Listen: Gil Beyda (Comcast Ventures) - Always taking risks
"Hello and welcome. I'm Alex Nick and this is moving up a podcast about secrets to success. Struggles along the way and life in general in the pot Gill Beta from comcast ventures on the pod Gill shares what. He thinks the key to all his successes and then we go deep on his pretty awesome journey. Let's get into it Gil. Thanks so much for being on the Alex. Thanks invited me. Looks like we're GonNa have a good time today. Yeah I mean we've already been bantering going back and forth here. It's always like we have such a conversation. I'm like oh now I don't see anything more. Let me let me hit the red button. I wrote to say oh like we said before. And that's usually how it goes. The listeners. Love that so comcast ventures genesis ventures. We'll get into all your venture capital stuff. You got going on today. But like when I ever venture capitalist I haven't met with one and yet that said Oh I knew I wanted to be a VC. When I was a kid do you is I did not I have a technical background so I love Computers Program Computers Earth Way back in high school and college? I studied computer science and Decided that I wanted to program computers and some of the first ten years of my career was all about Being software engineer for a companies large and small I helped develop l. up a part of the UNIX operating system. So something you know you know really down and dirty and then also Develop applications locations financial branch automation. Applications did did the full stack Then I founded my first company which was an ad Tech Company Company and I was the founder CTO Then that company exited founded another company and then after that second company I had an opportunity to go into venture so it was a series of accidents decisions But I've been in venture for eleven years now and and having a great time so let's let's stay in the early days for a few questions at least where. What is this like equation? Technology this entrepreneurship side of you'd that come from your parents your parents entrepreneurs like do you want to work for a big company yourself like what. What is that inside of you? That kind of pushed you that way. My parents were the consummate entrepreneurs alcohol they neither of them had a college legit education. I'm not even sure whether they graduate high school But a so. They started number of businesses in the in the clothing industry Where they would sell clothing They had stores and all and I worked in those stores and saw a You know at age of Eight nine ten eleven working in the store selling women's clothing and They were very entrepreneurial. They grew their business from from one store to many stores And so was always in my blood and all during in high school and College I was starting a bunch of businesses and of course malt. Most of them failed But was always thinking about it about problems that need to be solved about opportunities markets And you know I remember back in my early days. I I used to keep a list of of ideas of companies that I would start at which I which I advise every entrepreneur to do is just can't keep a running list of of ideas and keep right reprioritising them which ones you think are less possible now or more possible. which ones are you more more or less excited about And funny A while back I. I look back at that list. And this list was from from the eighties and Their ideas on it. I actually think are still good ideas today and I challenge some of viewer. Your listeners may be to To do one of these businesses. A one of them was. I don't even was possible. But it's popcorn that POPs in the shape of an animal so like animal crackers for popcorn now so the margins on popcorn or probably nickel Lord. I but wouldn't you pay extra if the popcorn was in the shape of a zebra elephant or a lion or something that was one of my early ones. Some of them are crazy. Some of them not not so crazy and all But I always knew that I was going to to start a business and So I was just waiting for the right idea. I mean I love hearing about this because speaking of business side ideas starting businesses and all requires practice. It's not like you just have some light bulb moment and it's like i. I didn't think any businesses knife out of my very first one and this is going to be the one I'm GonNa go do and it's like it's a muscle that requires like use use. Yeah I I it you put it perfectly Alex that you have to be practicing you have to be an entrepreneur is not just somebody who starts a company it is somebody who is constantly continuously in that process of starting a company and then one of them actually sticks and you end up doing that for many years. It's also so feeling pain points and maybe maybe it's easier to start off if you don't have the list you've never thought of a business. Just to think of problems takes a long time to drives the airport or wait in line at security or whatever it is right down problems on and you can try to think of business solutions to those problems will. Maybe some. Don't have a solution. Maybe maybe some do I think it's a AH. There's a parallel though an opposite universes between entrepreneur and a comedian a comedian goes through life. Making all these observations of of Oh like a while waiting at the airport or whatever and they turned it into a joke or life. Experience and an entrepreneur makes those same mob's rations but instead of trying to make it funny. They actually try to solve that problem. I like that a lot of great one. Okay so you're this entrepreneurial kid growing up starting stuff left and right you go to college rate. Yes where do you go to college. Cal State Northridge California. My Business Partners to oh great from L. A.. I am from La and the clothing store was in La yes what part of La The clothing store was actually in Inglewood. we lived in La Proper and then eventually moved to Beverly Hills. Oh Great We'll talk about that later. Okay so so you you you gotta see sign and and when you're there you're still you do still have this like entrepreneurial passion because I was like you I was starting businesses left and right growing up and then I went to school and I I said I went to Pennsylvania and now it's like everyone's like I want to be an investment banker an accountant or a consultant on my. Oh there's like these prestigious jobs that society is telling me that I should go get I mean that was my path but in hindsight I was like wash continued starting businesses and your own the biggest dirt farm and by now or something but You get caught up kind of like what all your friends are doing. Did that happen to you. I was don't let any of my kids here this but I was not focussed on school at all. School to me was something that I knew I had to do that. I knew would look good on my resume But it's unless it was fun and interesting. I wasn't super engaged so during high school where I founded and one of my first companies called Mind Games which was A video game for the original Apple Computer so I would spend Days and nights and programming The game and maybe showed up for class maybe didn't and so in high school. My grades were marginal may be. I had a C. or a C. plus average I think in college. Maybe I opt it to A. B. or B. minus But I knew that the grades that was not going to be my taken And I have a lot of respect for those folks who are focused on maximizing their the university experience and I think that's that's super important for me adjust didn't click and so even during high school and and in College I was I was starting companies and probably migraine sufferers. It's I mean I think it's a good testimony so you were able to realize that school is not what I want to be focusing on I want to be focusing these other things because like I kind of feel like I was similar to you. I didn't school but did it anyway because they gave all pressure's it's like oh you need to do this and I should have just been. I mean not should've aminals my path until sure so I'm actually kind of envious of you that you had that south awareness to say. Yeah this is not not really focusing. Nobody has ever asked me what my GPA was not unless your like in the top the commodity And nobody asks you what an anybody's I volunteered it. Because I'm mullahs proud that I actually you know did not get as and BS that. I'm actually a C.. Student and was able to do quite well Um mm-hmm and so for all those people out there who maybe are focused on other things or school isn't their Forte They're still lots of opportunity out for those people"