20VC: YC’s Ali Rowghani on Leadership Lessons From Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull and Jack Dorsey & The 3 Traits All Truly Successful Leaders Share

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Ali Rowghani is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with portfolio companies including the likes of AirBnB, Dropbox, Stripe, Zenefits, Twitch, the list goes on. At YC, Ali leads the Continuity Fund where has made investments in the likes of Segment, Convoy and Lob, where he also sits on the board of all 3. Prior to investing with YC, Ali spent 4 years at Twitter, starting as CFO before becoming COO. Whilst at Twitter, Ali saw the company scale from $0 revenues to over $2Bn and 20m users to close to 300m users. Before Twitter, Ali was the CFO @ Pixar Animation Studios.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ali made his way from CFO @ Pixar and COO @ Twitter to now leading YC’s continuity fund?

2.) Ali describes a story of his time at Pixar working with Steve Jobs? How did he carry himself both as a leader and an operator? What was it about Steve that makes Ali say he is the most impressive exec he has ever worked with?

3.) Having seen the likes of Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, Jack Dorsey in action what have been Ali’s biggest takeaways with regards to what makes the truly great leaders? Why does Ali believe there are 3 traits all great leaders share? What are they?

4.) How does Ali look to bring that experience to his role now, investing with YC Continuity? How does that affect his mindset and evaluation when assessing investment opportunities today?

5.) Why does Ali believe that too many startups have been damaged by the amount of capital they have raised? As a former CFO, how does Ali analyze the capital being raised today and some of the burn rates in the valley?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ali’s Fave Book: Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Ali’s Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

Ali’s Most Recent Investment: Segment

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Why Decentralisation is Key For Digital Media Distribution, Why Gradual Decentralisation Is The Most Practical Approach and Why Incumbents Are The Biggest Barrier To The Rise of Crypto with Adi Sideman, Founder & CEO @ YouNow

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Adi Sideman is the Founder & CEO @ YouNow. Since founding the company in 2011, Adi has grown YouNow to be a global social network with more than 100 million user sessions a month, and creators now producing more than 50,000 hours of original live content each day. They recently released PROPS (Telegram available here), the next generation platform that leverages the power of crypto economics & participation in digital media. To fund this growth, they have raised over $25m in funding from some of the greats of the investing world including Andy Weissman @ USV, David Pakman @ Venrock and future guest Oren Zeev. Due to this incredible progress, YouNow has been named one of the most innovative companies of 2016 by Fast Company and was a finalist for Fastest Rising Startup of 2016 at the Crunchies Awards.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adi made his way into the world of participatory digital content, came to found the world’s first online karaoke company and then found YouNow?

2.) Setting the scene now, where are we at with TV? What platform does Adi believe will rise formidably in it’s place? How does that affect the age-old industry of advertising? Why does Adi believe after so many years, now is the time for micro-payment content creation?

3.) Why does the digital media content landscape need to be decentralized? What is fundamentally broken with the current centralised networks? What are the benefits of such decentralization?

4.) How does Adi envision this decentralization to be? Does Adi believe we will build new decentralized protocols and exact the decentralized network through them or does he believe we will integrate new protocols into existing services?

5.) Why does this decentralized network be crypto-based? With centralized networks the value largely accrues to investors and founders, how does Adi sell the value of a decentralized network to an investor base with fiduciary responsibilities?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Adi’s Favourite Book: The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill 

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.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Lightspeed’s Nicole Quinn on Why We Are Not In A Consumer Downturn, Why M&A Has Not Been This Exciting For A Long Time & Why Amazon Is Never Your Friend

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Nicole Quinn is a Partner @ Lightspeed, one of the world’s leading venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Snapchat, Nest, StitchFix, AppDynamics and Max Levchin’s Affirm, just to name a few from their incredible portfolio. At Lightspeed, Nicole focuses on the consumer market having made investments in the likes of Cheddar, Zola and Rothy’s. Prior to Lightspeed, Nicole worked at Nutmeg, one of London’s leading fintech players and before that spent 8 years covering consumer, eCommerce and brands at Morgan Stanley on the equity sales and research side. At Morgan Stanley, Nicole worked on the IPOs for Facebook, Groupon and Pandora. Fun fact: Nicole is also a star of the big screen featuring on Apple TV’s Planet of The Apps.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nicole made her way from Morgan Stanley to a leading London Fintech player to now, a partner a Lightspeed in San Francisco?

