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Matt McGraw

Managing Partner

Anthropocene Ventures

November 21, 2023
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Ep 102: Matt McGraw - Managing Partner, Anthropocene Ventures
00:00 / 01:04

Michael Crabb [00:00:57] Welcome to another episode of the Energy Impact Podcast. Our guest today is Matt McGraw, founder and managing partner of Anthropocene Ventures. Matt, great to have you on.

Matt McGraw [00:01:07] Hey, thanks for having me.

Michael Crabb [00:01:09] Before we dig into what you're doing at Anthropocene and balancing dogs, kids, and climate change as we were joking about before, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally?

Matt McGraw [00:01:20] Well, that's a good place to start I guess. I'm from upstate New York, a town called Troy. It's kind of a smaller town of 30,000 or 40,000 people. When I was growing up there, it was really depressed economically. It was like post-economic... It was almost like a Rust Belt town with New England influence. Upstate New York, it was all on the Erie Canal; Troy is on the Erie Canal. The advent of the highway system really gutted it and just the modernization of manufacturing gutted it.

Matt McGraw [00:01:50] And so, I grew up in a town that was really on the downswing and yet my family was awesome. I always joke that I'm the most privileged guy that you're going to meet. White, born in late-stage America, the late 20th century, kind of smart, straight-ish, like all the things that make for a very privileged human being. But my number one privilege is that I just come from an incredibly wonderful, loving, and supporting family. There's zero drama there, really. And so, that sets me up.

Matt McGraw [00:02:22] My background in Troy actually set me up for, I feel like a pretty interesting path to where I am now, which I know we're going to talk about. But I kind of got out of there. I was like, "I've got to get out of Dodge. I hate this place," like I guess a lot of 18 year olds do. But now I look at my time in Troy with great fondness. We go back every summer. I make sure that my kids live that life for a month or so. Every summer they go back and it's very different than the life we live here in San Francisco.

Michael Crabb [00:02:50] I can imagine. So, dig in a layer deeper. Why were your parents in Troy to begin with?

Matt McGraw [00:02:58] Irish stock. I also joke that it's a very diverse town, 50% Irish and 50% Italian when I was growing up. It's very different now. There's farm-to-table Korean food, really good coffee. It's become like a refugee center for people who can't afford Brooklyn. But it's also much more diverse. And I love that. A lot of the old timers obviously don't love that, but I ran away from the homogenization and ran towards San Francisco, a pretty worldly town, as they say.

Michael Crabb [00:03:34] Maybe the other side of the spectrum.

Matt McGraw [00:03:36] Yeah, exactly right. And I loved it. I landed here in '95 and I was like, "This is the best place on Earth," and I just never left. But my dad was a union organizer. He worked for unions, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom.

Michael Crabb [00:03:49] Okay, so he was directly impacted by the modernization, by the industrial base decline you described.

Matt McGraw [00:03:54] Yeah, that's the thing. Unions can be a lot of things to a lot of people. One of the last deals that he brokered was for the tollbooth operators, so it wasn't all manufacturing. But we think of unions as factory workers striking, right?

Michael Crabb [00:04:08] Yeah.

Matt McGraw [00:04:09] You know, the entertainment industry right now has a big strike going on; they're not factory workers. So, he represented a lot of different people for the state unions.

Michael Crabb [00:04:18] I see. Okay, so he had more of a broader coverage. I was just associating the city industry with him.

Matt McGraw [00:04:26] He also was an elected official at the end of his long career. He was well-loved; lots of people in my hometown loved him. He's a guy who has a still has a big reputation. I actually have... I'm going to move my camera here. That is a poster of him. He ran for sheriff in the '50s.

Michael Crabb [00:04:43] That's awesome.

Matt McGraw [00:04:44] Yeah. My dad is like a guy who is well-loved and we all love him a lot. But my mom was the rock of the family too. This whole podcast could be about how much we love each other in my family and my brothers and sisters and all of our cousins, etc., etc., but we should probably move on.

Michael Crabb [00:05:05] We could keep going, but yeah, we don't have to psychoanalyze the whole family. But you did mention... You left Troy in '95. That was post high school?

Matt McGraw [00:05:15] I actually left Troy in '89 and moved to Europe for a while.

Michael Crabb [00:05:18] Okay, okay. Walk us through that.

Matt McGraw [00:05:21] I was in high school and I was smart and that was weird. And I got good grades, but I got amazing SAT scores and that was unheard of in my hometown. Not a lot of people graduated high school. Most people who did went into the military or the local community college. A handful went to bigger colleges. I got into Cornell, early admission. The only school I applied to really, because the course book was so thick. I was like, "All right, there are like 3,000 classes there. I love that." I would do that differently today although I have a lot of love for Cornell and I had a good experience there. I was so much of an alt kid, indie kid, whatever you want to call it now today kid and Cornell was not that, but it is a pretty excellent institution of higher learning.

Matt McGraw [00:06:11] So, I got in early and I was like, "I got into college. Why am I hanging out here in Troy?" And there was a girl involved and she was Italian. And so, I went to Italy with a group of my friends and stayed there for a while.

Michael Crabb [00:06:27] Amazing.

Matt McGraw [00:06:27] Amazing experience. And that's a whole other podcast. My time in Europe was transformative. The world became infinitely small and infinitely big at the same time. I had a bigger world view, I guess, when I was living in Troy, but moving in Europe, not speaking the language... It's hard for people to understand. This was before the internet. I was going to Italy and I didn't speak Italian and I couldn't look anything up about Italy. There was no map of the town that I was going to go visit because why would there be in Troy, New York?

Matt McGraw [00:07:01] I went to Italy, Germany, at the time, Czechoslovakia. It was all crazy stuff. The Soviet Union was still a thing, right? So, it was awesome. And then, I came back and went to Cornell and I was there for four years. I started as an applied and engineering physics major and I was good at it. And I really loved it, but I didn't particularly like the kids in my program because they were not fun. I mean that in all seriousness. I really loved the material and Carl Sagan was our professor. You can't beat that.

Michael Crabb [00:07:39] Yeah, that's amazing.

Matt McGraw [00:07:41] But at the same time, the only opportunity for these kids... Me, when we graduated, was to go in the military or go into academia. We were going to build bombs or missiles or lasers or we were going to go and stay at one of twelve universities on the planet and talk more about physics. And there was a big gap there between how much I loved this material and what it could do and how practical it was. Because I still had two feet in Troy with people, workers, and politics and the real life, right?

