20VC: Cyan Banister on Her Relationship To Money, Risk, Her Investment Decision-Making Process, Why We Will See A Reckoning in the Early Stage Market, Her Biggest Takeaways from HQ Trivia & The Future of Silicon Valley

Posted on 19th October 2020 by Harry

Cyan Banister is one of the most successful and renowned early-stage investors in the last decade. Her portfolio includes the likes of SpaceX, Uber, Affirm, Opendoor Postmates, Niantic and Thumbtack to name a few. Today Cyan is a Partner @ Long Journey Ventures, joining the team there following a 4-year stint @ Founders Fund where she led deals in both Niantic and HQ Trivia. Prior to Founders Fund, Cyan was a super successful operator and angel, co-founding Zivity and before that being an early employee at Ironport, leading to their acquisition by Oracle.


In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Cyan made her way into the world of startups? How SpaceX came to be her 1st angel investment? How that led to her joining the world of VC?

2.) How does Cyan think about and assess her relationship to money? Why does someone believe she had a fear or loathing of money? What made Cyan the capitalist she is today? How does Cyan analyse her relationship to risk? Has Cyan always trusted her own convictions?

3.) How does Cyan think about her own investment decision-making process? What were Cyan’s biggest lessons from her experience with HQ Trivia? How did she change how she interacts with founders pre-investment? Why does Cyan never Google someone before meeting?

4.) How does Cyan think about price sensitivity today? Why does she believe there will be a reckoning? How will this shake out in terms of who succeeds and who fails? Why is Cyan in favour of party rounds? How does she think about VCs with sharp elbows?

5.) Why does Cyan believe SF is eating itself? What can be done to reinvigorate the city positively? What can be done to solve much of the homelessness problem? Why does Chesa Boudin never convict anyone? Why does Cyan believe her “BLM tweet is not spicy”? Why is Cyan fundamentally sad and worried for the current state of the world?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Cyan’s Fave Book: Snow Crash

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