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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: 2022
May 23, 2022

Oren Zeev is the Founding Partner @ Zeev Ventures and one of the OGs of solo capitalism. Oren has an incredible portfolio including investments in Audible, Houzz, Chegg, Riverside, Tipalti, TripActions, and Firebolt to name a few. Oren is also very unlike any other VC firm, he does not employ any associates, principals, or staff. He doesn't have partners or partner meetings. No LP meetings. No processes. No investment committees or memos. Nada. Oren is doing it differently. Prior to starting Zeev Ventures, Oren spent 12 years as a GP @ Apax Partners where he c-headed their technology practice in their Silicon Valley office.

In Today’s Episode with Oren Zeev You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How did Oren make his way into venture over 20 years ago?
  • How does the crash of today compare to the dot com and 2008? What is the same? What is different?
  • Why did Oren decide to leave Apax and start Zeev Ventures on his own?

2.) Deployment Pace:

  • Why does Oren believe that the benefits of temporal diversification are overstated?
  • Oren raised 3 funds and over $1BN in a year, how does this current environment impact how Oren thinks about deployment pace? Will he change anything?
  • How does Oren explain deployment pace to LPs who question him?

3.) Ownership:

  • How central a role does ownership play for Oren in terms of his investor psychology?
  • Does Oren believe it is possible to increase your ownership in subsequent rounds, in your best companies?
  • What are the biggest mistakes that big funds make with regards to ownership requirements?
  • Why is there a misalignment between GP and LP when it comes to increasing ownership vs markups?

4.) Price Sensitivity:

  • How does Oren evaluate his own relationship to price today?
  • What have been some of Oren's biggest lessons on price from his biggest wins and losesses?
  • What mistake do the majority of investors make when it comes to price?

5.) Diversification:

  • Why does Oren believe that both GPs and LPs are wildly over-diversified in their portfolios?
  • What is the right amount of companies for GPs to have in their portfolio?
  • How does Oren advise LPs on the right amount of funds for them to be invested with?

6.) Oren Zeev: AMA:

  • What does Oren know now that he wishes he had known when he started his career in venture?
  • What elements of the world of LPs would Oren most like to change?
  • Why does Oren feel that the concept of pro-rata is a lazy one?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Oren Zeev

Oren’s Most Recent Investment: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

May 20, 2022

Ian Siegel is the Founder and CEO @ ZipRecruiter, a leading online employment marketplace that uses AI-driven matching technology to actively connect millions of businesses and job seekers to their next great opportunity. Since co-founding the company in 2010, more than 1.8M employers have used ZipRecruiter to find their next great hire and over 500 million job applications have been submitted through the site. Prior to their IPO last year, Ian bootstrapped the company for many years to many millions in revenue before taking venture funding from IVP, Wellington Management and Basepoint Ventures to name a few. Before founding ZipRecruiter, Ian served in key leadership roles at CitySearch, Stamps.com, and Rent.com (an eBay company).

In Today’s Episode with Ian Siegel You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Olo:

  • How did Ian co-found ZipRecruiter from his kitchen with no venture funding and his 3 friends?
  • Why did they decide to not raise venture funding in the early days?
  • What was the catalyst at $50M in revenue for realising now was the right time to raise funding?

2.) The Art of Great Storytelling

  • What does truly great storytelling mean to Ian? What are the components of a great story?
  • Why do so many people today f*** up their product marketing and messaging?
  • Why does Ian believe Version 1.0 is the only one that takes true courage?

3.) CEO's Do As Little As Possible

  • Why does Ian believe his job as CEO is to do as little as possible?
  • How does Ian determine between the things he, the CEO should do, vs those those he should delegate?
  • Why does Ian believe the art of leadership and the art of parenting are the same?

4.) The Art of Hiring:

  • How has Ian's approach to hiring changed over the years?
  • What does Ian mean when he says, "I look for pointy people"? How does he detect them?
  • What are the two qualities that make the best execs? What questions reveal them?

5.) Parenting and Marriage:

  • Does Ian worry that with increasing family commitments, he loses an inch on work?
  • Why does he believe he is in an advantage as a CEO to those that do not have children?
  • What was the biggest argument he has had with his wife? How did it change his perspective?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Ian Siegel

Ian’s Favourite Book: Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet

May 18, 2022

Darius Contractor is one of the pre-eminent growth leaders of the last decade. As a growth OG, he has been VP Growth @ Airtable, where he led the growth, engineering, and product teams. Before Airtable, Darius was Head of Product Growth @ Facebook Messenger and finally, before Facebook, Darius spent 4 years as Head of Growth Engineering at Dropbox; here, Darius helped drive Dropbox to $100M in net new revenue through Dropbox Business. If that was not enough, Darius is also an active angel and fund investor with a portfolio including Calm, Airtable, Clubhouse, Census and LP checks in Maven Ventures and Long Journey Ventures.

In Today’s Episode with Darius Contractor You Will Learn:

1.) Darius Contractor: Entry into Growth:

  • How did Darius make his way into the world of growth? What was that first entry position?
  • What are 1-2 of the biggest takeaways for Darius from his time at Airtable, Dropbox and Facebook?
  • What 1-2 pieces of advice would Darius give to a growth leader starting a new role today?

2.) When is the Right Time:

  • What does the term"growth" really mean to Darius? How do so many confuse it?
  • When is the right time to make your first growth hire as a startup?
  • Should this hire be a junior growth person or a growth leader?
  • Should this initial growth team be placed inside an existing team or as a standalone team?
  • Where do so many startups make mistakes when making this first hire?

3.) Who To Hire:

  • How does one structure the process for your first growth hire? What are the stages?
  • What are the qualities that we are looking to uncover in these first hires?
  • What are the 4 interview stages to go through to test for these qualities?
  • How should founders use case studies and practicals as a way to test for these qualities?