Matt McGraw [00:08:13] So, I walked across campus in my senior year. I had been taking history classes and politics classes, etc. And I went to my politics advisor and said, "I want to get a degree in politics." And he was like, "You're not going to be able to do it. You're going to have to stay for four years. You're an applied physics major." And I was like, "I've been doing applied physics with Carl Sagan for a while. I think I could probably take five or six classes a semester and catch up." And that's what I did. I graduated with a degree in politics, government, I think it's called, and history. And one class away from an applied physics degree, but I'll take it on the chin.

Michael Crabb [00:08:48] Oh, come on. You never said, "Oh, I'll just get the last one in?" Come on, crazy.

Matt McGraw [00:08:53] I never did. I don't know why either. I guess at the time I didn't care. Now, I would. But I would have to take all four years of coursework again because I've forgotten it all. Anyway, then there was another girl. My girlfriend at the time quit engineering because she wanted to go become an artist and she got into the San Francisco Art Institute here in San Francisco. Again, prior to the internet, knowing nothing about San Francisco other than it was not New York where everybody I knew was going to move to after school. And she said, "You want to move to San Francisco with me?" And I said, "Absolutely." And we did. We moved out here. We got a $450 a month apartment that would now be considered a two bedroom, but it was a one bedroom then, in The Mission in San Francisco in '95, and never looked back.

Michael Crabb [00:09:41] Crazy. Yeah, you saw a whole bunch of growth then in San Francisco.

Matt McGraw [00:09:44] Dude, I got here...

Michael Crabb [00:09:45] Yeah. You just moved out for her, right? You weren't like, "Oh, this is a place where I can work."

Matt McGraw [00:09:48] I came here because one of my favorite bands was from Northern California and played in San Francisco a lot. I knew that; Pavement. And then, my girlfriend was going to become an artist there. I knew that. I wasn't into hippies, but I was into the hippie mindset about the world. But I wasn't into the fashion and the showers. But I was like, "All right, I'll be the hipster kid to their..." But then I got here and it was some astronomical amount... Like, 25% of the graduating classes of '95, '96 and '97 moved to San Francisco and.

Matt McGraw [00:10:21] And it was noticeable. It was an incredibly young town. There were so many people who were moving from all over the world to San Francisco because the internet was starting to take off even though all of technology was down 60 miles south of here, 45 miles south here in Palo Alto or Redwood City, San Jose, etc. And it was all big companies. It was all manufacturing, hardware companies at that point. The software startup thing wasn't a thing yet, which is also really hard for people to understand.

Matt McGraw [00:10:47] But when I got here, I was a bartender and I walked dogs and I worked at the animal shelter and she was going to school and we were in the Burning Man set, the very early Burning Man set because she was an artist in San Francisco at that time. And it was a blast for two years. But then, I broke up with that girl. Or, I probably should say we broke up with each other. And then, these things called bills started coming and my student loans came due and other things that confused and annoyed me. And so, I needed a job, a real job. It was like a time to grow up kind of thing.

Matt McGraw [00:11:28] I applied to two places that were like computer consulting shops. One was here in San Francisco with a bunch of cool dudes. And I look back and I'm like, "Oh, man, that would've been a more fun job." The job I took was a company called All Bases Covered, then they changed their name to All Covered; terrible name. It was a real sweet-sounding couple and it was a database company that grew into tech support. And it was 10 people, maybe 15 people when I started; it was a really small. The guy who hired me is still a dear friend; his name is Chad Dyer. And Chad interviewed me. He asked me 10 technical questions and I got 10 dead wrong because it was all PC stuff and I was a Mac guy and I was like, "What is this weird shit you're telling me?"

Matt McGraw [00:12:12] He hired me anyway because his favorite band was Pavement. I mean, O.G., right? And I think we had horn-rimmed glasses. We were cut of the same cloth. And it turns out we really were; we've been lifelong friends. I worked there for... I want to say three years, maybe four. Somewhere in there. I know it was past 1999 because of the Y2K thing. So, that was big. I was on call that night.

Michael Crabb [00:12:36] Yeah, wow.

Matt McGraw [00:12:37] Nothing happened.

Michael Crabb [00:12:38] Yeah, right.

Matt McGraw [00:12:39] But I started and I was the guy like sweeping the floor. I was like, "Computers break and I'll try to fix them. I don't know how to fix PCs, so I have to learn, right?" The first day, I got thrown under the bus. I've got to wear a tie. I moved out here because I didn't want to move to New York and get a job with a tie. I show up and this guy is tweaking. And it turns out he really was tweaking; he was a drug addict. But he was tweaking. He brings me to this client. I won't mention their name because they're a very big, important venture capital firm. We go in there and their server's down, which at the time meant a PC that hosted their email that was in a closet in their office that was new because before they had no email...

Michael Crabb [00:13:24] Yeah, right.

Matt McGraw [00:13:24] And we literally... Part of our job was putting computers on people's desks for the first time. That's the era I came up in.

Michael Crabb [00:13:30] That's awesome.

Matt McGraw [00:13:30] Was it?

Michael Crabb [00:13:33] I mean, it's got to start somewhere, right?

Matt McGraw [00:13:36] You know what was cool? And this is relevant to climate. That industry was brand new. No one knew how to do it. No one knew what the rules were. We were making it up as we went along. And therefore, anyone who was smart and had some drive could jump right in and rise to the top pretty quickly. And that is exactly what I did. I got in there. I was good at it. All of the technology stuff, I have affinity for it for whatever reason. I became a really good network engineer, great systems engineer. I could talk to our customers and translate what they actually wanted into what technology would do for them and then build that technology and make it work. I was really good at that.

Matt McGraw [00:14:15] And so, sales wanted me and engineering wanted me, and I did both. It wasn't sales engineering because I was really selling and engineering. I was really doing both things. And specialization just didn't occur back then; it hadn't happened yet. And so, I became a pretty great engineer and delivery person for technology enablement at large for the venture capital community, the team that I was on. So, while that industry was professionalizing... Also, that's kind of a weird thing to say. It was a cottage industry. It was tiny, and they were professionalizing. They were getting email. They were getting domains with their names in them, things like that.

Michael Crabb [00:14:54] Yeah, right.

Matt McGraw [00:14:57] And I jived with them. I came from the right school. I could speak the speech, talk the talk. I could do the work really well. For whatever reason, I was a hit. There were a bunch of us who were really close, Chad being one of them. This other guy, Luke, who was a good friend. Chad's wife, Tanaya, who also worked there, is awesome. So, we all kind of came up together and I became very well-regarded as an engineer, but I complained a lot about corporate governance. Those are words I didn't understand at the time.

