20 VC 079: BETAWORKS WEEK: East vs West Coast Investing with Peter Rojas, EIR @ Betaworks, Co-Founder @ Weblogs & Engadget

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Peter Rojas is an entrepreneur-in-residence at betaworks focusing on early stage investments. Prior to joining betaworks he was VP of Strategy at AOL. He also co-founded several startups, including Weblogs Inc (with previous guest Jason Calacanis) (acquired by AOL in 2005), where he created tech sites Engadget and Joystiq; he also created gdgt, a social commerce platform (acquired by AOL in 2013); and gadget blog Gizmodo (now part of Gawker Media). Previously Rojas worked as an editor at the original Red Herring, a columnist on emerging technology for The Guardian, a contributor to Wired, The New York Times, Fortune, Money, and many more.

One of Betaworks investments on the west coast is the amazing ProductHunt, and you must check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, which is the best discovery platform for finding new and amazing podcast episodes!

Also, would you like the chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld? All you have to do is leave a review on iTunes and then email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with the name that you left the review under!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) From tech blogger and entrepreneur to founding Engadget, and then a product person and now at Betaworks. Peter gives a snapshot of his career so far?

2.) What is Peter doing on the West Coast when Betaworks is based in NYC? How do you compare the two technology environments and ecosystems?

3.) What is involved in being EIR at Betaworks? Why has this position become so popular over the last few years?

4.) How does Peter and Betaworks approach the changing world of seed and as I have seen recently, pre seed investments? Do you have any set metrics that you stick to? What KPIs are always the first ones you look at?

5.) What VCs does Peter admire and look to emulate?

6.) What has Peter learnt from his 1st month in venture? What has been the biggest surprises and challenges about the industry?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Productivity Tools: Reeder

Peter’s Fave Blogs or Newsletter: Jason Hirschhorn: REDEF, ProductHunt

Peter’s Fave Book: Antifragile

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side of Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC 078: BETAWORKS WEEK: Matt Hartman, Director of Seed Investments @ Betaworks

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Matt Hartman is director of seed investments at betaworks. Prior to joining betaworks, he was co-founder of ReferBoost, a profitable b2b company in the real estate and social media space, and JustBecause, a mobile app used by Uber, Birchbox, Jackthreads, and other e-commerce companies for customer acquisition. He started his career building the technology platform for Trammell Crow Company (acquired by CBRE) before joining Hot Potato (acquired by Facebook).

In this interview with Matt we talk about one of Betaworks investments in ProductHunt and I would love to direct you all to go check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, it’s the best way to find new and amazing podcast episodes, check it out!

To win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld? All you have to do is leave a review on iTunes and then email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with the name that you left the review under!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How you has Matt ended up at the amazing Betaworks, what was his career pre-Betaworks?

2.) How does Matt define betaworks and his role in particular in the Betaworks organisation? What makes this model the most effective and successful in Matt’s view?

3.) How does Matt believe the structure of social networks alters user behavior and therefore impacts distribution? How do social networks include habit forming behaviours to ensure user retention on their networks?

4.) What does Matt think makes a strong community? What was it about ProductHunt that signaled to you this was the beginning of a rapidly growing community?

5.) With Betaworks investment in Gimlet Media, how does Matt see the future of podcasting? Does investing in Gimlet not break the rule that it has to be a potentially $bn exit?

6.) Question from Ryan Hoover, Founder at ProductHunt: ‘What product or app has impressed Matt the most in the past year and what really gets Matt excited when trying new products both as an investor and as a user’?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Most Read Blog or Newsletter: Founder’s Notebook by David Jaxson

Matt’s Favourite Book: The Psychology of Pursuasion by Robert Cialdini

Matt’s Fave Productivity Apps: Drafts

Most Recent Investment: Disruptive Multimedia by Ryan Leslie

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

 

FF 016: Chad Fowler, CTO @ Wunderlist, App Of The Year 2013

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To win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld, click the link below and like our Facebook page and you will be entered into the competition. https://www.facebook.com/The-Twenty-Minute-VC-769935093077190/timeline/

