In this episode, Mike Townsend interviews Adam Nash the co-founder and CEO of Daffy, a not-for-profit community built around a new, modern platform for giving. Adam is a seasoned executive, investor, and advisor. Adam currently sits on the Board of Directors for Acorns, the country’s fastest-growing financial wellness system, and Shift Technologies. Adam also teaches the “Personal Finance for Engineers” course at Stanford and was previously president and CEO at Wealthfront.
Mike:Welcome to another episode of Around The Coin podcast. Today's guest is CEO andco-founder of Daffy, Adam Nash. Adam has been in the game a long time. Hestarted invested. He even teaches a course at Stanford on personal finance forengineers. We talk about Daffy a donation advisory fund company.
They've raised $17million so far in their last round and four before that. We discuss donationand charities, why you should do it, how effective they are, the landscape ofthem, the demographics. We dove into quite a bit of the details. So hope youenjoyed this conversation. If you do, please give us a, like thumbs up, sharewherever you listen to this podcast and without further ado, here is AdamNash.
Mike:Well, Adam, I'm excited to be talking with you. Thanks for hopping on thepodcast. I really appreciate your time.
Adam:No, Great to be here.
Mike:Why don't we kick it off?
We were justtalking pre-show conversation a little bit around your background. You've beenin the valley, you've invested in many companies, been a part of manycompanies, and a big supporter of crypto.
You've been throughfour recession cycles and calling those out I think is interesting to discussthe patterns. And you mentioned the 90's, the dotcom boom, 2008 and today. Whydid you say today is similar to the 90's? What is it about today's recessionarycycle that reminds you of the 90's?
Adam:Well, I think I appreciate the question, et cetera. There's that old sayingthat, history doesn't repeat, but it sure does rhyme a lot. Yeah. So I wouldn'tsay that the current market is exactly like any of the other downturns, butit's funny when you, when you've had a longer career in tech, you get very usedto its cyclical nature, the kind of ups and downs, the.
The booms and bustsof the hype cycle, et cetera. It just turned out that when I went to college,right, I, I matriculated in, in 1991 the first Gulf War happened. And then weended up, the Soviet Union basically fell the Cold Wars over. Everyone waslooking for a peace dividend.
And so thegovernment cut a lot of military spending, which routed through tech. You had abit of a, a recession, small recession there. And so I started college at atime when, you know, majoring in computer science or getting a job in softwaredidn't seem so obvious or easy. Hewitt Packard, which is like, the originaltech company of, of Silicon Valley, right?
You're talkinggoing back to the 1930s, Palo Alto and Stanford was doing layoffs big layoffsfor the first time. Hewlett Packard, the HP way was all about kind of stayingby employees the entire time. And so it was really very tumultuous in terms ofpeople's trust and expectation. People had.
Jobs at companieslike Hewlett Packard expecting they could work there their entire careers. Andin some ways, I'm seeing some reflections of that now, right? When you seethese layoffs at big tech companies the big tech companies have never said thatthe jobs are forever. It's all at will employment.
And I thinkeveryone knew that it was tied to results. These are public companies, but Ithink a lot of people had gotten a little bit comfortable with the idea that ifyou had a job at a, a Google a, a Facebook, a Microsoft that you wouldn'treally have to worry about being laid off, right?
That their resultswere strong enough. And so I think this has been a big wake up call about thatcyclical structure, about results. And of course what happened in the early90's is that they gave way to the mid and late 90's, and all of a sudden theinternet boom happened. We went from 19 91, 92 to layoffs in 95.
Silicon Graphicswas talking about how they were gonna hire three to 5,000 engineers in the next12 months. Three D was hot. And so, I'm just used to these kind of ups and downcycles. I think it's very possible that in 2025 we're gonna be surprised at thestrength of the tech market given where the psychology was this year.
and do you viewthe, while 2008 may have been driven, certainly was driven by a banking crisis,do you view today's downturn as being sparked by a technology recession, maybean over investment in crypto, or does that play a significant part into therecession? From my perspective, it seems like the recession is non-linearlydistributed across the, the economy.
Like we're at very,very low rates of unemployment and many of the traditional industries are. Thesame, hospitality probably is doing pretty well compared to tech. Feels likewe're in a pretty significant recession. Do do you view the recession we're innow as being focused on technology or is there another context for how you viewour, our current landscape?
Adam:Well, I mean, first of all, listen, not to be pedantic, but I do take a littlebit of an academic view on, on the economic piece. And so, I I it's hard todescribe what's going on right now as a recession, right? Sure, yeah. But Idefinitely do think, in tech what you're seeing is you're, you're seeinglayoffs, you're seeing basically a, a constrained, people are cutting,companies are cutting projects.
VCs have pulledback on funding, particularly at the, the late stage. And so I think it'swhatever you wanna call this, downturn, et cetera, slow down is definitely veryreal. But I think there's some patterns that are the same across thesedifferent activities. When I look at the pandemic and what's gone on the lastfew years I don't see this as a tech-driven downturn per se.
I think this is anatural recoil of just an incredible boom. I mean, just a few years ago, Imean, we were worried about everything falling apart with the pandemiceconomically. It turns out governments did step in and a lot of money flowedinto the system as intended. People spent that money and disproportionatelythat money went to tech enabled services, right?
Not just straighttechnology, but you know, everything, home delivery e-commerce. Everyone sawthis boom and there was this big discussion of did we just pull forward fiveyears of tech adoption, in a year. And certainly for things like collaborativework with all the remote work that was going on, et cetera, we saw theseincredible booms.
You saw companiesand software packages getting huge numbers of users. I mean, I was a, I'm anangel investor. I was a seed investor in, in Figma, I mean, Figma. Had alreadyexisted. I mean, that company's been around for a decade, but I mean, the, theboom was phenomenal because everyone got religion about the power of remotework and collaborating online.
I mean, we all knewit was coming. It just happened a lot faster than we expected, but it wasn'tsustainable, right? Mm-hmm. Like we weren't all gonna stay at home, locked upfor, for years. And so, inevitably you have some amount of recoil, and that'sactually very hard for companies to manage. I mean, having been there at bothlarge companies and its startups, it sounds like a good problem to have, likethis incredible unsustained surge in demand.
I see this inFinTech all the time. You see it with deposits, chasing rates, et cetera. Butit was very interesting. I think this might be the first downturn where thatmacro idea, right, the Federal Reserve playing with rates, right? Trying topull forward some demand from the future to today to kind of smooth out thebusiness cycle.
I feel like thetechnology industry has finally gotten large enough globally that we felt thatvery much at a macro level. I mean, computers and hardware has always felt theups and downs of the macro cycle. I think we may not have been as used to it onthe software side.
Mike:Yeah, it's interesting.
So given the impactthat the federal Reserve and interest rates and liquidity play on venturecapital and thereby startup funding, do you, how do you grade the current chairof the board of, of Federal Reserve?
