20VC: a16z’s Martin Casado on How the Venture Model is Broken, Why VCs Should Be Running Wall St, Who Wins and Who Loses in the Next Generation of Venture & Investing Lessons from Marc Andreesen, Ben Horowitz and Chris Dixon
5th December 2022
Olivier Pomel is the Founder & CEO @ Datadog, the company building the next generation of tools for DevOps teams. Prior to their incredibly successful IPO in 2019, Olivier raised over $147M for the company from Index, ICONIQ, Meritech, IA Ventures, Amplify and OpenView, to name a few. Prior to founding Datadog and changing the world of devops, Olivier was a VP with Wireless Generation for 8 years leading an engineering team of close to 100 of the best developers in NYC.
1.) How Olivier made his way into the world of startups and what was the a-ha founding moment for his creating of Datadog, changing the world of devops?
2.) Why does Olivier believe that “short term failure is a source of long term success?” Why did both seed and Series A investors not get Datadog? What would Olivier have done differently if fundraising again? What do investors misunderstand today when investing in big markets looking for the “entry wedge”?
3.) What has been Olivier’s biggest learnings on how to run Datadog during a pandemic? What attributes does Olivier look for when hiring senior leaders? Why does Olivier believe the CEO has to be the “equaliser in chief”? What does that mean in practice? How can leaders creat eenvironments of safety where their team can approach them with anything?
4.) What have been the biggest challenges in moving from a single product to a multi-product company? How does one know when is the right time to add additional products? What is Olivier’s decision-making process to determine which products to build next?
5.) How does Olivier assess his relationship to money today? How has it changed over time? In what ways has becoming a father impacted Olivier’s operating mindset? What 3 traits would Olivier most like his children to adopt?
Olivier’s Favourite Book: Kurt Vonnegut