Emil Michael is the Former Chief Business Officer at Uber and is commonly referred to as Travis Kalanick's right-hand man. At Uber, Emil was instrumental in raising nearly $15BN from some of the largest investors in the world, making Uber the most valuable private tech company ever. Emil was also core to Uber's China strategy and led deals with Didi and Baidu. Before Uber, Emil spent 9 years at TellMe Networks where he was central to Microsoft raising their acquisition price from $300M to $800M. Emil is also an advisor to some of the greats including Raf @ GoPuff, Zach @ Codeacademy, Jared @ Fundera and many more.
1.) From Politics to Travis's right-hand man at Uber:
2.) Negotiations 101: A Masterclass:
3.) Uber: The Journey to the Most Valuable Private Company:
4.) Uber: The Review:
5.) The Venture Landscape:
Emil's Favourite Book: Sun Tzu: The Art of War
Kyle Harrison is a General Partner @ Contrary and one of my favorite writers on the venture space with his blog, Investing 101 2.0. Before joining Contrary, Kyle worked in the ranks of some of the biggest and best names in venture, starting with a spell at TCV before moving to Coatue and making his final stop at Index. Across firms, Kyle has led or participated in investments including Ramp, Pave, Anduril, Gitlab, Databricks and Snowflake to name a few.
1.) From Film Lover to Technology Investor:
2.) The Death of So So Venture Firms:
3.) The Rise of "The Blackstone of Venture Firms":
4.) The Rise of Community in Venture:
Kyle's Favourite Book: Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet
Lauren Schwartz is Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Fivetran, the leading platform for modern data movement. She has helped scale Fivetran's enterprise business from its infancy to a team of nearly 100, while more than tripling enterprise revenues. Previously, Lauren spent close to 4 years at Segment where she started as the first female AE and ultimately built and led sales teams in enterprise and growth. Lauren earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business after 6 years at Google where her enterprise sales career began.
1.) How Being Rejected as an Eighth Grader Can Lead to World Class Sales Leader:
2.) The Sales Playbook: What, Who, When:
3.) The Hiring Process: Building the Best Sales Team:
4.) Scaling the Machine: The Onboarding Process:
Drew Houston is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Dropbox, for over 700 million users and +600,000 teams, Dropbox is the choice for storing and sharing their most important files. Prior to their IPO in 2018, Drew raised funding from some of the best including Sequoia, Index, Greylock, and IVP to name a few. Drew also currently sits on the board of Meta and is a seasoned angel with a portfolio including Gusto, Scale AI, Pilot and Superhuman to name a few. Prior to Dropbox, Drew founded Accolade, a bootstrapped online SAT prep company he started while in college.
1.) Entry into Startups and Y Combinator:
2.) Drew Houston: The Leader and CEO:
3.) Crucible Moments: Getting Sequoia, Acquisitions and Steve Jobs:
4.) Drew Houston: AMA:
Drew's Fave Book: High Output Management by And
Tristan Handy is the Founder and CEO @ dbt, a data transformation tool that enables data analysts and engineers to transform, test and document data in the cloud data warehouse. To date, Tristan has raised over $400M from the likes of Sequoia, Altimeter, Coatue, ICONIQ and GV with the latest funding round valuing the company at $4.2BN. Prior to founding dbt, Tristan was the VP Marketing @ RJ Metrics and got his break in the world of startups through former 20VC guest, Anthony Casalena with a Director of Operations role at Squarespace.
1.) Entry into Startups:
2.) Our Jobs Are Not That Hard:
3.) dbt: The Company
4.) Tristan: The Leader
5.) Trading Freedom for Scale:
Gustav Söderström is Spotify’s Chief Research & Development Officer. He has the CPO & CTO responsibility, overseeing the product, design, data, and engineering teams at Spotify and is responsible for Spotify’s product strategy. Gustav is also an entrepreneur and investor who has founded and sold startups that he co-founded to Meta’s Oculus in 2014 and then also his first startup which he co-founded and led as CEO, up until their acquisition by Yahoo! Gustav is also the host of the podcast mini-series -- Spotify: A product story -- which offers a glimpse into the decisions that have guided Spotify’s product evolution.
