Oct. 25, 2021

Marc Lore Presents: Telosa, a Desert City Utopia

Marc Lore Presents: Telosa, a Desert City Utopia

Will it be move-in ready by 2030? Maybe!


Serial entrepreneur, investor and NBA owner Marc Lore chats with Nora and Scott about his dream of building a sustainable city in the desert, plus, basketball and his big plans for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx.

The complete transcript of this episode is available below.

Transcript

Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, the podcast that gives you a front row seat to candid conversations with some of the biggest names in business, asking them the questions you wish you could ask. I'm your host, Nora Ali. 

Scott Rogowksy: And I'm your other host Scott Rogowsky. But I am going as Nora for Halloween. We are here for your ears, bringing you stories of how business shapes our daily lives now and into the future. Now let's get down to business. Mwahaha. That's for Halloween.

Nora Ali: Given our current reality, the idea of building a utopian city or a city from scratch feels equal parts appealing and impossible. And today we're talking to someone who believes he might just be able to pull it off. This fall, serial entrepreneur and investor Marc Lore announced his plans to build a new city called Telosa in the United States. The city, which is estimated to house 50,000 residents by the year 2030 in its first phase of development, will be designed with sustainability at its core, with a ban on fossil fuel powered vehicles and the promise of a 15 minute commute to offices, schools, and amenities. But at its core, Telosa is not just a city. 

It's a test of a new model for society called equitism, which Marc says will create the most open, fair, and inclusive city in the world.

Scott Rogowksy: Big goals here, big ideas, Nora, which is what I love to discuss on the show.

Nora Ali: Some of the biggest ideas I think I've ever seen in my life. And I do want to mention Scott that I've known Marc for many years. I was an early employee at Jet.com, the e-commerce company that he founded that went on to get acquired by Walmart for $3.3 billion. And I'm also kind of behind the scenes a little bit on the city of the future on Telosa, where I pop my head in here and there to advise on things around diversity and inclusion, communications, technology. So it's been really fun to see how Marc and his team are approaching the early stages of this supercolossal project.

Scott Rogowksy: So you're part of this team here and you worked at Jet? I just want to ask you about this. Maybe you know a little bit about it because you work there because I was researching. Marc has this uncanny ability to found these companies that are generating revenue, but not earning profits, but then he sells these companies for hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. Like Jet.com, it sounds like Walmart bought Marc and maybe his ideas for the logistics and the shipping, right? I mean, because the site itself, was it successful in your opinion? 

Nora Ali: There's a lot of hypotheses around this very point, Scott. And Marc, after Walmart acquired Jet.com, became the CEO of Walmart e-commerce in the U.S. and Walmart e-com basically exploded from that point forward. So it wasn't just Marc. It was also all the folks who worked at Jet who then worked on Walmart products as well. So that's a very good question you bring up and a question that I've gotten a lot, having both worked at Jet and covered companies like Walmart and Jet as a news anchor. So yeah, it certainly helps to boost Walmart's e-comm biz. 

Scott Rogowksy: Yeah. And even the Diapers.com story with Marc is fascinating, how Amazon basically shook him down and said, if you don't sell to us, we're going to put you out of business. I mean, look, this is capitalism at its, you could say finest or worst, depending on your opinion of it. But Marc has some ideas about capitalism. And even though he's clearly benefited from it, he definitely believes that there are some inequalities and unfairness in the system. So I guess that inspired him to build out Telosa in the first place, which is not Tulsa or Tesla, but it is very similar sounding.

Nora Ali: This is his big moonshot is Telosa. And on top of that, Marc has teamed up with Alex Rodriguez, baseball legend, to become owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx, which I know you're excited about. So we're very excited for this convo about making Telosa a reality, about Mark's approach to innovating with the NBA and maybe even, Scott, to geek out about baseball cards with you.

Scott Rogowksy: That is my primary objective here. I got to show off my collection. I want to hear about his collection ’cause Marc and I go way back in the baseball card biz.

Nora Ali: Oh way back. Here's our convo with Marc Lore. 

