Dec. 23, 2020

Replay – #8 Big Ass Fans: The World's Least Sexy $500M Business | Carey Smith, Founder & Chief Big Ass

Replay – #8 Big Ass Fans: The World's Least Sexy $500M Business | Carey Smith, Founder & Chief Big Ass

In this Replay Episode, we explore the world’s least sexy $500M business. We’re joined by Carey Smith, Founder of Big Ass Fans. We cover the importance of humor in business, receiving and listening to feedback, and Carey’s investment philosophy with Unorthodox Ventures.


In this Replay Episode, we explore the world’s least sexy $500M business. We’re joined by Carey Smith, Founder of Big Ass Fans. We cover the importance of humor in business, receiving and listening to feedback, and Carey’s investment philosophy with Unorthodox Ventures.

“I think in some ways it's trite, but you really do learn an awful lot from failures. And the other thing you get from a failure—or certainly I did—was the fear of completely wasting my life. That was a much greater fear—to imagine that you wouldn't accomplish much of anything was just more than I could bear and what it moved me to was looking for other opportunities.” – J. Carey Smith

EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED)

https://www.danielscrivner.com/notes/carey-smith-outliers-show-notes 

FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

https://www.danielscrivner.com/notes/carey-smith-outliers-transcript 

CHAPTERS

This episode is our definitive guide to building the world's least sexy $500M business. In it we cover:

  • (00:00:00) – Introduction
  • (00:01:17) – Carey’s childhood and first forays into business
  • (00:06:24) – What Carey learned from the failure of his first company
  • (00:11:42) – How Carey started Big Ass Fans
  • (00:21:00) – Why humor is so important in business and customer service
  • (00:32:46) – Focusing on excellent quality when selling a higher-priced product
  • (00:36:51) – Receiving and listening to feedback to constantly improve a company
  • (00:45:40) – Carey’s investment philosophy with Unorthodox Ventures
  • (01:01:41) – Inspiration from one of Carey’s first supervisors

ABOUT BIG ASS FANS AND CAREY SMITH

Carey Smith is the Founder of Big Ass Fans, a business that he built from the ground up and scaled for nearly 20 years before selling for $500 million in 2017. Since then, he's founded Unorthodox Ventures, where he backs extraordinary founders and helps them scale their companies faster, using all of what he learned building Big Ass Fans. We go deep on a bunch of interesting topics, including lessons learned scaling Big Ass Fans, why it's important to deeply understand the people purchasing your product, not just those enjoying it, and building lucrative businesses in unsexy markets.

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ABOUT OUTLIER ACADEMY

Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

Website: https://www.outlieracademy.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/outlieracademy

ABOUT DANIEL SCRIVNER

Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts.

Website: https://www.danielscrivner.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/danielscrivner

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