20VC: The Founding of General Catalyst, What it Takes to Build a Firm That Stands the Test of Time, Why VCs Need to Give Founders Greater Permission to Go For It & Why Venture Capital is Like Tennis with David Fialkow, Co-Founder @ General Catalyst
Posted on 16th May 2022 by hstebbings1
David Fialkow is the Co-Founder and Managing Director @ General Catalyst, one of the leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including Stripe, Snap, Airbnb, Anduril, Canva and many more amazing names. Prior to founding General Catalyst with Joel Cutler, David was a serial entrepreneur building and selling 4 successful companies.
In Today’s Episode with David Fialkow:
1.) Everything Great Starts Small:
How did David and Joel decide on a Hawaiin beach that they wanted to start General Catalyst?
Why did they decide to name it General Catalyst?
How did the first fundraise go for GC Fund I?
2.) Creating a Firm: The Early Days
What design objectives did Joel and David have when they started the firm?
How did Joel and David think about firm expansion; going to the West Coast? Coming to Europe? Going multi-stage? What drives their decision to do new products?
On reflection, what were some of the toughest elements of the early days with GC?
What does David believe they got right? Why? What did they get wrong? How would he change it?
3.) The Partnership:
What does David believe makes for a truly successful venture partnership?
How does a great venture partnership align to what makes a successful marriage?
How does David approach trust? How does he build it with people?
What situations would cause David to lose trust? Why do so few people understand it?
What does David believe is the true secret to authentic relationship building?
4.) Doing the Impossible: Generational Transition:
What does David believe they did so right in their generational transition at GC?
What do many firms get wrong in handing over the reins to the next generation?
What are the biggest commonalities between venture partnerships and filmmaking?