20VC: Why Move Fast and Break Things Is Not Right, How To Instil Radical Candor In Your Organisation & What Founders Must Ask For From Their Investors with Jason Brown, Founder & CEO @ Tally

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Jason Brown is the Founder & CEO @ Tally, the startup that is building a better credit card experience giving power to the consumer. They have investment from some of the leading names in early stage finance including Shasta Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Ludlow Ventures and Blake Byers @ GV just to name a few. As for Jason, prior to Tally, he founded 3 further startups including most recently Gen110 where helped to bring a new consumer debt product market that finances residential solar installs.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jason come to found Tally following his 3 prior startup founding experiences?

2.) Why does Jason think you should never settle with candidate hires? What shall startups do when they are growing fast and need someone now? Why does Jason believe you should never use external recruiters?

3.) As this is Jason’s 4th startup and he has raised from the likes of Kleiner Perkins in the past, what has Jason learned in terms of fundraising through his past entrepreneurial experiences? What does Jason believe founders should look for from their VCs?

4.) Why does Jason believe that in the majority of cases ‘move fast and break things is completely wrong’? What industries does Jason believe you have to lean into the regulators?

5.) How does Jason look to instill radical candor within Tally as a fast scaling startup? What does Jason think this is important for all startups to have engrained in them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Fave Book: Science of Interstellar

Jason’s Fave Blog: First Round Review

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jason on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com – and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

20VC: 2 Signs That A Company Is Ready For IPO, Why Fund Cycles Are Too Short & Why Management Teams Do Not Want To Go Public with Gene Frantz, General Partner @ CapitalG

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Gene Frantz is a Partner of CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund which has investments in the likes of Airbnb, Snap Inc and Stripe. As for Gene, before joining CapitalG, Gene was a partner at TPG Capital, a global private equity fund. During his 13 years at TPG, Gene was responsible for multiple technology and telecom investments and represented TPG on multiple public and private company boards of directors. Prior to TPG Capital, Gene worked at Oracle Corporation leading its venture capital effort and previous to that in corporate development.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Gene made his way from the world of traditional private equity to investing with Google?

2.) Gene has seen many investment cycles, how has Gene experience of both the ups and the downs of the market affected how he invests today?

3.) What does a company need to show or provide today in order to get a large late-stage cheque or IPO? How has this changed over the years?

4.) Why does Gene think that late stage financing has been massively commoditized? How can late stage funds looks to differentiate themselves in today’s market?

5.) How does Gene view the extension of private markets and the delayed IPO? Why does he think management teams are less willing to IPO today? Does it concern him?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Gene’s Fave Book: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Religion & Politics

Gene’s Fave Blog: The Information

Gene’s Most Recent Investment: Looker

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com – and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

20VC: Inside Google’s Growth Fund & The 3 Criteria They Look For With Potential Investments with Laela Sturdy, General Partner @ CapitalG

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Laela Sturdy is a Partner @ CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund that have invested in the likes of Stripe, Snap Inc, Airbnb and many more incredible companies. As for Laela, she has made investment in category leaders such as language learning platform, Duolingo, payroll and benefits provider, Gusto and jobs site, Glassdoor. Prior to investing with CapitalG, Laela was a Director of Sales & Business Operations at Google where she helped start, scale, and lead teams in several emerging product areas including video and display advertising, local and SMB services, and mobile commerce.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Laela made the transition from an operator at Google to one of the industry’s rising star investors with CapitalG?

2.) Market size is fundamental to CapitalG decision-making process so; what is a large enough market? How does Laela look to evaluate market size; bottoms up or top down?

3.) How does Laela look to assess product differentiation? Is brand significant enough IP to be classed as product differentiation?

4.) Why does ownership not play such a pivotal role in investment decision-making process? How crucial is unit economics to Laela at this stage of investment?

5.) With Google’s obvious operational value add, does Laela believe we will see the further rise of operational value add within VC? What does this mean for entrepreneurs?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Laela’s Fave Book: Americanah

Laela’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Axios

Laela’s Most Recent Investment: Care.com

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com – and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

20VC: Back To Back Female Led IPOs & Why It’s Harder To Be A Female CEO Than A Male CEO with Leura Fine, Founder & CEO @ Laurel & Wolf

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Leura Fine is the founder and CEO of leading online interior design service Laurel & Wolf. Driven by the desire to connect clients and designers through a digital platform, Leura launched Laurel & Wolf from her home dining room in 2014. Two years later, she has a rapidly growing team of more than 60 employees and a marketplace of more than 1,000 interior designers. They have raised over $30m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including Benchmark, CRV and former guest, Kent Goldman @ Upside Partnership.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leura made her way from interior designer to founder of one of today’s hottest marketplace startups, Laurel & Wolf?

2.) Why does Leura feel it is harder to be a female CEO than a male CEO? How are her actions compared and judged differently than those of her male counterparts?

