i'm impressed with that. dedication to the cause. >> this will take 100 years to build fully. >> uber was just on and mark cuban was on a television program and i did quick math and i think that makes you the poorest person we're interviewing in the first block. how to make you feel -- how does that make you feel? >> that is entirely inaccurate if you priced might affirm shares correctly. >> how would you? >> the sky is the limit for changing 20% of u.s. gdp. >> there has been a lot of talk recently in the market about ebay divesting paypal -- you know the company other than anyone else, should ebay spin paypal out? >> at some point -- sometime in
the next 18 months for sure paypal volume will outstrip ebay so for all intents and purposes ebay will be in deficient's of paypal so whether paypal spins ebay in or paypal gets spun out ebay remains a key market or paypal but ultimately it is the faster growing of the two, so paypal must receive its full managerial. >> would you buy shares in the new public paypal? >> it depends who the management team becomes. >> who would you want to run the company -- you cannot say you. >> i'm unavailable, i'm running my own financial services company. there are a bunch of people, probably the last person to run paypal after peter departed was
david who recently became available. he ran something for microsoft for a while but he definitely knows paypal from the entrepreneurial age the best. >> to twitter had revenue of 312 million, do you think a pal by itself is worth more than twitter -- paypal by itself is worth more than twitter? >> that is asking someone who has not tracked paypal financials in a long time. i imagine is at least comparable. >> say 35 million? >> i know better than to prognosticate about public markets. >> if you sold paypal under 2014 market conditions as opposed to 2002, would you have a more successful ipo or have sold or more money?
how would it look differently from the current market? >> again, that's an experiment you can only run once, paypal today is the force to be recognize -- reckoned with. it has as good a brand as easily or mastercard -- perhaps better. hard to compare. it is an incredible company and i'm proud of what we accomplished. >> in light of current valuations, even among companies that are weaker and paypal was $1.5 billion feel small. >> sure. one decade has gone by and if anything public arc at and large-scale investors realize how permanent an impact on fundamental industries internet companies are. when it went public it was still
in question whether these internet whippersnappers would be around forever. jpmorgan has been around for 200 years, what will happen to paypal? at this point it is safe to say it will be around for a while. >> you regret the price? >> i try hard to minimize regret. >> you only had 2.6% when it went public. small number. >> it took a lot of money to build it out. >> there is been a lot of talk about the bubble, i think there has been a rise in asset rices that has been somewhat scary, do you see it crashing? >> hard to tell about the public markets because they are so beholden to global forces outside the valley, so any attempt to predict our tempest silly.
at a macro level we live in uncertain times, at any given time's there are three major macroeconomics affecting conflicts -- russia ukraine israel-gaza, syria-isis. >> will you see a correction in the price of companies in the next 12 months? >> selectively, yes. there are a bunch of companies that are solving big deal programs where the venture capital market pricing them at the very least optimistically, but correctly around the kind of impact it might have. there are a bunch of companies that are not selling big problems that are riding coattails. >> what are some of the
companies now that you think are well price but are not solving problems? who are the superstars? >> travis just him off the stage -- on the one hand, eye-popping value in the other hand an opportunity to disrupt market types, fedex heinz -- [indiscernible] >> i have a very restrictive policy on buying shares or selling chairs but i probably would invest. >> companies -- do you see them getting a whack to generate more money? >> i think they will find themselves having a hard time breaking -- raising money at the actual value proposition at the revenue level -- series a lead's the series b.
>> the think square possible you wish and is in line with where it should be? >> i'm not nearly as familiar with their business as i'm not an investor as i perhaps should be -- i think if they hack the small business pricing they are probably undervalued. >> i love financial services. >> apple is expected to introduce some payment offer for the phone and i watch. >> there so secretive so i have no idea who is running the amide ring -- for a long time it was rumored they were interviewing someone to run their division and that sue like -- that seemed like an interesting step. they have the world's largest
collection of credit cards on file and incidentally that database has never been cracked. they are giant targets that could do some really serious rearrangement of deck chairs. >> you think you would have to find some way to integrate your firm into it? >> i would love to. from what i read so far, apple will release something like a container for a payment method and a firm is a source of credit so we would fit right in. >> so apple has not talked to you thus far? >> if they did i could not tell you and if they did not i couldn't tell you either. >> that is a boring answer. >> apple's secretive. >> as apple tried to buy you? >> apple has not. >> david said you would view that company in abject failure if it failed to sell for $1.5
billion -- via have the same standard for a firm? >> number one, i am not speaking for david right now, but having said that i figured out around the time of the slide journey that i really want to measure my success and failure by the number of people who use my products over a long. -- long period of time. at some point i had 100 million users and did not feel good about it i made some announcement about this is of the company and ultimately it did not survive, there is not a single slide product in a and that is a year. i want a firm to use -- be used by hundreds of millions of able long after i'm done -- i don't really care what it sells for. >> you don't really care about the price in the end? >> i don't want to put a dollar figure on it i want a number of hopefully hundreds of millions of users.
i would like to do whatever is best for my employees and investors when the time comes but at the moment i'm unencumbered by either concern. >> would talking about it but i think people don't know about it can you do the rundown of how it works and what it does? >> a firm is an attempt to completely reinvent consumer banking -- we started with credit because one of the revelations and made around paypal was that the internet was peeling off complexity and lack of information from every industry and finance was hard to figure out and not transparent and it still is today. when you get your credit card in the mail in their small print in some bank in london -- why does it have to be so difficult to understand?
