I recently enjoyed being interviewed for a podcast with Jock Purtle of Digital Exits where we discuss what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger would invest in today — if they were young. Hint: competitive advantages, recurring revenue.
What would Buffett and Munger invest in if they were young now?
The answer is a surprise because Buffett and Munger often say that they cannot predict technology 10 years into the future — that is their proxy for feeling confident that they “understand the business.” At the Berkshire annual meeting for a few years now, however, Charlie has said that he would work on finding online or technology businesses that have competitive advantages, recurring revenue, and can scale quickly. To me, it seems that he sees in these businesses the same characteristics that they looked for in their heyday with newspapers, consumer products companies, insurance companies like Geico, and more. They strove to find businesses with inherent advantages (economies of scale, network effects, unique distribution channels) that would be strong businesses for many decades.
The podcast can be found here at Digital Exits with Mason Myers.
Some of the topics we covered include:
- Value of recurring revenue
- Search funds and independent sponsors
- What should you plan to do (or not) on the first 100 days after you buy a business?
- Competitive advantages and network effects
Related Posts and Articles
- Jim Cumbee Podcast on recurring revenue
- Competitive Advantages lead to persistent high results
- How a distribution channel can be an advantage
Transcription from Digital Exits:
Jock: Welcome back to another episode of the Digital Exits Podcast. I’m your host, Jock Purtle. And today, we have Mason Myers, from
MasonMyers.com and also Greybull Stewardship. Mason, welcome to the podcast.
Mason: Thank you very much, Jock. It’s good to be here.
Jock: Excellent. So we’re just chatting on the call beforehand. I actually came across your personal blog when I was doing some research into search funds, and I was telling Mason that I read every single article on his site over a one or two day period, which is a big kudos to him. Love the content. He talks about investing through his company, Greybull, and then value investing, which I’m a big fan of. For those who don’t know, value investing was coined through the book The Intelligent Investor, and then Warren Buffett has built his fortune based on that sort of strategy. So let’s jump over to you. Want to give everyone sort of a quick background of you as an entrepreneur, and then do you want to tell me a little bit about Greybull?
Mason: You bet. Thank you, Jock. I began as an entrepreneur and an operator, so my heart really is with management teams and the founders of companies. Right out of college, I was into journalism, and I started messing around with the internet. I graduated from college in 1993, so, started a company in ’94, bootstrapped it, merged it with another company, got venture financing, went public, and did a lot of M&A through that public company. So that’s sort of where I learned to do M&A deals, and to work with other entrepreneurs and founders. To jump ahead a little bit, I started my investment fund, Greybull Stewardship, in 2010, and we are focused on companies with $1-3 million in EBITDA. Usually they’ve been around for a while, they’re good companies, and they’re growing well. They need capital for growth or they want to take some chips off the table, and that’s what I’m focused on today.
Jock: So I guess there’s two lines of questions there. With Greybull, did you raise a fund? Was it your personal capital? What’s the partner structure? Tell us a little bit about that.
Mason: Because I came at investing from being an entrepreneur and an operator, I really wanted to find an investment structure that worked best for entrepreneurs. So what I focused on was finding an evergreen fund structure, where we’re not forced to sell the companies on a certain timeframe. As you know, Jock, most investment funds are operated on a ten-year time horizon. So the investors are forced to make the investment, grow the companies as fast as they can, and then sell them again, which may work great for certain companies, but for other companies, maybe they want to own it for a longer period of time and let the value compound, or pursue a different strategy that doesn’t necessarily work in that timeframe. So I wanted to make sure my investment fund worked for them. So the most important thing to know is that it exists in perpetuity. There is not a ten-year fund life to it. So we can own the companies as long as it makes sense, and I won’t put pressure on the entrepreneurs to sell sooner or later or whatever it may be.
So yes, I did raise funds from other folks, and from my own funds. The fund works on four-year cycles, so I get a refresh of capital every four years.
Jock: So it sounds more like an operating company rather than a fund structure. Would that be a good summation?
Mason: Yes, in a way. I know we’ll get to Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway a little bit later, but I really tried to model this on what he’s been able to do. He says that his favorite time frame for an investment, or his favorite hold period for an investment, is forever. There are obvious reasons for that, because you get tax advantages, and you get a lot of value by just letting the companies compound in value over time. So yes, I wanted to create a structure where you could hold investments for a long time, just like he does. And yes, Berkshire, as you know, has many operating company characteristics, because it owns operating companies, and that’s the same with Greybull Stewardship.
