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

Posted on 12th March 2018 by Harry


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.



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

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