Is Big Data Still A Thing with Matt Turck, Managing Director at FirstMark Capital

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Matt Turck is Managing Director of FirstMark Capital where he invests across a broad range of early-stage enterprise and consumer startups. Prior to FirstMark, he was a Managing Director at Bloomberg Ventures, the investment and incubation arm of Bloomberg LP. Previously, Matt was the co-founder of TripleHop Technologies, a venture-backed enterprise search software startup that was acquired by Oracle. Matt organizes two large monthly events, Data Driven NYC (focuses on Big Data and AI) and Hardwired NYC(focuses on IOT, AR/VR, drones). At Firstmark, Matt has made investments in the likes of Sketchfab, Sense 360 and the much loved X.ai with Amy Ingram as your personal secretary.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Matt make his way into the world of VC?

2.) What does big data really mean? With the cool kids in the data world moving on to obsessing over AI, is big data still a ‘thing’ in 2016?

3.) Why is now the time for big data? What has enabled big data to have sudden mass utility across a variety of applications?

4.) How does Matt view the integration of big data and AI? Is AI helping big data deliver it’s promise?

5.) How can we combat the incumbency advantage of large companies owning the majority of datasets? How can startups access similar datasets?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Matt’s Fave Blog: AVC, Chris Dixon, Brad Feld, Wait But Why 

Matt’s Most Recent Investment: Hyperscience

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: The Information’s Jessica Lessin on The Future For Online Journalism & The Benefits Of A Subscription Based Business Model

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Jessica Lessin founder and Editor in Chief of The Information. Prior to The Information, she covered Silicon the technology industry for eight years at the Wall Street Journal where she wrote nearly 1,000 articles for the paper, consistently breaking news about major products, management changes and strategy shifts. Jessica was also part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Now you can follow both Jessica and me on Snapchat on @jlessk and @hstebbings
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jessica come to found The Information following The Wall Street Journal?

2.) Marc Andreesen: ‘print journalism is converging in quality and technique with blogs and Wikipedia’. Does Jessica agree with this? Has revisability has led to a lower quality initial publication?

3.) How does Jessica view the competitive landscape for journalism today? Who are competitors and what would Jessica say is complimentary to The Information??

4.) We have seen the decentralization away from the central forms of authority in journalism. What effect has this decentralization had on distribution? Competition? Market size?

5.) What is the monetisation strategy for The Information? Why choose that strategy over the more prevalent others such as advertising?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Jessica’s Fave Book: Ben Bradlee: A Good Life 

Jessica’s Fave Blog: Doug Young 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jessica 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Sam Lessin on Why Bots Will Change Business & The Internet Has Mostly Failed

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Sam Lessin is a Partner at Slow Ventures who have made investments in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Mattermark, AngelList,Dropbox and many more. On top of this, Sam is also the Founder and Co-CEO at Fin, which is basically like Siri Echo or Google now except it actually works, truly a phenomenal product. Prior to Fin and Slow, Sam was VP of Product Management at Facebook following the acquisition of his company, Drop.io by Facebook in 2010. Sam is also an intern at The Information where he reports directly to the boss Jessica Lessin!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Sam come to found Fin and what was his route into VC with Slow?

2.) What are the fundamental shifts that have occurred in the world of tech? How has this affected the wider tech and investing ecosystem?

3.) Will the transition to bots and conversational interfaces represent a major point of disruption or more of an evolution in the interface paradigm?

4.) How can bots establish the same relationship and stickiness with the user as apps? In a world of bot domination where strong data sets is the ultimate weapon, are we not at a fundamental incumbency disadvantage? How can the platforms react to this?

5.) What will the effect of self driving cars be on society? How long before this was be possible? How does the sharing economy and capitalism survive in unison?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Sam’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem 

Sam’s Fave Blog: The Information

Sam’s Most Recent Investment: Common

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Sam 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20 VC: K9’s Manu Kumar on His Approach To Risk, Valuation & Believing What Other People Don’t

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Manu Kumar founder and Chief Firestarter at K9 Ventures, a pre-seed and seed stage micro-VC fund based in Palo Alto, according to K9 they invests ‘frighteningly early’ and like to be the first institutional capital invested in a startup. K9 is an investor in Lyft, Twilio, Occipital, eShares, and their companies have been acquired by the likes of Linkedin, Facebook, Dropbox, Paypal and more. Prior to K9, Manu was either the founder or co-founder of 4 companies, 3 of which with successful exits and the 4th being the fantastic eshares!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Manu come to found K9 and what was his route into VC? How does Manu define entrepreneurialism and how did this play out in his early life?

