20VC: General Catalyst’s Hemant Taneja on Why We Are In A Golden Age For VC, Why Pro-Rata Is A Lazy Posture and Why He Does Not Focus On Price
Posted on 18th June 2018 by Harry
Hemant Taneja is Managing Director @ General Catalyst, one of the world’s leading venture firms of the last decade with Airbnb, Stripe, Snapchat, Hubspot and Gusto all in their portfolio. As for Hemant, he has led investments at GC in Stripe, SNAP, Grammarly, Gusto, Livongo, Color Genomics, Class Dojo and more. He also directs the GC Stripe Platform Fund, a $10 million initiative to help start new ventures that are built on top of the Stripe Connect platform. On the educational front, Hemant holds 5 degrees from MIT and sits on the board of Khan Academy.
1.) How Hemant made his way from 5 degrees at MIT and wanting to be an academic to pursuing startups in the world of VC with General Catalyst?
2.) Question from Sam @ ClassDojo: What were the hardest elements of establishing GC on the West Coast? With hindsight today, what would Hemant do differently given the chance? How does Hemant think about the development and ability to accelerate the creation of local reputation? What is crucial and works most effectively?
3.) How does Hemant respond to Elad Gil’s “everyone is looking for the next truly deep dein to explore”? Why is Hemant so bullish that we are in the “golden age of venture capital”? Why does Hemant believe that “scale” as a key measure has run it’s course? What does Hemant’s thesis of the future of “unscaling” really mean?
4.) How does Hemant analyse price sensitivity in todays forthy environment? How has his relationship to price changed over time? With regards to price, what have been some of his biggest regrets and learnings drawn from real-world examples? How does Hemant assess reserve allocation? Why does he think pro-rata is a lazy posture?
5.) Hemant has said on boards for over 1,800 hours, so what does Hemant belive makes the truly special board members? How does Hemant think about first building that rapport and “intimacy” with the founder? Secondly, how important does Hemant believe it is to build similar relations with other board members? Which founder exemplifies the best board management in Hemant’s mind?
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