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The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

The Twenty Minute VC takes you inside the world of Venture Capital, Startup Funding and The Pitch. Join our host, Harry Stebbings and discover how you can attain funding for your business by listening to what the most prominent investors are directly looking for in startups, providing easily actionable tips and tricks that can be put in place to increase your chances of getting funded. Although, you may not want to raise funding for a startup. The Twenty Minute VC also provides an instructional guide as to what it takes to get employed in the Venture Capital industry, with VCs giving specific advice on how to get noticed from the crowd and increasing your chances of employment. If that wasn't enough our amazing Venture Capitalists also provide their analysis of the current technology market, providing advice and suggestions on the latest investing trends and predictions. Join us so you can see how you can get BIG, powerful improvements, fast. Would you like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and a more detailed analysis of the technology and Venture Capital industry.
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Now displaying: Category: investing
Nov 19, 2018

Jeff Morris Jr is the Founder of Chapter One, an early stage seed fund investing in blockchain assets, mobile and subscription businesses. Chapter One's Portfolio includes the likes of Lyft, Brandable, Crypto Kitties and many more incredible companies. However, Jeff is unique as Chapter One is only one of his hats, Jeff is also the Director of Product & Revenue @ Tinder and when asked to lead the revenue team they were ranked #17 in the app store. Within a year, under Jeff's leadership, Tinder became the #1 top grossing app in the world.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeff made his way into the world of startups and angel investing, how that lead to his role as Director of Product and Revenue @ Tinder and a leading early-stage investor with Chapter One?

2.) Jeff has previously said, "apply an investor mindset to every product decision I make". What are the foundational questions involved? What are the inherent challenges of being so deep in product and investing simultaneously? What does Jeff think of VCs giving product advice to founders? What should the founders look for? What advice does Jeff give to the common question of "how do I get into investing and VC"?

3.) Why does Jeff disagree with the platform shift and the downturn in consumer mobile? What core innovations will drive the next wave of consumer mobile? Valuations in the space are often lofty, how does Jeff think about price and evaluate his own price sensitivity? How does Jeff think about scalable customer acquisition today in a world where incumbents dominate and price up the traditional channels?

4.) Jeff has said before that "investors treat crypto teams as if they are superhuman", what makes Jeff think this? How do their interactions differ than towards non-crypto teams? Why are lofty expectations dangerous for valuations? How does that put undue pressure on employees? Why are lofty expectations dangerous for product development? How do they affect the product roadmap negatively?

5.) How does Jeff approach the diligence aspect when it comes to investing? What have been some of his major lessons from making over 35 investments on the right diligence framework? How do shortened fundraising cycles negatively affect investor diligence processes? What can founders and investors do under these constrained time frames?

6.) Having worked with some of the greats from Doug Leone to Bill Gurley, what are some of the common traits in how the very best investors engage with founders? What were Jeff's personal learnings from seeing these greats in action? How did it change the way Jeff thinks about founder interaction and engagement?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeff’s Fave Book: The Catcher In The RyeGoogled

Jeff’s Most Recent Investment: Radar Relay

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jeff on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Nov 12, 2018

Leo Polovets is a General Partner @ Susa Ventures, one of the valley's leading early-stage seed funds with a portfolio including the likes of Flexport, Robinhood, Lendup, Qadium, Rigetti, the list goes on. As for Leo, prior to joining the world of VC, he started his career as the second non-founding engineer at LinkedIn. After two years at LinkedIn, Leo spent 3 years at Google, largely working on real-time payment fraud detection. Finally, his last stop pre-Susa involved spending 4 years at Factual, a location data platform.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leo made his way into the world of VC from being the 2nd non-founding engineer at LinkedIn?

2.) Why does Leo believe that the hailed "warm intro" is actually dumb? What are the biggest drawbacks to this being commonplace in our ecosystem? What does Leo believe the mindset of investors should be instead? How does Leo filter through cold inbound? What are the 4 elements Leo looks for in all inbound? What can founders do to really make them stand out?

3.) Leo has previously heavily emphasised the importance of moats, how does Leo define moats and defensibility? When do founders have to think about moat building? Pre-product? Pre-launch? Pre-scaling? What questions suggest that a founders mindset is heavily oriented to moat building? With the majority of incumbents being usurped by platform shifts, does that not render moats significantly futile in the long term?

4.) What does Leo believe is the right way for investors to pass on an opportunity and communicate that to founders? What is wrong with the current way many do it? How does Leo present his opinion without getting into an argument with the founder on reasoning? What feedback has Leo been given from founders that has changed the way he thinks about being an investor?

5.) Controversial capitals Round:

  • Ownerships is built on first check? Agree or disagree and why?
  • Whether it is a $6m, $8m or $12m, if it is at seed, it is so early that price really does not matter so much? Agree or disagree and why?
  • There is no point VCs spending their time with struggling companies in the portfolio. At best they return cents on the dollar. Only work with the outperformers to drive returns. Agree or disagree and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leo’s Fave Book: Elad Gil's High Growth Handbook

Leo’s Most Recent Investment: Interviewing.io

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Leo on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

 

Nov 9, 2018

Ooshma Garg is the Founder & CEO @ Gobble, the startup that allows you to cook a fresh homemade dinner in just 15 minutes. To date, Ooshma has raised over $30m in funding for Gobble from some of the best in the business including Initialized Capital, Keith Rabois, Reid Hoffman, Founder Collective, Felicis, Andreesen Horowitz and Thrive just to name a few. As for Ooshma, prior to founding Gobble she founded Anapata, an online site that matches students looking for jobs with potential employers. The company was ultimately acquired by LawWerx.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ooshma made her way from Wall St to changing the way America eats with Gobble today?

2.) Everyone has an opinion on the food delivery space with the public nature of Blue Apron, what does Ooshma mean when she says "small and mighty beats loud and weak"? Why did Ooshma not take the path of other competitors in the space of racing big and running fast? What is Ooshma's advice to founders on dilution and raise amounts?

3.) Would Ooshma agree with Alex @ LSVP that marketing portfolios are like venture portfolios, diversified and then double down? Would Ooshma agree with the concern around unfeasible CACs due to incumbents bidding them up on major platforms? Where does Ooshma see blue ocean when it comes to marketing channel success?

4.) What does Ooshma mean when she says "success is survival"? Why is capital efficiency even more important in online/offline businesses? What are some of Ooshma's examples of her "wartime approach" to capital efficiency? How does Ooshma explain this more sustainable growth to the growth-hungry VC community? Who is to blame for the insatiable desire for unreasonable growth; the founders or the VCs?

