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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: January, 2021
Jan 29, 2021

Hubert Palan is the Founder & CEO @ ProductBoard, helping product managers understand what customers need, prioritize what to build next, and rally everyone around the roadmap. To date, Hubert has raised over $64m for ProductBoard from the likes of Sequoia, Index, Kleiner Perkins, Bessemer and Credo Ventures to name a few. Prior to founding the company, Hubert was VP Product Management @ GoodData where he played an instrumental role in their scaling from 6 to 300 people.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hubert made his way from Eastern Europe to SF, made his way into the world of product management and came to found ProductBoard?

2.) Why does Hubert believe that "founder insight" is overrated? What strategies and tactics does Hubert give to founders to be more mentally plastic and flexible? How does one know when to persist when things are not working vs when to give up? What is the decision-making framework?

3.) Why does Hubert believe that "big and bold product vision can be dangerous"? How does Hubert think about when is the right time to release a second product? What are the core elements to tackle when thinking about a second product? Where do many make mistakes here?

4.) Why does Hubert believe that, "if you get to product market fit by accident, you could be in trouble?" What does Hubert advise in terms of studying if and how you got to product market fit? How can one use post-mortem analyses here effectively?

5.) Why does Hubert believe that transparency is so necessary today with the team? Should founders be transparent when it comes to M&A, fundraising etc? Where are the limits? What makes it so hard to instil effectively? What do many founders misunderstand?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Hubert’s Favourite Book: Elad Gil's High Growth Handbook

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.

Jan 27, 2021

Alfred Lin is a Partner @ Sequoia Capital, one of the world's most renowned and successful venture firms with a portfolio including the likes of Google, Airbnb, Whatsapp, Stripe, Zoom, Doordash and many more. As for Alfred, he has led deals in the likes of Airbnb, Doordash, Instacart, Reddit and Houzz to name a few. Prior to the world of venture, Alfred was Chairman and COO @ Zappos for 6 years leading to their acquisition by Amazon.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alfred made his way into the world of venture and came to be a Partner @ Sequoia? How Alfred first met DoorDash? Where did the meeting take place? Who was there? What were the first impressions?

2.) Market: How did Alfred breakdown the food delivery market when doing the diligence for the investment? How did Alfred forsee the market changing over time? What were some unexpected elements of the market Alfred did not forsee? What does Alfred look for in markets; size or growth?

3.) Competition: How did Alfred analyse the competitive landscape for food delivery at the time? Why does Alfred believe that great companies are not built by focusing on the competition? What does Alfred mean when he says, "you have to be customer-obsessed and competitor aware"?

4.) Traction: Does Alfred agree with Sarah Tavel in the dangers of chasing topline GMV? What negative behaviours can chasing GMV trigger? What does Alfred mean when he says, "founders have to be able to distinguish between input and output metrics"?

5.) Acquisition: What does Alfred believe DoorDash did so well in terms of acquiring drivers more efficiently? How did they retain them so effectively? What allowed DoorDash to compete so effectively when it came to merchant acquisition? What were some of Alfred's biggest takeaways when it came to DoorDash's customer acquisition journey?

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.

Jan 25, 2021

Phil Libin is the Founder and CEO @ mmhmm, the app that allows you to level up your remote presentations, making high-quality video content in minutes. To date, Phil has raised over $30M for the company from an incredible investor base including Sequoia, Kevin & Julia Hartz, Tony Fadell, Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and Brianne Kimmel. Prior to mmhmm, Phil was a Managing Director @ General Catalyst and prior to his time in venture, Phil most famously founded Evernote, where he led the business with phenomenal success, as CEO for over 8 years.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Phil made his way into the world of startups, came to found Evernote and how that led to his founding of mmhmm, most recently?

2.) How would Phil describe his management style today? How has it changed over time? Why does Phil believe shortcuts are the greatest mistakes startups make? What does Phil believe you can vs cannot take shortcuts on? What have been some real world lessons there?

3.) What were Phil's biggest takeaways from his time in venture? How did it change his operating mindset? Does Phil believe there is an incentive misalignment between founder and VC? Why is Roelof Botha the best board member Phil has worked with? What makes him so special?

4.) How does Phil think about the unbundling/verticalisation of Zoom? How does he predict the market evolving? How does Phil see the differing usage patterns between consumer and business? Why does Phil believe more can be learned from looking at similarities and not differences?

5.) What does Phil believe are the two classes of mistakes when scaling startups? What have been Phil's biggest lessons on acquiring and retaining the best talent? How does Phil create an environment of dissent where anyone can bring their entire self and beliefs to the table?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Phil’s Favourite Book: Kafka on the Shore

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.