Matt McGraw [00:15:27] We were a venture-backed startup; words I didn't understand. We were doing technology enablement; words I didn't understand. And the corporate governance of that company sucked; words I didn't understand. It was a roll-up strategy, so we would go to city after city and we got our venture dollars. $40 million, which is a crazy amount for services company. We'd go to city to city to city and buy companies that were doing kind of, sort of the same thing.

Michael Crabb [00:15:50] I'm surprised there was a big enough market for... I mean, that's like the common search fund strategy today, right? Especially like MSPs. But you're talking about... This is like the first roll-up. That's amazing.

Matt McGraw [00:16:01] It is. It was an SMB roll-up. That's exactly what it was and it was a terrible idea and I'll tell you why. And no fault of the founders. The founders are... I'm still close. Not close, but I'm still friends with them. Cultures are so different and incentives are not aligned. We bought one company in Southern California that kept running their own books and told us they were doing this other thing. I mean, they were lying, right? Because there was no real corporate governance.

Matt McGraw [00:16:33] At the time, strategy eats tactics and culture eats strategy hadn't been invented yet. And I, as a governance guy, a government and history guy who also had a technical mind in applied physics but also had a dad who was a union organizer, so like labor, I really got that. It's been one of the driving factors of my life. I think that governance, most corporate governance sucks. And I'm not talking about rules and regulations, I'm talking about the core culture and then staying and having integrity around your north star no matter what hardly ever occurs. And I don't care if that changes over time. Different stakeholders can take ownership of a company and your north star could change and everything could change. That's okay. It might suck; I might not agree with you, but you have to be explicit. There's so much implicit.

Matt McGraw [00:17:29] And mostly, workers just get the shaft, right? I'm a big employee ownership guy. I could go off topic here, but the bottom line is I worked there for three or four years. I complained so much about how the company was run. They put me into management. I became manager of consulting services for the west half of the United States. There were like 900 people under me; a job title I definitely did not deserve. And then, the downturn happened. We were a canary in the coal mine, too. We could tell the bust was coming.

Matt McGraw [00:17:59] They wanted me to lay off... It was different owners at this point, or it was like VC ownership at that point. They wanted me to lay off a bunch of people. I told them to go bugger off. They tried to demote me and I was like, "Good luck." Eventually, I left. And it was like a "handshake, we're going to part ways now" kind of thing. They gave me a year's salary, which was like, I don't know, $150,000 or something. It was so much money to me, you know? And I said, "I'm going to start a company that does that but better. And I'm going to run it in a way that's for the betterment of the people who work there and for the companies that we work for. And we're going to make a community around it because that's what I want. And I think it's possible."

Matt McGraw [00:18:48] And we did. I started a company called Rocket Science. And honestly, for the first eight years it was me and a couple of buddies. It was me and under ten employees. We were making bank. We were selling hours for lots of money. But even then, I was like, "Technology's improving. Break fix is not a way to go. Hourly wage stuff is weird because you only have so many hours in the day to bill. We're not going to be a law firm. Our services are going to be devalued quicker than that because technology is just improving quickly." I saw all of that.

Matt McGraw [00:19:24] I'm not going to saw I'm the most strategic person. I was in the right place at the right time to move here. I was in the right place at the right time to be born in America. I was in the right place at the right time to go to an Ivy League school at this time. I was in the right place at the right time to get a job in technology, and I was in the right place at the right time to start a company because I had a year's salary. And it was a booming market. If you didn't make money doing what I did at that time, you'd have to really screw it up.

Matt McGraw [00:19:52] The one thing that I did that changed the course of my life in terms of the success that I've had is... I came from desperation a little bit. I started taking options in stock instead of cash for getting deals done.

Michael Crabb [00:20:13] From customers? You started leveraging...

Matt McGraw [00:20:15] From our customers. It was because it was like it was going to be too much for them. My friends at SandHill would send me a deal. Say it was a microblogging platform in 2004. I'd say, "There are 50 of you. If I'm going to contract with you and I'm not contracting and building a relationship with them, I have to bet that you're actually going to succeed because I've seen millions of companies fail." I went through the dot com bust, right? So, I started doing diligence, now that I think of it in a way; VC-level diligence. Like, "Are these the people out of the 50 who are going to make it? And if we attach ourselves to them, what if we do a multiyear deal on flat rate that's tied to their business success? Our margins go up if they hit their business sparks." And that's what we did.

Matt McGraw [00:20:58] So, it was really a business process innovation that made Rocket Science successful. We were flat rate; we no longer charged per hour. Then, we layered in managed services and development and security stuff and hosting and SaaS and product and design and procurement and we started doing everything. By the end it was a huge company and we had offices in six cities and we were a big deal. But in the beginning, it was me just saying, "I don't want to be an hourly wage slave. I don't want to trade my hours for money because there's an upper ceiling."

Matt McGraw [00:21:35] Mostly because I had a kid. I had a kid in 2006. And I was like, "I don't want to always be on call." Like, it's fun when you're young and you're making a bunch of money; it doesn't really matter. But I was like, I want some... Not that I was thinking about legacy, but I was just like, "I don't want to do this for the rest of my life. I'd better go internal and get a job somewhere and climb the corporate ladder," which I knew I wasn't going to be good at because I'm a little too in your face about how I feel. Great leader; I will say that. Okay manager to great if I try real hard, I would say. But the corporate environment does not suit me. And most people who know me would say that.

Matt McGraw [00:22:19] So, I started growing it intentionally in 2008. By 2012, we were like the beast. And I loved the company. The people who I hired are some of my best friends today still, and the culture was awesome. We really prided ourselves on hiring people who were out of industry and training them up on the technology and bring your whole self to work. We had a very flat org; it was a special thing. And I never thought I'd sell it. I never took a dime in venture, so cash flow was awesome. The value of the company was growing exponentially because of the kinds of stuff we were doing. So, we were sitting pretty, but I would float the company every year just to get a sense of valuation what the market looked like. From 2012 to 2013, it went from a small multiple and a couple of offers to like 25 offers on a pretty good multiple. And it was a big jump, though it had been steady every year. And I was like, "What is this?"

Matt McGraw [00:23:29] Then in 2013, 2014, things started getting dicey. The industry started becoming toxic. The technology industry did get "bro-ey." The kinds of companies and SaaS companies that were... Everybody was chasing the money. This was right in the middle of the crazy hype that really just ended.