I mean, do you, doyou give them, like, on one sense you could grade them an F because effectivelythey, at at, at minimum, they misguided. Their advisor advice on the trajectoryof interest rates. And then you could certainly more generously say, Hey, like,we're in a pretty decent spot.
Like, maybe theydid a good job. And so it's, we're at this point now where I'm hearing reallybipolar perspectives, unlike the Fed is terrible. They lied and, they took,they effectively bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank and caused many other bankingclass. And on the other side it's like, well, we're, we're not in a bad spot.
Maybe they had todo that. Maybe lying or misguiding is actually the best thing to do. But I'm, Iput that to you. You, you teach personal finance for engineers at Stanford. I'mcurious what you, how you analyze that situation.
Adam:Well, I mean, the Federal Reserve and in those areas, I've had a chance,fortunately through my career, to interact with some of these people and I.
Talk to some folksat the different large agencies across the, the US government. They, they, theypull on some incredible talent and people in terms of economics and, andfinance, et cetera, in order to make the decisions they have to make, etcetera. But the truth is it's all, any topic in economics you're gonna finddiffering opinions and the models aren't perfect.
This isn't, I mean,even, even our models in physics evolve over time about kind of fundamentalaspects of the universe and economics. We do not have as charisma model of, andconsensus as we do of things like physics. So, so I, I, with all the caveats, Iwould say I don't know, I'm actually pretty impressed given all the politicalrealities of the current environment and the highly unusual environment.
We are not justpost 2020 election but the pandemic global events it's actually the Ukrainewar. It pretty impressive. I actually think that the Fed has been able tomanage through that and actually pursue a policy that is fairly by the book. Imean, there's all this debate online about different macroeconomic theories, etcetera, but a lot of different voices about, maybe it's different this time, etcetera, but for the most part, we saw a danger in my view that I, I'm justbarely old enough to actually remember viscerally, inflation was back and is back.
And almost to thepoint where, it is almost like a, an old fairytale like a a, a video game, likea role playing game. Mm-hmm. This idea that some demon from the past thateveryone's kind of forgotten, it's be, it's fallen as they say in the Lord ofthe Rings. It's, it's fallen into legend and myth.
The idea thatactually inflation can happen but it very much is happening, was happening. Andanyone who's studied those, those topics has to worry that if that runs away,it can be very hard to control and the damage caused. So when I look at thefact that they had to raise rates so quickly that they were trying to, tostifle demand.
There was a lot ofcalls to not raise rates as quickly to sit and wait. Sure. If anything, theamazing thing right now is that raising rates that quickly did not cause arecession in the us. And whether that's because of kind of global attributes ofwhat's going around around the world and maybe the US was the best place to be.
Maybe it's becausethe way that rates rise and the way that percolates through the economy didn'tquite percolate through as strongly as we expected. I mean, people are stillfighting about the fact, why didn't we have a recession and where is therecession? And everyone thought there would be a recession.
So, I mean, I'm,I'm net positive on what the Federal Reserve has done. Now, that being said,you brought up Silicon Valley Bank, some of these other issues. I I do thinkthat when we make these big changes, it's so obvious with, with 2020 hindsightwhat's gonna happen. Sure. And there were people who raised the alarm aboutregional banks and, and, and the situation that was being set up and, and whatwas actually being carried on people's books.
But for a lot ofdifferent reasons these things don't get handled and then everyone says, well,maybe it's okay, and then one day it isn't, right. Mm-hmm. It's, everything isvery slowly and then all at once and used to that in technology, but I mean,the finance world, that happens quite a bit.
Mike:It's interesting how you sort of cross over these two, these two domains offinance and technology. When, when you teach your class, if you were to boildown or synthesize the high level ideas that you convey in that class, what doyou, what's your stance on personal finance for engineering? With a caveat ofsaying, I think personal finance is just dramatically underappreciated or undertaught in schools.
Adam:Yeah. Yeah. And that's that's actually why I teach the class. I teach the classlargely because I wish it existed when I was in school. Mm, right. Like, and I,I opened my class with the same topic. It does not matter. Remember, I'm, I'mteaching in person. I publish my materials publicly so you can get them on theweb.
But in the classI'm teaching some of the smartest people in the country, in the world, high IQssome people who are the first in their families to go to college, others thathad every advantage coming up. But, it doesn't matter if you have a one 160 iq.If you haven't learned the basics of personal finance, of saving, of investing,of, of credit purchasing decisions, it's not about intelligence.
You actually haveto have the material. And schools largely don't teach it. And in the UnitedStates, at least, it is considered somehow rude unpopular to talk about money,to talk about personal finance. And so, A lot of, a lot of students, a lot ofpeople, a lot of adults end up just reflecting lessons.
They learn from,basically their parents, friends of their parents, family members, that sort ofthing. And so, I, that's why I teach the class. But the basics I teach in theclass are very conservative in some ways, very fundamental. I mean, I, I take apoint of view in the class of explaining the basics of what it means to spendless than you make, what it means to build a budget.
I call it apersonal income statement. What it, what it, what it takes to calculate yournet worth. I call it a personal balance sheet, but I end up ending the classwith a, the basic idea that you know, number 1 make sure understand how you're,you're making money and spend less than you make. Two, make sure you have anemergency fund.
Make sure you cancover the unpredictable nature of life financially. You ride too close to thatedge, you run real risks that you don't wanna run with your life. Third,investing your money prudently. Very low cost. I tend to advocate for, low costindex funds, a diversified portfolio.
I tell most of thestudents that they are likely to make their money not by being great investorsin the market, but by what they do for a living. And then being prudent aboutit and making sure that they're creating a lot of value and capturing some ofthat of course for themselves. And then I tell them lastly, to be smart abouttaxes, right?
That these thingsdo matter. And between those four things, that's what we cover over 10sessions. But it's been immensely popular at Stanford. I'm now teaching it formy seventh year, and I do tweet about it online and I, I put the slides up and,and we cover topics as boring as, just the basics of interest rates and thehistory of what different things have returned over the last couple hundredyears.
And we coveradvanced things like, options and derivatives and, and cryptocurrency.
Mike:Yeah, it, it's interesting, I'm, I'm curious if people in that class andgenerally people who are tuning into this online, are they gravitated towardsthe investment advice category of saying, Hey, Adam, what should I put my moneyin?
Does that tend tobe the most attractive of the four pillars there? Like, okay, you could put itin an index fund, but you know, people, there's this like desire to make moneyquickly, right? That kind of sparked the whole crypto boom and bust. Is thatsomething you see from that, that generation, that younger generation?
Adam:I've always been surprised in my class that there isn't more of that. Hmm. Itcould be because my class does skew towards engineers who in some ways areactually very conservative Engineers have this reputation, right? They joinstartups, they build code. Startups go out of business all the time.
They're taking allthis risk. But the truth is, a lot of engineers, engineering is a fairly wellpaying discipline at this point. A lot of people go into engineering becausethey want security in their career. They wanna know that they're gonna have askill that's valuable, not just for the next couple years, but for, for theirlife.
