20VC: Why The Days of Spray and Pray at Seed Are Over, How To Compete In A World of Sequoia Seed Funds & Why Price Doesn’t Matter with Dan Scheinman, Angel Investor @ Zoom & Arista Networks

IMG_5609

Dan Scheinman is one of the West Coast’s leading angel investors with a portfolio including the likes of Zoom.us, Tango.me, TomFoolery (acquired by Yahoo) and Arista Networks, where he also sits on the board. Prior to angel investing, Dan spent 18 years at Cisco in numerous roles including Senior Vice President of Corporate Development where he rebuilt corp dev as a growth enabler for Cisco. Dan was also the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Cisco Media Solutions Group (CMSG), an internal startup which successfully developed and marketed a hosted software.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dan made his way into the world of angel investing following leading the M&A and Corp Dev teams at Cisco?

2.) Why does Dan believe that the days of spray and pray angel investing at seed are over? What does the re-entrance of large funds like Sequoia back into seed investing mean for angels and early-stage VCs? How must the early stage alter their approach with the re-entering of these giants?

3.) Why does Dan believe that the No 1 destroyer of value in a VC portfolio is founder drama? How does this lead his thinking when assessing opportunities? How can this be mitigated? Why does Dan believe it is much harder for people over 35 to raise VC funding?

4.) Why does Dan believe that in the best deals price does not matter? What opportunities has Dan passed on a deal due to price, what have been his subsequent learnings? How does Dan approach the aspect of reserve allocation? What is the decision-making process around reserves? What are the reasons he would not take his pro-rata? How does he communicate this to founding teams?

5.) Why are incumbents no longer so willing to acquire for technology and talent? What problems do these early-stage acquisitions cause for their internal dynamics and culture? When done, why are these early-stage acquisitions less and less friendly for the early investors of the company being acquired?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dan’s Fave Book: Moneyball

Dan’s Most Recent Investment: Cycognito

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Dan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: 3 Questions Founders Must Stress Test VCs with, What Separates the Good From The Great VCs & Why 80% of VC Detract Value From Board Meetings with Seth Sternberg, Founder & CEO @ Honor

IMG_5386 2

Seth Sternberg is the Founder & CEO @ Honor, the startup that provides homecare your family will love. To date Seth has raised over $60m in funding with Honor from the likes of Thrive Capital, a16z, Homebrew and 8VC. Prior to Honor, Seth was the Co-founder & CEO of Meebo, a web communications platform backed by the likes of Sequoia, Khosla and True Ventures. Meebo reached $50M in revenue and close to half of the US internet population before being acquired by Google for $100M in 2012. At Google, Seth became a Product Director working on the Google+ Platform and GoogleX. Seth is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit and Gusto to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Seth made his way into the world of startups with the founding of Sequoia backed, Meebo? How did he transition from social network to homecare provision?

2.) From his experience with Meebo, what are the biggest elements Seth has done differently with the building of Honor? What was successful the first time that he has carried with him to Honor? How does Seth approach the hiring process fundamentally differently the 2nd time around?

3.) Seth has worked with the likes of Sequoia, Khosla, Thrive and more, what are the commonalities that make the best VCs so special? Where does Seth believe VCs can add true value? Where do many seriously detract value? Why does Seth believe that 80% of VCs are actually detrimental to board meetings?

4.) What 3 questions must all founders ask when considering to take on a new investor? What is that investor-founder assessment structure? When there is a disagreement with investors, how does Seth approach this? What is the best method for doing this in as fast and efficient method as possible?

5.) Would Seth agree with David Barrett @ Expensify that we are going through a wave of founders creating companies for the quick flip? How does Seth’s 20-year time horizon with Honor affect how he both thinks about hiring and individual scaling within the firm? Why is he so jealous of Google and Facebook with regards to this?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Seth’s Fave Book: The Firm

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Seth on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: Why Crypto Is The Biggest Disruptor To Hit VC In A Decade, The State of Crypto Today & Why Investing In Decentralized Platforms Requires A New Mental Model with Boris Wertz, Founding Partner @ Version One Ventures

IMG_5465

Boris Wertz is the Founding Partner @ Version One Ventures, one of North America’s leading early-stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of previous guests Coinbase, AngelList, Shippo, TopHat, Polychain Capital and many more incredible companies. As for Boris, prior to VC, Boris was the COO @ Abe Books, where he led a team of 60 people until their acquisition in 2008 by Amazon. In addition to this, Boris is also a Board Partner with a16z and the lead independent director @ Ether Capital, a Toronto-based technology company aiming to become the central investment hub for the Ethereum ecosystem.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Boris made his way from creating the largest European marketplace for used books to becoming one of North America’s leading investors with Version One?

2.) How does Boris analyze where we are at now in the development and hype cycle of crypto? How does it compare to the internet bubble of 99′? Does Boris get concerned by the amount of dumb money entering the space? What resources and tools does Boris advice for people looking to learn the foundations as quickly as possible?

3.) Why does Boris believe you have to apply a new mental model when investing in crypto? What do existing VCs need to do to ensure they are not left behind by the emerging world of crypto? What does Boris believe would need to happen for the existing institutional LP class to embrace crypto?

4.) Does Boris believe existing investors can transition into this space or will vertically specialised funds be the clear winner? If existing investors can, what is required within their partnerships to make this happen? What does Boris make of VCs investing in ICOs? How does Boris evaluate the Telegram ICO?

5.) How does Boris view the future of VC in tandem with the world of crypto and ICOs? What would VCs becoming small cap hedge funds mean for the industry? How would life change? What have been Boris’ biggest learnings from watching first hand a16z’s attempts to innovate the VC model at scale?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Boris’ Fave Book: Shoe Dog

Boris’ Most Recent Investment: Coinbase

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Boris on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: Hims’ Andrew Dudum on The Scaling Playbook of The Fastest Growing Mens Wellness Brand, How To Be Truly Innovative In Today’s World of Online Marketing & Raising at a $200m Valuation within Year 1

IMG_5421

Andrew Dudum is Co-Founder & CEO @ Hims, the fastest growing men’s health and wellness brand that has raised over $45m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint and SV angel just to name a few. Andrew is also co-founder and General Partner at Atomic, a venture-builder backed by Peter Thiel, Marc Andreesen and many of the world’s best investors. Prior to Atomic and Hims, Andrew led Product at TokBox.com, the leader in web-based communication. In 2012 TokBox was acquired by the global telecommunications company Telefonica ($TEF).

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andrew made his way into the world of startups, came to build a venture builder backed by Thiel and Andreesen before starting the fastest growing men’s health and wellness brand in Hims?

2.) How does Andrew view the world of online and offline marketing in today’s proliferated D2C space? What were the core elements that allowed Hims to achieve such success with their branding? How does Andrew respond to suggestions that there is a lack of free and open distribution due to incumbents paying up for traditional channels making CAC unachievable for startups? How does Andrew look to solve for this?

3.) What does Andrew believe it is that has allowed Hims to execute faster than any other D2C brand in history? How does Andrew distinguish between people and process when considering the scaling at different stages of the business? What are the pros and cons of having such constraints on headcount? When is the right time to pour fuel on the fire?

4.) Hims raised their last round at a $200m valuation in less than a year of operating, how did Andrew evaluate this one? Does this not effectively price Hims out of the majority of M&A?  What leads Andrew’s thesis with his suggestion that he thought the valuation was “quite frankly, a great price for investors”? What advice would Andrew have for founders entering the fundraising process?

5.) Andrew is also the co-founder @ Atomic, so what really is a venture builder? How have Atomic built a framework around idea generation? How do Atomic determine which ideas to pursue and which to disregard? How does data and benchmarking play a central role in this process?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andrew’s Fave Book: Creativity Inc

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Andrew on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: Andy McLoughlin on The Benefits of Backing Unsexy Businesses with Non-Obvious Founders, How To Distinguish Between A Good Bridge Round and A Bridge To Nowhere & Whether VCs Really Do Add Value?

IMG_5387

Andy McLoughlin is Partner @ Uncork Capital, formerly SoftTech and one of the leading early-stage funds on the West Coast. In their incredible portfolio, they have the likes of Fitbit, SendGrid, PostMates, Front, PoshMark, Eventbrite and many more. As for Andy, he loves to invest in “unsexy ideas” with stellar teams and has led deals in the likes of Postmates, LaunchDarkly, Human Interest (previously Captain 401), and Focal Systems just to name a few. Prior to VC, Andy co-founded Huddle, an enterprise collaboration platform which raised more than $80M in venture funding before its acquisition in 2017. Andy also has a stellar angel portfolio with the likes of Buffer, Intercom and Pipedrive all angel investments.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made the transition from Founder of one of the UK’s hottest startups to one of the leading early-stage VCs in Silicon Valley?

2.) Why did Softtech decide to make the big decision to rebrand to Uncork several years into the journey? What is core to successfully relaunching a VC brand to the ecosystem?

3.) Andy likes to back “non-obvious founders” building “non-sexy businesses”. What does Andy mean by “non-obvious founder”? How do they tend to behave differently to more seasoned serial entrepreneur founders from the valley? What does a “non-sexy business look like to Andy”? Why does he see such inherent opportunity within these segments?

4.) How does Andy evaluate the challenge of immensely long sales cycles within these industries? How can these be mitigated and measured against? How does this affect Andy’s thinking on the right amount of runway to raise for? How does Andy assess the often issue of regulation? How does Andy distinguish between viable/ non-viable?

5.) How does Andy assess VC value add? Where does Andy believe he can provide the most value to his portfolio? Why does Andy believe startups are not just competing against other plays in their space but every startup in the valley?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andy’s Fave Book: Venture Deals

Andy’s Most Recent Investment: Fritz

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Andy on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: Why VCs Are Wrong About Bootstrapped Founders, How Content Can Be Used As A Key Customer Acquisition Tool & How To Use Humour When “S*** Hits The Fan” with Jesse Genet, Founder & CEO @ Lumi

IMG_5118

Jesse Genet is the Founder & CEO @ Lumi, the startup that is used by thousands of e-commerce companies to get world-class packaging at unbeatable prices. To date, Jesse has raised close to $10m in VC funding from some of the best in the business and old friends of the show including Satya @Homebrew, Kirsten @ Forerunner, Spark Capital, Lowercase, Ludlow and more incredible names. Prior to Lumi, Jesse founded Inkodye, a bootstrapped business that Jesse scaled to 7 figures in revenue and was sold in retail stores around the world.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jesse made her way into the world of startups and VC having bootstrapped her prior business to 7 figures in revenue and being sold in 1,500 stores?

2.) Given that Lumi is Jesse’s first VC backed business, does this make Jesse a first-time founder? How did the bootstrapping to 7 figures in revenue with her last business, influence her philosophy and mindset with Lumi? What has Jesse done differently as a result? What are the dangers that Jesse was aware of and looks out for?

3.) What types of companies does an active content strategy make significant sense for? What are the core benefits of a well-executed content strategy? What have been the core pillars to Jesse’s success with content? Where does Jesse see many firms going wrong with their content strategy? How does Jesse look to measure the ROI from content?

4.) How was the fundraising experience for Jesse, given the “non-sexy” sector of packaging and supply chains? How did Jesse determine whether an investor was engaged or not? What does Jesse think she did well in the fundraising process? What would she like to improve for the next round? What is the common stereotype that VCs attribute to founders with bootstrapping experience?

5.) How does Jesse think about the benefits of her team being small vs her 10,000+ incumbent challenger teams? Why does this mean she has the advantage? How does Jesse manage the expectations of her employees when no one could do 1/10 of what Jesse does?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jesse’s Fave Book: Gone with the Wind

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jesse on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: Why Follow-On Investments Are Always A Better Investment, Why Spray and Pray Investing Is Like The Stock Market & Why Startups Need A Board From Day One with Jerry Neumann

IMG_5121

Jerry Neumann is one of New York’s leading angel investors with a portfolio including the likes of The Trade Desk (IPO: 2016), Datadog and Flurry (acquired by Yahoo) just to name a few. Prior to angel investing, Jerry built the first open market for the pricing and exchange of real-time consumer data in the form of Root Markets. Jerry was also the Managing Director @ Omnicom’s Venture Capital Division where he enjoyed an incredible 5 IPOs from the portfolio.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jerry made his way into the world of VC in the 90s and why it was difficult to lose money in venture at that time?

2.) Why does Jerry believe that the vast portfolio construction model is “wrong” and a “dead end”? In what circumstances does Jerry believe “spray and pray” investing can work? Why does Jerry believe you can only have as many companies as you can actively help? How does this lead Jerry’s thinking on his own portfolio construction?

3.) Why does Jerry believe that startups must have a board from Day 1? What are the inherent benefits of having a board so early? In the earliest of stages, how should those board meetings be run? Who are the best board members Jerry has worked with? Why were they so exceptional? How does Jerry think about building board intimacy?

4.) Why does Jerry disagree with the conventional wisdom of Silicon Valley that price does not matter because the exit will either be huge or a zero? How has Jerry seen the best firms in their thinking on market price vs indicated discount price? How has Jerry’s thinking on price sensitivity changed over the years?

5.) Why does Jerry believe that the follow-on investment is always a much better investment? How does the risk-reward ratio change from initial to follow-on investment? How does Jerry assess and prioritize future financing risk when investing in an opportunity? How does he mitigate that as much as possible?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jerry’s Fave Book: Console Wars by Blake Harris

Jerry’s Most Recent Investment: Edmit

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jerry on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

20VC: Why Your Board Are Right 50% of The Time, Biggest Lessons From Being Mentored By Reed Hastings & Raising $130m in Funding and The Balance Between Growth and Capital Efficiency with James Reinhart, Founder & CEO @ ThredUp

IMG_5053

James Reinhart is the Founder & CEO @ ThredUp, the world’s largest online thrift store, and consignment store. To date, ThredUp has raised over $130m in VC funding from many friends of the show including Tim @ Redpoint, Patricia @ Trinity, Eric @ Founder Collective and Ian @ Goldman Sachs just to name a few. As for James, prior to ThredUp he was a Goldsmith Fellow in Social Enterprise at HBS and a Bill George Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School. Before that, James co-founded Beacon Education Network, a charter management organization serving low-income students on California’s Central Coast.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James’ childhood dream of being an architect changed to founding the world’s largest online thrift store?

2.) Tim Hale @ Redpoint: “James is one of the most naturally talented leaders I have ever worked with”. So what does great leadership mean to James? How has James seen the way he communicates and inspires change with the scaling of the company? What has James observed as the core characteristics that great leaders share?

3.) Why does James believe that investors are inherently wary of the female and child clothing market? How did James see the funding rounds differ from round to round? What did James really look for in his early investors? How does investor value-add change with time and scaling?

4.) What have been James’ core learnings in managing a board with transparency and efficiency? James has said before “your board is right 50% of the time”. How does James look to determine which 50% is right vs wrong? What is a time when James has gone against the decision of the board? How did the situation result?

5.) Having raised over $130m in funding, how does James think about the balance between aggressive growth and capital efficiency? How does James assess when is the right time to pour fuel on the fire? How does James react to the mindset of “sustainable growth”? How do investors think about capital efficiency?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: Sapiens

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and James on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: The Biggest Trend Of Our Lifetime Is The Decentralisation of Entrepreneurship Away From The Valley, The Biggest Lessons From Learning The Craft of VC at Sequoia & The Benchmarks Required to Attract Growth Investors with Chris Olsen, Founding Partner @ Drive Capital

IMG_5072

Chris Olsen is the Founding Partner @ Drive Capital, the venture firm that believes the Midwest is the opportunity of our lifetime with more entrepreneurs building billion-dollar companies in the Midwest than in the last 50 years combined. Since inception in 2012, Drive have built an exceptional portfolio including the likes of Duolingo, FarmLogs, LeadPages and Udacity. As for Chris, prior to founding Drive he was a Partner @ Sequoia Capital on the West Coast where he learned the craft from some of the very best in the business. Before that he spent time at both TCV and UBS.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chris came to found the largest venture fund in the midwest, Drive, from being a Partner @ Sequoia Capital and learning the craft of venture there?

2.) Why does Chris believe that the biggest trend we will live through is the decentralisation away from Silicon Valley? What are the essential ingredients an ecosystem requires in order to foster this thriving tech hub? What does Chris believe it is fundamentally essential for companies to be in close proximity to?

3.) How does the lack of venture funds in the Midwest affect Chris’ views on pricing? Would Chris agree with Peter Fenton, “never turn down a company based on valuation, it is a mental trap”? How does Chris look to differentiate between expensive and too expensive?

4.) How does Chris think about reserve allocation with Drive? What framework does Drive adopt to determine where to allocate reserve dollars? How does the shortage of follow-on investors in the midwest impact Chris’ approach to follow on financing? What level does a company need to be in order to attract attention from larger growth funds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chris’ Fave Book: The Old Man and The Sea

Chris’ Most Recent Investment: Duolingo

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Chris on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: Thumbtack’s Marco Zappacosta on The 3 Core Elements To All Board Meetings, Raising $250m from Sequoia and Why You Have To Win Supply Side Acquisition First For Marketplace Success

IMG_4965

Marco Zappacosta is the Founder & CEO @ Thumbtack, the startup that allows you to find local professionals for pretty much anything. To date, Thumbtack has raised over $270m in funding from some of the very best including Sequoia Capital, CapitalG (Google Growth), Ali and Hadi Partovi, Scott and Cyan Banister and Jason Calacanis. Due to Marco’s incredible success scaling Thumbtack to helping millions of Americans today, he has been recognized by Forbes as 30 under 30 and Thumbtack was recently acknowledged as one of GlassDoor’s best places to work.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Marco made his way into the world of startups and came to create one of the most prominent marketplaces of the day in Thumbtack?

2.) What does Marco mean when he says “founders must treat board members as employees”? How does Marco view the optimal structure for a board meeting? What are the core elements that founders must takeaway? Where do most first time founders go wrong with board management?

3.) Thumbtack has raised over $250m in VC funding, how can one look to achieve both operational efficiency and capital efficiency with such large injections of capital? What is core to maintaining this sense of frugality despite such large investments? How does Marco think about when is the right time to raise that war chest round?

4.) How does Marco suggest that marketplace founders can entice the supply side in the early days? How has Marco seen his supply-side acquisition change and develop with time? What has worked and what has not? Does Marco agree with Leah Busque that in marketplace, the NPS for one side will always be down?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Marco’s Fave Book: The Wizard and The Prophet

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Marco on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: How a16z Uses NPS To Create Better Founder Experiences, Why Intellectual Curiosity Is The Most Important Investor Trait & Creating A Fund To Last Through The Ages with Zal Bilimoria, Founding Partner @ Refactor Capital

 

unnamed-19

Zal Bilimoria is Founding Partner @ Refactor Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s newest entrants to the early stage scene with a $50m fund looking to back founders solving fundamental human problems. Prior to co-founding Refactor, Zal was a Partner @ a16z where he co-led investments in Omada Health, Branch.co, AltSchool, Honor, and more, while helping to launch the firm’s Bio Fund. Before becoming an investor, Zal spent 10 years as a PM at Microsoft, Google, Netflix, and LinkedIn. He worked on emerging markets for Windows, became one of the first monetization team members at YouTube, and then  became the 1st Head of Mobile at Netflix and helped start the Sales Solutions business at LinkedIn.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Zal made his way into the world of VC with a16z from the very corporate worlds of Microsoft, Google, Netflix and LinkedIn?

2.) What were Zal’s 3 biggest learnings from seeing the internal processes and scaling of a16z? How does a16z use NPS in such a compelling way that it automatically improves founder treatment and interaction within the firm? What was it about a16z that led Zal to believe being insanely curious is the biggest skill of an investor?

3.) What are the signs and leading indicators that a scientist has the mental plasticity and ability to translate into a CEO and business leader? What are the biggest challenges as a VC in assessing whether this plasticity is present? Why does David believe that the very best founders are looking to solve “fundamental human problems”?

4.) Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of deep tech capital, Elad Gil suggested this reminded him of the 2007 cleantech days, does Zal agree with this suggestion? How does Zal think about the common concern of having to carry companies for longer given the extended milestones to prove progress?

5.) Zal has said before his goal is “to build a seed firm to last among the 100s of others”, what does Zal believe is crucial to this sustainability of fund and brand? How does Zal evaluate the insanely crowded seed market today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Zal’s Fave Book: Seveneves

Zal’s Most Recent Investment: Solugen

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Zal on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: Why You Have To Raise $100m+ If You Want To Go Big Today, The 5 Fundamentals To Starting and Scaling A Successful Marketplace & Why Female Founders Under-Promise and Over-Deliver with Paul Hsiao, Founding Partner @ Canvas Ventures

unnamed-15

Paul Hsiao is a Founding Partner @ Canvas Ventures, one of Silicon Valley’s leading and newer entrants to the Series A scene. At Canvas, Paul has made investments in the likes of Everwise, Fluxx Labs, Roofstock, Thrive Global, Transfix, and Zola. Before founding Canvas, Paul was a partner at NEA, where he led an early-stage investment in Houzz, as well as, had the privilege of helping eight companies go public on the NYSE or NASDAQ and seventeen companies with successful M&A exits during his 10-year tenure with the firm. Prior to VC, Paul was an entrepreneur with the founding of Mazu Networks, a pioneer in network security that was acquired by Riverbed Technologies.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Paul made his way into the world of VC with NEA and got Scott Sandell as his first mentor in VC?

2.) Question from Oren Zeev: Having been a partner at both, how does Paul compare the culture and strategy of two such differing firms of Canvas vs NEA? How does Paul’s thinking on exit expectations and requirements change with the change of fund? How does a smaller fund fundamentally change the way you think about investing?

3.) What does Paul believe are the 5 fundamentals of building and scaling a successful marketplace? Why does Paul believe that it is the supply side that tells you if your marketplace is or is not working? Why does Paul believe stubbornness is good in marketplace founders?

4.) Why does Paul believe that raising $100m is critical for new companies if they want to go big? What does this mean for capital efficiency? What does this mean for ownership with multiple dilutive rounds impacting investor returns? How should founders then think about winning the “capital arms race”? What are the exceptions to these rules?

5.) Female founders receive 2.19% of VC funding, however, Paul has many more female founders in portfolio than the industry. Why does Paul think this is? What would Paul like to see change in the distribution of VC funds? What is the required steps to make this happen?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Paul’s Fave Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma

Paul’s Most Recent Investment: Thrive Global, Roofstock

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Paul on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: Why Facebook Will Be The Company To Succeed in Crypto, Why Founders Should Be Actively Angel Investing & Commonalities of Great Leadership From Mark Zuckerberg to Mark Pincus with Darian Shirazi, Founder & CEO @ Radius

IMG_4769

Darian Shirazi is the Founder & CEO @ Radius, the startup that provides you with not just data but truth allowing you to gain clarity to reach and convert your best B2B prospects. To date, Darian has raised over $105m in VC funding with Radius from some of the very best in the business including our friends at Founders Fund, 8VC, Salesforce Ventures and rockstars like Jared Leto and Charlie Songhurst. Prior to Radius, Darian has enjoyed roles such as first external engineering hire at Facebook and working on the “Sell Your Item” team at eBay. Darian has also made several angel investments in the likes of MessageMe, Sprig and Try.com just to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Darian made his way into the world of tech as Facebook’s first ever intern at the age of 17 and how that led to the founding of Radius?

2.) According to Joe Lonsdale @ 8VC, “Darian is one of the most respected founders and CEOs in the valley”. How does Darian define great CEOship? What have been the commonalities he has seen in the great leaders he has engaged with from Mark @ Facebook to Mark Pincus?