2.) How does Nicole define “digitally native brands”? What are the core benefits of owning the entire customer journey? Why does Nicole believe that brand is a key network effect today?

3.) Why does Nicole disagree that we are in a fallow period for consumer? How does Nicole analyze the incumbent heavy competitive landscape? Does Nicole believe that Amazon does more to make the market than destroy it?

4.) Why does Nicole believe we are in a consolidatory environment? What about the current ecosystem makes now the most exciting time for M&A in a long time? How does Nicole analyze M&A’s ability to move the needle with transactions like Bonobos’ acquisition?

5.) Being a star of Planet of The Apps, how important does Nicole think it is for investors to have public brands today? How does Nicole view VCs and digitally native brands in the same way? How does this mean that VCs should act in market?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nicole’s Fave Book: The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Nicole’s Fave Blog: Lean Luxe

Nicole’s Most Recent Investment: Rothy’s

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Semil Shah on How To Raise An Institutional Venture Fund, Why LPs Mostly Have Reserve Allocation Theory Wrong & Why IPOs and Acquisitions Are Severely Constrained

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Semil Shah is the founder of Haystack, an early stage investment firm now investing out of it’s fourth fund, with previous investments in the likes of Instacart, DoorDash, Giphy, OpenDoor & Managed by Q. Semil is also a Venture Partner @ GGV Capital, one of the leading multi-stage funds and in the past he has also been a consultant to the likes of Kleiner Perkins, DFJ, General Catalyst and more. If that was not enough, Shah also has an extensive career in media having been a contributor for both TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review in the past. Due to all of this, Shah is known for being on the speed dial of some of the industry’s most respected VCs with the likes of Marc Andreessen naming him one of his ’55 Unknown Rockstars in Tech’.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Semil made the transition from the world of writing to investing alongside some of the best in venture with Haystack?

2.) Why do more and more managers want to introduce institutional capital into their LP base? What are the advantages? What are the drawbacks? Where does Semil see most managers going wrong when pursuing institutional capital for the first time?

3.) What does Semil mean when he states the importance of “pre-marketing”? How open is one in these pre-discussions with potential LPs? What is the right amount of time to be pre-marketing for? How does Semil determine whether to adopt a piece of LP advice and when not to?

4.) In the raising process, why does Semil never like to the use the deck when meeting in person? What core elements of the presentation did LPs always hone in on? What tips does Semil have to potential managers to ensure they can pitch at any time, not just the boardroom?

5.) How has moving from non-institutional to institutional fund, changed how Semil thinks about reserve allocation? Why does Semil believe that the majority of LPs have a wrong thesis to reserve allocation?

6.) Why does Semil believe the VC business model is severely constrained in terms of exits through IPO and acquisition? What does this mean for the use of secondaries? How will managers need to incorporate this into their strategy?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Semil’s Fave Blog: AVC 

Semil’s Most Recent Investment: Ironclad

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Eventbrite Founder, Julia Hartz on The Lessons Learned Scaling Eventbrite to Unicorn Valuation & $3Bn in Gross Ticket Sales

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Julia Hartz is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Eventbrite, the unicorn startup that is the world’s largest event technology platform, powering over 2 million events around the world each year. They have raised over $330m from some of the greats of industry including Roelof Botha @ Sequoia Capital, Jeff Clavier @ SoftTech, David Saks, Bebo’s Michael Birch, Tiger Global and many more. Under Julia’s leadership, she has taken Eventbrite to become the world’s largest event technology platform and has received multiple accolades for workplace culture, being named the best place to work in SF for 7 years running. Personally, Julia has won numerous awards including Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Inc’s 35 Under 35 and Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Julia came to found Eventbrite with her husband Kevin from a small apartment in Potrero Hill and turned it into the unicorn it is today?