4.) Onboarding and Integration:

  • What does the optimal onboarding process for new growth hires look like?
  • What do the best growth hires do in the first 30/60/90 days?
  • What are some early red flags that a new hire is a mis-hire?
  • How can leaders encourage cross-functional communication between growth and the rest of the org?

May 16, 2022

David Fialkow is the Co-Founder and Managing Director @ General Catalyst, one of the leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including Stripe, Snap, Airbnb, Anduril, Canva and many more amazing names. Prior to founding General Catalyst with Joel Cutler, David was a serial entrepreneur building and selling 4 successful companies.

In Today’s Episode with David Fialkow:

1.) Everything Great Starts Small:

  • How did David and Joel decide on a Hawaiin beach that they wanted to start General Catalyst?
  • Why did they decide to name it General Catalyst?
  • How did the first fundraise go for GC Fund I?

2.) Creating a Firm: The Early Days

  • What design objectives did Joel and David have when they started the firm?
  • How did Joel and David think about firm expansion; going to the West Coast? Coming to Europe? Going multi-stage? What drives their decision to do new products?
  • On reflection, what were some of the toughest elements of the early days with GC?
  • What does David believe they got right? Why? What did they get wrong? How would he change it?

3.) The Partnership:

  • What does David believe makes for a truly successful venture partnership?
  • How does a great venture partnership align to what makes a successful marriage?
  • How does David approach trust? How does he build it with people?
  • What situations would cause David to lose trust? Why do so few people understand it?
  • What does David believe is the true secret to authentic relationship building?

4.) Doing the Impossible: Generational Transition:

  • What does David believe they did so right in their generational transition at GC?
  • What do many firms get wrong in handing over the reins to the next generation?
  • What are the biggest commonalities between venture partnerships and filmmaking?

Mentioned in Today’s Episode with David Fialkow:

David’s Favourite Book: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

May 13, 2022

Ravi Viswanathan is the Founder & Managing Partner at NewView Capital. Today with over $2.2BN AUM, Ravi has built a portfolio including Plaid, Duolingo, Hims & Hers, MessageBird, and Scopely. Prior to founding NVC, Ravi was a General Partner at NEA, where he co-led the firm's fintech investment practice and made investments in Braintree (acquired by PayPal), MuleSoft (acquired by Salesforce) and Plaid to name a few.

In Today's Episode with Ravi Viswanathan:

1.) Entry Into Venture:

  • How Ravi made his way into the world of venture with NEA?
  • What led Ravi to spin out of NEA and raise $1.3BN for the debut NewView fund?
  • How did seeing the multiple booms and busts impact Ravi's mindset investing today?

2.) Impact on Seed and Series A:

  • What is the impact of the current market on the seed ecosystem?
  • Why does Ravi believe we could and will see price inflation at the earlier stages?
  • How does Ravi advise early-stage founders when it comes to managing runway and burn?

3.) Impact on Growth:

  • How does the current macro environment impact the growth landscape today?
  • How does Ravi reflect on his own price sensitivity? Why will this landscape be some of the best times to invest? Where is Ravi most excited?
  • How does Ravi assess the difference between efficiency and capital-driven growth?

4.) Secondaries and M&A:

  • How does Ravi believe the secondary market will be impacted?
  • Why will more and more of the best seed and early funds engage in secondaries?
  • How does Ravi advise managers on sizing the right amount to take off the table when selling?
  • How does Ravi expect the private company to private company M&A market to change?
  • Why is this change in the M&A market so exciting?

May 11, 2022

Tony Fadell, often referred to as the father of the iPod is one of the leading product thinkers of the last 30 years as one of the makers of some of the most game-changing products in society from the iPhone and iPod to more recently founding Nest, creating the Nest Thermostat, leading to their $3.2BN acquisition by Google. Tony recently released Build, this is a masterclass taking 30 years of product and company building lessons and packaging them for you, check it out here.

In Today's Episode with Tony Fadell:

1.) Everything Great Starts Small:

  • How did Tony make his way into the world of product in the early days?
  • What were his biggest takeaways from the massive flop of General Magic?
  • How did Tony come to Apple and what were the early creation days of iPod and iPhone?

2.) Data and Brand:

  • Does Tony believe great product building is art or science? When should teams listen to their gut vs the data?
  • When was a time that Tony listened to his gut? When was a time Tony listened to the data? How did each situation evolve and turn out?
  • How does Tony think about creating a truly special first mile experience? Where do so many companies go wrong in the first mile today?
  • How does Tony balance between business decisions (COGs etc) and product decisions that will delight customers?

3.) Lessons from Steve Jobs on Product Marketing:

  • How does Tony define great product management? Why do so many people get it wrong?
  • What are Tony's biggest lessons from working with Steve Jobs on what makes great product marketing?
  • Where does Tony see so many companies make the biggest mistakes when it comes to messaging?
  • What is the difference between messaging, marketing and communications?

4.) Hiring Product Teams:

  • What are the clearest signals of the best product talent when interviewing them?
  • What questions does Tony always ask product people to determine quality?
  • How do great product teams remain upbeat when launches fail and remain modest when they are wildly successful?

5.) Apple Watch, iPod and Apple HiFi:

  • Why was the product messaging for the Apple Watch wrong in the early days? How did it change?
  • Why was the iPod a bad business until the 3rd Generation? What changed?
  • Why did the Apple HiFi fail? How did that impact Tony's mindset?