3.) How did Darian approach the fundraising strategy for the $85m he has raised with Radius? How does Darian believe that founders can test quickly whether an investor is truly interested? Why is it so important to be fundraise as fast as possible? If an investor could only provide Darian one thing, what would it be and wh?

4.) How does Darian respond to investors that suggest founders should not be actively angel investing, as Darian is? What operational benefits does Darian gain from angel investing? How does Darian think about angel portfolio construction and specialisation? How has Darian seen investor attitudes alter when it comes to capital efficiency?

5.) As an early Bitcoin miner, how does Darian evaluate the world of crypto today? Why does Darian believe BTC has reached escape velocity compared to other currencies? Why was Darian skeptical on Ethereum for so long? What are Ethereum’s ongoing challenges? Why does Facebook have the chance to dominate the world of crypto?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Darian’s Fave Book: Sapiens

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Darian on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: Greylock’s Jerry Chen on The 2 Fundamentals To Assessing Startup Risk, Why Good Investors Have To Be Optimistic & Why VCs Get In Trouble When They Move Outside Their “Strike Zone”

IMG_4768

Jerry Chen is a Partner @ Greylock Partners, one of the world’s most successful VC funds with prior investments in the likes of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, AirBnB, Dropbox, AppDynamics, Coinbase and many more incredible companies. As for Jerry, Jerry invests in entrepreneurs building new enterprise SaaS applications and in all aspects of AI and cloud infrastructure. Jerry currently sits on the Board of Docker, Cato Networks, Gladly, Rhumbix, Spoke, and Blend. Prior to joining Greylock, Jerry was Vice President of Cloud and Application Services at VMware where he was part of the executive team that scaled the company from 250 to over 15,000 employees and $5B in revenue. Check out Jerry’s recent writing on Risk: The Game of Strategic Investment here.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jerry made his way into the world of VC with Greylock from being on the exec team at VMWare, responsible for their scaling from 250 to over 15,000 people?

2.) What does Jerry believe are the different frameworks for how investors should measure risk? Why does Jerry believe to be a good investor, one has to be an optimist? What does Jerry find the most challenging element of risk assessment? What types of risk can Jerry tolerate and which can he not in a potential investment?

3.) How does Jerry break the theme of risk down into 2 very different categories? How does one define “uncertainty” in an investment? How does this compare to “probability”? How does both “uncertainty and probability” alter when comparing differing sectors? Does Jerry think that current pricing takes fair account of both “uncertainty and probability”?

4.) What does Jerry mean when he says, “you have to have product go-to-market fit”? Why does Jerry believe that platforms shifts are fundamentally distribution model shifts? Where does Jerry see an inherent opportunity within these net new nodes of distribution shift?

5.) How does Jerry evaluate the SaaS world today of bottoms up or top down? Why does Jerry believe that if you are budget additive, bottoms up with small ACVs is the current strategy? What does this mean for those that are budget replacements, both in sales model and ACV?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jerry’s Fave Book: Skin In The Game 

Jerry’s Most Recent Investment: Blend

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jerry on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley is a global law firm built around supporting start-ups and the venture capital firms that fund them. Now we have spoken before about their forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, and forming more VC funds than any other law firm in the world but Cooley also represents more than 6,000 high-growth startups across the globe – through the full company life cycle. They are the #1 law firm for VC-backed exits (M&A and IPO) ranked by PitchBook, and since 2014 has represented more companies in their IPOs than any other law firm.  Simply head over to Cooley.com or you can check them out at Cooleygo.com.

20VC: Tearing Up Term Sheets and Writing Your Own, Why Founders Must Do “VC Dating” Pre-Fundraise & The Benefits of Capital Constraints in The Early Days with Rachel Drori, Founder & CEO @ Daily Harvest

IMG_4646

Rachel Drori is the Founder & CEO @ Daily Harvest, the direct-to-consumer brand that delivers real, unprocessed, unrefined foods in the most convenient format possible: frozen. To date, they have raised over $43m in funding from the likes of former guest Alex Taussig @ Lightspeed, Collaborative Fund and future 20VC guest Beth Ferreira who sits on the board. As for Rachel, prior to starting Daily Harvest, Rachel harnessed her skills as a customer-centric marketing executive, leading teams at Gilt Groupe, American Express, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rachel made her way from the corporate world of American Express and The Four Seasons to founding Daily harvest, looking to change the eating habits of millions?

2.) Why did Rachel decide to deliberately raise small Seed and Series A rounds? What does Rachel believe these capital constraints allow companies in the early days? How did Rachel prioritize where to spend and where not to? How would Rachel advise emerging startup founders when it comes to capital efficiency today?

3.) Rachel recently raised $43m Series B, how did Rachel see the rounds differ from round to round? Why does Rachel believe it is imperative to VC date before the fundraising process begins? Why was Rachel’s Series A very unconventional in the modern world of fundraising? What did Rachel look for most in the investors she chose from round to round? How is that different considering her single founder status?

4.) Question from Alex Taussig: How has Rachel seen the NYC ecosystem develop and evolve since the founding of Daily Harvest? Would Rachel agree that there remains a lack of early stage conviction investors in NYC? What are NYC’s biggest strengths and then biggest weaknesses?

5.) Rachel has said before, “fake it till you make it” when was the last time Rachel did this and what was the outcome? Rachel also said previously, “ask for forgiveness not permission”, when was the most recent occassion of this and what did it result in?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rachel’s Fave Book: Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food: Volume 1

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Rachel on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: How Great VCs Handle Themselves In An M&A Process, Why M&A Has Become The Primary Method of Exit & How The Best M&A Teams Operationalise Their Process with James Loftus, Corporate Development Lead @ Square

IMG_4645

James Loftus is Corporate Development Lead @ Square where he has made multiple acquisitions and investments including the likes of acquiring OrderAhead and investing in Eventbrite. Prior to Square, James was responsible for strategy, business development and operations at STX Digital. Before that James was a Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz where he led strategic coverage for the firm’s 45+ consumer-facing portfolio, advising them on everything from capital raising to partnerships to M&A. Prior to VC with a16z, James was VP & Head of Corporate Development @ Yahoo and also spent time in the M&A team at Google.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way into the world of corporate development and M&A with Andreessen and how that translated to leading Square’s M&A efforts today?

2.) Why does James fundamentally disagree with the notion that “companies are bought and not sold”? What are the nuances behind the scenes that make this wrong?

3.) 514 VC backed exits in 2017, 499 were M&A, so how does James assess the M&A landscape at present? Is it now the undeniable leader in primary exit method? How does James believe we will see the M&A market evolve over the next year? Who are the new entrants? How will their entering effect both volume and pricing of M&A?

4.) How does James respond to Paul Graham’s article titled “Don’t Talk To Corp Dev”? How does James and square think about operationalizing the tracking of companies in the landscape? When is the right time for startups to relationship build with corp dev? How does James most like to interact with VCs in the processes? What makes the best so good?

5.) Paul Graham has also called the process “grueling”, would James agree with this? What does James do to minimise pain and friction both for startup and acquirer? How does product play a pivotal role in this “grueling” process? How should cor dev also be thinking about the emotional and sentimental elements of selling companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’s Fave Book: A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters

James’s Most Recent Investment: Eventbrite

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and James on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: How To Strategically Build The Right Investor Base, Why Startup Timing is Like Surfing & How To Determine Whether Someone is Scaling with the Organisation or Not with Daniel Lewis, Founder & CEO @ Convoy

FullSizeRender 302

Dan Lewis is the Founder & CEO @ Convoy, the startup that really is the future of freight with trucking services powered by technology to drive reliability, efficiency and insights. To date they have raised over $80m in funding from some of the world’s best-known investors and individuals including Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Greylock, Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff, Drew Houston, Kevin Systrom and leading angels, Ali and Hadi Partovi. Before Convoy, Dan served as general manager of new shopping experiences at Amazon and spent time at Google and Microsoft in a number of logistics-related roles.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel first fell in love with the logistics space as a little boy, made his move into the world of tech with Google and Microsoft and came to found Convoy?

2.) How does Dan truly define the differences between linear and non-linear businesses? Why does Dan believe that startup timing is like surfing? How must founders think about this through the different stages of the business?

3.) What was Dan’s strategy for choosing the right investors and how did he think about board composition? How can investors be used to build customer trust? How does Dan analyze and look to enhance board chemistry? What was a time for Dan when he actively went against the advice of the board? How did that play out?

4.) Why did Dan accept so many investors at the seed round? What changed between rounds that made Dan want to go big with the $62m Series B? Does Dan agree with Reid Hoffman, “if you can raise the money, do”? Why did Dan choose YC Continuity Fund as the lead growth investor of choice? What were the benefits?

5.) Why does Dan believe that scaling the first initial customers is the hardest of all? Why does Dan believe that a culture of experimentation is key across functions? How does Dan think about his own scaling as CEO? How has he seen his role change with the growth of the firm? What have been the biggest challenges of this personal learning?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dan’s Fave Book: The Stranger by Albert Camus

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Dan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Finding VC Partners That Look Beyond The Numbers, The Black Box of VC Secrets That Needs To Be Shared & The 1,000 Reasons A VC Won’t Invest In You When It Has Nothing To Do With You with Leah Busque, General Partner @ Fuel Capital

FullSizeRender 301

Leah Busque is a General Partner @ Fuel Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s leading seed funds with the most incredible portfolio including many previous 20VC guests Ryan @ Flexport, Florian @ Mesosphere, Alex @ Clearbit and Dan @ Convoy (episode Friday). As for Leah, prior to VC, she was a pioneer of the sharing economy with her founding of TaskRabbit, one of the leading online labor marketplaces in the US, raising over $37m in the process before their sale to IKEA last year. Due to this incredible success, Leah has been named to Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leah made her way from sitting on the couch discussing dog food with her husband to founding TaskRabbit and how that translated into the world of VC today?

2.) How did Leah’s time in operations affect:

  • Question from Sean @ Shasta: the founders Leah backs and why she chooses them?
  • Question from Craig @ Collaborative: the business models and unit economics Leah backs and why she backs them?

3.) Leah has said before that “authenticity and transparency between VC and founder are now table stakes”, what more can be done to improve the VC product? How did Leah select the investors she worked with on TaskRabbit? How can founders truly determine “founder friendly” VCs?

4.) What have been Leah’s biggest surprises on her move into the world of VC? What elements has Leah found most challenging? How has Leah looked to scale that learning curve?

5.) What does a successful marketplace look like? How does one know when is the right time to really scale a marketplace? What is the inflection point? How can marketplaces be efficient with their unit economics from day 1? How does one balance the NPS of the supply side with the NPS of the demand side?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leah’s Fave Book: Founders at Work 

Leah’s Most Recent Investment: Bark: Parental Control Phone Tracker App

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Leah on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Why Virtually All Companies Hire The Wrong Way, Why EdTech Is The Most Brutal Market & How To Scale Your Sales Team for Engineering Founders with Mike Sliagadze, Founder & CEO @ Top Hat

unnamed-12

Mike Silagadze is the Founder & CEO @ Top Hat, the market leader in student engagement software, and is used by millions of students at three-quarters of the top 1,000 colleges and universities in North America. To date, they have raised over $47m in VC funding from many friends and former guests on the show including Albert Wenger @ USV, Boris Wertz @ Version One, Uncork Capital, Felicis and Emergence just to name a few. As for Mike, prior to TopHat, he was a developer at MioVision Technologies.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his way into the world of startups and came to realise the current method of learning was so broken?

2.) Why does Mike believe that investors have an automatic dislike to edtech? Why does he believe it is the most difficult to market to enter? Why is go to market one of the biggest challenges? How can on innovate on this antiquated go-to-market to enable the rapid scaling required? How did TopHat achieve this?

3.) Why does Mike believe that most companies hire in fundamentally the wrong way? How does Mike balance the complex elements of raw IQ over culture when hiring? If there was one predictive factor Mike uses to hire, what is it? What is the framework and methodology Mike has constructed to ensure the best hires?

4.) What were the biggest mistakes Mike made in scaling out the sales team? Why does Mike think he made them? If he were to advise a younger self, what would be the biggest advice and tips with regards to scaling the sales team, from an engineer’s mindset?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mike on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Lightspeed’s Alex Taussig on VC Risk Mentality, The Current State of Retail & The Mechanics of Cash Flow

unnamed-11

Alex Taussig is a Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the leading firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Snapchat, Mulesoft, Max Levchin’s Affirm, The Honest Company and many more incredible companies. As for Alex, at Lightspeed, he has made investments in Zola, Daily Harvest, Vector & Poncho. Before moving to the West Coast, Alex spent 7 years at Highland Capital Partners, where, as a Partner, he made investments in thredUp, JauntVR and RentJuice (acq by Zillow) and was involved in several IPOs. Alex is also the writer of a fantastic newsletter: Drinking From The Firehose.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alex was inspired by being at Harvard at the time of Facebook to make the move into tech and how that landed a role in VC with Highland Capital Partners?

2.) Why is Alex optimistic about the current state of the retail environment, despite media skepticism? What are the value propositions that physical retail provides online retailers (Warby Parker, Real Real etc)? How does Alex believe we will see the re-platforming of retail in the future?

3.) In today’s incumbent world, how can consumer apps demonstrate breakout growth? What does Alex mean when he discusses the importance of product channel fit? Once found, should fuel be poured on the fire to exploit the fit? What would suggest sustainable vs non-sustainable product channel fit to Alex? Who has done this particularly well?

4.) Why does Alex believe that Amazon’s cash flow is one of the main reasons for it’s success? What is the key working capital metric? How does this unpack into 3 core elements? What is “negative working capital”? What are the core benefits of this? How can startups use these mechanics to use cash flow as their prime advantage?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alex’s Fave Book: The Divine Comedy

Alex’s Most Recent Investment: The Daily Harvest

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Alex on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: 2 Levers To Fundraising: FOMO & Leverage and How To Use Them, How To Implement “A Sustainable Growth Mindset” & How To Put VCs To Work For You with Leore Avidar @ Lob

IMG_4238

Leore Avidar is the Founder & CEO @ Lob, the startup that provides a powerful suite of API’s to deliver robust automation and scale for anything with a stamp. To date, Lob has raised close to $30m in funding from some of the greats of the investing world including Floodgate, Initialized, First Round and most recently YC’s Continuity Fund. As for Leore, prior to Lob he spent time in the technical business development team at Amazon Web Services and before that was a derivatives trader on Wall St with Citigroup.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leore made the move from the world of trading on Wall St to founding one the game-changing companies in the world of API’s, Lob?

2.) What does Leore believe are the 2 levers that founders must use when fundraising? How can founders create a sense of VC FOMO when raising their round? How can founders enter a round with leverage? What does always having the upper hand in fundraising look like?

3.) How does Leore define “sustainable growth”? Why does Leore believe that most fast-growing companies do go bankrupt? What is Leore’s biggest fear with regards to “sustainable growth”? How does Leore advise founders to think about macro funding conditions when operating their company and thinking about expenditure?

4.) How has Leore seen his role as CEO change with the scaling of the company? Why does Leore believe the main job of the CEO is to hire and replace yourself? What have been the biggest challenges for Leore in the scaling of himself?

5.) Leore wants to create a company where people stay for 30+ years, what are the foundations to a workplace culture with such deep routes? What must be done from management to ensure this? How does Leore approach accountability and responsibility amongst the team?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leore’s Fave Book: Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Leore on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Why, How and When To Think About Growth Teams, The Right Way To Think About Network Effects & Scaling from Phase 1 To Phase 2 of Startup Life with Anu Hariharan, Partner @ YC Continuity Fund

IMG_4237

Anu Hariharan is a Partner @ Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, the growth stage investing arm of Y Combinator that has made investments in the likes of Segment, Lob (coming on Friday), Convoy, where Anu is a board member and RazorPay. Prior to YC, Anu was an investment partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where she worked actively with the management teams of portfolio companies including Airbnb, Instacart, Medium, OfferUp and Udacity. Before that Anu was a Principal at The Boston Consulting Group’s Private Equity practice where she led multiple growth equity due diligences in the consumer and fintech sector.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Anu made her way from engineer to consultant to Andreesen investment partner to now, one of the leading members of YC’s growth stage investing vehicle?

2.) How does Anu truly define “network effect”? Where does Anu think startups most commonly misunderstand network effects? Which form of network effect does Anu find most exciting? Why? How has this evolved over the years?

3.) What are the 2 core indicators that show the sustainability of network effect? Looking at past examples of products and founders, who has best executed on this? What are the signs that founding teams fundamentally analyze and optimize network effect virality?

4.) Why does Anu believe that growth teams will be a fundamental requirement for companies in the future? What are the 2 mistakes startups make when establishing their growth team? How does one know when is the right time to build their growth team? What are the core challenges in scaling growth teams? How does this drive decision-making?

5.) How does Anu describe “Phase 1” and “Phase 2” of company scaling? What transition must the CEo adopt when making this scaling transition? Comparing founders, what are the commonalities in those that succeed with the transition and those that do not?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Anu’s Fave Book: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Anu’s Most Recent Investment: Convoy

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Anu on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: The Right Way For Founders To Think About Capital Efficiency, How To Create A Culture of Continuous Learning & The Secret To Talent Assessment and Optimisation with Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO @ Minted

FullSizeRender 299

Mariam Naficy has pioneered consumer Internet models since 1998, when she co-founded the first online cosmetics retailer, Eve.com, which was sold for over $100 million. Today, Mariam is the Founder & CEO @ Minted, the startup that uses crowdsourcing and analytics to bring the best designs to market faster than anyone. To date, Mariam has raised &89m in VC funding with Minted from some of the best in the business including our favourites Floodgate, Benchmark, Menlo, Slow, Ridge Ventures and then prominent individuals such as Marissa Meyer and Jeremy Stoppelman. In addition, Mariam sits on the Board of Yelp and Every Mother Counts.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mariam made her way into startups from investment banking and came to sell her first startup, Eve, for $100m in cash within a year before founding Minted?

2.) What were the biggest lessons Mariam learnt from Eve and applied to Minted? Why did Mariam not want to pursue VC funding in the beginning with Minted? What was the inflection point in not taking VC to taking VC funds?

3.) How did Mariam think about capital efficiency in the early days of Minted? How did Mariam see that change with the sudden injection of VC capital? In the heavily funded landscape today, would Mariam have raised VC money from the start, if starting today?

4.) Mariam is a master of internal upscaling, what is the secret to creating a culture of internal continuous learning? Why is rotation within the company roles such a core element? How has Mariam’s assessment of people talent changed over the years?

5.) What would Mariam say is her greatest strength and he greatest weakness as a CEO? How has she seen this change with her 20 years of founding companies? How did having children change her outlook on managing people?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mariam’s Fave Book: The Effective Executive

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mariam on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Why The Current Crop Of VC Does Not Understand Design, Why Product Market Fit Is A Liquid Not A Solid & How Graduates Can Optimise Their Career for Personal Development with Steve Vassallo, General Partner @ Foundation Capital

FullSizeRender 300

Steve Vassallo is a General Partner @ Foundation Capital where he sits or has sat on the boards of Pocket (acquired by Mozilla), PrivateCore (acquired by Facebook), Sunrun [RUN], Sentient Energy and many more. Prior to Foundation, Steve was Senior Vice President of Product and Engineering @ Ning, the social platform he helped launch in 2004. Before that, Steve was a project leader at IDEO, where he developed more than a dozen successful products for companies including Cisco, Nike, BMW and McDonalds. In addition, this year, Steve published The Way to Design, a guidebook for becoming a designer founder and building a design-centric company.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Steve made his way into the world of VC with Foundation from the land of product management?

2.) Why does Steve believe we have seen design move from a styling exercise to the main stage and a foundation of product? How does Steve feel the current crop of VC’s analyse and appreciate design? What are they getting wrong? What can be done to engender a new sense of appreciation for good design?

3.) What advice would Steve give to a young person entering the workforce considering founding a startup, joining one or joining an incumbent? Where do they make their biggest mistakes? What is the optimal choice for learning and personal growth?

4.) Why does Steve have a problem with the term “product-market fit”? Where do people misunderstand about PMF? What is one looking to achieve with product market fit? How does Joe Gebbia @ Airbnb best present this idea?

5.)Steve has worked with dozens of 1st time founders over the last decade, what are the commonalities in the mistakes they make? What advice does Steve hear most commonly given that he disagrees with?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: Poor Charlie’s Almanack

Steve’s Most Recent Investment: forusall

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Steve on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: The Fundamentals Of Optimising The Fundraising Process, SAFE’s vs Priced Equity Rounds & Why Hiring Is Really A Big Data Problem with Chris Hutchins, Founder @ Grove & Former Partner @ Google Ventures

FullSizeRender 296

Chris Hutchins is the Founder & CEO @ Grove, the startup reinventing financial planning allowing you to reach your goals with personalized financial advice. Just last week they announced their seed round from some of the best in the business including First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Box Group and SV Angel. Prior to Grove, Chris was an Partner & EiR with Google Ventures and before that co-founded Milk (acq by Google) alongside Kevin Rose.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chris made the move from Google acquired Founder to Partner @ Google Ventures to now, founding First Round backed, Grove?

2.) What does Chris believe are the foundational elements founders must consider pre-fundraise? How does Chris suggest founders structure the process? How important is a fundraise deadline? How does Chris advise founders on getting warm intros, what is best?

3.) How can founders really optimise VC interactions? What is the biggest mistake founders make when meeting VCs? What should founders be looking to take from these meetings? How transparent should founders be about their meetings with other investors?

4.) What are Chris’ view on the rise of SAFE’s vs priced equity rounds? In what situations do SAFE’s make sense? How did Chris think about this with his own fundraise recently? Does Chris believe there is too much money in the ecosystem? Where are there gaps and where is there overfunding?

5.) Why does Chris think hiring is a “big data problem”? Where do many founders make mistakes in recruiting in the early days? What hacks can be done to ensure a quality stream of candidates continuously?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chris’ Fave Book: Happy Money

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Chris on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Lightspeed’s Jeremy Liew on Being The First Investor in Snapchat, Why The Pessimism Around Consumer Is Wrong & Why Silicon Valley Is An Isolated Bubble and What Can Be Done To Change This

FullSizeRender 297

Jeremy Liew is a Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the leading firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Snapchat, Mulesoft, Max Levchin’s Affirm, The Honest Company and many more incredible companies. As for Jeremy, he is best known for being the 1st investor in Snapchat and has also led investments in StitchFix, Affirm, Ripple, Giphy and Bonobos just to name a few. Previously, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of corporate development and chief of staff to the CEO, and then as general manager of Netscape. Due to his incredible investing success, Jeremy has been featured on the Forbes Midas List multiple times.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeremy made his way from AOL and Netscape to one of the most successful consumer investors of the last decade?

2.) How did the Snapchat deal come about? What did Jeremy see in the early Evan Spiegel that made him so excited? How has Jeremy seen him alter and grow with the company? What did the economics of the deal look like?

3.)Why does Jeremy disagree with much of the pessimism over consumer? How does Jeremy think about the lack of distribution channel availability with Google, Amazon, Apple owning them? How can this also present an opportunity in consumer?

4.) How does Jeremy think about price and price sensitivity? Would he agree with Peter Fenton on, “never turn down a deal based on valuation, it’s a mental trap”? How does Lightspeed think about reserve utilization? What does the conviction building process look like for reserve deployment?

