David Scott Carlick, Vantage Point Venture Partners on Life, Love and Taxation
Susan Bratton

Episode 24 - David Scott Carlick, Vantage Point Venture Partners on Life, Love and Taxation

David is back for another visit on DishyMix. One of the all-time best DishyMix programs was with David in March '07. In his original racy interview, Susan and David discussed everything from the race riots of the 60's to sex on waterbeds. Find out why he takes his signature look from Ivan Boesky and how a lapel pin becomes an engagement beacon. David's conversation ranges from mood rings to sumptuous Australian Shiraz to the value of keeping intimacy strong in marriage.

In this next installment, hippy woodworker turned millionaire VC, David is both an "agency guy" and a venture capitalist. He has been directly involved in the transfer of over $200mm in cash from Vantage Point's investors to startup companies. David says, "This has, in turn, helped to create hundreds, and soon, thousands of jobs, and a number of products and services that have, I believe, made the world better, or are doing so." His current investments and boards include 3Guppies, AllBusiness.com, Datran Media, Grocery Shopping Network, Healthline, ReachLocal, Zvents and Multiply.

On this episode, find out where David thinks social networking will evolve from today. What book he most recommends to friends: The Reckoning by David Halbersham. Hear David describe the worst "fork in the road-bad-decision that he regrets and his advice about how you might not make the same mistakes... Susan and David also talk about the good and the bad of the Boomer legacy. Then you can find out the importance of shared passions and David's advice for happiness in love. Hear his guiltiest pleasure. Hint - it's a person.

Following along on David's rational, if not doable plan for restructuring the tax system: he would "replace it with a tax on consumption and a phased-in surtax on energy consumption, with the proceeds of the latter specifically allocated to replace our energy and transportation infrastructure with sustainable infrastructure." He explains his ideas and boy do they make sense. Find out if politics is in his future.

Once again, David delights, informs and entertains. Be inspired. Listen now.



Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix, I'm your host, Susan Bratton. Hey, it is great to have you on the show today. Thank you so much for listening. I have my favorite all time interview person, David Carlick, David Scott Carlick, the managing partner, managing director of Vantage Point Venture Partners on the show again today. We did a show back when I was still distributed by Web Master Radio and, god, it was the most fun show I have ever had doing a Dishy Mix. David and I talked about everything from the race riots of the 60's to waterbed sex to creationists and why he takes his signature look from Ivan Bosky. We had conversation that ranged from mood rings to Australian Charaze and it was a super fun time. I couldn't wait a year to have him back on, that was in March, the March 15th episode of Dishy Mix, so you get David Carlick again today. He's a hippy woodworker turned millionaire VC and he is super fun to talk to. On today's show we're going to talk about everything from his opinion on the taxation laws to some guilty pleasure, the oil crisis, what he’s done to secure a future for widows and orphans, social networking of course because what would Dishy Mix be without some sort of conversation about social networking, voyeurism and exhibitionism, which I know you’ll like, some of the bad decisions he’s made, I’m going to get some marriage advice from Dave, and we’ll talk about some of his horrible investing decisions. So we’re going to get the good, the bad, the ugly and the most fun with David Carlick.

David Scott Carlick: There is that, but you know, it’s all things considered. We are healthy, happy, have great choices, have a vibrant economy, have jobs, houses for better or for worse or twice the size they were, we have more stuff, we have better education, we have, you know, a very exciting world to live in.

David Scott Carlick: I can’t imagine life not working and being able to be associated with the kind of entrepreneurs that I get to work with. They talk about the new generation being spoiled or slackers, but you don’t see that in the guys that are going out starting companies or going to work for start-ups.

David Scott Carlick: Social networking generally means that it’s a way for people to communicate to one another and it’s user generated content, you know, we don’t have editors create it has a viral nature of growth, so those are the three defining elements of social networking.

David Scott Carlick: One of the things that’s the most fun about online direct marketing is, unfortunately it’s not taken advantage of enough, is that people respond to kitch, people respond to stuff that, you know, that’s fun.

Susan Bratton: Welcome David.

David Scott Carlick: Hey, thank you.

Susan Bratton: How’s my hippie woodworker?

David Scott Carlick: You know if I could’ve become a millionaire hippie woodworker, we could’ve skipped all the bad investment decisions, failed marriages and widows and orphans.

