Kevin Thau is a General Partner @ Spark Capital, one of the best performing funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Slack, Oculus, Medium, PostMates, Cruise (acq $1Bn) the list goes on. As for Kevin, he has led investments in Medium, LOLA, CTRL Labs, Aura and Haven. Prior to Spark, Kevin enjoyed an incredible 7 years at Twitter, when he joined they had less than 20 employees and 1m users and he carried roles such as Director of Mobile Products and VP of Business & Corporate Development. Before Twitter, Kevin was employee number 7 at Software.com (which became Openwave) where he helped ship the first mobile browser, mobile messaging services and mobile websites.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How Kevin made his way into VC with Spark having spent years in operations with Twitter and Silicon Graphics?
2.) What were Kevin's biggest lessons from watching the hyper-scaling of Twitter? What are the most prominent challenges companies face at this stage? What were his takeaways from working with product visionaries like Jack Dorsey & Sonos' John MacFarlane?
3.) As an operator turned investor, how does Kevin characterise his approach to working with portfolio companies? What were Kevin's early VC learnings from his discussions with Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet on VC profile and psychology?
4.) Why does Kevin believe that VC is a game of "maximizing serendipity"? How does Kevin assess personal time allocation, today as a VC? What has Kevin found most challenging since making the move to VC from operations?
5.) How does Kevin assess the consumer landscape at present? Does Kevin agree with Kirsten Green that "Amazon does more to make the market than crush it"? Why does Kevin find Instagram such a special tool for evaluating brands? What does he look for in the Instagram profiles of these emerging brands that really excites him?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:
Kevin’s Fave Book: Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game
Kevin’s Most Recent Investment: CTRL-Labs
NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox's time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.
Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!