20VC: How To Deliver Feedback with Compassion and Clarity, WTF Are Values Really and How To Instill Them & Raising $50M+ From Index and Greylock but Remaining in Stealth for 12 Months with Linda Lian, Co-Founder & CEO @ Common Room

Posted on 1st April 2021 by Harry

Linda Lian is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Common Room, the place where your organization and your community come together. To date, Linda has raised over $50M with Common Room from the likes of Danny Rimer @ Index Ventures, Sarah Guo @ Greylock, Dylan Field @ Figma, Dick Costolo and of course 20VC Fund. Prior to changing the world of community though, Linda spent close to 3 years at Amazon as a Senior Product Manager on AWS and Alexa. Before Amazon, Lida was on the other side of the table in venture as an associate at Madrona.


In Today’s Episode with Linda Lian You Will Learn:

1.) How Linda made her way into the world of startups and came to start on the venture side with Madrona? How did Linda’s time at Amazon shape her thinking around founding Common Room? What were Linda’s biggest lessons from her time at Amazon and then also being mentored by Jeff Weiner

2.) How does Linda describe her leadership style today? What are the biggest lessons Linda has learned in terms of how to speak with compassion but also directness and clarity? Why is Linda not a fan of “the shit sandwich”? What is the most effective way to give feedback?

3.) Why did Linda decide to only hire senior and experienced individuals with Common Room? What are the benefits of doing so? What are the downsides? How does Linda approach hiring such senior talent? What works? How is this also challenging? What does Linda mean by “the long poach”?

4.) How does Linda approach delegation today? What framework does Linda use to determine what to do vs what to delegate? How does Linda approach head vs heart when it comes to decision-making? What does it take for Linda to change her mind? What is required?

5.) What does Linda believe are the biggest misnomers around the search for product market fit? Why did Linda deliberately choose to stay in stealth despite raising over $50M from some of the world’s best investors? How did that impact their ability on both product and customer discovery?

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