5.) Ooshma has raised over $30m with Gobble, analysing herself in fundraising, what does Ooshma believe she did particularly well during the raise and advise other founders to do? What elements would she like to improve upon for the next round? What is the story behind how Ooshma sprinted down the 101 to get Keith Rabois as an angel?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ooshma’s Fave Book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ooshma on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Nov 5, 2018

Avidan Ross is the Founding Partner @ Root Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's most exciting newer generation of funds dedicated to backing bold engineers at seed. To date they have backed some incredible companies such as Nautilus Labs, Dusty Robotics, Tortuga AgTech and Instrumental.ai just to name a few. Prior to founding Root, Avidan was CTO at The CIM Group, with an aggregate of $15Bn AUM, Avidan was responsible for establishing the company’s technical vision and leading all aspects of the company's technology investment. Before that, he built algorithmic trading platforms as Director of Technology at WHW Capital. 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Avidan went from building algorithmic trading platforms to back the next generation of revolutionary engineers with Root?

2.) What does Avidan mean when he says "the peace dividends of the autonomous car wars will generate more value outside of transportation?" How does the commoditisation of these core components affect subsequent industries? With their commoditisation, does it not become a raise to the bottom on price and margin?

3.) How does Avidan approach the layering on new software products to emerging hardware devices? What does this mean for the margin required both for the hardware and the software? How does Avidan's investor mentality alter when investing in hardware vs software?

4.) Why does Avidan believe "old and boring industries are the most exciting to build software in?" How does Avidan approach the common problem of customer education and selling to a customer base that does not want to talk to you and does not believe in your product? What do founders selling in these industries need to focus on to break through?

5.) How does Avidan assess the current landscape in terms of the quality and quantity of engineer CEOs? Why does Avidan believe the MBA CEO will be replaced by engineers? How has Avidan seen a variance in the background in the entrepreneurs innovating in "old and boring" industries?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Avidan’s Fave Book: Drive by Daniel Pink

Avidan’s Most Recent Investment: Dusty Robotics

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Avidan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Nov 2, 2018

Ryan Caldbeck is the Founder & CEO @ CircleUp, the startup creating a transparent and efficient market to drive innovation for consumer brands. To date, Ryan has raised over $50m with CircleUp from some friends and prior guests of the show including USV, Collaborative Fund and Canaan Partners just to name a few. Prior to CircleUp, Ryan spent nearly 7 years investing in consumer products with the likes of TSG Consumer Partners and Encore Consumer Capital. As a result of Ryan's success with CircleUp he has been recognised as a "Titan of Retail" by Bloomberg and "40 Under 40" by the San Francisco Business Times.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan made his way into the world of consumer investing and what the realisation moment was for him that the market needed a solution, CircleUp?

2.) Why does Ryan believe that venture capital has a fundamental problem? What is it about the economics of funds that Ryan has a problem with? Who is to blame for this situation; the LPs who fund it or the AUM hungry VCs? Why does Ryan believe the majority of micro VCs are micro as that is all they could raise? Is that really fair or true?

3.) Why does Ryan fundamentally believe the LP ecosystem and mechanism for backing funds is inherently broken? What is so wrong with current LP incentives? What does Ryan believe can be done to encourage more risk-taking and innovation from within the LP class?

4.) Recognising the antiquated nature of much of VC, what does Ryan believe the future of VC looks like? How will we see the use of data impact both sourcing and investment decision-making? Where does Ryan believe it has the most potential? Where is data so sparse that it will be challenging? How does Ryan believe the best managers of the future will use data?

5.) Consumer brands and DNVBs are riding high today, does Ryan believe we are in a consumer bubble? What does Ryan believe is so wrong about how the majority of the current crop of VCs analyse consumer businesses? How should they be analysed? Why does Ryan believe consumer exits will be smaller? Is it fair to say consumer is more capital intensive and largely sells for 1.6-1.8 EBITDA?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ryan’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ryan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 29, 2018

Ron Bouganim is the Founding Partner @ Govtech Fund, the first-ever venture capital fund dedicated to government technology startups. To date, he has backed some incredible category leaders including mark43, Neighbourly, MindMixer and SeamlessDocs just to name a few. Prior to GovTech, he was Accelerator Director @ Code for America and was an active angel investor and advisor working with more than twenty startups including ShareThrough, HelloSign, PagerDuty, and Close.io.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ron made his way into the world of technology and startups and became angel investing? How that led to the founding of Govtech and the belief in the space today?

2.) There is the notion that there many challenges to investing in Govtech and scaling companies in the space, how does Ron respond to the suggestion the sales cycles when selling to government are too long for startups to navigate successfully? How does Ron respond to the suggestion that the growth rates in the space are to low for venture returns? How does Ron respond to the suggestion that founders in the space are inherently older as only they have experienced the problems of government tech?

3.) Why does Ron believe that a vertically focused fund is the right strategy is creating a massively outperforming fund? How does Ron respond to the possibility of missing moonshots in alternate categories? What does Ron most look for in the co-investors that he invests with? What do they bring to the table?

4.) What does Ron believe are the 2 fundamental roles of a seed investor today? How does that differ from previous generations of seed funds? Why does Ron believe that fundraising and hiring help is now merely table stakes? What else can seed investors do to meaningfully move the needle for their portfolio?

5.) Why does Ron advocate for a highly concentrated portfolio? How does Ron respond to LP concerns around a lack of diversification? Does Ron believe that you can grow ownership of your best companies over subsequent rounds? What is the sign of success for Ron when the founder comes back for re-financing?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ron’s Fave Book: Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Ron’s Most Recent Investment: Sema: Automated Code Maintenance

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ron on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 26, 2018

Phil Libin is the Co-Founder & CEO @ All Turtles, the startup that believes they have a better way to make technology products, placing products first and companies later. Today they are building AI products in San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo. As for Phil, prior to All Turtles he was a Managing Director @ General Catalyst. Before that he spent 23 years founding different companies including founding Evernote, taking it from idea generation to productivity powerhouse raising over $160m in VC funding in the process, from some of the very best including Sequoia Capital. Phil is also an extremely successful angel with a portfolio including Gusto, TellApart and Binary Thumb just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Phil made his way into the world of tech startups many years ago, how that led to his entering VC with General Catalyst and to now, founding All Turtles?

2.) How does Phil assess the state of Silicon Valley today? Why does Phil believe that Silicon Valley has been becoming increasingly redundant over the last 20 years? Why does Phil argue that the VC Silicon Valley model has been primarily effective at serving it's own needs? What needs to occur for this to change?