3.) How does Leura approach the selection element of choosing her investors? What should matter to founders that their investors can bring? How does Leura look to select the best board member?

4.) How did Leura approach the chicken and egg problem of marketplaces in the beginning with Laurel & Wolf? What is her big advice to other founders building out their marketplaces?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leura’s Fave Book: Pride & Prejudice

Leura’s Fave Blog: Oh Joy

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Leura on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

20VC: Investing; A Game Of Access Or Picking, Why Technical DD At Seed Is Irrelevant & Why A Contrarian Mindset Does Not Always Lead To Optimal Returns with Leo Polovets, Co-Founder & General Partner @ Susa Ventures

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Leo Polovets is a Co-Founder and General Partner @ Susa Ventures, one of the west coast’s most exciting new seed funds. They have investments in the likes of previous guests RobinHood, Flexport, Andela, LendUp, and Qadium, just to name a few from their stellar portfolio. As for Leo, Prior to Susa, Leo was one of the first engineers at LinkedIn in 2003, then worked on payment fraud detection at Google, then designed and built the data cleaning and deduping engines at Factual. He is an angel investor in over a dozen companies, including DataFox, Boomtrain, Lumoid, and Momentum Machines.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leo made the transition from the world of operations with LinkedIn to co-founding Susa Ventures?

2.) How does Leo evaluate the supposed success that comes from investing with a contrarian mindset? This that the only way? Is investing merely a game of access without picking?

3.) If one is to follow the crowd, there is often a high price? What is Leo’s approach to valuation sensitivity? At what stage does price become unreasonable? How does Leo instill a sense of disciple and rigor in maintaining this mindset?

4.) How does Leo react to founders who raise large sums of capital on slowly increasing caps? How central should dilution be to the mindset of founders when raising?

5.) Why does Leo think there is very little valuable to be gained from engaging in technical due diligence at seed? What else does need to be examined pre-investment?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leo’s Fave Book: Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers

Leo’s Fave Blog: Mattermark Daily, 25IQ

Leo’s Most Recent Investment: TalentIQ

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

20VC: Can Founders Really Trust Their VC & How To Navigate The Acquisition Process Successfully with Josh Felser, Co-Founder @ Freestyle.vc

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Josh Felser is a Co-Founder and General Partner at Freestyle, one of SF’s leading early stage seed funds with investments in the likes of About.me, Airtable, Intercom and Patreon just to name a few. As for Josh, prior to being in VC with Freestyle, Josh started two successful Internet companies, Spinner and Grouper/Crackle, which were acquired by AOL Time Warner and Sony for $320 million and $65 million, respectively.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made the transition from the world of startups to founding Freestyle?

2.) Can founders really trust their VC? What is the sign that you can and then cannot trust your VC? How does this depend on the differing stages?

3.) When is the right time for founders to throw in the towel and sell? What are the signs? Is it the role of the board member to encourage and push the founder forward?

4.) Josh has said before that ‘companies are sold and not bought’. What does he mean by this? How can founders optimize the acquisition process in terms of the dialogue with the acquirer? How should they approach the topic of valuation? How can they create a sense of urgency? Who are the certain stakeholders they must be talking to?

5.) How has Josh seen himself develop as a board member? What have been the inflection points in his learnings? What are the core components that make up a great board member?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Josh’s Fave Book: Snowcrash

Josh’s Fave Blog: Five Best Ideas of The Day: The Aspen Institute

Josh’s Most Recent Investment: Carbon Robotics

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

20VC: How Investors Can Get Into The Best Deals & Why Founders First Point Of Contact Should Be With The Investment Decision-Maker with Spencer Kimball, Founder & CEO @ Cockroach Labs

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Spencer Kimball is the Founder & CEO @ Cockroach Labs, the open-source database for building global, scalable cloud services that survive disasters. They have backing from some of the greats of the world of VC having raised from the likes of Sequoia, Benchmark, Google Ventures and Index. As for Spencer, prior to Cockroach he spent 10 years at Google where he oversaw their hyper growth transition from startup to global behemoth. He also spent two years at unicorn payments company, Square as well as co-founding 2 prior startups.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Spencer made his move from a decade @ Google to starting Cockroach Labs?

2.) Why does Spencer enjoy speaking to VCs? What has Spencer taken away from the best of VC conversations? What are the best ways Spencer feels investors can make initial contact? What are the signs of bad investor interactions?

3.) How does Spencer want his VCs and board members to interact with him? How do the best board members provide constructive advice and feedback?

4.) How can investors get into the best deals? If they fail the first time, what can be done on their behalf to show continued interest?

5.) How does Spencer implement a 4 day work week at Cockroach and remain so highly productive? What are the benefits of this for the team and culture?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Spencer’s Fave Book: The History of The Decline & Fall of The Roman Empire

Spencer’s Fave Blog: Ben Bernanke, Paul Krugman

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

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