In this episode, I talk with Marvin Liao, who is a recovering startup, big tech company, and VC guy. He worked at Yahoo for over a decade during its heyday and most recently left 500 startups where he was a venture partner and in charge of their San Francisco accelerator program. I first met Marvin at 500 startups when my company, Lab Sensor Solutions, was part of Batch 14.
I learned a lot from Marvin and the other mentors at 500 start-ups. The most important thing was the power and art of pitching, which is all about telling better stories as well as practice, practice, and more practice so you didn’t have to drink Marvin’s infamous punch.
In our conversation, we explore Marvin’s daily routine and how it allows him to calm his mind and think deeply about the world. We talk about how the minor gains build-up to bigger gains over time. His LinkedIn posts about startups and the world are epic and one of the most valuable reads to see what’s going on in the startup and the rest of the world. It’s his deep learning and monitoring of the world that has made Marvin a successful investor in the world of startup alchemy.
Now, let’s get better together.
Actions to Try or Advice to Take
- Have a Daily Routine & stick to it
- Have a Meditation Practice: Successful people tend to mediate. Marvin does 10 minutes in the morning and sometimes at night.
- Flex Time: Set aside blocks of time for reading and reflection to keep yourself sharp. Have time to think.
- Naps: A 30-minute to 90-minute nap in the afternoon helps his performance.
- No devices 2 hours before bed.
- Read a physical book before bed.
- A startups default is to failure. If you try your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you.
- You only have about 4 hours of creativity a day.
- Getting 8-9 hours a sleep a night is his goal.
- The only advance you’ll have in the world of robots and AI is your creative deep work.
- You hide from yourself when you’re too busy.