Michael Crabb [00:23:44] Interest rates going to zero...

Matt McGraw [00:23:47] Exactly, exactly. And the kinds of companies that would be coming to us for... You know, our tagline was, "We helped pre-seed and seed stage companies scale to exit." And we did that for Twitter and Airbnb and Joyent and Meraki. We had hundreds of companies that you've heard of. It was like Postmates and DoorDash and Instacart that were coming up in that era. And I was like, "You're a pizza delivery... I use it every day, don't get me wrong. But you're not like a disruptive, innovative force in the world. You're a convenient play for people like me." It was starting to be like we eat our own dog food but we don't actually eat anything else.

Matt McGraw [00:24:26] And I was getting bored. I'd done it for almost 15 years at that point. I sold it in 2015, so we had a 15 year run. The industry and the people in the industry were not as "pirate flaggy." They weren't trying to disrupt the world to make it better, they were trying to disrupt the world to a billion dollars. And that was not me. The culture of Rocket Science had its ups and downs over the course of its life, of course. But there was a partner who left that really soured me a bit. And stole a client. And then, our last kid was born in 2014. Her name's Lily and she's eight now. And I was like, "Nah, I'm going to sell this thing." And I did.

Matt McGraw [00:25:15] And generational wealth time. Like, that was never in the cards for me. I never thought about that until really three months before I sold the company. And I was like, "What do I do now?" And I'm not a guy who always has to be working. I'm not that guy. With dogs, kids, I can bounce any ball with the baby with the best of them; I enjoy it. Going to the beach with dogs sounds fun. I snowboard; I could do that a lot. I could travel around the world and snowboard. And my wife and I kind of did none of that. We were like, "That just doesn't seem like us."

Matt McGraw [00:25:57] The headquarters here for Rocket Science in San Francisco turned into what's called the Here Collective. My wife and I founded the Here Collective. It became a collaborative workspace and event and community space for the neighborhood. We still live in The Mission in San Francisco. And we were hosting nonprofits and art organizations and startups, and then we had events. It became like a community theater. And it was so fun. It felt like true community and family, but it was a lot of work. It was like, I'm mopping up spilled beer in the middle of the night. And I'm like, "I thought I retired."

Michael Crabb [00:26:32] What's the meme? It's like, "What I thought I was going to do. What my family thinks I do. What I'm actually doing."

Matt McGraw [00:26:39] Yeah. And by the way, I don't care about mopping up spilled beer, but like every night? I'm sure my kids, my older kids, would say, "Wait a minute, I think I was mopping up that spilled beer, Dad. I helped."

Matt McGraw [00:26:52] And then, it was the beginning of the era of the blockchain. I met a kid. I was investing in a company, so we angel invested. And our thesis, by the way, was "Let's back underrepresented founders." I'm a super white dude, privileged, made generational wealth, and I was like, "I have access." And my personal network is very diverse. Rocket Science was really diverse for a technology company and in San Francisco before it was hip, right? And so, that was always part of my core belief system. And I was like, "I can do this. This is a power that I have. I can give an underrepresented founder the first check from somebody who knows what they're talking about and bring them to SandHill and introduce them to the right people and maybe they'll have a billion dollar exit." And that is the way that we can change power and inequity on the planet. And my wife and I were like, "Yes, that's what we're going to do."

Matt McGraw [00:27:42] So, we started writing checks to underrepresented founders and hosting them at Here Collective sometimes. But my wife decided to go back to school. My wife's story is even way better than mine. She grew up in generational poverty. She was kicked out of her house when she was 16. She was pregnant, which blows my mind. She made her way. Lots of twists and turns here, but she ended up 30 years old and putting herself through college with four kids, four little kids. Hardest thing to do on this fucking planet in this country is that. Fight me on that.

Matt McGraw [00:28:25] I met her right then. I went to visit a friend in Portland, she walked in the door and I was like, "Oh my God." I was not looking to get tied down at that moment. And I knew right away. I honestly did know right away. We met each other and we fell in love really quickly and we decided to make a life together really quickly. And this was, I don't know, almost 12 years ago now.

Matt McGraw [00:28:54] She had had gone to school for public health and food security because she grew up with no food security. She grew up without food living on a farm in Colorado. She was like, "That is confusing to me." But she's got an infinitely curious mind; she's like 10X smarter than I am. And she decided she wanted to go back to school for food systems globally and agriculture, and that invariably led her to climate. And one day she came home...

Matt McGraw [00:29:18] So, I'm starting this blockchain company because I think corporate governance. "Man, blockchain, that governance layer, it's going to work." And this is right after Ethereum came out, before the hype and before the whole industry became an absolute shitshow. I pretty quickly realized that the people in that industry even then were not serious people. There were tons of really amazing, smart, serious people, but three or four of them.

Michael Crabb [00:29:40] Yeah, right.

Matt McGraw [00:29:41] Then the vast majority were like, "We can make a lot of money quickly on this."

Michael Crabb [00:29:44] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pump and dump, but you're like, "No, distributed ledger." And they're like, "No, pump and dump."

Matt McGraw [00:29:50] Pump and dump, pump and dump. "When ICO?" was a t-shirt that I had. But I met a kid... I call him a kid. Jesus, he's probably 27 or 28 now, so he's still a fucking kid to me now, because I'm old. But his name is Zane Weatherspoon. He was the head of the SF Ethereum Developers Meetup, one of the largest Ethereum developers meetups at the time. And I was getting into blockchain and investing a little bit here and there in companies and trying to learn the technology. And I was like, "I better go find some developers and meet them and talk to them and figure this out."

Matt McGraw [00:30:18] I went to the SF Ethereum Developers Meetup and it was like when I fell in love with my wife, I fell in love with Zane. He was up there on this... He got me drunk that night. And like, maybe within two days we were like, "We should start a company together. I'll send a group of people." And we started a company called Dispatch. And that was a wild ride. 18 months of crazy. Two years, maybe two-and-a-half years, really. But that first 18 months were like absolutely bonkers insane. It was right in the middle of the 2017 crazy run up.

Michael Crabb [00:30:46] Oh, my gosh. Yeah.

Matt McGraw [00:30:47] We were trying to do the right things and the industry did not want you to do the right things. We developed a product. From the first line of code to launch of an actual product was 11 months. And people were like, "How did you do that?" I was like, "Well, Zane hired a bunch of developers and product managers. That's what you do when you're building software."