Mentioned in Today's Episode with Tony Fadell:

Tony's Favourite Book: Only the Paranoid Survive

May 9, 2022

Fabrice Grinda is the Founding Partner @ FJ Labs, with over 700 investments, Fabrice has had over 250 exits and built a portfolio including Alibaba, Coupang, Airbnb, Instacart, Flexport, and Delivery Hero, and many more. Prior to FJ Labs, Fabrice served as CEO for three multinational companies; including OLX, one of the largest websites in the world with over 300 million unique visitors per month. As a result of his incredible investing success, Fabrice was named the #1 Angel Investor in the world by Forbes.

In Today's Episode with Fabrice Grinda:

1.) Everything Great Starts Small:

  • How did Fabrice make his way into the world of investing from founding 3 companies?
  • How does Fabrice feel about founders raising funds with external LPs?
  • Why does Fabrice feel that investing as an angel made him a better CEO?

2.) WTF is Going On: The Market Today

  • How does Fabrice assess what is happening in the market today?
  • What is causing the massive public market drops we are seeing?
  • How do inflation rates and interest rates have such an impact on where we are?
  • How much of this is a result of COVID, the shift to goods from services and supply chains?

3.) The Optimistic Case:

  • How does Fabrice think things could get better from here? What needs to happen?
  • What could the Fed do to enable this optimistic outcome to take place?
  • What would need to happen in geo-politics and Russia for this to happen?
  • What is the probability today of this optimistic case happening?

4.) The Great Stagnation:

  • How does Fabrice think the economy could go sideways from here?
  • What are the core drivers of this?
  • Why is this the most likely outcome of all? What is the probability of this happening?

5.) The Catastrophe:

  • How could this market get so much worse?
  • What level of interest rate change would cause this outcome to occur?
  • Why does Fabrice think that Switzerland is a "House of Cards"? What would this mean if Switzerland fell? What other European countries does Fabrice think are vulnerable?

6.) What this Means for Venture:

  • How will LPs respond to these differing situations?
  • How does this impact how Fabrice thinks about his rate of deployment?
  • What segment of the market is Fabrice most excited for; early or growth?

Mentioned in Today's Episode with Fabrice Grinda:

Fabrice's Favourite Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

May 6, 2022

Jason Lemkin is the Founder and Managing Partner @ SaaStr, a social community of 500,000+ SaaS founders and a $100M venture fund. In the past, Jason has made investments in the likes of Algolia, Talkdesk, Pipedrive, and RevenueCat to name a few. Prior to SaaStr, Jason was the Co-Founder and CEO @ Echosign, backed by Emergence Capital, Echosign was bought by Adobe and is Adobe Sign as we know it today.

In Today’s Episode with Jason Lemkin You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How Jason made his way into the world of venture having sold EchoSign?
  • What were some of Jason's biggest lessons from his first 4 investments being unicorns?

2.) The Importance of Ownership & Multi-Stage Funds

  • How does Jason assess the importance of ownership today?
  • If companies can be $20BN, does ownership really matter?
  • How does Jason advise founders who have offers from multi-stage funds at seed?
  • Why does taking multi-stage money at seed result in less pressure for founders?
  • Does Jason believe that signaling risk from large funds is real, when investing at seed?

3.) Building Your Sales Team

  • Does the founder have to be the one to create the sales playbook? What are the nuances?
  • Should you hire a Head of Sales or sales reps first? What should you expect from each?
  • What are the one criteria that you must look for when hiring your first sales reps?
  • What are the signals that a sales rep or leader is a 10x hire?
  • What works when hiring sales reps, 80% of the time?

4.) Boards and VC Value Add:

  • Why has Jason changed his mind when it comes to boards? Why are some inefficient and some very efficient?
  • How do the best founders manage their board? How do they bring in their exec team?
  • What is the right documentation to prepare for board meetings? Why does Jason prefer slide decks over Notion and Coda?
  • How can leaders use board meetings to direct and goal set with functional leads?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Jason Lemkin

Jason’s Most Recent Investment: Owner

May 4, 2022
Chris Sacca is the Founder and Chairman @ Lowercase Capital, one of the best performing funds in the history of venture capital with a portfolio including Uber, Stripe, Twitter, Instagram, Twilio, Docker and many more.
  • Why does Chris believe we have bred a generation of asshole kids?
  • What is the right way to negotiate with children? How has that impacted how he manages his team?

Anne Wojcicki is the Founder & CEO @ 23andMe, offering DNA testing with the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown, personalized health insights, and more.

  • How did having kids change Anne's approach to time allocation and risk?

Harley Finkelstein is the President of Shopify. Over the last 12 years, Harley has partnered with Tobi to the tune of building Shopify’s revenue to over $4.6BN in 2021 and the team to over 10,000 employees. 

  • Does Harley believe he has always been a good father?
  • What changes has Harley made to be more present and there for his children?
  • Why does Harley advise couples therapy as early in a relationship as possible?

Deena Shakir is a Partner at Lux Capital, one of the leading firms investing in emerging science and technology ventures at the outermost edges of what is possible.

  • What specific negotiation tactics from parenting can be applied to business?
  • How can a parent show their children they listen, they understand and are there for them?
  • Why does Deena believe children make you more productive and more efficient?

Eric Liaw is a General Partner @ IVP, one of the leading later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms of the last decade with $8.7 billion of committed capital and a 40-year IRR of 43.1%.

  • What have been the biggest challenges for Eric of managing family and work?
  • What have been some of Eric's biggest lessons in terms of how he communicates about his work to his family?

Scott Dietzen is Vice Chairman of the Board of Pure Storage and served as the Company’s CEO from 2010 to 2017. Under his leadership, Pure grew to thousands of employees and
completed an IPO in 2015.

