Annie Pearl is the CPO @ Calendly, the company that makes scheduling meetings simple and painless. Before Calendly, Annie led Glassdoor’s product vision and user experience, managing a 70-person product and design org.
Shreyas Doshi is an investor, advisor, and all-around product OG. Most recently Shreyas spent over 5 years at Stripe where he was Stripe’s first PM Manager and helped grow the PM function (from ~5 to more than 50 people). Before Stripe, Shreyas was a Director of Product Management @ Twitter.
David Lieb is one of the product OGs of the last decade. As the founder of Bump David pioneered how over 150M users shared data, contacts and more before the company was acquired by Google. At Google, David took this one step further by creating Google Photos.
Marty Cagan is one of the OGs of Product and Product Management as the Founder of Silicon Valley Product Group. Before founding SVPG, Marty served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.
Aparna Chennapragada is the former CPO @ Robinhood, revolutionizing consumer finance with commission-free investing. Prior to Robinhood, she spent an incredible 12 years at Google, most recently as VP and GM for Consumer Shopping and also as the lead AR and Visual Search products.
Lenny Rachitsky is one of the OGs of product, having spent over 7 years at Airbnb as a product lead he left to start his newsletter, find it here. This has scaled to thousands upon thousands of readers and one of the most popular newsletters on Substack.
For the last 7 years, Kayvon Beykpour has been at Twitter where he led all of the teams across Product, Engineering, Design, Research, and Customer Service & Operations. Kayvon came to Twitter through Periscope, the live broadcasting app he founded that was acquired by Twitter in 2015.
Scott Belsky is an entrepreneur, author, investor, and currently serves as Adobe’s Chief Product Officer. Scott oversees all of product and engineering for Creative Cloud, as well as design for Adobe. In 2006, Scott founded Behance, and served as CEO until Adobe acquired Behance in 2012.
1.) When to Hire Your First PM:
2.) What is the Right Profile:
3.) The Hiring Process: How To Hire a Product Manager
Alex Bouaziz is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Deel, the all-in-one platform made to simplify all things HR, built for global teams near and far. In the last year alone, Alex has scaled Deel from $57M in ARR to $295M, EBITDA positive since Sept 2022, 85%+ gross margins, and over $5BN paid out to 250,000 people. Alex has raised over $679M with Deel, pricing the company at the last round at $12.1BN. Investors in the company include a16z, Spark Capital, Coatue, and many more.
1.) From Student in London to Decacorn Founder:
2.) The Importance of Execution:
3.) Scaling to $295M in ARR in 3 Years:
4.) Secondaries, Angel Investing and Wealth Management:
Hunter Walk and Satya Patel are Co-Founders and Partners @ Homebrew, one of the leading seed funds of the last decade. Following 10 years of stellar returns with investments in the likes of Chime, Plaid, Gusto and many others, they decided to not accept any further LP capital and to only invest their own money moving forward through Homebrew Forever.
1. ) The Foundings of a Great Partnership:
2.) What Changes When Moving From LP Dollars to Personal Capital:
3.) Analyzing the Seed Landscape Today:
4.) Companies: Money and People are The Problem:
Cliff Obrecht is the Co-Founder & COO @ Canva, the free-to-use online graphic design tool that makes it easy for anyone to design anything from presentations to videos and social media. Cliff and Mel have scaled Canva to over 60 million monthly users, 2,000 employees, and 500,000 teams from companies like Intel and Zoom using Canva. During this incredible growth journey, they have raised over $580M with their last round valuing the company at over $40BN.
1.) From Teacher to Billionaire Tech Founder:
2.) Scaling to $40BN: The Biggest Lessons:
3.) The Art of Deal-Making:
4.) Cliff Obrecht: Money, Fatherhood and Marriage:
Stevie Case is the CRO @ Vanta where she oversees Vanta’s go-to-market team to support the company’s rapid growth. Prior to joining Vanta, Stevie was Vice President of Mid-Market Sales at Twilio, joining as one of their first account executives, Stevie helped to grow the sales team from a dozen to over 1,000 team members and played a pivotal role in establishing Twilio’s enterprise business with key Fortune 500 customers, generating more than $400 million in annual recurring revenue. If that was not enough, Stevie is also a Founding Operator @ Coalition Network and a prominent angel investor.
