Episode 41: Ask Me Anything

It had been over a year since we did the last Ask Me Anything (AMA) so the time had come. As requested by the audience, my son François joined us for the first part of the show. He was his usual epic self: calm, poised, and playing along cutely. His presence clearly played a part in the success of the episode which was one of the most watched ever across all the platforms and was by far the most interactive episode ever with 137 live comments in addition to dozens of questions submitted ahead of time!

The audience’s questions fell into 5 categories: Antarctica, Marketplaces, Startups, Macro, and Other (life decisions, books, etc.) which I covered in turn.


  • Was that frostbite on my nose? (02:14.5)
  • Do I still have my fingers? (04:40.4)
  • Is there a noticeable climate change? (06:18.5)
  • What was the most intense experience there? (07:51.2)
  • For anyone thinking of following in your footsteps in Antarctica, what would your advice be? What would you have done differently to prep while there, etc.? (13:26.0)
  • Is there a way to do a similar trip on a budget? (16:19.4)
  • What’s your next big adventure trip? (18:28.5)
  • What’s your motivation for pushing your body to limits? (21:31.8)


  • Marketplace and FinTech trends. What is it like to be an angel investor during this macroeconomic downturn? (23.18.5)
  • Why doesn’t OLX have a feature such as Kijiji’s to notify me when new ads are posted. I’m a customer and a big fan of OLX Brazil, but the lack of this feature drives me nuts and forces me to scrape this website. Use daily, using third party services. Why don’t most other marketplaces offer it? (27:03.3)
  • In the real estate market, what are the PropTech models that are functioning? (28:51.3)
  • Thoughts regarding healthcare marketplaces, especially what could be fulfilled via a DAO? (31:29.29)
  • How would you define a marketplace at the highest degree of complexity? (33:11.0)
  • Thoughts on investing in organic product marketplaces? (35:02.7)
  • How to prepare investors for the time it takes to build two-sided marketplaces? (36.21.6)
  • Are you an Amazon Prime member? What do you think of RX fasts? $5 per month for unlimited generic medications. (37:25.4)
  • What do you think of marketplaces like Upwork in different verticals? (38:45.1)
  • Online C2C marketplace for books: “Vinted for Books”. What do you think of the idea? How can I validate the unit economics? (40:44.7)
  • Do you think the prevalence of unicorns with fully distributed remote teams will increase dramatically in the next two to three years? (44:59.1)
  • For which applications do you think AI and Web3 will merge first? (47:16.3)


  • Do you support emerging fund managers, what advice would you give to us? (49:32.5)
  • Would you be interested in investing in a French impact startup that will revolutionize urban mobility? (51:15.9)
  • Where the current market conditions for FinTech startups (52:36.3)
  • How fast will VC investing recover given there are hundreds of billions of dollars on the sidelines? (54:28.9)
  • My thoughts about seeing capital holders push maturity requirements down on earlier stage startups: pre-seed VCs and angels demanding traction like revenue or user growth (56:30.7)
  • What are you recommending portfolio companies do for 2023 and 2024? (58:45.6)
  • Are you familiar with video on demand market? Any thoughts on that? Where would you see opportunities? (01:00:22.3)
  • Which new payment companies are going to scale/win in the platform market? (01:00:57.7)
  • What emerges in the meantime from a payment perspective? (01:01:56.9)


  • Outside of investing in private markets, how are you deploying your personal capital against this macro environment? (01:02:26.7)
  • What is your prediction for when the residential real estate market bottoms out in the US? (01:07:46.8)
  • What percentage do I keep in crypto? (01:09:54.9)


  • What are the most extreme sports that Francois did? (01:15:43.6)
  • I grew up in France. Why did I leave the US for college rather than staying in France for it? (01:17:41.3)
  • What drives you? What do you do? (01:19:30.5)
  • What question have you never been asked that you believe someone should have asked you by now? (01:20:54.2)
  • Why did you leave Silicon Cabarete? (01:22:20.8)
  • Was your trip (to Antartica) inspired by the book Great Choice by Jim Collins? (01:29:10.9)
  • What are you reading now? Recommend a good book. (01:30:44.3)
  • How do you manage family life, venture time and work commitment? (01:31:37.6)
  • Comment on going in the Tim Ferris podcast. (01:33:20.1)
  • How do you manage to read 1500 books per year? (01:33:44.0)
  • What was my fundamental inspiration behind starting OLX? (01:34:33.4)
  • What’s easier, a product meeting or your son’s bedtime? (01:35:55.5)
  • What’s your advice to get referrals to VCs? (01:37:32.7)
  • Thoughts on bringing back Silicon Cabarete (01:37:51.1)
  • Would you rather build an island somewhere in the ocean? (01:38:04.1)
  • Why do you believe that a team is better than a solo entrepreneur to start a business? (01:39:25.3)
  • What do you think of Jordan Peterson? (01:40:26.1)
  • Antarctica: do you know of Richard Bird’s expeditions? (01:41:27.7)
  • Do you do gut-based product or do you follow the validation mode of product development? (01:44:05.6)
  • Do you ever invest in single founders? (01:44:52.1)
  • List of books prioritized (01:45:05.5)
  • With reference to your career or personal experience, what do you consider having been your most significant mistakes and have you learned from them? (01:46:47.3)

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