Jock: So let’s go to your philosophy on value investing. What does value investing mean to you?
Mason: Well, I think what it means to me is, as an investor, the safest way to invest is to buy something at a fair price, and sometimes at a good price, but particularly when you’re talking to good companies who are growing, no one’s giving their company away, so the idea is to try to find a fair price for both the seller or the founder, and myself. So for me, it means, number 1, getting into the investment at a fair price and not overpaying too much. And the fair price means to me that you’re paying on fundamentals of the business. Ultimately, it comes back to a projection or forecast of the cash flows that an owner could expect to take out of the business both today and into the future. In investing, that often gets boiled down to EBITDA or free cash flow, or something like that. So I like to think of businesses as a multiple of free cash flow minus capbacks, or a multiple of EBITDA. And that’s the way I think about it. As Buffett says, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” So I focus a lot on trying to pay a fair price and make sure I get a lot of value.
Jock: What’s a fair price?
Mason: It’s such a difficult question because all companies are so different. So I think it depends on the size of the company. It depends on the growth rate of the company. It depends on the competitive advantages, or, as Buffett would say, “the moat around the company,” which is really a way of saying, “How certain are you that these cash flows are going to continue well into the future?” I operate in smaller companies, $1-3 million in EBITDA, sometimes a little smaller, so typically I think that those EBITDA multiples, when you take all of those factors above and others, they probably trade anywhere from 4-5-6-7 X EBITDA, something in that range.
Jock: Have you seen valuation prices fluctuate over the five years that Greybull’s been alive?
Mason: What I find interesting…yes is a way to answer that question but to separate that into two buckets. The first bucket is larger companies and public companies and so forth, and those valuations have definitely gone up. Today they are much higher than they were previously. When you get into smaller companies, it’s more about finding the right fit between the investor or the buyer and the seller or the person seeking growth capital. So those valuations actually do not fluctuate as much, maybe a little bit, as they sort of reflect the trends of what’s going on in the broader investment world. Really, it becomes more about finding the fit between the two sides of the table. And so that becomes more important than the pure valuation, which means the valuations are not fluctuating as much in that part of the marketplace.
Jock: So you look for businesses that want either growth capital or for the entrepreneur to take some money off the table. Are there any other sorts of structures that you’ll invest in, or are those the only two?
Mason: Those usually capture the bulk of what the objectives are of the founder, the owner of the business. Of course, you can do a combination of the two, and I’ve done that several times, where they’re selling some equity to diversify, but also we’re putting money into the business so that we can help grow the business. But yeah, it’s usually some combination of those.
Jock: And then, are these companies coming to you, or are you finding them through bankers, or what’s the deal there?
Mason: It’s both. I think the most important characteristic of what the investments that I end up having made is that we both, myself and my partner, the founder of the business, usually spend a lot of time making sure it’s a good fit. I named my company Greybull Stewardship. Greybull is a little town in Wyoming where I was born, but I put the word “stewardship” there because I wanted to convey to founders that I want to be a good steward of their company and what they’ve built and support them in being a good steward. So really, I tend to find entrepreneurs and founders who really care about who their partner is. They’re not selling and bailing out and going to do something else. Maybe they’re selling a minority of their company to grow, maybe they’re selling a majority but they’re staying involved, so really we both have usually spent a lot of time making sure there’s a good fit with strategy, with personality, with timeframe – you know, maybe the entrepreneur has something in mind with what they want to do with the business – etc, so that’s usually the most important thing that happens, regardless of whether I meet the entrepreneur through a banker, or we meet independently. People drop me e-mails all the time through my website, and that’s often a way to get introduced. I am also often introduced to people by my investors, the people who’ve invested in Greybull Stewardship. So it’s all of the above, but once the introduction happens, it’s usually about making sure it’s a good fit.
Jock: So let’s move gears and talk about tech, because you’ve got a lot of technology that is destructing sort of very mature, old businesses. I guess the question to throw at you is, Can companies really survive forever with so much innovation and disruption happening, and it’s going to happen in the future?