And so a lot of theorientation of the class is more about how to be successful, I would say, andwhat that even means and how to be successful financially. There are people whoare very interested in investments, but it covers the entire roadmap. If you, ifyou come from a family or friends or, or you came across content that, thattalks about real estate investing.
People want to talkabout real estate investing. I actually have an entire session on real estate,both from the point of view is the most important decisions that people tend tomake in their financial lives, which is, buying versus renting, et cetera. Butalso as an investor, right? In some of the UpToDate research there obviously Imentioned crypto has been a bit of a topic.
There were yearswhere it was stock trading, right? Mm-hmm. Where it's somewhat unpopular totalk about how hard it is to beat the market over the long term net of fees,net of taxes. And so, but actually I would say in general, people who take theclass aren't looking to find out how they can become a billionaire.
Yeah. They're,they're trying to actually learn the basics, right? I get more questions aboutcredit scores and how to set up credit and what it means to buy a car. I mean,a lot of the people in my class are immigrants. They're new to the country,right? That system is, is much more difficult financially to get situated.
But most of thequestions I get now, the one exception I would say is Silicon Valley and it isStanford. So the number of questions I get about venture capital, aboutfinancing startups, about what it takes to, to, and by the way, what it takesto, in terms of lifestyle. How do you have to live while you're building astartup, et cetera.
I get a lot ofquestions about that. That's probably the most unique and a typical thing you'dget from the average American having questions about personal finance versuswhat you get in Silicon Valley is. You can't get away from startups. Yeah,sure. Startups are, first and foremost it is the sport of Silicon Valley isbuilding companies.
And so let's talkabout Daffy a bit. So you've raised 17 million from my understanding, and Daffyis a non-profit, which are two typically non-sequitur. Why did you raise, howdid you raise, how is the company structured? And maybe even start by what areyou trying to do and why you started it?
Adam:There's a lot of questions. Yeah. I'm gonna try and go through, I'll try and gothrough them all.
Mike:I'm particularly interested in the structure too. Maybe we start there.
Adam:Yeah. Happy to talk about it. Just to back up, Daffy, DAFFY stands for theDonor Advised Fund For you.
A donor advisedfund is just the account structure in the US and most countries for how to putaside money tax free for charity. So, you have a 4 0 1 K or an i r A forretirement. You have a 5 29 for college savings, right? If you're the type ofperson who gives to charity every year, turns out there's a tax free accountwhere you can put money aside for charity.
Get the taxdeduction and have the money invested tax free, and then available whenever youwant to give to charity. It's a really an amazing financial product. And so alot of the founding story for Daffy Daffy was founded in 2020. My co-founderwas one of my favorite engineers to work with at LinkedIn.
We've been talkingabout doing a company for years, and we just said, listen, we've had all thisinnovation in FinTech around better ways to spend money, better ways to savemoney, better ways to invest, but giving is almost half a trillion dollars ayear in the us. Where are all the great companies, all the great technology tohelp people give.
I mean, this issomething fundamentally important to millions and millions of people, right?They make it a part of their lives. And so that's where DHI was born, right?Like, how do we take this financial product that mostly is only known tomillionaires and the wealthy and turn it into an app that everyone can use?
I mean, when welaunched in the app store in the end of 2021 we were the first fully functionaldonor-advised fund in the app store, which is amazing to think about given theFinTech boom we've had. So that's the basic idea behind dfi. In terms ofraising money, you mentioned we raised 17 million 17.1 in our series A in 2022,and we had raised a seed round of about 4.8 million in 2020.
Basically with justthe idea and we got the team built, we launched the product and it's beenexciting. We've been out there almost for a couple years, about a year and ahalf. And it's been phenomenal to see just the reception, et cetera. Now itturns out every financial product has its own regulatory.
Requirements andbackend, right? Bank accounts and debit cards are in one world. Brokerageaccounts and investing are another world. We're still trying to figure out whatworld crypto's in. That'll be always fun. Mm-hmm. Like everyone, I have my ownopinions, but turns out the big fights going on there.
But it turns outfor donor-advised funds almost every donor-advised fund in the US at leastNational one, is a partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit. And thereason that exists is because the nonprofit donor-advised funds can only beoffered by nonprofit institutions. So daffy.org is a 5 0 1 c three nonprofitregistered in all 50 states.
That's why we cando what we do. But it's, it partnered with a for-profit company. So FidelityCharitables partnered with Fidelity and Schwab Charitables partnered withSchwab and Vanguard Charitable with Vanguard. We said, well, what if wepartnered a donor-advised fund instead of partnering it with a financialinstitution?
What if wepartnered it with a venture backed technology company? Right. And so Daffy usesa technology platform to offer its donor-advised fund. That donor-advised fundtechnology is built by the venture-backed startup that we raise money for. Wecall it a side. It comes from our vision statement.
We have a mission,we want to help people be more generous, more often, and our vision is a worldwhere everybody regularly puts something aside for those less fortunate thanthemselves. And so we took that word aside and we called the platform companyside Inc. And so that's actually the venture-backed company.
So aside actuallybuilds a platform that allows nonprofits to offer donor-advised funds. AndDaffy is side's first customer.
Mike:Got it. Okay. And
what's thedistribution of charitable contributions? Like if you were to look at alandscape of maybe demographics on an income basis, do you find that it's likethe typical Pareto distribution where you have, 80 20 rule, maybe people over.
A hundred thousand,200,000, donate 99% of that half a trillion? Or, or is there a, a large longtail? Like do you, I am curious to learn a little bit more about thedemographics of giving.
Adam:Yeah. And it's the short answer to that question is it's, it's both. Youactually nailed it, which is that, money is, is, is highly asymmetric, right?
There really arepeople who have thousands of times, millions of times, more money than otherpeople, right? And most people who give don't give huge amounts of money.Percentage wise, actually people with less money tend to give more than peoplewith more money. But in terms of absolute dollars, right?
Obviously when abillionaire makes giant donations, contributions, et cetera, that can measurein billions of dollars, it takes an awful lot of a hundred dollars checks to,to match a billion dollars. So it just depends whether you're talking aboutpeople or dollars. I mean, in fact, one of the reasons we set up dfi, the waywe did, Is right now the entire industry is set up around dollars, right?
It's set up aroundthese are investment companies. They make their money based on a percentage ofassets that they hold, and they are very good at acquiring assets. There's overalmost a quarter trillion dollars now in donor-advised funds, and some of themare measured in billions of dollars. At Daffy we have a range of accounts.
We have someaccounts that are actually already in the eight figures but most of our membersput a few hundred dollars in their account. If, if most people give to a fewcharities every year, maybe they give to their church or synagogue, maybe theygive to their kids' school, their alma mater, maybe a national organization ortwo.
But most peopledonate to three to five organizations every year. And Daffy for them is abetter system to do it. They put aside $50 every month, a hundred dollars everymonth. It's invested tax free. And then every time they want to donate, theyhave this app in their PO pocket to do it. We do see a second group of folks,which tend to have six figure incomes or higher, where, income in the US hasbecome very volatile, right?