Michael Crabb [00:31:06] There's a 20 year playbook for that, right? Like, come on guys.

Matt McGraw [00:31:09] Yeah, not hard. We don't have to reinvent the wheel, but... And like, it was buggy. Yes, that's how software works. And so, it was very frustrating to me and to him and to everybody else because it the marketing budget was supposed to be bigger than the development budget. I'm like, "That's not how... No." So, devolved myself of that. And Zane and I are still very, very close. A bunch of that team and myself are still very, very close. Culture is still important.

Matt McGraw [00:31:45] Then it was in 2019, 2020 and my wife was knee deep in the climate world at that point. It had been our pillow talk for years. And she came home one day and said, "You know, justice and climate justice are kind of the same thing." And I was like, "Whoa! So, our checks going to underrepresented founders could be going to climate companies and we can be solving for the same problem." And so, we're thinking about that and right about the same time this friend of mine, Jim Boettcher, who's a partner of mine at Anthropocene called me and said, "I want to start a fund." We were introduced to it by a mutual friend. I had met him, oddly enough, in Vegas at a blockchain conference, but then we had lost touch.

Matt McGraw [00:32:23] So, it all came circling back around. This was like right before COVID. And he was like, "I want to start a fund. I want it to be a climate fund and I want you to be my partner." And I was like, "No way. Absolutely not." But there was a twinkle in my wife's eyes. She's like, "You can help pre-seed and seed stage companies scale to exit and affect climate change. For whatever reason, she loves me a lot and thinks I'm great. She's like, "You have the power to do something really powerful here." And Jim was like, "Founders love you because you're a founder's founder, and what you did with Rocket Science was enable them to scale. So you know their journey, their pain and suffering, you know the basic blocking and tackling of building a business which climate tech founders generally don't."

Matt McGraw [00:33:09] Now it's a little different. There's more like straight-out-of-Central-Casting founders in the climate tech world, but there are still a lot of just plain old Ph.D. chemical engineers and physicists and advanced materials experts who are, "I have a thing. It solved a problem. I want to start a business," and they'd have zero idea on how to go from zero to one or one to ten.

Michael Crabb [00:33:33] And you're lucky if that middle part actually exists. Sometimes it's, "I have a thing. I want to start a business," right? They miss that demand pull side of it completely.

Matt McGraw [00:33:41] And here's the thing, man. I love that talk. I love that stage. I've seen that hundreds of times. I've seen it really go well and really go south. It's almost always team, by the way. But I said, "Okay, I know the game. I've been in the nexus of venture and startups for 25 years. I don't know how to run a venture fund," right? Like, that was one technical skill that I did not have. And I was like, "I want to do that. I want to learn that before we even think about saying yes. I want to think about thesis and why we're going to do this. Like, why me and Jim and then our third partner, Alicia." Like, "Why us compared to other people who might have more experience in climate or might have more experience in finance or whatever?"

Matt McGraw [00:34:25] I just had a lot of whys. I had a lot of nos, too. Mostly because I was like, "Do I want to work again? Do I want to work 24 hours a day?" Because if I'm going to start something, I want to be the best at it. I want to do great at it. I want to have a lot of impact financially for my investors and impact in the climate world and making the climate better for us, make it better for my six kids. And so, I don't want to do something than be a dilettante.

Matt McGraw [00:34:47] And so, it took Jim and my wife about a year to convince me to say yes. And that was 2021. But I said, "Jim, one old white guy and an older white guy starting a fund in San Francisco. That is not me. That is not the future of a fund that I want to see. I want to see a diverse set of people making these decisions." So, we needed a third partner and found Alicia Cha who Jim has known forever and ever. She is the best of us, by the way. She's awesome. She runs our diligence process. She's a partner, and honestly, she's just great.

Matt McGraw [00:35:26] Our thesis was, "Deep tech, hard science climate at the earliest stage, pre-seed and seed." Pre-seed and seed because that's where my value add comes in. It also happens to be where the value inflection point I think is. There's a lot of non-dilutive capital that comes before pre-seed and seed in climate, and there's a lot of non-dilutive capital formation strategies post-seed, post-revenue, that you can attach. So, there's like a real ability to capture financial value at pre-seed and see-d that I think a lot of people miss. It is not a software company. That's not the story arc of these companies.

Matt McGraw [00:36:05] And we thought, "Done," right? No software. Physical science and hard tech because we want to have real physical solutions to real physical problems on the planet. And we put a deck out and raised... Also, corporate governance is important to me. I said, "Let's raise a small, $10 million fund. Let's make sure the partnership works. Let's make sure we disagree well. Let's make sure that we get excited about the same kinds of things or different kinds of things in ways that are complementary. Let's make sure the governance and operationalization of that fund works before we go and take a lot more money and do it on a bigger scale." And I'm so glad we did. It worked out really well. We've really settled into roles. We're three different people with three different perspectives. Three different ages, three different sets of experiences and it really meshes well together. I'm surprised at how well, actually. And now, we're going to go out and raise another fund, a much bigger one.

Matt McGraw [00:37:08] I said, "I need to do two things before we start." And this is in the early part of 2021, which is why we launched in 2022. "I need to gather relationships and build relationships with other venture funders in climate. Not founders, but funders. And then, I need to understand the technicalities of running a fund." And honestly, portfolio management and construction, not that hard. I say that flippantly; it's not. I have a 20 year lifespan of understanding finance.

Michael Crabb [00:37:39] Yeah, it's algebra. Add acronyms, right? But generally, finance is algebra.

Matt McGraw [00:37:46] In life, jargon is my least favorite thing. Everybody's got their jargon, right? Everybody's got their KPIs. Even KPIs are a piece of jargon. It's like, you've got some certain things you've got to attain in a fund and there's market averages that are different for climate than this and that. If you slice it and dice it a million different ways you're going to get different answers. One of the hardest parts about learning the technical aspect is that it's not a science. It's not cut and dry. There's an art to it, too. Because you can ask 10 different people what a successful fund construction looks like and you're going to get 10 different answers.

Matt McGraw [00:38:19] Now, there are some inexorable laws, right? There's, "You want to give back more money than you take in." And, "You better beat other asset classes." Those are the only two things that really matter. And by the way, I hate every KPI for a fund except for DPI. Money handed back to my investors is the only financial KPI that matters. Impact KPIs are even harder because we don't even know how to measure most of the stuff that we're doing. And at the pre-seed and seed stage level, how the fuck are you going to measure anything? You're not doing anything yet.

