20VC: “How Being a Founder Almost Killed Me”; We Have Lied to a Generation of Founders | The Hardest Truths About Being a Founder Revealed | Why AI Co-Pilot is BS, Seat Pricing is Over & User Interfaces are Stupid with Christian Lanng

Posted on 27th September 2023 by Harry

Christian Lanng is the Founder and Former CEO @ Tradeshift, a company he took from garage to unicorn raising over $900M for with a latest price of $2.7BN in 2021. Just last month, Christian stepped away from the company and is now Chairman @ Beyond Work, building a better work experience through AI native software.

In Today’s Episode with Christian Lanng We Discuss:

1. Burnout: When it Hits:

  • How did Christian know when something was really seriously wrong? What were the signs?
  • How did being a founder literally almost kill Christian? How was that not a wakeup moment?
  • How does being a founder make you so out of touch with reality?

2. The Things We Are Never Told:

  • Why does Christian think one of the biggest crimes is the myth that everyone can be a founder?
  • What are the single biggest things about VCs that founders are not told?
  • Why does Christian believe fundraising is absolutely a game? What are the rules to win it?
  • What makes the best VCs? What makes the worst VCs?
  • Why does Christian not like to take a discount for a brand name VC?

3. The Chaos That Happens Inside a Company:

  • Why does Christian believe politics should not be discussed within companies?
  • What are Christian’s biggest lessons on working with friends? Why after 14 years does Christian only have 3 friends that still talk to him?
  • How did Christian fire 50% of his leadership team and productivity not change at all?
  • Why does Christian believe US startups are inherently better than European ones?

4. Parenting and Relationship to Money:

  • Does Christian regret not being a present father for his child when building Tradeshift?
  • What are the two options as a founder you have when bringing up kids?
  • Was Christian scared to leave Tradeshift? How does he reflect on his relationship to money?

5. AI: Co-Pilot is BS, The Future Business Model and more…

  • Why does Christian believe co-pilot is the last dying breathe attempt from incumbents?
  • Why does Christian believe that per-seat pricing will die? What will replace it?
  • Why does Christian believe that AI will negate the importance of consumer-facing brands?
  • In what way does Christian believe that UI is total BS? How does it change over time?

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