The Shadow Network with KP Reddy

KP Reddy Unpacked: Dave Grohl & Serial Entrepreneurship

January 16, 2024 KP Reddy
The Shadow Network with KP Reddy
KP Reddy Unpacked: Dave Grohl & Serial Entrepreneurship
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In the latest episode of KP Unpacked, we have the pleasure of delving into the dynamic interplay between the world of rock 'n' roll and the arena of serial entrepreneurship. The central figure of our discussion is none other than Dave Grohl, whose illustrious career serves as an inspirational blueprint for business enthusiasts and music fans alike. 

KP Reddy, alongside co-host Jeff Echols, draws fascinating parallels between the grit and persistence of Dave Grohl's journey and the rollercoaster ride of launching and scaling startups. The conversation is a treasure trove of insights, drawing on KP's personal experiences through the dot-com era and the entrepreneurial challenges he faced thereafter. A significant portion of the dialogue revolves around the critical issue of imposter syndrome—a common psychological pattern where one doubts their accomplishments and fears being exposed as a fraud. 

The discussion candidly explores the temptation to reassemble a past winning team, often seen in the startup world as a shortcut to replicate previous successes. KP shares the hard truth that what worked once might not work again, as each venture is unique, and past team dynamics may not necessarily yield the same results in a new context. This revelation is a crucial lesson for entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and recognition of the knowledge gained from each experience. 

Grohl's ability to continuously reinvent himself, from his time with Nirvana to the formation of Foo Fighters and beyond, serves as a testament to the importance of evolution in any successful endeavor. Just as the music industry has undergone shifts from grunge to post-grunge and other genres, businesses too must navigate the ebbs and flows of market dynamics, never resting on past laurels but instead embracing hard work and perseverance.

Want more discussions like this? You can connect with KP Reddy and other innovators in the AEC and CRE Industry in the Shadow Partners Community....go to ⁠https://⁠⁠bit.ly/ShadowPartnersCommunity⁠⁠⁠ to learn more today!

Speaker 1:

You are listening to the Shadow Network with KP Ready, your gateway to innovation and architecture, engineering, construction and real estate, with a sprinkle of startups that are making a difference. In between, check us out on YouTube at Shadow Partners. Never miss a live stream fireside chat or talk that we got going on with the industry's most interesting innovators and leaders. Every single week. You can connect with KP Ready and other innovators in the AEC and CRE industry in the Shadow Partners community. Go to bitly slash Shadow Partners community to learn more. Today. All it takes is a few clicks for you to make a difference. Welcome to the future and welcome to the Shadow Network with KP Ready.

Speaker 2:

I'm back here with KP Ready. If you're not familiar with KP, he's the founder and CEO of both Shadow Ventures and Shadow Partners. And one of the things again, if you don't know who he is, you've got a big miss over on the LinkedIn side, because you need to be following him on LinkedIn, follow his post on LinkedIn and hear what he's talking about over there. My name is Jeff Eccles. I am the head of marketing and senior advisor at Shadow Partners and part of my job is to come here every week and say KP, what were you thinking when you wrote that post? We call this unpacking KP. This is a lot of fun. We get to dig into some of the things that KP posts and why he posts them. So, first of all, welcome KP. I'm glad you're here.

Speaker 3:

Hi Jeff.

Speaker 2:

So this one, I know, is close to your heart. It's close to my heart as well. The title of this is what Serial Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Dave Grohl. So if you don't know who KP is and you don't know who Dave Grohl is, I guess just turn it off now.

Speaker 3:

You can listen to Joe.

Speaker 2:

Rogan, this might not be the place for you, but yes, dave Grohl, former drummer for Nirvana, lead singer for Foo Fighters. We were just talking, before we went live, about Foo Fighters concerts. I'm going to be seeing them at Fenway Park later this year, so that'll be super cool. But I love this title what Serial Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Dave Grohl? And you start out. It says first of all, I'm a huge Dave Grohl fan Same same here. So I've been looking for reasons to incorporate him into my writing. Just need an excuse. Then, sitting here on a layover watching Foo Fighters Live at Wimbledon Stadium An idea with Spart. I love everything about this so far. Kp goes on to say, just in case you have been living under a rock, dave Grohl is currently the frontman for the Foo Fighters and formerly the drummer for Nirvana. He has also worked on various side projects with other musicians. However, my favorite side project is the documentary Sonic Highways. If you haven't watched it, you don't have to be a Foo Fighters fan to appreciate it. You probably do want to have an interest in music history. Hit by lightning. Not all entrepreneurs are talented for their successes. Sometimes they are in the right place at the right time with the right team. Nirvana was a three person band that was not necessarily musically complex. However, they were grunge when grunge was hot. So I love, I love the way you start out here and now you're, as you get into the article here, obviously you're tying Dave and Nirvana and the other projects to, you know, as an analogy, to startup culture and to entrepreneurs and to innovation. So where does it go from here? What is it that you see in what he's doing, what he has done and what you see on the day to day? What is it that you see in what he's doing, what he has done and what you see on the day to day in the startup and innovation world?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So I think what resonated for me is like I was a product of the dot com, and when to be a serial entrepreneur, after coming off like a great success, when the market was like it's such a massive tailwind to be successful, you turn around and you question like well, was I just in the right place at the right time, or am I actually talented? Do I know what I'm doing? And so that kind of leads to imposter syndrome and I always find it fascinating. Dave essentially played every instrument on the first Fru Fighters album and did it by himself Because he was kind of like I don't know if I'm really talented, like I don't know if I want to share this with the world, I don't even want to talk to a producer because maybe I'm not that talented, like you know, kept it to himself and that's why, like everybody thinks like oh my God, he's so talented the first album he played every instrument. It was kind of like because he was embarrassed to get anybody else to play with him, because he was unsure.