1. ) From World's First Pro Female Gamer to CRO:
2.) Enterprise or PLG: Which One To Choose:
3.) The Mythical Sales Playbook:
4.) Mastering the Hiring Process in Sales Recruits:
5.) Discovery, Discounting, Deal Velocity:
Albert Wenger is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures, one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including Coinbase, Twitter, Twilio, Etsy, and many more. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor (Etsy, Tumblr). He previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and an early-hosted data analytics company.
1.) From Failed Startup Founder to Leading VC:
2.) Income Inequality, The Rise of Depression & The Role of Politics:
3.) Climate Change: Misnomers, Developing Countries, Civil Disobedience:
4.) Crypto and Central Banks: The Future of Finance:
5.) The Future of Social Media: Twitter & TikTok:
Mike Cessario is the Founder and CEO @ Liquid Death, the man hacking the healthy beverage market with the first hilarious water brand. It is working, Liquid Death's latest valuation was over a staggering $700M and Mike has raised over $200M since founding the company from the likes of Science Inc. Away's Jen Rubio, Dollar Shave Club's Michael Dubin, Swedish House Mafia and Tony Hawk to name a few. Prior to founding Liquid Death, Mike was in the advertising industry at a number of dirrect firms including VaynerMedia.
1.) From Canned Water to $700M Business:
2.) How to Build a Truly Great Brand:
3.) Marketing: The Secret to Reaching Millions of People with Little Budget:
Hila Qu is one of the leading growth execs of the last decade. Hila helped scale Acorns from 1 million to 5 million users as their VP of growth. Hila then joined GitLab, where she launched their PLG motion (on top of an established sales motion), and built their first-ever growth team. Today Hila is an advisor to amazing companies like Replit and funds like Mucker Capital, Openview and First Round Capital.
1.) From Biology and Explosions to Growth:
2.) WTF is Growth? When? How & Why:
3.) Hiring Your First Growth Hire:
4.) The Master of Onboarding:
5.) Growth Models, North Stars, Activation and Onboarding and Key KPIs:
Jeff Jordan is a General Partner @ a16z where he serves on the boards of Airbnb, Incredible Health, Instacart, Lookout, and Pinterest, just to name a few. Before a16z, Jeff was CEO OpenTable, where he led the company during a period of hyper-growth and oversaw its IPO. Prior to OpenTable, Jeff was Senior VP and General Manager of eBay North America where he oversaw eBay's early growth into one of the Internet's leading commerce brands. In this role, he drove the successful acquisitions of PayPal and Half.com and went on to become President of PayPal, where he was responsible for establishing the company as the global standard for online payments.
1.) From Taking Opentable Public to Being a GP @ a16z:
2.) The Two Core Features To Look For in Marketplaces:
3.) How to Acquire and Retain the Demand Side of a Marketplace:
4.) Growth vs Profitability, CACs and LTV:
5.) It's Time to VC: Jeff Jordan: The Board Member
The question is: "are VCs still investing?". Today we are joined by Jason Lemkin; one of the OGs of SaaS of the last decade. As the Founder of SaaStr, he has inspired more SaaS founders than one can imagine building “The World’s Largest Community for Business Software.” Jason also invests out of the $100M SaaStr Fund and in the past Jason has led rounds into TalkDesk, Pipedrive, Algolia, Gorgias, Salesloft, and many more incredible companies. Prior to founding SaaStr, Jason was the Co-Founder of Echosign, an early e-signature business, funded by Emergence Capital and that was acquired by Adobe for $100M.
1. What Does it Take To Get Funded Today:
Growth Stage Companies:
2. Micro Funds Will Be Decimated and LP Behaviour in 2023
3. Marketing and Sales: We Need To Change Budgets and Targets
How To Raise a Venture Capital Fund
Over the last 4 years, I have raised around $400M across different vehicles from many different types of investors. Today I am going to break down the early stages of how to raise a venture capital fund and then stay tuned for a follow-up to this where we will break down a fundraising deck for a fund, what to do, what not to do etc. But to the first element.
Your Fund Size is Your Strategy:
The most important decision you will make is the size of fund you raise. So much of your strategy and approach will change according to your fund size target (LP type, messaging, documentation, structure etc). Remember, your fund size is your strategy. If you are raising a $10M Fund, you are likely writing collaborative checks alongside a follower, if you are raising a $75M fund, you will likely be leading early-stage seed rounds. These are very different strategies and ways of investing.