Susan Bratton: But life is a journey and you must walk the path, right?

David Scott Carlick: I suppose so.

Susan Bratton: So…

David Scott Carlick: It was fascinating to have my nephew who’s 20 years old, his school, studying computer graphics, looking to be a, one of the laborers at Pixar and heading towards that way very nicely, call me up one day completely alarmed by the future of the world, and I thought, oh my lord, you know, this is great. I’ve got to find for him, I’ve got to go on eBay and find the old Hollers catalogue and show him that, you know, this is some sort of a generational issue, but, and that it’s been thought of before but that doesn’t mean its been solved.

Susan Bratton: That’s exactly right. It takes every new, every new generation to try to solve those problems, doesn’t it?

David Scott Carlick: I suppose so. It’s interesting to reflect on what the boomers have accomplished, from the Woodstock era and the ‘Just Say No to Vietnam War’, all the way through to where we are now, which is somehow we managed to get ourselves into another messier more expensive even worser war. We’ve managed to go from being, you know, people who are thrifty to being a oil guzzling, gas guzzling energy consuming behemoth and we’ve managed to paint ourselves into a deficit where we’re handing over to the next generation some real headaches, so what, what the heck happened, you have to tell me.

Susan Bratton: I, you know, those are problems that we’ve definitely created. I’d like to think it’s, you know, people older than I, but I have…

David Scott Carlick: Worse case is our age, I’m afraid. Well my age.

Susan Bratton: I have definitely been a party to the consumptive behemoth that is the boomer generation. Yeah, what have we done good? What have we done as boomers that’s good? Well, the sexual revolution, I think we’ve done a good job with that.

David Scott Carlick: Yeah…

Susan Bratton: Many of us anyway.

David Scott Carlick: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: What else?

David Scott Carlick: As the joke goes, we invented the internet.

Susan Bratton: That’s right, we did, yeah, that’s a good one.

David Scott Carlick: Yeah, that was a good one…

Susan Bratton: Anything else?

David Scott Carlick: And all the things that went along with it.

Susan Bratton: I would say probably the natural and organic food movement, at least we started that, right?

David Scott Carlick: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Not to say that 98 percent of the food we eat now has corn syrup and soy bean somehow injected into it in some chemical breakdown.

David Scott Carlick: There is that, but you know, all things considered, we are healthy, happy, have great choices…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: Have a vibrant economy, have jobs, houses for better or for worse or twice the size they were, we have more stuff, we have better education, we have, you know, a very exciting world to live in and, not to plug us too much or plug the business that I’m in, but I’m seeing a very aggressive side of our clean tech investing, you know, it’s almost like Anne Rand, where greed is good…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: I’ve always felt that way.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: Anne Rand is back in style again.

Susan Bratton: Isn’t she. I know, I’ve been hearing about her all over the place lately, it’s the funniest thing.

David Scott Carlick: Mm hmm. So there’s a lot of money going out to create electric cars and new energy generation and so forth, and actually, you know, to even bypass the ethanol fad that looks like another one of those lobby things from the farm group that isn’t in the interest of the world at large.

Susan Bratton: Well you, at Vantage Point, so you’ve been investing in online marketing companies since the mid ‘90’s and you joined the Vantage Point team in ’97, so that’s ten years, and…

David Scott Carlick: Right, ’98 was when I officially joined.

Susan Bratton: ’98, okay. You…

David Scott Carlick: So, it’ll be ten years in 2008, in three months roughly.

Susan Bratton: In three months. Now how, in those, lets just call it ten years, I think we’re safe to do that, we can round up a little bit…

David Scott Carlick: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: In the last ten years, how much money have you been involved in moving from your limited partners to companies that you’ve helped get going?

David Scott Carlick: I was just doing that tally Susan and it’s, it’s interesting. I have been on the originating deal team and gone on the board of the investments, of the condigent of the investment, so that’s what I view as my direct connection.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: To now, just passed $200 million dollars, which is a number that I would have never dreamed when I came in here earlier.

Susan Bratton: And what kind of pay back will your investors see, what do you estimate, that you’re going to go out and give away $200 million dollars, invest it wisely and make your bets…

David Scott Carlick: Right.

Susan Bratton: with $200 million dollars of OPM, right, other peoples money…

David Scott Carlick: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: What do you promise to give back to them? What do they expect?