Michael Crabb [00:38:58] Can we just emphasize that for a second? Because it's like, "Global market is Y, so we'll do 70%."

Matt McGraw [00:39:10] By the way, here's a bit of advice for founders out there. Do not send me a TAM slide. I don't care. I want you to be a business person and say, "Every customer that buys the thing that I sell them is going to give me this much money." That's gross. And then, "My profit off of that is going to be this." And I want you to extrapolate that over a couple of years. I want to see a ground up model of what your business looks like. And I can guarantee it's not going to get to a billion dollars in four years. Like, that's not going to happen. And if it does, you're amazing and you are literally a unicorn and that's great.

Matt McGraw [00:39:49] But over the last 10 years... This is the problem with expectation setting in the venture market for both LPs and founders. Over the last 10 years... There were like 700 unicorns created in 2021. There's only like 40 software unicorns in the world on public markets. It's bullshit. It's totally made up. They're all overvalued. And it's because SoftBank, GoTo, and Tiger would mark it up for you. And that's not going to happen in climate because these are physical companies doing physical things. There's really a palette upon which you have to paint your painting here.

Matt McGraw [00:40:28] And the good news for climate... And we've modeled for this is I think we're going to have more wins. The ceiling on exit valuations is going to be lower, but we're going to have more companies exit through acquisition and have successful exits. And that means we have to be very sensitive to valuation and price and being very diligent about what we think is a moonshot or more speculative versus something like, "This is obviously a company that has a valuable product that people want and need and at some point it's going to get sold." Maybe it doesn't get sold for $1 billion, maybe it gets sold for $75 million. Can we make that investment work for our investors? What's the timeline for that? Can we recycle those proceeds from that $75 million exit to give us a 4X and make something that again... There are a lot of questions there to answer.

Michael Crabb [00:41:23] And how do you do that with deep tech seed. It seems like a disconnect that you're describing. Because that all that makes sense. It's like a different power law than SaaS, right? You're looking for a higher win and you're going to have fewer 10Xers. Maybe it's like double the number of 5Xers or 4Xers. Totally makes sense; you can only build so much infrastructure. But if you're doing hard tech, deep tech pre-seed, you still have to get quite a bit of conviction that... You're not going to find a pre-seed deep tech that has a product that you know can sell, right?

Matt McGraw [00:41:54] So, here's a dirty little secret. I'm going to get murdered for saying this. Hard tech's not as hard as it used to be. There's two bits to that. One is we have 15 years of government and corporate spending on innovation in science, in the climate space in particular. Decades and centuries worth really of it in general, but specifically, climate became a thing in research universities in like the Al Gore-era, like 2004. Then, clean tech was a boom and then bust.

Michael Crabb [00:42:35] Yep.

Matt McGraw [00:42:35] But mostly because the time horizons were off. You have to wait 15 or 20 years for the things that were invested in in 2008. Well, guess what's 15 years away from 2008? 2023. That boom of investment that lost people money and the research universities and government spending on a lot of this has percolated. That's all non-dilutive capital for product making for the companies that are coming online today. I see so many pre-seed companies that have a just pre-Series A product. And it works; they have a couple of pilots. And the question for us...

Matt McGraw [00:43:16] I won't say we never take technical risk, but we very rarely are buying technical risk. Even at pre-seed, because the thing that they're doing, the thing that Company A, B, and C are doing has been proven again and again. Science hasn't changed since the Big Bang. I guess the Big Bang's not real anymore, right? But it's never changed for time immemorial in the past. It's the engineering and the ability to rapidly prototype AI, quantum, 3D printing. You can prototype things so much more quickly now. It's not 10 years before you get like a bench scale thing working, it's months.

Matt McGraw [00:43:52] And so, that compression that happened in the software iteration in the '95 to 2002 era, where it used to take a couple of years to get some product out to market... Down to six months. Now, it's like a day and you've got the thing up and running and it works, it's clickable. That is happening in hard tech. So, your time to market is lower, both because a lot of these companies really technically started 10 years ago in a research lab, and because prototyping is rapid, so you can fail more quickly now and on a smaller scale and for less money. And if you look at the data, everybody says hard tech takes more money, it takes longer to exit. None of those things are actually true. You just look at any pitchbook crunchbase data, public market data, none of it is true.

Matt McGraw [00:44:39] And then, 75% of the companies on the top 10 valuation list are hardware companies too. So, all of that stuff you hear about... Hardware is hard because people actually have to work to make it happen. I think software companies made it... It was marketing. A lot of it was just marketing. "And we're going to like, go viral." You know, a hardware company's not going to go viral. A company that takes agriculture waste and produces biochar to bio oils that replace chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you're not going viral. You can't build those plants virally. It takes six months to build a plant. So, it just feels less "cocainey."

Michael Crabb [00:45:23] Yeah, it's less volatile. You don't get that rush of like a huge spike, being the guy that... No one talks about the losses.

Matt McGraw [00:45:32] You get a story on the news and then like two million downloads. Most people are never going to use your application after they download it anyway, but it's just different, right? I was just talking to a guy today who got a story in Hacker News for a software company. And it's like, "He's minted." But he's only minted until the next round. That's the other thing. Again, DPI matters. When your company exits matters. Then the public markets, IPOs, the whole thing. Everyone was holding it. Why were they taking longer to go public? Because they weren't really valuable. They weren't as valuable as they... So, public markets would hammer them.

Michael Crabb [00:46:06] I means you've got to report earnings and even up, and all of a sudden revenue is less relevant. No, I totally hear that. I totally hear that. That's super funny. But deep tech seems like the wrong... Jigar Shah says this. He calls it scale tech, right? One thing you haven't mentioned is sort of business model innovation which is like where I really see so much value. I mean, so many people I talk to are stuck in like, "No, we'll find a widget. We'll get a utility to sign off on it." That's not the energy business for 30 years, right? Like, there's so much more decentralization and it just is the tip of the iceberg right now.

Matt McGraw [00:46:43] Yeah. This is fascinating to me because I'm not a true, pure, decentralist. Like, my time in the blockchain world and union organizer and my company was employee-owned... I like decentralization of a lot of things. But in nature... I'm a big fan of like, "Hey, nature's probably got it figured out already." Like, I'm not a 100% a biomimicry guy. But there are things that are centralized and there are things that are decentralized, and you have to be smart about what works in what scenario and what's contextually appropriate.