3.) Why does Phil argue that the balance of power between startups and incumbents is shifting for 5 core reasons? Why does Phil believe that the data incumbency argument with AI startups is largely overstated and a fear tactic? How does Phil believe people's attitude toward working for incumbents has been shifting over the last few years?

4.) Why does Phil believe that the concept of a "company" is fundamentally outdated? What is so broken about this model? What does Phil believe will be the model of the future for the world's best product creators? Why does the idea of a generalist VC in this model largely not make logical sense to Phil? What does Phil believe the future of VC is?

5.) Why does Phil believe that his time in VC has made him a better CEO than even his time in operations? What have been his core learnings? How has his operating mindset fundamentally shifted? Why does Phil argue the core role of the CEO is not management upscaling? Why does Phil argue it is wrong to assume the only mindset is growth?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Phil’s Fave Book: Clock of The Long Now

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Phil on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 19, 2018

Dennis Mortensen is the Founder & CEO @ X.ai, the startup that realises scheduling sucks and provides ridiculously efficient AI software that solves the hassle of meeting scheduling. To date, Dennis has raised over $44m in VC funding from the likes of Firstmark, IA Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, DCM and more fantastic names. As for Dennis, he is an expert in leveraging data to solve enterprise use cases and prior to X.ai he was the Founder & CEO of 3 companies, 2 of which were acquired and one which went bust or as he describes a rather expensive MBA. Dennis is also the author of Data Driven Insights, on collecting and analyzing digital data.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dennis made his way from Copenhagen to New York, the world of startups and came to found one of the hottest AI companies of our day in X.ai?

2.) What were Dennis' biggest lessons from enjoying 3 successful exits prior to X.ai? What were Dennis' learnings from his one failed startup? What would he do differently if he were to start another company? How does Dennis navigate the balance of between pursuing a vision and miss vs when something is just not working?

3.) Does Dennis believe that there really is such a thing as an AI first company? What is the right mentality to approach a company solving a problem through AI with? How does Dennis view the standardisation of AI tools today (Tensor Flow, libraries etc etc)? Does this remove barriers and defensibility for AI companies? What is the key to success for all AI companies?

4.) What does a truly differentiated data acquisition strategy look like? How can one determine the different utility value between different sizes of data? At what point does Dennis believe utility value of data diminishes due to the sheer size of existing data?

5.) Does Dennis believe that conversational UI is truly a paradigm shift in the way we interact with our devices or an iterative improvement? What have been some of the biggest lessons for Dennis in designing conversational UI products? What have been some of the fundamental challenges?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dennis’ Fave Book: The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of MoneyShoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKEMike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Dennis on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

 

Oct 15, 2018

Phin Barnes is a Partner @ First Round Capital, one of the most prestigious and successful early-stage funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Uber, Square, Warby Parker, HotelTonight, GOAT, PatientPing, Atrium and more incredible companies. As for Phin, in his own words, he learned the business of startups helping grow AND1 from $15M to $225M in revenue as Creative Director for Footwear, and started his own fitness video-game company, producing Yourself!Fitness, the first game of its kind for Xbox and PlayStation 2 where he built partnerships with the likes of Procter & Gamble and McDonald’s. Phin also writes the most fantastic blog, sneakerheadVC, that really is a must read.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Phin came to be a Partner @ First Round by working for free, with no plans to be a Partner?

2.) What were Phin's biggest lessons from learning from and observing Josh Kopelman? How does Phin define true success as a VC today? Why is the model of determining success according to returns fundamentally flawed? How does Phin approach the need for VCs to be both curious and competitive? What is the nuance there?

3.) Why does Phin believe that the commonly discussed "pattern recognition" is another term for intellectual laziness? What does Phin do to prevent his forming assumptions on the founders he meets? Why does Phin fundamentally disagree with the common VC habit of looking for weaknesses in founders?

4.) Does Phin agree that we have an oversupply of capital in market today? How does Phin determine when a stretch on price is a stretch too far? Why does Phin think that more emphasis should be placed on the business model that VCs have? What does Phin mean when he says that he is on the "sell side"?

5.) What does Phin mean when he says that "VCs should focus on a founders ability to optimise for learning per dollar spent"? Is cash ever a defensible moat in it's own right? What does Phin believe is the right way for founders to use capital as a weapon?

6.) How does Phin and First Round think about the right way to allocate reserves effectively? What does that look like in reality? What does the decision-making process look like on re-investments? Why does Phin believe that the framework of "pro-rata is largely lazy?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Phin’s Fave Book: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer WithinBoyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

Phin’s Most Recent Investment: Ubiquity6

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Phin on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 12, 2018

Patrick Morley is the President and CEO @ Carbon Black, the company that combines unfiltered data collection, predictive analytics, and cloud-based delivery to provide superior endpoint protection. Prior to their IPO in April 2018, Carbon Black had raised over $150m in VC funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital, Accomplice, Kleiner Perkins and Highland Venture Partners just to name a few. As for Patrick, under his leadership, he has taken Carbon Black from startup to market leader with over 800 employees. Before Carbon Black, he was CEO of Imprivata Corporation and held senior leadership positions with six venture-backed software companies, including three that had successful IPOs.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Patrick made his way into the world of startups and came to be CEO @ Carbon Black where he turned a startup into a public company and market leader with 800 employees?

2.) Patrick has previously said "there are 7 key themes to building a great company", what are those themes? From taking 4 companies public what are the patterns in building a business the right way? How does Patrick look to create a culture of accountability but also with a risk-taking mentality? How does one retain startup culture with scale?

3.) How does Patrick view his role as CEO today? What 3 characteristics do all great CEOs need to embody and then act on? Would Patrick agree that some people are destined for certain stages of a company's life? How does Patrick determine between a stretch and a stretch too far in a VP? What does that subsequent communication look like?

4.) Mike Dauber @ Amplify previously said on the show "timing kills more startups than dollars", would Patrick agree with this? How does he view market timing? What advice would Patrick give to founders who are 3-4 years ahead in market? What are the challenges? What are the right ways to communicate the path to timing it right?

5.) Why did Patrick choose this year to take Carbon Black public? What are the fundamental pros and cons of being a public company today? How does Patrick assess the role that VCs played in the building of Carbon Black to IPO? What must investors always remember in their interactions with founders? What must founders be cognizant of when selecting their investors and board members?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Patrick’s Fave Book: Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 8, 2018

Woody Marshall is a General Partner @ TCV, one of the most successful growth funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, AirBnB, Spotify, LinkedIn and many more incredible companies. Woody joined TCV in 1995 and has since led investments in Spotify, Netflix, AirBnB, Peloton, Groupon and the list goes on. Due to this phenomenal success, Woody has been named numerous times to the Midas List by Forbes as one of the industry’s top technology investors. Prior to joining TCV, Woody spent 12 years at Trident Capital, where he focused on the payments, internet, and mobile markets.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Woody made his way into the world of VC over 23 years ago and came to invest in products of a generation such as AirBnb, Spotify and Netflix?

