20VC: Why AI Models are not a Moat, Where Does the Value in AI Accrue; Startups or Incumbents, What the World Has Got Wrong About AI, Why AI Needs a New Story and Who is the Right People to Tell it with Cris Valenzuela, Co-Founder & CEO @ Runway

Posted on 28th August 2023 by Harry

Cris Valenzuela is the CEO and co-founder of Runway, the company that trains and builds generative AI models for content creation. To date, Cris has raised over $285M for the company from the likes of Lux Capital, Felicis, Coatue, Amplify, and Nvidia to name a few. Runway’s customers include academy-nominated movies, TV shows, media companies, and creatives across industries.

In Today’s Episode with Cris Valenzuela We Discuss:

1. From Childhood in Chile to Founding one of the Hottest AI Startups:

  • What was the founding moment for Cris with Runway?
  • His investors described Cris as an “outsider”. Does Cris believe he is an outsider? What are the biggest pros and cons of being an outsider?
  • What does Cris believe he is running from? What is he running towards?

2. Models are not a Moat: Models 101:

  • What does Cris believe is more important; model size or data size?
  • Why does Cris believe that models are not a moat?
  • How does Cris think about the lifespan of models? Will any used today be used in a year?
  • Are hallucinations a feature or a bug? What are the nuances?

3. The World Has Got AI Wrong: We Need Different Stories:

  • Why does Cris believe the world has got AI wrong?
  • Why do we need different stories for what AI can do and will be? Who should tell them?
  • Why do groups like screenwriters riot and protest if the tool is empowering and not replacing?

4. Company Building 101: Hiring and Fundraising:

  • What are the biggest pieces of startup advice that are total BS?
  • What has been the single biggest lesson Cris has learned when it comes to fundraising?
  • Does Cris believe that VCs really add value?
  • What have been the single biggest hiring mistakes that Cris has made?
  • How has Cris structured their interview process to make it the best interview process in the world?

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