1.) From Selling Companies to Yahoo and Meta to Leading Spotify's Product:
2.) "Never Fight a Macro Wind":
3.) "Do Something Completely Different to the Competition":
4.) Mastering the Learning Process:
5.) Gustav: The Product Leader:
6.) Spotify: The Crucible Moments:
Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
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Brad Gerstner is the Founder and CEO of Altimeter, a life-cycle technology investment firm that manages public and private portfolios. Brad has personally participated in more than 100 IPOs as a sponsor, anchor, and investor. Brad’s notable deals include Snowflake, Mongo, Bytedance, Gusto, Unity, Okta, dbt, Modern Treasury, EPIC Games, Hotel Tonight, and Zillow. Prior to founding Altimeter, Brad was a 3-time co-founder where he sold all three businesses (to IAC, Google, and Marchex), a founding principal at General Catalyst; a securities lawyer, a former Deputy Secretary of State of Indiana, and a pilot.
1.) From Humble Beginnings in Indiana to 100 IPOs:
2.) The Power Law and Supercycles:
3.) Building Anti-Fragile Portfolios:
4.) The Venture Landscape: Today, What is Happening?
Brad's Favourite Book: The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life
Kevin Weil is President of Product and Business @ Planet and Operator in Residence @ Scribble Ventures. In the past, Kevin has been Head of Product at Twitter, Instagram, and Novi (the digital currency effort within Facebook). During his seven years at Twitter, he helped the company scale from 40 to 4000 people and from $0 to $2B in revenue. He then moved to Instagram in 2016 to lead the product and data teams and led through an inflection point as Instagram grew from 400M to over 1B users, including launching Instagram Stories. Kevin then co-founded Diem (formerly known as Libra) and Novi and built both for three years before moving to Planet in 2021. If that was not enough, Kevin is also on the board of Strava, the Nature Conservancy, and the Black Product Managers Network.
1.) Lessons From Leading Product for Instagram and Twitter:
2.) Launching Products, Customer Discovery and Product Sessions:
3.) Kevin Weil: Leadership 101
4.) Kevin Weil: The Athlete, Father and Husband:
Geoff Lewis is a Founder and Managing Partner of Bedrock, one of the breakout and new venture firms of the last decade, famously in search of narrative violations. He serves or has served on the Board of Directors for companies including Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT), Nubank (NYSE: NU), Epirus, and Vercel. Additionally, he has led sizable early-stage venture capital investments in dozens of companies including Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST), Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), Leafly (NASDAQ: LFLY), Wish (NASDAQ: WISH), Workrise, and Rippling. Prior to founding Bedrock, Geoff served as a partner at Founders Fund for several years.
1.) Meeting Parker Conrad: A Generational Defining Entrepreneur:
2.) Searching for Narrative Violations in Rippling:
3.) Rippling: The Financing:
4.) Geoff Lewis: The Investor
Parker Conrad is the Founder & CEO @ Rippling, the company that lets you easily manage your employees’ payroll, benefits, expenses, devices, apps & more—in one place. To date, Parker has raised over $697M for Rippling from some of the best including Sequoia, Founders Fund, Greenoaks, Bedrock, Kleiner Perkins and Initialized to name a few. Prior to founding Rippling, Parker was the Co-Founder and CEO @ Zenefits and if that was not enough, Parker is also a prominent angel having invested in Census, Pulley and then also AgentSync and TrueNorth, alongside 20VC Fund.
1.) Entry in Startups and Zenefits:
2.) Parker Conrad: The Leader:
3.) Rippling: The Compound Startup
4.) Rippling: The Economics:
5.) Rippling: The Partner Ecosystem:
Tarek Mansour is the Founder and CEO @ Kalshi, the first regulated exchange where you can trade directly on the outcome of events. Tarek has raised funding from some of the best including Alfred Lin @ Sequoia, Ali Partovi @ Neo, Ron Conway, Charles Schwab and Henry Kravis. Before founding Kalshi, Tarek worked at the likes of Citadel, Palantir and Goldman Sachs, in various different roles.
1.) Entry into Startups:
2.) What it Takes to Succeed:
3.) Building the Team:
4.) Tarek Mansour: AMA:
Tarek's Favourite Book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It
Kipp Bodnar is the Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot, where he sets HubSpot’s global inbound marketing strategy. Prior to his role as CMO, Kipp served as VP of Marketing at HubSpot, overseeing all demand generation activity worldwide and building out the EMEA and APAC marketing teams. Kipp serves as a marketing advisor for SimplyMeasured, InsightSquared and Guidebook. Kipp is the co-author of “The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More.”
1.) The Journey to CMO @ Hubspot:
2.) Choosing The Channel:
3.) Product Marketing, Brand Marketing and Founders Marketing:
4.) The Best Marketing People:
Paul Davison is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Clubhouse, the startup that believes people are at the centre of every moment, providing a platform to talk with friends and meet new friends. To date, Paul has raised over $310M with Clubhouse from a16z, DST, Elad Gil, Naval Ravikant, and many more. Prior to co-founding Clubhouse, Paul was the Founder of Highlight, a location-based consumer social service backed by Benchmark. Before Highlight, Paul actually spent time at Benchmark as an EiR.