Mason: I think that’s a very good point, and if you were to look at the data, the half-life of how long companies last in the S&P 500, for example, it’s gone down dramatically in the last 100 years. Obviously, with technology always changing things, it creates a lot more dynamism and ever-changing landscape for the company. So yes, I think it’s not possible to stay forever, but I do think it’s possible to identify companies that have stronger competitive advantages, and have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding maybe 5, 10, 15 years into the future, and you can make a reasonably educated guess about that. I tend to like those companies better, where even if the technology changes, you can see how they have strengths that will allow them to be successful for 5 or 10 or 15 years. I’m not so good with things that may be hot for a year or two, and then who knows what happens? I just don’t find that that necessarily fits my personality, and plus, it’s extremely difficult to pick companies that are going to be very successful in a year or two in a rapidly changing environment.
Jock: A great show for someone that’s fresh or has no idea about competitive advantage to watch is Shark Tank. They’re always talking about what differentiates you from your competitors. I guess my question to you is, you’re making a decision purely based on the future cash flow potential of the business, but also that “moat” that we talk about, that competitive advantage. What in your mind defines sustainable competitive advantage?
Mason: That’s a very difficult question, and it’s hard to answer without using a lot of clichés, but I’ll do the best I can. Really, sustainable competitive advantage to me, means, is there some advantage that the company has that other companies, no matter how hard they try, are really not going to be able to replicate or put a dent in that company’s business model? You can get into, then, sort of ideas or lists of things that make competitive advantages strong. Some of them that many people have cited, but I think that are helpful even though they are very rare and probably not that replicable for most people, are things that have network effects to them. Maybe it’s a two-sided marketplace where each side benefits by having the other side be very large. A couple of classic ones are Microsoft’s operating system and Google on search. So Google will always have better search results when they have 80-90% of people doing search through them, because they can always tweak the algorithm and they have the best data to deliver the best searches. It’s really difficult for someone else to break into that, because they can’t ever get a large enough search volume. Microsoft operating system, same sort of thing. So those network effect things’ competitive advantages are happening more and more, particularly because they’re enabled by the internet, and two-sided markets. And you can sort of go down recent huge success stories of AirBNB or Alibaba or über, all sorts of great network effects. You can see them in real time happening in front of us all right now. Beyond that, oh, go ahead Jock…
Jock: Can you define a network effect for me a little bit better?
Mason: Usually it’s easiest to think of it in a two-sided marketplace like über. Each side benefits more by participating in the marketplace that has the most people on the other side of the market. So if you’re a consumer wanting to use über, you want to go to the place where they have the most drivers. If you’re a driver, you want to go to the marketplace where they have the most users. So the service is more valuable to each participant because of the large numbers on each side of the marketplace. So someone else cannot break into there unless they have as many cars on one side or as many consumers on the other side of that marketplace.
Jock: Right, so I guess I might talk about a business we had recently where one side of the equation was servicing big box retailers, the other side of the equation was servicing wholesaling vendors, and they had a technology in place that made it easier for both parties. I’m just going to use an example we had. Is that a sustainable competitive advantage?
Mason: I don’t know. I’d have to know a little bit more about it. What do you think? What did you see in it?
Jock: My questioning around it was, could someone go and develop a similar technology? And they probably could, for a million bucks or something. And then the other question I asked was, could someone go and steal those companies that they were servicing, those big-box retailers? And I guess, yes, they could. It would probably take a year or two sale cycle, but technically they could do that. And then if one falls, then probably they all fall, if that makes sense. I don’t know. This is not my strongest suit.
Mason: I think, from what you just said, it sounds like there are some advantages. You like that, where they could have a couple of years of runway, but I think it’s very helpful to think about the ones where no matter how much money you have, or how much time you have, a new competitor or new entrant cannot necessarily replicate the advantage. So you could think about über, or Google search, or Microsoft operating system, or Coca-Cola’s distribution system. A lot of people think about Coca-Cola’s brand as a competitive advantage, which it is, but I think the stronger one is the decades of investment they have made in having a Coke within reach no matter where you are in the world. It’s almost unfathomable to think about how you would replicate that distribution network from scratch, which then makes it an unbelievable competitive advantage for the long-term.
Jock: That makes a lot of sense. How do I compete against über? I can’t, to be honest. Look at Lyft. Lyft is trying to compete, but they don’t have the distribution or the customer base. That’s a good point. I guess the question, then, gets reframed. You, personally, are buying smaller businesses in the $1-3 million EBITDA range. Technically, if someone had a big enough checkbook, they could come and replicate that business model. So I guess my question to you is, how do you find that sustainable competitive advantage on a smaller business?