5.) Jeremy has sat on the boards of Snapchat, Giphy, Bonobos and had 1,500 hours of board experience, so what makes the truly special board members? Who does Jeremy most like to work with on boards?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeremy’s Fave Book: World War Z

Jeremy’s Fave Blog: The Information

Jeremy’s Most Recent Investment: Rothy’s

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jeremy on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: How To Think About Founder-Category Fit, Why The Biggest Opportunities Are In Category Re-Architecture & What Can Be Done To Increase The Amount of Women In VC with Nadia Boujarwah, Founder & CEO @ Dia & Co

FullSizeRender 292

Nadia Boujarwah is the Founder & CEO @ Dia & Co, the startup that provides premier plus size clothing and styling for women. To date they have raised over $20m in funding from some of the best in the business including the likes of Alfred Lin @ Sequoia and the team @ NextView Ventures. Prior to Dia&Co Nadia was the CFO and COO @ Frieda and Nellie and also enjoyed time in the marketing and strategy team @ Diane von Furstenberg.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nadia made her way from HBS grad to founding one of the hottest e-commerce companies of the day backed by Sequoia, Dia&Co?

2.) Why does Nadia believe that the biggest opportunity for value creation is through category creation? What does Nadia mean when she discusses category re-architecture? How does she think of the inherent cons (CAC, consumer education, distribution etc.)

3.) Despite the likes of Sequoia being invested now, the first year of Dia gained no institutional money. Why does Nadia think this is? What was the inflection point for VC interest? Is there anything that Nadia would change about how she has run the fundraising process?

4.) What does Nadia suggest as some core solutions to ensuring that more females become VCs? How does Nadia believe this will impact the types of companies that are being funded and built? What remain the core issues today?

5.) How does Nadia differentiate between customer centricity and customer devotion? Why is this so crucial in today’s proliferated world of e-commerce? How does Nadi and Dia determine with data, the extent to which they achieve their customer devotion targets?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nadia’s Fave Book: Competing Against Luck

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Nadia on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Dick Costolo on The Balance of Vision and Realism in Startups, The Biggest Challenge in Scaling Twitter & How To Optimise Decision Making Internally

FullSizeRender 293

Dick Costolo is the Chief Executive and co-founder of Chorus, a startup that is reimagining the path to personal fitness. Dick is also a Mentor @ Index Ventures, one of the world’s leading venture funds, which he joined in 2016. Costolo was most recently Chief Executive of Twitter from 2010 to 2015, where was at the forefront for their hypergrowth onto the main stage of tech. Prior to joining Twitter, Dick co-founded and ran three startups, including FeedBurner, which sold to Google in 2007. The former improv comedian has been a consultant on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and currently sits on the boards of Patreon and IfOnly.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dick made his way from Improv Comedian to founding a startup acquired by Google and then becoming CEO of Twitter?

2.) Why does Dick believe that starting a company is like an improv stage? What were Dick’s biggest personal learnings from his drama career that he has applied to being a better leader today?

3.) Having given up the comedy dream for tech, how does Dick balance the entrepreneurial unwavering vision with a realism of when things are not working? What is the inflection point?

4.) What was the biggest challenge over the 5 years in scaling Twitter? What strategies did Dick utilise to combat this? How does Dick think about creating a culture of accountability without fear? How does this change the ownership of decisions?

5.) What is Dick’s biggest superpower and super weakness? Why must all entrepreneurs have to have a fundamental ability to compartmentalize? In terms of temperament, what were Dick’s biggest lessons from watching Youtube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, operate?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dick’s Fave Book: Creativity Inc.

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Dick on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: Why Vulnerability Is A Strength In VC, 3 Core Components That Make The Most Successful VCs & How VCs and Entrepreneurs Can Build Meaningful Relationships Pre-Investment with Brian Garrett, Founding Partner @ Crosscut Ventures

FullSizeRender (20)

Brian Garrett is the Founding Partner @ Crosscut Ventures, one of LA’s leading venture funds today with a portfolio including Super Evil Mega Corp, The Black Tux and Mobcrush just to name a few. Incredibly during the early days of Crosscut, Brian went back into a full-time operating role with a Public-company turnaround at Quepasa.com before co-founding vertical eCommerce brand StyleSaint.com. After surviving with the equivalent of two full-time jobs for roughly 6 years, Brian the attention of institutional capital, which enabled CrossCut to scale into a fund with $75M raised for CrossCut 3 in 2015. This has snowballed to their latest fund raised in December being $125m.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brian made his way into the world of VC and came to found one of LA’s leading funds in the form of Crosscut?

2.) What does Brian believe are the 3 core components that make for a successful VC? How important is the presence of humility for VCs today? How does Brian look to balance between arrogance and confidence? How is this shown in the entrepreneurial class?

3.) Why does Brian believe that vulnerability is actually a strength today? How can entrepreneurs be honest and vulnerable without ruining market perceptions and future fundraising aspirations?

4.) How does Brian look to place his relationship with the entrepreneur at the very core of every investment he makes? What does this relationship onboarding process look like? Is this possible in the fast-moving world of US deals today?

5.) What was the most challenging fundraise for Brian? Why was this case? How has he seen the evolution of Californian tech over the last few years since Fund III? What was the most memorable LP meeting for Brian?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: The Alchemist

Brian’s Most Recent Investment: Fuzzy Pet Health

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

Zoom, fastest growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one easy platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. Don’t take our word for it. Zoom is the top rated conferencing app across various user review sites including G2Crowd and Trust Radius. And you can sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

20VC: The Biggest Growth Opportunities for Young People in Tech Today, Why Distributed Workforces Are The Secret To Beating Incumbents & Why It Has Never Been Easier To Operate A Company Than Today with Andy Pflaum, Founder & CEO @ Astro

FullSizeRender 291

Andy Pflaum is the Founder & CEO @ Astro, the startup that brings email, calendar, and an AI-powered assistant together to help you focus on what’s most important. They have raised over $10m from leading West Coast investors such as Satish @ Redpoint, former guests Kent Goldman @ Upside and Michael Dearing @ Harrison Metal. As for Andy, prior to founding Astro, he spent 15 years in the valley, serving as the CMO @ Zimbra where he saw their immense scaling to their $350m acquisition by VMware where he then spent time on the other side of the table before moving to Chile to manage a family winery for 1.5 years.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made his way into the world of startups, made the transition to large corporates with VMware and Yahoo, came to run a Winery in Chile before founding Astro?

2.) Found a startup, work in early-stage startup or work at large incumbent; where does Andy believe young people today have the biggest growth opportunities? How does this mean emerging startups have to react to attain that talent?

3.) Why does Andy disagree with the notion that more and more incumbents are falling? Why is it harder than ever to compete against such a strong set of incumbents? What are the dangers of dependency on paid growth?

4.) How does Andy feel about distributed workforces? What is core to attaining the individuals and then scaling them successfully as a team, in a distributed fashion? How does Andy feel about hiring technical talent in the bay today?

5.) Why does Andy also argue, despite the incumbents, that it is also easier than ever to operate a business today What are the core changes that have allowed for this to happen? How does Andy break down the tech stack they use for Astro?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andy’s Fave Book: The Wright Brothers

Andy’s Fave Blog: Tom Tunguz, Michael Dearing: Harrison Metal

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Andy on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Investing Lessons From Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham @ USV, How CEO’s Can Operationally Utilise Their Board & The Single Most Important Quality of A CEO with Andrew Parker, General Partner @ Spark Capital

FullSizeRender 289

Andrew Parker is a General Partner @ Spark Capital, one of the best performing funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Slack, Oculus, Medium, PostMates, Cruise (acq $1Bn) the list goes on. As for Andrew, he has led Spark’s investments in Carta, Kik, Panorama Education, Socratic, Splash, Particle and Quantopian. Prior to joining Spark in 2010, Andrew was a member of the investment team at Union Square Ventures. Before becoming an investor, Andrew did UI design and user-experience testing at Homestead Technologies and was a web developer at Groupspace.org.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andrew made his way from UI design and user-experience testing to joining the investment team @ USV and then joining Spark?

2.) Andrew credits USV with 2 big takeaways that influence how he invests today, what are they? What were his big lessons from working alongside Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham? How did this experience change and improve his thinking of developing and investing in a thesis??

3.) Question from Henry Ward @ eShares: What is the most important quality in a CEO? How does Andrew balance between founder naivety and realism? What are the signs that although a vision is present, a founder is also realistic?

4.) What is the most important quality in being a board member to a CEO? How has Henry @ eShares constructed his board to allow them to have maximum impact in the internal operations of the company? How does this further improve board meeting? What does Andrew view as his biggest strengths and weaknesses as a board member?

5.) How does Andrew think about pricing and how the importance of pricing changes along the investing spectrum from seed to later stage? What does an investor’s response to price reveal about the proposition? How does Andrew analyse capital allocation on reserve financing? What does this decision making process look like?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andrew’s Fave Book: Snow Crash

Andrew’s Fave Blog: Money Stuff by Matt Levine

Andrew’s Most Recent Investment: Particle

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Andrew on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: How To Analyse Platform Shifts Effectively, The Effects Of Not Having Free and Open Distribution & The Right Way To Think About Board Composition with Neil Young, Founder & CEO @ N3twork

FullSizeRender 288

Neil Young is the Founder & CEO @ N3twork, the next generation mobile games maker and publisher with their services already touching millions of customers. They have raised over $17m in VC funding from some of the very best in the business including Mike Maples @ Floodgate, Bing Gordon @ KPCB and the team at Google Ventures. Prior to N3TWORK, Neil founded ngmoco, a leading social mobile games company, acquired by DeNA for a reported up to $400m. Before ngmoco, Neil spent many years at Electronic Arts where he was responsible for producing some of EA’s most successful game franchises including: The Lord of the Rings, The Sims, Medal of Honor and Command and Conquer, among others.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Neil made his way from telling his mother in the UK he was not going to university to producing world-leading games, to selling a company for a reported $400m?

2.) What are the 2 questions Neil believes everyone should ask when evaluating the potential of a new platform? How does Neil think about the platform shifts at present given his publishing to mobile? Where do most people make mistakes when assessing platform shifts?

3.) Peter Fenton stated on the show: “startups are starved of free and open distribution”. How does Neil think about incumbency advantages with regards to distribution? Would an open platform yield greater potential distribution? How does Neil view the world of paid and performance marketing today? How has his views changed on the space?

4.) What are the 3 things that Neil believes all founders must do in order to assemble and manage a board successfully? Why is it important to listen to board members on their own and as a group and compare? Where do most founders go wrong in board management?

5.) Neil sold ngmoco for a reported $400m, what does Neil believe are the 2 big questions that all founders must ask themselves when contemplating a potential sale? What are the 2 different types of acquisitions that exist today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Neil’s Fave Book: The Second World War

Neil’s Fave Blog: Gaming Insiders

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Neil on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Why Brands Can Have The Same Revenue Multiples As Enterprise Companies & The Right Way To Think About Amazon In Today’s World of Commerce with Eurie Kim, General Partner @ Forerunner Ventures

FullSizeRender 287

Eurie Kim is a General Partner @ Forerunner Ventures, the early stage firm dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs defining the next generation of commerce. Fun fact, they are the only firm to have investments in both Jet.com and Dollar Shave Club, two of the biggest and highest-profile e-commerce exits in recent years. Forerunner also counts Birchbox, Bonobos, Glossier, Hotel Tonight, Warby Parker and Zola among its portfolio companies. Prior to Forerunner, Eurie was a consultant at Bain and before that an investor at Castanea Partners. Eurie currently sits on the boards of companies such as Away, MoveWith and The Farmers Dog, just to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eurie made her into the world of VC and investing in the next generation of commerce with Forerunner?

2.) How does Eurie look to argue that commerce deals do attain the same revenue multiple on exit as enterprise deals? Do Forerunner think about exit potential when investing in companies? How does this Eurie’s thesis on both ownership and price sensitivity? What are the required fund-returning ownership levels today?

3.) With the time it takes for brands to flourish, how does Forerunner think about reserve allocation? How does Forerunner determine which companies to double down on and which to constrain capital? Why does Eurie believe that it takes less time than ever for brands to flourish today? What is a good example of this?

4.) How does Eurie define the term “digitally native vertically integrated brand”? What are the core components that make those all star brands of today shine in the early days? What are the commonalities in those successful founders that build these mega brands?

5.) Given the rise of some prominent new brands eating incumbent market share, does Eurie believe this is a market of consolidation or new incumbents will be made? How does Eurie view the role of Amazon? To what extent does Eurie observe and analyse Amazon’s activity?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eurie’s Fave Book: Blue Ocean Strategy 

Eurie’s Fave Blog: Business of Fashion

Eurie’s Most Recent Investment: Shop Shops

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Eurie on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Why You Should Not Always Listen To Your Investors, The Pros and Cons of Strategic Investors & How To Approach Operational Efficiency with Scaling with Florian Leibert, Founder & CEO @ Mesosphere

FullSizeRender 281

Florian Leibert is the Founder & CEO @ Mesosphere, the most flexible platform for containerized, data-intensive applications. They are trusted by some of the world’s leading companies from Yelp to Yammer to Verizon and have raised over $120m in VC funding from the likes of a16z, Kleiner Perkins, Khosla, Data Collective and then incumbents such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. Prior to founding Mesosphere, Florian spent time with Twitter and Airbnb, both as a tech lead and if that was not enough, Florian also has a stellar angel portfolio including the likes of Away, Cockroach Labs, Drift and Buoyant.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Florian came to found Mesosphere? What were the big takeaways for him from his more formative years at Twitter and Airbnb?

2.) Why does Florian believe that sometimes “you should not listen to your investors”? What is the right way to communicate this disagreement to them? What supporting evidence is required to substantiate your thoughts? What method would Florian prefer to receive such feedback?

3.) What are the biggest benefits of having strategics such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard on the cap table? What are some potential drawbacks? What advice would Florian give to founders contemplating taking strategic investment? When is the right time for these staretgics to insert themselves?

4.) With the scaling of Mesosphere, how have Florian’s thoughts and approach to sales execution changed? What have been the core struggles? Why does Florian think it is imperative to build the sales team slowly?

5.) At what point does Florian think that operational efficiency must be front and centre for founders scaling their companies? What has Florian found to be the most challenging personally in achieving such operational efficiency?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Florian’s Fave Book: Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream

Florian’s Fave Blog: Seeking Alpha

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Florian on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Sam Altman, Y Combinator President on What Makes Truly Great Leaders, Why We Will See A Compression of Seed Funding & The Future Scaling of YC

FullSizeRender 285

Sam Altman is the president of Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. Sam is also the co-chair of OpenAI, thenon-profit AI research company, discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence. Prior to YC, Sam was co-founder and CEO of Loopt, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2005 and acquired by Green Dot in 2012. Sam also founded Hydrazine Capital, whose stellar portfolio included the likes of Zenefits, Flexport and Soylent.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sam made his way into the world of startups with Loopt and YC? How he came to invest with Hydrazine Capital and then rejoin YC as Partner and now President?

2.) Having watched and seen Paul Graham since Batch 1, what does Sam believe makes Paul Graham the special leader he is? What makes Sam and Paul such great Partners? How did they enact the transition of Sam to President? How did it change the relationship?

3.) What is Sam’s tactic that he uses to fully evaluate the skills and execution of a founder? When investing where did Sam make his most frequent mistakes? Why does Sam expect seed stage investing as a whole, will compress? Is Sam concerned of too much capital in the market at present?

4.) Question from Jack Altman: what is the main difference between a great seed investor and a great Series A investor? Sam has said before he likes to invest in messy, somewhat broken companies”. How does Sam determine between the fixable and the unfixable? How much of a role does price play in his evaluation of an opportunity?

5.) One of Sam’s recent goals was “figure out how to scale YC 2x”. How does Sam think about this in terms of stage? Will YC replace VC with lifecycle funding? How does Sam think about YC’s expansion geographically into China? How does Sam assess the vertical expansion of deep tech and bio tech that YC is going after?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sam’s Fave Book: The Making of The Atomic Bomb

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sam on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: LinkedIn’s Head of Corp Dev on Why and When Startups Should Start Relationship Building With Corp Dev, What The Structure of M&A Traditionally Looks Like & How To Mitigate The Biggest Risk of M&A, Integration Risk

FullSizeRender 282

Emilie Choi is Head of Corporate Development @ Linkedin where she has led 40+ acquisitions, acquihires or investments. In terms of acquisitions, Emilie led the acquisitions of Lynda, Bizo, Newsle, Bright, Pulse, SlideShare, and Rapportive just to name a few. On the strategic investment side, she led Linkedin’s investment in Cornerstone On Demand and G2 Crowd. Before Linkedin, Emilie enjoyed roles such as Director of Digital Business Strategy and Operations at Warner Bros, International Strategy and Ops @ MySpace and Corp Dev and Strategy @ Yahoo. Emilie has also sat on the Naspers board for the last 10 years.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Emilie made her way into the world of M&A and came to lead over 40+ game-changing acquisitions for Linkedin?

2.) In 2016, M&A made up 95% of startup exits, how does Emilie evaluate the current state of exit environments? What 2 reasons have caused the drop in startup M&A? How does Emilie view the rise of PE and strategic investors to the acquisition markets?

3.) Paul Graham said ‘startups should only talk to corp dev when they are doing really well or really badly’. What are Emilie’s thoughts on when is the right time for startups to have conversations with Corp Dev teams? When does Emilie you most like to begin the relationship? How does Emilie like to work with VCs in this relationship building?

4.) Paul Graham also described the structure of M&A as “grueling”. Does Emilie agree with this? How does Emilie map out the structure of a typical M&A deal, from start to finish? How much of a role does price play in her evaluation of a deal? How does Emilie measure the success of an acquisition?

5.) Matt Switzer @ Hootsuite stated the biggest M&A risk to be integration. What does smooth integrations look like for both consumer vs enterprise? Why do they differ? How can this integration work be de-risked and front loaded?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Emilie’s Fave Book: The Bonfire of the Vanities 

Emilie’s Most Recent Investment: Heighten

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

 

 

20VC: Why Risk Is Misunderstood In Entrepreneurship, Why Acquisitions Are Cheap For Incumbents Today & 3 Strategies To Improve Diversity In Your Team with Henry Davis, President & COO @ Glossier

FullSizeRender 277

Henry Davis is the President and COO @ Glossier, a New York brand that has taken the beauty world by storm. To date they have raised close to $35m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including past guests on the show Kirsten Green @ Forerunner, Index Ventures, IVP and our friends at Thrive. As for Henry, prior to entering the world of beauty and brands with Glossier, he sat on the other side of the table as a VC with Index Ventures in London. Before that, for his sins, Henry spent time in the world of corporate finance with Citi Group.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Henry made his way from rising star in London VC with Index to President of New York’s hottest beauty brand, Glossier?

2.) From a personal security standpoint, was it tough to move from a more secure role in VC to startups? Why does Henry believe the nature of risk is forgotten in entrepreneurship? Why does Henry believe the best entrepreneurs risk mitigate?

3.)What does branded e-commerce really mean to Henry? Why does Henry believe that Amazon have already won multi-brand? What 3 dimensions does Henry present for how Amazon has changed a consumer’s expectations of e-commerce? Have Amazon done more to make the market than destroy it?

4.) Why does Henry not believe that brands have as much brand loyalty as they think they do? With that in mind and many recent acquisitions, is this not a market of consolidation? Why are acquisitions cheap for incumbents today? How does this compare to the supply of capital available to startups, ultimately, altering their willingness?

5.) Henry has stated before that there are 3 strategies that can be done to improve diversity in the workforce, what are they? How must your hiring process be structured? How must your culture be structured? Where do most people go wrong in hiring diverse teams?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Henry’s Fave Book: Anna Karenina

Henry’s Fave Blog: Human Rights Watch 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Henry on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: 3 Key Differences Between US and Asian Tech Markets & With Such Large Incumbents Chasing Early Acquisitions, Is There A Market For Later Stage VC with Crystal Huang, Investor @ GGV Capital

FullSizeRender 278

Crystal Huang is a Principal @ GGV Capital, one of the world’s leading venture firms partnering with entrepreneurs in the world’s largest markets, the US and China. At GGV Crystal led the firm’s investment in Wigo (acquired by Cinemagram) and attends board meetings at Tile and Flightcar. Crystal is also a board member @ NextGen partners, the organization representing the future General Partners within the bay area. Prior to joining GGV, Crystal worked as an analyst in Blackstone’s Technology M&A Advisory Group and due to her immense promise and success already, Crystal has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Venture Capital.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Crystal made her way into the world of VC from Tech M&A with Blackstone?

2.) How does Crystal view the ongoing debate of operator vs non-operator experience? Does Crystal agree with Pat Grady that the rate of decay on operating experience has never been greater? What elements of operational experience, applied to VC, do stand the test of time?

3.) What does Crystal believe are the 3 key differences when comparing the US and Asian tech markets? How do deal sizes change across geographies? What does this do to the unit economics of the businesses? How does vendor engagement and sales cycles differ?

4.) In a world of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent quickly acquiring or copying innovative ideas, is there a market for true later stage VC in Asia? Where are the market opportunities? How does incumbent power in Asia differ to incumbent power in the US?

5.) How does Crystal fundamentally see distribution models vary between the US and Asia? Has Asia enjoyed the same rise of the “self-service model” enacted by many in the US? What does this mean for internal org structures and unit economics?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Crystal’s Fave Book: The Code Book

Crystal’s Most Recent Investment: BitSight

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Crystal on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Why This Is Just The Start for Consumer Mobile, 3 Lessons China Taught About How To Invest Better In The US & How To Think About The Opportunity Cost of Capital Deployment with Hans Tung, Managing Partner @ GGV Capital

FullSizeRender 280

Hans Tung is a Managing Partner @ GGV Capital, one of the world’s leading venture firms partnering with entrepreneurs in the world’s largest markets, the US and China. Evident when looking at Han’s incredible investments in the likes of Wish, Poshmark, musical.ly, Slack and OfferUp in the US and then Xiaomi, Forgame, and Domob Ads in Asia. Previously, Hans was with Bessemer Venture Partners, where he helped global players such as Skype expand into China. Hans was also a founding member of two pan-Asian internet startups that were subsequently sold to telcos. Due to his incredible success, Hans has been ranked as a top VC on the Forbes Midas list since 2013 and was recognized by The Founder and CBN News magazines in the past as a Top 10 most entrepreneur-friendly VC in China.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hans made his way into VC with Bessemer having founded and exited 2 prior startups?

2.) Why does Hans believe that the globalisation of consumer mobile companies is the biggest trend in his career? Why is Hans still so attracted to consumer with lacking distribution channel availability and incumbents like Amazon? Have Amazon already won?

3.) What were Hans’ biggest lessons from investing in China that have allowed him to invest better in the US? How does Hans evaluate prior US companies entering strategies into China? How does he analyse Uber’s entering into China?

4.) Hans has backed some of the hottest companies in the business from Airbnb to Wish, how does Hans respond to price sensitivity and having to pay up to get into the round? How does Hans think about the opportunity cost of capital deployment?

