I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Ladd, a seasoned private equity investor and board member. Chris shared insights from his extensive career in corporate development, M&A, and private equity. Here are some highlights:

How Chris Identifies High-Potential Companies
When considering investments, Chris looks for two key ingredients - a market need/gap, and a solution that can fill that gap in a way that's core to the customer. Solid management, competition, industry trends etc. matter too, but those two factors are paramount. 

Strategic Guidance as a Board Member
In board roles, Chris focuses on bringing structure and strategic frameworks to early-stage companies. This includes testing key assumptions, making sure the right resources are in place, and that management processes align with the strategy. He notes it's a fluid process as strategies morph rapidly in early-stage companies.

Technology's Impact on Business Growth
Chris sees technology and innovation as crucial for driving growth and productivity gains needed in today's competitive landscape. He pointed to the huge amount of remaining manual processes and whitespace in supply chain, logistics and other sectors where there's room for efficiency gains.

The Future of Private Equity
Chris predicts private equity will continue growing as an asset class as more retail/individual investors get exposure. Platforms are emerging to provide individuals with easier access. He sees AI and technology improving processes like deal sourcing, research and analytics on the operations side.

Chris' Best Career Advice
One professor emphasized that business is a grind, so you need to physically and mentally prepare through exercise, proper sleep etc. This has stuck with Chris as great advice for building the endurance required to perform at a high level consistently.

Key Takeaways
- Focus on market gaps and solutions core to the customer
- Provide structure/strategy frameworks to early-stage companies
- Technology will drive productivity and efficiencies
- Private equity access is democratizing for individual investors
- Success requires tremendous effort and lifestyle habits like fitness