2.) What have been the foundational changes Woody has seen over his last 23 years in venture? How did witnessing the boom and bust affect his operating and investing mentality? How does Woody approach price sensitivity? When is stretching on price a stretch too far?

3.) How does Woody analyse and assess the extended period of privatisation for companies today? How does the mega raises of funds from Softbank, Sequoia, GC, Lightspeed etc change the competitive landscape for Woody? Is there a surplus of capital in market today? Why does Woody believe the pie is larger than it has ever been?

4.) Does Woody agree that the dominant role of CEO is management upscaling? From Woody's portfolio, on hearing this, who is the first CEO that comes to mind and what is the story behind it? What are the mistakes that CEOs tend to make most often when scaling into hypergrowth? What are the 2-3 things that all companies need to focus on when product market fit is apparent and they need to scale?

5.) Woody has spent over 3,500 hours in the board seat, how has he seen himself evolve and develop over time as a board member? What were the biggest learning curves and points of development for Woody? How do the best founders manage and operate their board? Who exemplifies this best from recent memory? What do they do?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Woody’s Fave Book: The Boys in the Boat

Woody’s Most Recent Investment: Peloton

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Woody on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 5, 2018

Afton Vechery is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Modern Fertility, the startup that guides you through your fertility hormones now so you have options later. To date they have raised over 7m in funding from some of the leading players in venture including USV, First Round Capital, Maveron, SV Angel and Y Combinator. As for Afton, prior to Modern Fertility, Afton was a Product Manager @ 23andMe where she was the sole product manager responsible for all consumer-facing genetic tools. Before 23andMe, Afton was a Strategy and Finance Consultant @ Willow Pump where she participated in fundraising that led to successful $15M fundraise.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Afton made her way into the world of startups with 23andMe and then came to change the way we think about fertility with Modern Fertility?

2.) Afton has previously emphasised the importance of having "frameworks for success". What does that mean? How do those frameworks break down? How does Afton think about the decision-making process around prioritisation? How does Afton think about the difference between being customer informed and customer driven?

3.) Why does Afton believe that there are times when you should not test the MVP? Why is this? What would Afton do differently in the MVP process if she had her time again? How does Afton think about and respond to the statement "move fast and break things"?

4.) Why does Afton believe it is important to let everyone "rip apart your business"? What are the fundamental benefits of this? From the ripping aparts, Afton has experienced, what have been the biggest takeaways? What was their argument? How did Afton respond? How did her thinking and mentality change as a result?

5.) Why does Phin Barnes @ First Round say Afton is "hard as nails"?  What were some of Afton's biggest learnings from her early engineering role? How does Afton think about entrepreneurial resilience today? What advice does Afton give to emerging entrepreneurs and first-time founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Afton’s Fave Book: Motherhood Rescheduled

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Afton on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Oct 1, 2018

Rebecca Kaden is a General Partner @ Union Square Ventures, one of the most successful funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Twilio, Zynga, Soundcloud, Tumblr, Lending Club and many more. As for Rebecca, prior to USV, Sarah was a General Partner @ Maveron, a consumer-only seed and series A fund where she invested in the likes of Allbirds, Dia & Co, Periscope, Earnest and Eargo just to name a few. Before Maveron, Rebecca took the route of many great VCs and was a journalist, working as Special Projects Editor @ Narrative Magazine.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rebecca made her way into the world of VC from journalism? How her journey with Maveron led to her becoming a General Partner with the prestigious USV?

2.) Having mastered the craft of VC in the world of consumer, how does Rebecca respond to Peter Fenton and Jeremy Levine's statement, "we are in a consumer downturn"? How does Rebecca think about the lack of free and open distribution today? How can startups compete with incumbents for cost-efficient customer acquisition?

3.) How does Rebecca evaluate the role of Amazon today? How does Rebecca look to get comfortable that Amazon is not moving into the space of a portfolio company? Does Rebecca agree, "if you are not a top 3 priority", you have a couple of years on them? How can startups learn from the execution advantage shown by Amazon over the last decade?

4.) With several recent consumer acquisitions under $200m, does Rebecca still believe that venture returns can be made at scale in consumer? How does Rebecca analyse how to think about multiple on revenue when evaluating consumer companies? Why Does Rebecca believe we are in a moment of fragmentation, not consolidation?

5.) How does Rebecca compare the partnerships of US and Maveron having been a GP now at both firms? What are the similarities? What are the differences? What does Rebecca believe are the core advantages of small partnerships and controlled fund sizes? How does the addition of the thesis-driven investing style effect Rebecca's thinking?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rebecca’s Fave Book: Pale Fire 

Rebecca’s Most Recent Investment: Modern Fertility

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Rebecca on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Sep 28, 2018

Maynard Webb is truly unique, he has worn 3 different hats and excelled in all of them. First, he is the Founder of The Webb Investment Network, the institutionalisation of his personal investing where he has invested in the likes of Zuora, GOAT, WePay, Okta, PagerDuty and many more incredible companies. He is also a Co-Founder and Board Member at Everwise, the startup that helps companies tailor, scale and run training at enterprise scale. Everwise has raised over $26m in funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital and Canvas Ventures. Finally, Maynard sits on the board of some of the biggest companies of our time including Salesforce and Visa. Previously Maynard was Chairman of the Board of Yahoo!, CEO of LiveOps, and COO of eBay.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Maynard made his way into the world of startups and came to invest in his first company, founded by Sequoia's Jim Goetz and how that led to eBay, LiveOps and more?

2.) Does Maynard believe we have an excess supply of capital in the market today? What does Maynard think of the mega $Bn+ funds being raised on a frequent basis? How does this distort pricing in the market? How does Maynard think about his own price sensitivity? What does this mean for his available reserve allocation?

3.) Does Maynard believe that the dominant role of CEO is management upscaling? How does Maynard advise on the transition from manager to inspirational leader? How do the vest best CEOs hire the very best execs? How does Maynard know when a stretch VP is a stretch too far? How should founders determine and approach "bet the company" decisions?