[MUSIC BREAK]

Nora Ali: So, Marc, you and I have known each other for six years now, which is incredible to think about, work together in many capacities. The last time I interviewed you was in 2018. I was at Cheddar. You are still the CEO of Walmart e-commerce and now you're building a city, how they grow up so fast. Marc. So I do want to start by dispelling, maybe a little bit of a misconception around Telosa, around the city you're building. I think a lot of people might look at the city of the future as just a place to implement new tech, new types of housing, buildings, mobility, recreation.But you have said before that the city itself is just a method or a tactic to test out your hypothesis for a new model for society. So let's start at day zero. Bring us to the beginning of when you had that idea to test this new model.

Marc Lore: Yeah, sure. I think it was just over the last probably five years was when the seed got into my head. And I think, you know, like so many Americans over the last five years have just been frustrated by why, despite all the material progress we've had as a country, there's still so many people just barely getting by and how that's created greater gaps in wealth and income in this country. And you know, the country has just become so polarized around this topic. And it just got me thinking, did we get capitalism right? Like so many great things about capitalism, but do we get it right? Is it like, is it a hundred percent? Is it an A plus or is there more room to grow and imagine possibilities that would make it even stronger as an economic model. And I started doing research and I came across this book. This is the aha moment. Henry George wrote a book called Progress and Poverty back in the late 19th century. I didn't realize it at the time, but apparently it was the second-most read book next to the Bible during its time. And he made a very compelling case as an economist that the real problem with capitalism is land ownership. And I started thinking about it and thinking, you know, capitalism doesn't work when there's monopolies. Like we had monopolies earlier in American history and it was just absolutely dismal for workers. And so we do a good job I think of preventing monopolies from happening and creating a competitive environment. But when it comes to land ownership, that's the silent monopoly. You're a land owner. You essentially have a monopoly on that land. There's no, antitrust breaking that up. And furthermore, if you think about how land was divvied up in the country many years ago, it was sort of like right place, right time, hey, I'm claiming these hundred and 60 acres as my own, but put that aside, it was just plain unfair that you could own a piece of land and then communities and people would come there and give the land value by living there and creating homes there, having families there and tax dollars that were spent on building infrastructure to make the city, town better. But also who's benefiting? The land owner because the land's appreciating in value. And so I thought, well, what if the land, you know, when it was worthless was actually owned by the community to start. Okay, well, if in the desert, there's lots of places in the U.S. but in the desert in Nevada, for example, the land is very cheap, a couple of thousand dollars an acre. And I thought, what if you bought enough acreage to create a city of 5 million people, call it 200,000 acres. And so maybe it's four or $500 million. And when we did the math, we said, if we can get 5 million people to move to the desert and create the city that the land would be worth roughly a trillion dollars, and then the foundation could sell the land, create a trillion dollars worth of value, create an endowment diversified into lots of asset classes and earn $50 billion a year, like similar to like a university endowment or a hospital endowment or something like that. And that $50 billion a year would be a substantial sum of money giving back to the citizens of the community in the form of advanced social services, health care, education, jobs, training, affordable housing. And if people trusted the community foundation to do good, maybe people would donate to the community foundation. You would never donate to a city now because that's taxes, nobody trusts it. And it would be a virtuous cycle where eventually the community foundation we'd be so wealthy that it would be able to do an incredible amount of good and increase the collective happiness and wellbeing of the citizens. Way beyond what we could even imagine today. And then potentially wouldn't even need as high taxes. So we're not talking about some sort of weird socialist communist model of any sort. It’s capitalism, but it's just returning that value creation back to the citizens. And had we done that in the beginning, I  think we'd be in a completely different place now. And so anyway, this is the theory. And in order to test it, I mean, I'd love to be able to test it without building a city of 5 million people with $500 billion or whatever. But unfortunately the only way to really test it is with a clean slate and to do it. But then as we started thinking about, well we're building this city from scratch, there are incredible innovation that's happened around technology that enables us to do things that we can't currently do in existing cities, around sustainability, preparing for climate change and autonomous vehicles, these, all these different things that we can do. So why not do them all at the same time? And so our mission now is to create a more equitable and sustainable future, because we do believe there's going to be so much to learn from doing this project that we're basically innovating and pushing the envelope on all areas that pertain to building the city at the same time that we're testing this model. So it's sort of the combination of both. That's got me really fired up.

