20VC: USV’s Brad Burnham on Co-Founding USV with Fred Wilson, What They Look For In Potential Partners & Whether We Are Entering a Period of Consolidation or Expansion

Posted on 13th July 2016 by Harry

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Brad Burnham is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Union Square Ventures. I feel Brad is far better described by his partner Fred Wilson, than I ever could so this is Fred’s words on Brad. “Brad and I founded USV together in 2003. We had both been in the venture business for more than a decade, had made a fair bit of money, but were still hungry to prove ourselves. Brad is the strategist and the most principled investor in our firm. It was Brad’s idea to write a treatise on venture capital and the internet before we set off to raise our first fund and that exercise we did together continues to be our guding light. Brad is the person behind phrases like “the application layer of the technology stack” and “large networks of engaged users” that I use all the time. He gives me most of my good stuff which I often get credit for.”

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brad made his way into VC? How did he come to co-found USV with Fred in 2003?

2.) How did Brad approach team building with USV? What does he look for in his partners?

3.) Brad has previously stated his belief that ‘history does not repeat itself but it does rhyme,. How does this affect Brad’s view toward market cycles, the way tech is adopted and ultimately replaced?

4.) What does Brad make of the extension of the private market? Are we entering a period of consolidation? What makes Brad believe this?

5.) Looking back at the history of USV, what have been the inflection points in both the stature of the firm and then Brad’s learnings as a VC?


Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brad’s Fave Book: The Irrational Optimist

Brad’s Most Recent Investment: OB1

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Brad on Twitter here!
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