  • What can parents learn from nature programs?
  • What core elements of parenting are directly transferrable to management?
May 2, 2022

Harley Miller is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Left Lane Capital, one of the fastest-growing growth equity firms of the last five years. Just yesterday, Left Lane announced the closing of their new fund taking their AUM to over $2BN with an early portfolio including M1 Finance, Masterworks, Choco, GoStudent, to name a few. Prior to founding Left Lane, Harley spent over 9 years at Insight Partners investing in the likes of DeliveryHero, HelloFresh, N26, Calm, Udemy and many more breakout companies.

In Today’s Episode with Harley Miller You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How Harley made his way into the world of venture with his first role at Insight?
  • What were Harley's biggest lessons and takeaways from 10 years at Insight?

2.) Left Lane: Fundraising

  • What are harley's biggest takeaways on fundraising from speaking to 2,500 LPs for Left Lane I?
  • With that experience in mind, what advice does Harley give to other first time fund managers on what it takes to raise successfully?
  • How did the Left Lane pitch to LPs change over time? What worked? What did not work?
  • With the benefit of hindsight, what fundraising elements would Harley have done differently?

3.) Left Lane: Firm Building

  • What are the hardest elements of building a firm today?
  • How did Harley navigate the transition from investor to fund manager? What was challenging?
  • What is Harley's biggest advice to young people in venture looking to scale their career fast?
  • What are 1-2 core inputs aspiring VCs should focus on as they build their career?

4.) Left Lane: Investing and Consumer

  • How does Harley approach portfolio construction with the new fund?
  • How does Harley think through outcome scenario planning and ownership requirements with the new fund?
  • How does Harley think traditional growth equity models can be applied to consumer investing?
  • What will Left Lane be in 20 years? What firm does Harley want to build?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Harley Miller

Harley’s Most Recent Investment: Masterworks

Apr 29, 2022

Noah Glass is the Founder and CEO @ Olo, the interface between restaurants and the on-demand world powering millions of orders per day. Olo is an incredible tale of capital efficiency, at IPO the company had a net burn of just $6M with $122M in ARR. Noah raised from some of the best in the business with names such as David Frankel @ Founder Collective, Danny Meyer, Scott Shleifer @ Tiger Global, all on the cap table. Prior to founding Olo, Noah was International Expansion Manager for Endeavour Global, launching the first African Endeavour affiliate. If that was not enough, Noah is also on the board of Portillo's, Share our Strength and the Culinary Institute for America.

In Today’s Episode with Noah Glass You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Olo:

  • What was the founding a-ha moment for Noah with Olo?
  • What did David Frankel do that compelled Noah, now was the time to start Olo?
  • What have been some of Noah's biggest lessons from working with David Frankel?

2.) Capital Efficiency: Scaling to $122M ARR with $6M Net Burn

  • Why did Noah and the team not raise more money in the early Olo days?
  • How does Noah advise early founders who are concerned if they do not raise, their competition will?
  • What are 2-3 of the core levers that allow Olo to be so efficient? What can others learn from them?
  • What would Noah have done differently fundraise wise, with the benefit of hindsight?

3.) Decision Making: The Secret

  • What does Noah mean when he says; "capital allocation and attention allocation are intertwined"?
  • How has Noah changed and evolved his decision-making as a leader?
  • How does Noah use a CEO coach? What do they discuss? How often? What works? What does not?
  • What decision did Noah make that proved to be the wrong one? How did he come back from it?

4.) Noah Glass: The Father and Husband

  • How does Noah do so much as CEO and also not lose an inch on being an amazing father and husband?
  • What does Noah believe is the secret to a truly successful marriage, while also being public markets CEO?
  • How has Noah changed as a father and husband over the years? What has worked? What has not worked?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Noah Glass

Noah’s Favourite Book: Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

Apr 27, 2022

Mitch Tarica is Head of North America Sales at Zoom Video Communications. Before joining Zoom, Mitch spent over 5 years at RingCentral including as Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Customer Success. Finally, before RingCentral, Mitch was at Oracle for over 7 years in numerous different sales roles.

In Today’s Episode with Mitch Tarica You Will Learn:

1.) Entry into Sales:

  • How did Mitch make his way into sales with one of the first SaaS companies in the world?
  • What were his early lessons on what truly great sales entails?
  • What elements does Mitch fear we have lost in the art of sales over time?

2.) The Playbook:

  • Should the founder be the one to create the sales playbook?
  • What are the signs that the founder has a repeatable and scalable playbook?
  • When is the right time to make the first sales hire? Should it be a Head of Sales or Sales Rep?
  • How does the first hire depend on whether you are PLG or enterprise sales led?

3.) The Hiring Process:

  • How does Mitch structure the hiring process? Step by step, what does he want to achieve?
  • What questions does Mitch ask in the first interview, always?
  • What are the 3 traits that Mitch believes all great sales hires have? How does he test for them?
  • How do Zoom use practical sales tests to determine the ability of a potential sales hire?
  • How does Mitch see many founders make mistakes in the sales hiring process?

4.) Sales Onboarding:

  • What are the crucial steps to do sales onboarding right?
  • How should leaders structure the first 30,60 and 90 days for their new reps?
  • What are some early red flags that leaders should watch for with new reps?
  • What more can leaders do to make sure their reps are as successful as possible in the early days?

Apr 25, 2022

Deena Shakir is a Partner at Lux Capital, one of the leading firms investing in emerging science and technology ventures at the outermost edges of what is possible. Deena has led a number of investments including in Maven Clinic, Mos, Ramp, Alife and SteadyMD to name a few. Before joining Lux, Deena was a Partner at GV and previously led product partnerships at Google for early-stage products in healthcare, AI/ML and search at Google. Before tech and venture, Deena was an aspiring anthropologist, journalist, diplomat, aid worker and was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State under Secretary Clinton. There Deena helped launch President Obama’s first Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2010.