5.) Why does Hans remain so bullish on the globalisation of tech? In a world of Trump and Brexit are we not in ever more atomistic times? How does Hans see the convergence of millenial consumers when comparing the US and Asia?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hans’ Fave Book: The Information, Stratechery

Hans’ Most Recent Investment: iBotta

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Hans on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: What Is The Right Drone Investing Strategy, The Catalyst That Will Take Drones to 100s of Millions & Will Amazon and Google Win The War of The Airspace with Ben Marcus, Founder & CEO @ AirMap

FullSizeRender 275

Ben Marcus is the Founder & CEO @ Airmap, the startups that provides everything one needs to unlock and scale drone operations in the ever-changing world of airspace. They have raised over $40m in funding from industry heavyweights Sony, Rakuten, Qualcomm, Airbus Ventures and then also many friends of the show including Semil Shah, Lux Capital, Microsoft Ventures, General Catalyst, BullPen Capital and David Waxman at TenOneTen, just to name a few. Prior to AirMap, Ben co-founded and was CEO of the world’s largest light business jet sales company, Jetaviva and before that started his career as a flight instructor and later became a flight test engineer. Fun fact, Ben is also an FAA-certified Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor with over 4,500 hours of flight experience.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ben made his way into the world of startups and drones from being a pilot and flight test engineer?

2.) What does Ben think is a strong investment strategy when investing in the drones? What 4 categories present nascent opportunities to Ben? What elements of the tech stack should potential investors further drill down on with potential investments?

3.) Question from Hemant Taneja: How does Ben assess the presence and desires of Amazon and Google with their pre-existing mission to win the airspace? Question from Semil Shah: Does this lead to a world of consolidation and startup M&A by incumbents?

4.) What does Ben believe are the core catalysts that will take drones to 100s of millions of people? How does Ben assess the similarties and differences in serving enterprise vs consumer drone markets? Does Ben agree with Jonathan Downey in his expression that enterprises like “boring” offerings?

5.) How does Ben evaluate the hardware vs software paradigm in the drone market? Does Ben see the commoditisation of drone hardware in the coming years? How does Ben evaluate the likes of DJI with their prominence? Does the weaponisation of drones cause significant alarm for Ben?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Book: The Wealth of Nations

Ben’s Fave Blog: Social Capital Newsletter

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ben on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month. 

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

 

 

20VC: Why VC Is A Game of Maximising Serendipity, How VCs Can Characterise Their Approach To Working & Product Lessons from Jack Dorsey & Sonos’ John MacFarlane with Kevin Thau, General Partner @ Spark Capital

FullSizeRender 276

Kevin Thau is a General Partner @ Spark Capital, one of the best performing funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Slack, Oculus, Medium, PostMates, Cruise (acq $1Bn) the list goes on. As for Kevin, he has led investments in Medium, LOLA, CTRL Labs, Aura and Haven. Prior to Spark, Kevin enjoyed an incredible 7 years at Twitter, when he joined they had less than 20 employees and 1m users and he carried roles such as Director of Mobile Products and VP of Business & Corporate Development. Before Twitter, Kevin was employee number 7 at Software.com (which became Openwave) where he helped ship the first mobile browser, mobile messaging services and mobile websites.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kevin made his way into VC with Spark having spent years in operations with Twitter and Silicon Graphics?

2.) What were Kevin’s biggest lessons from watching the hyper-scaling of Twitter? What are the most prominent challenges companies face at this stage? What were his takeaways from working with product visionaries like Jack Dorsey & Sonos’ John MacFarlane?

3.) As an operator turned investor, how does Kevin characterise his approach to working with portfolio companies? What were Kevin’s early VC learnings from his discussions with Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet on VC profile and psychology?

4.) Why does Kevin believe that VC is a game of “maximizing serendipity”? How does Kevin assess personal time allocation, today as a VC? What has Kevin found most challenging since making the move to VC from operations?

5.) How does Kevin assess the consumer landscape at present? Does Kevin agree with Kirsten Green that “Amazon does more to make the market than crush it”? Why does Kevin find Instagram such a special tool for evaluating brands? What does he look for in the Instagram profiles of these emerging brands that really excites him?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kevin’s Fave Book: Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game

Kevin’s Most Recent Investment: CTRL-Labs

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Kevin on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month. 

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Most Downloaded Founder Episode of 2017: Brian Armstrong, Founder & CEO @ Coinbase

FullSizeRender-12

Brian Armstrong is the Founder & CEO @ Coinbase, the startup that provides the world’s most popular way to buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. They have backing from some of the biggest and best in VC having raised over $215m from the likes of Andreesen Horowitz, IVP, USV, DFJ and many more incredible investors. As for Brian, prior to Coinbase he was a Software Engineer @ Airbnb and before that founded his own startup, Universitytutor.com

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brian made his way from Airbnb to founding one of the early disruptors in the crypto space with Coinbase?

2.) Doing an 80/20 analysis, what are the 3 fundamental differences between Bitcoin and ethereum? What is Brian’s opinion on the scaling path ahead for ethereum? How do the teams behind ethereum and Bitcoin differ and what effect do these differing approaches have?

3.) What is an ICO? Does Brian believe ICOs will be a sustainable method of company financing in the future? What needs to take place to ensure for the continued momentum of ICOs? What have been the biggest surprises of ICOs for Brian?

4.) How does Brian view the regulatory stance around both ICOs and blockchain more generally? What is he concerned will happen? What would be the optimal regulatory framework for the theme to thrive?

5.) How does the rise of blockchain disrupt the VC industry? Why does Brian agree with Naval in stating the future will involve the unbundling of money, control and advice from the realms of VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman

Brian’s Fave Blog: Week In Ethereum

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Brian on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: 2nd Most Downloaded Episode of 2018: Kirsten Green, Founding Partner @ Forerunner Ventures

FullSizeRender-215

Kirsten Green is the Founding General Partner @ Forerunner Ventures, where she has raised over $250M from leading investors and has invested in more than 40 early-stage companies. Forerunner Ventures is the only VC firm to invest in both Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com, two of the biggest and highest-profile e-commerce exits in recent years, and counts Birchbox, Bonobos, Glossier, Hotel Tonight, Warby Parker and Zola among its portfolio companies. She’s been honored in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2017, named VC of the Year at TechCrunch’s 2017 Crunchies Awards, and is part of Forbes 2017 Midas List.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kirsten came to found one of the most successful early stage funds of the past decade in Forerunner?

2.) Question from Michael Kim @ Cendana: How does Kirsten view the optimal portfolio construction theory for a thematically specialized consumer fund? What is the one question Kirsten asks herself pre-investing in a startup?

3.) Question from David Pakman @ Venrock: Given the scope of consumer as a space, is Forerunner large enough to attain the required ownership levels? What does this mean for the future of Forerunner in terms of further funds, opportunity funds and entry points?

4.) What are the 3 core principles to developing an exciting investment opportunity in the consumer space? What commonalities do they have? What do you look for in a consumer brand founder that might be different from a software founder?

5.) Why does Kirsten believe that Amazon has done more to make the market opportunity than they have to crush it? What makes Kirsten believe we really are in the early innings for commerce? How will we see the notion of brand evolve over the coming years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kirsten’s Fave Book: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Kirsten’s Fave Blog: TheSkimm

Kirsten’s Most Recent Investment: Packagd 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Kirsten on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: Most Downloaded Episode of 2017: Peter Fenton, General Partner @ Benchmark

FullSizeRender-203

Peter Fenton is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the world’s leading VC funds with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, eBay, WeWork, Yelp and many more revolutionary companies of the last decade. Peter himself sits or has sat on the board of Twitter, previous guest Cockroach, Optimizely, New Relic and ZenDesk just to name a few. Prior to Benchmark, Peter was a Managing Partner @ Accel. It is clearly not just me that has a man crush on Peter though as he has been named to Forbes Midas List for many consecutive years with the last list placing Peter as No 3 in the world.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Peter made his way into the world of VC with Accel and came to be a General Partner @ Benchmark?

2.) How does Peter differentiate between the good and the great VCs? How can VCs use hyper-curiosity and hyper-competitiveness to improve their investing ability? Why does Peter not believe that operational experience is a necessity pre-VC?

3.) How does Peter view the importance of valuation in the investment decision making process? How much of a role does it play for him and what is his psychology around valuation, especially with regards to ownership levels?

4.) Why is Peter amused when he hears other investors say they must ‘invest in big markets’? What were his big takeaways from watching the investment and hyper-growth journey of Snapchat? How did that influence his view on markets?

5.) Peter has previously said that he is a ‘student of great board members’. What are the commonalities among the truly great board members? How do they engage and interact with the entrepreneur? How do they get the most out of their fellow board members?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Peter’s Most Recent Investment: Zen.ly

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Peter on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: How To Upscale Management Teams Effectively, When Should The CEO Play The Role of “Lifeguard” & What Role Does The Board Play In The Team Upscaling with Matt Straz, Founder & CEO @ Namely

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 07.26.21

Matt Straz is the Founder & CEO @ Namely, the leading HR platform for mid-sized companies. Since founding Namely, Matt has grown Namely to over 1,000 clients, 150,000 users, and has raised $158M from the likes of Sequoia Capital, True Ventures, Matrix and Bullpen, just to name a few. Prior to Namely, Matt was co-founder of Pictela, an ad tech company he sold to AOL in 2010, and a long-time media and advertising executive. Due to this success, Matt has been named one of the 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his first forays into the world of tech and startups and the a-ha moment for the founding of Namely?

2.) When does one go from a world-class startup team to a world-class leadership team? How did Matt go about making this transition? What were the core challenges? Does Matt agree with Chris Caren in saying, “you should look to individuals with 3-4 years of runway”?

3.) When upscaling, how does Matt think about internal promotion vs external hire? What is the right way to communicate that to the current team? Where do most managers go wrong in expectation setting with their team?

4.) What role does the board play in the upscaling of management? What process takes place for new senior hires to be made? How does Matt look to balance the challenge of negotiating with the current team and the board on new hires?

5.) Why was Matt wrong in his initial response this year for Namely’s need to reset their Mission, Vision and Values (MMV)? When must all companies look to revisit this? How does Matt look to balance the immediacy of today with product roadmap and vision of tomorrow?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matt’s Fave Book: 438 Days

As always you can follow Harry, Matt and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: How To Balance Between Vision and Stubbornness, Why Speed Is The Most Important Startup Superpower & The Main Role of A Startup Founder Today with James Currier, Managing Director @ NFX

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 16.21.36

James Currier is the Managing Partner @ NFX and one of Silicon Valley’s foremost experts in growth and network effects. Just last week, NFX announded their latest fund, a new $150m fund to turn NFX into a significant institution.  As for James, before becoming an investor, he co-founded one of the internet’s first successful user-generated companies, Tickle, in 1999. Under James’ leadership, Tickle grew to become the 18th largest website in the world and was acquired by Monster for $110 million. James then co-founded three other successful companies – Wonderhill (online video games, merged with Kabam in 2010 which then sold for $800M), IronPearl (acquired by PayPal in 2013), and Jiff (raised $68M from Venrock & GE before merging with Castlight in 2017).

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way from multiple success in the world of operations with Tickle, Jiff and Wonderhill to now managing NFX’s new $150m fund?

2.) Why does James believe speed is the number one superpower for startups? How important is being first to market for products? Why does language and psychology play a much more prominent role? What should the correlation be between product and the language used to market the product?

3.) What does James believe the main job of the founder is? Where do most founders go wrong in depicting their story? Why is it so important for founders to “speak with data”? How can one retain that personal sentiment when heavily using data?

4.) Why does James believe that network effects play such a prominent role within value creation of companies? What really is core to network effect success? Other than marketplaces and social networks, what other forms of network effect exist and succeed?

5.) What does James believe is the right mindset for growth? What has James always believed about paid growth? Why is James altering his views on paid growth in today’s environment? Does James believe we are in a fallow period for the consumer space?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: The Razor’s Edge

James’ Fave Blog: The Edge

James’ Most Recent Investment: Outdoorsy

As always you can follow Harry, James and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: Inside The World’s Leading Crypto Fund, The Future Exit Environment for Crypto Assets & The Beauty Of Benevolent Dictatorship with Olaf Carlson-Wee, Founder @ Polychain Capital

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 15.40.27

Olaf Carlson-Wee is the Founder & CEO @ Polychain Capital, one of the world’s premier funds actively managing a portfolio of blockchain assets. Having founded the firm less than 2 years ago with their initial $4m fund, Polychain now has over $200m AUM with backing from the likes of Sequoia, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and USV just to name a few. Prior to founding Polychain, Olaf was the first employee at Coinbase serving as their Head of Risk and as product manager. In addition, Olaf has also been an active angel with a portfolio including the likes of Robinhood, Ethereum and Numerai.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Olaf made his way into the world of crypto from academic studies to Coinbase to today with Polychain?

2.) What really is Polychain Capital and what is the primary mandate with the $250m AUM? With the firm’s investments being always liquid, how does one look to stay aligned to founders with an exit possible at any time?How does Olaf think about LP fund withdrawal, would that symbolize a snowball effect in the crypto space?

3.) How does sourcing crypto opportunities differ from sourcing venture opportunities? How does the subsequent DD process change when evaluating crypto opportunities? What does Olaf want to see in whitepapers and what are the big red flags when analysing crypto investments?

4.) How does Olaf think about the exit environment for crypto assets? How does Olaf believe traditional corporate acquirers will respond to crypto assets and those that have raised through ICO? What does Olaf mean when he says, “we will see token network acquisitions in the future”?

5.) Have tokens created a paradigm shift in the method through which companies are funded? Charlie Lee @ Litecoin stated on the show, “ICO’s were his biggest concern for crypto”. Does Olaf share this concern and where does he see the nuances?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Olaf’s Fave Book: Infinite Jest

Olaf’s Most Recent Investment: 0x Project

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: AppDynamic’s Jyoti Bansal on The Sale vs IPO Process with AppDynamics’ $3.7Bn Exit & The 3 Simple Things VCs Look For When Investing In Startups

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 23.04.00

Jyoti Bansal is the former Founder & CEO of AppDynamics, backed to the tune of over $350m in VC funding from the likes of Lightspeed, Greylock and Kleiner Perkins, just to name a few, before it’s ultimate acquisition by Cisco for $3.7Bn. Today, Jyoti is the Founder and CEO of BIG Labs, essentially a laboratory for creating, developing, and launching innovative ideas. The first of these ideas being turned into companies being, Harness.io the industry’s first continuous delivery as a service platform, where Jyoti is the Founder & CEO. As a result of his tremendous success, Jyoti has been a recipient of many leadership awards including, “Best Cloud Computing CEO to Work For,” “Best CEO” by San Francisco Business Times.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jyoti made his way from selling farm machinery with his father in India to founding and selling AppDynamics for $3.7Bn?

2.) How does Jyoti look to build world class teams around him? What are the core characteristics and profiles and seed success into an organisation? How does Jyoti look to optimise each individual function in the organisation?

3.) What did the sale process of AppDynamics look like? Did Jyoti and the team run a dual process of acquisition & IPO? How did the deal come about? What were the negotiations like? Why did Jyoti turn down the first two offers? What was critical to the successful deal?

4.) Jyoti has said before, “there are 3 simple things VCs look for”. What are those 3 things? How did the fundraising of AppDynamics go in the early days? What was it about the first 20 pitches that made VCs say no? What does Jyoti most look for now when choosing the VCs to work with?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jyoti’s Fave Book: Crime and Punishment

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jyoti on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: The Value Chain of Machine Learning, Is There Really An Incumbency Advantage in ML & Will The Rise In Cyber Remain For the Long Term with Jake Flomenberg, Partner @ Accel

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.19.34

Jake Flomenberg is a Partner @ Accel, one of the top performing venture funds of the last decade with investments in the likes of Dropbox, Slack, Facebook, Deliveroo and Atlassian, just to name a few. As for Jake, at Accel he specializes on all things Big Data and has led investments in the likes of Demisto, Origami Logic, Sumo Logic, Trifacta, and Zoomdata.  Prior to Accel, Jake was director of product management at Splunk, where he was responsible for the product’s user interface and big data strategy. Before that, he worked at Cloudera where he helped the founding team tackle a broad array of sales, marketing and product issues.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jake made the transition from the world of operations with Cloudera and Splunk to the other side of the table, as Partner at Accel?

2.) Why does Jake believe a large element of his role is “how to make AI not BS”? How does he approach this from the three-legged stool of machine learning, data and workflow? How do each subsequently rank?

3.) To what extent is Jake concerned by the data incumbency advantages that are present in the market with Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (GAFA)? Where is the room for real opportunity and innovation? When should a startup be concerned about GAFA entering?

4.) How does Jake respond to Aaron Van Devender’s suggestion that the value of large datasets is overplayed? Where are the inflection points in dataset value? How does David compare the value of initial data vs derivative data and the subsequent value?

5.) How does Jake assess the current state of the cybersecurity market? Is this increased investment period sustainable or due to more macro attention and events? Where does Jake feel the real opportunity is in cyber today? Where is it overplayed?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jake’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

Jake’s Fave Blog: The Morning Paper (Harry’s Favourite also)

Jake’s Most Recent Investment: Radar

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jake on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: Accel GP, Rich Wong on When Is The Right Time To Scale A Startup, Optimising Initial vs Follow-On Investment Decision-Making & The Globalisation of VC In Recent Years

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.19.53

Rich Wong is a General Partner @ Accel, one of the world’s leading venture funds with investments in the likes of Dropbox, Slack, Facebook, Deliveroo and Atlassian, just to name a few. As for Rich, Rich has led investments in the likes of Rovio (IPO), SwiftKey, AdMob, MoPub and more incredible companies. Rich also sits on the boards of the likes of Checkr, Osmo, Rovio and Atlassian where he was first outside Board member and lead investor. Prior to joining Accel, Rich served as SVP of products for mobile pioneer, Openwave Systems and CMO of Covad Communications.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rich made his way into the world of VC with Accel from OpenWave and having been active in the mobile and broadband ecosystems?

2.) What does Rich mean when he states the rise of the “Globalisation of VC”? How does Accel both find and win deals in locations such as Australia, Finland? How do the founder’s mentalities differ to Bay area founder mentality?

3.) How does Rich think about price sensitivity when assessing opportunities? What would be considered a good return multiple when investing from the early stage fund? How does this differ from the growth fund?

4.) What is the internal structure of investment decision making at Accel? How does Rich analyze reserve allocation? How does initial to reserve decision-making differ? How does the Accel partnership determine the 10% of portfolio that are “winners”?

5.) Question from Manu Kumar @ K9: How does Rich decide when is the right time for a company to scale? What is the balance of not too early and not too late? How should unit economics play a role in this decision? What characteristic must be inherent within multiple functions of the business, pre-scaling?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rich’s Fave Book: The Big Short

Rich’s Fave Blog: Wolf Street

Rich’s Most Recent Investment: Instabug

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Rich on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: Overcoming The Engineer Boys Club, Disrupting The “Pink Aisle” & Why VCs Are Missing A Trick Not Investing In The CPG Space with Debbie Sterling, Founder & CEO @ Goldieblox

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 00.50.06

Debbie Sterling is the Founder & CEO @ Goldieblox, an award‐winning toy company on a mission to “disrupt the pink aisle.” An engineer and entrepreneur, Sterling has made it her mission in life to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Sterling was named TIME’s “Person of the Moment” and Business Insider’s “30 Women Who Are Changing the World” and is regarded as one of the leaders of the movement toward getting more girls interested in engineering and technology. In January 2014, GoldieBlox beat out more than 20,000 businesses in a contest run by Intuit to become the first‐ever small business to air a commercial during the Super Bowl.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Debbie overcame the “engineering boys club” at Stanford and the a-ha moment that led to the creation of Goldieblox?

2.) How does Debbie look to overcome those really tough times as an entrepreneur, from exclusion to the “engineering boys club” to a harsh reception at an accelerator, how did Debbie look to deal with that personally?

3.) Question from Kanyi Maqubela: Is the gender diversity issue primarily a pipeline problem? Where are the key cracks in the system? What does Debbie believe is the point of key leverage?

4.) Question from Harley Finkelstein @ Shopify: How does Debbie ensure that everyone of Goldieblox’s videos go viral as it does? What is both the content creation strategy? How does Debbie look to optimise distribution of their content to attain that virality?

5.) Why does Debbie believe that VCs are missing a massive opportunity by not investing in CPG and hardware? What single value add would be most attractive to Debbie for an investor entering the space? What must hardware and CPG founders really look for in their investor base?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Debbie’s Fave Book: The Brothers Karamazov

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Debbie on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. After purchase, you will receive $25 credit to Uber this Holiday season. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridges.com and/or Selfridges on Oxford St. and farfetch.com to shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Why Convertible Notes Are Ridiculous, Why Party Rounds Are Bad For Both Founder and Investor & Why Pro-Rata Rights Are A Mess with David Waxman, Founding Partner @ TenOneTen Ventures

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 00.50.23

David Waxman is the Founding Partner @ TenOneTen Ventures, one of the leading new venture firms in the rising tide of LA tech. Their portfolio companies have enjoyed exits from the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon Cisco, AirBnB and including companies like eCommerce pioneer and unicorn, Wish and the world’s leading airspace services platform, AirMap. As for David, prior to TenOneTen, David enjoyed an incredible career in operations starting with the founding of his first company, Firefly in 1995, an early pioneer in personalization and privacy technology which he sold to Microsoft in 1998. David then co-founded PeoplePC, a company dedicated to simplifying the process of joining the online world. The company went public in 2001 and was acquired by EarthLink in 2002.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way from selling a company to Microsoft and taking the next public to being one of the leading new managers in LA’s tech scene?

2.) Why does David believe that market sizing is a futile effort, or as he calls it “Tamfoolery”? What is the right way that founders should present the market to investors, both in discussion and visually? Why is it impossible for investors to foresee market magnitude?

3.) Why does David strongly dislike convertible notes? Why does he believe that they are worse for not only investor but founders too? In what rare cases do they make sense? Why are they completely ridiculous in multi-million $ deals?

4.) Why does David believe that pro-rata rights have become such a mess? How can founders honour the agreements with their early investors and satiate the ownership appetite of A funds? How would David navigate this if he were a founder today?

5.) Why does David believe the biggest asymettry in VC is the DD that founders engage with, in comparison to that of VC on Founder DD? How should founders structure this DD on investors? What is the right framework? What is the crucial question to ask?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm

David’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC, Nuzzel

David’s Most Recent Investment: Velocity

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. After purchase, you will receive $25 credit to Uber this Holiday season. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridges.com and/or Selfridges on Oxford St. and farfetch.com to shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Kleiner Perkins’ Bing Gordon on Lessons From Serving On Amazon & Zynga’s Board, Why The Best Investors Are Good Listeners and Sceptical Optimists & The Most Important Value Add A VC Can Provide

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 00.50.47

Bing Gordon is a Partner and Chief Product Officer @ Kleiner Perkins, one of the world’s most prestigious venture funds with prior investments in the likes of Google, Amazon, Twitter, Square and Airbnb just to name a few. At Kleiner Bing has either worked with or invested in the likes of Spotify, Zynga, Amazon, Twitter and Magic Leap, just to name a few. Bing also serves on the boards of Zynga, Zazzle, N3twork and until March this year, Amazon. Prior to Kleiner, Bing had been a long-time executive at Electronic Arts, beginning with EA’s founding in 1982 with initial funding from Kleiner Perkins. He was chief creative officer at EA from 1998 to 2008 and previously headed EA marketing and product development.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bing made the move from Chief Creative Officer at EA to Partner @ Kleiner Perkins?

2.) What were Bing’s biggest lessons from sitting on the boards of Amazon and Zynga and working with Jeff Bezos and Mark Pincus? What is the most important value-add that a VC should bring? What question must all new board members ask themselves?

3.) Why does Bing believe there are two types of investors in VC? How does Bing determine whether it is right to fix losers or ride winners? How does Bing look to balance between being the cheerleader or critical analyst to the CEO?

4.) What are the signs of truly great and productive board meetings? From Bing’s vast experience, which VCs does Bing most like to sit on a board with and why? Which board meeting sticks out in Bing’s memory as being of particular significance and why?

