Discovering Braintree was an accident. I was broke, up to my eyeballs in debt, and I had no way to make money because nobody would hire me, and so I was out in the street trying to sell credit card processing door to door, and I discovered that it was a broken industry and that there was this great opportunity to build a company. And I started building the foundations and soon we started getting some of the best technology companies in the whole world to become customers, and that's when I knew we really had something.
Bryan is a visionary who knows how to execute on vision, and I would put Bryan into the company of people like Richard Branson and Elon Musk, that when Bryan has an idea that he wants to bring to the world, he's going to find a way to do it. Resources aren't going to constrain him, technology isn't going to constrain him, Bryan genuinely wants to change the world and he's one of the few entrepreneurs that I've met who I believe can.
In order for our society to thrive, we are dependent upon scientific breakthroughs to address our needs, but funding these scientific endeavors is very challenging because oftentimes they have long runways with a lot of risk. And so oftentimes venture capital won't venture into this world, and so we've developed the OS fund, for example, a decision-making model of how to understand these companies and invest wisely in them. And I think that having been to Booth, it was really helpful in understanding how we could frame our thought processes to make good decisions about these endeavors that truly could have a very large impact on humanity, but just weren't receiving the investment capital from the community.
What really caught my attention about Bryan is his passion for the future and his commitment to being involved in both technology and in social progress toward building a better future.
When I invest in entrepreneurs for the OS fund, I want to find people who are one, future-literate, two, who are working on one of humanity's most audacious challenges or opportunities, and three, if successful, they would improve the lives of billions of people for generations to come. Those are the three criteria I evaluate on every investment.
He wanted to know how he could help children understand that they have the power to offer their own lives, and that's this huge statement, right? And it's like, well, we have to start somewhere, and that became this book. And then that then became something much larger when he was like no, how do we really—this is just one book, but what can we do on a much larger level?
The reason why I want to invest in the youth, first, I'm a father of three and I love my children very much, and I work incredibly hard to be a good father to them. But also, I see them as humanity's future creators, that they will arrive in maturity when these powerful tools of creation are at their maturity as well, and they'll have this ability to author our world unlike any other generation. And I want to invest in them now so that when they're at that age, that they have the aspirations and the vision to create something remarkable.