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

Posted on 30th October 2017 by Harry

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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.



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!

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