Scott Rogowksy: I wanted to jump in because you've priced basically mentioned 45 things that I wanted to follow up about. I guess my first question is, you know, there had been attempts to build cities of the future, or I know you don't like calling it Utopia, but, as you look to Dubai, for example, what they're doing over there in the Palm islands. I assume you've looked at these other examples and studied the history of these things. Have you been to Dubai? You see what they're doing over there?

Marc Lore: Yeah.

Scott Rogowksy: What's your take on that, first of all?

Marc Lore: I don't think any of these projects that I've seen have really started with the people at the center. Like we're starting with a mission and a set of values in the same way you would with any startup, just sort of build that culture from the foundation out. And, you know, the three values are open, fair, and inclusive, and there's some demonstrable steps that we're going to take to live each. What that does is it fills a solid foundation for building a very diverse city. I think that's really important. And a city where people want to live and work. It's not going to be a destination city. Most cities that have been built more recently have been more destination cities. You know, whether it be Las Vegas or Dubai, or like it has to be a city where, you know, people want to live because they want to raise a family. They want to enjoy nature. They want to be in a place that thinks about the environment and lives by a set of values, that's very transparent. The government will be very open and transparent with the citizens there, extremely fair, and also very inclusive. Even the way we're building in the master plan is much more inclusive than, than any city that you'll, you'll come across.

Nora Ali: And on that idea, Marc, sorry to interrupt, on inclusivity, it's hard to do that even for a singular company. And it's a whole other magnitude of work to do that for an entire city. And I know Telosa is going to be open to anyone. It's not just for the people who are tapped into the world of VC, tapped into the world of frontier tech. It truly is intended to be open to anyone who wants to live there. And for the first 50,000 residents, which I believe you guys are aiming for by the year 2030, you've said in the past that this will sort of be like building in incoming university class where you want to be super intentional about who's there instead of this risk of it ending up being homogenous by nature of who might know about this project or who might be at the frontier of this kind of story. So what will be your approach and how are you going to incorporate your approach to hiring at startups, to making sure that truly the first 50,000 residents especially are super representative and it is inclusive to start? 

Marc Lore: Yeah, I don't, I definitely don't have the answer to that. Now. I think the way I approach these problems is to find the very best people in America, in the world, that could help solve this problem. People that have studied diversity and inclusion and are experts in their field, we know that we can't just let it be, that we need to seed it to ensure diversity and then have that person build a team to figure it out.

Nora Ali: What is your approach to building that team? Because you are the one who has the big vision. There's a lot of recruitment, a lot of selling of this world-changing vision, as you are building the teams. And I am certain, you have to match that or marry that with the people who can execute, who can kind of root this still in reality. So what is your process in finding those best people and finding the best teams, whether it's for Telosa or in the company’s that you’ve built? 

Marc Lore: We're just starting to get to a place where we can go and really talk to those people because we needed to paint a picture for the vision and lock down the values and the mission. But I think the current thinking is we'd find maybe 30 or 40 board of governors, people that are experts in their respective fields that have a passion for wanting to see this happen. So somebody in education, somebody in D&I, somebody in criminal justice, somebody in health care, somebody in mobility, and have them shape and create the vision for their respective knowledge areas. But I know just from experience and doing startups, that it can't be a single person's vision. It just can't. It needs to be shared and needs to be co-owned. And my job and the team's job now will be to try and find those people. And, and we, we got a long way to go before we have a vision for what does education look like? What, how do we get 50,000 people diverse to start? So we're, we're sort of still in the very early stages, I would say.

Scott Rogowksy: So are we too early to even figure out where the city might be? I mean, you're talking about board of governors. How about talking to actual governors of the states.

Marc Lore: That’s the other thing. 

Scott Rogowsky: To say, hey, yeah, governor Nevada, can we put our city there? I mean, do they want you there?

Marc Lore: No, that's exactly. So the next phase, you just called it, is combination of talking to people that could be on the board of governors and talking to actual governors about whether or not this project would make sense for their state and looking for land. So like, those are probably the three goals of 2022.

Scott Rogowksy: Do you have a checklist in mind of the practicalities here? Because when I think of a city, it's okay, airport, you know, hospital, you need health care. Okay. Eventually schools will have to come in, but Halloween's around the corner. Marc, and I'm thinking practically, you know, Halloween in Telosa, what's that going to look like? How do you expect to have haunted hayrides and haunted mansions in a brand new city? I mean, it takes, it takes time to build up, you know, the haunting aspects. You need decades or centuries.

