The James Altucher Show

Ep. 137 - Bryan Johnson, Braintree: Everyone Has Pebble in Their Own Shoe


If you’re running your own business, then you know by now that you have to care about what you’re doing if you want to be successful. Making money can be a goal, but it can’t be your only goal. You have to work toward something greater than just turning a profit. On today’s podcast I talk with Bryan Johnson, someone who knows full well how much you have to care if you want your investments to pay off, and he’s found the perfect balance between being financially successful and changing the world.  I talked with Bryan two years ago (and I actually put the interview in my book Choose Yourself!). I invited him to that first interview because he had established Braintree, a payment platform for many online businesses and entrepreneurs, and it was immensely successful. But I’m bringing him back this time around because a lot has changed in two years. Bryan sold Braintree to Ebay for $800 million and has since used that money to start a venture capital fund for what he likes to call “save the world” sort of companies. He’s looking for engineers, creators, and financiers who are creating platforms, companies, and businesses that could benefit the lives of billions of people. He talks about what kinds of fields and platforms he’s interested in on today’s show, and he explains the passion that’s driving him.  “I have a burning desire to devote my life to improve the lives of people,” he says when I ask him what inspired his approach to business. “But I didn’t know what that meant at 21. So I decided I’d become an entrepreneur, retire by 30, and then spend the rest of my life with an abundance of time and money trying to do some good.” That definitely explains why he sold Braintree, but he also gives insight into what made this first business venture of his so successful and how he used it to kick start his true goal for helping people. Combining business with philanthropy is Bryan’s main focus, and he is actively seeking those who are creating the technologies people cannot find but desperately need, such as synthetic biology for combating diseases like Alzheimer’s.   On today’s podcast, Bryan goes into what it takes to get into what he calls the “ecosystem of contribution” and how you can contribute to his charitable cycle by: Learning his unique three goals when it comes to running a successful business  Looking at our planet Earth as its own technological platform  Focusing on what makes you – and your business – happy and helpful  Leaning how to avoid snobbery in small business  If you’ve got a humanitarian approach to business like Bryan does and are actively looking to engage with the game changers of the world who are focusing their efforts on building a better world, then this podcast is geared at you. Anyone can be successful for themselves, but being successful for the sake of others is truly admirable and Bryan’s approach will no doubt help you build a better business for yourself and your clients. Resources: Bryan Johnson The OS Fund Braintree