David Scot Carlick: Well, it’s on the books now, either returned or at conservative evaluations at two and a half times that.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: And…

Susan Bratton: So $500 million dollars.

David Scott Carlick: Slightly under that number.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: But there are still a few companies that may or may not survive, and there’s still a few of those companies that will probably have a substantial up tick, so I’m hoping to see our LP’s get back from those investments in the aggregate 3 to 5 times their money. And I joke about being widows and orphans, but of course there, our limited partners are typically, you know, large pensions and endowments and so forth.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, but you’ve also created a lot of jobs.

David Scott Carlick: That’s the part that…

Susan Bratton: You like the best, right?

David Scott Carlick: you know, appeals to the hippie woodworker, yeah.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, the hippie woodworker likes the job creation, more consumption.

David Scott Carlick: Actually it’s, well when I reflect on the business and my life in it, it’s an odd one because I’m in this for ten years out of my now 40 years of working, so 1/4th of my career has been in this investing area and there’s, parts of it there are blunt and brutal and cold-hearted and that part is hard for me.

Susan Bratton: It is hard for you, I know.

David Scott Carlick: And, but, you know, in the end you do wind up helping to create companies that make a difference and helping to, those companies create jobs and helping those companies and jobs return the capitol and more to the literally retirement funds that have put the money at our trust. So it’s a good cycle, it’s a crucible, it’s a, you know, there’s a lot of spotlight on you, and even though now I’m theoretically playing with house money, it doesn’t make it any more relaxed.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. And how long do you think you’ll keep doing it? I mean, you have to have enough now after your Myspace fabulous sale.

David Scott Carlick: Well, you mean me personally?

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: Well, my participation in the Vantage Point success is in the overall success of the fund, I’m not tied to any particular company.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. Oh.

David Scott Carlick: But I’ve done well over the years, I could quit.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: But you know Susan I, while I, I can’t imagine life not working and being able to be associated with the kind of entrepreneurs that I get to work with.

Susan Bratton: Right.

David Scott Carlick: Talk about the new generation being spoiled or slackers, but you don’t see that in the guys that are going off starting companies or going to work for start-ups.

Susan Bratton: And is it only guys?

David Scott Carlick: For some reason I seem to have as, on the founding teams mostly guys…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: in my particular ones. There’s, we have women who’ve led investments and other investments here and a lot of our, some, at Vantage Point 3 of our top investing professionals, the group leaders are women. But it, I say guys partly Susan because I come from the media world and in the media world ‘guys’ was representative of both sexes, we’re all guys.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: And we didn’t use ‘guys’ and ‘gals’, we’re all guys, and so I use ‘guys’ as a non gender specific deal.

Susan Bratton: Got it.

David Scott Carlick: And so the people who are at the start-ups are so exciting, so, you know, could you imagine just, you know, hanging around with the old farts at the country club and complaining that we haven’t sent enough troops to Iraq, I can’t quite get there, compared to seeing folks do things like start Myspace from scratch and turn it into something or seeing folks like Reach Local transform, you know, how small businesses get to grow their business online and get thank you letters from small businesses that say, “My god, I was just scraping along, I was about to go out of business and then you guys started doing my online marketing and I’ve hired three people and opened a new office”, that’s just exciting stuff.

Susan Bratton: That is, and that Reach Local is one of your current investments in board seats, you’re also on the board of 3 Guppies, allbusiness.com…

David Scott Carlick: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Day Trend Media, Grocery Shopping Network, Health Line and Zvents, so…

David Scott Carlick: They multiply.

Susan Bratton: Multiply, that’s a new one.

David Scott Carlick: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Okay, so what’s multiply? Tell us about that.

David Scott Carlick: Multiply is very cool. It’s, it falls under the rubric of social networking in that it’s a way that people can communicate amongst one another, between one another, amongst themselves, among each other. I’m grammatically failing, my English degree is wearing off. Well, I didn’t actually get an English degree, I got an Accounting degree, so.

Susan Bratton: It just is because you’re being interviewed.

David Scott Carlick: That’s it.

Susan Bratton: It’s just pressure.

David Scott Carlick: It’s just attention.

Susan Bratton: I don’t actually know what the answer is either and I’m not being interviewed.

