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 Harry

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?

Mentioned in Today’s Episode with David Fialkow:

David’s Favourite Book: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

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