In Today’s Episode with Deena Shakir You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How Deena made her way from journalism and the world of politics to rockstar healthcare investor?
  • What were Deena's biggest takeaways from seeing her parents build a new life in the US?

2.) Competition in Venture:

  • Why should founders not take multi-stage fund money at seed?
  • What problems does it cause? How do VCs try and justify it? What red flags should founders look for?
  • How does Deena advise her companies when it comes to pre-emptive rounds? When should they take them? When should they not take them?

3.) Deena Shakir: The Person

  • How has becoming a parent changed Deena's operating mentality?
  • Why does Deena believe she has never been better as an investor post becoming a mother?
  • Why does Deena feel so many questions around parenting are wrong? In what ways would she like those questions of female operators and investors to change?

4.) Diversity and Inclusion: We Should Be Optimistic

  • Why is Deena optimistic about the future of diversity and inclusion in tech and venture?
  • What drives her optimism? What remains a cause for concern for Deena on this topic?
  • What more can both companies and venture funds do to improve the landscape?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Deena Shakir

Deena's Favourite Book: The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption

Deena's Most Recent Investment: Mos: Banking for Students

Apr 22, 2022

Bill Cillufo is Partner and Head of International Investments at QED, one of the leading fintech venture firms today with a portfolio including Nubank, Kavak, Klarna, Quinto Andar and Bitso to name a few. As for Bill, he has led investments in Nubank, Loft, Wagestream and Creditas among others. Prior to joining QED, he spent nearly 20 years at Capital One, spanning several roles and leading several businesses. During Bill’s last 3 years at Capital One, he led its Co-Brand and Private Label credit card business, building the business nearly from scratch to one of the top few players in the US market.

In Today’s Episode with Bill Cillufo You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How Bill made his way from 20 years at Capital One to becoming a Partner @ QED?
  • How did Capital One inform his mindset around unit economics?
  • Having seen booms and busts firsthand with Capital One, how did that impact his investing mindset today?

2.) The Landscape: What is Happening?

  • Where does Bill believe the biggest crunch in funding markets is today?
  • Does Bill believe this will trickle down to the early stage?
  • How does Bill advise his portfolio companies on runway and burn given the environment?
  • What does Bill believe that many have not seen that is coming?

3.) Bill Cillufo: The Investor

  • How does Bill analyse his own relationship to price and price sensitivity?
  • How has Bill changed as an investor over the last 5 years? What caused the changes?
  • How does Bill reflect on reserves management given the new landscape we are in?

4.) QED: The Expansion

  • Does Bill believe that expanding geographically has become easier with time?
  • What has become harder about expanding into new geographies?
  • How important does Bill believe partnering with local firms is when VCs enter new territories?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Bill Cillufo

Bill’s Favourite Book: Tom Clancy: The Hunt for Red October

Bill’s Most Recent Investment: Refyne

Apr 20, 2022

Aparna Chennapragada is Chief Product Officer @ Robinhood, the company revolutionizing consumer finance with commission-free investing, and tools to help shape your financial future. As for Aparna, 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. Aparna is also an active angel investor with a portfolio including Khatabook, Statsig and On Deck to name a few. If that was not enough, Aparna is also a board member at Capital One.

In Today’s Episode with Aparna Chennapragada You Will Learn:

1.) Origins in Product:

  • How Aparna made her way into the world of product and product management?
  • What were Aparna's biggest takeaways from her 12 years at Google?
  • What does product management mean to Arpana today?

2.) Customer Discovery: 101

  • What are the 3 different stages of product management?
  • What does great customer discovery look like?
  • What are the best questions to ask? How should one dig deeper?
  • Where do so many make mistakes in customer discovery?
  • What should product people take from the answers? What should they disregard?

3.) The Hiring Process:

  • How should founders breakdown the process of hiring for their first in product?
  • What does the interview process look like? How should founders structure it?
  • What core questions should teams ask of prospective candidates?
  • What are red flags when interviewing potential product hires?
  • What literal tests and case studies can founders do to test the quality of candidates?

4.) The Onboarding Process:

  • How should founders structure the onboarding process for new product hires?
  • What can founders do to make PMs successful in their first 30 days?
  • Where do many product hires make the biggest mistakes in the first 30 days?
  • What can product hires do to build trust with their new team?

Items Mentioned in Today's Episode with Aparna Chennapragada

Aparna's Fave Resource: Shishir's Executive Onboarding

Apr 15, 2022

Henrique Dubugras is the Founder and CEO @ Brex, the company re-imagining financial systems so every growing company can realize its full potential. To date, Henrique has raised over $1.1BN for Brex from some of the best including Ribbit, Greenoaks, DST, IVP, Caffeinated Capital and Elad Gil to name a few. Henrique is also a board member at Mercado Libre. Prior to co-founding Brex, Henrique co-founded Pagar.me, there he scaled the company to $15BN in GMV and over 100 people before selling the company in 2016.

In Today’s Episode with Henrique Dubugras You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Brex:

  • What was the founding a-ha moment for Henrique and Pedro with Brex?
  • What advice did Evan Spiegel give Henrique when it comes to being a great CEO?

2.) Hiring: The Trials and Tribulations

  • What have been Henrique's biggest hiring mistakes?
  • How do founders know when they are ready to bring in the seasoned exec vs the younger jack of all trades candidate?
  • What have been Henrique's biggest lessons in what it takes to hire true A* talent?
  • Where does Henrique see other founders make big hiring mistakes?