[indiscernible] 100% margin product in the world of taking his late fees and forms of hidden charges. as you unbundle the complexity you wind up with a more profitable business model and no one has really done it for financing so we set off with a ffirm to try and do that. what we did that and started with was point-of-sale lending. when you go to the department store the person will say come apply for the in-store credit card and you know it will be a painful process and you probably when i get approved and it is based on your fico score -- some magical scored no one understands and the fees will be
bad and the interest rate horrible -- but it is a great boon to retailers. it increases sales and improves conversion. so they say what if we provided a great alternative. >> but affirm is for consumers to make purchases at point-of-sale? >> that's what it is today. >> you're taking a one interest load slightly high and then -- >> fairly low. compared your credit card, if you are carrying a allinson 610 americans we will pay 700 -- several hundred dollars. >> what would you charge me on an affirm loan? >> somewhere between 60% and 17%
and the average credit card, the millennial someone who is fresh of college with a psycho score -- probably $29.95 is what you're looking at here in -- looking at. one of the things we do since we are a 21st century company we price every loan to the transaction to the person and these loans are not compounding interest so you know exactly what you are borrowing and what the payment will be each month. >> good a want you to vet their credit when they buy so they? >> it takes less than half a second. >> how can you do that and look at me and my entire profile in less than half a second and decide the rate? that feels like a quick glance. >> so long as the rate i charge
you is good for you -- we can access a bunch of databases and we have filled up good models that forecast your ability to repay and your propensity -- so a lot of the same math we did at paypal to figure out who is a good guy and a bad guy. >> was a look for? your algorithm sounds interesting. i don't think people will say they're getting a fair shake from you because they don't know what you're looking at. how do they know it is useful? >> there are not required to take it to the can always call back with whatever form of payment they have available and make a comparison right there and then because we will disclose the interest rate and the charges. the way we figure out who they are and what they are is several interesting ways.
the most important thing true of today's generation, the social security neighbor -- number has been replaced with their mobile number, it is a key index to databases. anything from your social media to phone bill is a good way to figure out who you are and what income you have and what debt you're likely to take on an service and the debt to income ratio is one of the best financial metrics that we can use to figure out how likely you are. >> how much have you loaned out right now? >> is actually growing off the charts so i am terrified to give you a number. we have been testing various forms of products and various versions of the loan and we settled on the simple installment loan with explicitly disclosed charges upfront. at this point the merchants
forcing something like 30% to 40% on the parts site and they are promoting us aggressively. >> how much loan debt right now? >> that i cannot tell you but it is in the millions. >> less than 10 million? >> it is less than 10 million. >> more than five? >> i will plead the fifth. >> between one and 10. that's really big. >> looking ahead 12 months, do you hit 100 million? >> yes. >> 100 million in 12? i will hold you to that next year. what about people who don't pay you back? >> they have to not pass back lust -- roughly less than the combined interest rate charged because otherwise we would be unprofitable. we look at non-repayment rates
-- so people with super prime credit -- people who choose us because of our transparency and quality of service is our prices give back 100% of the time. people that are already living in the session, go link delinquent -- delinquent and sometimes default in the single digits to double-digit percentages and that is as it should be. >> last question, what is the next affirm project? >> that i can't broadcast, we like to surprise. >> thank you matt. [applause] >> what is up? our next guest is special to me -- i grew up in dallas and i first learned about him and a mavericks game, he is so much
more than the owner, these welcome mark cuban and our moderator. [applause] >> these are kind of comfy. take up your shoes, yet comfortable. >> welcome back. you are here in 2008 4 techcrunch -- 2008, for tech cruch. you went on to tv fame and everything. >> shocking. >> to us normal people your list of accomplishments reads like a bucket list. [laughter] >> i hope so. >> you built the company for millions, but a sports team and what a chevy chip, became a household name and you really dance with the stars. >> that was the best part.