MISTAKE: The single biggest mistake I see fund managers make is they go out to fundraise with too high a target fundraise. One of the most important elements in raising for a fund is creating the feeling of momentum in your raise. The more of the fund you have raised and the speed with which you have raised those funds dictate that momentum. So the smaller the fund, the easier it is to create that heat and momentum in your raise.
LESSON: Figure out your minimum viable fund size (MVFS). Do this by examining your portfolio construction. In other words, how many investments you want to make in the fund (the level of diversification) and then alongside that, the average check size you would like to invest in each company. Many people forget to discount the fees when doing this math and so the traditional fund will charge 2% fees per year and so across the life of the fund (usually 10 years), that is 20% of the fund allocated to fees.
We are raising a $10M Fund.
20% is allocated to fees for the manager and so we are left with $8M of investable capital.
A good level of diversification for an early-stage fund is 30 companies and so with this fund size, I would recommend 32 investments with an average of $250K per company. That is the $8M in invested capital. Big tip, I often see managers raising a seed fund and are only planning to make 15 investments, this is simply not enough. You have to have enough diversification in the portfolio if you are at the seed stage. No one is that good a picker. Likewise, I sometimes see 100 or even 200 investments per fund, this is the spray-and-pray approach, and although works for some, your upside is inherently capped when you run the maths on fund sizes with this many investments.
A big element to point out in this example is we have left no allocation for reserves. For those that do not know, reserves are the dollars you set aside to re-invest in existing portfolio companies. Different funds reserve different amounts, on the low end there is 0% reserves and on the high end some even have 70% of the fund reserved for follow-on rounds.
In this example, given the size of the fund being $10M with a seed focus, I would recommend we have a no-reserves policy. Any breakout companies you can take to LPs and create SPVs to concentrate further capital into the company. This is also better for you as the manager as you then have deal by deal carry on the SPVs that are not tied to the performance of the entire fund.
So now we know we know $10M is our MVFS as we want to make at least 30 investments and we want to invest at least $250K per company. Great, next step.
Set a target that is on the lower end, you can always have a hard cap that is significantly higher but you do not want the target to be too far away that LPs question whether you will be able to raise the fund at all. This is one of the biggest reasons why many do not invest in a first time fund, they are unsure whether the fund will be raised at all.
Alongside the size of the fund, the team composition is everything, simply put, LPs like managers who have invested in the stage you are wanting to invest in moving forward. They like to see track record.
IMPORTANT: I see so many angels write checks into breakout Series B companies and then go out and try and raise a seed fund with this as their track record. Do not do this, this does not prove you are a good seed investor but merely shows you have access at the Series B. These are very different things.
With regards to track record, in the past, TVPI or paper mark-ups were enough, now there is a much greater focus on DPI (returned capital to investors). LPs want to see that you have invested before at that stage and they also want to see that the team has worked together before. You want to remove the barriers to no. If you have not worked with the partners you are raising with before, LPs will have this as a red flag, and as team risk, it is that simple.
Navigating the World of LPs (Limited Partners)
The size of the fund you are raising will massively dictate the type of LPs that will invest in your fund.
MISTAKE: You have to change your messaging and product marketing with each type of LP you are selling to. A large endowment fund will want a very different product to a Fund of Funds.
Example: If you are a large endowment, you will invest in early funds but you want the manager to show you a pathway to them, in the future, being able to take not a $10M check but a $50M check from the endowment. Whereas the Fund of Funds will likely want you to stay small with each fund. So when discussing fund plans, it is crucial to keep these different desires in mind.
If you are raising a $10M fund, you will be too small for institutional LPs and will raise from individuals and family offices. An LP will never want to be more than 20% of the LP dollars in a fund and so the size at which an institutional LP (really the smallest fund of funds) would be interested is when you raise $25M+ and they can invest $5M. Generalisation but a good rule of thumb to have.
LP Composition of Your Fund:
Speaking of one LP being 20% of the fund dollars, it is helpful to consider the LP composition you would like to have for your fund. The most important element; you want to have a diversified LP base. A diversified LP base is important in two different forms:
We will see the death of many mico-funds ($10M and below). Why? The majority raised their funds from GPs at larger funds and from public company founders. With the changing market environment, most GPs are no longer writing LP checks and most public market founders have had their net worths cut in half by the value of their company in the public market and so likewise, are no longer writing LP checks. In this case, the next funds for these funds will be in trouble as their core LP base is no longer as active as they used to be. We are seeing this today.