2.) How did Julia and Kevin meet? What was the meet-cute? How did that translate into the founding of Eventbrite? How did Julia think about partnering with her fiancee at the time, as a business partner? What made it also a great business partnership?

3.) Why does Julia believe that creating a company is like creating a family? How has Julia seen herself scale as CEO of the company, with the immense scaling and growth of the firm? What have been the challenges and how did she overcome them?

4.) What does Julia believe are the requirements for successful CEO transition? How can this be managed correctly both internally and externally? What other elements made last year a particularly momentus year for change at Eventbrite?

5.) How does Julia think about balancing the immediate elements of the present day with the long-term vision for the roadmap? What is the right mindset to adopt? How does one look to prevent “Innovators Dilemma”? How does Julia split her time?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Julia’s Fave Book: Overwhelmed

Julia’s Fave Blog: The Skimm

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Lux Capital’s Scientist-In-Residence on Why We Cannot Just Be Specialists Today, The Benefits of Interdisciplinary Thinking & Computational Creativity That Makes Man and Machine Partners with Sam Arbesman

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Sam Arbesman is the Scientist-In-Residence @ Lux Capital, the fund that supports scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time, the more ambitious the project, the better. Sam works with companies and founders that recognize the future happens at the boundaries of science and technology infusing computation into everything from biology to manufacturing.Sam’s scientific research has been published in everything from the Wall Street Journal to The New York Times and The Atlantic. Sam is also the author of the award-winning The Half-Life of Facts and the new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sam made his move from being a best-selling author to Scientist in Residence for Lux Capital? As Scientist in Residence, what does Sam do on a day-to-day basis?

2.) What does Sam mean when he says that startups need to embrace “radical interdisciplinarity”? What really is “radical interdisciplinarity”? What are the benefits it brings to an organisation? Does this go contra the importance of specialisation?

3.) How does Sam view the partnership between man and machine? Why does Sam believe we will see computational creativity in a way never seen before? How does Sam view the societal barriers to the embracing of this partnership?

4.) How does Sam view the promise of analogizing in the face of such complex systems? How does Sam assess the perils of such analogies? Does Sam believe that VCs of today are equipped to invest in such complex systems? What must they remember?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sam’s Fave Book: The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, The Three Body Problem

Sam’s Fave Blog: Marginal Revolution

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Founders Fund’s Chief Scientist on Why AI Is Mostly A Scam, Why The Value of Large Datasets Is Mostly Overplayed & The Societal Effects of 4m Truck Drivers Being Unemployed with Aaron Vandevender

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Aaron VanDevender is the Chief Scientist at Founders Fund, one of the world’s leading fund with investments in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Spotify and many more incredible companies. At Founders Fund, Aaron monitors the scientific impact of the portfolio, works with portfolio companies, assesses new technologies, and conducts his own research. Prior to Founders Fund, Aaron has designed single-photon and single-atom quantum computers in academia and government (NIST), advanced the quantum-mechanical theory for microscopic black holes, patented the fastest transparent optical switch, and is a co-inventor of yoctotechnology. He then developed next-generation DNA sequencing technology at Halcyon Molecular. His broad scientific interests encompass energy, biotech, nanotech, and computing.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Aaron made his way from microscopic black holes and DNA sequencing to the world of Founders Fund? What does a Scientist-In-Residence do?

2.) Why does Aaron believe that AI is mostly a scam? Where does Aaron see and then want to see further progression in the field of AI and ML? How does Aaron distinguish between crazy and genius? What are the signs?

3.) Why does Aaron believe that the value of massive datasets is largely overplayed? What characteristics of datasets are exciting for Aaron to see when evaluating an opportunity? Where and how can datasets be misleading and lose their value?

4.) How does Aaron view the societal effects of 4m truck drivers being unemployed by the rise of self-driving? How does Aaron view trucking both as goods distribution and wealth distribution networks?

5.) How does Aaron view the implementation of universal basic income? Why does Aaron believe we have a challenge decoupling wealth and virtue? To what extent is this a core problem?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Aaron’s Fave Book: Tales From The Thousand & One Arabian Nights

Aaron’s Fave Blog: Slash Dot

Investment Aaron is Most Excited By: Ayar Labs

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

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