>> now you are a privacy expert. >> i wouldn't call anybody a privacy expert it is important. >> are you afraid that you are a public arson that your communication be hacked? >> the genesis was i had the fcc , after me and every message i sent they discovered it and turned it over when we went through discovery and they created their own context -- there was one part where i said i hate to lose talking about the mavericks and when we went to trial they brought that up and said he hates to lose and that's why he sold the stock and did not take a loss. it is crazy that anything you say can create context. from there -- thinking about it if you think of any e-mail or message you send -- the minute you send it you lose ownership but not responsibility. we set over and again.
with cyber dust when you hit send it goes to another user and never touches a hard drive and is never cashed it can't be erased and re-created by the nsa or anybody. >> where do you see cyber dust fitting? >> we are all looking for an e-mail 3.0. as we look forward, people are trying to find a better way to filter. you knows will involve so if you have to reference and the future and cyber dust will be there to replace a lot of your texting and e-mailing. when i send you a message, you look at it and 30 seconds after you are done reading it, it is gone. in my personal experiences and others, it is reduced my e-mail productivity from 25%-30%. a third application, a black
feature where you got all of the words, i have 80,000 followers and like my twitter but the difference when i blast something, the only people who see it are the people who follow me. because it is 10 lines, everybody sees it. twitter kind of default into a scenario where there are so many trolls that before we tweak anything, we have to be careful and consider how somebody might look at something for it is fun to be a troll unless you are being controlled. with cyber dust, there are no trolls. i blast something else and the -- it is a 1-1. i blasted out a motivational quote and i can respond to each of those personally. on twitter, i do not know anybody will see it because it is a timeline. because there are so many people that are trolls looking for
things that we say or looking for responses, people do not speak honestly and openly. you pull those things together and as a result, you shrink our digital footprints. as we go forward, cyber dust will look for ways to shrink and it will be more portend permanent there is so much out there we do not remember. -- and will be more important. there's so much out there we do not remember. i have a daughter about to turn 11. i trust her. she's more of an adult than ime a lot of times. she is going to send a very simple message to some idiot kid at some point something like you found my ipad and i sent a message that says i love you for that and that dumbass kid will show all of his buddies. and use it out of context. i will have her use the app and that message will be gone. it was not be something
repurpose. if a kid tries to screenshot it, we know it and can deal with it. >> when we were prepared for this interview, you only talk to me and cyber dust which was kind of annoying because i had to remember what we had. >> is not annoying. some people are doing it wrong. you are doing it wrong. when you send a message and tap on it, it tends it and you will remember what you said. but for things that we have to remember, we use e-mail. for stuff like we'll be here at this time on this day, it is ok. >> where'd you see it going forward from here? >> you see us do a lot of privacy commerce. twitter announced they will do commerce and they did smart things with it. you do not want to be a position where trolls are saying you bought the this or that and why didn't you buy this?
there will be a lot more privacy involved with commerce as we move forward. you will see as grow as a nice compliments for twitter. a publication, a promotion but cyber dust is for 1:1 personal communication and extended to e-mail. anything that -- another application that cause -- and that is called get expire. what i use it for when you post a tweet right now, there's no expiration time. there's something about 20,000 30,000 tweets. i can tell you more about you from those tweets in your significant other can. just because we say so much about ourselves and over the years, we leave it there. with get expired you can set expiration time so it expires in an hour, a minute, a day. you can do the same with facebook posts and tumbler
posts. does anybody out here still have their myspace profile of? do you want people looking? and you are still friends with what his name. the whole point is over time your digital profile is so big that it has a set we have not began to consider. we will craig tools and extending the cyber dust platform to shrink that footprint and let you gain more control of your privacy and protect you from who knows what. >> mr. cuban, switching years. i called $.50 5 --0 --50 cent , mr. cent what tiger cyber dust
is company number what for you? >> i do not know. 30 plus. >> what drives you to keep founding new companies? >> this is is the ultimate sport. dylan with the mavericks i will talk to our guys and talk about the 48 minutes of the nba game and practice in preparation. there is no sport as competitive as business. it is 24 by seven by 365 five forever. all of these young kids trying to kick your ass and i love to kick your ass. i am so competitive, i just want to win. that in a nutshell. >> you are not in the valid. >> nobody smart is in the valley. there is a certain culture in the valley and a mini version in
and a many -- mineier version in new york. i do not have a problem attracting smart people. i can get people here. there are a lot of advantages. there's an incredible arbitrage available. we talk about on shark tank. if you are from stanford and you have a tech degree or mba or law degree or design and you do not get an $8 million valuation on your startup, you are in idiot. outside of these three areas that same startup may have a $1 million valuation. they're just as many smart people and great business opportunities in aggregate outside of the valley as inside. investing outside and sell it inside to me is the best arbitrage available at has
worked out very well for me. silicon valley as got a -- approach whether vc or angel. almost a fear of missing out where people throw money at everything because they want to find their unicorn. hey, i invested in twitter and uber and facebook. what they do not tell you are the other 99% of their portfolio that has failed. that approach doesn't sit well for me. that is led to mistakes. travis was here. i invested in one of his earlier companies. he probably brought it to me first or second over and we cannot agree on valuation and he found someone else. that's probably the one investment i wish i could get back. i invested in a company off of an e-mail. i got my money back and was thrilled to death. i have 20 other.
>> if i were to approach you for investment, what is something i should know about the you? to get your money? >> to get my money? i am very transparent with all of my company's 30 should know the companies i invested in and why i invested in what value you can bring to me and your company will be great. a lot of people -- particularly in the valley they sell themselves which is fine and the idea which is ok. but then they figure getting funding is the end all, be all. i got in angel. these people agree with me so it must be a great idea. i hate that approach for your i want to know not what your exit is going to be bold why you will be a sucker -- a successful company. how you're going to be insanely cash positive because it makes it easier to continue.