Marc Lore: We’ll have to have like a VR party where people will just have to put on like a VR headset and be transported to like somewhere else.

Scott Rogowksy: I mean, where do you expect to have, you know, poltergeist and phantasms, you know, running around if there's no grizzly murders or untimely deaths in Telosa? I assume there won't be any murderers in Telosa. So as part of the marketing materials, you can say Telosa is home of the king-size candy bars. I think if you put that on the billboards that might attract some people,

Marc Lore: Certainly the kids. Yeah.

Nora Ali: You need to hire Scott for marketing. 

Marc Lore: That’s a great marketing strategy. I love it.

Nora Ali: All right. I, this feels like a very good moment to take a very quick break. We'll be back with Marc Lore, and talk more about Telosa. Maybe we'll talk more about ghosts and ghouls, who knows, but we'll be right back.

[AD BREAK]

Nora Ali: All right, Marc. One of the sectors that you mentioned was mobility, which I know is huge for Telosa. And obviously there's existing limitations in cities now where having autonomous vehicles on the road en masse is a bit of an issue still because they have to share the road with not autonomous vehicles. So what are some of the efficiencies that you can implement in Telosa with the fact that you are able to say, we only will have autonomous vehicles on the road? What are some of these steps that you can take more efficiently and quickly, than say existing cities when it comes to transportation especially?

Marc Lore: Yeah, I think most people don't really appreciate how far along autonomous vehicles are and what they're capable of doing. I think you just nailed it. It's basically the hardest part is the fact that the roads aren't and haven't been built for autonomous vehicles and they have to share the road. So it's that last few percent that causes all the problems and why we don't have autonomous cars on the road all over the country right now today. If you said, you know, in the city that there will only be autonomous cars and the roads could be built for them specifically, it's actually a very easy problem to solve. You'll need less roads. They'll be obviously be safer. You won't need street lights and street signs. So it's very efficient. And one of the things we were thinking about is sort of taking it to a whole other level, which is if, uh,  the actual cab or the, or the pod that sits on top of the chassis, that's autonomous, but you have your own personal pod and that pod could move around like a car on the chassis. It could get picked up high-speed sky trans, which is above ground transportation system that can shoot you up to the north side of the city at 60 miles an hour, and then off to a stop to do last mile autonomously on the chassis to go to a vertiport and literally get picked up by one of these autonomous drones, lift your pod, and then take you to Las Vegas, or even go underground into a hyperloop and take a hyperloop to a city all in the same pod. The mode of transportation changes, but the actual cab pod that you're in doesn't and you can literally go anywhere you want, but different modes, depending on what's most efficient at that time.

Nora Ali: That sounds awesome. And if you had to look into a crystal ball, as far as when Scott or I might be able to get into one of these pods, is that the next, yeah. When do we get to pod? Is that the next 10 years, 20?

Scott Rogowksy: Is there a used pod dealer you can recommend?

Marc Lore: In 2030, certainly you'd be able to get in the pod to autonomously move around the city, maybe even a bit with sky trans. I think the, the hyperloop and the autonomous drone might take a little longer.

Scott Rogowksy: I commend the notion and the vision, and I truly believe I was thinking about it when I learned about Telosa. You know, when you think about the cities in America specifically, I guess, but historically around the world, how cities are born in the first place. And if you look at it, it's mostly because of trade economics, right? Now, we have all these new technologies and to start a city in 2021 with the technology we have and the modes of transportation, the means of finance that we have, you could do it radically different than 300 years ago. So I really kind of love that idea. But then I think about technology and how quickly it's advancing and how quickly things become obsolete. My iPhone 8 is already a laughing stock among my friends, right? How do you design a city now for 2030 when the technology is gonna change so quickly and things are designed for obsolescence these days? You want to build a city that's not going to become obsolete, of course. So how do you consider that when planning for the future, when it really is so hard, it's almost like the ground is shifting beneath us every moment?

Marc Lore: Well, it's a really good question. I think one, when it comes to infrastructure technology, there's hasn't been a ton of innovation. Like if you think about cars and roads, that's, hasn't really changed much, you know, in quite a long time. Subway systems, like sometimes those big investments in infrastructure are hard to do away with, ’cause you've already got it there. And that's one of the reasons why we haven't moved to high-speed trains in the U.S. We haven't moved to hyperloop. We haven't moved to autonomous vehicle. Like it's just because the marginal benefit is a really tough sell. You're starting from scratch. It's really easy. The math is simple, but if you're thinking about, well, we're not going to use the subway system anymore.

