20VC: Accel’s Brian O’Malley On The Prioritisation Of Growth, Metrics That Show True Customer Retention & Why The Most Interesting Companies Create A Market

Posted on 4th May 2016 by Harry


Brian O’Malley is a Partner @ Accel Partners, where he spearheads Accel’s work with next-generation marketplaces and consumer-focused companies. He led the firm’s investments in Amino, Gametime, HotelTonight and Luma, as well as disruptive software-as-a-services businesses Duetto and Narvar. Brian joined Accel from Battery Ventures, where as a general partner he led investments in companies like Dollar Shave Club, BazaarVoice (public), Coupa, Skullcandy (public) and TradeKing (acquired by Ally). Prior to Battery, Brian led sales efforts and built some of the first web service-based API integrations for Bowstreet, Inc. (acquired by IBM).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Brian make his way into one of the world’s leading VC firms? What were Brian’s biggest takeaways from being in the trenches during the bust of the dot com bubble?

2.)  What is the macro economic view to value compression? How should startups being approaching and dealing with this?

3.) How can startups maintain growth as the priority whilst maintaining investor expectations on burn rates? What is Brian’s approach to the growth vs retention theory?

4.) What retention metrics would Accel look for indifferent products? How does this vary from category to category? What are the commonalities Brian has seen in products that have insane retentive ability??

5.) Where does Brian stand on market size and the potential for market transition down the line? Does the market even need to be there today for it to be investable today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Brian’s Fave Book:  Zero To One By Peter Thiel

Brian’s Most Recent Investment: Luma: Fast, Reliable Wifi

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Brian on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
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