I have been patiently chasing down Jason Robins for my podcast because I love the brand, the incredible struggle and the opportunity ahead for the company (I do own a few shares).
We met way back in 2013 and I am friends with many people at the company which we discuss a bit in today’s ‘Panic With Frineds’ podcast.
Jason does a fantastic job of walking me through the history of the company and the roller coaster ride to their IPO (via a SPAC).
I promise you will enjoy this episode. You can listen right here. The quick notes follow.
Guest: Jason Robins
Profile: CEO and Co-founder of DraftKings
Fun Fact: Jason has been an avid sports fan long before DraftKings. Growing up in Miami, Jason would spend his mornings memorizing stats and box scores from the Miami Herald Sports section before heading off to school. Also important to note, the sports betting king himself made his first bet in Las Vegas during March Madness while he was in college.
What’s the Panic About:
Jason Robins’ journey with DraftKings has been anything but smooth. Since starting the Boston-based company in 2012, Jason’s been on a nonstop rollercoaster (with books to prove it). With three children, Jason is like many parents right now — living Zoom call to Zoom call and kid crisis to kid crisis. So, I was appreciative and excited to steal some of Jason’s time, get his perspective, and learn about the juggernaut that is DraftKings. On this episode, Jason and I talked about the booming growth of esports, the rise of sports betting, taking his company public during a pandemic, the impact of Barstool Sports, and more. And of course this wouldn’t be an episode of Panic if we didn’t talk about SPACs for a bit too.
Take it one game at a time and know you’re only as strong as your teammates. I know you’re probably thinking, “Howard, cool it with the sports cliches.” To that I say — you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. OK that was the last one.
But in all seriousness, talking with Jason made me think about just how true these cliches are. Whether it’s putting in 100 plus hours a week building a business from the ground up, taking a chance and investing in a startup, or sticking it out through the uphill battles — Jason has surrounded himself with some good teammates and has never lost his love for the game.
“People want to help each other in the startup community. There’s so much optimism and disruption and ambition in the air. It’s invigorating.”
“I have to fight the urge to gravitate toward the things I want to do and really try to focus on the places that I can have the most impact.”
“It’s amazing what you can get accomplished over Zoom.”
“I never thought DraftKings’ claim to fame would be invigorating the SPAC market, but here we are.”
Food for Thought:
Keeping with the sports theme for this recap, who’s excited for football to start back up this week? What players and teams are you betting on this fantasy football season?