Jeremy Kudon: Partner, Orrick

August 29, 2018

We caught Jeremy Kudon at a pivotal time in his business. As the foremost lobbyist in the gambling/betting industry and client of daily fantasy giant DraftKings and several professional sports Leagues, he has been working 24/7 since the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to decide on their own to have legalized sports betting or not. The Founder of Orrick’s Public Policy group, Jeremy helps influence legislation at the state-wide level for all his clients. Similar to many alumni I talk to, he specifically points out a professor and classs (MKT 301, 401) that helped shape his mind on what he wanted to (and sometimes didn’t want to do) next. For him, it was Don Norris (also one of my favorites). We started off the podcast discussing the moment and then the subsequent hours  after the Supreme Court ruling was released.

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Podcast Notes:

“I didn’t want to look back 50 years later and say I didn’t pursue something I wanted to pursue”

24 hours in a litigator’s life once a big ruling comes out.

  • Currently in Boston, he was meeting with Massachusetts Attorney General with major leagues to talk about sports legislation betting.
  • Once the opinions started coming out, he waited to hear what the ruling was. It was a 7-2 for the petitioner (in favor).
  • From there, his phone was constantly blowing up with emails from his clients, friends, and co-workers.
  • He originally planned his day to consist of a series of meetings with legislators that day, but needed to meet with league clients to New York.
  • He flew to New York that same day to meet with his clients.
  • Met with clients to start planning the next steps in strategy.

What Jeremy Kudon does...summarized.

  • He works with clients that are private companies and sports leagues o try to get the betting legalized.

Jeremy Kudon’s career path to where he is now.

  • First, Kudon started as a commercial litigator working on big accounting liability cases.
  • His clients at the time were DirectTV and Dish Network and they hired them to be a appellate lawyer to work on helping the companies develop and implement a national state legislative campaign.
  • The first years of the work were far from exciting; once he started working on the cases, he started to get a niche in it.
  • Kudon then got a call from Uber in 2014 to come in and help them, but after two meetings they realized there was a conflict.
  • From there, Kudon started to reach out to other companies and eventually emailed the founder of FanDuel.
    • No one ever responds to the cold-emails, but the CEO of FanDuel responded. Three months later, he started representing DraftKings and FanDuel.

What to write in an email to potentially get new business.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Make fun of the fact that you don’t normally send emails
  • Make the point of emailing
    • Example: Kudon was basing his email from feedback of legislators saying FanDuel could face issues if they didn’t hire him and start focusing on state legislators

Why Jeremy Kudon chose Miami.

  • Kudon swam in high school and was recruited by the swim coach.
  • He also loved the campus when he got there.
  • He was a big fan of the “Public Ivy” book and learned that the guy went to Miami.
  • His mom had dated a hockey player at Miami and said she had fond memories at Miami.
  • Six other people from high school went to Miami.
  • He was excited to leave the DC area and try out the midwest because of Miami’s great academic reputation.

 

Make sure you thank your professors.

  • Two great professors influenced his career: Augustus Jones (political science) and Donald Norris (marketing).
  • Keep in touch with your professors, especially if they made a big impact on you
    • Example: Kudon didn’t keep in touch with his professors and he advises to try more often to let professors know how they made an impact on your life.

The law school decision.

  • Didn’t go to law school after college until 3 years after.
  • Kudon worked in marketing and was doing well.
  • He still loved law and wanted to practice it; he didn’t want to look back 50 years later and say he didn’t pursue something he wanted to pursue

Advice for before you jump into law school.

  • You need to learn the ropes of the law because it’s so big and it’s not what what it looks like on TV
  • Law school is a way to approach life. You’re supposed to look at the world as grey, not black and white.
  • You have to look at the argument and understand both sides of the argument.

What’s next in sports betting.

  • Each state taking on the issue and opening up the markets.
    • 10-12 states are going to follow
    • 6 states have legislation on the books
    • 3-4 are actually operational
    • New Jersey has a true mobile prodiver (SportsKings)
  • This will revolutionize sports betting in the US and once other states see the markets flourish, more states will adapt.
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Matt Golis: Founder and CEO, DraftMates

August 22, 2018

Interesting few pods ahead with the upcoming start of the NFL Season. Our guest this week Matt Golis is working on helping leverage the excitement around fantasy for social good (and next week, Jeremy Kudon, a betting/gaming lobbyist working on behalf of Leagues and brands to legalize at the state leaves). Matt’s start-up company DraftMates lets users play fantasy sports with proceeds directly benefitting a charity of choice. A true entrepreneurial mind as he has created a fundraising platform taking advantage of the enormous affinity of fantasy. He has spent his career finding digital solutions for users, and has some really great perspective on the unique challenges found there. I really enjoyed the dialogue about his move from the Bay Area to the Midwest and which Miami class has helped him throughout his career. 

