20VC: Floodgate’s Mike Maples on What Makes Category Kings, What Most Venture Funds Do Wrong When Hiring & ‘The Dance Of Product Market Fit’
Posted on 10th October 2016 by Harry
Mike Maples is a Founding Partner @ Floodgate, one of the leading early-stage venture funds in the valley. Mike has made investments in the likes of Twitter, Twitch.tv, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Okta, and Demandforce. As a result, Mike has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010 and was also named one of “8 Rising Stars” by FORTUNE Magazine. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (acquired by IBM) and Motive (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.)
1.) How Mike made his way into VC and came to found Floodgate?
2.) How did the investment decision-making process change for Mike with the institutionalisation and fiduciary responsibility of an LP backed fund?
3.) How does Mike approach team building with Floodgate? What does he look for in his partners? What do most funds do wrong when hiring and expanding their team?
4.) Mike has a very different way of reading product and the associated market. What does Mike mean by saying the ‘dance of product market fit’? Who leads what? How do they work together? What are the reasons startups do not achieve PMF?
5.) How does Mike assess the aspect of category creation? What are the fundamentals required to be a category king? What characteristics do category kings have?
Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.
I’d like to thank Wealthfront for sponsoring today’s podcast. Wealthfront are financial advisors that can help you invest your hard-earned dollars. Wealthfront’s modern financial services helps tailor plans specifically for you, making it easy to reach your financial goals. Wealthfront has low fees and no trading commissions… It’s financial advice at a fraction of the cost of a traditional advisor, all online. And if you sign up using my URL, you’ll get your first $15,000 managed for free. Go to Wealthfront.com/20vc.