Scott Rogowksy: Retrofitting is expensive.

Marc Lore: Yeah. It's retrofitting, or just doing away with something and rebuilding something else that the marginal is tough. So I think when it comes to infrastructure, we can leap ahead a hundred years. Like it'll be a hundred years in the future before some of the things that we implemented in Telosa are actually, you know, commonplace in existing cities, I would think. Hopefully there's a lot to learn from what we're doing. But then also as, as we build like the other aspects of technology solutions, like you said, we have to build it so that the city could adapt to new technologies.

Nora Ali: And you would take a sort of test-and-learn approach based on user research. What do the residents want and how do their needs change over time? So to that point, some of the metrics that your team is using to figure out if Telosa is a success, is things like quality of life, happiness, fairness, respect, sort of these qualitative barometers in a sense. So how do you go about assessing what success is? What does Telosa look like in 2050 that would make Marc Lore go, you know what? We did the thing. People are happy in Telosa. 

Marc Lore: Yeah, it's funny you ask that question because that is actually what we're working on right now. Like, how do you define success? I think it's really important to know what you're shooting for. And so, so yeah soon, probably in the next few months, we should be able to share that. Some things are obvious. Like we know we're going to be a hundred percent renewable energy. We know that we're going to use 90% less water. Does a bunch of metrics I would feel pretty good about, but then there's others that we haven't really dove into, like happiness and how to measure it and where do we want to get to and quality of life and, you know, commute time. And we want people to be able to work 15 minutes within their home. And so creating these like super blocks, the percentage of the city that's nature and green, you know, we have goals there there's a lot of goals in a lot of different areas and we just have to like pull it all together. And I think even if we set them now, I think they'll change when we have the board of governors. So it'll be like an iterative process and we'll keep, you know, fortunately we have nine more years to figure it out.

Nora Ali: I'm sure. I'm sure one of them is like a Net Promoter score on steroids. Would you recommend Telosa? 

Marc Lore: Yeah, would you recommend Telosa to live to family and friends on a scale of zero to 10, nine or 10? You're a promoter of the city zero to six you’re a detractor, we nab them and there you go.

Nora Ali: I remember the very first meeting you and I. Marc,  had  at Jet.com was about Net Promoter score. So I know it's very important to you as it should be. 

Marc Lore: It’s actually, now you've made me want to like ask the Net Promoter score with people in cities, where they live right now like--

Nora Ali: What do you think, Marc? Would it be higher in New York or LA? I'm in New York, Scott's in LA, which one has a NPS? 

Marc Lore: That’s a great social media post, like New York versus LA net promoter score?

Scott Rogowksy: Throw away the census. We just need people walking around, asking--

Marc Lore: Yeah, like a thousand people in each city just completely random and ask them zero to 10. Would you recommend this city to a friend or family member [inaudible].

Scott Rogowksy: Ten out of ten on this conversation with Marc Lore. We're gonna take another quick break. When we return, I'm going to get into my passion and I know it's, Marc's secret passion that he's maybe not tapped into it these days, but he certainly was back in his younger days, stick around. You don't want to miss this. 

[AD BREAK]

Scott Rogowksy: Marc, earlier this year, you and former baseball-man-turned-business-boss, Alex Rodriguez, reached an agreement to become majority owners of the Minnesota Lynx. You're inheriting a WNBA powerhouse, Marc. Eleven straight playoff appearances, including this season, another dominant performance by Sylvia Fowls, Napheesa Collier proven to be the crown jewel of the 2019 draft class. Rennia Davis missed her Rookie season because of the stress fracture. How do you see her fitting into Coach Reeve’s loop and elbow offensive schemes for 2022?

Marc Lore: I see her fitting really well there, Scott,

Nora Ali: Scott is more fascinated by the WNBA than the NBA. 

Marc Lore: The WNBA was one of the reasons why Alex and I were so excited about this transaction, because it was one of the few teams that actually own their own WNBA team. And the Lynx are a great team. And Cheryl has done an incredible job. I love the team. I spend time with the players. I think they've got their core values in a really good place. And I'm excited about next season. 

