20VC: The 4 Key Skills All VCs Need To Be Successful, How To Build, Maintain and Scale Your Network in VC and What is The Process Through Which VCs Build Conviction in Opportunities with Max Motschwiller, General Partner @ Meritech Capital
Posted on 25th June 2018 by hstebbings1
Max Motschwiller is a Partner with Meritech Capital, one of the West Coast’s leading growth investment firms with over $150Bn in IPOs and a portfolio that includes the likes of Facebook, Salesforce, Snap, Box, Mulesoft and Cloudera just to name a few. As for Max, prior to Meritech he spent 3 years with Kleiner Perkins (KPCB) where he was actively involved with investments in Dropcam (Nest/Google), Duolingo, MyFitnessPal (Under Armour), RelateIQ (Salesforce.com) and Stance. Before joining KPCB, Max worked for 3 years at Summit Partners and was actively involved across Summit’s technology portfolio.
1.) How did Max make his way into the world of VC with Summit and KP from University? What did that decision-making process look like for Max?
2.) As a career VC, would Max agree with Pat Grady @ Sequoia, “the rate of decay on operating experience has never been greater”? What would Max say are the biggest elements he missed through lack of operational experience? How do the skills required from early to pre-IPO change the type of background required?
3.) Max has said before, “to be a good VC you have to do 4 things well”, what are those 4 things? Why does Max believe that picking is the greatest skill to develop? At growth, what does Max mean when he says “the picking is around price”? How do the very best VCs approach price sensitivity?
4.) Question from Rob Ward: Max has mastered network development from an early age, what advice would Max give with regards to developing a network? What did he do well and works? What did he try and did not do well? How does Max think about depth vs breadth of network? How does he apply this to investing and due diligence?
5.) In a time of Softbank and Sequoia’s $7Bn fund, how does a firm like Meritech look to compete in such frothy environments? How has growth bifurcated into 2 clear stages? What are the advantages of being a small pure-play growth firm? How does the portfolio construction and return expectation change for you given the fund size and stage of investment?
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