>> such a great answer. "shark tank" and these investments. what is something that will make your eyes glaze over instantly? >> that is instantly. when somebody says the market is asked billion and basically implies if i get 1/10 of 1% of that x billion, it will be huge, it means nothing. we can i'll talk about pick an industry and say how big it is going to be it makes it seem so achievable if we get 1%. when in reality, it is no thought or intelligence. that is probably going to turn me off and have me say no. >> on the flip side, what is the best way to do it? >> tell me what your core competency is and why you are great and why it is protectable and to scale. >> and that's it? >> pretty much.
>> shark tank i'm how did you get involved? >> mark burnett came to me when it was first comment on the air but that's when the fcc's assuming so abc would not let me on the show. when the kids got dismissed they came to me and said, it looks like it will be behind you and we know it is fulls -- bul lshit. i came on as a guess and did not think it will last. the show has blown up. -- i came on as a guest and do not think it would last. i have heard the response that the show is not the business but aspiration inspiration, telling the whole country the american dream is alive and well. people moved to the valley because they believe in the american dream rim in middle america and places where there's not a lot of money, they want to see a family from iowa who came
up with a screen protector and is doing one million in sales. or a number of different examples because they can project themselves. i have learned "shark tank" is the number one show watched by families together. >> why do you think it is? >> if you have an eight-year-old, 12 year old and they are sitting there at home on a friday night saying i like this idea or do not like this idea, i wouldn't pay as much of the evaluation, understand what equity is an approximate gross margin. parents, you will be proud of your kid when their top by that instead of was number one on the charts and tell me about our rio grande latest hit -- arianna grande's latest hit. it is to them being an
entrepreneur and being excited about business. you can call it a new age lemonade stand. >> and there's a theater for a number nor ship and we see that with techcrunch -- entrepreneurship and we see that with techcrunch and you are involved. with had companies -- grow up and blowup. switching gears and we'll wrap it up shortly, you recently talked about companies moving overseas to avoid u.s. taxes. it was wrong with trying to make your company more profitable? >> absolutely nothing with making your company more profitable ball launch your company? shareholders. there is a misconception. daschle but who owns your company? the ultimate goal is to see the price of the stock go up and that is wrong. you buy a stock and you want a company to increase your net worth.
they are not necessarily the same. i am buying stock, picking another of the inversion companies, all of a sudden, they are moving overseas to avoid the taxes they would be paying. when one company doesn't into companies and do it maybe not so much. and that is the trend and companies are buying the little star in england or some -- little startups in england or some other country and we are losing the revenue. who is making up the difference? we are making up the difference and of marginal cost of our taxes go up 1%, 3%. now because this company is trying to increase their bottom line, my net worth goes down because we have to compensate for that. on the flip side, let's work on changing the tax rate here and with solutions. -- come up with solutions.
improving profitability is efficient and accountants and cpas's and lawyers will find ways to work around things. it stars -- it starts as an exalted in terms of -- it starts as anecdotal and turns into a flood. i like investing in companies and another part of that. when a company moves overseas and take that tax revenue there's some impact on services. something has to give him the revenue is made up. it negatively impacts customers. there are tax rates are going up and they may not have as much money available especially a walgreens that do not move overseas and can have a negative impact on their business. we are in this together. >> last question. as the owner of the mavericks, any advice to the owners of the clippers, mr. steve balmer?
>> i e-mailed steve using cyber dust and told him that he shouldn't be so shy. he's got to have a lot of catching up to do. you want to be yourself. fans want to see an owner that it sleep, and breathe the team. one thing to be at microsoft when you are the ceo and maybe a tape of your speech gets linked and a whole another thing when one of the big differences between running a microsoft or any company is there is no beat reports that have to write about you every day. there are not 20 blogs happened to come up with something everyday life for the mavericks were clippers. everything he does will be recorded. it will be interesting to see how he is on the sidelines whether he becomes aware of the camera or states himself.
i hope he is crazy. it will give me a sidekick. i do not give a shit. it will be 15 years in january and you not see me mellow or slow down. if you do not like it, that is your problem. >> will the mavericks make it to the playoffs? >> i am ready to go. >> mark almond thank you for your time. >> i appreciate it. [applause] quiz all right. how did you feel about that? oh come on, we are working harder up here. how did you feel? our next panel is really the main question of disrupt if you are an entrepreneur or investor -- what will we be funding? we have amazing investors that will join us. omar from sequoia, cowboy
ventures greylock, and danny and our moderator. clap. ♪ mike -- the microphone will work eventually. is it working now? i skipped over the disrupt vine thing. we are doing three competitions. how many people still use vine? it is like six of you. you have great shots that are winning. please disrupt the vine and will be doing one maybe around instagram and maybe one around twitter. look for that," prizes.
