Ever wonder what a billion-dollar idea looks like?
For serial entrepreneur Marc Lore, these can come from a variety of places, including e-commerce, tech, food delivery and even sports. Now co-owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx, Lore is well known for his development of e-commerce brands such as Diapers.com, Jet.com and most recently, the Wonder Group, a “fast-fine” food delivery service.
He shared his insights during the Conversations with Entrepreneurs webinar series, presented by the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center at FIU Business. Lore starred in a Q&A lead by Deepak Ohri, CEO of lebua Hotels and Resorts and executive-in-residence at the Pino Center, on February 24. Ohri has also turned his dreams into reality, building an experiential luxury empire in Asia with resorts and Michelin-starred restaurants.
“We started a company a few years back and raised hundreds of millions of dollars, invested in culinary engineering and food science to be able to deliver a truly elevated home dining experience,” said Lore, who is now the CEO of Wonder.
Lore explained that Wonder isn’t trying to replace Uber Eats or Door Dash. He insists that his vertically integrated system manages every process, from the people preparing the food to the food couriers, eliminating problems like cold food or incorrect orders by having more control with his end-to-end system.
Asked what he might compare Wonder to in terms of disrupting the food delivery market, he replied: “It’s elevating the experience, like what Starbucks did to coffee.”
Ohri asked about Lore’s ownership of two professional sports teams, the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA Minnesota Lynx, which he co-owns with former baseball legend, Alex Rodriguez.
“It has always been a childhood dream. Being a kid growing up without any money and just playing street ball, an unrealistic dream at the time,” Lore said. “And then the opportunity presented itself and A-Rod and I jumped on it, we didn’t have time to think about it.”
Had they thought about it, the dream may not have panned out, Lore noted as he shared one of his biggest lessons.
“Sometimes, the best way to negotiate is not to - to know not to negotiate at all,” he said “It’s not always the case that you should negotiate.”
In the case of the NBA agreement with the Timberwolves, it was discovered that several other potential buyers had lost the sale due to their negotiation attempts, possibly costing them the sale and allowing for Lore and Rodriguez to say “yes.”
He added that when interviewing for jobs, it’s not always best to negotiate a salary, especially if you know it’s a fair offer. “Sometimes it’s a sign of strength to accept the first offer,” Lore said. “It’s often the people who don’t negotiate [who] are the most successful.”
During the presentation, Ohri, who calls himself the master of dreaming, shared one piece of advice he credits with allowing him to dream big and reach for the literal sky.
“I survived in this world because I didn’t have FOPO, fear of people’s opinion,” said Ohri. “Whenever I had FOPO, I converted it to ROPO, respect of people’s opinion. It is an art to know who to listen to, and who not to listen to.”