4.) When should a founder start installing their board? What does Maynard believe is the optimal board construction, both in characters and profiles? How has Maynard seen his own style of board membership changed over the years? What are the best board members talk to listen ratios? How can founders create alignment among their board?

5.) What is the right way for founders to deal with "s*** hit the fan moments"? What is the framework to approach this with? Where do many go wrong in their approach? How does one communicate this to the wider team, investors and board? What have been Maynard's biggest personal learnings here from eBay?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Maynard’s Fave Book: The Better Angels of Our Nature

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Maynard on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Sep 24, 2018

Sarah Tavel is a General Partner at Benchmark, one of the world’s leading VC funds with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, eBay, WeWork, Yelp and many more revolutionary companies of the last decade. As for Sarah, Sarah has led Benchmark's investments in and currently sits on the boards of Chainalysis and Hipcamp. Prior to Benchmark, Sarah was a Partner at Greylock Partners, where she led Greylock's investment in Sonder and another (unannounced) company. Before Greylock, Sarah was one of the first 35 employees at Pinterest where she led the company's international expansion and aided in the closing of the Series C financing. Sarah was also the product lead for search, recommendations, machine vision, and pin quality and led three acquisitions as she helped the company scale through a period of hyper-growth.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sarah made her first foray into the world of venture with Bessemer over 10 years ago? How that led to Pinterest and how she came to be a GP at Benchmark today?

2.) Speaking of Sarah's operating career with Pinterest, Pat Grady said on the show "never has the rate of decay on operating experience been greater". How does Sarah think about and respond to this? How has operating made Sarah a strong investor? What are the drawbacks that this operating experience can present for investors?

3.) Moving to evaluation, Andy Rachleff, Founder @ Benchmark said on the show, "good team poor market, market wins; good market, poor team, market wins. How does Sarah think about the balance between founder vs market? Why is going after big markets so hard? What should investors look for in a market with that in mind? How does Sarah determine the right time to open up adjacent markets?

4.) There has never been a greater supply of capital in the market than today, does Sarah believe we have an excess supply today? Does Sarah agree with her Partner, Peter Fenton, "no good deal is too expensive in hindsight"? How does Sarah assess her own price sensitivity? How does it depend on the opportunity? How has it changed over time?

5.) Having 2,5000 hours on boards, how has Sarah seen herself develop and change as a board member? What have been some of the biggest learning curves? What are the commonalities in the very best board members Sarah works with? how doe the best entrepreneurs manage and use their boards effectively?

6.) Why does Sarah think that crypto today is very much like the world of adtech in the early days? How does Sarah think about the requirement for specialisation in the space? WIll this be a game for the specialised crypto funds or can generalist VC funds compete?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sarah’s Fave Book: Creating the Kingdom of Ends

Sarah’s Most Recent Investment: Hipcamp

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sarah on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Sep 21, 2018

Amol Deshpande is the Co-Founder and CEO at Farmers Business Network, the farmer-to-farmer agronomic information network improving the livelihood of farmers by making data useful and accessible. To date, they have raised a whopping $193m in funding from the likes of Kleiner Perkins, T Rowe, GV, Temasek and more. As for Amol, prior to FBN, he was a Partner @ Kleiner Perkins where he invested in the likes of Harvest Power and Agilyx and before Kleiner, Amol was a Director @ Black River Asset Management.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Amol made his way into the world of startups, came to be a Partner @ Kleiner Perkins and then came to change the world of farming with Farmers Business Network?

2.) What were Amol's biggest takeaways from his time with Kleiner? Although important to think really big, how does Amol think about the Peter Thiel School of Thought, starting in a very small niche and expanding? Where does Amol see many founders go wrong when it comes to market size and assessment?

3.) How does Amol believe the very best CEOs hire the very best talent? What core characteristics does Amol look for when adding to his exec team? What are the leading questions and indicators that would excite/concern Amol? Why does Amol believe the smartest people do not always make the best hires? What are the core signs that a stretch VP is a stretch too far?

4.) What is the key to success for founders in building credibility with customers, investors and their board? What is the most challenging element of credibility building? Where does Amol see many founders go wrong and lose credibility today? How does your approach have to alter according to which class of individual you are looking to build with?

5.) How does Amol fundamentally approach the topic of capital efficiency? What does Amol believe is the right way for founders to think about dilution when raising? How does Amol determine when is the right time to raise big and pour fuel on the fire?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Amol’s Fave Book: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Amol on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Sep 17, 2018

David Frankel is Managing Partner @ Founder Collective, one of the leading seed funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Uber, PillPack, Coupang, Hotel Tonight, Venmo, Buzzfeed and many more incredible companies. David himself sits on the board of PillPack, Olo, Adhawk and SeatGeek. Prior to founding Founder Collective, David was the Co-Founder and CEO of Internet Solutions, one of the largest ISP providers in Africa. This led to his entrance into angel investing where he enjoyed immense success investing in the likes of Chris Dixon's Hunch and Alex Rampell's TrialPay, just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of startups and angel investing from founding Africa's largest ISP provider and how that led to his founding of Founder Collective?

2.) Does David agree with Andy McLoughlin on the inherent mindset shift required when moving from angel to institutional investor? What does David believe is the key to making a new venture partnership work well in the early days? How was the process between him and Eric Paley? What were some of the core challenges/ highlights and breakthroughs?

3.) What does founder-market fit truly mean to David? Why does David believe it is one of the most crucial elements to look for in all investment opportunities? How was this so perfectly evident in the case of Elliot and TJ @ PillPack? How does David navigate the balance between the perfectness of the fit and the investability of the market?

4.) From watching TJ and Elliot at PillPack, what does David believe the truly special founders do to continuously attract the best talent? When does David believe is the right time to really build out the exec team? How did Elliot and TJ align their scaling of the org chart with the growth of the business so well?

5.) How does David think about the lack of free and open distribution in acquiring new customer in a capital efficient manner today? Why does David believe the companies of the future will be advantaged in distribution? In what shape and form can this advantage take? How does David think about the right time to put the pedal to the metal and aggressively grow?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

David’s Most Recent Investment: Adhawk

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The reality is that hiring amazing developers is hard. Terminal.io is your dedicated partner in rapidly standing up world-class remote technical teams. How do they deliver both speed and quality? Terminal does this by focusing on everything necessary to successfully source, setup, and support these teams – from physical elements like beautiful workspaces and equipment to ongoing resources like HR, payroll, legal, professional learning and development. But don’t take my word for this, take the word of Eventbrite, former 20VC guest Hims, and Dialpad – all customers and lovers of Terminal. You can find out more today at Terminal.io.