5.) What mentality do all great investors have when entering deals? What are the two commonalities of people that are largely right in their choices? How important a role does valuation play for Bing when evaluation potential opportunities?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Bing’s Fave Book: Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)

Bing’s Most Recent Investment: N3twork

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Bing on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. After purchase, you will receive $25 credit to Uber this Holiday season. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridges.com and/or Selfridges on Oxford St. and farfetch.com to shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Why Strategic Investing Is Slow Motion M&A, Why Valuation Is The Hardest Element of M&A & What Determines Between Cash vs Stock Deals with Chad Richard, SVP of Business & Corporate Development @ Yelp

FullSizeRender (16)

Chad Richard is the Senior Vice President of Business & Corporate Development @ Yelp, where he leads acquisition and investment activity. Yelp is one of the most active in the space having acquired both NoWait and Turnstyle Analytics, plus selling Eat24 to GrubHub for $287.5m, all in the past year. Prior to Yelp, Chad spent six years at Apple as Senior Director of Worldwide Product Marketing focused on Apple’s operating systems and internet services. Prior to Apple, he co-founded and was CEO of Simple Star, a photo and video software and services company that was acquired by Roxio. If that was not enough, Chad has also advised the likes of Flipboard, MoveWith and Curbside, just to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Chad make his way from startup founder to leading Apple’s M&A charge to today, running M&A with Yelp?

2.) What did the Apple M&A strategy look like when Chad was with the company? Why was Apple so keen to pursue a product focussed M&A strategy? What were Chad’s big learnings from that experience with Apple?

3.) How does Chad look to build potential startup pipe with Yelp? What attracts Chad to one startup over another? What does Chad wish that startup founders did and knew more about in the initial relationship building phase?

4.) Yelp also makes strategic investments, how does Chad ease founder and VC concern that a strategic investment is not an acquisition? Does a strategic investment prevent a startup from partnering with other firms? What should founders be aware of when accepting strategic investment?

5.) How does Chad analyse the compensation element? Why does Chad believe that valuing potential acquisitions is the hardest element of the process? How do acquirers determine whether to present a cash vs stock deal? What should founders consider with stock deals between private and public company stock?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chad’s Fave Book: Disneywar

Chad’s Most Recent Investment: Turnstyle Analytics

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Chad on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. After purchase, you will receive $25 credit to Uber this Holiday season. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridges.com and/or Selfridges on Oxford St. and farfetch.com to shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Zynga’s Mark Pincus on When To Ride Your Winners and Cut Your Losers, Why People With “Broken Resumes” Make The Best Hires & The 2 Biggest Lies Told In Silicon Valley By Founders and VCs

FullSizeRender 273

Mark Pincus is a serial entrepreneur and investor, best known for founding Zynga, the first company to introduce the mass market to social gaming. To date, more than one billion people around the world have played Zynga’s games, which include hits like FarmVille and Words with Friends. Mark is also known for his investments in some of the internet’s largest and most successful companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Snapchat and Xiaomi. One of the earliest pioneers in social networking, Mark founded multiple startups including support.com and tribe.net, before going on to create Zynga. A fun fact – recognizing the importance of social networking, in 2003 Mark teamed up with his friend Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, to purchase the fundamental Six Degrees patent –  which broadly covers social networks – in order to keep it out of the hands of patent trolls and guarantee that all players could innovate on this technology.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Having founded one of the first social networks, Tribe and seed invested in Facebook, what convinced you that 2007 was the right time to start a social games company, Zynga?

2.) Having mastered distribution with Zynga, does Mark believe we are in a “fallow” period for consumer with a lack of distribution channel availability? If distribution is not the core problem, what does Mark believe is the fundamental issue?

3.) What have been Mark’s biggest lessons when it comes to assembling truly great teams? What does Mark mean when he says that he looks for people with “broken resumes”? Why is that so beneficial to potential candidates?

4.) When investing, how does Mark determine timing on when to ride winner and cut losers? What does Mark really mean when he says, ”you have to instill a mindset of expected value over loss avoidance”?

5.) What are the 2 biggest lies in Silicon Valley told by founders and VCs? How can founders truly test the alignment with their VC? How did Mark do this in pitches with Zynga? What were Mark’s learnings on optimising board composition and performance?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mark’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mark on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. After purchase, you will receive $25 credit to Uber this Holiday season. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridges.com and/or Selfridges on Oxford St. and farfetch.com to shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Why Valley Investors Are Really Gamblers, Why The Business Model of Selling To The Biggest Sucker Is Wrong & Why The Best Potential Hires Don’t Care Who Your VC is with David Barrett, Founder & CEO @ Expensify

FullSizeRender (15)

David Barrett is the Founder & CEO @ Expensify, the startup relieving the world’s frustrations, one expense report at a time. With 35,000 companies and more than 5 million users, David has raised close to $30m from the likes of Redpoint, OpenView, Travis Kalanick, Baseline and SV Angel. However, David certainly does not have traditional views on funding, something we very much touch on in the interview today! Prior to Expensify, David built a peer-to-peer file transfer technology called Red Swoosh with Uber’s Travis Kalanick, which was acquired by Akamai in 2007.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David went from founding Red Swoosh with Travis Kalanick to changing the sexy world of expense reporting with Expensify?

2.) Why does David want to change the cult of the second time entrepreneur? Why does David believe that Silicon Valley fundamentally changes exits in the wrong way? How does David define true operational success?

3.) Why does David believe that Silicon Valley investors are not investors but gamblers? Why does David believe that the business model VCs have created is not only not optimal for founders but poor business practice with “profit” being a dirty word?

4.) What does David believe are the fundamental benefits of capital constraints? How does having financial independence influence your stance when speaking with investors? When does the decision of financially lean or VC backed need to be taken?

5.) Why does David believe the more hiring you do, the more problems you have? What are the core issues of revenue being tied to headcount growth? Why does David believe Silicon Valley is poor for hiring and you must look further afield?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Guns, Germs, and Steel, Enders Game

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. With purchase, receive credit towards Tablet Hotels for the next year. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridge’s and shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Why VCs Fundamentally Assess Founders The Wrong Way, Why VC Needs To Innovate On The Scouting Model & Why SAFE’s and Convertible Notes Are The Future Of Investing with Elizabeth Yin, Founder & General Partner @ Hustle Fund

image_01

Elizabeth Yin is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Hustle Fundas they describe, the ventue fund for hilariously early hustlers. Elizabeth is also the co-founder of HustleCon, a conference series for non-technical entrepreneurs to launch and scale their startups. Prior to Hustle Fund, Elizabeth was a Partner @ 500 Startups where she ran the 500 Startups seed program in Mountain View and where she and her partner saw over 20,000 startup decks. Before that Elizabeth was a successful operator, as the Co-Founder and CEO of Launchbit, an adtech platform that was acquired by BuySellAds.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Elizabeth made her way from successful founder with LaunchBit to Partner @ 500 Startups to now founding partner of Hustle Fund?

2.) Why does Elizabeth believe that VCs fundamentally assess founders the wrong way? What is the right way to assess founders in such early stages? How can one really stress test the level of hustle from the founding team?

3.) How does Elizabeth assess innovation in the practice of venture capital? Why does Elizabeth believe that there has been very little creativity towards innovation? Who has innovatively addressed sourcing the best companies?

4.) In a world of noted rounds with a cap structure, how does Elizabeth feel about gaining the pro-rata in deals? Why does Elizabeth believe that ownership stake and portfolio size are not in conflict with one another?

5.) How does Elizabeth view the future of the VC industry? How can the early stage funnel be flipped on it’s head? Why does Elizabeth believe that SAFEs and convertible notes are the future of investing?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: 

Elizabeth’s Most Recent Investment: The Pill Club

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Elizabeth on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. With purchase, receive credit towards Tablet Hotels for the next year. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridge’s and shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: a16z’s Alex Rampell on The Struggle Between Innovation vs Distribution, When How To Determine Whether An Application is Optimised Through Centralised or Decentralised Networks & Why Most ICOs Today Are Ridiculous

FullSizeRender 271

Alex Rampell is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he leads the firms fintech investments and serves on the boards of Branch, PeerStreet, Point, and Quantopian. Prior to joining a16z, he was the CEO and co-founder of TrialPay, a leading transactional advertising and payments company with 100 employees and over $300M in revenue. TrialPay was acquired by Visa in 2015. Previously, Alex cofounded FraudEliminator, the first consumer anti-phishing company, which merged into SiteAdvisor and was acquired by McAfee for $75M in 2006. Prior to joining the firm, Alex had been an active angel investor with the likes of Pinterest, Bloomreach, SiftScience among many others in his portfolio and served as an advisor to the SV Angel fund. He also co-founded three other companies: TXN, Point, and Affirm, with Max Levchin.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Alex make the move from serial entrepreneur with numerous successful exits to General Partner @ a16z?

2.) Question from Chris Dixon: What were the key takeaways for Alex from his time in operations? Having been both entrepreneur and VC, how does Alex view the continuous struggle between innovation and distribution? Can you succeed with only one?

3.) How does Alex believe the new generation of large incumbents are acting in the market? Why does he believe that a counter-revolutionary strike from them would not be atypical?

4.) How does Alex really define “data network effects”? How does Alex look to analyse them effectively? How does Alex believe that startups can use inflection points in the sales process to enter an incumbent heavy market?

5.)How does Alex view the rise of ICOs? Does Alex share Charlie Lee’s concerns that they are the most concerning element of the crypto world? What framework does Alex use to determine whether an applications is optimised through centralised or decentralised databases? Why does Alex believe that most ICOs are ridiculous?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alex’s Fave Book: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Alex’s Fave Blog: Chris Dixon

Alex’s Most Recent Investment: Propel

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Alex on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. With purchase, receive credit towards Tablet Hotels for the next year. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridge’s and shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Why Self-Awareness Is The Most Important Characteristic For Founders, When Is The Right Time For A CEO To Hand Over The Reigns & What CEO’s Can Learn About Company Culture From Teaching Middle School with Lloyd Tabb, Founder & Chairman @ Looker

FullSizeRender 269

Lloyd Tabb is the Founder & Chairman @ Looker, the startup leader pioneering the next generation of business intelligence (BI). They have raised over $175m from some of the best in the business including CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, First Round, Redpoint & PivotNorth. As for Llyod himself, he has spent the last 25 years revolutionizing how the world uses the internet, starting with his founding of Commerce Tools, which was acquired by Netscape. At Netscape, Lloyd led several releases of Communicator and helped define Mozilla.org. Following Netscape, Lloyd later was CTO of LiveOps, co-founder of Readyforce and founder then advisor to Luminate.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Lloyd make his way into the world of startups and come to sell his first to Netscape at such a young age?

2.) Why did Lloyd decide to hand over the reigns of CEO to Frank at such an early stage? What was the thought process? What advice does Lloyd have for founders contemplating the same? What is the most important skill for the original founder to have?

3.) How did Lloyd learn about creating and scaling company culture from teaching middle school kids? What are the inflection points in scaling company culture? What are the foundations that must always be core? Why does Lloyd dislike the “burnout culture so much”?

4.) What is the hardest element for Lloyd in scaling Looker to this day? How does Lloyd believe automation must be used within business processes to create a streamlined and efficient organisation? What should the ultimate goal of all CEOs be?

5.) Why does Lloyd believe that the conventional wisdom, “the common path is the safe path”, is fundamentally not true? How does Lloyd view the role of mentors, in terms of career progression? What can people do to attain the mentor they would like?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Lloyd’s Fave Book: Seth Godin

Lloyd’s Fave Blog: What The F*** Just Happened Today

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Lloyd on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. With purchase, receive credit towards Tablet Hotels for the next year. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridge’s and shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: The Lean Startup’s Eric Ries on The Missing Function of Entrepreneurship in Most Companies, Creating A New Accountability Paradigm & How To Structure Promotions and Compensation In The New Structure

FullSizeRender 268

Eric Ries is the author of International Bestseller, The Lean Startup, which changed the language of business introducing terms such as A/B testing, MVP and “pivoting”. The book has sold over 1m copies and been translated into over 130 languages launching a global “lean startup” movement. Eric is also the author of the recently released, The Startup Way, detailing transformations at tech titans such as Facebook and Amazon, providing a framework for entrepreneurial management. In addition, Eric is also the Founder & CEO of The Long-Term Stock Exchange and has served as an EiR at the likes of Harvard Business School, IDEO and Pivotal.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What is the origin story of “The Lean Startup” and Eric’s realizations for the importance of the methodologies presented in the book?

2.) What is the matrix management structure? In which cases does it work well? Where does the traditional structure fall down? How does this affect how startups should think about their structure from day 1?

3.) Why does Eric believe that “we have to create a new accountability paradigm”? Why does Eric believe that most organizations have a pathological fear of failure? How is this conveyed in their structure? What are the consequent dangers of this fear? What does a “productive failure” look like?

4.) How does Eric view the creation and maintenance of culture? How exactly does Eric define culture and what it is to a company? Why does Eric not believe in manifestos!

5.)How can employees determine how committed their employer is to enacting these policies? How can this be reflected in the company attitude to budget? Why does Eric believe that each element of the organization should have independent fluctuating budgets?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: Ancillary Justice

Eric’s Fave Blog: Kickstarter Blog

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Eric on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. With purchase, receive credit towards Tablet Hotels for the next year. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridge’s and shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: Oren Zeev on Why Diversification Does Not Work, Thesis Based Investing Is Sceptical & Partners Mostly Stay Together For LPs

IMG_0036

Oren Zeev is the Founding Partner @ Zeev Ventures, one of Silicon Valley’s most under the radar but high performing funds with a portfolio including the likes of Houzz, Chegg, Audible and recent guest with Adi Sideman @ YouNow. Prior to founding Zeev Ventures, Oren was a General Partner @ Apax Partners, as part of the founding Apax Israel team. Before VC, Oren was a founding team member of IBM’s chip design group in Haifa.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Oren made his way into the world of VC as part of the Apax Israel founding team? What was the catalyst behind his decision to go solo with Zeev Ventures?

2.) What were Oren’s biggest lessons from investing in the up and down of the bubble with Apax? Why did this lead to Oren’s belief that “diversification does not work”? How does that play out in his portfolio construction?

3.) Why does Oren believe that “LPs are suckers for longevity”? How does that influence the partnerships that they generally back? How does Oren assess VC partnership dynamics? How should founders evaluate VC partner relationships?

4.) Oren has spent over 1,000 hours on the boards of some of the most transformational companies, how has he seen his style of board member change over the years? What has been his biggest lesson? What board member behavior does he dislike the most?

5.) Why is Oren skeptical of thematic investing? Why is this not optimal in producing funds that deliver out-sized returns? What examples does Oren have that prove adopting a generalist approach is beneficial from a returns standpoint?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Oren’s Fave Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma

Oren’s Fave Blog: AVC, The Twenty Minute VC

Oren’s Most Recent Investment: Next Insurance

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Oren on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Available in carry-on and check-in sizes, Raden is the case for better, smarter travel. By pairing the lightest and most durable materials with technology, travelers can charge their devices on the go, weigh, and track their cases. Visit Raden.com to use code 20VC at checkout. With purchase, receive credit towards Tablet Hotels for the next year. If a UK listener, head over to Selfridge’s and shop Raden today.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

20VC: What Is Core To The Best Investor – Founder Relationships, The Biggest Risk For Founders In The Early Days & Why EQ Is The Most Important Trait For Managers with Jack Altman, Founder & CEO @ Lattice

FullSizeRender 266

Jack Altman is the Founder & CEO of Lattice, actually our partners for this month on the show and as you will hear, they are the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. Lattice have raised close to $10m in funding from some of our favourites in industry including the likes of Miles Grimshaw @ Thrive, Khosla Ventures, Elad Gil, Alexis Ohanian and YC’s Daniel Gross. Prior to founding Lattice, Jack was the Head of Business Development @ Lattice where he saw the firm move into hyperscaling. Jack has also build an incredible angel portfolio including the likes of Gusto, OpenDoor, Instacart, Zenefits and Soylent.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jack made his way from leading angel investor to Head of Business Development @ TeeSpring to the world of SaaS with the founding of Lattice?

2.) What does Jack mean when he says “founders must do what it takes to get the best people on board”? To what extent does Jack believe that great investors provide social validity to future hires?

3.) How does Jack think about really getting the best from his team? What is core to empowering them? Why does he believe that EQ is the most important skill for managers? What does Jack believe is the right way to give clear and direct feedback?

4.) Why does Jack believe that the best relationships with investors are less formal? What does Jack really look for in his relationships with investors? What does Jack mean when he says ”investor advice is right on valuation”?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jack’s Fave Book: Meditations

Jack’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jack on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Y Combinator’s Paul Buchheit on Creating Gmail Version 1.0 & Leadership Lessons from Working With Zuckerberg and Larry Paige

FullSizeRender 265

Paul Buchheit is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with portfolio companies including the likes of AirBnB, Dropbox, Stripe, Zenefits, Twitch, the list goes on. Before YC and starting from the beginning, Paul was the 23rd employee at Google where he created Gmail, developed the original prototype for Google AdSense and even suggested the company’s former motto, “Don’t Be Evil”. He then started FriendFeed in 2006 where he created the like button as we know it, the company was later acquired by Facebook where Paul worked until his move to Y Combinator in 2010, where he is a partner. Paul is also a prolific angel having created an immense portfolio with the likes of Gusto, Checkr, Optimizely and many more incredible teams.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Paul made his way from creating Gmail in the early Google days, to founding the like button we know today, to being with Y Combinator currently?

2.) What does Paul believe it is that makes Paul Graham (PG) the special individual that he is? How has Paul seen the scaling of PG and Jessica Livingstone as leaders with the scaling of YC?

3.) Why does Paul believe it is fundamental to attain 100 happy users? How can one stress test levels of customer satisfaction accurately? How can founders determine which users and which advice to incorporate and which to disregard?

4.) Having worked alongside the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Paige, what does Paul believe makes the truly special founders? How does Paul assess the balance between stubbornness and vision? What is the telltale sign of stubbornness beginning?

5.) Question from Justin Kan: How does Paul look to determine the 10% that delivers 90% of the value? Where has Paul made mistakes and seen others make mistakes in trying to implement this level of focus?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Paul’s Fave Book: Eckhart Tolle

Paul’s Most Recent Investment: Greo

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Paul on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: YC’s Ali Rowghani on Leadership Lessons From Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull and Jack Dorsey & The 3 Traits All Truly Successful Leaders Share

FullSizeRender 264

Ali Rowghani is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with portfolio companies including the likes of AirBnB, Dropbox, Stripe, Zenefits, Twitch, the list goes on. At YC, Ali leads the Continuity Fund where has made investments in the likes of Segment, Convoy and Lob, where he also sits on the board of all 3. Prior to investing with YC, Ali spent 4 years at Twitter, starting as CFO before becoming COO. Whilst at Twitter, Ali saw the company scale from $0 revenues to over $2Bn and 20m users to close to 300m users. Before Twitter, Ali was the CFO @ Pixar Animation Studios.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ali made his way from CFO @ Pixar and COO @ Twitter to now leading YC’s continuity fund?

2.) Ali describes a story of his time at Pixar working with Steve Jobs? How did he carry himself both as a leader and an operator? What was it about Steve that makes Ali say he is the most impressive exec he has ever worked with?

3.) Having seen the likes of Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, Jack Dorsey in action what have been Ali’s biggest takeaways with regards to what makes the truly great leaders? Why does Ali believe there are 3 traits all great leaders share? What are they?

4.) How does Ali look to bring that experience to his role now, investing with YC Continuity? How does that affect his mindset and evaluation when assessing investment opportunities today?

5.) Why does Ali believe that too many startups have been damaged by the amount of capital they have raised? As a former CFO, how does Ali analyze the capital being raised today and some of the burn rates in the valley?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ali’s Fave Book: Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Ali’s Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

Ali’s Most Recent Investment: Segment

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ali on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Why Decentralisation is Key For Digital Media Distribution, Why Gradual Decentralisation Is The Most Practical Approach and Why Incumbents Are The Biggest Barrier To The Rise of Crypto with Adi Sideman, Founder & CEO @ YouNow

FullSizeRender 262

Adi Sideman is the Founder & CEO @ YouNow. Since founding the company in 2011, Adi has grown YouNow to be a global social network with more than 100 million user sessions a month, and creators now producing more than 50,000 hours of original live content each day. They recently released PROPS (Telegram available here), the next generation platform that leverages the power of crypto economics & participation in digital media. To fund this growth, they have raised over $25m in funding from some of the greats of the investing world including Andy Weissman @ USV, David Pakman @ Venrock and future guest Oren Zeev. Due to this incredible progress, YouNow has been named one of the most innovative companies of 2016 by Fast Company and was a finalist for Fastest Rising Startup of 2016 at the Crunchies Awards.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adi made his way into the world of participatory digital content, came to found the world’s first online karaoke company and then found YouNow?

2.) Setting the scene now, where are we at with TV? What platform does Adi believe will rise formidably in it’s place? How does that affect the age-old industry of advertising? Why does Adi believe after so many years, now is the time for micro-payment content creation?

3.) Why does the digital media content landscape need to be decentralized? What is fundamentally broken with the current centralised networks? What are the benefits of such decentralization?

4.) How does Adi envision this decentralization to be? Does Adi believe we will build new decentralized protocols and exact the decentralized network through them or does he believe we will integrate new protocols into existing services?

5.) Why does this decentralized network be crypto-based? With centralized networks the value largely accrues to investors and founders, how does Adi sell the value of a decentralized network to an investor base with fiduciary responsibilities?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Adi’s Favourite Book: The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill 

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Lightspeed’s Nicole Quinn on Why We Are Not In A Consumer Downturn, Why M&A Has Not Been This Exciting For A Long Time & Why Amazon Is Never Your Friend

FullSizeRender 260

Nicole Quinn is a Partner @ Lightspeed, one of the world’s leading venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Snapchat, Nest, StitchFix, AppDynamics and Max Levchin’s Affirm, just to name a few from their incredible portfolio. At Lightspeed, Nicole focuses on the consumer market having made investments in the likes of Cheddar, Zola and Rothy’s. Prior to Lightspeed, Nicole worked at Nutmeg, one of London’s leading fintech players and before that spent 8 years covering consumer, eCommerce and brands at Morgan Stanley on the equity sales and research side. At Morgan Stanley, Nicole worked on the IPOs for Facebook, Groupon and Pandora. Fun fact: Nicole is also a star of the big screen featuring on Apple TV’s Planet of The Apps.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nicole made her way from Morgan Stanley to a leading London Fintech player to now, a partner a Lightspeed in San Francisco?

2.) How does Nicole define “digitally native brands”? What are the core benefits of owning the entire customer journey? Why does Nicole believe that brand is a key network effect today?

3.) Why does Nicole disagree that we are in a fallow period for consumer? How does Nicole analyze the incumbent heavy competitive landscape? Does Nicole believe that Amazon does more to make the market than destroy it?

4.) Why does Nicole believe we are in a consolidatory environment? What about the current ecosystem makes now the most exciting time for M&A in a long time? How does Nicole analyze M&A’s ability to move the needle with transactions like Bonobos’ acquisition?