Scott Rogowksy: I guess when you bought the Lynx they threw in the Timberwolves. Was that part of the deal?

Marc Lore: Basically. Yeah.

Scott Rogowksy: ’Cause these T-wolves aren't doing so well. 

Marc Lore: Just wait on the Wolves, just wait on the Wolves. We’re 3-0 in the preseason. Just give us some time.

Scott Rogowksy: Well, I like you’re using “we” already. So this is, this is it. So you're starting this new ’21-’22 season. You now have 20% ownership and it's gonna increase over the next couple of years? 

Marc Lore: Yeah, exactly.

Scott Rogowksy: There you go. So you've got yeah, no, listen, this is a young team, Anthony Edwards coming off a nice rookie campaign, but I want to hear about your relationship with A-Rod because this wasn't the first attempt to buy a sports team together. You had a bid in on the Mets, much publicized, which is my team. I'm a Mets fan. First of all, you're a Staten Island kid, Jersey.

Marc Lore: I’m a Yankees fan, okay. 

Scott Rogowsky: Okay, you’re a Yankees fan. No bones about that. But you, and A-Rod wanted to come in on the Mets. What was your thinking there?

Marc Lore: I think we just--it's a New York team and we saw a lot of upside and we saw closer to a clean slate to sort of build something really special and start and do all the foundational work and values and mission and what's the vision. Looking back, I'm happy that it didn't happen because I love being in the NBA. I think the NBA is a much more progressive league and has a lot of upside tailwinds. It's global. There's just a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Nora Ali: And you love Minnesota now, as much as I love Minnesota, my home town. 

Marc Lore: I do love Minnesota, I do love Minnesota. 

Nora Ali: What's, what's your favorite thing about Minnesota so far, Marc?

Marc Lore: So far has been the weather. It's been incredible every trip. It's like beautiful. I haven't been in a winter yet. But I do, I like the cold actually. You know, I was the kid that used to go outside, like when it was snowing in shorts. And my mom used to say, what are you doing? It’s snowing! I loved it.

Nora Ali: Did you know that Marc qualified for the U S Olympic bobsled team? So he’s like all about the ice. 

Scott Rogowksy: I did know that. I was going to say, Marc, you can, can revisit your passion for bobsledding now up in Minnesota.

Marc Lore: I know. I was saying, let's put a bobsled track. I said, let's make the cold cool. I'm really looking forward to being there in the winter. I really am like, I, I think it's, I think it's fun, Minnesota. The people I've met have been so incredible. Like I love the values and the people and how humble they are. And I think, I think it's a great fit. And I really look forward to seeing what we can do with the Wolves and giving back to the community there and really immersing ourselves in everything. Minnesota has to offer.

Nora Ali: Minnesota Nice is a real value. It's a real value. And, Marc, you said mission, values, vision for sports teams. I don't normally make that association myself. You don't think about those facets necessarily. So how do you go about helping the Wolves and the Lynx come up with their next generation of their vision, values, and mission?

Marc Lore: Yeah. Well, we have a woman that's Jessica. That's worked for me before at Jet who, you know, Nora, and she's had at least 50 conversations with fans, analysts, reporters, players, former players, coaches, and basically just learning like what's working, what's not working. What values are important to the people that are there now, which ones make sense given where we are and where we want to take the organization? And we're getting close to having a mission and a set of values. And more than that, how we're going to live these values in a unique way that no other team does. And then on the other side of the ledger, it's the vision. Where do we want to be in 10 or 20 years? You know, articulate that, get it down on paper. So everybody's on board, what are the core strategies to get there? And then what are the tactics to support each strategy? What are the key metrics to know that we're being successful, then what's the org structure to support that strategy and then go out and start finding the very best people in the world to fill in each box. It's actually, it's a very simple playbook and it makes sense when you explain it to people. But so few people do it, whether it be startups teams, and I'm not quite sure why, maybe it's just because people want to shoot. You know, I just started learning how to play basketball. So I never played basketball my life, but I hired this NBA coach. Cause I said, Hey, listen, I want to learn how to play. If I'm gonna own a team, I need to know how to play. So like the last five mornings I've gotten up and went to the, went to the court and learning how to shoot and stuff. And the coach is saying, a lot of people don't want to do this. They want to, to shoot. And I think that's sort of the problem. It's like, nobody wants to do the foundational work, whether it be in basketball or in business or a team, we've got to build the foundation. And when we have the foundation and the foundation is rock solid, then we'll start shooting.