David Scott Carlick: So, social networking generally means it, it’s a way for people to communicate to one another and it’s use generated content, you know, we don’t have editors create it and it has a viral nature of growth, so those are the three defining elements of social networking. But it can have many different applications, so multiply is a way that, you know, families and friends or groups can communicate and share the images and digital stuff that is part of their lives, so in a sense it’s a way a family can build a website about their family, pictures of the kids, share it with the grandparents, share it with their friends, their friends and grandparents can comment on it and can share it and, you know, add their own images and so forth, and it creates this living scrapbook which we store for life if you want…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: and preserve, so in twenty years when you want to look back on the days of Junior first crawling across the rug and eating the banana slug, it’ll be there for you, along with the comments and the family thoughts and the bits and pieces and the conversations that went with it. So that kind of a, it is a social networking application, but it has a different purpose, lets say, than publishing yourself on, on Myspace to be found or, you know, networking with folks like you might do on Facebook.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, the iFame. You, as a matter of fact, you were talking about something around social networking that you think one of the powerful things about social networking is both voyeurism and exhibitionism. Tell us about that.

David Scott Carlick: It’s true. It’s true. I think they used to say in academics, it was Publisher Parish…

Susan Bratton: Yeah?

David Scott Carlick: Now I wonder if in real life you must have yourself up somewhere. Have you read the little bit of there’s people who specialize in helping you develop a baby name that will show up as a unique on the search engines?

Susan Bratton: No.

David Scott Carlick: Well you can pay extra for that, so you can have Obama Bin Laden Bratton.

Susan Bratton: I think not. I was thinking about all of the great African American names that are so, that are kind of mash up, unique mash up names that, if you want to find a unique name you should definitely work into the African American community. Shatiqua was only the beginning, you know?

David Scott Carlick: It’s like, it’s like being unique and once you’re unique once, until somebody else sees it, it’s unique and then they can use it as well.

Susan Bratton: Right.

David Scott Carlick: We’ll see how that works. Now fortunately, there’s only a couple Carlick’s. I gave up carlick.com years ago ‘cause I got, I thought I was the only one, but it turns out there’s a Carlick Lithographers in New York who took over carlick.com and they have it, so I can’t have carlick.com back again. But when you do a Google or a search or Ask search for Carlick, or David Carlick, I show up ‘cause it is a unique name.

Susan Bratton: It, well, it is and it’s a beautiful name, it’s easy to spell, I mean you have a great name.

David Scott Carlick: You know, it’s, it was not an easy name to have as a kid…

Susan Bratton: Huh, why?

David Scott Carlick: Well it was garlic or Carlick or something you….

Susan Bratton: Right, right, right, there’s all the licky stuff.

David Scott Carlick: There’s all the licky stuff…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: you know, and one time we published an ad for Carlick Advertising and nobody knew the name, so I had a big picture of a car and from the side of the car a female mouth, you know, grossly disproportioned, so you could just see the red lips and the tongue sticking out and the tongue was licking the side mirror of the car and the ad was something about ‘car’ and ‘lick’ so you could remember our name.

Susan Bratton: You’ve never been above absolute kitch.

David Scott Carlick: I, I, you know, one of the things that’s the most fun about online direct marketing is, and unfortunately it’s not taken advantage of enough, is that people respond to kitch, people respond to stuff that, you know…

Susan Bratton: Fun.

David Scott Carlick: that’s fun.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: I saw a presentation that was one of my favorites, it was at an ad show by some folks that were about the Too Gucci Now method…

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.

David Scott Carlick: it’s ex-journalism.

Susan Bratton: Really well done.

David Scott Carlick: Mm hmm. And so what he showed was the ad that tested best online for weight loss. Wasn’t aspirational, it wasn’t, you know, a competitive thing, it was a big picture of a, looking into the gaping jaws of a bulldozer. Right, so you’re looking head on at the bulldozer and the bulldozer’s dumping a load and that load is falling down below the frame so you can only see part of the load that the thing has dumped out, but the load that’s dumped out is a fat woman falling down, and then standing to the side of the bulldozer in a hard hat is a secretary in a mini skirt and high heels and her boss, you know, holding a clip board and laughing at the, and so obviously it’s aimed at women who are getting heavy and their husband’s at work with a pretty secretary and they’re overweight and they’re going to get dumped, and you would think that this is probably the worst possible way that you could possibly try to talk somebody into signing up and paying you money for a weight loss program. It’s blunt, it’s mean spirited and so forth, also it was very funny, and the beauty of the online direct marketing part of it is that they can just fan it out in a test to some folks and if it didn’t work, you know, then they would quit using it, but it worked very well, so off to the races, and I don’t think there’s a creative aesthetic in the world that would have viewed that as being the way to get customers, but the customers flocked to it.