Going back to the question of diversification, my preference and what we have at 20VC, the majority of dollars are concentrated from a small number of investors. Of a $140M fund, we have $100M invested from 5 large institutions. These are a combination of endowments, Family Offices, a High Net Worth Individual and a Fund of Funds. The remaining $40M originates from smaller institutions or individuals, for us we have over 50 making up that final $40M. For me, I really wanted to have a community around 20VC Fund and so we have over 40 unicorn founders invested personally in the fund as LPs.
Bonus Points: The best managers select their LPs to play a certain role or help with a potential weakness the manager has. For example, I was nervous I did not have good coverage of the Australian or LATAM startup market and so I was thrilled to add founders from Atlassian, Linktree, Mercado Libre, Rappi and Nubank as LPs to help in regions where I do not have such an active presence. If you can, structure your LP base to fill gaps you have in your ability.
Status Check In:
Now we know our minimum viable fund size, we know the team composition we are going out to raise with, we know the LP type that we are looking to raise money from and we know how we want our desired fund cap table to look.
Now we are ready to move to the LPs themselves.
Fill Your Restaurant with Friendlies:
As I said, the appearance of your raise having heat and momentum is important.
Mistake: The biggest mistake I see early fund managers make is they go out to large institutional investors that they do not have an existing relationship and spend 3-4 months trying to raise from them. They lose heat, they lose morale and the raise goes nowhere.
Whatever fund size you are raising, do not do this. Fill your restaurant with friendlies first. What does this mean? Go to anyone you know who would be interested in investing in your fund and lock them in to invest. Create the feeling that progress is being made and you have momentum.
BONUS POINTS: The best managers bring their LPs with them for the fundraise journey. With each large or notable investor that invests in your fund, send an email to the LPs that have already committed to let them know about this new notable investor. This will make them feel like you have momentum, they are in a winner and many will then suggest more LP names, wanting to bring in their friends.
MISTAKE: Do not set a minimum check size, some of the most helpful LPs in all of my funds have been the smallest checks. Setting a minimum check size will inhibit many of the friendlies from investing and prevent that early momentum.
The bigger the name the incoming investor has the better. You can use it for social validity when you go out to raise from people you know less well or not at all. Different names carry different weight, one mistake I see many make is they get a big name invested in their fund but it is common knowledge to everyone that this LP has done 200 or 300 fund investments, in which case, it does not carry much weight that they invested in your fund. Be mindful of this as it can show naivety if you place too much weight on a name that has invested in so many funds.
Discovery is Everything:
The world of LPs is very different to the world of venture. 99% of LPs do not tweet, write blogs or go on podcasts. Discovery is everything. When I say discovery I literally mean finding the name of the individual and the name of the organization that is right for you to meet.
This can take the form of several different ways but the most prominent for me are:
Bonus Point: The top 1% of managers raising will already know which LPs are in the network of the LP that has just committed and will ask for those 3 specific intros. They will then send personalized emails to the LP that has just committed. The LP is then able to forward that email to the potential LP you want to meet. You want to minimize the friction on behalf of the introducer and so writing the forwardable email is a great way to do this.
Mistake: Many VCs do not like to introduce other managers to their LPs as they view it as competition. This is moronic. If the manager asking for the intro is really good, they will raise their fund with or without your intro. If they are not good, then you can politely say it would not be a fit for your LP and move on. Do not be too protective of your LPs from other managers.
MISTAKE: LPs invest in lines, not dots. Especially for institutional LPs, it is rare that an institution will meet you and invest in you without an existing relationship and without having followed your work before. A mistake many make is they go to large institutions and expect them to write a check for this fund, it will likely be at best for the fund after this one or most likely the third fund. This does not mean you should not go to them with your first fund but you should not prioritize them and you should not expect them to commit. I would instead go in with the mindset of we are not going to get an investment here, so I want to leave the room understanding what they need to see me do with this first fund, to invest in the next fund. The more detailed you can get them to be the more you can hold them to account for when you come back to them for Fund II.