Sep 14, 2018

Howard Lerman is the Founder & CEO @ Yext, the company that allows you to control your brand experience across the digital universe. Due in part to Howard's incredible leadership of the firm, Yext went public in April 2017 with an opening price of $11 a share, today the stock price sits at $26.85 and a market cap of $2.65Bn. Prior to the IPO, Yext raised over $117m in VC funding from Insight Venture Partners, IVP, SV Angel and CrunchFund to name a few. As for Howard, Yext is his 4th company and he is also Co-Founder and Chairman of Confide, a leading off-the-record messaging service.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Howard made his way into the world of startups and came to Partner with is co-founders to start the now public company that is Yext?

2.) Why must every founder know about Teddy Roosevelt and his "Five Minute Meetings"? Literally, what is the right way to structure these meetings? What one question is the right question to ask? How can a leader look to retain that startup culture and ethos with scale? Why does Howard believe running a global company is like running a country?

3.) What have Howard's biggest takeaways been from studying "John Lennon's Storytelling Trick"? How can founders use this trick both to inspire their team more effectively internally and then to present a better vision for the company, externally?

4.) Howard has said before "fundraising is not an end in itself". Does Howard believe that company financing should be celebrated? How was the IPO process for Howard? From a literal standpoint, how does the process run? How did Howard choose which banks to work with? How did the 10-day roadshow shape up? How did the pricing decision-making process look the night before IPO?

5.) Why does Howard believe it is fundamentally better being a public company? What does "public" status allow you? How does being public introduce a challenge never before seen to founders? Why must founders always examine the motives of the VC behind whether they are pushing them to remain private or go public?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Howard’s Fave Book: Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Howard on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Aug 31, 2018

Philip Krim is the Founder & CEO @ Casperthe global sleep company that launched in 2014 offering perfect mattresses directly to consumers. Since then they have raised over $239m in funding from the likes of NEA, Lerer Hippeau, IVP, Norwest Venture partners and even include Leonardo Di Caprio on their cap table. As for Philip, he is a serial entrepreneur having founded 2 previous startups, launching his first business out of his very own dorm room at the University of Texas. Due to his immense success, he has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and been awarded a TechCrunch Crunchie award for Best in E-commerce.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Philip made his way into the world of startups and came to launch one of the most successful consumer brands of our day in the form of Casper?

2.) We continuously hear about "the end of retail". What does retail done poorly mean to Philip? How does he perceive the future of retail and retail done right? How does retail fundamentally change the margin structure of an originally online brand like Casper? What does Philip perceive to be the biggest challenge to opening up retail significantly?

3.) Why does Philip think we have seen many online mattress brands struggle over the past year? How has this affected how he operates and executes the plan with Casper? How does Philip think about diversification within customer acquisition channels? How does Philip assess the saturation rate of different distribution channels?

4.) Casper's latest lead investor was a strategic investor, Target. How does Philip think about accepting strategic funds? What was the internal debate and decision-making process? What advice would Philip have to founders contemplating accepting strategic money? How can strategics sometimes have ulterior motives?

5.) Does Philip agree with many former CEOs on the show, the most important role of the CEO is management upscaling? What other functions does Philip consider core? How did Philip think about building out the core of his C-Suite? Does he wish he had done it earlier? What element of the C-Suite was the hardest to hire for?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Philip’s Fave Book: Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our FutureBad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Philip on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Aug 27, 2018

Daniel Gross is the Founder @ Pioneer and the Head of AI @ Y Combinator. Taking them in turn, Pioneer is the home for ambitious outsiders of the world where they are building a community of creative young people working on interesting projects around the globe. YC is obviously the world’s most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. Prior to Pioneer and YC, Daniel was a Director @ Apple where he focused on machine learning, as a result of his prior company, Cue (also a YC company) being acquired by Apple in 2013. Finally, Daniel also has one of the valley’s most impressive angel portfolios with investments in OpenDoor, Cruise (acquired by GM), Gusto and Github, just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way from a military camp in Israel to start a company at YC to selling the company to Apple to now, creating a global community of the world's most ambitious people?

2.) What does Daniel believe is the commonality of truly great people? Why did Daniel decide to start Pioneers now? What are the terms for entering Pioneers? How is Daniel looking to create the global talent engine through gamification with Pioneers? Why is gamification such a strong tool to understand human motivation?

3.) Why did Daniel decide it was the right decision to bring the Pioneers to SF? In the world of decentralized entrepreneurship, why did Daniel feel it necessary to bring everyone to the valley? What does Daniel believe Silicon Valley needs to solve if it is to become the home for crypto and frontier tech? What role does optimism play in the success of SF?

4.) The program is funded through Stripe and Marc Andreesen, many have suggested this poses conflict with potential optionality on projects and talent, how does Daniel think about this conflict? Why is it not a concern? What other challenges does Daniel forsee as being the biggest barriers to the success of Pioneer?

5.) How does Daniel think about KPI's for the coming 12 months? What are his core KPI's? How does Daniel construct a framework that will allow him to love previously disliked tasks? How can anyone do this with success?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book: Finite and Infinite GamesEnders Game

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: JumpRetool

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Daniel on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Joist has built the go-to platform for contractors. Joist enables contractors to professionally handle everyday tasks like estimating, invoicing, collecting payments, and manage projects, while also helping them grow their businesses as a streamlined CRM. More than 500 thousand contractors have used the Joist platform to manage more than $8.5 billion in invoiced work in North America, the UK, and Australia. Learn more at joist.com. WePay’s got a great case study about how another platform, TeamSnap, is working with WePay to make payments its #1 revenue stream… more than its subscription business. Get it at wepay.com/harry.

Lattice is the #1 people management solution for growing companies and helps companies like Asana, Reddit and Cruise build a strong company culture. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 reviews, share ongoing feedback, facilitate 1:1s, set up goal tracking, and run employee engagement surveys. Lattice is the only solution that combines performance management and employee engagement, so operators can make sure top performers are happy. Lattice is giving away three months of Lattice free to 20VC listeners. Just go to lattice.com/20vc to receive the offer. Build an award-winning culture with Lattice. The #1 people management solution.

Aug 20, 2018

Avichal Garg is the Managing Partner @ Electric Capital, one of the leading crypto asset management firms today investing in both liquid and illiquid tokens that are emerging stores of value and rooted in novel technology. Prior to Electric they personally invested in Coinbase, Bitwise, Basecoin and more. As for Avichal as well as Electric, he is a part-time partner at YC and prior to YC, he was Director of Product Management at Facebook where he led the Local product team (a $3.5Bn line of business at the time). Before FB, Avichal worked on Search and Ads at Google, started and sold a few companies, and invested in startups including Optimizely, Boom, Color, Cruise, Instawork, CaseText, and many more.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Avichal made his way into the world of startups, began angel investing, discovering the power of crypto and why now for Electric Capital?

