#71 Alec Oxenford: OLX founder, Serial Entrepreneur & Art collector | Argentina

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In this episode, Tanmay Shah interviews Alec Oxenford, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of OLX. They discuss Alec’s biggest accomplishment, which he believes is continuously learning and becoming a better version of himself. They also talk about the differences between Argentina and India, including population size, diversity, and cultural aspects. Alec shares his advice for young entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of having fun, thinking big, and building a team of people who are better than yourself. They also discuss Myelin, Alec’s venture capital fund, and how they choose startups to invest in based on factors like the quality of the founders, market potential, and traction. Alec shares insights into the different marketing strategies they used for OLX in different countries and the similarities in user behavior across cultures. In this part of the conversation, Alec shares his insights on collecting art and supporting living artists. He discusses his approach to building a contemporary art collection and the guiding principles he follows. He also talks about his involvement in promoting Argentinian art and his role in various art organizations. Alec emphasizes the importance of artists staying true to themselves and their creative vision, even in the face of commercial pressures. He also shares his love for Argentina, highlighting the warmth of its people and the diverse cultural festivals and activities the country has to offer. In this conversation, Alec shares insights about Argentina, his favorite books and movies, his views on the metaverse, and the similarities between artists and people in the technology world. He also discusses his advice to his younger self and expresses his appreciation for India. The conversation spans over two hours and is filled with engaging and insightful discussions.In this episode of Rocklaz Radio, Tanmay Shah and Laura Grinbarga discuss books and podcasts they have read and listened to. They share their favorite podcasts, such as Akimbo and Freakonomics, and talk about the benefits of reading digitally and listening to audiobooks. They recommend books like The Artist’s Way, Big Magic, and The War of Art for creative inspiration. They also discuss the importance of finding the right time to read and making notes while reading. The conversation touches on spirituality in art and the impact of books like The Alchemist and Siddhartha. They also mention books on negotiation and personal development, such as Think and Grow Rich and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including book recommendations, favorite genres, and spiritual and philosophical discussions. Some of the recommended books include ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear, ‘The Warrior’s Apprentice’ by Lois McMaster Bujold, ‘The Silver Metal Lover’ by Tanith Lee, ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Bhagavad Gita’ by Shri Shri Ravishankar, and ‘Business Sutras’ by Devdutt Patnayak. The conversation also touched on the importance of finding balance and substance in the content we consume.


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00:00 Introduction and Alec’s Biggest Accomplishment
11:28 Challenges of Entrepreneurship and Advice for Young Entrepreneurs
38:07 Importance of Being Open-Minded and Listening to Users’ Feedback
47:45 Supporting Living Artists and Building an Art Collection
59:40 The Importance of Artists Staying True to Themselves
01:10:23 Argentina: Warmth of People and Cultural Festivals
01:29:56 The Similarities Between Artists and People in Technology
01:45:06 Alec’s Appreciation for India and Parting Words



• Alec Oxenford’s biggest accomplishment is continuously learning and becoming a better version of himself.
• Argentina and India have differences in population size, diversity, and cultural aspects, but also share similarities in user behavior.
• Advice for young entrepreneurs: have fun, think big, build a team of people who are better than yourself.
• Myelin, Alec’s venture capital fund, chooses startups to invest in based on factors like the quality of the founders, market potential, and traction.
• Marketing strategies for OLX varied in different countries, but user behavior and response to stimuli were similar.
• Being open-minded and listening to users’ feedback is crucial for success in product development and marketing. Supporting living artists is important for the development of culture and the art scene.
• Art collectors can play a role in promoting and supporting artists and their work.
• Art should generate questions and provoke contemplation, rather than providing answers.
• Artists should strive to be creative, disruptive, and true to themselves, even in the face of commercial pressures.
• Argentina is known for its warm and welcoming people, diverse cultural festivals, and vibrant art scene. Argentina is known for its tallest mountain, Aconcagua, and the widest avenue in the world, Nueve de Julio.
• Alec admires Messi and Maradona as football players and values the positive impact of sports.
• He would like to have lunch with Leonardo Da Vinci, Jesus Christ, and Einstein and would ask them about creativity, the afterlife, and life advice, respectively.
• If today was his last day, Alec would spend time with loved ones and enjoy simple pleasures.
• He wants to be remembered for being a positive influence, creating sustainable institutions, and building an art collection that reflects his generation.
• Art, for Alec, is the intersection between the material and the divine, and it educates, provides beauty, and evokes emotions.
• Alec believes in making money in a way that allows for free time and impact, and he sees money as opportunities and optionality.
• His favorite book is ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Victor Frankl, which taught him the importance of finding meaning and happiness from within.
• Alec enjoys movies like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings for their adventure, messages, and world-building.
• If he could go to the past or the future, Alec would choose ancient Greece to understand their advancements in philosophy, mathematics, and architecture.
• His favorite food is ice cream, particularly lemon, chocolate, and strawberry flavors.
• Alec finds inspiration in people who have a positive impact and make a difference, like Elon Musk.
• While Alec appreciates traditional art, he sees it as a separate realm from technology and prefers experiencing art in physical forms rather than through screens.
• He believes that engineers and artists share similar traits, such as a logical and mathematical mind, a focus on problem-solving, and a sense of humor.
• Alec is open to the possibilities of the metaverse and expects increased connectivity and a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness.
• He enjoys activities like reading, cycling, walking on the beach, watching movies, spending time with loved ones, and traveling.
• Alec would advise his younger self to dream big, not be too hard on himself, smile, surround himself with admirable people, and never give up.
• He appreciates the colors, culture, and smiles of India and feels a special connection to the country.
• Alec had a positive experience in the conversation and commends the host for his elegant and humble approach.
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