2.) “The best buys are found in things most people don’t understand or believe in.” How does this play out in Manu’s investment strategy?  ?

3.) “The riskiest thing is the belief there’s no risk.” How does risk assessment feature in Manu’s investment mentality? How does Manu transition this to your portfolio construction? ?

4.) Josh Koppelman states “What has to be remembered is the defining role of price.” How much of a role does valuation play in Manu’s investment decision making process?

5.) “An absence of losses can give you a great start toward a good outcome.” As a seed fund how does Manu approach inevitable losses? How does Manu try and minimize mortality rate?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Manu’s Fave Book: The Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stoll

Manu’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC, Dan Primack: Term Sheet

Manu’s Most Recent Investment: GradeScope

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Manu 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
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20VC: Xero’s Rod Drury on IPO on Day 1 To Hedge Fund to VC & Doing Startups Backward

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Rod Drury is the Founder & CEO @ Xero, essentially beautiful accounting software for small business. Xero has received funding from some of the best investors in the world including the likes of Peter Thiel, Accel and Matrix Partners. Prior to Xero, Rod has founded and exited several successful startups including being acquired by QuestSoftware (later acquired by Dell). This success has led to a mass of awards including the likes of NZ Entrepreneur of The Year and NZ High Tech Hall Of Fame.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rod came to found one of New Zealand’s breakout tech startup in Xero?

2.) What were the very first days of Xero like? How and why did Rod decide to IPO from the start? How did Rod convey the narrative so well from day 1?

3.) What does it take to transition a firm like Xero from a 50 man startup to a 500 an company? What are the challenges? How do you assure a consistent hiring quality and mechanism?

4.) How are Xero doing in the US in terms of fighting Intuit? Is it a winner take all market?

5.) How was the fundraising process for Rod? How did Rod choose and meet his investors? What was important for Rod when making the selection?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Rod’s Fave Book: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

Rod’s Fave Blog: Feedly, Techmeme

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rod 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: How Startups Should React To Today’s Funding Environment & Why Big Markets Are More Forgiving with Jenny Lefcourt, Partner @ Freestyle.vc

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Jenny Lefcourt is a Partner @ Freestyle where she invests in early stage tech companies. Prior to Freestyle, Jenny was the Founder of Weddingchannel.com and Bella Pictures which were both acquired. During this time, Jenny raised funds from titans of VC including Kleiner Perkins, Trinity Ventures, Amazon and more. Jenny has also angel invested and advised some incredible entrepreneurs with the likes of Minted and Style Seat.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jenny made his way into VC from founding and exiting 2 startups?

2.) What were the differences in raising money as a founder and as a VC? What learnings as a founder did Jenny have that have helped her move into VC?

3.) How have the large macro-economic changes affected Jenny’s investing style? Has she seen a change in her investment cadence? Does Jenny place more emphasis on burn reduction now?

4.) Why does Freestyle not invest with a thesis? What are the benefits of this? How does Jenny make investment decisions going forward without a thesis?

5.) What does Jenny mean when she says that VCs suffer from duck syndrome? What can VCs do to make them the best and their founders life easier?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Jenny’s Fave Book: Dreamland, Blinkist (Harry’s Suggestion)

Jenny’s Most Recent Investment: CREXi

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jenny 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Rob Go @ NextView on WTF Is Seed Investing Today and Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

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Rob Go is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, Next View are hands on, high conviction true seed stage investors. Prior to founding NextView, Rob was at Spark Capital and focused on early stage investments in consumer web and mobile. Before joining Spark Capital, Rob worked at Ebay as the Business Product Lead for “Finding”. In this role, he oversaw the launch of major products that enhanced the search, browse, and product discovery experience for tens of millions of users.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Rob come to found NextView and what was his route into VC?

2.)  NextView are seed investors but what does that really mean today? Why has the entire seed stage moved further down the funnel?

3.) With regards to runway, there are two side son the table, those like Jeff Clavier and I who believe 36 months is optimal. What side of the table is Rob on? Longer or shorter runway?

4.) Why are smaller rounds optimal according to Rob? What do they allow you to do that you cannot do with larger rounds? What does the rise of pre-seed do for Rob as a true seed investor?

5.) Regadless of label competition between VC is now larger than ever, what does Rob make of the personalisation of VC and branding tactics used by Mark Suster etc?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Rob’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

Rob’s Fave Blog: Wait But Why

Rob’s Most Recent Investment: Dia & Co

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rob 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!
Attend one of the best conferences of the year, Sunrise, with speakers from the likes of Atlasssian, Canva and Planet Labs. Check it out here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order 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/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!\
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