Susan Bratton: Well, I would like to see that picture. I don’t know if it’s anything that we can put on my blog, but if we can lets get a copy of it and put it on dishymix.com ‘cause I think people would like to see how affronting something that works really well can be. We try to be quite delicate in marketing, but it could be to our disadvantage, right?

David Scott Carlick: I think marketing of course is where people go who want to make the world a little prettier.

Susan Bratton: Yeah. It could be, it could be. Hey, we’re going to take a short break and when we come back we’re going to talk about your idea of tax law, some of your guilty pleasures and perhaps the oil crisis, so stay tuned. This is your host Susan Bratton. We’re with David Scott Carlick, the one and only Carlick in our lives, and we’ll be right back.

Susan Bratton: Okay, we’re back and we have David Carlick on the line today, and David one of the questions that I asked you was if you could change one thing about the business world, what would it be, and your answer was your opinion about taxes. Tell us that story.

David Scott Carlick: Well again, I was, you know, taken by surprise by my nephews worries about the world, and among his worries was that we’re using up energy, not so much the Al Gore global warming, although certainly having the oceans rise a few feet would wreak havoc with most of the civilized world, but also with the economic effects of what gets passed along the next generation because if we do not have an infrastructure to replace our current infrastructure and energy gets too expensive, then there’s dire consequences and those consequences will show up in 30 or 40 years, which to a 20 year old is grim and to a person my age is less so. And I was excited to see him, you know, looking at this and wanting to take action, he’s, and he asked me, “Well, what can I do?”, and I thought about it and I thought, you know really one of the things that could be gotten behind, one of the causes that could be advanced would be a change in the tax system. Now, why do I say a change in the tax system is because tax is, has two functions in life. One function is to raise money to run the governments operations. And the other one is to change human behavior.

Susan Bratton: Right.

David Scott Carlick: As an incentive for different economic behavior. So an example is we have a deduction for your property tax and the interest on owning a home and that, and we’ve had also exemptions for some of the, over the years for some of the selling price of the house so you can buy a bigger house or, you know, or move up without having to be taxed on the whole thing, so we have given a tax incentive for people to become home owners. And of course now the tax code, which is huge, has a whole lot of different, different deductions and exemptions and so forth, and all those really are there as, by somebody who wants taxes to change behavior. What we’ve created is a tax system that’s so big and so expensive that you have to pay money to have your tax return filled out and it’ complicated and a huge time waste in my opinion, it probably eats up 3 or 4 percent of the gross national product just figuring out which deductions to use, plus we’re not incentivizing the right things. And as I looked to my nephews concerns, I thought, you know, what if we could just take away all of the meriad tax codes, streamline the whole think like Malcolm Forbes has been talking about doing with a flat tax, but instead of a flat tax on income, what if you had a flat tax on consumption, sort of a giant sales tax.

Susan Bratton: The more you consume the more you pay.

David Scott Carlick: The more you consume the more you pay, the, obviously takes a lot of the worry about illegal immigrants out who aren’t taxed necessarily because they’re paid in a cash economy because they have to buy stuff and when they buy stuff they get caught up in the tax system. The levers would be like Ben Bernanky and his levers on the interest rates, which would be that how much you tax would determine, you know, how expensive it is to do different things. I thought, boy, simplify the tax system, make it a tax on what you buy and I bet behavior would change. Then the second thing I would to add on to that, or suggest for him to do since it’s going to take some work, would be to put a surtax on energy, a surtax on gasoline, surtax on electricity, surtax on those things that are finite for us and direct that surtax, the proceeds from that surtax towards building the kind of infrastructure that will need to survive in, lets call it, $400 dollar a barrel oil, so that we have some modicum of train, so we have incentives, and so people have enough warning. Now if you were to say, “Tell the world that there’s going to be a dollar a gallon tax per year higher on gasoline”, it would enable people to plan their purchases and in the end, you know, drive the industry towards a hundred miles per gallon cars, which would have the same fuel bill as today’s 25 mile per gallon car has at the current tax rate, and it would also enable those taxes to raise a lot of money to build some of the things we need to be able to have people give up say cars or to move to more energy efficient living and so forth. So, that was my thought. It may be completely stupid, economics, economists may denounce it, but I think that simplifying the tax system and steering people away from consumption would have a huge effect. It would subtley drive things. If you were taxed on the cost of goods, then would manufacturers, you know, put so much cost into the goods, so much shrink wrap, so much packaging, so much wasted material, so many yards of paper to get a cheeseburger out of the place, you know, it just goes on and on and on. So that’s what I’m thinking. I think it’s the kind of initiative where rather than try to scold a thousand little behaviors with a thousand little tax rules….

