20VC: Why You Should Not Always Listen To Your Investors, The Pros and Cons of Strategic Investors & How To Approach Operational Efficiency with Scaling with Florian Leibert, Founder & CEO @ Mesosphere
Posted on 19th January 2018 by Harry
Florian Leibert is the Founder & CEO @ Mesosphere, the most flexible platform for containerized, data-intensive applications. They are trusted by some of the world’s leading companies from Yelp to Yammer to Verizon and have raised over $120m in VC funding from the likes of a16z, Kleiner Perkins, Khosla, Data Collective and then incumbents such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. Prior to founding Mesosphere, Florian spent time with Twitter and Airbnb, both as a tech lead and if that was not enough, Florian also has a stellar angel portfolio including the likes of Away, Cockroach Labs, Drift and Buoyant.
1.) How Florian came to found Mesosphere? What were the big takeaways for him from his more formative years at Twitter and Airbnb?
2.) Why does Florian believe that sometimes “you should not listen to your investors”? What is the right way to communicate this disagreement to them? What supporting evidence is required to substantiate your thoughts? What method would Florian prefer to receive such feedback?
3.) What are the biggest benefits of having strategics such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard on the cap table? What are some potential drawbacks? What advice would Florian give to founders contemplating taking strategic investment? When is the right time for these staretgics to insert themselves?
4.) With the scaling of Mesosphere, how have Florian’s thoughts and approach to sales execution changed? What have been the core struggles? Why does Florian think it is imperative to build the sales team slowly?
5.) At what point does Florian think that operational efficiency must be front and centre for founders scaling their companies? What has Florian found to be the most challenging personally in achieving such operational efficiency?
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