This week I have been grilling one of of Episode 1’s founding partners Adrian Lloyd. A self proclaimed adventurous family man with a lot of interests to fit in around that family.
Find out what makes him tick here…
What is your name and where are you from?
Adrian Eyre Lloyd. My grandfather was General Richard Eyre Lloyd, a solider and head of military intelligence after the war. We never really knew what he got up to. I’m from London, born to a Swiss (Zurich) mum and English dad, though she grew up in Cuba and he in Cyprus when not at boarding school in England.
Three words to describe yourself?
An adventurous, reliable, family-man
What has been your biggest success in your life so far?
My family aside, establishing Episode 1 with Simon and Damien, and growing it since then. I was extremely lucky to be in the right place at the right time to get into that situation. I’m proud to have been a part of building the awesome team we have today. Aside from that, if you’ll permit me another, it was having the courage to go and live in China to start a business there at 26. It seemed like the obvious thing to do then, but looking back I think it was pretty ballsy!
What’s your biggest failure?
I wasn’t particularly imaginative about my initial career choice as a management consultant and wish that I had found VC earlier in my life. I can’t think of a serious “failure” yet – I’ve had a lucky and pretty smooth ride so far. Knocking a front tooth out when diving into a particularly shallow part of the Med in the middle of the night was a pretty epic fail more recently!
If you weren’t doing your job you do today, what would you do?
I’d turn some of my property into a rotational farming system to grow produce for a restaurant I would finance (but not run – i’m not mad) near my home in West Sussex where I would ask new graduate chefs of promise to run the kitchen any way they wanted on a 3 month rotation. I live in a bit of a food desert once you go beyond the (excellent) pubs nearby. And i’d continue to angel invest – I love finding the highest potential entrepreneurs and helping them build businesses that make huge impact on their clients, and their own revenue and employment fronts.
Who would be your mystery dinner guest (dead or alive) & why?
I love the art of Anselm Kiefer, Oscar Murillo and Yves Klein and my experience of dining with great artists to date have always been eye-opening and thought-provoking. Francis Mallman would be invited to cook. My Partner Paul would kill me for not including him so he would come with the wine, a serious passion of his.
If you were to win the lottery what would be the FIRST thing you’d do?
As of January 2023 i’d buy 3 to 6 month US Treasuries and then wait for half a year devising a longer-term strategy. Part of that longer-term strategy would likely include much more capital into Episode 1, of course, and other VC funds in the geos we don’t invest in. And a big chunk to companies doing the best work on the climate front. An indulgence I dream of is taking my 4 children and wife to the Galapagos, so I’m sure that would feature.
What’s your favourite book/blog/website to read?
The Weekend FT is a massive luxury when I get to read it cover to cover. I try hard to read fiction and non-fiction one after another after my god-father, a writer and director, persuaded me that one learns as much, if not more, from fiction as one does from non-fiction. And it’s fun. Right now my non-fiction is An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Education and my fiction is The Incendiaries by a friend who was at Stanford with me. It’s an amazing and quite dark novel. Beautiful word-crafting. I listen to This Week in Politics and All-In religiously.
What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
The tooth thing. That and getting arrested in China for travelling into a restricted area in the middle of the Taklamakan Desert during my gap year. Turned out to be a militarily sensitive area. I never found out why, but I had an interesting night in a cell with my friends Hugh and Jack. The police were very nice to us, perhaps because 2 of us spoke Chinese passably well.
What was the biggest ‘EUREKA’ moment in your life so far?
When my wife taught me that other peoples’ feelings and emotional reactions to me have very little to do with me, but are almost entirely down to that person’s own emotional history, typically stemming from their childhood. So now when I upset someone I don’t feel nearly as uncomfortable about it!
If you were to die tomorrow, what advice would you leave to the world?
The only way to be successful is to do things you enjoy doing. No matter how smart you are, you’ll be competing with someone just as smart but who really enjoys their work. They will win. Do what you love. You’ll be happier and more successful. And a better partner and parent. And buy less stuff, and nothing made out of plastic (and give money to the charities Client Earth & Global Canopy Project).