20VC: 8VC’s Joe Lonsdale on How To Foster Contrarian Thinking Within Venture Partnerships, Why The Best VCs Are Company Builders & Why It Is Not Possible To Build Multi-Billion Dollar Companies and Have Worklife Balance
Posted on 7th July 2020 by hstebbings1
Joe Lonsdale is a General Partner @ 8VC and in the past has invested in many notable companies including Wish, Oculus, Oscar and Guardant Health. As a result, in both 2016 and 2017, Joe was the youngest member of the Forbes 100 Midas List. Prior to 8VC, Joe co-founded Palantir, one of the world’s most impactful multi-billion dollar software companies. Joe also co-founded and serves as Chairman @ Addepar, which has over $1.8 trillion managed on its wealth management technology platform. If that was not enough, Joe is also a founder of Affinity, Anduin and Esper.
1.) How Joe made his way into the world of tech and startups, came to co-found Palantir and Addepar and how that led to his founding 8VC? How does Joe
believe the study of history makes one a better investor?
2.) Why does Joe believe that the best VCs are company builders? How does Joe think about, evaluate and put into action the incubator model? How does Joe respond to LPs that suggest it is a distraction? How does voting for incubations differ for investment voting?
3.) What does contrarian thinking really mean to Joe? What does Joe do to specifically engender contrarian thinking in the 8VC partnership? What is the relationship between contrarianism and political correctness? How does Joe think about the dangers of woke culture today?
4.) How does Joe advise founders to think through cash burn and runway today? What is going to happen to companies that sacrified growth for gross margin in 1 year? How does Joe advise founders on the balance of sticking to your vision and mission vs knowing when to give up?
5.) Why does Joe think it is important to not just start new companies but new cities also? Despite the insane cost of living, why does Joe believe the Valley has given rise to the insane levels of innovation it has done? Will the dominance of the valley remain over the next decade?