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Cache Flow Podcast

E31: The Science Behind Building Winning Teams with Predictive Index’s Mike Zani

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In this episode, Predictive Index’s CEO, Mike Zani, talks about what makes Search Funds successful, the behavioral science behind personality assessments, and the ways that your assets can work as your liabilities.

Mike Zani is Predictive Index’s CEO, a market-leading employee assessment platform for hiring and advancing your internal team and talent. He grew the company from a low 8-figure to a 9-figure business and continues to bring them success.

Mike has grown and sold 4 Search Fund businesses, was also the Coach of the Year in the 1996 Olympics, and became a New York Times best-selling author with his book ‘The Science of Dream Teams’. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Cache Flow:

  • What a Search Fund is and what makes Search Funds successful.
  • The challenges of entering the health industry.
  • How effective personality assessments are.
  • The behavioral science behind personality assessments.
  • How your assets can also be your liabilities.
  • The shadow side of people’s personalities.
  • The business of being an author.
  • How to use AI tools to analyze data for business success.
  • How machine learning can predict team dynamics and cultural fit.
  • The ways AI is changing industries.


Connect with Mike Zani:
Connecting with the host:
  • 7:32 – “One of the most obscure products we ever made is we made the camera mounts at US Customs and Border Patrol. So when you come into the country, you look at a camera and our mount is holding that camera. So my kids, they have almost no idea what I do because I’ve done four different companies. So it changes all the time. And the only thing they really remember is we come into the country from a trip, and they’re like, my dad made that. You know, and, and you know, but it is a very obscure yet large marketplace. And I think that’s one of the tenants of search funds is you’re looking for businesses to buy that aren’t sexy necessarily. And they’re not front and center. They’re not today. They, they’re not AI or crypto. They are the things that are like, I had no idea someone made a rugged docking station for a cop car. But of course someone does.”
  • 9:00 – “We basically buy a used company. The first time we did it with other people’s money cause we didn’t have any money. But you buy a used company with other people’s money, you put yourself in charge, and you reinvent it. The closest proxy is buying and flipping homes, except you’re buying and flipping companies. And you do it one at a time because you put yourself in as senior management. And there’s this whole cadre of companies that don’t have senior management that’s ready to move on. Someone founded a company, their kids either weren’t interested in the business or, you know, weren’t able to do it.”
  • 11:59 – “We looked at sausage processing, beef jerky, aftermarket cabling, and cable harnesses for scanning machines that spin like, you know, a PET scan or a CAT scan, and you’re like, oh, that’s pretty diverse. And the fun part is people, they’re like, are you afraid of going into a new industry? And you’re like, not anymore. You know, it takes six months before you even have a sense of what the industry is. And some industries are harder than others, actually, healthcare was one of the hardest to get into.”
  • 33:46 – “I just want to be me on my best day most days. And you’d be like, yeah, me too. And you want to enable those who work around you to be them on their best days. Definitely. And if you do that, you’re going to get a lot of value from your days, your work, your, your life, your relationships, and you’re going to be a happier person.”
  • 45:41 – “In May 2023, we don’t know whether AI is going to be the next internet or the next mobile smartphone, meaning a really big thing that changes the world, or is it going to be Google Glass and the Metaverse, which is like, eh, nothing burger. I, I’m going to answer the question as if it’s going to change the world because I personally believe it is, but there are going to be huge winners of in losers as a result of this world change. Just like there was in mobile and just like there was when the internet came, and the people who are going to win are those who understand how their customers use their stuff and those who are able to use their data effectively with the new tools, AI is going to do 90% of the work for us.”

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Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Curotec, a software development solutions provider, offering both project-based application development and staff augmentation services. Global top consulting experts in Laravel, Vue.js, and enterprise WordPress development services. Contact Curotec today to discuss your next development project, or to augment your in-house team with top talent. 

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