2.) How does Avichal break the world of crypto into 4 fundamentally distinct buckets today? Which 2 elements does Avichal believe will be the biggest value accruers? What is the core question to ask when assessing a crypto opportunity today? How does angel investing compare to crypto investing?

3.) Where are the majority of ICO dollars going today? Why does Avichal believe that ICOs in large part do not fundamentally make sense from an investment and pricing perspective? How does Avichal think about liquidity in the world of crypto? As an institutional manager, what mindset does Avichal embrace when liquidity is possible?

4.) Why does Avichal believe that regulation and government controls is the opposite of the real risk to the space? If this is not the biggest risk, what does Avichal believe is the biggest risk to the potential of the space? Why does Avichal believe that the US government have handled the space with nuance and intellect?

5.) Why does Avichal believe that decentralized teams will not work? How does this correlate to the progression of platform complexity with time? Why does Avichal believe this will lead to the re-centralization of talent back to Silicon Valley? What catalysts will act to speed this up or hamper it's re-centralisation?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Avichal’s Fave Book: Ender's Game

Avichal’s Most Recent Investment: Coda Cryptocurrency Protocol

As always you can follow HarryAvichal and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Are you told your standards are too high, well The League is the app that tells you to keep them that way, they know your time is valuable so simply tell them your preferences and they will handle the scouting and vetting for you. Plus even better, your profile will only ever be seen by people who match your preferences, matches expire after 21 days and so there are no drawn-out games and they even require LinkedIn to protect your privacy and block you from matching with co-workers and business connections. You can apply now by downloading The League on the app store or heading to The League.com

Zoom is the fastest-growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an a variety of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. And you can see for yourself! Sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

Culture Amp is the platform that makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. From onboarding surveys to company-wide engagement, individual effectiveness and more, the platform manages multiple sources of feedback and connects the dots for you and that is why companies like Slack, Nike, Oracle and Lyft all trust Culture Amp. It enables leaders to make better decisions, demonstrate impact and turn your company culture into a competitive edge.  Find out more on cultureamp.com.

Aug 17, 2018

Dylan Serota is the Founder & Chief Strategy Officer @ Terminal, the startup that helps you create world-class technical teams through remote operations as a service. They recently raised a phenomenal $13m Series A with some of the world's most renowned names including Lightspeed, KPCB, Craft, Thiel, Atomic and Jerry Yang just to name a few. As for Dylan, he is also a Founder-in-Residence @ Atomic, one of the valley's most exciting new institutions which both founds and funds companies and includes the likes of Hims, TalkIQ (acq by Dialpad) and more. Prior to Atomic and Terminal, Dylan was Head of Platform @ Eventbrite where he led platform product org, built third-party developer ecosystem and platform partnerships.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dylan made his way into the world of startups with Eventbrite and how that led to his realisation on the future of development operations with Terminal?

2.) Why does Dylan believe that it is important for startups to build distributed teams earlier in their growth curve than often suggested? What are the key aspects to making remote teams work well? Why does Dylan believe that "companies overvalue their culture"? How does Dylan assess culture across remote teams?

3.) Jason lemkin says "startups can either hire a stretch VP or a burnt out mediocre VP", does Dylan agree with this? How does Dylan assess the balance between hiring functional specialists vs jack of all trades? When is the right time to make the transition from generalist to specialist?

4.) Hw does Dylan analyze and assess a startup leaderships team ability to adapt and prioritize speed? What is key to successful decision-making today in startups? How does Dylan think about the importance of speed when it comes to product ideation and iteration?

5.) What does Dylan believe is the biggest mistake many people make early in their career? What are the commonalities of the truly successful people in how they have structured their careers? How does Dylan think about the balance between title vs salary vs experience? What should one optimise for and when?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dylan’s Fave Book: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Dylan on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Are you told your standards are too high, well The League is the app that tells you to keep them that way, they know your time is valuable so simply tell them your preferences and they will handle the scouting and vetting for you. Plus even better, your profile will only ever be seen by people who match your preferences, matches expire after 21 days and so there are no drawn-out games and they even require LinkedIn to protect your privacy and block you from matching with co-workers and business connections. You can apply now by downloading The League on the app store or heading to The League.com

Zoom is the fastest-growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an a variety of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. And you can see for yourself! Sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

Culture Amp is the platform that makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. From onboarding surveys to company-wide engagement, individual effectiveness and more, the platform manages multiple sources of feedback and connects the dots for you and that is why companies like Slack, Nike, Oracle and Lyft all trust Culture Amp. It enables leaders to make better decisions, demonstrate impact and turn your company culture into a competitive edge.  Find out more on cultureamp.com.

Aug 13, 2018

Jeff Fagnan is Founding Partner @ Accomplice, one of the East Coast's leading early-stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of AngelList, PillPack (acq by Amazon), Freshbooks, Hopper, Secret Escapes and many more incredible companies. Accomplice is also unique as it is a platform builder creating incredible initiatives such as Spearhead, Maiden Lane and Boston Syndicates, really moving the needle in seeding local ecosystems. As for Jeff he is well known as a founding investor, working with most of his portfolio since inception, sometimes as a co-founder including Veracode (Sold to CA Technologies‍). Jeff also sits on the board of AngelList, PillPack, InsightSquared, Hopper, Freshbooks and more.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeff made his way into the world of VC from consulting over 18 years ago? How did his experience of the bubble influence Jeff's mindset and thinking?

2.) What did Jeff learn about building an optimal venture partnership with the transition from the 23 partner Atlas to the tight-knit Accomplice? Where does Jeff believe most venture partnerships go wrong today? What does Jeff believe is the right size partnership in venture? Why does Jeff believe that partners are there to save each other from themselves?

3.) How did Jeff's experience with Atlas effect his views on portfolio construction? Why does Jeff advocate for the model of raising $200m every 2.5 years for a pure seed strategy? How does Jeff think about building an effective reserve strategy? Why does Jeff not believe pro-rata should be guaranteed? Why does Jeff believe force ranking a portfolio is dangerous?

4.) Jeff believes the best VCs are able to manage 2 things, what are those 2 things? From his 18 years on boards, what does Jeff believe makes the truly special board member? Who is the best he has worked with and why? How does Jeff look to gain the balance of being both proactive to opportunities and reactive to inbound?

