20VC: The Services Model of Venture Capital is Broken, The Best Founders Do Need Help, The Most Important Signals to Assess When Meeting Founders & Why Kids Bring Less Happiness and More Joy with Phin Barnes @ TheGP

Posted on 2nd October 2023 by Harry

Phin Barnes is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of The General Partnership (TheGP), a venture capital firm that’s redefining what partnership means for founders. Previously, Phin spent over a decade at First Round Capital, where he was responsible for over 60 investments including Blue Apron, Notion, Clover Health, Gauntlet and Persona. Before First Round, he created an independent video game company and before that was an early employee at AND 1 Basketball where he helped scale the brand from $15 to $225 million in revenue and served as the Creative Director for Footwear.

In Today’s Episode with Phin Barnes We Discuss:

  1. From Creative Director to Venture Capitalist:
  • How did Phin make his way into the world of venture having been a Creative Director at a basketball brand?
  • What does Phin know now that he wishes he could tell himself on his first day in venture?
  • What are 1-2 of Phin’s biggest lessons from his 10 years at First Round which shapes how he invests?

2. The Venture Capital Model is Broken:

  • Why does Phin believe the current services model of venture is broken?
  • Do the best founders need your help?
  • What have been some of the biggest lessons in what the best founders want from their VCs?
  • What happens to this generation of firms with massive support teams?
  • Do VCs use these support teams merely to justify massive fund size scaling to LPs?

3. The Venture Landscape Today:

  • How can we compete in a seed landscape of $5M on $25M against large multi-stage firms?
  • What founders types are attracted to big brands? What founder profiles are taken in by large rounds and high prices?
  • Is Phin more or less excited about seed-stage investing now than he has been before?

4. Investing Lessons 101:

  • What is Phin’s biggest hit? How did seeing their success impact his mindset?
  • What is Phin’s biggest loss? How did the loss impact how he views investing?
  • Traction, team, market; how does Phin rank the three in prioritisation?
  • What should all young people know when entering the venture landscape?

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