Matt McGraw [00:47:13] And so, I love decentralized infrastructure because it's more resilient. If we're fighting the last battle, which is COVID fears, then it proved to us that our supply chains, our manufacturing base... Everything was too centralized. It seemed like efficiency was the name of the game, but efficiency comes at the cost of resiliency. And so, we need a little more slack. But that doesn't mean we need to overproduce. That just means maybe we shorten supply chains and manufacturing is decentralized. And we're moving towards a world where that's actually really possible, you know? Is it going to happen in the timeframe of an investment for us? That's the other thing, because a 10 year time horizon for us is important.

Matt McGraw [00:47:56] I'm not a big fan of the TRL model, but like the TRL 3. And they're going to go TRL 6 or 7 in like 2026. And I'm like, "I'm not investing in you. I believe your company is valuable. I think your idea is great. I think people will buy it, and I think you'll be exiting in 15 years. I can't hand you my money because I'm not going to get it back in time for me to hand it back to my LPs." And I'm a big fan of explaining underwriting to founders when we talk to them. I straight up ask them... Of course you ask, "What's your round size? What are you raising on? What's your valuation?"

Matt McGraw [00:48:33] I ask for revenue projections. I used to think revenue projections at pre-seed were total bullshit. And they are, but I want to see you thinking through it. And you could change your go-to-market. All of it could change. I really want to get this across. I don't care if you change your mind. I just want you to have an opinion and be thinking about it. Because I see a lot of founders who have a really good idea, really good problem solution, but they don't think about product market. And like, selling your thing is the thing that's going to make you money. And it's not, "If we build it, they will come." That's not going to happen. Because there'll be another person who does something that solves that problem who does go sell and they'll win.

Matt McGraw [00:49:17] And it doesn't matter if your thing's better.

Michael Crabb [00:49:21] Yeah, for sure. Well, and all of that non-dilutive capital doesn't show up to build it and they will come either.

Matt McGraw [00:49:27] I'm a big fan of all the non-dilutive capital, but that is the dark side of it. You have a $3 million grant from the government and you're like, "Oh, we're good." And I'm like, "Are you?" And you can't use that to do certain things and that's fine, but then go raise equity capital and say, "The funding of the product is funded." And don't tell me that you're worth $20 million because you got a $5 million grant. Don't do that. No, no, no. That's R&D. That's sunk cost.

Matt McGraw [00:49:59] And there are some people who are like, "Well, we need this money to get to this next stage and no one's giving it to us." And I'm like, "Because no one's going to make money on that investment. So, I'm sorry that that's how math works, but that's how math works." We are not a concessionary fund. We're not an impact fund. We want to make 3X at the end of the day, just like every other fund in the history of humanity wants to do that. Hopefully, we make 5X and we're a world beater or 10X, one of the 2 out of the 700 last year. But you've got to build a business. And I am all in this for the climate impact, but the only way you will have a climate impact is if you have a really well-run company.

Michael Crabb [00:50:41] Yeah, I think for all of the noise about there being a buyer premium or a green premium, it's got to be economic and it's got to make sense. It's got to be easy for people.

Matt McGraw [00:50:55] The guy at the plant that has a hard hat on that's going to buy your widget to clean the water in the water plant is not going to spend more money next year on your thing because it's better for the earth. He's not going to do that. And maybe the corporate entity will say, "We want to do that," but the guy who's going to sign the check and it's going to come out of his budget, no way, man.

Michael Crabb [00:51:19] Totally, yeah. Well, yeah. What are the verticals, then, where you see the most promise at your stage? You must see a wide array of stuff.

Matt McGraw [00:51:35] We are generalists in terms of verticalization of sector. And I say that intentionally. I think that venture capital people who work in this industry love to pattern match because it makes their job easier, but the job is actually to find the thing that's going to not match.

Michael Crabb [00:51:53] Not the pattern. Yeah, right, right.

Matt McGraw [00:51:57] That's always weirded me where it's just like... And you can't momentum invest in heat pumps.

Michael Crabb [00:52:04] It's a sentiment analysis, yeah.

Matt McGraw [00:52:07] And I also feel like there can't be 50 heat pump companies. Or, there could be, but they're probably not venture backable then. So, it's not like software where it's like everybody started CRM or like social media sites. Everybody did that for six months. It's like AI right now; everybody's an AI investor all of a sudden. I've started to see that in climate and it kind of bums me out because I'm like, "We can't be trend investors. We have to do long-term." What's important? Clean air, clean water, food, built environment that does not pollute the atmosphere, transportation that does not pollute the atmosphere. So, it's really not all that hard to look at this problem as the greatest complex system in the history of humanity, right? It's the ecology of the planet.

Matt McGraw [00:52:55] If you look at the problem horizontally, I feel like we should look at the solutions horizontally, too. We almost don't look at... I mean, we do. We have a market map with sectors in built environment and ag, manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, transportation, mining, blah, blah, blah. All of that, we've got it. We've got a taxonomy that we use. We've got like four different ones that we overlay. That's one of the things that I did before we started the fund. I really wanted to figure out how I saw the world. And all of them felt cool. Like, the ones with the nice logos and iconography. I was like, "I like that one." But at the end of the day, you're just trying to fit a framework over something that isn't that. It's not that.

Matt McGraw [00:53:41] Built environment isn't just the building that gets built and the things that get put in that building. It's also transportation. It's also food and ag. How does food get to that building? It's all of these things. And I really try to look at every deal horizontally. In fact, we have our set of filters. One of the filters is multiple endpoints for revenue. I think lots of the VCs hate that. They're like, "You need to do one thing really well, vertical, and go north. And just own that market and then you can expand later." And I'm like, "Nah."

Matt McGraw [00:54:15] That's not how most businesses, like businesses, physical economy businesses work. The biggest companies are multifaceted. We look at business models and we like waste-to-value stuff and we like circular economy stuff, but they're not required. We look at the built environment or ag and all these sectors and we really like things that aren't just possible to make work in the built environment or ag. We like enabling technologies underneath the end point solutions that we see.

Matt McGraw [00:54:48] And I'll take the heat pump example. Everybody loves heat pumps right now. For good reason; they're better and there's lots of money in the IRA that's going to benefit the market. But like, what if Apple comes up with a heat pump? They're going to crush the market. I want an Apple heat pump right now and they have even put one out. It will only have 23 hours of battery life. But I have a hard time picking a winner when it comes down to a brand play. There's deep tech, hard tech, science innovation there; there's engineering innovation there. But there'll always be other parts of that. And at the end of the day, if it's a consumer that has to buy it at the end point, even if it's a business user that has to buy something, you're talking about brand relationships and a bunch of other things that I could invest on, but I just don't think that's really interesting.