3.) Product Expansion and Marketing:

  • How does Henrique assess when is the right time to release a second product?
  • What have been Henrique's biggest mistakes and lessons when it comes to product marketing?
  • How can one retain the simplicity of product messaging with scaling the product?
  • Brex expanded the product too far, too fast. How did they walk it back so successfully?

4.) Henrique: The Leader

  • How does Henrique approach his own relationship to money today? How has it changed over time?
  • What luxury expenditure has Henrique made over the last 12 months that he feels is worth it?
  • How does Henrique think about ego management? What does he do to keep his in check?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Henrique Dubugras

Henrique’s Favourite Book: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

Apr 13, 2022

Domm Holland is the Founder and CEO @ Fast.

Last week Fast announced they would be shutting down the company.

In this exclusive 20VC episode we discuss:

  • What really happened with Domm's towing business in Australia?
  • What are the 1-2 biggest mistakes made at Fast?
  • Why has Bolt worked in a way that Fast has not worked?
  • What is it like having Stripe as an investor in your company?
  • Could the board have done more to prevent what happened at Fast?

 

Apr 11, 2022

Avichal Garg is Co-Founder & Partner @ Electric Capital, last month Electric announced they had raised $1BN for their new fund making them one of the largest independent and crypto-native VC firms in the world. As for Avichal, prior to Electric, he was an investor in crypto projects such as Anchorage, Bitwise, Lightning Labs, and OpenSea and unicorns such as Airtable, Cruise, Deel, Figma, Notion and many more. On the operating side, Avichal successfully sold his last company to Facebook where he became Director of Product Management for the Local product group, a team of 400 engineers responsible for billions in revenue.

In Today’s Episode with Avichal Garg You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How did Avichal make his way into the world of startups and angel investing?
  • How did Avichal make the pivot from software to crypto investing?
  • Was Avichal nervous when making the move to institutionalize what had been personal investing?
  • What does Avichal know now that he wishes he had known at the start of Electric?

2.) The Landscape: Crypto Investing

  • How does Avichal assess the crypto fund landscape today?
  • Will we continue to see a small number of firms (a16z, Katie Haun, Paradigm, Electric) dominate the market?
  • What happens to all the small crypto funds that have been raised in the last year?
  • Why does Avichal believe crypto investing is much more collaborative than venture investing?
  • How can venture size returns be made if the ownership levels are so much smaller?

3.) Crypto Firms vs Traditional VC Firms:

  • Why does Avichal believe that crypto is software eating money?
  • What does this mean for traditional venture? Who will survive? Who will die? Who will thrive?
  • Why can generalist firms not compete with crypto native firms?
  • How are the teams of crypto native firms structured so differently to those of traditional VCs?
  • Do crypto projects and investments need the same level of service and help that generalist VCs provide with their platform services?

4.) Tokens - Equity - Liquidity:

  • How does Avichal advise investors on how to think through token vs equity investing?
  • When does it make sense to have a token vs not having a token?
  • How are crypto tokens priced and valued? What do you need to know when buying tokens?
  • How does the liquidity of crypto markets make it challenging for investor psychology?
  • What is the biggest lesson Avichal has learned on when is the right time to sell?

5.) DAOs: 101

  • What are DAOs? Are they not just another form of government?
  • What makes one DAO successful and another not?
  • What tooling and infrastructure are required to manage a DAO successfully?
  • What does Avichal believe the vision of a DAO should be? How should they define success?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Avichal Garg

Avichal’s Favourite Book: The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization

Avichal’s Most Recent Investment: Magic Eden

Apr 8, 2022

Eric Liaw is a General Partner @ IVP, one of the leading later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms of the last decade with $8.7 billion of committed capital and a 40-year IRR of 43.1%. At IVP eric has led investments in Datadog, Github, Klarna, Robinhood and UiPath to name a few. Prior to joining IVP, Eric was with Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and was actively involved in originating, executing and managing investments, including Netflix, Zillow and eHarmony. As a result of his investing success, Eric was recognized by GrowthCap as one of the Top 25 Software Investors of 2021 and 2020.

In Today’s Episode with Eric Liaw You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How did Eric make his way into the world of venture way back over 20 years ago?
  • What were some of Eric's biggest lessons from his early years at TCV?
  • What are the most significant changes in venture over the last decade?

2.) Eric Liaw: The Investor:

  • How has Eric changed as an investor over the last decade? What caused those changes?
  • How does Eric reflect on his own relationship to price? How does he determine when to pay up vs when to remain disciplined?
  • What has been Eric's biggest miss? How did it alter his style of investing?
  • From UiPath to Supercell, what has been Eric's favourite story of travelling around the world to win a deal?

3.) The Market: Venture

  • How does Eric expect IPO markets to behave as we move further in 2022?
  • How does Eric expect large M&A to play out for the rest of the year?
  • With the public markets crashing; how does this impact the large growth rounds of 2021?
  • What does Eric expect to happen to early stage pricing with the crash at late stage?
  • How does Eric expect crossover funds to behave in this new environment?

4.) Eric Liaw: The Person

  • How does Eric think about being an awesome Dad and also not losing an inch on being a world class investor?
  • How does Eric reflect on his own ego when having such large investing wins? Where does he feel he is most insecure?
  • How did having children really impact his mindset towards investing and working with founders?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Eric Liaw

Eric’s Favourite Book: No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Eric’s Most Recent Investment: Aiven

Apr 6, 2022

Brian Hale is Vice President of Consumer Product & Growth @ Doordash. Before joining Doordash, Brian spent an incredible 10 years at Facebook, most recently as VP of Product Growth working across Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and more. Prior to Facebook, Brian was Director of Growth @ Uptake.com and it all started for Brian in 1999 working at ACDSee in Canada where he was asked to “figure out that search engine thing”. 