Chad Fowler is the CTO at 6Wunderkinder (acquired by Microsoft), the company behind the wildly successful Wunderlist, previously cited by Michael Treskow and Mattias Ljungman on the show as their must have productivity app. Prior to 6Wunderkinder, Chad was the Senior VP of technology of the daily deals site, Living Social and before that we was CTO at InfoEther, a Ruby and Ruby-On-Rails consultancy firm. Fowler is also the host and organiser of numerous tech conferences and wrote “The Passionate Programmer”, a career guide for software developers.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all begin for Chad and how did he make the move from his musician dreams to CTO of tech startups?

2.) As an American, working in Europe, how does Europe’s tech community compare to the US?

3.) Wunderlist was the App of the Year, what does Chad believes makes it so special?

4.) Is there more to go in improving the consumer feel of enterprise software?

5.) How did Chad go about creating a product with such habit forming ability?

6.) Question from Carolina Brochado @ Atomico: What is it like moving from a small manned startup to a giant corporation like Microsoft?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Chad’s Fave Book: The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side of Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 077: Part 2: Kamal Ravikant: The Future Of Venture Capital

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/Q41ZG

Kamal Ravikant is an absolute hero to me after I read his incredible best selling book, Love Yourself Like Like Your Life Depends On It. As for an intro to Kamal, it goes without saying that he has worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley and is a true tech and investing icon, but he has also trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, held the hands of dying patients, earned a US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group and written books including my favourite the previously mentioned, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where does Kamal see the future of Venture Capital?

2.) What worries Kamal about the tech scene?

3.) How does Kamal sort the wood from the trees in the frothy market of tech startups?

4.) What are Kamal’s must read books and blogs?

5.) Which leaders or figures is Kamal inspired by and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

My Fave Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

Kamal’s Fave Book: The Alchemist, The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope

Kamal’s Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal’s Most Recent Investment: Bolt

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

20 VC 077: PART 1: Kamal Ravikant: ‘I’m Not Your Traditional VC’

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/Q41ZG

 

Kamal Ravikant is an absolute hero to me after I read his incredible best selling book, Love Yourself Like Like Your Life Depends On It. As for an intro to Kamal, it goes without saying that he has worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley and is a true tech and investing icon, but he has also trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, held the hands of dying patients, earned a US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group and written books including my favourite the previously mentioned, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Kamal make his way into the world of Venture Capital?

2.) What were Kamal’s biggest takeaways from working as an entrepreneur?

3.) What really makes a great VC? How can VCs provide true and genuine value add?

4.) Why is now the best time to be an entrepreneur? What has changed?

5.) What would Kamal advise an entrepreneur looking to build a startup?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kamal’s Fave Book: The Alchemist

Kamal’s Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal’s Most Recent Investment: Bolt

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

 

 

FF 015: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Eric Glyman, Co-Founder & CEO @ Paribus

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Eric Glyman, Co-Founder and CEO @ Paribus (Y Combinator S15), the service which scans your inbox for receipts and automatically saves you money when the items you bought drop in price. Stores often guarantee that you will get the lowest prices. But they don’t follow through unless you work for it. Paribus does the work for you.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was Eric’s career before Paribus and what was his a-ha moment was for the idea?

2.) How did Eric do things differently from the typical startup? Was this effective or would it have been more productive to go full in?

3.) What were Paribus’ testing hypotheses like? Does Eric prefer mass market testing or niche 100 person testing?

4.) How was the admissions process for YC, why did Eric choose YC and why were YC attracted to Paribus?

5.) What would Eric advise founders looking to get into YC? Is there anything they can do or know that will increase their chances of getting into YC?

6.) What were the breakthrough moments for Paribus? What were the most challenging elements and how did Eric overcome them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: I, Robot

Eric’s Fave Blog: AppSumo by Noah Kagan

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, follow Harry on Instagram here! 

 

 

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