Scott Rogowksy: You're talking, you're talking to a proud graduate that John Starks basketball camp, Marc. It's all about the, it's all about the Swan. You gotta make the goose head with the hand there. I remember that. We were talking about values, but how about we get real on value? What's what do you think the value of my PSA 8 Derek Jeter rookie card is right her? 

Marc Lore: No, I don't do eight. Come on, eight? Where's the 9 and the 10, Scott?

Scott Rogowksy: Oh, look, I'm not a billionaire, Marc. I can't afford the 10s.

Nora Ali: Wait, explain to the lay people here. What does that mean? What's an eight, what's a nine, what's a ten?

Scott Rogowksy: Marc, let's try to explain it by way of your journey with sports cards. You've always had a passion for cards, right? I mean, you created a company in high school called The Mint. Tell us about that.

Marc Lore: This company was a baseball card company. We used to buy big cases of unsorted cards from Topps and Donruss and Fleer. And then we'd sit in the basement all day, all summer and put them into full sets and go to a trade show and sell them. I love cards. I love it.

Scott Rogowksy: Yeah. Being an Yankees fan in the eighties, I guess Don Mattingly is your guy.

Marc Lore: Oh, absolutely. What is that, 1984 rookie card? 

Scott Rogowksy: That's right. ’84 Topps. You must have those in gem mint 10 I imagine.

Marc Lore: Yeah, ’83, ’83 was Boggs, ’83 was Gwynn. ’82 is Ripkin. 

Scott Rogowksy: Yup. But you're aware of what's going on in the card industry. Do you ever think? Hmm, I did diapers. Sure. I did Jet.com. Maybe I should have started a Fanatics ’cause they’re worth $10 billion today and they're doing their own cards now. And PSA just sold for $700 million a few weeks ago. I mean, it's crazy what's going on with cards, huh?

Marc Lore: It's incredible. It's incredible. I wish I still had my collection. I basically, after holding my collection for, I don't know, 30, 30 years I sold it right about before this whole thing exploded. So.

Scott Rogowksy: Oh no! 

Nora Ali: That's Scott's model, too. Scott buys high, sells low. All right. Well, that's a wrap on our conversation with Marc Lore. It was super fun to talk about baseball cards, the Timberwolves, the Lynx, Telosa, even a little bit of Halloween.

Scott Rogowksy:  Well, you heard it here first, Telosa, city of the future. And that future is rapidly approaching. 2030 is not far away, Nora. We'll see how Marc progresses with his plan. In the meantime, BC listeners, we want to hear from you and what you thought about our conversation. What do you think about the idea of a utopian city? Do you think this is going to work? Will you be one of the first 50,000 residents of Telosa? Maybe if they had the Telosa Timberwolves I'll move there. Send us an email at BusinessCasual@MorningBrew.com or DM us on Twitter @bizcasualpod. That's B I Z Casual pod. With your thoughts.

Nora Ali: You can also leave a voice memo on our website, BusinessCasual.fm, or give us a ring and leave us an old fashioned voicemail. Our number is 862-295-1135. And as Business Casual grows, we are excited to get to know our listeners old and new drop us a line. And don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from so we can hear from you in a future episode.

Scott Rogowksy: Listeners, we want you all moving to Telosa with us. We're forming our own Utopia with Marc and Nora and me. Join us. It's Telosa. Business. Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins, will be rooming together in a loft in downtown Telosa additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus who has a down payment on a three-bedroom and Telosa Heights. Alan Haburchak is Director of Audio at Morning Brew and founder of West Telosa. Sarah Singer is our VP of multimedia and Jessica Cohen is our chief content officer who are definitely both staying in New York. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and the Mysterious Breakmaster cylinder, who has announced he is running for mayor of Telosa. If you like what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you go for ear candy this Halloween. And we'd love it if you would give us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali. 

Scott Rogowksy: And I'm Scott Rogowsky.

Nora Ali: Keep it business. 

Scott Rogowksy: And keep it casual.