In Today’s Episode with Brian Hale You Will Learn:

1.) Brian Hale: Entry into Growth:

  • How Brian made his way into the world of growth from being a "marine ceramic engineer"?
  • What were 1-2 of his biggest takeaways from his 10-year journey with Facebook?
  • What are 1-2 of the biggest misconceptions about the Facebook growth team?

2.) When is the Right Time:

  • When is the right time for startups to hire their first growth leads or reps?
  • How should the founder allocate resources to the growth team? Hire new designers, engineers etc for the team or pluck them from existing teams within the company?
  • What are the biggest mistakes startups make on the timing of this hire?
  • How can startups accurately assess whether they have product-market-fit?
  • What levels of retention suggest PMF? How does this change by industry?

3.) Who To Hire:

  • Step by step, how does Brian structure the interview process for all new growth hires?
  • What are the must-ask questions for growth leaders to ask candidates in interviews?
  • What are the clear signs and answers that suggest a 10x growth hire? How do the very best interact with data? What do they really hone in on?
  • What literal tests does Brian do to determine the quality of a hire? How do the best perform?

4.) Onboarding and Integration:

  • What is the optimal onboarding process for all new growth hires?
  • What can leaders do to set their new growth teams up for success?
  • What are the biggest ways new growth hires can mess up in the first 60 days?
  • What have been some of the biggest challenges for Brian in his onboarding at Doordash?

Apr 4, 2022

Thomas Tull is a leading entrepreneur and investor as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Tulco, LLC. he has made notable investments in the likes of FIGS, Colossal, IL MAKIAGE, Pinterest, Zoox and Oculus Rift. Previously, Tull was the founder, CEO and Chairman of Legendary Entertainment, the film company that produced blockbusters including The Dark Knight trilogy, 300 and The Hangover franchise. Outside of his investment work, Thomas is a trustee of Carnegie Mellon University, Yellowstone Forever, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution. If that was not enough, Tull is also part of the ownership group of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the six-time Super Bowl champions.

In Today’s Episode with Thomas Tull You Will Learn:

1.) From Laundromats to Legendary Entertainment:

  • How did Thomas first make his way into the world of business starting with laundromats?
  • How did growing up without money impact Thomas' early mindset?
  • What advice does Thomas give to young people today on starting their own business?

2.) Thomas Tull: The Investor:

  • How does Thomas approach risk today? Where is the boundary of acceptable vs unacceptable risk?
  • How does Thomas assess his own relationship to money? How has it changed over time?
  • How does Thomas protect himself from people and occasions where one is being used for their money or status?
  • To what extent does Thomas believe success is luck vs skill?

3.) Legendary Entertainment:

  • How did Thomas make his way into the movie business with the founding of Legendary Entertainment?
  • How did Thomas first meet Chris Nolan? What did the early days of making Batman Begins look like?
  • What were some of the most memorable times from making 300 with Gerard Butler?
  • What were some of the most challenging elements of scaling Legendary? With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything that Thomas would do differently?

4.) The Macro:

  • Why does Thomas believe public markets are the least rational they have ever been?
  • From geo politics to climate change, what is Thomas most worried about today in the world?
  • What does Thomas believe we should focus on as positives moving forward? What should we be excited about?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Thomas Tull

Thomas' Favourite Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Thomas' Most Recent Investment: Colossal

Apr 1, 2022

Eduardo Vivas is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Curated, a network where product experts monetize their passion and help consumers make the perfect purchase. To date, Eddie has raised over $141M from some of the best including CapitalG, Greylock and Forerunner to name a few. Eddie is also a stellar angel investor with a portfolio including Telegram, Truebill, AppLovin and Dollar Shave Club among others. Prior to Curated, Eddie spent 3 years at Linkedin as Head of Talent Solutions, following his startup, Bright, being acquired by them in 2014.

In Today’s Episode with Eddie Vivas You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Curated:

  • What was the aha moment for Eddie with Curated?
  • What were Eddie's biggest takeaways from his prior companies? What did he take with him that worked? What did he disregard that did not work?
  • What were some of Eddie's biggest lessons from Linkedin? How did it impact his mindset?

2.) The Compound Startup:

  • Why did Eddie decide it was right to build so much of the tooling themselves?
  • How does Eddie determine when to buy vs build?
  • What are the biggest mistakes Eddie sees founders making when building multiple internal tools at the same time?
  • How does build a compound startup increase the strategic value of a company?

3.) Hiring: Missionaries not Mercenaries

  • How does Eddie structure his hiring process at Curated? Why does he not believe that startups are for everyone?
  • What are the biggest signals that a person is a missionary and not a mercenary? How do mercenaries act in a way that is different to missionaries?
  • What questions in an interview process show these traits?
  • What are some of the biggest mistakes Eddie has made when hiring?

4.) Equity and Compensation:

  • What is Eddie's biggest advice to founders when it comes to equity allocations for the team?
  • Why does Eddie believe it is crucial to offer and provide secondaries for the team?
  • How does Eddie feel about the amount of secondaries founders take today so early?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Eddie Vivas

Eddie’s Favourite Book: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Mar 30, 2022

Olivia Nottebohm is the Chief Revenue Officer @ Notion where she leads the Sales, Marketing, Customer Success and Customer Experience teams. Prior to Notion, Olivia was the COO @ Dropbox where she achieved the first 4 quarters of profitable growth. Before Dropbox Olivia spent over 5 years at Google including as VP Cloud GTM Operations and Global SMB Sales. Finally, before Google, Olivia spent a whopping 15 years at McKinsey & Company.

In Today’s Episode with Olivia Nottebohm You Will Learn:

1.) Origins:

  • How Olivia made her way into the world of startups and tech?
  • What are 1-2 big takeaways Olivia has from her 5+ years at Google? How have they shaped her operating mindset today?
  • How does Olivia balance her love for analysis and data with speed and agility of decisions?