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Rich Wheeless: Global CEO & Angel Investor

August 15, 2018

Rich is a nothing short of a go-getter. 200+ days on the road a year and has navigated 40 countries in his business travels. No wonder why he has grown and sold businesses and is hot on the next one (Enrich Media). Wait until you hear about his first stock buy of $500 …. At the age of 14. Similar to some recent pods, each of these successful Miami alums have figured out a personal unique proposition that make them indispensable for businesses. For Rich, it is scaling companies, and scaling companies well. It shouldn’t get lost that he acknowledges his parents as his business mentors and advisors along the way (you don’t have to look so far for guidance, keep that in mind!). I was intrigued with how someone who travels so frequently manages their work stream. Rich shares his personal methods of daily exercises and mimicking Jack Dorsey by breaking his day into 30-minute increments each focused on a specific subject matter. Hope you enjoy.

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Podcast Notes:

“Anyone can learn a business when it’s good, if you want to make it--you have to find a carved out niche”

“You’re going to have times where things are going to be awful, but it always gets better and you have the ability to determine that yourself”

“Sometimes your big opportunity in life is at times is going to come when you're not the most prepared for”

Managing Across Different Time Zones.

  • Try to manage and schedule your days in 30-minute increments.
  • Everyone has different times on when they work best- find what time works best for you.
  • Finds that doing the heavy work in the morning is best and allows you to work before the day and distractions get started.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body.

  • Exercise is the very important to incorporate in your routine.
  • It’s a great way to let off steam.

The Three Essentials for Constant Travel.

  1. Noise-canceling earphones
  2. iPad
  3. Lots of different snacks (because airplane food is boring and unhealthy)

The Skill Needed For Success.

  • The skill of compartmentally: being able to do two different things.
  • Model your schedule in 30 minutes increments like after Jack Dorsey.
  • Don’t take a lot of meetings because they can be a big waste of time.
  • Make sure your make time to get your actual work done.

Miami University and its Professors Change Your Life.

  • Never forget your great professors and keep in contact
  • Miami really prepares you, especially the business school for the real world and the challenges that come with it
  • You have to go through the hard things to appreciate success

You Might Have Hard Times... It Gets Better.

  • Sometimes your big opportunity in life is at times is going to come when you're not the most prepared for
  • Say yes and taking the chance to new opportunities
  • Anyone who has gone through hard times know that it’s going to get better and things do change
  • You’re going to have times where things are going to be awful, but it always gets better and you have the ability to determine that yourself
  • Surround yourself with the right people:  find an executive you admire and listen to them 90% of the time.

Book Recommendation.

  • Financial Freedom Explained by Kizzi Nkwocha

Next Steps for Rich.

  • Working with a seed school (a school for intercity kids)
  • In order to change the future, you have the change the foundation
  • Want to focus more on golfing

After Seeing 40+ Countries, See This Country.

  • Italy

Rich’s Go-To, High-Street Meal.

  • Skipper’s
  • Chicken gyro with waffle fries
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Summer Crenshaw: COO/CMO & Co-Founder, tilr

August 8, 2018

Seller of burial plots and a franchise owner of an insurance agency. Did I get your attention yet? That of course isn't what Summer is doing now but each were stops on her business path. A path that has always had the focus on awareness, storytelling, demand generation and thinking about the customer experience. She has used those traits throughout her career to now where she is the COO, CMO and Co-Founder of tilr, a HR-tech company. She has an incredible appetite to learn, and she focuses on subject areas where she doesn't feel up to par. Something brave to admit, and something smart to share. I always appreciate her efforts in getting brands to hire based on skill versus simply a job title. Students should take note and use that in their interviewing conversations too.

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Matt Pyatt: CEO, Arrive Logistics

August 1, 2018

One thing that is clear from my conversation is that Matt is an absolute grinder. Even before Oxford, he was an entrepreneur. Working on a farm making money at the age of 10 and being active in the stock market as a high schooler. He then continued to find new business opportunities, each time using the success of his previous business as the foundation. Matt has used all of this experience to start his current business Arrive Logistics, a modern freight broker and overall logistic solutions company. It was 10 employees in 2014 and now has 500+ and growing). I think you will also enjoy hearing about Matt’s business of selling supplements out of his dorm at Miami. He never stops. Keep thriving Matt!

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