Speaker 2:

Like it's any good.

Speaker 3:

And I think, as a serial entrepreneur, you know, I'm one of these people like my first win was a big win, but I haven't had a win like that since. And so you start to question like, was I just lucky right? Was I just there at the right place at the right time? And I think I've made a lot of these mistakes. One is like living with imposter syndrome and kind of learning at some point like no, actually I learned a lot. Maybe I can't go build another public company, maybe that's not in the cards, but I did learn a lot and I know a lot, so that actually counts. And then I think, from there, the mistakes I made on going to that was well, here's the team that made me successful. Let me, if I just get the band back together for this next startup, which I did in one of my startups that you know, I wouldn't say failed but was definitely not a win, right, it was kind of like everybody got their money back type of thing. I went out and hired all the people that worked for me at my first successful startup and it didn't work. It didn't work. And I think because people move on the skill sets, you know that. You know, when Nirvana was driving around in a van doing gigs and that grit and grime, we did the same thing. We were working off like folding tables from Home Depot, grit and grime, and then everybody makes a couple million bucks and they're no longer willing to work like that. Right Now, all of a sudden, you got to stay at the four seasons and actually I think the first year the Foo Fighters toured, they did tour around in a van, like they all had Nirvana money, but he didn't act like he had Nirvana money right, they walked around just like they did. And there's a reason why, like Chris Novichelik, there's a reason why a lot of the players and Foo Fighters like had nothing to do with Nirvana, including the producers, because they had kind of moved on right. They were doing other stuff. And so I think that's a mistake I made was, oh, I just have to get the band back together. Big failure. Everybody was in a different spot and so that doesn't really kind of work. And then I think also you know this idea that I've been successful, like you still have to grind you so, like I did it once, and it's really tough If you've had success as a serial entrepreneur. That's why I think a lot of serial entrepreneurs that do really well Failed the first couple of times and then they had success. I think it's that being successful at the you know your first, your first time, I think can can mess with your brain. It's funny. I was in Vegas one time and I'm sitting there and playing roulette which is one of my more favorite mindless games and this dad and kid comes up. The kid clearly just turned 21 first time at a casino. The dad's explaining all the games and the kid puts a hundred bucks down on a number and it hit and I'm like this kid is ruined for life. Yes, he's gonna think this is how roulette works, right? You put a hundred bucks down and you get money back. Like this is so easy. You know he'll go on to spend, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars in his life trying to chase that spark. And I kind of feel like sometimes in the startup world, you know your first startup, being a winner can kind of jade you about what it takes. And one of those is like why don't have to work as hard? Because I have resources, because I do have some seed capital of my own, because I've learned some things. But I'll tell you, like the serial entrepreneurs I know that even you know I have a friend that took his company public early on his second company. He took public but he was in every Saturday and Sunday grinding it out. He might have had a hundred million bucks in the bank. You would have never known it, yeah. So I think that's another thing. And then I think a lot of times when you have that first success like Nirvana happened overnight, right, just boom overnight. Next season of the run, mtv right next out, next out like it's just the dot-com was a little bit of that thing too right, it just happened so fast. And I think it biases you that things happen Right at three-year exit. I mean I took my company public in like three years. That's. That's not regular, right, that's not right right and so I think if you live in that bias of like that's how it works, it will be greatly disappointed. So I think that's another thing that I think, if you look at, nirvana happened fast I think Dave Grohl figured out like that wasn't real, like that that's not how things work. And, by the way, grunge is dead. You know, when they launched the first 1994 few fighters launched, grunge was dead. Yeah we all moved on. We're all listening to god knows what at that time, but we're listening to something different.

