20VC: Lessons from Alfred Lin and Ron Conway | Why the World Does Not Want Your Startup To Exist and How the Best Founders Fight It | How To Build Moats and Defensibility Against Large Incumbents with Tarek Mansour, Founder & CEO @ Kalshi

Posted on 30th September 2022 by Harry

Tarek Mansour is the Founder and CEO @ Kalshi, the first regulated exchange where you can trade directly on the outcome of events. Tarek has raised funding from some of the best including Alfred Lin @ Sequoia, Ali Partovi @ Neo, Ron Conway, Charles Schwab and Henry Kravis. Before founding Kalshi, Tarek worked at the likes of Citadel, Palantir and Goldman Sachs, in various different roles.

In Today’s Episode with Tarek Mansour We Discuss:

1.) Entry into Startups:

  • How did Tarek make his way from a nerdy kid in Lebanon to having his first startup funded by Sequoia and billionaires likes Charles Schwab and Henry Kravis?
  • How did his mother’s continuous desire for excellence change Tarek’s mindset?
  • What are the biggest lessons that Tarek took from his mother’s strict parenting and how did he apply them to how he manages the team at Kalshi today?

2.) What it Takes to Succeed:

  • Why does Tarek believe that the world does not want your startup to exist?
  • In that case, what are the core traits that founders need to fight this headwind?
  • Does Tarek believe in work-life balance? What are some of the struggles of this?
  • Does Tarek believe you should work on your weaknesses or double down on your strengths?

3.) Building the Team:

  • Does Tarek believe that naivete is a strength or a weakness? At what point does it change between being a strength to being a weakness?
  • Does Tarek prefer to hire more senior experienced people or younger hustlers with more energy?
  • What have been the single biggest hiring mistakes that Tarek has made? How has it changed his approach to team building?
  • What is the one single trait that if Tarek sees, he will not hire?
  • How does Tarek make the interview process both fun but different and challenging?
  • Where do so many founders make mistakes in how they construct the hiring process?

4.) Tarek Mansour: AMA:

  • What have been the single biggest lessons from working with Ron Conway and Alfred Lin?
  • What are some of Tarek’s biggest insecurities in leadership today?
  • What does Tarek know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time with Kalshi?
  • What would Tarek most like to change about the world of startups?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Tarek’s Favourite Book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It 

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