20VC: Plaid and Column Co-Founder, William Hockey on Why the Brands that Win in Fintech Will Not Be Financial Services Brands, What US Banking Can Learn from China & Why Companies Can Be Built Slower than People Think?
2nd December 2022
Ben Rubin is the Founder & CEO @ /talk, the anti-meeting tool for fast, decentralised conversations. Prior to co-founding /talk, Ben was the Co-Founder & CEO @ Houseparty, where he scaled the product to millions of users and raised over $70M in funding from the likes of Sequoia, Greylock and Entree Capital to name a few. In addition over the last few years Ben has enjoyed roles at Sequoia as a Scout and then also at Benchmark as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How Ben made his way into the world of startups and came to found Life on Air, later turning into Meerkat and Houseparty?
2.) What were Ben’s key learnings from the HOuseparty scaling experience? Why are the traditional metrics we use to measure startup success (DAU, MAU etc) insufficient? What are the nuance to metrics? How does Ben think about being first to market vs being the best to market?
3.) How does Ben believe the product principles differ when comparing the 0-1 stage vs 10-100 stage? How does Ben think about where to be rigorous on product? How does Ben advise founders to discover the key guiding product principle? What was it for Ben with Meerkat?
4.) Meerkat pivoted to Houseparty 3 months after having raised $40M, how did Ben communicate that to the board? How did they respond? How does Ben believe the best boards operate? What does Ben most look for in his board members? Where do many go wrong with board management?
5.) From the team side, when in hypergrowth, when do things start to break? What profiles are usually the first to break? Does that mean one should not hire those profiles? What can the leader do to create that intimacy and trust amongst the team?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:
Ben’s Fave Book: Seneca: The Shortness of Life
20VC: Wolt CEO, Miki Kuusi on Leadership Lessons Scaling to a Reported $8.1BN Exit to Doordash, Building Teams not Families, The Difference Between Trust and Safety Within Companies, How To Use Compensation to Create Culture & Why You Should Not Be Looking For People Who “Have Done It Before”
28th November 2022