Speaker 2:

Yes, the next thing.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we're listening. The next thing I think Jay-Z was popular, like that was like, and so I think that's kind of like refocusing and re-understanding, like kind of time to market might look very different. And then I think you know, one of the things that I think Dave Grohl's done well is kind of being a constant burner and learning about other things, expanding, like what it means to be an artist right, Doing documentaries he did a stupid horror movie right, Like really terrible. Of course I went inside, but it was pretty terrible but but so I think that expansion to other more, you know, into other things he's written books, you know that kind of thing, and I think it's. I think that's something that you can't really. And I think for my own journey to being an entrepreneur that started off with credit cards, to having, when it was more financially backed, to now be venture capital you know I'm no Dave Grohl, but I feel like that's a little bit of what it takes is to be a constant learner, to not rest on your laurels. I see that with some more experienced entrepreneurs they talk about like here's how we did it in the 90s, and it's like, are we still doing it that way though?

Speaker 2:

Yeah like?

Speaker 3:

are you still faxing contracts to people? Like you know it's a little exactly, yeah, you know. So I think really learning and understanding how markets change I think is is a real thing. And once again, you know the reason I publish all this stuff with. I'm hoping Dave's gonna call me like KPL of your stuff. Would you come tour with me Like?

Speaker 2:

what's that? I hear the phone ringing.

Speaker 3:

now I'll play the tambourine.

Speaker 2:

Play the cowbell.

Speaker 3:

Cowbell yeah.

Speaker 2:

One of the things that comes to my mind, or came to my mind, is, as you were talking about Nirvana and the vans and everything else, to bring another type of analogy and sports analogy. So, having this conversation with a couple of people a while back and the question was is it easier to win a championship? You know, pick your sport doesn't matter, is it? Is it easier to win a championship as the defender? Right, you won, you won last year. Now can you win next year? Or as the one that came in second place, right, the one that lost the championship the year before? To me that's a fascinating conversation and, you know, I guess the answer is it depends. But but I think some of the things that you talked about the grit and the grind and everything else and resting on your laurels right, you know, did if you won. Are you resting on your laurels expecting to win the second If you lost? Does that, you know? Does that drive the grit and grind to go harder this season to get back to the championship and win?

Speaker 3:

I would say probably you know, we're about the same age, probably when we were growing up watching the NFL. I think that was probably you had more, you had the legacies right, you had the 49ers. Sure you had more legacy franchises. I think that where it doesn't apply as much these days is with salary caps and trading. Our great Atlanta Falcons lost to the Patriots and the Super Bowl right. Yeah, never to be heard from again.

Speaker 2:

Are they still playing? Yeah, we saw the team in.

Speaker 3:

Atlanta play. But I do think that it's really tough, because off season there's like a restructuring of how money flows and new trades and new draft picks and all those things that I think it is actually possible. But kind of it's almost like being second might be harder, because some of those players that have been highlighted in the Super Bowl get traded like their. Their market value has gone up, right, and so another team goes and takes them away, versus if you're the winner, nobody's poaching like, nobody's leaving that team.

Speaker 2:

Nobody's leaving the.

Speaker 3:

Patriots Right, it's just like we're gonna be here next year again, right, like yeah. So I do think that I think the dynamic of the NFL, like it's, but it is like it definitely kind of a work hard business that I don't think you know. We talk about the greats, whether it's a Tom Brady or whatnot. They're not hanging around eating cheeseburgers. Lebron James LeBron James is too old to be playing. I can't. I mean on paper right. Too old to be playing, yet he still works out. And nutrition, yet he's not eating cheeseburgers either, you know. So I think that sustaining it does have a lot to do with the grind and has to do a lot with the work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I agree. Well, there you have it. I mean, this is entrepreneurs and rock stars. This is a perfect discussion. To cap it off, right, if you somehow joined us in the middle of this or towards the end of this and you missed it, you got to go back to the beginning. I'm talking with KP Reddy. We're unpacking one of his posts on LinkedIn and, again, if you're not following KP on LinkedIn, for K period, he period ready R, e, d, d Y. On LinkedIn he's posting, sometimes multiple times a day, and it's we unpack these because what KP posts about is what he's experiencing, what he's learning, so to speak, but more reflecting on as he's working with some of the great firms and some of the great companies and some of the great innovators in the AC space. So, kp, thanks for coming and unpacking this post. Again, the title is what serial entrepreneurs can learn from Dave Grohl. So thanks, kp, for unpacking this one for us.

Speaker 3:

All right, this was a fun one.

Speaker 2:

It was absolutely a fun one. We're going to have to license some Foo Fighters to play us out here. All right, see you next time.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for tuning in to another episode on the shadow network here with KP ready as always. Remember you can connect with KP and other innovators in the AC and CRE industry in the shadow partners community. Go to bitly slash shadow partners community to find out more today. Until next time,

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