Example: If they say, we want to see you are able to price and lead seed rounds and we are not sure you can right now. Great. Now when you come back to them in 12 months' time, you can prioritize the fact that you have led 80% of the rounds you invested in, and their core concern there has been de-risked.
In terms of how I think about LP relationship building, I always meet 2 new LPs every week. I ensure with every quarter, I have a check-in with them and ensure they have our quarterly update. This allows them to follow your progress, learn how you like to invest, and communicate with your LPs. It also really serves to build trust. Doing this not in a fundraising process also removes the power imbalance that is inherent within a fundraise and allows a much more natural relationship to be created.
Henry Schuck is the Founder and CEO @ ZoomInfo. From ZoomInfo's founding moment, putting $25,000 on a credit card, Henry has led the company to today, with over $1BN in ARR, a market cap of over $10BN, and a team of over 3,600. This is one of the untold but truly great stories in software.
1. From a $5,000 College Fund to Founding a $10BN Company:
2. Henry Schuck: The Leader:
3. Henry Schuck: A Leader in a Changing Market:
4. Henry Schuck: Relationship to Money and Fatherhood:
Jason Fried the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Over an incredible 21-year journey, Jason and his co-founder David have scaled Basecamp to become the communication tool trusted by millions. Jason is also the co-author of the widely acclaimed, ReWork and has also made several angel investments in the likes of Intercom, Gumroad and Hodinkee to name a few.
1. From Web Design Agency to Founding Basecamp:
2. Jason Fried: The Leader:
3. Jason Fried: The Politicisation of Leadership:
4. Jason Fried: Building the Best Team:
5. Jason Fried: The Partner, Father, and Husband:
20VC: Fundraising 101
Today we are going to walk through the process of raising a funding round for a hypothetical company. We will break it down by different stages in the fundraising process and at those stages I will talk about how each element differs according to the round being raised.
First, for 99% of fundraises it is a game of shots on goal. You need to have enough investors in the pipeline, it is a sheer numbers game. Miki Kuusi @ Wolt said on 20VC recently for his Series B he got 68 rejections before Laurel Bowden @83North said yes. Wolt sold in 2021 for $7BN to Doordash making a monster return for the company's investors. But 68 meetings before that yes, for the Series B. Also goes to show, you sometimes just need one true believer.
How to Create a Target List of Investors
Now we know we need enough shots on goal, we need to bring together a target list of investors, put these investors in three buckets:
So how do we choose who goes in what bucket? First, founder references speak volumes and lead to warm intros, so speak to your friends who are founders, ask which of their VCs have been the best, place even more weight on their recommendation if the company has not been a success. It is easy to be a VC champion when the company is flying, you often see the true colours of the VC when a company is really struggling or fails. Get a couple of names there and then analyse the VC landscape, you can do this on Twitter or the VCs website or blog and find the VCs that resonate best with your company. Look at the types of deals they have done before, are they interested in pre-seed fintech in Europe, do they do enterprise SaaS Series A in the Silicon Valley. You can see their portfolio, make sure it is a fit for them. I get about 200 inbounds per day across channel, about 150 are clearly not a fit for me because of stage, sector or location and so making sure the obvious are aligned is crucial. Then double down on their Twitter or public profile to see as much as you can about their values and how they portray themselves. Rule No 1, never work with assholes. Value alignment is really important. Now we have the five priorities and then I would say do the same for the Tier 2 and Tier 3 bucket, make sure they invest both in your stage, sector and geography.
The Biggest Mistakes Founders Make Pitching:
So now we have our pipe of investors. A couple of big mistakes I see founders make in this next step.
Now we have done the first investor meetings and we have iterated our deck and messaging in accordance with the feedback we got. We now progress to taking meetings with investors we want as our partners.
How to Master the Subtleties of a First VC Call:
The 7 Sins of Fundraising Decks:
So while we are on the deck, I want to go through a couple of elements that I so often see and they are killer mistakes:
How To Structure The Size and Composition of Your Funding Round:
Now at some point in the discussion the size of the round and the price of the round will be asked. Use this as a chance to show your calibre as a founder.