5.) Accomplice has recently made it's foray into the West Coast, what was the thinking behind that move? How does Accomplice think about establishing mindshare as a new entrant in a hotly contested environment? What does Jeff believe is the key to successful geographic expansion in venture?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeff’s Fave Book: Where The Wild Things Are 

Jeff’s Most Recent Investment: Perch

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Are you told your standards are too high, well The League is the app that tells you to keep them that way, they know your time is valuable so simply tell them your preferences and they will handle the scouting and vetting for you. Plus even better, your profile will only ever be seen by people who match your preferences, matches expire after 21 days and so there are no drawn-out games and they even require LinkedIn to protect your privacy and block you from matching with co-workers and business connections. You can apply now by downloading The League on the app store or heading to The League.com

Zoom is the fastest-growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an a variety of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. And you can see for yourself! Sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

Culture Amp is the platform that makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. From onboarding surveys to company-wide engagement, individual effectiveness and more, the platform manages multiple sources of feedback and connects the dots for you and that is why companies like Slack, Nike, Oracle and Lyft all trust Culture Amp. It enables leaders to make better decisions, demonstrate impact and turn your company culture into a competitive edge.  Find out more on cultureamp.com.

Aug 10, 2018

Armon Dadgar is the Founder & CTO @ Hashicorp, the open-source software company that provides consistent workflows to provision, secure, connect and run any infrastructure for any application. To date, Hashicorp has raised over $74m in VC funding from many friends of the show including Scott Raney @ Redpoint, Glenn Solomon @ GGV, Semil Shah, True Ventures and Mayfield. As for Armon, today he leads the Hashicorp research group and focused on industrial research in the security and large-scale system management space. Prior to founding Hashicorp, Armon was a software engineer @ Kiip and Amazon.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Armon made his way from intern at Amazon to founding Hashicorp and creating the game-changing suite of tools in the world of DevOps?

2.) Hashicorp has enjoyed success after success with new products, so what does Armon believe is the secret to continuous product innovation? What does Armon mean when he says "there are really 3 phases to product adoption"? How does Armon determine between vision for a product and the realism when it is not working, when launching products?

3.) Hashicorp only recently started generating revenue, why was now the right time? At what point does one go from building products for the community to building products people will pay for? How does Armon assess professional services today? What does Armon believe are the 2 foundational problems with "professional services"?

4.) Many VCs suggest it's impossible to build big infrastructure businesses today given the commoditizing forces to open source and cloud computing. How have Hashicorp navigated that and bucked that conventional wisdom? How has Armon also bucked the conventional wisdom on the importance of focus? What core tenets must remain if one wants to go against this emphasis on focus?

5.) Armon and his co-founder brought on a CEO early, what was the realisation moment for the need to bring in an external CEO? How did Armon look to get comfortable with this transition? What advice would Armon give to founders contemplating bringing in an external CEO? With the benefit of hindsight, what would Armon do differently if he had the time again?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Armon’s Fave Book: To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Armon on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Are you told your standards are too high, well The League is the app that tells you to keep them that way, they know your time is valuable so simply tell them your preferences and they will handle the scouting and vetting for you. Plus even better, your profile will only ever be seen by people who match your preferences, matches expire after 21 days and so there are no drawn-out games and they even require LinkedIn to protect your privacy and block you from matching with co-workers and business connections. You can apply now by downloading The League on the app store or heading to The League.com

Zoom is the fastest-growing video and web conferencing service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an a variety of activities including video meetings and webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and persistent chat all in one platform. Plus, it is the easiest solution to manage, scale, and use, and has the most straightforward, affordable pricing. And you can see for yourself! Sign up for a free account (not a trial!). Just visit Zoom.us.

Culture Amp is the platform that makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. From onboarding surveys to company-wide engagement, individual effectiveness and more, the platform manages multiple sources of feedback and connects the dots for you and that is why companies like Slack, Nike, Oracle and Lyft all trust Culture Amp. It enables leaders to make better decisions, demonstrate impact and turn your company culture into a competitive edge.  Find out more on cultureamp.com.

Jul 20, 2018

Fritz Lanman is the CEO @ ClassPass, the startup that provides the most flexible fitness membership ever. To date, they have raised over $154m in VC funding from the likes of Thrive, GV, CRV, Fifth Wall and Temasek just to name a few. As for Fritz, prior to ClassPass he was the Founder & CEO @ Livestar, a mobile recommendations startup that was acquired by Pinterest. Before that, he was a Senior Director in the Corporate Strategy Group @ Microsoft where he led several multi-billion dollar M&A evaluations and strategy projects including the Facebook investment and Yahoo deal. If that was not enough, Fritz is also a tremendously successful angel with a portfolio including the likes of Square, Pinterest, Wish, Flexport, Everlane and 75 or so more companies.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Fritz made his way into the world of startups with Microsoft? How that led to angel investments in Wish, Flexport, Square and more? How he came to be CEO @ ClassPass?

2.) How did the $250m Microsoft investment in Facebook come about? What made Fritz so confident he told Steve Ballmer he was willing to bet his career it would be a $10Bn company? What was the decision-making process internally around that deal?

3.) How does Fritz assess his own asset allocation strategy? Why does Fritz not agree with thesis-driven angel investing? When starting angel investing, how did he approach portfolio construction? Why does Fritz believe it is immensely synergistic to be both an operator and angel? As a result, how does Fritz approach placing investors in a quadrant between helpfulness and high maintenance?

4.) Why does Fritz believe that your investor cannot be your recruiter? What have been Fritz biggest learnings on continuously attracting the best talent? Why does Fritz believe that it is BS that one should not celebrate fundraising? Ultimately, what does Fritz elieve fundraising signifies?

5.) ClassPass has expanded to 34 markets over the last few years, how does Fritz determine when is the right time to pour fuel on the fire? What are the 2 fundamental questions one must ask before you do? Does Fritz believe that aggressive growth and capital efficiency are mutually exclusive? How does Fritz think about capital efficiency with ClassPass today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Fritz’s Fave Book: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Fritz on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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Highfive makes meetings better for thousands of organizations with insanely simple video conferencing designed for meeting rooms. It’s the easiest-to-use solution, with all-in-one hardware and intuitive cloud software. Plus, it’s a high-quality experience with industry-leading audio powered by Dolby Voice. It’s so easy to use, that there’s no pin codes or app downloads. Just click a link in your browser, and you’re in the meeting. With customers in over 100 countries, Highfive is already trusted by the likes of Evernote, Expensify, and Betterment and you can learn more by simply heading over to highfive.com.

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