Mason: That’s a great question. What you may be looking for is not something like Coke or Google or über, but something that within its niche, within its marketplace, it has almost as equivalent of a competitive advantage. Even if you had billions of dollars, you wouldn’t necessarily go after that for some reason. Maybe it’s too small of a market, even though it’s a very nice healthy marketplace for the companies I invest in. Maybe there are reasons why your structure of your company wouldn’t allow you to go after that marketplace, for example. Plus, I like to take the lessons and the models from the very successful companies and try and see them at work in smaller marketplaces. One investment that I’ve made – I haven’t yet announced it, but I can announce it here – is a company called OnSource. What they do is they, on one side of their market, they have insurance companies, who need photos taken of autos or homes, usually once a claim has come in and they need to have a photo of the car’s bumper or whatever. On the other side of the market is a network of thousands and tens of thousands of independent contractors who take the photos. So via a smartphone app just like an über driver, they accept a job, they go and take the photos and then get paid through the app. That’s a different marketplace, but within that marketplace, this company has huge competitive advantages, because it’s nearly impossible for a new entrant to replicate the network of independent contractors that they have. The insurance companies may have a different dynamic. Someone, theoretically, I think, could sell into them over time, but the insurance companies are always going to want to go to the marketplace where they can get their photos taken the fastest, because there’s the biggest network of people there. So it may not be as big of a market as the world-wide taxi market like über’s going after, but it’s going to be a pretty big market, and you can see the dynamics that that company has, which gives it very, very big advantages over anybody else who would try and come in.
Jock: So I think we’ve talked a little bit about B2B sustainable competitive advantage. What about business-to-consumer sustainable competitive advantage?
Mason: Well, we’ve talked about B2C a little bit, with Google search, and über, and things like that. I think the same dynamics actually apply. B2C, I, in a way like those maybe even a little bit more, because it feels like millions of individual consumers is a bigger network effect than, call it hundreds or thousands of businesses. It feels like it might be easier for a hundred businesses to make a different decision than it would take for millions and millions of consumers to make a different decision. So I like it when there are many, many players on either side of the market.
Jock: That makes sense. I was just thinking in terms of smaller companies. The examples we’re using seem to be a lot more B2B, rather than B2C.
Mason: Yeah, I hear that.
Jock: Well, let’s talk search funds. A client of ours came to us and suggested that we do some outreach to a search fund in terms of an acquisition for their business. At the time, I had no concept of what they were or what they were all about. I did some Googling and found a great article that you wrote. What’s your experience been with search funds, and what are your comments on them?
Mason: I think they’re a great innovation. I think there are two related innovations in sort of financing of businesses and the M&A marketplace for businesses. One is search funds, which we’ll talk more about, and the other is independent sponsors, or what used to be called fundless sponsors. In both cases, a person or group of people find a company and strike a deal with the company, and then go find the capital to close the deal. This is an innovation, because 20, 30 years ago, you needed to raise funds through a traditional private equity fund structure, a venture capital structure, and these days, there’s just a lot more innovation happening. These two innovations are interesting, and obviously, other ones are crowdfunding and AngelList and that sort of thing. To get more into a search fund, as you know, Jock, they tend to be people coming right out of business school, so they’re relatively young. They’re in their 20s or 30s usually, and they have some management experience and some business background, and they want to run a company. So they raise a little bit of money to fund a search process over a 1-2 year period, to then try and find a company. When they find a company, the people who funded the search get a first shot at financing the acquisition. Then the search fund person takes over the company and starts running it.
Jock: What experience have you had with them, if any?
Mason: I’ve not invested in search funds myself, because I like the model where the management team at the company is staying in place, and search funds tend to like a situation where the founder or the management team is leaving so that they can take over and run the company. But I’ve interacted with many, many search funders over the years. There’s a wide variety of outcomes. You have people who spend a couple of years trying to find a business and they just can’t find it, or they had a couple of false starts in their couple of years and they just couldn’t get a deal done by the time they need to go on and do something else. And then you have people that have had unbelievable, humongous successes. The most famous search fund success is a company called Asurion, which is insurance for cell phones, and it has become a multi-billion dollar business that has been recapitalized several times by very large private equity funds. So the search funders who did Asurion are as successful as any household name tech entrepreneur that you could name.
Jock: I want to pick up one point. You said that you like to keep management in place, whereas search funds like to take management out and replace them with new management or operators. What is your take on the pros and cons of doing that?