Matt McGraw [00:55:37] What I like is the enabling technology that's underneath that. Home electrification platforms for low voltage. Really cool, right? Like, most lights can be low voltage. You don't need a contractor to put in that. You could put it everywhere. It's safer, it's easier. There are all sorts of benefits to those kinds of things. Like, SPAN is more interesting to me than a heat pump company that we just looked at because SPAN enables a lot of things. But even SPAN is a one trick pony. And I think it's great and it's so far been a pretty good investment, but it's one thing, and how many of those one things are you going to sell?

Michael Crabb [00:56:23] Yeah, it's so interesting to hear you. You can hear the themes. This is why it's so fun to hear the background, because you can see the themes of your background applied to this problem in super unique ways, right? You've been at the crucible or the interchange of sales and technology, basically your entire career, just applied to different places. And then, I love how you unpacked sort of the fund model. I'd be curious to hear if you thought about changing the time horizon. You took a very first principles approach to fund architecture and marketing, which I love. But yeah, the time horizon stayed the same. And did you think about changing that?

Matt McGraw [00:57:03] You know, we didn't. I should say we thought about everything at the very beginning because I'm a little bit of a... I don't know if you can tell.

Michael Crabb [00:57:12] I totally could tell.

Matt McGraw [00:57:14] I do things a little differently, right? But Jim is a Midas List investor. He's got $1 billion under management. Alicia comes from a more traditional background. I was like, "We could have a 506(c) raise and get small cap investors and democratize that." I had it all in my head, right? And then, I sat down... And they were all on board, to their credit. Thank you, Jim, and thank you, Alicia. They were like, "Let's do it."

Matt McGraw [00:57:47] And then I was like, "Nah, we need a 2 and 20, 10 year fund and have the big name legal and the big name fund admin. And I'll tell you why. Because if I do it my way and it doesn't become a big success, that's a black mark on all of those ways of doing it. If I do the traditional thing and become successful and then do those things, that makes more of an impact on the ecosystem and opens up that potential for other people." And I've learned that lesson. I've done the iconoclastic different thing first and had it be a success. And people were like, "Wow, that's crazy. You're an outlier. You're a cult leader." And I didn't like that because it was like, "No, it's... The flat model of management can work. It's not me."

Michael Crabb [00:58:45] People backfitting the narrative to the outcome, right? We do that all the time?

Matt McGraw [00:58:50] All the time, all the time. And I said, "Look, I don't know whether we'll be successful. The proof will be in the pudding. And I really want to get a straight and narrow, "normal," quote unquote, normal fund behind us and get 3X MOIC or 4X MOIX or 5X MOIC or whatever the final number is..." We're looking good, by the way.

Michael Crabb [00:59:13] We don't care about MOIC, we care about DPI, right?

Matt McGraw [00:59:15] Yeah, right, exactly. I actually think one of our companies is going to get acquired in the next year, which is going to be amazing.

Michael Crabb [00:59:23] MOICs interrupt the DPI.

Matt McGraw [00:59:26] Yeah, but I would say that if we are successful... And Fund II is going to be a normal fund. It's 2 and 20, and your fund. If those two funds are successful, we'll have a normal... Probably $100 million Fund III, say. And on the side, we'll have a $5 million 506(c), $1,000 max investment fund to democratize access. Then the sky's the limit, right? I could do a holding company, I could do a lot of different things that I'm interested in doing. But I need to have that weight behind me to say, "He's serious. He knows what he's talking about. He's good at this. He can pick the companies. He can exit at the proper time. He can manage. He can be a fiduciary, very responsible with other people's money and care. And he's a great founder supporter." And all of those things have to be true before I can turn and say, "Let's do things different," because I think that's better.

Michael Crabb [01:00:22] Fascinating. It makes sense and it probably increases the odds of success too.

Matt McGraw [01:00:27] We'll see.

Michael Crabb [01:00:27] Super exciting. I do want to be conscious of time. Super far reaching here. Really fascinating. Any last things that we didn't talk about that we should?

Matt McGraw [01:00:43] Soccer. I'm a huge soccer fanatic and I can't wait for the weekend.

Michael Crabb [01:00:47] Who's your team?

Matt McGraw [01:00:51] I'm a Bayern Munich fan. That's a whole story, a weird pathway to liking a German team as much as I do. I'm a fanatic. My only advice to founders... It's not like I give parenting advice. I have six kids and everybody comes to me for parenting advice because I have so many of them and I'm like, "Just because I have a lot of them doesn't mean I'm good at it." And even if I'm good at it doesn't mean that will translate, right? So like, I don't have a lot of like, "You should do this. This is the thing that I wish I knew when I started." I don't have a lot of that because every person's journey is going to be different and their experience in this is going to be different."

Matt McGraw [01:01:23] The only thing that is universally true is it's fucking stressful to start a company. Much more stressful than my job today. It's one of the most stressful things that you can do in your life to start a company. Because you will be running out of money all the time. Your product will not work all of the time. People will not be buying your product all of the time. And I don't think we talk about that side of the equation enough. Even though mental health has come into the fore, it's feels like during the last year it's taken a step back. During COVID, it was more. But as a founder, I really want to see people dedicate themselves to being healthy in whatever way that means for them. The stress management is really important. Because the number one, two, three, four, five and six thing that makes a company fail is the team. The team just fails.

Matt McGraw [01:02:16] I don't see a lot of deals where the problem solution is dumb. Don't get on a call with me if that's true. The product market, there's probably five product market fits. And like, maybe one's better, one's worse, but none are dumb. None are stupid or are not going to work. Especially in my world, physical sciences, it's like, "It's a water filtration system. People need that." So, I feel like the thing that is going to tank most of these companies is they either don't have the ability to see it out, the founders don't get along, a founder can't take it. Which is all fair, but really go into it knowing that those are problems so that you can kind of address them sooner, is really super important.

Michael Crabb [01:03:04] Fascinating. It's always about people, right?

Matt McGraw [01:03:06] Dude, as much as everybody else wants to make it about spreadsheets and technology, this is a people business still.

Michael Crabb [01:03:14] Totally, totally. Okay, well, there you go. What a way to end it. Thanks again for coming on. Can't wait to share this with the listeners.

Matt McGraw [01:03:21] Yeah, thanks for having me.

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