How to Answer the Question of Valuation:
When you say the size of the raise, say $2M, the basic assumption is that each round will dilute 15-20% and so the average VC will think of a $10M post money valuation straight away when you say a $2M raise. That said, you do not want to anchor yourself to a price, you are running a process as transactional as it sounds and I am not saying you want to optimise for price by any means but the majority of the time, it is best to say, “hey we are raising $2M and we will let the market decide on the price”. This is a great way to answer the question as this will not put anyone off, it will not anchor you to a price and it will also show you are savvy as to the raise process which any incoming investor should want to see as your ability to raise the next round is fundamental for them. Again, use this question to show your sophistication and knowledge as to the finer details of how to navigate a fundraise successfully.
How to Choose Your Lead Investor?
The biggest problem of the last 2 years was people chose their lead having met them once. They will be a partner to you for 10 years and you will not be able to get rid of them, it is literally harder to remove an investor than it is to get divorced. Brian Singerman @ Founders Fund said on the show recently about how he was unable to do his job in COVID as he could not meet founders in person. It is so important to meet your lead investor in person before signing the deal, so much can be gained and learned from those meetings in person. Then there is the question of how do I really get to know someone, especially if it is in a compressed timeline, there are ways that you can accelerate a relationship and getting to know someone, make sure to ask:
How to Set a Timeline in a Fundraise?
In this deliberation phase where you are waiting for a term sheet, you do need to create some form of urgency. Investors often need a reason to move and so it is good to put a timeline on the raise. 14 days is perfect, this is enough time for any VC to do the work they need to do but also if they cannot do it in that time without a plausible excuse, it is unlikely that they would have done the deal and so it will force timewasters to a no sooner and save you time.
Your Term Sheet is Ticking:
One thing to be wary of is exploding term sheets. If any VC says you have to sign this here and now, that is BS. Do not do it and that is no way to start a 10 year relationship. That said, it is fair for them to set some form of timeline, otherwise, you can shop the term sheet; share it with everyone and use the first people to commit as leverage to create FOMO to get other people to commit. This can be a disadvantage of being a first mover as a VC but that is why they will often have some form of expiry date and that is not unreasonable.
When You Have Multiple Term Sheets: KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID)
Then you have leverage and you can optimise the round on price, size of round, size of lead check to angel allocation etc etc. My advice here would always be do not over optimise. If the chosen partner is slightly lower, take it. Do not lose the right partner because of a small 5% difference in price or size of round. Another big mistake founders make when they have multiple term sheets is communication. It is fine if you need another couple of days to consider the decision but keep everyone updated. Let each investor who is waiting know, you are still thinking it through and will be back to them shortly. Name when you will have an answer, a communicated delay is fine, no communication is not. Then another massive mistake founders make is for the VCs they choose not to go with, they do not turn them down graciously. These investors could likely fund your next round, a bridge round and you never know when you might need them and so always turn them down super well and keep them on side, they could be helpful in the future.
If a VC Does These 3 Things: Forest Gump It:
Now the massive red flags with leads in this process that we need to call out:
So now we have our lead VC locked in and we have to allocate the rest of the round. I would work hand in hand with my VC to construct the rest of the round. They will have angels they work closely with and think highly of. Use them to help map out those people and then make those intros for you.
How to Allocate Your Angel Allocation:
Assemble your angel cap table as you would a sports team. Each person has a specific position which they are specialised to and have a world class skill in. Someone for marketing, hiring, regulation, PR, partnerships etc. A massive mistake I see so often is founders try to cram down all their angels to their smallest allocation so they can fit as many as possible. Do not do this. Give fewer people more allocation. The only thing that matters is that the check size matters to them. For some it will be $10K for others it could be $50K but fewer with more skin in the game is important.
Next I see so many founders drag out the process meeting just one more investor and just one more, after a certain time, just get it done, get it closed and move on.
Just Closed: Time to Prep for the Next Round
So now we have closed the round, congrats. Now time to start prepping for the next round, one thing to remember, as a founder, you are always raising. So here is what we should do next:
I want your feedback. Did you enjoy this post? Let me know on Twitter here.
Barry McCarthy is Peloton’s CEO and President. McCarthy is a seasoned executive who served as CFO of Spotify from 2015 to January 2020, and CFO of Netflix from 1999 to 2010. Prior to Netflix, McCarthy held various leadership positions in management consulting, investment banking, and media and entertainment. McCarthy has served on the boards of directors of Spotify and Instacart since January 2020 and January 2021, respectively. In addition, McCarthy has served as a member of the boards of Chegg, Eventbrite, MSD Acquisition Corp, Pandora, and Rent the Runway.
