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

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



In Episode 8, 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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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.

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ABOUT DANIEL SCRIVNER
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