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: that you just have one big tax rule that it, your income is free but when you buy something you pay the piper.

Susan Bratton: Maybe it’s your time to go into politics.

David Scott Carlick: I’d like to go into politics, except that I can’t bear two things about it. One of them is that the government of the United States is not only run by lawyers, everybody in the legislature and the house is largely a lawyer, but all the people who work for them and make all the decisions and recommendations are lawyers, and all that lawyering is ultimately going to lead to the decline of our civilization, it should be run by engineers, but we’re not doing that and I don’t function well in a world that’s completely full of lawyers who are working the language of everything. And the second is that my personal life and past couldn’t stand even ten seconds of the scrutiny a politician gets.

Susan Bratton: That’s what I like about you, I love that sordid past of yours.

David Scott Carlick: I’ve had the Carlick variation of the wide stance in so many different varieties over the course of the years, I can’t stand to have it relived in the public glare, so nope, not a chance.

Susan Bratton: Well, one of the other things that I’d asked you about was what book you were reading that you were recommending to your friends right now and you came up with something very unique. Tell us about that.

David Scott Carlick: Well it was, I’ve been recommending The Reckoning by David Halberstam. Halberstam of course was recently killed in an accident in Palo Alto when he was visiting Stanford where he graduated.

Susan Bratton: Oh my God, I didn’t know that. How did he get killed?

David Scott Carlick: It’s funny. He got a Stanford grad student to drive him to some meeting across the East Bay in the grad students Toyota Camry and they were heading out to the Dunbarten Bridge in that intersection down there by Sun Microsystems and the kid apparently got distracted by being with the great Halberstam and missed a light, got sideswiped and Halberstam was killed.

Susan Bratton: Oh my God, and is the kid still living?

David Scott Carlick: You know, I don’t remember…

Susan Bratton: Wow.

David Scott Carlick: It’s funny how you absorb and remember things.

Susan Bratton: Right.

David Scott Carlick: So Halberstom or Haberstam wrote a book called The Reckoning and that was written maybe 25 years ago, I don’t remember the exact date, it’s out of print, I went to get it on Amazon and you have to actually buy it used. And The Reckoning was a history of the automotive industry and so it goes back to the origins of Ford Motor Company as its main story feature and to the origins of Nissan, covering also at the same time General Motors and Toyota, but it came at, excuse me, it came at this thing opening up in, as the oil crisis was about to hit in 1970 or thereabouts and some folks called on the car makers and pointed out that their cars were all wrong for the coming market, that gas was going to get expensive, big cars would put them in the tank and that it would be a disaster. And the GM and Ford said, “Nope, that’s not what our people want, our profitable cars are our big cars, small cars don’t matter”, and so they completely missed the market, the fuel crisis came, the oil embargo came, the oil prices went up, people dropped their big cars like a hot rock, it’s one of the reasons that I became interested in this taxation deal is that if you go back to the early ‘70’s when we had the first oil crisis in fuel lines, people couldn’t sell their big Oldsmobiles fast enough to buy little Toyotas and Nissans, then the, then the, Datsuns. So the American car companies just got creamed by this and it gave birth to the Japanese car companies and the story of their birth is a great story of capitalism and the story of Nissan’s journey into America was…

Susan Bratton: Wasn’t it Datsun? Remember?

David Scott Carlick: It was Datsun and…

Susan Bratton: Datsun.