-- look for that, we have cool prizes. does anybody have a question? no? okay. why is it so gold so? cold? there are like a alien bodies and if we do not keep -- there are like one billion bodies and if we do not keep it cold, you would come plane. yes you would. you would rather it be warmer? ok, i will spend my time negotiating and see what i can do for you and come back and let you know where we are with the ac. do you have an optimal to butcher? -- temperature? 75? 73? 75 i will aim at 75.
the ac is the most important thing but let's focus on the investors. you want to hear their names again? susan said yeah. omar from sequoia cowboy ventures james from greylock, danny from index ventures and our co-editor, matthew. [applause] >> all right. my microphone is live at this time. >> all right, guys. let's talk about ourselves. welcome, welcome to the stage for the stage. you know what i will do? i will do this. that way i can see every body. ok. a lot of things we could talk about. one of the things interesting
right now is the date issue we have with hiring engineers in the valley. it is the coming so easy, i use easy" haitians -- "easy," for people to get funded and do their thing and the tools are available. what happens when it is easier to start a company and get funding event to hire an engineer? >> so, i will take it. look, i think the one ever. cycle -- paradoxical but important for a ceo running a company in this environment is you have to recognize the people working for you, the best people probably will at some point want to start their own companies.
you have to actually be focus on how you help them to accomplish their goal and be great as opposed to filling a role in your company. i have a story on this. i recently, on a board, and the ceo asked me to give a talk at the company to the engineer and product team about how to start a company. like the initial thoughts on having somebody doing that for your team as asking someone train your girlfriend how to meet guys in a bar, right? the paradoxical part if you want to attract and keep awesome people who are entrepreneurial you have to make them feel and backup you are going to support them to accomplish what they want to accomplish in their careers. >> if you will look at the companies out there, maybe a grouping what do think the dream job for not engineers?
you can answer with one of your portfolio companies. if you had to pick one, what would you pick? the engineer that would want to work at a company, where would it be? >> what i would say is it depends on what they engineering is looking for. i mean, a lot of jobs of a venture capitalist is to be a recruiter and be a headhunter. in many different cases, it depends on how early and how much responsibility the engineer wants and are they going to be thinking about having more of a specific role in a more mature company? or do they want a more not impactful or more defining role in terms of culture by joining an earlier company? if you are joining a company like essy, very different from
joining a company like goodx. but you are going to have different priorities. >> let's shift the topic. a lot of the attention that comes from the press side of things is based on the founders of companies acting like the many tyrants. sometimes and they say things that are pretty insensitive or deemed insensitive or have a calm place about the way they handle their business life every mercenary and out there. these kind of sounders, does it matter when you're talking to an investor of whether you choose to put your money there? it will be a problem down the road or it doesn't matter? is it a factor? >> the person you are investing in or the teams you are looking
to invest is one of the key factors in making a decision. this is not just you were trying to put your money somewhere and walk away and see what happens. you are joining the team and trying to partner and work with this person. their demeanor, the way they run the business and if you think they are ethical and accomplish goals, all of those things factor. those are primary topics of conversation. >> there's a distinction between somebody who might be difficult to work with or somebody who is perceived as difficult and some by the unethical. i have met many great entrepreneurs can be difficult to work with. this incredible conviction or force to make something happen and i find working with people can be challenging to work with. that is an important
distinction. the other quality is most entrepreneurs who are successful are doing that for the first time so you cannot look and say where they successful and the other company they started? you can understand if somebody is self-aware and open to feedback and will have a compounded daily learning rate that enables the entrepreneur to scale. >> that scenario where investors and the board can help where a lot of these companies especially companies for a long time do not have a head of hr. some of the bad behavior maybe because they are not really getting coached. first-time ceos would've nowhere to professional organizations in the past and coaches or investors or members are not given them input on the kind of environment that they should be running, professional that will attract the best talent. that is probably an opportunity for the investment community to
be that do a better job of setting expectations for some of the teams like the best way to run a company? >> you have young entrepreneurs and they have this promotion that people are difficult to work with and you can create a situation where somebody is not difficult and maybe i should be more of a jerk and more aggressive. at your first question of how hard it is to hire and retain people it is not that hard to be a decent leader and we should all look for that. there are some people harder than others. in general, it is important. easy to work for. >> that cultural front, when it comes time to invest in a company, do you consider social good components of a company? whether it contributes to the populace or a positive impact on carbon footprint?