People have goodyears and bad years, right? Ups and downs. This is not just a tech thing,right? You're a real estate agent, right? I've talked to members who are, whoare airline pilots, et cetera. They're, there's sometimes you get more work andsometimes you get less work. And, the way our tax system works, our tax systemworks that you pay higher rates in those good years and they tend to not giveyou so much credit in the down years as it turns out.
And so actuallywhat you see people do at the high end is when they have good years, that's agood year to put more money aside for charity so that you have it to give inthe down years, right? And so we see a lot of this in tech. People donate cash,they donate stock, they donate crypto. And there's huge advantages of course,when you donate stock in crypto.
It turns out younever pay the capital gains when you do that, which is fantastic. But we seeboth of those types of members at Daffy, largely because we've set up ourbusiness model to not be about assets, but to be about membership in thisnonprofit.
when I think aboutcharitable donations, I think about a few different motivations. And onemotivation certainly is, okay, there's a giant earthquake in some part of theworld, I feel bad, and therefore I'm sending them a hundred dollars to some,charity that is working on helping those people.
Then there's the,Hey, my grandson is two years old and I'm the grandmother and I want to givehim money. Towards his college one day, and that there, those are significantlydifferent motivations. And then there's the person who says, well, I had a highincome year. I'm going to put this into a a, a a, a donation fund, and I'mgonna let that accrue and then in some way that's gonna come back to me in morethan I gave.
So I'm kind ofinterested in this, this secondary category. What are the areas where peopletoday are making donations, but they're doing so for their own self-interest,not to, not to implicitly layer any morality on that. There's nothing bad aboutusing the current tax law structure to benefit yourself.
I think that'strue, but I wanna understand that more. All right. So you mentioned a, a 5 2 9,which I believe is related to the donation of money from people towards a, acollege fund or an education fund. Can you tell me a little bit more about.The, the different regulatory frameworks that exist that people are using todayto make these donations for their own self?
I dunno ifself-interest is the right word. It sounds kinda negative, but selfbenefit.
Adam:It does, but listen, I, I think that you can always look at it, we set up thetax system for a reason, right? Mm-hmm. Like we, we would have a simple, itwould just be a simple flat percentage. If we wanted it to be a simple flatpercentage, it turns out that we have collectively decided that the governmentputs the thumb on the scale.
We make some thingsmore expensive or less expensive tax wise, right? If you hold the stock formore than a year, the tax rate is lower than if you hold it less than ayear.
Mike:Why do we do that? We can That why, why, yeah. Tell me why is that? Do youagree with it?
Adam: Ido agree with it quite a bit because I do think that there are real benefits toincentivizing people to invest for the long term.
I think it benefitsthem because it turns out, given the volatility market, long-term investing,Everything's shorter. Short term investments in some ways are gambling, right?Just given the macro effects, et cetera. That's just trading, right? Like thenumbers are horrible for retail investors. So I think that from a individualstandpoint, it's good for the government to remind people that holdinginvestments for the long term is a, is is a better way to go.
And also I thinkthere are benefits in the capital markets to having long-term stable capital.And so having a thumb on the scale of, of having investments rewarding peoplefor long-term investments. One year, five year, I'd probably be in the campthat even longer term investments should be even more incentivized.
But that's a, aseparate story.
When you say, oh,it's kind like gambling, is, are you implicitly saying that, People don't haveenough information in, thereby their results from their investments are morerandom, like gambling to me. I, I view as well, we say gambling with a negativeconnotation.
We're sayingthere's no intelligence into my decision. It's just a randomized, it's, I putcraps on the table and I shoot the craps and I hope they come back. Whereasinvesting has this, like, I sit back, I run an analysis and I make anintelligent decision as to the deployment of re my capital is Do you view thatas less true in short term?
Adam: Ithink people may say, I, I think describing it as purely random doesn't quitecapture what's going on if financial markets are incredibly competitive, right?It's not about you not having intelligence or information. Do you havedifferentiated intelligence for information? I mean, you might've been up allnight looking at, at, at results for Apple computer, but you, you really havedifferentiated information about Apple computer compared to like a millionother people.
And by the way,there's trillions of dollars at stakes. So you're talking about a game. Wherethe prize money isn't millions or billions, there's a couple hundred trillionin the world floating around and that you're, you're making these decisionsabout. So, I, I think people conflate a little bit randomness withunpredictability.
And you evenmentioned before different distributions. There's a lot of math behind this.Mm-hmm. The, the reality is for most people, I I tend to describe it asgambling a little bit more of the unpredictability. Like people talk aboutpoker, there's a randomness to it, but there's also skill to it, right?
Most things in lifeare a combination of skill and randomness. I think when it comes to investing,the, the reality is the data is really overwhelming. That most professionalswho dedicate their lives to making money in the markets have trouble generatingalpha reliably. They have trouble generating a better risk reward than justinvesting in the averages.
Right. And so, andthe reason is because it's not because you can't beat the markets. People beatthe markets all the time. It's somewhat unpredictable. It tends not to repeat.And then most importantly, the costs of doing it are so high that it actuallyeats up the gains, right? So if you think about being a professional investor,if you charge 1% to invest someone's money, you have to beat the market by 1%just to get to the starting line.
Just to get to evenvanguard's sitting there and happy to invest in the markets for you on averagefor what, three basis points, right? That's pretty low cost.
That's why they sayfinancial advisors are more like therapists than actual adv, hedges on inincome.
Adam:It would probably better if more of them had training in therapy that wouldactually probably help quite a bit.
But I, I actuallyagree with you. I think a lot of what they do is actually talking to people andwhy they're particularly couples, households, right? Where you have multiplepeople. And they add a lot of value that way. In fact, people with financialadvisors do tend to outperform people who don't have 'em, but both of them tendto underperform the market averages net of fees, net of taxes.
And so, that tendsto be why I describe it that way. In general we like to have agency in ourlives. That's why in my class I tend to talk to people a little bit. Like ifyou're an engineer, the most likely way you're gonna make a lot of money andfind financial success is in engineering, right?
You'll either, be agreat engineer that people pay a lot of money to have on their team. You mighteven build a new product. You might start a company. If you're a lawyer, you'llbe a great lawyer, right? A doctor, be a great doctor. All these paths have pathsto financial success.
And then of course,the, the, the hardest part it turns out is not the investing part. The hardestpart is actually just living a lifestyle that's within your means. Right? You,you see this in Hollywood all the time. You see athletes who make millions ofdollars a year, tens of millions of dollars a year, and then you read a decadelater about how they blew through all the money.
Like how could thathappen? Right? It's unimaginable so much money, but it turns out that pretty muchthe market is very good at providing options for you to spend money. Yeah. Anylevel of income, any level of wealth, you can spend the money, right? Theworld's a big place. There are things to buy, there's things to spend.