1. From Netflix to Spotify to Leading Peloton:
2. Barry McCarthy: The Leader
3. Barry McCarthy: The Master of Boards:
4. Barry McCarthy: Mastering the Mechanics:
Hadi Partovi is a tech entrepreneur and investor, and CEO of the education nonprofit Code.org. Before founding Code.org, Hadi founded two prior startups: Tellme Networks (acquired by Microsoft, discussed on 20VC with Emil Michael), and iLike (acquired by Newscorp). Hadi has also been an active advisor and angel investor to some of the best including Facebook, Dropbox, airbnb, and Uber. If that was not enough, Hadi currently serves on the Board of Directors of Axon and MNTN.
1.) From the Iran-Iraq War to Founding Startups:
2.) Lessons from Ballmer and Zuckerberg:
3.) Hadi Partovi: The Leader:
4.) Hadi Partovi: The Person:
Hadi's Favourite Book: Sapiens: The #1 bestselling journey through human history and anthropology
Maggie Hott is the Director of Sales @ Webflow where she leads their Sales Dev, Account Executive, and Solution Engineering orgs. Prior to Webflow, Maggie spent an incredible 6 years at Slack in a period of hypergrowth for the company having joined as the founding AE scaling to a Sr Enterprise Leader. Before Slack, Maggie was the founding Sales hire at Eventbrite. If that was not enough, Maggie is also an active angel investor, an advisor to Cowboy Ventures, Scribble Ventures, and is a Founding Operator and LP @ Coalition Partners.
1. The Cold Email that Led to a World-Class Sales Career:
2. The Sales Playbook: PLG and Enterprise:
3. Building the Bench: Hiring Your First Sales Team:
4. Making the Machine Work: The Process:
Ben Chestnut is the Co-Founder of Mailchimp, the all-in-one marketing platform for small businesses. Last year, in Sept 2021 it was announced that Intuit would acquire Mailchimp for a reported $12BN. There are so many things to love about the Mailchimp journey to this point. First, Mailchimp was founded as the result of a side project of a design agency Ben and his co-founder, Dan, used to run. Second, Mailchimp is and has always been based in Atalanta, eschewing the notion you have to be in SF or NYC to build a massive business. Then third, they never raised venture funding for the business all the way until their $12BN acquisition. Ben led Mailchimp to over 1,200 employees and millions of global users.
1. From Mama's Kitchen to the Smell of Business and Founding Mailchimp:
2. Ben Chestnut: The Leader:
3. Ben Chestnut: The Person:
4. Mailchimp: The Business:
Bob Pittman is Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc., the number one audio company in America. Prior to iHeart, Bob has just had the most amazing career as a co-founder and programmer who led the team that created MTV. He has also led some of the most incredible turnarounds as CEO of MTV Networks, AOL Networks and Time Warner Enterprises and as COO of America Online, Inc. and later AOL Time Warner.
1. From Flying Lessons to Radio:
2. Decision-Making in Leadership:
3. Tactics vs Strategies: Why Plans Are BS!
4. The Secret to Messaging and Storytelling:
5. Bob Pittman: AMA:
Marty Cagan is one of the OGs of Product and Product Management as the Founder of Silicon Valley Product Group. Before founding SVPG, Marty served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay. He worked directly alongside Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz at Netscape and Pierre Omidyar at eBay.
1. Entry into the World of Product From Engineering:
2. Lessons from Marc and Ben at Netscape and Pierre @ eBay:
3. Hiring a World Class Early Product Team:
4. Mastering the Onboarding Process:
Martin Casado is a General Partner @ a16z where he focuses on enterprise investing. At a16z, Martin has led investments and serves on the board of dbt Labs, Fivetran, Material Security, Ambient AI and many more incredible companies. Before venture, Martin was previously the Co-Founder and CTO at Nicira, acquired by VMware for $1.26 billion in 2012. While at VMware, Martin served as Senior VP and General Manager of the Networking and Security Business Unit, which he scaled to a $600 million revenue run-rate business.