do you count that as a factor? one of your major checkpoints when considering investing in a company? >> i guess what we have come to realize is it is actually from a generational standpoint, we are seeing millennials expect a social commitment and are looking for businesses that have social responsibility being integral to their business model to actually being interested in the business. and we would say is we do not need them as being mutually exclusive but in the businesses that have social responsibility as far as the business model are likely to be the more successful in their space. i was mentioning etsy before and the reason it has hit a nerve because of the customer wants to be able to help that made her
make their vocation their career. and their passion but comes the vocation. similarly with farmers and patri on. i suspect that this question is going to be less and less relevant over time and going to be part of the business models. >> if you're talking about cultural things and in the valley, something we need to talk about. there seems to the an abundance of mail founders versus female. i do not and we need to belabor that, it is a fact. we do not need to tell but if it is true. the important question is how to make the environment more inviting or what is responsible for that disparity and how do we change that? not asking you to fix it on stage but it would be nice if
you could. it is important to think about why. any ideas about how it might be fixed? >> i think -- there's a number of issues that contribute to it. fundamentally it starts with education around technology and engineering. it has to do with the framing of the problem. a lot of the times the problem is find as we need to do this good thing by bringing more women alike into some kind of -- something as a favor instead of necessary. we are all going to -- there are business outcomes that happen that are negative i'm not having more women in these positions and started these companies. a whole society. by looking at a real problem like a favor, it will change the
perception of people and what they are willing to do to fix it. >> i've talked about this for a long time. there is a bronze back from of steps happening in companies from the extreme like gender pay gap which are illegal. some people do not realize those things are illegal and put your company as a legal risk. and the softer on the spectrum around culture and people feeling like they are not supported or favoritism or things people say that our unintended consequences of feeling uncomfortable or not knowing the right things to say. i feel like there's an opportunity for a training program or something to go into companies to help, i did where they are in terms of do they have a fear environment. and have -- a fair environment and how to unpack the bias stuff
that happens every day. but i feel like we do not have the schools we need what i am hoping that it is coming out because every day there feels like there's a new article or or example of bad stuff happening. as a community, clomid together for systemic change instead of an ice bucket challenge that does not create systemic change. >> it yeah, the only thing i will say to that point is, to go point of auditing. we do a regular audit of how many of our companies of the 140 companies we have have women as leaders or founders. we are at 15% which is surprisingly high but a massive issue.
further amplified by looking at my portfolio and most of my customers are women. this massive disconnect. part of it is thinking, ok, can we find a partner that obviously could complement the work we are doing? there are a lot of characters and the other is creating, using those founders to soap or to new founders and entrepreneurs we speak to. it is clearly something that has to be increasingly address. >> i -- one observation since i've been a great lot and web been around for 50 years, a long time. if you look at apartments of greylock several decades ago, it was mostly white, protestant men
in blue lasers. when you look at how the industry has evolved, most of my partners are asian, indian, and jewish which members what has happened in terms. but still male. we have talked about this issue a lot internally and i think the proportion of women who are founders and proportion of women wore venture capitalist, they are linked. the point that danny touched on having a generation of companies where there are women ceo's and founders and a large, successful outcomes which are coming with higher percentage is going to have contribute. >> it is a real issue. >> i hope james is right. i feel like a power move will be
for a high profile top vc firm to announce 2 new female vc's and i feel like that's what happened and hope it will happen and who will do it? i think they will basically get the most attention and kudos for making the biggest change sooner rather than later. >> i think we have fixed all of the soa should be all good for tomorrow. if you -- how do you tell somebody they are not a good founder? somebody walks in a give you their pitch and hear them out and they leave a little to themselves, they are not the right person. this is a sensitive situation and they come with hopes and dreams. how do you tell them, do not do this? >> i would be good at delivering
that message? [laughter] what i would say is that typically what we see is that the most successful founders are product oriented and very instinctual around the market opportunities they are going after. tim from pandora, playing at the piano bar is struggling. we are looking for a product experience that emanates from an experience. that is one thing that's potential disconnect. there are companies that have been started by folks who on paper do not look like they're are out of central casting who are successful companies. several folks invest in marketplace businesses. you look at some the most successful marketplace businesses and they have founders who have not done it before and not out of central casting.
they are incredibly resilient scrappy, and invest -- aggressive in making it happen. the marketplace, it is hard to get liquidity. once you do, it can be hard to kill your business. our reflexes, this instinctual founder with the right background. there are plenty of exceptions. >> like the pivot? i believe this person is scrappy enough but i would tell them know about this product but i like them so much i want them? >> i'm not saying the pivot but a personal upgrade to domain experience or situations where somebody isn't out of central casting but they are working. may be better than appears on the surface or the right grit and determination and focus to make the business work.
>> i guess, i would say you should be able to tell someone you are meeting with who is the founder and not a good founder and the meeting. you should not have to do a follow-up. if you can help them in the meeting -- if you cannot help them in that meeting, something is wrong. in a lot of ways, in my case and probably in other folks' cases, there is no central casting for a founder. you are looking for people crazy enough to go with an entrepreneurial venture that has more chances not to succeed. it is difficult to find the pattern recognition. if they are not clearly going to be successful as a founder, it is my obvious pretty quickly. the idea is not enough to actually make a business succeed. all of a sudden in my head if
the person is clearly of high caliber, high intellect of an not a founder, i'm going back to my headhunting database of all the companies i am thinking through and pitching them. yeah, maybe you need a little more experience working with another company and maybe you would like to do that before you start on this arena here are the five reasons why this is not a great idea or you are not ready. >> it is dangerous to be that categorical to think somebody is not a good founder forever. things change, people change. from my own experience, i was probably not a good founder by my first or second in my fifth worked out. if along the way somebody told me i was not a good founder maybe i would've stopped trying. you might want to say not now or try doing this and maybe one
more job erie not a good founder forever. >> i agree. it is rare. i'm trying to think of a founder that has not had bombs in a road and there will be multiple step functions. -- bumps in the road. they should be up to have that conversation so it's not out of the blue. not what you walk in and they say you are doing a bad job but a constant dialogue. do you have a good enough team to complement you and how are we going to help you develop? there are lots of examples of folks i've worked with who have not always been deemed to be great founders but to build great companies. it does not happen miraculously, you have to work on it.