David Scott Carlick: Datsun had a guy named Mr. Katayama, I may have, I may have mis, Kayatama, Katayama, I’m a, I’m a member of MADD which is, or actually a member of DAM, sorry, D-A-M, which is Mother’s Against Dyslexia. Like, I have all kinds of trouble with names, but he was Mr. K and he was, he was memorialized in Shiat Days Advertising for Nissan, remember, having the original Datsun guy who was this Japanese salesman showboat guy who came over to America and went like door to door in LA when I used to live of course where the Japanese cars came in…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: He started by selling pickup trucks to the Japanese gardeners.

Susan Bratton: And they still use those little Toyota pickup trucks. Uh huh.

David Scott Carlick: Although there’s no Japanese gardeners left that I can think of, they’ve all become doctors or business people or executives, so the gardening business has changed, but in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s at least in LA, the Japanese who had come here, you know, dominated the small business sector of being gardeners and they bought those rugged little trucks that were just so helpful and useful and got the business off to a start. So the funny part Susan about the book is not only was this, did this book document the absolute, you know, rise of the new Japanese, which had, you know, this is like post war Japan still recovering, so barely able to mount up a factory, but with smaller, more fuel effective cars able to create, you know, large companies that now dominate the industry, Toyotas heading toward being the largest, all on the opening left by the American guys who refused to see that oil was going to be a problem. So aside from being a rich history of the auto business, of the people in it and Henry Ford and his whole story, it’s unbelievable that here we are with a fleet of huge SUV’s getting creamed by a bunch of fuel efficient hybrid cars and a $89 dollar per barrel oil and people just not wanting to do that, that the American industry could repeat something that was actually documented as fully as it was in the ‘70’s, 30 some years ago. How does history repeat itself?

Susan Bratton: We learn absolutely nothing from history. That being said, I want you to tell us about the worst mistake you ever made. You told me the worst fork in the road bad decision that you regret was the sale of your agency before agencies got popular. What I, I don’t want you to tell me that story, what I want you to tell me is how, what advice would you give us for not making mistakes that you made.

David Scott Carlick: My mistakes have been timing, not the actual act…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: And I don’t think that you can necessarily change your timing. I’m not that good of a student of things, I’m not that analytical, I tend to act on what’s in front of me, there are analytical people who are better. So I did sell my agency at a time when they were cheap and then the interactive world started and what my agency, you know, would have been worth many more times than what I sold it for, but on the other hand I went to work at Bozelle and Poppy Tyson and got to work in an environment that I might otherwise never of seen and got to do some things that I might not of otherwise done, so I’m going to be happy about it, but the time was such that I’m at least, you know, in hindsight possibly economically poor, but then of course I came into Venture capitol and spun it upright into the year 2000.

Susan Bratton: Right, dot bomb.

David Scott Carlick: So I went $28 million dollars in the whole before I crawled back out again several years later was another piece of bad timing, why didn’t I start sooner or start later, but…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: I can’t change it and now its all worked out pretty well. The, I left the Double Quick early on before it went to its most stellar stages and the same with poppy.com and that was probably ill timing, I probably could’ve had much more fun and excitement doing the things that we were doing there, so those are my regrets, but then on the other hand I was there at the birth of the two and got to see them get started and I’ve, you know, been through a few, I have had a good seat in the stands at the, at this entire industry, its been exciting.

Susan Bratton: Absolutely, and clearly you netted out at the end ahead.

David Scott Carlick: I, well, little nets along the way, right?

Susan Bratton: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

David Scott Carlick: Little hits here, little hit there…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Scott Carlick: little hit here, little hit there, then pretty soon you have a little hit. The thing about Silicon Valley, it’s like a big theme park, right, and so there’s all these rides and everybody goes and gets in line for a ride…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: One of the lines might be Google, one of the rides might be, you know, some company you’ve never heard of again.

Susan Bratton: VM Wear, right.

David Scott Carlick: VM Wear, yeah, like VM Wear, so you don’t know when you get on that ride and then you look at the, you know, some of the people come out of the exit of the ride on giant ocean liners that they own and other people come out in tatters, you know, floating and drowning and trying to climb up and get on another ride or, “I’ll skip this park, I’ll go work for a large company.” Never can tell, it’s always exciting.

Susan Bratton: So, we have to end our show today  but the way I would like to end our conversations together is one of the things I know about you is that I’m not sure you’ve ever been happier. I think you’re having the best time of your life right now, and I think in big part it has absolutely nothing to do with business and everything to do with the love of your life.

David Scott Carlick: Goldie.