1.) Entry into Startups:
2.) Clubhouse: What Worked:
3.) Clubhouse: What Did Not Work:
4.) The Future of Social:
5.) Lessons on CEOship:
Julio Vasconcellos is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Atlantico, one of the leading early-stage funds in Latin America. Prior to the world of venture, Julio got his break in the world of startups as Facebook’s first country lead for Brazil. Julio then went on to co-found Peixe Urbano, a company he scaled to over 1,200 employees and $100M+ in revenue. Post the sale of Peixe Urbano, Julio became an EiR @ Benchmark Capital where he met Scott Belsky. Scott and Julio went on to co-found Prefer, a Benchmark backed company transforming the future of work. If that was not enough, Julio has a stellar angel track record with prior investments in the likes of Ipsy and Quinto Andar.
1.) Entry into Startups:
2.) Lessons from Scaling Peixe Urbano to $100M in Revenue:
3.) Investing: Why Not Enough Play To Win:
4.) The Future for LATAM:
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, which he has led with immense success for the last 9 years. In the last few weeks, David announced his latest move, to join Y Combinator, one of the world's leading accelerators as a Visiting Group Partner. If that was not enough, David also has a stellar angel portfolio with the likes of Rippling, Flexport, Tally, Maven and many more.
1.) Entry into Product:
2.) Scaling the Team Alongside the Product:
3.) Product: Art or Science:
4.) Product: The Process:
David's Best Performing Investment: Flexport
Seba Kanovich is the CEO @ dlocal, the #1 payments leader with a single solution focused on Latin America and other emerging markets. In June 2021, dlocal raised $617M in their NASDAQ IPO listing valuing the company at nearly $9BN. Before their IPO, dlocal raised from some of the best including General Atlantic, Bond Capital, and Oren Zeev to name a few. Prior to dlocal, Seba was CEO @ AstroPay, a leading payment solution provider in Emerging Markets.
1.) The Journey to CEO of an $8BN Company:
2.) Leadership 101:
3.) Leadership: The Challenges and Lessons:
4.) The Funding and The IPO:
Seba's Favourite Book: Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Eleanor Dorfman is a Sales Leader @ Retool, the company that allows you to build internal tools, remarkably fast. Prior to Retool, Eleanor joined Retool when there were only three account executives and has scaled the sales org sales to over 30 AEs, many SEs, and an entire SDR team. Before Retool, Eleanor was at Segment, where she built out the company’s customer success operations team before pivoting to creating an expansion sales team, renewals team, and a new business sales team. Finally, before Segment, Eleanor made her way into startups, starting as an unpaid intern at Clever, just four years later, Eleanor was Head of Customer Success and Solutions Engineering.
1.) Entry into Sales from Working with the US Education Department:
2.) The Sales Playbook:
3.) Who, What and When: Building the Sales Team
4.) The First 30, 60 and 90 Days: The Onboarding:
Will Quist is a Partner @ Slow Ventures. Over the last decade, the team at Slow Ventures have invested in the earliest rounds of over 500 companies including Robinhood, NextDoor, Airtable, Solana and many more. As for Will, prior to Slow he spent over 8 years at Industry Ventures and before industry, cut his teeth in the world of finance at Banc of America.
1.) Entry into Venture:
2.) WTF Really is Venture Capital?
3.) The Questions: Discovering Greatness:
4.) The Future of Venture Capital:
Mike Mignano is a Partner @ Lightspeed, one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Snap, Affirm, Epic Games, Mulesoft and more. As for Mike, prior to venture, he was Head of Talk for Spotify where he led the podcast, live, and video businesses for the world’s leading audio streaming platform. Michael came to Spotify through their acquisition of Anchor, a company he co-founded and is credited for democratizing podcasting globally. Mike has also been a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including Cameo, Pipe, Sandbox VR and Stir.
1.) Exclusive News:
2.) The World of Social is Changing Forever:
3.) Startups: Risers, Fallers and Is There Room For Another Giant?
4.) Angel Investing: Hits, Misses and Lessons:
Rene Haas is the CEO @ Arm. The technologies that Arm creates are used in over 230+ Bn devices with everything from sensors to smartphones to servers. In 2016 Softbank made Arm it's largest ever acquisition with a reported price of $32Bn. As for Rene, he was appointed CEO in February 2022 having spent the last 8 years in numerous different roles within the company. Before Arm, Rene was Vice President & General Manager of the Computing Products Business Unit at Nvidia where he enjoyed a very successful 7 years with the team there.