And and so everyonestruggles with these problems almost at every tier. And so we spend a lot oftime on that. When it comes to investing though, like I said, people want anagency. I'd like to recognize that people also, especially young people, liketo learn and you learn by doing, right?
So the approach Itend to take is not that all your money should be invested in the prudentacademic way. The prudent academic way is incredibly boring. I, I talk about myclass, like the entire title of the lecture I give on investing is good. Investingis boring, but no one wants that message. Yeah, no one wants to hear that.
And people like tolearn by doing. So. I usually recommend to the students that they carve outsome smaller amount of money that they can use to learn and invest in, to haveagency. But the bulk of their savings, right? 70, 80, 90% of their money thatthey're saving for retirement, they're saving to buy a house, et cetera, shouldreally be invested in a low cost diversified portfolio.
Probably the mostcontroversial thing that I talk about at time is I'm fully willing to acceptcrypto as one of the asset classes that belongs in a diversified portfolio. ButI am very tech forward and probably there are plenty. Of academics who woulddisagree with me on that?
Mike:Yeah. Well, I think that's why academics tend to be more antiquated and notfinancial advisors.
Do you think thatthere should be more or less donation funds, maybe I'm using the wrong wordhere, but when you think of a advisory fund, you mentioned the 5 2 9, and youmentioned another one. I I, I'm presuming that there's a fairly limited, likeyou count on one hand the number of programs that are plans that the, thefederal government has carved out.
Are there, arethere many of them? Are there only a few of them? Should there be more, shouldthere be less like.
Adam:There are quite a few. Yeah. I think last I, I checked the numbers over athousand in the us Most people just know the big ones. Wow. The Fidelitys, theSchwabs, the
Mike:Vanguards. Wait and wait, maybe I misspoke.
Oh. So I'm thinkingof like, when you, when you say the 5 2 9 plan, the 5 2 9 refers to a, afederal government. 5 2 9 is for college estimate. 5 2 9. Yeah, but it's a,it's a donation fund that you can put money into.
Adam:No, no. A 5 29 is a, a savings is is a investment account that's tax advantageto help people save for college.
It has nothing todo with charitable giving. Okay. The donor advised fund is for charitablegiving, the donor advise. That's why we call ourselves Daffy. The donor advisedfund, or daf mm-hmm. Is basically the account type for charity. And there'sabout a thousand organizations in the US that offer them.
And there's, last Ichecked, there's a little over a million donor-advised fund accounts in the us.So I think, to answer your question, there's about a million, but there's about60 million households in the US who give to charity in any given year. I'm abig believer that everyone should have an account set aside for charity.
And I, I believethat both for kind of moral, ethical reasons but also just pure financialplanning. I think that most people were raised, most people care about giving.Most people do support certain organizations and charities on a regular basis.The problem is because they don't set money aside for it.
I mean, we knowthis from behavioral finance, but when you don't set a goal for any financialpriority in your life, when you don't budget for it, when you don't set it upand automate it, right? Like how many people would save for retirement if theydidn't have the money coming out of their paycheck every time to go into a 4 01 K?
Like, we know whathappens if you don't have it automated, people won't do it 'cause there'salways something else. That you could spend money on. There's always some otherstress in your life that needs, I mean, like, there's carb, I mean, there'salways things. So yeah, I, our big idea, dfi is that giving isn't differentthan another financial goal.
And I, I did a lotof user research. I talked to a lot of people across the country about how theygive, and what I learned was that most people were raised to believe that it'snot all for them, right? That, that actually, that that's too selfish. Thatactually that's some of the money, some of the benefits that they've had, thatno matter how they're doing, there are people less fortunate than themselvesand that they should put something aside to help others.
I'm not sayingeveryone believes this, but I'm saying when I talk to people, most of thepeople I talk to were raised to believe this, and they would talk about ateacher, a parent, a relative, a, a priest, a rabbi. They always had someonewho kind of taught them this, this, this lesson. But the problem is people arebusy and so they don't budget for it.
They don't getaround for it. It. And so the, the, the non-profit industry has evolved thissales driven approach mm-hmm. Where they go out trying to pull money out ofpeople. Right. They, they're doing fundraisers and your friends ask you to giveand that sort of thing. And so people tend to give transactionally when asked,which isn't very rewarding.
Right. It doesn't,it's not intentional. And also it combine, it creates a financial stressbecause most people don't know how much they can afford to give. They neverthought about that problem. And so when you, when you use the Daffy app, it'sactually the first question I ask you is very simple, which is like, how muchdo you want to give to charity every year
Mike:and what's the average, I percentage wise, maybe percentage of income?
Like where, whereare people generally landing on that question?
Adam:Oh, I wish this was the, the most disappointing part. I mean, as a founder, Imean, I know you've been a founder of that sort of thing. Like you always havethese theories. You go out and then you actually talk to real people and you'relike, well, there goes that theory, that's not gonna work.
I had hoped thatthere were like one or two answers that question. And so I could just build aproduct that said, oh, do you want to give this way? X percent? Do you wannagive this? No, I, you talk to 25 different people, you'll get at least 20different answers about how much people should give.
Some people thinkof it as whole numbers, right? Oh, you should give at least $500 to charityevery year, or a thousand dollars. Some people think in percentages that's veryold fashioned, right? And by the way, no one agrees. 1%, 2%, two point a halfpercent, 10% highest I got to was 20. Hmm. But different percentages and somepeople do think it's about how well you did this year.
This idea that ifyou have a good year, whether you think that, that, was ordained somehow orthrough your own efforts, that you had this responsibility in good years toshare the wealth. Yeah. So I have not found any consistent pattern there atall.
Mike:There's, and then there's the extreme end, though, like William McCaskill,effective altruism.
That's like, giveas much as you possibly can. It seems like if you're gonna maximize yourimpacts in the world, there's two schools of thought. One is you make all themoney, possibly can do an investment banking or some super high income work forthe, for a good bulk of your life, and then you give that away.
Or I think WilliamMcCaskill's effective altruism camp is like people don't, in reality, peopledon't do that. And so to set up a consistent donation over time, like, Daffystyle, okay, every month is coming outta my paycheck. That's more realistic forpeople, which is kind of an interesting Yeah.
Adam:The, the approach that we're taking at Daffy, it's very interesting you bringthis up, is, yeah, this is a lot of debate and by the way, it's not unique togiving. This has a lot of overlap with other financial goals. How do you getpeople to save more for retirement? Mm-hmm. How do you get people to save morefor, for education, for college?
We talked about taxincentives earlier. That's one approach. You create these accounts, but a lotof the value is actually in the automation and just getting started. So theapproach we take at DFI is we actually, with our users, we, we try to not pushthem too much. The one thing we do to nudge people is we have licensed data.
So when you use theapp, one of the things in the calculator you can see is what the averagehousehold in your zip code gives to charity every year. 'cause we all wannaknow what everyone else is giving a little bit. Maybe we shouldn't, but we do.And, and no one talks about it. It's very hard to get this information.