>> excellent. we have 40 seconds left. what is the top 2 most interesting companies you're not invested in? >> i would say uber is one of them. and -- i will think about the second. >> luber and -- uber and seranos. >> i would say -- and know me. >> i would probably say airbnb and what another one? docker. quick got another one? very good. i appreciate it. [applause]
>> i have breaking. super important. the a/c has been turned down. [applause] i know. i went down there with an iron fist. my audience is serious. the sun is coming out. feedback if you get too hot. quick announcement. i know you some, there are 400 startups and that is just today. start up allie is super important and all really cool. you have the opportunity to vote on who could be plucked from start up alley and participate today. voting closes at 3:00 and i encourage you head out there and figure out who is your favorite". the website is along. we'll have it up on the screen soon.
-- the website is long. i think it is -- i do not know why they gave it to me to memorize. we will bring out our next guest, elizabeth holmes. give her a warm welcome. >> ok, i will. i am john cheaper. the woman i will be interviewing needs no introduction. we are going to have her first here for a techcrunch disrupt event in which i will do to my blood drawn live on stage right now so you can see what the theranos office looks like. we have a phlebotomist who will come out. if anybody is squeamish him i would urge you to look away while the magic happens, if the magic happens. if you can come out.
no. move that up here. get that right there. i am sorry very -- i am sorry. we will get to the meat of the interview. what does this entail? all right. there are vials for those of you who cannot see what is happening. a traditional process, i would be rolling up my sleeves and people would be tapping my same and a process -- my vein and a process. this the best way to go about it. how many times have you had it done? >> probably tens of thousands. all of the time.
>> when was the first time you did it? i understand you are a little squeamish about bloody yourself, so you may be the first chemophobia to start a -- hem aphobe to start a bloody business. how did you prep the first time? >> needles is the only thing i've ever been scared of. i figured the first time i did and i had to do it in front of a group of clients and investors so no matter what it would look painless but that i would have to make it painless. and i did. it is psychological once you do a you learn it does not hurt. and exactly what you are doing here, the process we developed replaces traditional phlebotomy or practice of getting big tubes of blood from the arm with these tiny nanos, which collect a few
drops. >> we are ready and i am about to get poked. we will see what happens. >> tell us if you think it is painless. >> oh, good god. it is not started yet. there it goes and there it is. it was done quick and painless. i have had more pain her parents for this interview and then getting my blood drawn right now. there we go. i appreciate it. you were installed -- in stealh mode for 11 years. how did no information leak? while you were doing this development and you cannot say anything? >> we had a lot of work to do.
this is a very big mission and goal. we wanted to build out the solution before we talked about it and as a result, we do not have a website. the clients we did have were under nondisclosure so we do not have to talk about what we working on before we finished it. and so, for about 10 years there was no press release or anything in the media. and the last fall when we reached a point where we can make it accessible directly, we began to talk about it. it was very simple. do not talk about it. >> the first will is do not talk about theranos. when you approached customers while in stealth mode and tell
them about your vision and your business, is that it? fantastic. >> you want to see it? >> do you want to see it? these are the amount to draw a test. we will see you later. thank you so much. you are trying to get these customers, how do you get them to sort of commit with sight unseen to a technology that you are still developing? >> it is at a point now in which is directly available to people as an alternative to having big needles stuck in their arms. and in the approach we took was to have people try it out and
see how it performed and if it performed well and work with them. and lots of our work was for pharmaceutical companies and there are not that many pharmaceutical companies are as the book and relationships, we had the opportunity to deploy our system and build our infrastructure. >> you have raised $400 million and eight $9 billion valuation. how much revenue are you generating and did you start generating as the money was coming in and when did the first cash come in and where are you are with profitability and the need for additional? >> we have been growing for some time. we first started generating cash operation store our work with pharmaceutical companies a year or two after i started the company. and that has been the platform on which we build the business.
i have tried early to get away from what i called the equity on the local court redo not really have -- umbilical cord where you do not really have the business and that's been the foundation for growth. we are a private company. >> you can talk a little bit about it and give me a ballpark. on a 9 billion valuation, we will get back to that. so many companies have tilted at his windmill of driving down costs of testing at making them more accessible. how happy i'll managed to do it? my blood is just drawn and i want to get tested for different elements that i think i may have because i am paranoid about all of that stuff.