5.) Being a star of Planet of The Apps, how important does Nicole think it is for investors to have public brands today? How does Nicole view VCs and digitally native brands in the same way? How does this mean that VCs should act in market?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nicole’s Fave Book: The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Nicole’s Fave Blog: Lean Luxe

Nicole’s Most Recent Investment: Rothy’s

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Nicole on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Semil Shah on How To Raise An Institutional Venture Fund, Why LPs Mostly Have Reserve Allocation Theory Wrong & Why IPOs and Acquisitions Are Severely Constrained

FullSizeRender 263

Semil Shah is the founder of Haystack, an early stage investment firm now investing out of it’s fourth fund, with previous investments in the likes of Instacart, DoorDash, Giphy, OpenDoor & Managed by Q. Semil is also a Venture Partner @ GGV Capital, one of the leading multi-stage funds and in the past he has also been a consultant to the likes of Kleiner Perkins, DFJ, General Catalyst and more. If that was not enough, Shah also has an extensive career in media having been a contributor for both TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review in the past. Due to all of this, Shah is known for being on the speed dial of some of the industry’s most respected VCs with the likes of Marc Andreessen naming him one of his ’55 Unknown Rockstars in Tech’.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Semil made the transition from the world of writing to investing alongside some of the best in venture with Haystack?

2.) Why do more and more managers want to introduce institutional capital into their LP base? What are the advantages? What are the drawbacks? Where does Semil see most managers going wrong when pursuing institutional capital for the first time?

3.) What does Semil mean when he states the importance of “pre-marketing”? How open is one in these pre-discussions with potential LPs? What is the right amount of time to be pre-marketing for? How does Semil determine whether to adopt a piece of LP advice and when not to?

4.) In the raising process, why does Semil never like to the use the deck when meeting in person? What core elements of the presentation did LPs always hone in on? What tips does Semil have to potential managers to ensure they can pitch at any time, not just the boardroom?

5.) How has moving from non-institutional to institutional fund, changed how Semil thinks about reserve allocation? Why does Semil believe that the majority of LPs have a wrong thesis to reserve allocation?

6.) Why does Semil believe the VC business model is severely constrained in terms of exits through IPO and acquisition? What does this mean for the use of secondaries? How will managers need to incorporate this into their strategy?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Semil’s Fave Blog: AVC 

Semil’s Most Recent Investment: Ironclad

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Semil on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Eventbrite Founder, Julia Hartz on The Lessons Learned Scaling Eventbrite to Unicorn Valuation & $3Bn in Gross Ticket Sales

FullSizeRender 258

Julia Hartz is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Eventbrite, the unicorn startup that is the world’s largest event technology platform, powering over 2 million events around the world each year. They have raised over $330m from some of the greats of industry including Roelof Botha @ Sequoia Capital, Jeff Clavier @ SoftTech, David Saks, Bebo’s Michael Birch, Tiger Global and many more. Under Julia’s leadership, she has taken Eventbrite to become the world’s largest event technology platform and has received multiple accolades for workplace culture, being named the best place to work in SF for 7 years running. Personally, Julia has won numerous awards including Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Inc’s 35 Under 35 and Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Julia came to found Eventbrite with her husband Kevin from a small apartment in Potrero Hill and turned it into the unicorn it is today?

2.) How did Julia and Kevin meet? What was the meet-cute? How did that translate into the founding of Eventbrite? How did Julia think about partnering with her fiancee at the time, as a business partner? What made it also a great business partnership?

3.) Why does Julia believe that creating a company is like creating a family? How has Julia seen herself scale as CEO of the company, with the immense scaling and growth of the firm? What have been the challenges and how did she overcome them?

4.) What does Julia believe are the requirements for successful CEO transition? How can this be managed correctly both internally and externally? What other elements made last year a particularly momentus year for change at Eventbrite?

5.) How does Julia think about balancing the immediate elements of the present day with the long-term vision for the roadmap? What is the right mindset to adopt? How does one look to prevent “Innovators Dilemma”? How does Julia split her time?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Julia’s Fave Book: Overwhelmed

Julia’s Fave Blog: The Skimm

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Julia on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Lux Capital’s Scientist-In-Residence on Why We Cannot Just Be Specialists Today, The Benefits of Interdisciplinary Thinking & Computational Creativity That Makes Man and Machine Partners with Sam Arbesman

FullSizeRender 256

Sam Arbesman is the Scientist-In-Residence @ Lux Capital, the fund that supports scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time, the more ambitious the project, the better. Sam works with companies and founders that recognize the future happens at the boundaries of science and technology infusing computation into everything from biology to manufacturing.Sam’s scientific research has been published in everything from the Wall Street Journal to The New York Times and The Atlantic. Sam is also the author of the award-winning The Half-Life of Facts and the new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sam made his move from being a best-selling author to Scientist in Residence for Lux Capital? As Scientist in Residence, what does Sam do on a day-to-day basis?

2.) What does Sam mean when he says that startups need to embrace “radical interdisciplinarity”? What really is “radical interdisciplinarity”? What are the benefits it brings to an organisation? Does this go contra the importance of specialisation?

3.) How does Sam view the partnership between man and machine? Why does Sam believe we will see computational creativity in a way never seen before? How does Sam view the societal barriers to the embracing of this partnership?

4.) How does Sam view the promise of analogizing in the face of such complex systems? How does Sam assess the perils of such analogies? Does Sam believe that VCs of today are equipped to invest in such complex systems? What must they remember?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sam’s Fave Book: The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, The Three Body Problem

Sam’s Fave Blog: Marginal Revolution

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sam on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Founders Fund’s Chief Scientist on Why AI Is Mostly A Scam, Why The Value of Large Datasets Is Mostly Overplayed & The Societal Effects of 4m Truck Drivers Being Unemployed with Aaron Vandevender

FullSizeRender 257

Aaron VanDevender is the Chief Scientist at Founders Fund, one of the world’s leading fund with investments in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Spotify and many more incredible companies. At Founders Fund, Aaron monitors the scientific impact of the portfolio, works with portfolio companies, assesses new technologies, and conducts his own research. Prior to Founders Fund, Aaron has designed single-photon and single-atom quantum computers in academia and government (NIST), advanced the quantum-mechanical theory for microscopic black holes, patented the fastest transparent optical switch, and is a co-inventor of yoctotechnology. He then developed next-generation DNA sequencing technology at Halcyon Molecular. His broad scientific interests encompass energy, biotech, nanotech, and computing.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Aaron made his way from microscopic black holes and DNA sequencing to the world of Founders Fund? What does a Scientist-In-Residence do?

2.) Why does Aaron believe that AI is mostly a scam? Where does Aaron see and then want to see further progression in the field of AI and ML? How does Aaron distinguish between crazy and genius? What are the signs?

3.) Why does Aaron believe that the value of massive datasets is largely overplayed? What characteristics of datasets are exciting for Aaron to see when evaluating an opportunity? Where and how can datasets be misleading and lose their value?

4.) How does Aaron view the societal effects of 4m truck drivers being unemployed by the rise of self-driving? How does Aaron view trucking both as goods distribution and wealth distribution networks?

5.) How does Aaron view the implementation of universal basic income? Why does Aaron believe we have a challenge decoupling wealth and virtue? To what extent is this a core problem?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Aaron’s Fave Book: Tales From The Thousand & One Arabian Nights

Aaron’s Fave Blog: Slash Dot

Investment Aaron is Most Excited By: Ayar Labs

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Aaron on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn on How CEO’s Can Scale With The Company, How VC Herd Mentality In The Valley Really Works and How Chatbots & AI Play A Role In The Future of EdTech

FullSizeRender 255

Luis Von Ahn is the Founder & CEO @ Duolingo, the leading language learning platform with over 100m users. They have backing from some of the best in the investing world with over $100m in funding from the likes of USV, Kleiner Perkins, NEA, Google Capital and even Ashton Kutcher. Prior to Duolingo, Luis is known for inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow (“genius grant” recipient), and selling two companies to Google in his 20’s. Luis has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 20 Best Brains Under 40 by Discover.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Luis, a man as he describes “never great at learning languages”, came to found the leading language learning app, Duolingo?

2.) Why do VCs generally believe Edtech to be such a “hard” space? Is that really a fair assumption? How does the role of government change the distribution and landscape of edtech? How does content creation play a pivotal role in edtech today?

3.) What role does Luis believe AI and ML will play for the future of edtech? Will the transition to bots represent a transformational shift in the interface paradigm? How does gamification and edtech integrate? Why does Luis always measure themselves against the most addictive of games?

4.) How has Luis seen himself scale and change as a leader with the scaling of the firm? What story shows an element that Luis struggled with and how did he overcome it? What were the major inflection points in the growth of the firm?

5.) Duolingo recently raised their $25m Series E, how did this round differ from prior rounds? Why did they want to negotiate down the figure they wanted to raise? How did Valley based VCs present herd mentality for the duration of the recent raise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Luis’s Fave Book: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 

Luis’ Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Luis on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Michael Dearing on 5 Key Principles He Uses To Assess Startup Founders, Why Benevolent Dictatorship Is A Beautiful Thing & Why Markets Are Better Capital Allocators Than CEOs

FullSizeRender 253

Michael Dearing has established himself as an icon of early-stage venture over the last decade. With his founding of Harrison Metal in 2006, he has backed the likes of AdMob, MoPub, Heroku, TellApart and Harry’s just to name a few of his incredible companies. Prior to being in VC, Michael spent 6 years at eBay across numerous roles and before that held positions at Shoe Warehouse as CEO, The Walt Disney Company in corporate strategy and then Bain & Co as a consultant.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the world of venture from selling shoes with Shoe Warehouse to eBay to founding his own fund?

2.) Michael has said before that he looks for “personal exceptionalism” within the teams he backs, what does that really mean? How does he distinguish brilliance from arrogance? What is the balance between vision and stubbornness?

3.) How does Michael think about price sensitivity? How does he use it as a determining factor to test his level of conviction in the deal? More broadly, how does Michael view pricing in the market today? Why are the convertible debt markets so toxic?

4.) How does Michael view strategy around reserve allocation? Why does Michael believe reserves are where he has made the biggest mistakes? What are his takeaways from those mistakes? Why does recycling not feature as a core tenet of his strategy?

5.) Why does Michael believe that “benevolent dictatorship” is a beautiful thing? Does this thesis change in the debate over founder vs company first? How does Michael use McCallum’s 5 key principles to assess founders and their ability?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Confederacy of Dunces

Michael’s Most Recent Investment: Astro

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Michael on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: What Does It Take To Raise A Venture Fund Today, An Analysis of The Explosion of Seed Financing & Why IRR No Longer Takes Centre Stage with Samir Kaji, Senior Managing Director @ First Republic Bank

FullSizeRender 254

Samir Kaji is what one might call, a master of all things seed stage and micro VC financing. Over his 18 years in venture capital, Samir has assisted or advised over 700 companies and 300 VC firms and has completed tech financing transactions totaling over $4.0 billion in committed capital. Today, Samir is the Senior Managing Director @ First Republic Bank where leads the technology banking team managing venture capital and startup company relationships. He joined First Republic in 2013 from Silicon Valley Bank, where he was also a managing director.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Samir made his entry into the world of VC from the ground up and has come to advise and assist on over $4Bn worth of capital commitments?

2.) Where is the micro VC and seed market today? What is the overview? What has fundamentally changed over the last few years? Are all increases in capital supply good or is this too much? Why is Samir concerned by valuation bloat at seed?

3.) How are LPs reacting to this explosion in seed and micro fund managers? How does this differ when assessing the differing classes of LP from institutions to HNWs and family offices? What are the likelihoods of 1st-time funds attaining institutional capital?

4.) How should potential managers think about the right fund size to raise? How long a timeline should be given to the raising of micro and seed funds? What exceptions are there to this timeline? How does the role of multiple closings play into this timeline?

5.) How does Samir differentiate between raising a fund and building a franchise? What does this mean about how a certain set of anagers not only engages in the fundraising process but also depicts the narrative?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Samir’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

Samir’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC, AVC by Fred Wilson

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Samir on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Why CEOs Must Read Less & Listen Less, What VC Funding, Shelf Space & Time Have In Common & Why CEOs Must Look After Themselves Like Athletes with Sami Inkinen, Founder @ Virta Health & Trulia

FullSizeRender 251

Sami Inkinen is the Founder & CEO @ Virta Health, the startup on a mission to reverse type 2 diabetes for 100m people by 2025. They have raised over $35m in funding from the likes of Max Levchin, Ev William’s Obvious Ventures, Paypal, Ray Tonsing @ Caffeinated Capital and previous 20VC guest, Bob Kocher @ Venrock. Previously, Sami was a co-founder, COO and President of Trulia until it’s IPO and eventual sale for $3.6B. Sami, an avid athlete, is a triathlon world champion in his age group, and recently rowed across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii unsupported with his wife at a record speed to raise awareness about healthy nutrition.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sami made his way into the world of startups, came to co-found Trulia and then realized his mission to reverse type 2 diabetes with Virta?

2.) Why does Sami disagree with conventional wisdom and say you learn “more from success than you do from failure”? What are the educational benefits of success that you do not get from failure? What did Sami learn from his Trulia journey?

3.) Why does Sami believe that CEOs should read less and listen less? What are the benefits to not empathizing extensively with the problems of the team? What operational structure must be in place for this level of management to occur?

4.) How does Sami compare VC funding to real estate mortgages? Why does Sami believe that it is always better to raise little? What is the one thing time, money and shelf-space all have in common?

5.) What does Sami mean when he says “CEOs must look after themselves like athletes”? What are Sami’s top health and nutrition tips for founders and operators with hugely busy lives?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sami’s Fave Book: Unbroken

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sami on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Key Questions Entrepreneurs Must Ask in M&A’s, Why Acquihires Come In 2 Different Categories & Why M&A Is Lumpy with Bram Sugarman, Director of Corporate Development @ Shopify

FullSizeRender 250

Bram Sugarman is the Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Shopify, the e-commerce titan that has over 500 merchants in 150 countries on their platform. Prior to joining Shopify, Bram was a venture capitalist with OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of one the largest pension funds in the world. As a VC, Bram worked on more than 20 transactions helping the OMERS Ventures grow from 1 investment to 24 investments. Bram helped lead and manage OMERS Ventures’ investments in Shopify (IPO), HootSuite, VidYard, PasswordBox (Acquired by Intel), BusBud, Hopper, League, and AppHero (Acquired by Fuse Powered).

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bram made his way into the world of VC and then jumped to the other side of the table, buying startups with Shopify?

2.) What does using corporate development as a platform to accelerate product roadmap mean? How does this mean it differentiates from traditional M&A? How does Bram work with product team in the M&A process? What are the benefits of doing this?

3.) How does Bram assess the attractiveness of acquihires? What are the 2 differing types of acquihires? What are the essential characteristics of the individuals in those acquihire situations?

4.) With integration being the biggest risk of M&A, what does the ideal post-acquisition process look like? What must be done on both the side of the startup and the acquiror to make the process as smooth as possible?

5.) With regards to pricing and valuation, why does Bram urge founders to consider the long term and what does that mean? How can founders determine the truth with regards to long term objectives of their acquiror?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Bram’s Fave Book: Einstein by Walter Isaacson

Bram’s Most Recent Acquisition: Oberlo

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Bram on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: 3 Things Acquirers Look For In Startup M&A’s, How To Price A Startup Acquisition & The Biggest Risk of M&A with Matt Switzer, SVP of Corporate Development @ Hootsuite

FullSizeRender 248

Matt Switzer is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development @ Hootsuite, the social media management platform that has raised venture funding from some of the best in the world including Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Fidelity. At HootSuite, Matt and his team have raised over $250m in funding, acquired 8 companies and launched 4 new products. Prior to Hootsuite, Matt was on the other side of the table as a VC, where he helped to establish a new fund and manage an incubator.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his way into the world of VC and then decided to jump to the other side of the table as acquirer with Hootsuite?

2.) What is the build, buy or partner thinking process? When analysing markets, what does that deep dive and examination look like and entail? How does Hootsuite identify and select startups within the identified markets?

3.) How does Hootsuite most like to interact with startups in pipe? What does the relationship building look like? What platforms and tools are used to monitor those relationships post initial meeting?

4.) What does the internal conviction building process look like around a potential deal? What is the traditional structure of such a deal? How does Matt assess price sensitivity and it’s ties to product market fit achieved by the startup?

5.) From the other side of the table, when should startups look to be building their M&A pipe? In conversations with potential acquirers, what are the foundations for them to remember? What role do VCs play and value do they provide in these conversations?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matt’s Fave Book: Red Notice

Matt’s Fave Blog: Tom Tunguz

Matt’s Most Recent Acquisition: AdEspresso 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Matt on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: If You Do Not Like VCs, You Have Not Worked With a Good One, How Andreesen Have Added The Same Level of Value As A Co-Founder, Why Market Is The First Thing To Consider When Angel Investing & Why Series A Is A Hiring Decision with Roger Dickey, Founder @ Gigster

FullSizeRender 247

Roger Dickey is the Founder & CEO @ Gigster, the smart development service combining top developers and designers with artificial intelligence. They have raised over $30m in funding from the likes of a16z, Redpoint, Marc Benioff, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Jordan and then previous guests Rick Marini and Felicis Ventures. Prior to Gigster, Roger founded Mafia Wars, where he built the business to $1Bn in revenues and 100m users. Roger is also a prolific angel investor and LP in venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Docker, ClassDojo and Addepar, just to name a few. If that was not enough Roger is also an advisor to 8VC, Lemnos Labs and OpenDoor.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Roger made his way from founding Mafia Wars to changing the world of software development with Gigster?

2.) Roger has said before “if you dislike VCs, you have never worked with a good one”. So what makes a truly great VC to Roger? What does Roger believe are the core components VCs can add to a company? How should founders view investors when investing in them?

3.) Following Roger’s discussion with Mike Vernal, Partner @ Sequoia, why does Roger believe that the Series A is a hiring decision? How does this change how founders should think about the A round & present themselves throughout the round?

4.) Why does Roger think it is important for startup founders to invest in other startups? What benefits does this bring to you and your own company? How does Roger prioritize, time-wise between LP, GP and founder?

5.) When angel investing, Roger admits that he takes the “market first” approach. Why is this? How does Roger assess the element of market creation? How does Roger look to balance between founder first vs company first?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Roger’s Fave Book: On Intelligence

Roger’s Fave Blog: Elad Gil

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Roger on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Why VCs Have Forgotten Their Job To Invest In Entrepreneurs not Technologists, How To Know When Growth Creates Value and When It Destroys It & How To Bootstrap Learning Most People Acquire Over Decades with 8VC Founding Partner, Drew Oetting

FullSizeRender 246

Drew Oetting is a Founding Partner @ 8VC, one of Silicon Valley’s youngest and most exciting new entrants to the VC market with $425m for their debut fund. In just a few years they have built a portfolio including the likes of Oculus, RelateIQ, previous guest Elad Gil & Color, recent guest Mario @ Oscar and many more incredible companies. As for Drew, previously he served as Chief of Staff to fellow 8VC Founding Partner, Joe Lonsdale and was a two-time Bill Gates Investment Asset Management Fellow. Drew is also an advisor to Living On One, Rubicon Global and is a Founding Board Director @ Affinity Technologies.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Drew made his way from Joe Lonsdale’s Chief of Staff to Founding Partner @ 8VC?

2.) Why does Drew believe the way we think of VC today will change? How does the extended period of privatization affect the role of the VC and their relationship to the founder vs the company?

3.) Why does Drew believe that funds make big mistakes in the internal setup of their operation? Why do funds not do a good job of developing talent? What are the problems of funds being internally competitive with deal by deal carry etc?

4.) As a Founding Partner of a $425m fund at 26, what were the challenges of having such a position, earlier than usual? How did Drew overcome them? What advice would Drew give to young people who want an accelerated career path?

5.) Why does Drew believe that “VCs have forgotten their job is to invest in entrepreneurs NOT technologists”? How does Drew determine whether someone has the ability to bridge both technologist and entrepreneur?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Drew’s Fave Book: Barbarians At The Gate, Fooled By Randomness

Drew’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Axios

As always you can follow Harry & The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Benchmark’s Eric Vishria on Why Career VCs Have Advantages Most Under Appreciate, Why We Are In An Infrastructure Renaissance & What Makes The Best VC Partnership

FullSizeRender (14)

Eric Vishria is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the world’s leading VC funds with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, eBay, WeWork, Yelp and many more revolutionary companies of the last decade. At Benchmark, Eric has led deals and sits on the board of the likes of Confluent, Amplitude, and Bugsnag. Prior to being in VC, Eric was the Founder & CEO @ Rockmelt, the startup that sought to re-imagine the browser for the way people use the web today, the company was ultimately acquired by Yahoo in 2013. Prior to Rockmelt Eric held numerous different roles including VP of Products @ HP and VP of Marketing @ Opsware.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eric came to be one of the 5 GP’s at Benchmark following operational success with Rockmelt, HP and Opsware?

2.) Why does Eric believe the pendulum has swung too far to the operational route into VC? What are the under-appreciated benefits of career VCs and the perspective they bring? How does Eric expect the pendulum to swing in the coming years?

3.) What makes the best-performing venture partnerships? How does Benchmark think about partner composition and career pre-VC? How does Benchmark structure investment decision-making? Why do they favor advocacy over unanimity?

4.) What does Eric mean when he says we are at the beginning of an infrastructure renaissance? What opportunities does this create in the venture landscape? How does this lead Eric to consider the current state of the consumer landscape?

5.) How does Eric view multi-stage investing? Why does Eric and Benchmark favour stage specifity when it comes to investing? What are the dangers of larger stage funds investing in earlier rounds for optionality?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage To The Antarctic

Eric’s Most Recent Investment: Confluent 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Eric on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Raising Over $700m From The World’s Best Investors, How To Innovate In Highly Regulated Markets & The 3 Superpowers of Insurance Companies with Mario Schlosser, Founder & CEO @ Oscar

FullSizeRender 242

Mario Schlosser is the Founder & CEO @ Oscar, the startup that makes health insurance easy. They have raised over $700m in funding from some of the world’s best investors including the likes of Founders Fund, Google Capital, Thrive Capital, Lakestar, Khosla Ventures and Jim Breyer just to name a few. Previously, Mario co-founded the largest social gaming company in Latin America and held roles with the likes of Bridgewater Associates and McKinsey. Fun fact, as a visiting scholar at Stanford University, Mario wrote 10 computer science publications, including one of the most-cited computer science papers published in the past decade.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mario made his way into the world of healthcare and Oscar from founding Latin America’s largest social gaming company?

2.) Why is insurance one of the most complex spaces in tech? Why is there a chance for companies, not governments, to cut costs and innovate on the current system? Does Mario agree with Brian Singerman, “once we go to a single player, innovation ends”, thesis?

3.) Oscar has raised over $700m, to what extent does Mario believe that too high a valuation can be a liability? How did Mario look to select his investors? What are the challenges of raising funds for a category-defining opportunity?

4.) Oscar now has over 600 in the team, where have been the inflection points in the scaling of the company? Where have things broken? How does Mario look to rectify and observe these inflection points ahead of time?

5.) How does Mario look to optimise team composition? How does he look to balance athletes with heavy domain experts? Does Mario believe that too much domain expertise can prevent innovation due to a lack of naivety?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mario’s Fave Book: Herr Lehmann

Mario’s Fave Blog: Spiegel

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mario on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Why Core AI Is Largely A Bunch of Nifty Tricks, Why Consumer Electronics Is The Hardest Thing To Do In Venture & Why Silicon Valley Will Dominate The Future of Robotics with Jeremy Conrad, Partner @ Lemnos Labs

FullSizeRender 243

Jeremy Conrad is a Partner @ Lemnos Labs, the fund that believes in the earliest stages of building hardware, every dollar counts, every hour matters and every decision is crucial to success or failure. Consequently, Lemnos invests in pre-seed and seed hardware startups encountering these very real challenges. Among their portfolio is the likes of previous guest Swift Navigation and Airware, just to name a few. As for Jeremy, prior to VC he was in the United States Airforce where he was in charge of an $80m tests and targets group and was also responsible for the BMC4I system of the Airborne Laser (ABL).