And so, we, we tryto get people started though, to just give something. This is a zero to onething in our book. It's like you make a commitment to put something aside forcharity, right? Don't care how much, could be $10 a week, could be $25 a month.It could be donating stock or crypto because, and then when you use ourplatform, we treat it like every other goal, right?
So if you set agoal that you wanted to give $500 to charity this year, we track it just likeApple Health. And guess what? There is confetti and sparkles and, and rewardswhen you hit your goals. And then we nudge you to give more the following yearto to, to push. So we're more about the journey about pushing people.
Mm-hmm. To getstarted. But that's because we borrow a lot of our interface from othersuccessful approaches with money in order to get people to hit goals.
Mike:there's like two interesting pathways here to me is one is what's thepsychology that charities deploy for maximizing donations?
And I, I met withone, I interviewed one guy from like bit, I think it was bit, give the name ofthe company and they're basically a Chrome extension that makes it very easy todonate. I. In, in the browser to different charities. And he said to me thatthe charities will rarely ever disclose the financials because they, to yourpoint, they, they invest a lot into the sales.
Into sales. Sothey're like, I don't know what percentage, but a lot, a big portion of thedonations go back into acquisition of more donations. And that people tend tohave this almost like moral purity perspective where they say, I wanna give tothe, the organization that has like 99% straight to the cause.
Right? But straightto the cause would mean just Venmo, the person you wanna give, like the, thelike, and this is where I get to this question, which is, what is the, what isthe purpose that charities and nonprofits serve that can't be met through thefree market? Why do we need them in? Why do they need to be structured in thisparticular way in the first place?
And maybe the gapswould be, Well, we have taxes, the government pools money and redistributes itto those in need. So therefore they provide kind of a, a charitable function.Why is there still gaps in society that are unmet, that need charity? And maybespeak to some of those, I know there's millions of 'em that exist, but how manyshould exist in reality?
How many problemsare unmet and need that?
Adam:Yeah, I think that's a good question. And so let me I'll back up a little bit.First of all, I'd say first and foremost, I don't actually think it's an eitheror, right? Mm-hmm. There are are amazing social benefits that come fromfor-profit enterprises. The reason I've dedicated my career to buildingcompanies to help build companies new technology is I believe that actually thefree market building companies, et cetera, is one of the best ways to buildsustainable organization.
That can havepositive impact, not just for a few years, but for decades and centuries.Right. It fundamentally a for-profit company is a sustainable enterprise.Right. It's one that competitively can keep investing mm-hmm. Against providingbenefits to its customers. And ideally it captures some of the value it createsfor its customers to keep driving the organization.
Right. So I, I'mvery positive on, on that. But I think the original theory for nonprofits isstill very sound, which is why they tend to be adopted in most developedmarkets around the world for a large number of reasons. And the ideas there arethese collective challenge, there are these social challenges.
There are things thathave not yet been identified. Or either are too small Hmm. Too broad tounderstood for the government to immediately jump in. Right. And that small,nimble organizations can jump in and actually provide social benefit. Right.So, for example, there's a wonderful food bank here in Silicon Valley, right?
And they do a lot.I mean, that's the cost of living rises to make sure that they are feedingpeople who actually have food insecure and money. Now we do have benefits fromthe government to help people. They're not perfect. And there are holes in thatsystem, and sometimes they're complex and you could say, well, we should justfix the government systems.
But in themeantime, there are real people with real problems that would not be addressedwithout organizations and people saying, what I'm gonna spend my life on, or myyears or my time is actually feeding people Hmm. Helping people, going afterthis cause. And so, once again, we've agreed that sly, that that is a socialbenefit.
It. And so for anumber of historical reasons, we are okay with money donated to those thingsnot being taxed. And we could debate the scales of that, or ranges and thatsort of thing. Mm-hmm. But I actually fundamentally believe it that that systemis, that that logic is sound, right? Governments will never move fast enough,never be brought up.
They're, they'retoo big disperse they'll never move quickly enough to address all these needs.And there's this fact, I mean, I don't know. I, I love these old technologydebates and business leaders, et cetera, but I dunno if, this was the olddebate between Bill Gates and, and Warren Buffet and, and some others.
This idea of like, asa capitalist, Warren Buffet believed fundamentally my job, I'm great atcompounding capital. Mm-hmm. That is why I studied Warren Buffett my wholelife. It, it's he, he believes he has a gift for some reason and figuring outhow to compound capital that his value will be creating that capital.
And then yes, thatwill go to a bunch of good causes and help a bunch of people. 'cause he doesn'tbelieve in leaving all that money to his heirs. Most of that money. And whatflipped him around is the same thing that flipped Bill Gates around at onepoint, which was, yeah, but there's a real cost today, right?
That equation, thatmorality of that life in the future versus that life today. And that's a verydifficult philosophical problem, right? You could cure malaria now versus 50years from now. Right? And, and what, what is the value of that? What does thatmean? And is a person in the future the same as a person today to a persontoday, like us more ethically?
I mean, peopledebate this. I think there are good debates, but I probably side in the campthat says that there is real value today. And I think nonprofits a lot, a lotof nonprofit organizations. I mean, there's, there's almost 2 million in theus, well over one and a half million. I think a lot of those nonprofits startbecause good people see a local need.
Hmm. And they say,Hey, we should get some money and, and, and resources together to help solvethis today.
Mike:Yeah, I it's a good point.
So your, your twopoints are basically that there's inadequacies by the government and thatthere's r and d necessary that the government can't deploy. So those both makesense to me.
And then I alsothink that the same psychology that applies to the bloat and the bureaucracythat occurs in government and in companies probably is happening behind thescenes in nonprofit. And that one of the, one of the areas that I'm mostcritical of nonprofits for is in hospitals and healthcare.
So many hospitalsin the US are nonprofit, but in practice that doesn't mean they're operatingwith any higher virtue or morality or doing anything better. It just means thatthey don't pay property tax by being nonprofit. And so you have likeCedar-Sinai located in Beverly Hills who avoid something like and they were an investorin my past company, so I love those guys.
But they do have astructure that they avoid tens of millions of dollars in taxes. 'cause they'rea nonprofit and in return they have to do stuff. You don't get that designationfor free. They have to go and give services to people in low income areas. Andso they have that arm, but they're not doing it out of the goodness of theirheart.
They're doing itbecause there's the financial incentive. It's better for them as a business.And I, and tho those are the areas where I think, okay, there's millions orhundreds of thousands of nonprofits. How many should we have? Should we havelike a thousand? And the rest are bloat. Like, are, is there a lot ofbureaucratic bloat in nonprofit?
And what, likewhat's the, what's the path to a better world in the giving space is, and Idon't want, I think all that to criticize, but I looking at
Adam:No, no, no. And I think that, it's an interesting topic. Like I said, at Daffywe've taken more of the point of view. Of how do we free up more money forcauses that people care about?