Mason: Well, there’s certainly a place for both. When I say the search funds usually like to take over the company, usually, it’s in a very friendly way, with a transition period with the existing management team or founders. So everyone’s going into this wanting to make it successful and there’s usually a transition period and it usually goes pretty well. But I think it’s just different strokes for different folks. The search funders want to have the experience of running a business, and certainly there’s a lot of business owners out there who want to sell and don’t want to keep running the business after a transition period. So there’s a really natural fit there between those two things. I like to find businesses where the management team has a lot of equity, wants to keep some equity, and wants to stay in place. For me, it’s just a strategy selection, because I like situations where the management team has a great track record with a particular business, because that gives a much higher likelihood that that track record is going to continue into the future. I like that as an investor. I also am a pretty hands-off investor. I like to be available if and when a management team or founding group wants to discuss something or kick something around or whatever, but I like it when they’re independent and making the decisions about running their company themselves. That tends to be the case if they founded a company or they’ve been running a company for a long time, you have a pretty good degree of confidence that they’re going to run it well into the future.
Jock: Have you had any experience where you’ve had to replace management completely? Or where you’ve got a smaller company where it’s 100% owner operated? I’m just thinking from our listener point-of-view. Most of the people that buy businesses through our brokerage are becoming owner-operators, so my question to you is, do you have any advice for them? Have you got any advice to a company that, let’s say, is an investment portfolio that is buying the business and then having to replace the operator? What’s a checklist on success of that business moving forward, if that makes sense?
Mason: When I came out of business school, I did what you could call an unfunded search. I bought a business where the owner wanted to leave, and I was going to step in and run the business. So I’ve done that personally, and I’ve done it in other situations where we’re buying a business and the CEO wanted to leave so we needed to hire a new CEO. It’s difficult, is what I would say. I think that the first thing is that the person buying a business should go into it with their eyes wide open. They need to find ways to learn as much as they possibly can from the outgoing management team. Whether that’s a lot of little interactions before the deal closes, or whether it’s a specified transition period after the deal closes, or both, I think they need to find ways to interact a lot with the management team and sort of learn as much as they can. The other advice I would give people is generally, I would give the existing people the benefit of the doubt in the decisions that they’ve made. So you might look at a business and see lots of decisions that they’ve made that you agree with, and lots of decisions that they’ve made that you may not agree with. But I would be slow to make big, huge changes to a business that’s working, and really make sure that you deeply understand why the prior management team made the choices that they did before dramatically changing things. Now, of course, there are always reasons and times that you need to make dramatic changes for whatever reason. But if the business is working well, I think it’s better to sort of watch and see the business in operations for a while and then later make decisions or changes if you need to. What else comes to mind? I’ve been in situations where you want to make the change right away and the old management team isn’t around anymore at all, and I’ve also made transitions where the people stick around. No matter what, I think it helps everybody to make the transition just the right amount of time, but not too long. If it’s belabored or too long, I think the people in the company get confused about who they should be going to for decisions and for answers. So you want to make sure it’s long enough for you to learn, but once that period’s done, you want to make the transition so there’s a clear leadership.
Jock: Are you a fan of the 100-day strategy or the first 100 day strategy?
Mason: I think it’s a helpful tool, for sure. It’s a helpful tool to get your thinking started. I would almost not force yourself to do too much in the 100 days. Most of the businesses that we buy, it takes a year before you really understand how things are going. In a lot of businesses, there’s seasonality, where Q4 may be great and Q2 may not be so great. So you can’t really implement a 100-day strategy because you really need to watch a whole annual cycle for how the business works. I think it may sound good and maybe there are some simple things like accounting, monthly reporting, Qmetrix Dashboards, and things like that that you may want to put in place that are good things to do in the first 100 days, but as far as deeply understanding a business, I think it takes watching and living inside a business for a year before you can really feel confident that you understand it.
Jock: Very nice advice. Let’s go to Charlie Munger’s comment about if he had his time over again, he would be buying online, recurring-based businesses. What’s your take on that comment?