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeremy made his way from the United States Airforce to investing in the next generation of great hardware founders with Lemnos?

2.) Why does Jeremy believe that now is the time for robotics? What megatrends mean now is the right time? Why does Jeremy believe that core AI today is largely a bunch of nifty tricks?

3.) Why does Jeremy believe that Silicon Valley will dominate the future of robotics? What characteristics does the valley have that mean this is the case? What is the dirty secret of Silicon Valley?

4.) How does Jeremy view the funding environments for hardware? Where is there constrictions of capital for hardware startups? What must hardware founders have in place in order to raise a Series B?

5.) Why does Jeremy believe that consumer electronics is the hardest space for venture today? With the likes of Juicero and Pearl, is consumer still possible today? Are the likes of GoPro and FitBit merely anomalies in the dataset?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeremy’s Fave Book: The Better Angels of Our Nature 

Jeremy’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Pro Rata

Jeremy’s Most Recent Investment: Marble

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jeremy on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Index’s Mike Volpi on Making The Move From Player To Coach, What It Takes To Build Generation Defining Brands & How Europe Really Stacks Up To The US Venture Market

FullSizeRender 244

Mike Volpi is a General Partner @ Index Ventures, one of the world’s leading venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Slack, Supercell and Deliveroo just to name a few. Mike currently sits on the boards of prior guests, Cockroach Labs and Wealthfront, as well as Blue Bottle Coffee, Sonos and Zuora just to name a few. Prior to Index, Mike was a director @ Cloud.com (acq by Citrix) and StorSimple (acq by Microsoft). Before that, Mike held a number of executive positions including Chief Strategy Officer at Cisco. He also serves on the board of Fiat Chrysler Automotive.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his transition from operator and M&A exec to General Partner @ Index and opening their West Coast Office?

2.) Question from Dave Morin @ Slow: How did Mike’s childhood in Italy and Japan affect how he views and interacts with entrepreneurs today? Question from Danny Rimer: How has Mike found the transition from player to coach with the move to VC?

3.) Question from Andy Rachleff: Having seen both the US and European venture markets, how do they compare? Why does Mike think being an entrepreneur in Europe is far more solitary? What does it take to create a VC brand, like Index in an already very crowded West Coast market?

4.) Having had a front-row seat for the brand building of the likes of Sonos, Blue Bottle and Eero, what does Mike believe are the core tenets to building generation-defining brands? How has this changed over the last 5-10 years?

5.) Does Mike agree with Rob Siegel that the enterprise market is now less exciting given we might be entering a period of consolidation? Why does Mike believe this actually represents opportunity? How will we see open source play a role in the next wave of these enterprise companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Undaunted Courage 

Mike’s Fave Blog: The Information

Mike’s Most Recent Investment: Eero

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mike on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Litecoin Founder, Charlie Lee on Why ICO’s Are The Biggest Threat To Crypto, Why Ethereum Will Run Into Huge Scalability Problems & How To Assess The Trade Off Between Decentralisation & Scale

FullSizeRender 238

Charlie Lee is the creator of Litecoin, the most popular alternative currency to Bitcoin, which Charlie created as a side project in 2011 while working at Google. Today Litecoin has a market cap of $3.29Bn. As well as creating Litecoin, Charlie has also been the Director of Engineering @ Coinbase, working alongside recent 20VC guest and Coinbase founder, Brian Armstrong. Prior to this, Charlie held roles at Microsoft, Google and Guidewire.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Charlie made his way from Google to Coinbase to founding Litecoin in his free time? What were Charlie’s biggest takeaways from being at Coinbase?

2.) What does Charlie believe is the biggest barrier to the world of cryptocurrency and BTC? What is the holy grail to securing this and the future of the space within mass consumer usage?

3.) How does Charlie think about the largest problem for crypto and BTC, scaling? Why does Charlie believe that Ethereum will have large problems scaling? How does Charlie assess the balance of centralization, scaling and transaction efficiency?

4.) Why is Charlie’s biggest concern the current ICO market? Why does he believe it is the “wild west”? What happens to alternative currencies when the ICO market crashes? Who are the ultimate winners in the ICO markets?

5.) How does Charlie analyse the differing communities when comparing ETH to BTC to LTC? Does community serve as a core form of IP for currencies and their stability moving forward?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Charlie’s Fave Book: Game of Thrones

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Charlie on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Why VC Is A Lifestyle Not A Job, Why You Must Do Post-mortems On Good and Bad Deals & Why Society Is On A Downgrade with Kathleen Utecht, Managing Partner @ Core Innovation Capital

FullSizeRender 240

Kathleen Utecht is a General Partner @ Core Innovation Capital, I would say one of the most under the radar but immensely exciting funds in market and they are looking to revolutionize financial services with their portfolio. With their portfolio are the likes of NerdWallet, PayJoy, fundera and Mayvenn just to name a few. Prior to Core, Kat was an investor at Comcast Ventures and WVP Ventures. Prior to her venture roles, Kath invested in and led Green Rock Entertainment, an online/offline commerce startup. Before that, Kat cut her teeth in the world of finance working as an investment banker at Raymond James.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kat made her way from car entrepreneur dreams to operator to now, General Partner @ Core?

2.) Why does Kat believe that “society is on a downgrade”? Does Kat agree with the Thiel thesis of “we expected flying cars and were given 140 characters”? Where does Kat most want to see entrepreneurs spending their time and skills?

3.) How does Kat view regulation with regards to startup operations and expansion? Why does Kat believe that “sector specific funds should be in every highly regulated deal”? What are the core benefits? How can VCs really aid with regulation?

4.) Kat has previously said that “VC is a lifestyle not a job”, what does Kat mean by this? How does this mean VCs should behave with regards to founder interactions and communications? How can entrepreneurs stress test whether a VC has this belief?

5.) How does Kat view the process of losing companies? What does her post mortem analysis look like? Why does Kat believe that if you do not lose companies, you are not taking enough risk?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kat’s Fave Book: Atlas Shrugged

Kat’s Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Kat on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: USV’s Andy Weissman on The Future of The VC Industry, Why USV Does Not Vote On Investment Decisions & Why VCs Should Be Invisible

FullSizeRender 241

Andy Weissman is a Partner @ Union Square Ventures, one of the world’s leading VC firms with investments in Twitter, Twilio, Zynga, Soundcloud, Tumblr, Lending Club and many more. At USV, Andy sits on the boards of YouNow, ScienceExchange, Figure 1 and previous guest, CircleUp. Prior to joining USV, in 2007 he co-founded betaworks, which both created and invested in social, real-time applications and services. You can also check out Andy’s fantastic blog here.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made his way into the world of startups and investing, came to found Betaworks and then made the move to USV?

2.) Andy has previously said the business “is more about luck than skill and process rather than foresight”. Why does Andy place so much emphasis on process? How has Andy seen his process evolve over the years? How does the process of an individual balance with the process of the firm?

3.) Why does USV not agree with voting as a method of investment decision making? How do Andy and USV approach reserve allocation? What model and simulators do they use to determine which companies receive follow on funding?

4.) Why does Andy believe that recycling cash from early exits is good for everyone? How has Andy found that LPs respond to this? What is the balance? What is the right amount for recycling, 110%, 120% or 130%?

5.) How does Andy view price sensitivity? To what extent does Andy agree with Peter Fenton that “valuation is a mental trap”? Has there been a time when Andy has lost a deal due to price? How has that changed his psyche and approach to the topic?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andy’s Fave Book: On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Andy’s Fave Blog: Phish.net, Continuations, Radio Free Mobile

Andy’s Most Recent Investment: Flip

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Andy on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: How To Run The Perfect Fundraising Process, Why Time Kills All Deals & Why You Have To Get VCs Out Of The Board Room with Wayne Chang, Serial Entrepreneur & Angel Investor

FullSizeRender 236

Wayne Chang is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. His latest company, Crashlytics, was acquired by Twitter in a 9-figure acquisition, its largest acquisition at the time. 5 years later, Crashlytics was acquired again, this time by Google. Wayne is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio that includes the likes of OpenDoor, SoFi, Gusto, JetSmarter and Planet Labs just to name a few. If that was not enough, Wayne is also a limited partner in several prominent funds including the likes of 137 Ventures, Baseline Ventures, and Boston Seed Capital.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Wayne make his way into the world of founding tech companies and what was the founding story with Crashlytics?

2.) Why does Wayne believe that one of the first hires founders must make is a recruiter? What are the benefits of having this as a dedicated function so early? What must founders look for in these early recruiter hires?

3.) Why does Wayne believe that with regards to VC, you “must avoid the board room”? What is a better environment to interact and pitch? How can early stage startups look to stand out in the rather process driven pitching game?

4.) What is the optimal way for founders to be put in touch with VCs? Should founders speak to associates in the fundraising days? Why does Wayne believe the power of the warm intro is lopsided?

5.) How can founders look to create a sense of urgency within the VC community when raising and closing their round? How can founders look to create a sense of FOMO within the investor class they are pitching? Should they name other funds they are seeing?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Wayne’s Fave Book: Enders Game

Wayne’s Fave Blog: Hacker News

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Wayne on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: Why Investors Have The Biggest Problem with Bias, Why Our Job Is To Maximise Risk & Why It Is Essential To Get Good at Losing with True Ventures Founder, Jon Callaghan

FullSizeRender 235

Jon Callaghan is a founder of True Ventures, one of the West Coast’s leading early stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit, recent unicorn Peloton, Automattic (makers of WordPress) and more amazing companies. Jon also led the deals and sits on the board of Fitbit, Brightroll, Peloton and Glu Mobile, just to name a few. Prior to True, Jon founded 3 of his own companies, the first being in 1986 with Mountain Bike Outfitters Inc. Following several years founding companies, Jon made his move into VC with Summit Partners and then enjoyed roles with AOL’s venture incubator, CMGi’s Venture group and Globespan Capital.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jon made his first forays into the world of VC and came to co-found True with Phil Black?

2.) How does Jon look to straddle the divide of “founder/VC”? Why does Jon believe it is crucial to have an entrepreneurial mindset as an investor?

3.) Why does Jon believe VCs biggest bias is loss aversion? Why does Jon always believe that the role of the VC is to maximise risk? What 1 thing must all prospective investors get good at very quickly?

4.) How does Jon view reserve allocation? True invest -1% per deal in each company, how do they look to efficiently deploy reserves? What must the communication be between founder and VC with regards to attaining follow on funding?

5.) Why does Jon believe that current board meetings do not serve startup founders? What are the characteristics of the best board members and how they conduct themselves? What is the single biggest problem boards bring to founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jon’s Fave Book: Moby Dick

Jon’s Fave Blog: Dave Pell: NextDraft

Jon’s Most Recent Investment: Brava

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jon on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: True Ventures Founder, Phil Black on 4 Major Risk Categories for Startups, Why The Funding Gap Is At The “Rational B” Round & Why VCs Must Start Small But Think Big

FullSizeRender 234

Phil Black is a founder of True Ventures, one of the West Coast’s leading early stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit, recent unicorn Peloton, Automattic (makers of WordPress) and more amazing companies. Prior to True, Phil learnt the craft of venture at Summit Partners and at the predecessor firm to Lightspeed Venture Partners. However, it was in 2003 that Phil co-founded a small angel fund, Blacksmith Capital with the mission to prove his thesis that great founders of early stage technology companies can and often prefer to start their businesses and get a lot of traction with $2.5 million or less of initial funding.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Phil made is first forays into the world of VC and his big learnings in the early days of cutting his teeth in the industry?

2.) What were the big takeaways for Phil from experiencing the massive dot com boom days to experiencing the very lowest of funding environments? How did that affect his investment mindset? How does that affect his view of startup raising?

3.) What does Phil consider the 4 major risk categories for startups? What combination of risk categories mean a successful outcome is more possible? Which combination mean that Phil would likely not invest in the company?

4.) How should startups determine the “right” amount to raise for? How does Phil assess optimising runway and evaluating burn? What does Phil make of the hailed “bridge round”? WHy does Phil believe lean is always best?

5.) With considerable funds AUM how does sharing in sub $2.5m rounds provide sufficient levels of ownership to ake fund returns? What is True’s required level of ownership? How does Phil assess reserve allocation and pro rata rights?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Phil’s Fave Blog: Om Malik, Dan Primack: Axios

Phil’s Most Recent Investment: Orecco

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Phil on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: What Is The Big Lie To Silicon Valley, Why Silicon Valley Is No Longer Optimised For Deep Tech Investing & Why AI Will Lead To More Business Model Innovation Than Technology Innovation with Tim Harris, Founder & CEO @ Swift Navigation

FullSizeRender 231

Tim Harris is the Founder & CEO @ Swift Navigation, the startup focused on building a world-class organization that will power the next generation of GPS-enabled robots and autonomous vehicles. They have raised over $45m in VC funding from some of our favourites including the likes of First Round, Felicis, Lemnos Labs and NEA. As for Tim, prior to Swift Tim held numerous roles from supply chain consulting to corporate finance encapsulating strategic partnerships and M&A.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tim made his way from supply chain consulting to providing navigation for an automated future with Swift?

2.) Why does Tim believe that Silicon Valley is no longer optimised for deep tech creation and investing? Why does Tim believe we have seen the transition in Silicon Valley from technology innovation to business model innovation? Is this a problem?

3.) Tim has said before “there is a big lie to Silicon Valley”, what is that lie? How does Tim assess unit economics with regards to deep tech businesses? How does he look to evaluate the viability of a deep tech business model? What are the core components?

4.) From the VC perspective, does Tim believe deep tech is an attractive investment opportunity for the current investor class? How does Tim respond to the longer exit cycles and higher capital intensity of deep tech? Does this create inherently frothy environments for valuations given the dilutive element?

5.) How does Tim view the working together of incumbents and deep tech startups? Is this an environment of consolidation, partnership or over arching disruption? What are the core questions founders must ask when considering a partnership?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Tim’s Fave Book: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Tim’s Fave Blog: First Round Review

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: Why AI Is More Artificial Than Intelligent, Why Engineering-centric Founders Are Able To Pivot Best & Why Startups Are Like Games with Alina Cohen, General Partner @ Initialized Capital

FullSizeRender 232

Alina Cohen is a General Partner @ Initialized Capital, one of Silicon Valleys leading early stage seed funds. Their portfolio includes the likes of recent unicorn, Coinbase, Flexport, Cruise Automation, OpenDoor and many more incredible companies. As for Alina, prior to Initialized, she ran tech investments for Tamares Group, the first outside investor in Palantir, and previously founded Recrec, a computer vision startup which was acquired by Facebook, where she worked on Platform and Groups. You can also check out Alina’s voice controlled Arduino/Raspberry Pi here.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alina made her way from selling her computer vision startup to Facebook to GP with one of SF’s best new seed funds, Initialized?

2.) Why does Alina think gaming is so similar to start-ups? What core components are the same? What about gaming led Alina to realise there were secrets to the world of starting companies and growing startups in Silicon Valley?

3.) Why is Alina so focused on engineering-centric founders? Why does Alina feel they are the most attractive investment opportunities? Why are they the founder profile that deals best when pivots have to be made?

4.) Why does Alina think that AI is more artificial than intelligent today? If ML is a “leveraged play on data”, where are the opportunities for startups with such data incumbency? Does AI just help the big get bigger?

5.) Why is Alina so bullish on the future of personal voice computing? What does Alina think will be the catalyst to consumer adoption? What are the compelling consumer applications with voice? Why does this remind her of the early FB platform days?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alina’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem

Alina’s Most Recent Investment: Fly.io

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Alina on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: The First ICO Blockchain Incubator Ever, Why ICO’s Will Change The World of Venture As We Know It & How The M&A Market Will Respond To ICO’s with Mike, Jones, Co-Founder @ Science Inc

FullSizeRender 230

Mike Jones is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Science Inc, one of America’s most successful incubators with an incredible 3 Science Inc portfolio companies exiting in 2016 alone with the sales of Dollar Shave Club, Hello Society (acquired by NYT) and Famebit (acquired by Google). Science continue to push the frontier of tech with their recent announcement of Science Blockchain, the first ICO blockchain incubator ever, with the ICO pre-sale starting in just 13 days from now. Prior to Science, Mike was the CEO @ MySpace, where he was responsible for one of the most high-profile turn-around challenges in the industry.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his way from MySpace CEO to founding one of the nation’s most successful startup incubators?

2.) Firstly, what is a token in the world of crypto? How does securitized and utility tokens differ? Why does Mike believe the current state of utility tokens is reminiscent of the early days of domain names?

3.) What are the core barriers to traditional investors transferring assets on mass into crypto? What will be the catalyst causing this asset allocation shift in the future? What needs to happen to crypto for it to be attractive for traditionals?

4.) How have we seen the M&A market respond to tokenization? How can we as an ecosystem look to build a framework and structure that allows for a healthy M&A environment?

5.) With so many ICOs occurring today, what will be the determining factors between those that succeed and those that do not? How can individuals from around the world look to assess potential ICO’s?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mike on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: Nuzzel’s Jonathan Abrams on Why The Top VCs Do Not Have A PlayBook For Startup Success, Why Most Boards Are Not Successful & Why He Is Bored Of Hearing “I Fell Into VC”

FullSizeRender 228

Jonathan Abrams is the Founder and CEO @ Nuzzel, the startup that offers personalised news discovery and curated newsletters for busy professionals. They have backing from some of the investing greats including Marc Andreesen, Naval Ravikant, Homebrew, SoftTech and Lowercase just to name a few. Prior to Nuzzel, Jonathan was the Founder of early social media machine, Friendster attaining funding from Benchmark, Kleiner and Reid Hoffman. Jonathan is also a prolific angel investor counting AngelList, Docker, Front, Instacart, and Slideshare amongst his portfolio.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jonathan made his way into the world of startups and came to found Nuzzel?

2.) Why does Jonathan dislike it when he hears that a VC “fell into the industry”? Why does that not resonate with entrepreneurs? How can it be better phrased to align with operationally minded people?

3.) Why is Jonathan tired of hearing the word conviction from investors? Why does it not make sense to say you invest with conviction? How would Jonathan like to see the use of data to prove conviction-driven (high ownership) is optimal for fund returns?

4.) Does Jonathan believe there are too many seed funds in market today? Why does he believe we have seen a reduction in the numder of $’s going into seed companies? Does Jonathan believe the future is thematic for seed funds?

5.) Why does Jonathan believe the majority of boards “are just not very successful”? What does Jonathan believe makes a great board member? Likewise, what can entrepreneurs do to most effectively manage their board? Why do we need more operational people on boards?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jonathan’s Fave Book: Beggars in Spain by Nanacy Kress

Jonathan’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jonathan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: What Are The Big Questions Entrepreneurs & VCs Must Ask Corporate VCs, Why Corporate VCs Are Not Your Best Lead For Series A & Why The “You Have To Network Your Way To Us’ Is Wrong with Allison Goldberg, Managing Director @ Time Warner Investments

FullSizeRender 229

Allison Goldberg is a Managing Director & Senior Vice President @ Time Warner Investments, focusing on investment opportunities that directly enhance Time Warner’s ability to meet specific strategic goals. Their portfolio consists of the likes of Mashable, Discord, Admeld (acq by Google) and Mic just to name a few. Allison also directly sits on the boards of Outpost Games, Yieldmo, Bustle and Mic. Prior to Time Warner, Allison cut her teeth in the finance industry with a stint at Morgan Stanley.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Allison made her way from investment banking with Morgan Stanley to running the investment arm of Time Warner?

2.) How has Allison seen the world of corporate VC change over the last 16 years? How has Allison seen the VC perception of corporate VC change over the years? Do corporates still get the preference rights they once received?

3.) What are the big questions entrepreneurs must ask corporate VCs when entering into discussions with them? What are the big red flags entrepreneurs should look for in their dialogue? What line of conversation should give the entrepreneur confidence?

4.) Is there a signalling risk for startups of having corporate investors rather than Tier 1 VCs? How can this signalling risk be mitigated? Why does Allison not think corporates make for good Series A lead investors?

5.) How does Allison view fund structures for corporates? How does the lack of fund end affect how corporates can invest long term? How does it affect their time allocation without needing to raise future funds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Allison’s Fave Book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

Allison’s Fave Blog: NextDraft

Allison’s Most Recent Investment: Mic

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Allison on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: YC’s Daniel Gross on How YC Can Democratise AI & Reduce Incumbency Advantages& Why ML Enabled Software Will Eat The Software That Ate The World

FullSizeRender 227

Daniel Gross is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. At Y Combinator Daniel heads up all things YC AI having been a Director @ Apple where he focused on machine learning, as a result of his prior company, Cue (also a YC company) being acquired by Apple in 2013. If that was not enough, Daniel also has one of the valley’s most impressive angel portfolios with investments in OpenDoor, Cruise (acquired by GM), Gusto and Github, just to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way from YC founder to being acquired by Apple to being YC partner?

2.) How does Daniel respond to the statement that “AI, is in part, a scam”? Why does Daniel believe that the impact of AI has not lived up to the hype?

3.) What are the 3 economies of scale that you have with machine learning when you are a large company? What can startups do to mitigate these incumbency advantages? What does Daniel mean when he says it is his job to “democratize AI”?

4.) Does Daniel believe we will see the rise of “AI companies” or machine learning as a sustaining innovation that existing incumbents use? What is Daniel fearful of with regards to this?

5.) How does Daniel view the potential for business models to be built around AI? Daniel has said “machine learning software will eat the software that has eaten the world”. What does he mean by this? How does this play out?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book: Enders Game, High Output Management, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Daniel’s Fave Blog: Slate Star Codex

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Rippling

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Daniel on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: What Larry Paige, Mary Meeker and Ben Horowitz All Have In Common, Why You Have To Build A Movement Not A Brand & Why This Really Is A Great Time To Be An Entrepreneur with Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder @ Allbirds

FullSizeRender 226

Joseph Zwillinger is the Founder @ Allbirds, the startup that makes the world’s most comfortable shoes check this out, made out of wool. They have funding from the likes of Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Slow Ventures and an army of loyal fans that includes Larry Paige, Ben Horowitz, Mary Meeker and Dick Costolo. Prior to co-founding Allbirds, Joey enjoyed a range of careers from investment banking with Goldman Sachs to venture capital with Industry Ventures to working at next generation food and nutrition company, TerraVia.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Joey made his way from investment banker to venture capitalist to Founder @ Allbirds, Silicon Valley’s hottest brand?

2.) How does Joey view the core tenets to creating a successful brand? Why must brands today go further to more of a movement? How can companies look to create movements within their customer base?

3.) How does Joey assess the effects of Amazon on retail? How does Joey evaluate the economic ramifications of Amazon’s flea market approach on the brands behind the products? Why does Joey want Allbirds to stay far away from Amazon?

4.) How does Joey look to prioritize what he and Allbirds focus on? What is the one core metric that guides all their decisions and behavior? How is this applicable to every company of all stage and sector?