2.) Good vs Great Operations (Ops):

  • What does great ops really mean to Olivia? What are the 1-2 things founders can implement today to improve their ops immediately?
  • What are the core mistakes founders make when instilling ops for the first time?
  • How does Olivia coordinate the global Notion team to be as effective as possible?
  • What has worked? What has not worked?

3.) The Hiring Process:

  • Why does Olivia believe all leaders will have to accept they will not have all the talent they need over the coming years?
  • With that in mind, is it best to hire B players or always keep the bar high? If and when can the bar be lowered?
  • How does Olivia construct the hiring process? What are the core questions she will always ask?
  • What is the secret to great referencing? How does Olivia enable the other side to feel safe telling her everything they know about the candidate?

4.) Cross-Functional Communication:

  • How does Olivia advise founders on the best way to get different functions working together?
  • What works? What does not? What are some big mistakes Olivia sees over and over?
  • At what point in company scaling does this comms begin to breakdown?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Olivia Nottebohm

Grow Fast or Die Slow: The role of profitability in sustainable growth

Mar 28, 2022

Jeff Lieberman is the Managing Director @ Insight Partners, one of the leading investing franchises of the last 25 years with their most recent flagship fund announced earlier this year being a staggering $20BN. As for Jeff, over the last 24 years at Insight, he has led investments in leading companies such as Qualtrics, DeliveryHero, HelloFresh, Cvent, Mimecast, and Udemy. As a result of his many investing successes, he has been selected by AlwaysOn as a Venture Capital 100 winner and by Forbes as a member of the Midas List.

In Today’s Episode with Jeff Lieberman You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How did Jeff's roommate at college open his eyes to the world of venture capital?
  • What were Jeff's biggest lessons from seeing the work ethic of his parents?
  • How does Jeff imbue the same level of ambition on his children that he had growing up with no money?
  • Why is Jeff keen for his children not to go to college? How does he advise them?

2.) Jeff Lieberman: The Investor:

  • What are Jeff's biggest observations on the current landscape given his seeing first hand the dot com bust and 2008? How is now different? How is it the same?
  • Price Sensitivity: How does Jeff reflect on his own price sensitivity? How has it changed over time?
  • Deployment Pace: How does Jeff analyse deployment pace today both for the industry and for Insight? Does Jeff agree with the notion of "playing the game on the field"?
  • The Biggest Miss: What have been some of Jeff's biggest misses? How did those misses impact the process with which he invests?

3.) Insight: The Firm

  • What are the most challenging elements of firm building today?
  • Why do all juniors have control over the Partners calendars? How does this work in practice?
  • How does Jeff create an environment of safety where very young, junior people feel like they can challenge anyone and have discussion?
  • How do Insight train young people? What is the process? What works? What does not work?

4.) AMA:

  • What does Jeff know now about venture that he wishes he had known when he started?
  • What would Jeff most like to change about the world of venture capital?
  • What advice does Jeff give to young people today entering the industry?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Jeff Lieberman

Jeff’s Favourite Book: Man's Search For Meaning

Jeff’s Most Recent Investment: Choco

Mar 25, 2022

Casey Winters is the Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite where he leads the PM, product design, research, and growth marketing teams. Prior to Eventbrite, Casey spent close to 3 years at Pinterest where he led the growth product team.

Andy Johns is one of the pre-eminent growth leaders of the last decade. Andy’s 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 Head of Platform Growth @ Popshop Live, a live streaming mobile marketplace that combines commerce, entertainment, and social. Prior to Popshop, Bangaly led the product growth and consumer product orgs at Instacart and before Instacart was Head of Growth @ Instagram, where he built and led the product team that helped grow Instagram from 440M to > 1B monthly actives in 2.5yrs.

Elena Verna is a master when it comes to all things starting and scaling growth organizations. Previously, Elena spent over 7 years as SVP Growth @ SurveyMonkey where she ran product, growth marketing, and data teams. Post SurveyMonkey, Elena worked with the rocket ship that is Miro both as Interim CMO and as an advisor.

Ed Baker is an angel investor and 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.

Rob Schutz is Chief Growth Officer and Co-founder at Ro, the healthcare technology company building a patient-centric healthcare system. Under Rob’s growth leadership, Ro has become one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Prior to Ro, Rob was VP of Growth at Bark, the makers of BarkBox, and helped scale revenue from zero to $100 million.

In Today’s Episode with Ed Baker You Will Learn:

1.) Casey Winters:

  • How does Casey define "growth"? How does it differ from product?
  • How do the best growth leaders decide between art vs science when making growth decisions?

2.) Andy Johns:

  • What is Andy's biggest advice to founders looking to build their first growth team?
  • What unexpected choice did Andy decide to make at Twitter that moved the needle for new user acquisition?

3.) Bangaly Kaba:

  • What were some of Bangaly's biggest takeaways from scaling Instagram from 440M users to 1BN?
  • What decisions did Bangaly make without data? How did they go? What did he learn?

4.) Ed Baker:

  • What are Ed's biggest takeaways from facebook around structuring growth teams?
  • What are Ed's biggest pieces of advice for startyups looking to grow internationally?
  • What were some of Ed's biggest learnings from working with Travis @ Uber?

5.) Elena Verna:

  • What is the difference between a good vs great growth model?
  • When does one need to change or amend their growth model? How does one know when it is working?

6.) Rob Schutz:

  • Why does Rob believe that startups should not diversify their customer acquisition channels too quickly?
  • How does Rob assess resouirce allocation and spend on new channels? How did this process look when partnering with the MLB for Ro?

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