Jan 21, 2021

Andrew Dudum is the Founder & CEO @ Hims & Hers, offering a modern approach to health and wellness and one of the fastest-growing companies to reach $1Bn. Prior to their going public on Tuesday this week, Hims raised over $158M from some of the best including Thrive, Forerunner, Founders Fund, IVP, Redpoint and more. As for Andrew, alongside his role at Hims he is also Co-Founder of Atomic, a company builder and venture fund all in one, backed by Peter Thiel and Marc Andreesen to name two. Prior to Atomic, Andrew led product at TokBox managing a team of 30 leading to their acquisition by Telefonica in 2012.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andrew made his way from Head of Product at Tokbox to venture capitalist with Atomic to changing healthcare with Hims?

2.) What are the biggest misconceptions people have with regards to what it takes to build a successful company? Why do you not need big teams? How can leaders drive efficiency within small teams? What have been Andrew's biggest lessons in acquiring the best talent in market? What works?

3.) Hims is the fastest company to scale to $1Bn, how does Andrew reflect on how he managed hyper-growth? What did he do well? What was the first to break? What would he do differently? When is the right time to go from generalist to specialist? When is the right time to add more products?

4.) Why did Andrew believe now was the right time to IPO just 4 years into the founding of the business? How did the SPAC process play out? What are the core advantages to Andrew of the SPAC over an IPO? Why will more founders use it in the future? How does Andrew assess the importance or lack of, when it comes to the pricing pop on IPO day?

5.) How does Andrew reflect on his relationship to money? Why does he feel more scared of it now than ever before? How does he think about bringing up his children with an appreciation and respect for money? What 3 traits would Andrew most like his children to have?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Andrew’s Favourite Book: The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World

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.

 
Jan 18, 2021

Josh Silverman is the CEO @ Etsy, leading the company as it builds a platform that empowers creative entrepreneurs around the world. Prior to their IPO, Etsy raised funding from some of the best in the business including Danny Rimer @ Index, Albert Wenger @ USV and Jim Breyer @ Accel to name a few. Prior to Etsy, Josh served as President of Consumer Products and Services at American Express, was the CEO of Skype, and CEO of shopping.com, and he held various executive roles at eBay. Josh is also currently on the board of directors of Shake Shack.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made his entry into the world of startups, came to be CEO of Skype and how he came to be CEO of Etsy? How did Josh's political background prepare him for being a public markets CEO?

2.) How does Josh think about 10 year plans? What is the right alternative? What does Josh do when he does not know what to do? How does Josh think about head vs heart in decision-making? How does Josh think about downside protection and risk mitigation with decisions?

3.) Why does Josh believe that you should, "never let a crisis go to waste"? How does he interpret that? Does Josh believe you learn more from success than failure? Why does Josh believe many succeed in spite of, not because of? How does Josh connote happiness to a milestone of success? What is true happiness for Josh?

4.) How does Josh think about winning today? What is the framework Josh believes founders need to put in place to optimise their chance of winning? How does Josh structure his team at Etsy to optimise for speed and experimentation? What has worked? What has not worked?

5.) How can leaders create a system where failure is minimised? How does Josh implement a "red hat vs green hat" decision making process around new ideas at Etsy? What question does Josh and the team ask with every experiment? How should one analyse the cost of rolling back a decision?

6.) How does Josh determine between dogma and good practice in a company? What is the right way to remove antiquated dogma without damaging morale? What were some of the biggest challenges from his doing this on entry at Etsy?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Josh’s Favourite Book: Grant

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.

Jan 14, 2021

Ali Ghodsi is the Founder & CEO @ Databricks, bringing together data engineering, science and analytics on an open, unified platform so data teams can collaborate and innovate faster. To date, Ali has raised over $897M for the company including from the likes of a16z, NEA, Microsoft, Battery, Coatue, Greenbay and more. Prior to Databricks, Ali was one of the original creators of open source project, Apache Spark, and ideas from his research have been applied to Apache Mesos and Apache Hadoop.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ali made his way from fleeing Iran as a refugee to living in a Swedish ghetto? What was the founding moment for Ali with Databricks?

2.) How does Ali think about and evaluate risk today? Why does Ali always make his team do downside scenario planning? How does Ali think about his relationship to money today? Why does Ali disagree with gut decisions? What is his process for making decisions effectively?

3.) Stage 1: The Search for PMF: What are the core elements included in this phase? What types of leaders thrive in this phase? What type struggle? How can leaders sustain morale in the early days when it is not up and to the right? Who are the crucial hires in this phase?

4.) Stage 2: Scale Go-To-Market: What are the core roles needed to expand GTM fast and effectively? Why should you hire sales leaders before marketing leaders? Why is hiring finance leaders so crucial here? What mistakes are most often made here? How do the board resolve them?

5.) Stage 3: Process and Efficiency: What are the first and most important processes that need to be implemented? How does Ali need to change the type of leader he is to fit this stage? How does one retain creativity and nimble decision-making at scale and with process?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Ali’s Favourite Book: Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters

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.