5.) Why does Joey think that not enough VCs are people orientated? How does Josh assess the VC class of today? What does he look for when deciding which investors to choose?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Joey’s Fave Book: Man’s Search For Meaning

Joey’s Fave Blog: First Round Review, Dan Primack

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: How To Design Investment Decision Making That Allows For Outliers, Why Personal Voice Computing Is The Next Big Platform & The Challenges That Could Prevent It with David Beisel, Founding Partner @ NextView Ventures

FullSizeRender 225

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, one of the East Coast’s leading early stage funds with their recent $50m seed fund being announced just this month. David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of early stage venture and came to co-found NextView?

2.) How did Nextview design an investment decision-making process that allows for outliers to get through? How does this change with the decision for follow on investment?

3.) Why should firms write investment memos for every investment, regardless of stage and sector? How can firms implement a voting process that is both rigourous yet innovative?

4.) Why is David so excited by the voice computing space? With incumbents like Google and Amazon dominating, where is the opportunity for startups to play? Why does David believe that voice is the most natural user interface possible?

5.) Why does David believe distribution is one of the biggest challenges facing startups today? What does David look for in founders that suggest inherent knowledge of marketing and distribution prowess?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Look Homeward, Angel

David’s Fave Blog: Gotham Voices, Hearing Voices

David’s Most Recent Investment: Skyways

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: Jason Calacanis on The 4 Questions Investors Must Ask Founders, Whether YC Have Scaled Their Process Successfully & Why Early Founder Liquidity Is Good Not Bad

FullSizeRender 224

Jason Calacanis is arguably one of the world’s greatest angel investors, as he says he has “got lucky” 7 times and counting with a portfolio that includes the likes of Uber, Thumbtack, Evernote, Tumblr and more incredible companies. Jason has also previously been a scout for Sequoia Capital, where he made the original Uber investment. On the operational side, Jason was previously a Sequoia Founder with Weblogs, sold to AOL for a reported $25-40m. Today he is the Host of This Week In Startups and Founder of The Launch Festival, bringing entrepreneurs together with potential investors. You can buy his fantastic new book, Angel here!

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jason make his move into the world of angel investing? Why was now the right time to write, Angel?

2.) What does Jason believe are the 4 questions investors must ask founders? What response to those questions excited Jason to hear? What responses make him nervous?

3.) Why does Jason believe that founders having the option for early liquidity is good? Why does he believe it does the opposite of what VCs think and actually makes them continue to work? What are the dangers of offering early liquidity to those founders?

4.) Why does Jason believe that companies are always bought and not sold? Does VC access to corporate development teams then become a futile exercise?

5.) How does Jason view the scaling of Y Combinator? How does Jason evaluate the valuations placed on YC companies? Why does Jason believe that progressive term sheets are ridiculous?

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jason on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: Why Not Every Element of A Scalable Business Has To Scale, Why You Should Be Bearish on Retail & Why Fewer Businesses Are Getting Started Today Since The Great Depression with Brad Hargreaves, Founder & CEO @ Common

FullSizeRender (13)

Brad Hargreaves is the Founder & CEO @ Common, the startup that provides shared housing for those that live in common. They have raised over $20m in VC funding from some of our very favorites including the likes of Maveron, Slow Ventures, Lowercase Capital, 8VC and Brendan Wallace @ Fifth Wall. Prior to Common, Brad was the Founder of General Assembly, the global school for tech, business, and design which has, to date, raised over $140m and has locations across 4 continents.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brad made his way into the world of tech, came to found General Assembly and then made his move into the world of real estate with Common?

2.) Why have we seen the price of real estate in core urban areas hit an all time high today? How does Brad think this will affect the future of malls?

3.) Why does Brad think that in a scalable business not every element has to scale? What does he mean by this? What proportion of elements have to scale? What are the inflection points in scaling that suggest potential for venture returns?

4.) How does Brad think about the secondary affects of AVs? Which areas does Brad think have the most potential for innovation? How does Brad think about the negative externalities of AV’s? What can be done to mitigate their effects?

5.) Why does Brad think that occupational licensing is one of the biggest barriers to economic growth in the US? What reform can be made to enhance this and allow for growth?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brad’s Fave Book: The Lever of Riches

Brad’s Fave Blog: Kim Mai Cutler, Fifth Wall Newsletter, Steven Smith

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Brad on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: The 7 Requirements For Startup Scaling, Why VCs Must Approach Every Conversation with A Yes Mentality & Why We Will See The Humanisation of Technology with Renata Quintini, Partner @ Lux Capital

FullSizeRender 223

Renata Quintini is a Partner @ Lux Capital, one of the leaders in the rise of deep tech investing supporting scientists and entrepreneurs providing solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time, the more ambitious the project, the better. Before Lux, Renata was a partner at Felicis Ventures, where she worked with the likes of Cruise, Dollar Shave Club, Rigetti Computing and Bonobos, just to name a few. Prior to VC, Renata was an investment manager at Stanford University’s endowment, which invests in dozens of private equity and venture capital funds.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Renata made her way from LP in venture with Stanford University to dominating seed VC with Felicis to now leading the deep tech investing charge with Lux Capital?

2.) How does the mentality shift from making the move of LP with Stanford to VC with Felicis and Lux? How does Renata believe being an LP made her a better VC? How has what it takes to be a successful emerging manager changed over the last 5-10 years?

3.) What are the 7 rules that Renata gives to all startups at the start of their journey to ensure they do not implode? Where do startups most often falter, from Renata’s perspective? How have the requirements and demands of founders changed recently?

4.) How does Renata look to approach every investment opportunity, mentality wise? Why does Renata believe this stance is optimal over the alternative? What are the caveats that must be placed on this to ensure for realism also?

5.) What makes Renata believe that we are seeing the humanisation of technology? How does this affect how deep tech will be designed moving forward? How does this affect how technology truly interacts and integrates with consumer behaviour?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Renata’s Fave Book: Daring Greatly 

Renata’s Most Recent Investment: Common Networks

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Renata on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Why We Will Continue To See An Explosion In Deep Tech Financing, Why Much of Silicon Valley’s Talent Is Going To Waste & How Fund Cycles Need To Be Adjusted To Work With Deep Tech with Seth Bannon, Founding Partner @ Fifty Years

FullSizeRender 222

Seth Bannon is a Founding Partner at Fifty Years, a San Francisco seed fund that backs entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest problems with technology. With a proclivity for deep tech, Seth has invested in a range of startups shaping the world for the better — from a company culturing real meat to eat without animals, to a company building small satellites to cover the earth in internet. A graduate of Y Combinator, Seth was named twice to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurship.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Seth made his way from working on Obama’s digital campaign to being a YC founder to now, founding Fifty Years?

2.) What is the Friedman Doctrine? Why does Seth think it is the most dangerous doctrine in the world? What leads Seth to believe in the potential for both purpose + profit? What is driving this change in millennial mindsets for the importance of purpose?

3.) Why does Seth believe we have seen a large increase in VC $ moving into deep tech as a space? What are the technical reasons for why seed stage deep tech investing is now such an attractive market segment? Do we have adequate deep tech growth financing?

4.) Why does Seth believe that much of Silicon Valley’s talent is going to waste? How would Seth like to see talent redistributed to produce the greatest returns for society? What needs to be done for that to occur?

5.) Why is Seth so bullish in his belief for the need for fund cycles to be extended? How does Seth respond to suggestions that due to long development cycles in deep tech, investors have to carry companies for much longer? How has Seth seen the secondaries market open up over the last few years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Seth’s Fave Book: The Idea Factory

Seth’s Fave Blog: Hacker News

Seth’s Most Recent Investment: Athelas

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Seth on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong on The Rise & Short Term Correction in ICOs, The Regulatory Framework Required For Blockchain To Succeed & How The Rise of Blockchain Disrupts The VC Industry

FullSizeRender (12)

Brian Armstrong is the Founder & CEO @ Coinbase, the startup that provides the world’s most popular way to buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. They have backing from some of the biggest and best in VC having raised over $100m from the likes of Andreesen Horowitz, USV, DFJ and many more incredible investors. As for Brian, prior to Coinbase he was a Software Engineer @ Airbnb and before that founded his own startup, Universitytutor.com

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brian made his way from Airbnb to founding one of the early disruptors in the crypto space with Coinbase?

2.) Doing an 80/20 analysis, what are the 3 fundamental differences between Bitcoin and ethereum? What is Brian’s opinion on the scaling path ahead for ethereum? How do the teams behind ethereum and Bitcoin differ and what effect do these differing approaches have?

3.) What is an ICO? Does Brian believe ICOs will be a sustainable method of company financing in the future? What needs to take place to ensure for the continued momentum of ICOs? What have been the biggest surprises of ICOs for Brian?

4.) How does Brian view the regulatory stance around both ICOs and blockchain more generally? What is he concerned will happen? What would be the optimal regulatory framework for the theme to thrive?

5.) How does the rise of blockchain disrupt the VC industry? Why does Brian agree with Naval in stating the future will involve the unbundling of money, control and advice from the realms of VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman

Brian’s Fave Blog: Week In Ethereum

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Brian on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: When Should CEOs Ask Their VC For Help, When Do Companies Really Need A Board & What The Series A Expansion Means For Startups with Max Gazor, General Partner @ CRV

FullSizeRender 221

Max Gazor is a General Partner @ CRV, one of the nation’s oldest and most successful VC firms now on their 16th fund and with a prior portfolio consisting of the likes of Twitter, Yammer, Zendesk and ClassPass just to name a few. As for Max, he has led deals in the likes of Airtable, Simplivity, Xamarin and many more incredible companies. Prior to CRV, Max led acquisitions and investments across enterprise and emerging technologies for Cisco’s Corporate Development team.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Max made his entry into VC and came to be General Partner @ CRV?

2.) How does Max look to really build conviction around the 1% of companies that he invests in? CRV, now on Fund 16, what have been the major lessons as a firm about operating a VC fund successfully? How does CRV actively implement policies to place the entrepreneur first?

3.) How does Max consider capital allocation across stages and the efficient use of follow on funding? How does he stack rank the portfolio and determine which companies to double down on and which not to?

4.) Why does Max believe that AI is where the cloud was 10 years ago? Within the segment, where is Max most excited? Why does Max often advocate for his startups to remain in stealth mode following funding?

5.) When is the right time for startups to formalize their boards? What is the right size of board in the early days? What is the one feeling that the board should make the founder feel in meetings?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Max’s Fave Book: Old Man and The Sea

Max’s Fave Blog: The Twenty Minute VC

Max’s Most Recent Investment: Airtable

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Max on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: What Metrics LPs Really Use To Measure Manager Success, Why 10 Year Fund Structures Really Do Not Work & Why Venture Is So Similar To The Movie Business with Will Porteous, General Partner @ RRE Ventures

FullSizeRender (11)

Will Porteous is the General Partner & COO @ RRE Ventures, one of New York’s leading venture funds with investments in the likes of Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Giphy and Paperless Post just to name a few. As for Will, he works primarily with media and hardware companies, where he is a Director of BuzzFeed, Paperless Post, Spaceflight, and Spire. Prior to VC, Will held senior management positions with SupplyWorks and NetMarket, the e-commerce pioneer now owned by Cendant Corp.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Will made his entry into VC and came to be the hardware and media specialist as General Partner and COO @ RRE Ventures?

2.) Why does WIll believe VC is like the movie industry? How can VCs be prepared to movie producers? How does the talent required to make a great movie resemble that of making a great startup?

3.) Why does Will think the current venture model of 10-year life cycles is broken? How would he like to see LP liquidy opened with iterations on the current venture model? How can the secondary market be revolutionized to provide such liquidity?

4.) Why does Will believe that location awareness will drive a wave of value creation an order of magnitude greater than anything we have seen before? What is the thesis behind this? What are the barriers, both from a technology and cultural perspective?

5.) What were Will’s biggest takeaways from being mentored by the legend, Bill Campbell, Former Chairman and CEO @ Intuit? What did he learn about leadership and incentivising a workforce from Bill? What example does Bill provide from seeing this at Google?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Will’s Fave Book: Radical Candor; Be A Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

Will’s Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

Will’s Most Recent Investment: The Outline

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Will on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visitwepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Construct Your Fundraising Process To Get 3 Term Sheets in 36 Hours, Why Slow and Steady Can Be Best For Startups & Why All Startups Must Know Their Zero Cash Day with Nathan Wenzel, Founder & CEO @ SimpleLegal

FullSizeRender (1)

Nathan Wenzel is the Founder & CEO @ SimpleLegal, the startup that helps legal operations reduce legal spend and improve operational efficiency. They recently raised their $10m Series A led by leading SaaS investors, Emergence Capital with participation from our favourites in the team at Susa Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners. As for Nathan, prior to founding SimpleLegal he spent time in consulting and as a Partner @ BI analytics firm, Edge Solutions.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nathan made his way from consulting to BI analytics to founding one of SaaS’s hottest “overnight successes” in SimpleLegal?

2.) Why does Nathan advocate for the slow and steady approach in startups? What type of business does this make sense for? Does this not go contra the traditional theory of move fast and break things?

3.) Nathan has said before that “most bay area millennials have not seen market corrections”. How does Nathan’s experience seeing these corrections affect his running of SimpleLegal? Why does Nathan think we have an impending market correction to come?

4.) Why must founders always know the day that they will become profitable? How does that change the way they operate and strategise the running of the business? Why is it also crucial for them to know their zero cash day?

5.) What did John really look for in his investors? What questions should founders ask potential investors pre-investment? How would John look to improve his fundraising process for the Series B?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nathan’s Fave Book: Only The Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove

Nathan’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Nathan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Why YC Is The Exact Opposite of Proprietary Deal Flow, Why Having No Follow On Dramatically Aligns Incentives & Why Founders Do Not Have To Be Passionate About Their Idea From The Start with Michael Ma, Founding Partner @ Liquid 2 Ventures

FullSizeRender 219

Michael Ma is a Founding Partner @ Liquid 2 Ventures, one of San Francisco’s younger and more exciting seed funds, also unique in having Hall of Fame quarter back, Joe Montana as another Founding Partner. Their portfolio includes the likes of previous guest, WorkRamp, NerdWallet, FanDuel and many more very exciting young companies. Prior to Liquid 2, Michael was the co-founder of TalkBin, a YC alum that later sold to Google and was an Investment Team Partner @ First Round’s Dorm Room Fund.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How from Michael’s parents arriving in the US with $300 Michael made his way into tech ended up in YC, selling his company to Google and ultimately being a VC with Liquid 2?

2.) Does Michael agree with the common suggestion that too much money is chasing too few deals at seed? How does Michael think raising now is different to when raising for Liquid 2? How did having Joe Montana as a founder affect the fundraise?

3.) How does Michael view the optimal decision making process? Does Michael believe in unanimity or conviction driven processes when investing with a partnership? How does this change for follow on? Why is it so important to have silver bullet deals in partnerships?

4.) Does Michael agree with the commonly stated assessment that with the scaling of YC the quality has reduced? How does Michael use his own YC experience to argue against this? How should investors be approaching YC today, in this structure?

5.) How does Michael view fund cycles when investing in such deep tech as he has? Are they too short? How does Michael look to scale the learning curve on new industries and transformational technology?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Count of Monte Cristo

Michael’s Fave Blog: TermSheet

Michael’s Most Recent Investment: Vivid Vision

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Michael on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visitwepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Investing $200m In Facebook, The 3 Stages of Founder Development & Why Creating A New User Behaviour Can Be Unit Economics Inefficient with Rahul Mehta, Managing Partner @ DST

FullSizeRender 218

Rahul Mehta is a Managing Partner @ DST, one of the world’s leading late stage venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Spotify and Alibaba just to name a few of the incredible companies they have backed. As for Rahul himself, he leads the firm’s efforts in the US, Indonesia and India where he led deals in Snapchat, Slack, Ola Cabs, Houzz and Zalando. As a result of this incredible portfolio, Rahul was listed to the Forbes Midas List in 2016.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rahul made the way from tech investment banking to one of the leading growth funds of all time with Yuri Milner investing in Facebook?

2.) Having invested in the likes of Facebook, Snap and Alibaba, how does Rahul assess the leadership teams of some of today’s leading players? What makes them the great leaders they are? How can leaders look to make the transition from Founder to CEO?

3.) Why does Rahul argue that founder led businesses are always best? What are the fundamental benefits to this? What hurdles do they have to face to remain CEO for the duration? Where does Rahul see commonalities of CEO’s struggling?

4.) How does Rahul look to assess unit economics? What does Rahul have to see in the market to see the long term sustainability of unit economics? Why do companies sometimes have to have poor unit economics in the beginning?

5.) How does Rahul assess the balance of building competitive barriers to entry or focussing on aggressive expansion and being first to market? How does this differ according to sector and funding? How will this change in the future?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rahul’s Fave Book: Open by Andre Agassi

Rahul’s Most Recent Investment: Wish

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Rahul on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: The 2 Types of Sexism & How They Play Out In Tech, Why You Should Not Always Get Customers To Pay For Your Product Immediately & Why You Must Ask Operator VCs Different Questions To Non-Operator VCs with Jenna Brown, Founder & CEO, Shipamax

FullSizeRender 217

Jenna Brown is the Founder & CEO @ Shipamax, a data driven communications platform for brokers and operators. They recently raised their seed round from the likes of FF Angel, Y Combinator, Cherubic Ventures, and top angels including Lee Linden and my personal favorite, Andy Rankin. Prior to Shipamax, Jenna was Head of Global Expansion @ GoCardless, one of London’s leading Fintech players and before that was herself a trader at RWE Trading.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jenna made her way from ship broker to YC alum, changing the world of shipping with Shipamax?

2.) How does Jenna compare fundraising in the UK to Europe? Was it a challenge raising US funds, considering Jenna was operating outside of the valley? How did Jenna look to mitigate these concerns?

3.) How did Jenna experience both direct and indirect sexual discrimination throughout the fundraising process? Which form was harder to deal with? How did Jenna respond? In hindsight, would Jenna have done anything differently?

4.) What does Jenna advise founders in terms of taking operator VC money vs non-operator VC money? What differing questions must be asked? What should founders be wary of with both types of investors?

5.) Why does Jenna disagree with the commonly held suggestion that you must get people to pay for your product as soon as possible? Why is this not the case always? In what cases is it optimal to have a smoother and faster onboarding?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jenna’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

Jenna’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jenna on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Why It Is BS That You Never Regret Paying A High Price To Get Into A Good Company, Why There Are Only 2 Price Points That Work in SaaS and Why eSports Will Be Bigger Than Traditional Sports in 5 Years Time with Jason Pressman, Managing Director @ Shasta Ventures

FullSizeRender 216

Jason Pressman is a Managing Director @ Shasta Ventures who have made investments in the likes of Nest, Dollar Shave Club, Smule, Class Dojo and more. With 10 portfolio company investments under his belt, Jason invests in both enterprise and consumer, currently serving on the boards of Crittercism, subscription billing unicorn Zuora, as well as Nextdoor and mobile music platform Smule. Prior to joining Shasta, Jason was Vice President, Strategy and Operations at venture-backed Walmart.com, where he took the online retailer from zero to large scale revenue in five years.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason made his way into the world of venture from Walmart? What were the big takeaways from seeing Walmart enter their hyper-growth phase?

2.) Why does Jason believe it is bullshit to say, “you never regret paying a high price for getting into a good company”? How does Jason evaluate entry point? What makes one entry point attractive and another not?

3.) What does Jason see as the catalysts for the opening of public markets to tech companies? How long does he think this will continue? Is he concerned by the likes of Yext, IPOing with less than aggressive growth rates?

4.) Why does Jason believe there are only 2 price points that work in SaaS? What are they? How does this affect the structure and operations of your SaaS startup? What are the circumstances in which these price points do not apply?

5.) Why does Jason believe that eSports will be bigger than the NBA in 5 years? What are the catalysts driving this change? What needs to be formulated within eSports for this to happen?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Fave Book: First, Break All The Rules

Jason’s Most Recent Investment: Plays.tv

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jason on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: VC of The Year: Forerunner’s Kirsten Green on 2 $Bn+ Exits in 1 Year, Why We Are In The Very Early Innings For Commerce & How Brand Has Fundamentally Changed Over The Last Decade

FullSizeRender 215

Kirsten Green is the Founding General Partner @ Forerunner Ventures, where she has raised over $250M from leading investors and has invested in more than 40 early-stage companies. Forerunner Ventures is the only VC firm to invest in both Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com, two of the biggest and highest-profile e-commerce exits in recent years, and counts Birchbox, Bonobos, Glossier, Hotel Tonight, Warby Parker and Zola among its portfolio companies. She’s been honored in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2017, named VC of the Year at TechCrunch’s 2017 Crunchies Awards, and is part of Forbes 2017 Midas List.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kirsten came to found one of the most successful early stage funds of the past decade in Forerunner?

2.) Question from Michael Kim @ Cendana: How does Kirsten view the optimal portfolio construction theory for a thematically specialized consumer fund? What is the one question Kirsten asks herself pre-investing in a startup?

3.) Question from David Pakman @ Venrock: Given the scope of consumer as a space, is Forerunner large enough to attain the required ownership levels? What does this mean for the future of Forerunner in terms of further funds, opportunity funds and entry points?

4.) What are the 3 core principles to developing an exciting investment opportunity in the consumer space? What commonalities do they have? What do you look for in a consumer brand founder that might be different from a software founder?

5.) Why does Kirsten believe that Amazon has done more to make the market opportunity than they have to crush it? What makes Kirsten believe we really are in the early innings for commerce? How will we see the notion of brand evolve over the coming years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kirsten’s Fave Book: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Kirsten’s Fave Blog: TheSkimm

Kirsten’s Most Recent Investment: Packagd 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Kirsten on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

20VC: Max Levchin on What Makes A Truly Great CEO, Why Self-Awareness Is The Most Important Trait For Entrepreneurs & Why When There Is Doubt, There Is No Doubt

FullSizeRender 212

Max Levchin is the Founder & CEO @ Affirm, the company that aims to remake consumer finance from the ground up. They have backing from some of the best in the business with over $400m in VC funding from the likes of Founders Fund, Lightspeed, Andreesen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Spark Capital just to name a few. Prior to Affirm, Max held numerous exec positions including Chairman of Yelp for 11 years and sitting on the board of directors @ Yahoo. Before that, Max founded Slide, subsequently bought by Google and was the Co-Founder & CTO @ Paypal.

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Max come to co-found Paypal and how did that serve as the foundations for his founding of Affirm today?

2.) Why does Max believe there is a crucial misalignment between service providers and consumers in financial services? Does Max agree with Bill Clerico that ‘we are still in the very early days for Fintech?’

3.) Having co-founded Paypal, Slide and now Affirm, how has Max changed as a leader and CEO? What does Max believe makes the truly great CEOs? Are there commonalities in how they operate and their skills?

4.) What does Max look for in all new hires or when evaluating founders for potential investment? Why is self-awareness so important for entrepreneurs to have? Why does Max want to be slightly terrified by how smart an individual is?

5.) How has having children changed Max’s perception of what is important and what he chooses to spend his time on? How does that reflect in his actions and self-discipline?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Max’s Fave Book: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Max on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

eShares is the No 1 Cap Table Management platform, allowing for equity management, 409A valuations, and liquidity, all in one place. eShares is made for companies of all sizes with over 5,000 trusted customers including the likes of Squarespace, Kickstarter, and DoorDash just to name a few. To try out the must have service of the industry, simply head over to esharesinc.com it is a must.

Fond is the employee engagement suite with 3 core products, rewards: a recognition platform for rewarding achievements and milestones, perks: a premium corporate discounts program to show employees you care about them and then finally engagement IQ, a free employee engagement survey that allows you to measure the health of your organization. To check it out head over to fond.co

1 2 3 5