what happens next in the process? can you walk me through what my blood would go through as it gets tested? >> absolutely. we've redevelop the laboratory from end to end to make it possible. one element is the tiny samples and the cost. the infrastructure we have built, we have begun opening what we call our wellness centers which are our locations located inside of walgreens pharmacies. we have announced our national partnership with walgreens and in the context of our expansion across the u.s. when somebody comes into the wellness center, we will scan their insurance card and their identification and build an electronic infrastructure to do real-time eligibility for labs.
when you clue me in, you knowledge of the testing will cost you and what your deductible is. >> how much is a typical test for a normal sword -- sort of array of blood test? >> when we announce our infrastructure last year, we began pricing our tests at 50% off of medicare reimbursement thresholds to exactly change the cost in terms of testing costs. system then, where further reduced the rate at which we make those tests available in many cases, 90% off of medicare reimbursement. >> 90%? what does that mean for someone who in a minimal wage and job or may not have insurance or the bare minimum?
>> it means you can get a test for $1.99. >> and act now? >> and that is now? >> today. >> it is pretty cool. when you started off with this vision i am sorry -- i jumped ahead. that's the insurance component and pricing. on the back end with the lab what is happening with this miniscule amount of blood that is enabling you? >> from the time you're in the wellness center, once the price point has been identified for someone so they know that how the deductible and how much it will cost and they can decide whether they want to purchase the service as opposed to getting a bill in the mail three months later for some unknown amount, the little nanotainer
tracks the simple. when they go to our labs, we redevelop all of the chemistry associated with running these past on traditional forms to make it possible to run any laboratory test from a tiny droplet of luck. what will happen is it will be run through and we have built out analytical systems on which to run the chemistry and traditional instrumentation requires a much larger tubes of blood. it will be electronically sent to the ordering physician and integrated into their emr systems. >> when we spoke you mentioned you had done work with the military on this. what are the applications there and how do you see sort of the
mrs. extending beyond wellness centers at a walgreens -- the sort of business extending beyond wellness centers at walgreens? >> there is a huge opportunity in decentralizing the testing infrastructure to make comprehensive laboratory information and information is important because it drives 70% of clinical decisions accessible as the time it matters. and the trauma context, the ability to get close to real-time data in the context of being able to stabilize someone in the field, for example, can make a difference in terms of lives saved something we are inspired by. and the context of remote areas where there is no central
laboratory infrastructure, the ability to put in place a decentralized infrastructure leapfrogging over the last unconventional infrastructure similar to what cell phones and digital landmines and china. it is significant. if you can put a decentralized effort structure in place, you can lay the foundation for decentralizing delivery because you have what you need. you lay your -- >> you layer remote health care consultations on top of a remote testing and you have an ability to provide rudimentary health care globally. >> exactly. >> do you want to on the other piece, remote consultation -- own the other piece, remote
consultation? >> we have built in software and web been talking about one of our favorite quotes, software will eat the world every the communication piece is there. we are a laboratory company what we do is make it accessible and a time and place that matters. there is the opportunity to link in. >> have you talked to the folks doing remote care now? we will give you five cents every time somebody says software is the world. that makes sense. back to what we were talking about, have you been in conversation with folks doing this type of remote consultation already? >> we have been in contact with people attempting to provide care in rural areas and
struggling because they do not have access to laboratory data and comprehensive data to be up to provide the kind of care needed. that's going to be an important area. >> you have what is perhaps the most accomplished aboard i have ever seen. dam, bill -- sam bill, former senators for you have an actual. you have david boys as your lawyer. why stack the deck so much with so many people? and kissinger is on your board. why do you need all of these guys? what is it about the industry that makes you collect civil servants of the highest caliber? >> we have never thought about as stacking the deck. but we do believe that
technology has an incredible role to play in enabling resolution of policy issues. in health care, the ability to use technology, what we are doing and pricing the way we are for medicare and medicaid is saving medicare and medicaid hundreds of billions of dollars on an annual basis. with the opportunity to leverage what this country does so well in terms of creativity and innovation to facilitate policy change we have been very lucky to be able to get people who really understand what it means to be able to make a systemic change in the world and to be able to advise us as we work to do that in reducing health care costs and changing outcomes.
>> china is very big on five-year plans. when you look out at the next five years, where do you see the company? what is the goal for the next five years? where are you going to be? >> the goal is access for every person no matter how much money they have or where they have. and access for us in part means these tiny samples because 40 to 60% of people in our country don't get tested because they're scared of needles or they can't afford it. it also means operateling in the locations that are closest to where people live or where they get care. and that's both in our country as well as in other places throughout the world. and that's what we want. >> do you start selling these -- the technologies to people or licensing it out to set up these centers anywhere or do you yourself man and operate
centers at a low cost around the country around the world? >> right now we're -- -- outside of the u.s. it will be a different model and it really depends on where you are. so we're looking at that sort of systemically based on which location we go first and what local infrastructure is already in place. or whether we need to actually develop that infrastructure ourselves. >> are there any other partners than walgreen's that you are going to market? >> we've announced relationships in the context of something we want to change that's really important in the context of the inpatient process. but also, as these hospitals increasingly become