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
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.
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
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