Jan 11, 2021

Annie Duke is a former professional poker player and the author of National Bestseller, "Thinking in Bets" & "How To Decide". During her poker playing days, Annie was a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, the winner of the 2004 Tournament of Champions and the only woman to win the NBC National Poker Heads Up Championship. Today, Annie is also the founder of How I Decide, a non-profit that creates curricula and tools to improve decision making and critical thinking skills for under-served middle schoolers.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Annie made her way from professional poker player to National Bestselling author and coach to the world's leading investors?

2.) How does Annie evaluate the nature of risk? What is good risk vs bad risk? How does Annie think through reversible vs irreversible decisions? What is her framework? Why does Annie believe most irreversible decisions are actually reversible? How does it change your thinking?

3.) How does effective solo-decision-making differ from effective group decision-making? What decision-making biases does Annie often see venture being guilty of making? What 3 things can one do to improve the decision-making of the collective group?

4.) How does Annie think about sunk cost? How does one know when enough is enough and you have to walk away? How does this tie into Annie's thinking on portfolio theory? How does Annie think about pre-mortems? How should they be structured? What is included?

5.) How does Annie define critical thinking? What tips would Annie give to someone in really advancing their level of critical thinking? What behaviours can one implement to seek to protect critical thinking? How does this differ in team environments?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Annie’s Favourite Book: The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing

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.

Jan 8, 2021

Biz Stone is best known as the Co-Founder of Twitter and Medium. Biz is also an investor in the likes of Slack, Square, Intercom, Beyond Meat and Blue Bottle Coffee. Biz also co-founded Jelly, a "human in the loop" AI search service, which was acquired by Pinterest. Due to his many successes, Biz has been recognized as INC Magazine Entrepreneur of the Decade and one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Biz make his way into the world of startups and come to found Odeo/Twitter one day on a car trip with Ev Williams?

2.) How does Biz evaluate his relationship to money? How does Biz think about teaching his son the value of money? What does Biz mean when he says wealth 'accentuates your current self"? How did Biz get off the treadmill of always wanting and chasing more?

3.) How does Biz think about insecurity and self-doubt? How does Biz approach saying no? How does he get comfortable with not always being Mr Popular? What is so challenging here? How does Biz feel about founding tieing their identities to their company?

4.) Why did Biz come back to Twitter in 2017? With hindsight, what would he have done differently if he were to return again? What were the biggest challenges when he arrived? Why was internal morale low? What did he and Jack do to increase it? What worked? What did not?

5.) Why does Biz not feel Silicon Valley is an "insider-only" universe? Why does Biz feel Silicon Valley is a mindset? How does Biz think about the decentralisation of talent moving forward? How does Biz compare the UK to the US startup ecosystem? What is worse in the UK?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Biz's Favourite Book: Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software

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.

 
 
Jan 4, 2021

Howard Marks is co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment firm with more than $120 billion in assets. Prior to founding Oaktree, Howard spent 10 years at The TCW Group, where he was responsible for investments in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. Howard has also written two books, most recently Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side, and it was Warren Buffet who said, “When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they’re the first thing I open and read. I always learn something.”

Bill Gurley is a General Partner @ Benchmark Capital, one of the most successful funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Uber, Twitter, Dropbox, WeWork, Snapchat, StitchFix, eBay and many many more. As for Bill, widely recognised as one of the greats of our time having worked with the likes of GrubHub, NextDoor, Uber, OpenTable, Stitch Fix and Zillow. Prior to Benchmark, Bill was a partner with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Before entering venture, Bill spent four years on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst, including three years at CS First Boston.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) In March Ray Dalio stated we would be entering a "global recession", how do Howard and Bill feel about this statement? How does today's environment remind Howard and Bill of 2010/11? What is similar? What is different? How does Bill think about investing through cycles?

2.) How does Bill think about investing through cycles? What have Bill's lessons been from seeing many venture vintages on LP performance across cycles? How does Howard think about investing through cycles from a distressed debt perspective? What have his lessons been from Oaktree's performance over the years?

3.) Do Howard and Bill agree we will not see interest rates go anywhere for the next 3-5 years? What is the impact of this sustained low-interest rate environment? What could be done that would see interest rates increase in the future? How does Bill believe this will impact the supply of LP dollars in venture?

4.) How do Bill and Howard evaluate the state of the public markets today? Why does Howard believe that FOMO has really taken effect? How does Bill think about network effects and the laws of compounding with regards to public companies?

5.) Do Howard and Bill agree we are seeing a retreat from globalisation? What are the core impacts of this retreat? Why is Bill so concerned about "regulatory capture"? Why does Bill fear that today, "Washington is for sale"? What would he like to see change?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Howard’s Favourite Book: Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America

Bill’s Favourite Book: How Innovation Works

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

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

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