GeekWire Radio: Nick Hanauer and Rich Barton on investing, technology, open skies and big bets

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Nick Hanauer and Wealthy Barton are traders and entrepreneurs who’ve created and formed a few of the most important corporations within the Seattle area, and the world. They’re additionally buddies, and we’re comfortable to have them each collectively within the studio this week for the GeekWire radio present and podcast.

Nick Hanauer and Wealthy Barton within the KIRO studios. (Erynn Rose photograph)

Barton is the co-founder of corporations together with Expedia and Zillow, a board member at corporations together with Netflix and Avvo, and an investor in all kinds of startups. Hanauer branched out from his household enterprise, the Pacific Coast Feather Co., to grow to be the primary individual exterior of the Bezos household to spend money on Amazon.com, earlier than main aQuantive, Gear.com and plenty of different corporations, along with his position as a startup investor.

So what’s their secret to success? A part of it’s their behavior of getting away from the enterprise world. One of many matters we get to speak about on this prolonged model of our dialog is their journeys collectively to Burning Man different distant locales.

Barton says, “Once you go to locations with gigantic open skies — be that in the course of the Black Rock desert in Nevada, or floating down a river in Montana, or operating after rooster fish on a seashore in Baja — while you put your self in an existential state of affairs, while you see how small you’re relative to the universe, you start to neglect your self and suppose larger ideas. You actually do.

“And other people have to do extra of this. I notice not all people has the chance we have now to have the ability to do that, however we — Nick and I collectively and with our households, as nicely — we work exhausting at placing ourselves in these conditions, and that gives a backdrop for with the ability to speak and take into consideration huge concepts. And it’s enjoyable.”

Hanauer provides, “We share a tolerance for danger that makes most individuals extraordinarily uncomfortable in each area in our lives. Massive concepts require a sure tolerance for danger that makes most individuals extraordinarily uncomfortable.”

Was that inherent of their genetic make-up or the results of early success?

“Genes,” Hanauer says.

“However I gotta imagine it’s as a result of I felt protected rising up,” Barton says.

“We each had nice, unbelievable households that have been tremendous supportive,” Hanauer agrees. “However it’s a virtuous cycle. You begin taking dangers early, these dangers are rewarded, which inspires you to take larger dangers, and so forth.”

“Similar to the startup ecosystem right here,” Barton says. “It’s OK to take dangers, it’s OK to fail, it’s OK to succeed, it’s OK to succeed huge. That fuels the ecosystem right here.”

That’s one of many highlights from this prolonged model of the present, which incorporates not solely the radio broadcast but in addition an additional section for podcast listeners. Different matters embrace Hanauer’s political activism, and his philosophies on financial equity. We additionally talk about Amazon.com, Microsoft and the way Hanauer and Barton use expertise in their very own lives.

Take heed to the present by way of the audio participant above or this MP3 file. Search for further highlights on GeekWire within the coming week.

The interview begins on the 8:00 mark, following our weekly information roundup, with matters together with the Microsoft Xbox workforce’s tough week at E3, and the disclosing of iOS 7 by Apple.

App of the Week: Caspar Babypants Music Time.

Identify that Tech Tune: The reply to final week’s contest: Arrested Improvement. Congrats to our winner, Allan.

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