Susan Bratton: Goldie.

David Scott Carlick: Goldie.

Susan Bratton: Yeah Goldie, we know you’re going to listen. This time we didn’t talk about sex positions. She’s going to be much relieved.

David Scott Carlick: My position on sex is favorable. Or as the guys told me once, you know, “Look Carlick, here’s what I see. You got an ad agency and all you do is you do marketing for start-ups, so what that is is missionary positioning, right, it’s companies that are launching new things that didn’t exist, so it’s as though they are missionaries to the world and you’re positioning them, so you are mister missionary positioning.

Susan Bratton: Well I hope you, well I know that you’ve moved on to some four leg locks and all kinds of fabulousness, but you have to listen to the last Dishy Mix to hear that. You can google Dave Carlick on Web Master Radio and you can listen to that show.

David Scott Carlick: Freddy Blassy and the figure four leg lock and the inevitability of the final grip, it has a lot of applications and implications, and Susan you’re right, there’s a lot to be happy about, but I hit the jackpot with Goldie and we are having more fun than is humanly possible.

Susan Bratton: And what is it in, you’ve been married before, you’ve stayed friends with your ex wives, but what is it about this relationship that you think makes the difference? Why is this one the sticker?

David Scott Carlick: Well, you know, I probably, I’ve gotten very lucky in my previous ones, they’re, it was great, and what made, probably much to blame for me for them not, you know, we’re not still married and I, I have my, you know, in hindsight could’ve done better, I certainly could’ve done better, but I notice with having gone through those bumps and arrived with Terry that there are some things that you can change and some things you can’t change and the thing you can’t change is how compatible are you.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Scott Carlick: And I have found that you think that love conquers all, that opposites attract, that the passions that you share are enough and that being, the things that you don’t have in common you’ll overcome or even worse, you think the person will change, and of course the cliché goes, and it’s fairly true, is that men marry women hoping they won’t change and women marry men hoping they do change, and of course the men don’t change and the women do. And so, a lot of the things that cause arguments and friction in a relationship are just because you just really see the world through different eyes and have different passions and want to spend your time in different ways, and in the end that makes it harder, and whereas you see the world through much the same eyes and you want to spend your time doing a lot of the same things and you enjoy the time together, it’s a whole different starting point on, upon which to have a spiritual  and sensual relationship, it doesn’t hurt if your idea of what is sexual fun through and through is compatible and that or lets say, that helps too and it doesn’t hurt if you have the same sense of humor, it doesn’t hurt if you like the same food and like to go to the same places, like to keep the same hours, like the same people and like the same sports, like to do the same stuff, and if you have all those then it’s easy not to have an argument, right?

Susan Bratton: It is, absolutely. I, I’m unbelievable compatible with Tim…

David Scott Carlick: Yup.

Susan Bratton: so I feel blessed that there, there’s none of that static in the relationship, so for anybody who’s listening if you are in a relationship and there’s not a lot of compatibility you might want to rethink it.

David Scott Carlick: Yeah, I think so. I think that, you know, one of the things, we live longer and it may be that the idea that you’re supposed to be married to the same person forever is only up to a point good for the kids that are being raised, ‘cause they always sense the underlying friction.

Susan Bratton: Right.

David Scott Carlick: Maybe it’s time to move on and move on as friends rather than not, and maybe get lucky and find somebody that you can be a soul mate with, I think that’s a wonderful thing, to be a soul mate with someone.

Susan Bratton: Absolutely, and I’m so glad you’ve found your soul mate.

David Scott Carlick: Well…

Susan Bratton: You deserve it.

David Scott Carlick: Well yes, it’s true, I do.

Susan Bratton: And so does Terry, so…

David Scott Carlick: Yeah, and not only that, but she is my guilty pleasure.

Susan Bratton: She is your guilty pleasure. I love that, how sweet is that? Well, and not so guilty.

David Scott Carlick: Right.

Susan Bratton: We are out of time today. That went fast didn’t it?

David Scott Carlick: It was.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, really fast. I don’t, we have to try to keep it to a half an hour for our listeners because we want them to come back every week, so…

David Scott Carlick: Well you can edit out the boring stuff.

Susan Bratton: Well no, I don’t think I will. But we do edit. So a couple of things I want to say before we go to our listeners. First of all, there will be transcripts of this whole show on personallifemedia.com.