20VC: Keith Rabois and Mike Shebat on Creating an Olympian Mindset to Work Ethic, Why First-Time Founders are Better Than Serial Entrepreneurs, Why Remote Work Does Not Work, Why the Best Founders Always Start in their Teens & Why Companies are Cults?

Posted on 27th November 2023 by Harry

Keith Rabois is a General Partner @ Founders Fund, one of the world’s best venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, SpaceX, Anduril, Tesla and many more. For the last 23 years straight, Keith has either invested in or founded a $BN company. Keith is also the Co-Founder and CEO @ Openstore, the company that will buy or run your Shopify business.

Mike Shebat is the Founder and CEO @ Traba, the company providing industrial staffing when and where you need it. To date, Mike has raised $49M with Traba from some of the best including Founders Fund, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures.

In Today’s Episode with Mike Shebat and Keith Rabois We Discuss:

1. What it Takes to Build a Great:

  • Why does Mike expect everyone to work in office 12 hours per day, 4 days per week?
  • At what point does an extra hour of work not lead to more output?
  • What are the expectations in terms of emails, out of office, the weekends?
  • Keith, from the 23 BN companies you have worked with, is this insane work ethic aligned to all of them? Which had it? What did not?
  • What core components of PayPal’s work ethic made it so strong? What does Keith mean when he says Linkedin could and should have been 5x bigger?

2. The Hiring Process for the Swat Team:

  • What does the hiring process look like for this type of work environment?
  • What are the signs that someone is really aligned to it vs faking it for the interview process?
  • What have been Keith’s biggest lessons on both compensation and title in the hiring process?
  • Why does Keith believe that culture is like concrete? What are the biggest mistakes he has made on culture and what would he have done differently?

3. First-Time Founders, Innate Entrepreneurs & Europe’s Failing:

  • Does Keith agree the best founders always show signs of early entrepreneurship in their teens?
  • Why does Keith prefer first-time founders to serial entrepreneurs? Why are they better?
  • Why does Keith believe that Europe has not created a $100BN company since 1990?

4. Remote Work, Network Effects and Baseball:

  • Why does Keith believe being great in venture is like baseball?
  • Why does Keith and Founders Fund not invest in remote teams? How does he explain Gitlab?
  • Why does Keith believe Airbnb has the best network effect he has ever seen?

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