Right. So thebehavioral research says that when people set a goal for their giving, whenthey put money aside, they end up giving 32% more Wow. Than when they don't.And so if you think about it, individuals in the US give about of that halftrillion, over 300 billion a year is from individuals. And so for us, like whatgets us up in the morning is this idea that if everyone had an account likethis a product like Daffy we might free up another a hundred billion a yearmm-hmm.
For organizationsand causes that matter. Now, on the other side, you're bringing up I think,fundamentally some regulatory questions and, and kind of policy questions,which is like, yeah. What. These organizations do offer services and they domake money. And, and what is the line? I mean, we hear this debate about largeuniversities with huge endowments.
What is theirresponsibility for having that much money tax free? You have churches andreligious organizations that have accrued huge amounts of money and, and realestate. And we know about abuses in, in different areas too, right?Organizations. I mean, we just, the, the set of scandals, if you look atregulators in different states, you can almost see that they've dealt withnonprofits and scandals before.
And I tend to bevery pro regulatory in, in financial services in general. Because I do thinkthat it's hard to know what you need to know. You need to have some trust inthe system, some faith that people are doing the right thing with money. So Ithink these are all good questions. And I don't even think that there aresimple answers to them, but I do think in general you'll see with all thepatterns that a lot of the money freed up wouldn't have gotten there otherwise,right?
There actually arelimits. To taxation and what people will tolerate, et cetera. By the way, we,we saw this in e-commerce, the big debate when I was at eBay back in the day,right? It was one of my, my first, the web one oh company, I kind of cut myteeth as product in the web. This debate about shipping, right?
Like people hatepaying for shipping, they want free shipping, but if you look at the totalticket size at the end, if you charge shipping separately, people end up payingmore, right? This is why tipping exists, everyone who wants to get rid oftipping, and there's a lot of people who wanna get rid of tipping or arefrustrated about tipping, et cetera.
The reason tippingis so sticky is in the end of the day when people mentally account for thingsseparately, this is the money for the food, this is the money for the service.They end up paying more than if it was just all in one bill. Wow. Why is that?Like they want the bundle to be cheaper. So what's happening there?
I think that ifyou, if you're looking at the top level, the truth is the system we have rightnow. Like you, you talk about Cedar-Sinai, et cetera, when you see those largedonations for a new hospital wing, And maybe the guy's doing it for a littlesocial credit. Mm-hmm. Burnish his image in the community.
Maybe he's doing itbecause, actually had a personal issue, a child, a family member who had thatillness and he was frustrated that the government decided to fund overfund oneillness that was very popular and, and pop culture that Hollywood celebritiesgot behind. Versus funding one that actually kills a huge number of people.
Right. And said,you know what? I'm gonna take the value that I've created in my life. Thatwealth that I created, I wanna put it towards that. And helping families andpeople who have bad illness like me. Mm-hmm. I'm pretty sure if you looked atit at a top down level, that if we got rid of this system, fewer dollars wouldbe flowing to these causes.
Yeah. Fewer dollarswould be flowing to help people, despite the fact that any system that has alot of money move around will have some level of abuse some level ofinefficiency. This is why we try to do things with regulations. This is why wetry to set rules in the system. But you know, I, I tend to look at this systemmore.
I mean, the nicething about being a Daffy making this my mission, the, the, the platform I'mgoing after is I like the simplicity of it. When I, when I said at thebeginning, our mission was to help people be more generous, more often, I saidthe root here, the root problem in my view is that life is hard.
We're, we're busy.We, we have work, we have family. Mm-hmm. We have social life, we have allthese concerns, et cetera. And I think it's a lot to ask for people to also addonto that every day. Making a conscious, intentional thought about like maybenot all the monies for them. Maybe there are some people that they could helpwith those resources.
And so I likebuilding systems that, that make it easier for people.
Mike:So my point was that I, I love your trajectory. I love the mission increasemaximize or encourage more donation from the, the, the public market. 300billion of the half a trillion is individual donations. I think there's, frommy perspective as a giver, just a individual in the crowd, is that there seemsto be a lack of, I dunno if it's transparency or insight as to how, what, whateffect are each of these million different organizations have.
And because I don'tquite know, I don't give. Or I don't give as much as I would, so I would givemore if I could see what's the financial p and l of this company look like andwhat's their viewpoint on why 40% goes to marketing. Maybe that is fine. Andmaybe there's this like large scale mid conception among nonprofits that wecan't disclose financials because if we do, then people won't give.
And I, I questionthat. I think that, I think that the nonprofit industry can go through a hugerevolution and, and massively increase donations if, like systemically acrossthe board there was just par for the course to disclose finances and be more transparentand, and have it be publicly known that, a large portion of our, our, ourdonations goes into sales and marketing.
And that's how it,it should be. It shouldn't be 99% straight to the person and whatever. It's, sothat was my only point, and that's what I, as an individual donator would loveto see.
Adam:Yeah. And I think, I think the the issue you're expressing is very normal.Mm-hmm. And we hear it a lot. Mm-hmm. Right. Like, this is, I don't know ifthis is the number one issue that people have, but this question of who can Itrust Right.
With my donation.Right. Right. Who, who, who do I give my money to, is actually a very big one.And, and we've invested a lot at dfi. We, we have a number of people who'veworked on some of the best search engines in the world. Right. We have peoplewho worked at, like I said, eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter, slack, all thesecompanies.
Part of the Daffyidea was we could apply modern technology. I mean, we are even using AI nowand, and G P T to kind of go through regulatory filings. Nonprofits do filenine s with the i r s, et cetera. How many people out there feel comfortabledownloading a nine 90 and going through tax forms to figure out what's goingon?
Very few, but maybeG P T can use then synthesize that into human English and make that easier forpeople to understand. So we, we think that's an important problem. But a lot ofthe Daffy idea is built around giving, having two difficult problems, not justone, one being how much can I afford to give, and two, who do I give it to.
Mm-hmm. And so ourpart of the whole idea of a donor-advised fund, the reason you heard me saythat this is a great product for everyone who gives not just for the wealthy,is because separating those two problems. The first is fundamentally abudgeting problem you asked earlier. And, it's okay with me.
Anything that's notzero, I'm okay with, you want to give a hundred dollars a year, great. You wantto give 1% of your income a year, fantastic. 10% even better. Put that inaccount aside so that you have the time, right? You have the resources to makegood decisions about who you give the money to. But I do think that technologycan help a lot with that problem.
Another thing thatwe've seen at DFI is that people learn a lot about what organizations they cantrust from their friends and colleagues when you let them. The problem is wedon't have a place to talk about this stuff. Mm-hmm. I mean, I, I'm one, I'mthe original, I ran product at LinkedIn for a number of years before the I P O.
I've been on eBay,like e-commerce marketplace, et cetera. Trust is a hard problem. Some of whatwe learned though, is from other people, and you just don't get a lot of thatdiscussion on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, et cetera. It can'tcompete. It can't compete with dating and news and money and business and allthe things that people talk about.