1.) Entry into Tech from Eastman Kodak:
2.) Decision-Making in Leadership:
3.) Scaling the Org and Remaining Nimble:
4.) Leadership 101:
Annie Pearl is the CPO @ Calendly, the company that makes scheduling meetings simple and painless. The company now has over 10M users around the world and over 50,000 companies loving the product. As for Annie, before Calendly, Annie led Glassdoor's product vision and user experience, managing a 70 person product and design org. Prior to Glassdoor, Annie led enterprise product teams at Box both before and after their 2015 IPO. If this was not enough, Annie is also on the Board of WorkRamp and Well Health.
1.) Entry into Product From Consulting:
2.) PLG vs Enterprise: What, When, How:
3.) Building the Product Bench: Hiring:
4.) Product Strategy, Reviews and Alignment:
Logan Bartlett is a Managing Director @ Redpoint, a firm with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Nubank, Twilio, Netflix, Snowflake and many more incredible names. As for Logan, at Redpoint he has led investments in the likes of Ramp, Monte Carlo, Cribl, Crossbeam and Acuity MD to name a few. Before joining Redpoint, Logan spent over 5 years with the team at Battery where he made investments in Pendo, Amplitude, Dataiku, Braze and Kustomer.
1.) Entry into Venture:
2.) The Venture Landscape Today:
3.) The Role of the Venture Investor:
4.) Investing Style and Lessons:
Logan's Favourite Book: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Logan's Most Recent Investment: AcuityMD
Whitney Wolfe Herd is the Founder and CEO @ Bumble, changing the way people date, find friends, and the perception of meeting online, for the better. Women make the first move. Over an incredible 6 year journey, Whitney has scaled Bumble to a community of over 100 million across six continents. Bumble has facilitated an incredible 1.8 billion first moves as of 2021 and so many more by now. Prior to founding Bumble, Whitney was the Co-Founder and VP of Marketing @ Tinder.
1.) Founding Bumble:
2.) CEOship 101:
3.) Risk and Pressure in Leadership:
4.) Whitney: The Mother and Wife
Whitney's Favourite Book: Shantaram
Over the last 7 years, I have scaled 20VC to 100M+ downloads, and listeners in 117 countries, and all of this with a spend of less than $1,000. Here are 10 of my biggest lessons:
Lesson 1: Persistence: This is a game of who can last the longest.
Lesson 2: Platform Selection: Choose the platform that best aligns to your skills and passion, not the one that is "hottest" at the time.
Lesson 3: Just Start: The biggest reason people fail is because they do not take the first step. The V1 will never be perfect but it will improve. Press publish.
Lesson 4: Consistency: You have to create a habit within your audience. You have to let them know when they should expect your content. This will also creating a forcing function for you to stick to.
Lesson 5: Be Targeted on your Content Topic: Do not be vague. You have to be very specific in the topic you choose. Start very niche. Find your 100 true fans. Expand from there.
Lesson 6: Every Piece of Content is Born Multi-Channel: You do a talk. This is not a single talk. This can be turned into a podcast. Several TikToks. A medium piece. No content is in isolation.
Lesson 7: The Right Ratio Between Creation and Distribution: Do not create content and then press publish and think the work ends there. You have to spend the same amount of time distributing the content as you do creating it.
Lesson 8: Create Champions: In the early days it is all about finding your 100 true fans. DM people that follow you. Make them feel special. They will retain and tell their friends. Create champions.
Lesson 9: Bring People Into the Creation Process: When people feel a part of the creation of content, they will share it actively. Make more people feel part of the creation process.
Lesson 10: Each Channel is Different, Optimise for Them: Different channels require different content types, formats, audio, optimise on a per channel basis.
Wes Chan is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at FPV Ventures, a $450M early-stage fund, launched earlier this year. Wes is an investor in five $10B+ "decacorns," his most notable being Canva where he is a member of the board of directors and led the Series A and C rounds. Wes also wrote the first or very early check into Plaid, Flexport, Gusto, Lucid, and RobinHood. Before FPV Wes was a Managing Director at Felicis Ventures and before Felicis Wes founded GV’s seed investing program. If that was not enough, as an operator, Wes co-founded Google Analytics and Google Voice and holds 18 US patents for his work in creating Google AdWords.
1.) From Founding Google Analytics to Venture:
2.) Market vs Founder: Why Market Sizing is BS:
3.) The Venture Landscape:
4.) FPV: Firm Building and Portfolio Construction:
Wes' Favourite Book: Liar's Poker