20VC: Benchmark’s Peter Fenton on How To Differentiate Between Good & Great VCs, Why Ownership Is A Bigger Determinant Of Returns Than Valuation & What Makes A Truly Exceptional Board Member

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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.

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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!

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  • Ryan Brady

    Hi Harry, loved the episode, do you have Peter’s favorite podcast list he mentioned in place of his favorite book?