Mason: I think it’s very interesting because, as your listeners may know, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, the chairman and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, have often said they don’t want to invest in technology businesses because they’re too difficult for them to understand. What they mean by that is they can’t necessarily predict what’s going to be the dynamic in the business in ten years into the future. What I like about what he said, is that it’s showing that the things that they’ve looked for throughout their investing life can be found in spades in online businesses. And that there are many of them. So that’s one, is that there’s a lot of opportunity to find them. Number two, that when you do find them, they tend to have very rapid value creation like some of the behemoths that we talked about earlier. So if you look at their track record, they’ve looked for competitive advantages, economies of scale advantages, network effects, in what they did in the heart of their investing career. So you could pick out a few things like newspapers. Back in the day, those had a network effect component to it because advertisers wanted to be with the newspaper that had the most readers, and the readers wanted to go to the newspaper that had the most content and the most other readers, because they wanted to be seeing what everyone else was seeing. Big consumer products companies that had invested in big distribution networks and brands and so forth. A lot of the elements of online businesses with recurring revenue, unique direct-to-consumer distribution patterns, brands, recurring revenue, those are things that they’ve looked at throughout their life. It would just be applying their same thinking to this vast arena of online businesses today.
Jock: Maybe I’ll throw in a personal question. You invested in a business brokerage. Tell me about that deal and why you thought it was a good investment.
Mason: There are a couple of reasons why I thought it was a good investment. First, the business is called Murphy Business Brokerage, so this is a franchise company whose franchisees help people buy and sell Main Street businesses, so construction companies, restaurants, nail salons, and things like that that would be your normal Main Street type of business. There are several reasons, but the first that comes to mind is that I live this every day, and I see the need. When people are buying and selling businesses, they’re often not experienced at doing it, and it helps them to have an experienced person by their side, helping them through every step of the process. I’ve written several blog posts about the benefits of doing that, so I know there’s a need. I’ve also seen the advantages that a franchisee of Murphy has over an independent broker who may be trying to buy and sell businesses. Murphy can make one investment in a database or a certain technology or research on valuations, or any subset of Main Street businesses, dental offices or restaurants or whatever. They can make these big investments which is very hard for a solo practitioner to make. So all these franchisees get tremendous value by being part of the Murphy system. And it helps them when a gym owner wants to sell their gym, inevitably, across the country, there are five other Murphy brokers who’ve sold gyms and they can share their experience and wisdom with what it takes to sell a gym properly. There are some competitive advantages there, certainly over solo practitioner brokers, and the Murphy system is vastly superior in their technology and their training, than other brokerage systems that are trying to build this sort of national network. So there’s a lot of competitive advantage there. The last reason is that they’re really high-quality, high-integrity people in the system, and, as you know, Jock, that’s a really important thing with any intermediary or brokerage business. You want to make sure you’re working with the best people.
Jock: Bit of a selfish question there, but thanks for the answer. Anything that I haven’t asked that you thought about, that you might want to share?
Mason: We touched on recurring revenue a little bit. You had asked me about that earlier as we were talking. That is another point that I wanted to make with online businesses. If you can think about the recurring revenue that Buffett and Munger saw in consumer products companies and they still see today with backing of Heinz or Burger King or Anheuser-Busch deals. Duracell, Gillette, all sorts of things that they’ve done through the years with consumer products. With the newspaper type businesses. They love situations where you know the revenue is going to be there in the future. I think with online businesses, particularly subscription-based, SaaS models, or other recurring revenue models, that’s really a key element of having a valuable business. I think a lot of the businesses that you probably are working with, Jock, have that component and that characteristic, which would be really important for your buyers to make sure they appreciate and understand the value of that.
Jock: If we look at the sales data on recurring SaaS-based businesses, versus say, an e-commerce businesses or an advertising based site, SaaS is certainly selling at a much higher multiple than the other business models.
Mason: Yeah, no question. The marketplace has really come to appreciate that, as it should.
Jock: When I do a valuation on a company, I’m always saying that at the end of the day, my valuation is a guess. What the market’s going to pay for the business is what the market is going to pay for the business. That data on recurring valuations basically backs up everything we’ve been talking about for the last forty minutes.
Mason: Yup. Very much so.
Jock: Good stuff. If someone wants to find some more information about you, do you want to give them some resources?
Mason: You bet. I appreciate the comments you said about my blog earlier, Jock, and that website is my name, MasonMyers.com, and my investment fund is called Greybull Stewardship, and you can find it just by doing a Google search. Yeah, thank you very much, Jock, I appreciate being here.
Jock: No worries. And I’m happy to give you a plug for Greybull. What’s the perfect type of business that you’re looking for?
Mason: I love recurring-revenue online businesses that are growing at a healthy rate, and the management team wants some capital for growth or to take some chips off the table and they want a good partner for the long term.