MyMBA met with Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano for MyMBA’s 19th Industry Partner Meetup. Pomp is an investor at Pomp Investments. He has invested over $100 million in early stage technology companies, including multiple seed investments that are now valued at over $1 billion.
Pomp is also a co-founder and Partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, a multi-strategy investment firm focused on providing access to blockchain technology and digital assets for institutional clients and wealthy family offices. Pomp writes a daily newsletter to over 45,000 investors about business, technology, finance, and Bitcoin and hosts the popular podcast “The Pomp Podcast” featuring guests like Mark Cuban and Chamath Palihapitiya.
Our MyMBA cohorts had the opportunity to discuss Pomp’s career and philosophy on business. It was a great experience to learn from someone with his drive, ambition, and business savviness.
(Note, the following is my summary of our conversation based on my interpretation of Pomp’s story).
Pomp gave us a deep dive into his career and what drove his decision making. Pomp noted the importance of not having a grand plan for this career. Rather than knowing every step and planning for it, he emphasized capitalizing on opportunities.
We talked about Pomp’s time in the Army and how this shaped his business career when he returned. The Army gave him a new perspective on life: we’re all going to die in the end so make the most of every moment.
Learning about death and having that perspective changes how you operate. I see Pomp as someone who is willing to take risks and bet on himself time and time again. He understands more than most the idea of “what’s the worst that will happen.”
We talked about Pomp’s career at Facebook. Pomp was a Product Manager on the Facebook Pages growth team. Early in his career, Pomp learned everything he could from Facebook executives including the head of growth and Zuckerberg.
The Facebook Pages team was small and new. This meant that if he could have an impact on the team, he could make a name for himself at Facebook. As Facebook Pages growth exploded, Pomp caught the attention of Facebook executives (including Sheryl Sandberg).
While at Facebook, Pomp noted that he took the opportunity to interview as many people as possible. While he didn’t know it at the time, he was preparing himself for a career in early stage venture investing.
He took the opportunity to interview people at Facebook to understand how to identify talent. After hundreds of repetitions and follow up discussions with his Facebook coworkers, he learned how to quickly identify talent and ask the right questions.
This fed directly into the next stage of his career – early stage investing. Pomp and his business partner, Jason Williams, started Full Tilt Capital (Read more here). Back on the East Coast, he was investing in early stage companies almost entirely remote. This was atypical in 2016.
Using his interviewing experience at Facebook, he bet on strong founders. Away from Silicon Valley, he had the opportunity to be contrarian and find companies and talent that other investors overlooked. Their Investments include Lyft, Reddit, Everlywell, Imperfect Produce, Brigit, and many others.
During our meeting, we dove into Pomp’s current thinking on business. He talked about his personal brand and thinking of himself as a business. Pomp’s podcast and email newsletter are important assets to facilitate investment opportunities.
This reminded me of Naval Ravikant’s emphasis on the importance of accountability and taking risks under your own name. This also tied into his recent move to start investing on his own under Pomp Investments.
We talked about fear. Pomp understands how to leverage the internet and part of that is not having the fear of looking foolish. Send the tweet, publish the blog post, send the email… what’s the worst that will happen?
Finally, of course, we talked about Bitcoin. You know the drill. Buy Bitcoin.
We talked about his predictions on Bitcoin and the global impact. His conviction, confidence, and knowledge was incredible.
During MyMBA’s Industry Partner meetings, our group learns directly from people who have been successful in business. After hearing about their background, our group of 6-10 people have an open, candid discussion to meet the Industry Partner, ask questions, and work through specific challenges related to our careers.
MyMBA is an alternative business education experience. We leverage the power of the internet and technology to take the next step in our business careers. MyMBA brings together cohorts of driven business professionals who meet with business leaders like Pomp, build their online brand, and take free online business school classes from top business schools like Wharton.