And so one of theideas behind Daffy is giving people a space where this part of their lives canbe the focus. Right? This is a, and Daffy, when people make donations on Daffy,we ask them to leave a public note. They don't always, but most of the timethey do. And these notes are phenomenal, right?
You have someonewho says, listen I'm giving, this, or this congregation was there for me whenmy father passed away, and I support them every year on the anniversary of hisdeath. I mean, these, these are very human things that come out. And so I dothink that there's a lot more we could do. I will tell you though, thatnonprofits really struggle, right?
They don't have themoney and the budgets. They wanna spend money feeding people. They wanna spendmoney helping people. They don't spend money on software technology. And it, Imean, maybe the largest hundred do, right? Our second donation at at Daffy wasfrom someone Orthodox. A Jewish man who wanted to give a Bitcoin to hiscongregation.
But of course thatcongregation doesn't take Bitcoin. Most nonprofits aren't set up to take cryptoor stock or all these assets, but we already built that technology. Yeah, youwant to donate a Bitcoin? He said that he read our, our basic release when welaunched and said, oh, I get it. I give you the Bitcoin and you'll get the cashto the organization.
You'll get the cashto the synagogue. And so, one of the reasons we like this idea of building outa platform for giving is, if you think about it, it probably doesn't make sensethat one and a half to 2 million tiny organizations would somehow build the ITor the capability. Yeah. Most of these organizations don't even have websites.
Totally. Right.They don't have apps, any of that stuff. The idea that we could provide achannel kind of the way LinkedIn back in the day when I was working onLinkedIn, LinkedIn provided a way for companies to put their brand and whatthey worked on, forward to the talent out there. Not just people looking for ajob, but to everyone.
I'm hoping thatDaffy becomes a place where nonprofits can put out that great information, canreach the type of people who give, and we'll get more information to peoplebecause we'll create a real marketplace between nonprofits and donors, as youdescribed.
Mike:Yeah. Wow. That last word. I think marketplace is the biggest potential impact.
Because if you can,if you can have transparency and there can be real competition 'cause there'scertainly the heartfelt donation, right? I struggle with this and therefore I'mgonna give to this thing that is great and people should do that. But thenthere's also, okay, I have, I have a thousand dollars to give and I just wannagive to the maximally effective donation, like what causes the greatest good inthe world reduces unnecessary suffering the most.
I think BillGates's answer to this is like malaria. It's like by and large, just likethat's the answer. And it seems to be that's still. The domain, the, theproblem that causes the most unnecessary suffering and death. Maybe thatchanges, or maybe it, maybe it has changed. I'm not sure. But that would be,your, your point there on Daffy, creating the marketplace of effectivealtruism.
It's like, where doesmoney, if I'm, if I'm not emotionally attached to the donation location, thenwhere do I point it? And that, I mean, the ability to point donation dollarsvia a marketplace would be, and that's a really powerful tool.
Adam: Ithink it is. Although I, the reason I do like the idea of a marketplace is, isI do think there's a lot of value in people's individual.
Experiences in, in,in, in what, what drives them, what motivates them, et cetera. And so the, Imean, this is a little bit like, sometimes I, I get a little worried, people,I, I surround myself. A lot of people are into health and fitness, and you, youspend enough time with those people, they're like, no, no, this is exactly whatyou, right, right, right.
Actually, your bodyneeds this, you need this, et cetera. And you're like, wait, are we getting tothe George Jetson kind of era where like you're just taking pills everymorning? Like, I actually like food. I actually like doing that. Mm-hmm. Like,I like all these different things. So, I think there's a lot of value beyondpure efficiency.
I, I think ourlives do touch things, right? Like, if you've touched a particular illness inyour family, it's viscerally different that impact than someone who's talkingabout it purely in theoretical nature and numbers of how many people have thisand how do you quantify pain or, or the value in someone's life.
You said unnecessarysuffering. They're not a quantify suffering really well, or at least notperfectly. And so I, what I like about and I think there's power, you mentionedfree markets in the beginning. I think there's a lot of power in peoplebasically voting with their time and their dollars towards causes and thingsthat, that have touched them that they believe in.
And I think we canlearn a lot about it in the aggregate, but you can't do that unless youactually have a platform and a system where that information gets out therewhere people really can learn and, and, and vote. We're trying to build dfi notto be just about dollars. I mean, a lot of the way people get involved withorganizations, they volunteer, they're on boards, they do events, they dofundraisers, right?
They, there's allthese things that they can do in the community, and we're trying to make Daffyabout all those different things, not just giving dollars. But I agree withyou. I, I, I think that if we could find a way to open up channels where nonprofitscan put out the good work they're doing. I think that's more likely to maketrigger people in terms of what speaks to them.
Mm-hmm. Where theywanna see their time and money go to. And I think we'll learn a lot. I thinkit'll free up more giving and I think it'll also help drive the industry to bemore and more effective in terms of what it's going after.
Mike:Yeah. 'cause I think it's, it is two sides of the Coin. It's like efficiencyand effectiveness.
You get, you getmore effectiveness when you're more efficient. And the volume of donations goesup by making it more transparent and allowing people to see where theefficiency or inefficiency is like making sure that that's effective. Adam, Iwon't show up too much of your time. I wanna, is there, I I have one lastquestion for you, which is just about you.
Sure. I wanna know,are you writing online? Are you on Medium Twitter? Are you anywhere personallythat you wanna throw out there? We'll have all the links for Daffy, the websiteand Twitter and everything else. I just call it X they rebranded. But go ahead,tell me where, where you are maybe point people in that direction.
Adam:Right. So, I think listen, I am, I've been on social media a long time, beenworking in the industry a long time, so you certainly can find me on LinkedInTwitter. Mm-hmm. Or X as the rebranding goes through for sure. But I actuallyhave been writing for a long time on my blog. Yeah. If you, if you have, if, ifyou have listeners who are interested in either angel investing or startups orproduct, it's probably what I'm best known for, or FinTech it's just Adam Nashblog.
I. Is there, butmost of my writing these days has been on Daffy. Right? daffy.org has aresource list. So if you have questions about giving, about taxes, about thebenefits of donating crypto or donating stock, I mean obviously in the productwe make this very easy to do, but a lot of people have questions about how tothink about those problems.
I write a lot and Ihave written a lot in the last couple years on Daffy, so feel free to check meout on any of those channels.
Mike:Cool. Yeah. And also you have the personal financial course online at Stanfordfor engineers, which I'll definitely check out too. That's awesome you do that.
Adam:Yeah. That's on a separate site.
Um mm-hmm. But ifyou go to the course number is seven, so of course I branded it oh oh sevenbecause I mean, why wouldn't you? Why not? But if you go to CS 0 0 7 blog,you'll find the course material for personal finance for engineers for the lastsix years.
Mike:Awesome. I'll check that out. Adam, thanks so much for your time. Congrats onall the progress. Wish you nothing but the best.
Adam:No, fantastic. Mike. It was great to be here.