1. From $1.26BN Founder to Leading Enterprise Investing for a16z:
2. The VC Model is Broken and Why:
3. Surviving a Crash - What Founders Need To Know:
4. The Changing Guard at a16z:
5.) The Makings of a Great Board:
Will Hockey is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO @ Column, the only nationally chartered bank built to enable developers and builders to create new financial products. Before co-founding Column, Will was the Co-Founder, President, and CTO @ Plaid, a world-leading data network and payments platform. In 2020, Visa attempted to acquire Plaid for $5.3BN, however, this was blocked due to regulatory issues and the company went on to raise at a reported $13.4BN valuation just 9 months later. Additionally, Will is on the board of Scale.ai.
1.) The Founding of $13.4BN Plaid:
2.) Will Hockey: The Makings of a Decacorn Founder:
3.) The Building of Truly Great Teams:
4.) Fintech: The Next 10 Years:
Will's Favourite Book: The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources, Merchants of Grain: The Power and Profits of the Five Giant Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply
Jason Lemkin is one of the OGs of SaaS of the last decade. As the Founder of SaaStr, he has inspired more SaaS founders than one can imagine building "The World’s Largest Community for Business Software." Jason also invests out of the $100M SaaStr Fund and in the past Jason has led rounds into TalkDesk, Pipedrive, Algolia, Gorgias, Salesloft, and many more incredible companies. Prior to founding SaaStr, Jason was the Co-Founder of Echosign, an early e-signature business, funded by Emergence Capital and that was acquired by Adobe for $100M.
1.) Meeting the Unicorn: Algolia:
2.) Competition and TAM: The Reasons To Say No:
3.) Investing Lessons Transition from CEO to VC:
4.) Mastering the World of Venture Today:
Miki Kuusi is the CEO of Wolt and Head of DoorDash International. In 2014 Miki founded Wolt with a mission to turn the smartphone into a remote controller for life, starting with delivering your favorite restaurant food, to you at home. Today Wolt operates in 23 countries, across several different categories, has over 4,000 employees, and last year, Doordash made the move to join forces with Wolt in a deal worth a reported $8.1BN. Previously, Miki was the CEO of Slush, one of the leading tech and investor events in the world attended by more than 25,000 people annually.
1.) Founding Slush and Wolt: An Entry into Startups:
2.) The Makings of a Truly Great Leader:
3.) Hiring a Team to Compete on a Global Stage:
4.) Miki Kuusi: The Personal Journey
Miki's Favourite Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Casey Winters is the Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite. Prior to Eventbrite, Casey led the growth product team at Pinterest. Before Pinterest, Casey started the marketing team at Grubhub and scaled Grubhub’s demand-side acquisition and retention strategies.
Elena Verna is the Interim Head of Growth at Amplitude. Former exec @ Miro, Netlify, SurveyMonkey. Growth Advisor to companies including Krisp, MongoDB, Ledgy, Builder.io and SimilarWeb.
Kieran Flanagan is SVP Marketing at HubSpot, where he has helped the business grow internationally, move to a product-led business, quadrupled its marketing demand, and built out its media team, including the acquisition of ‘The Hustle.’
Andy Johns career started in growth at Facebook when the company scaled from 100M-500M active users. Since he has worked in some of the leading growth orgs at companies like Twitter, Quora and more recently at Wealthfront as Head of Growth and President.
Bangaly Kaba is the Director of Product Management @ Youtube. Prior to Youtube, Bangaly led the product growth and consumer product orgs at Instacart and before Instacart was Head of Growth @ Instagram, helping grow Instagram from 440M to > 1B monthly actives in 2.5yrs.
Ed Baker is a growth advisor to various startups including Lime, Zwift, Whoop, Crimson Education, GoPeer, and Playbook. Ed was the VP of Product and Growth at Uber from 2013-2017. Prior to Uber, Ed was the Head of International Growth at Facebook.
Adam Fishman was the Chief Product and Growth Offer @ Imperfect Foods. Before Imperfect, Adam was VP of Product and Growth @ Patreon, Before Patreon, Adam was the Head of Growth @ Lyft, Adam was the first growth and marketing employee hired and grew the team to 18 people.
1.) When is the right time to hear your first growth hire?
2.) Is this hire a senior growth leader or a more junior growth engineer?
3.) What can early-stage startups do to entice senior growth leaders to their early-stage company?
4.) What data infrastructure should be in place prior to hiring your first growth hire?
5.) What does the optimal onboarding process look like for all growth hires?
6.) What can founders and CEOs do to set their growth hires up for success?