20VC: Most Downloaded Founder Episode of 2017: Brian Armstrong, Founder & CEO @ Coinbase

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Brian Armstrong is the Founder & CEO @ Coinbase, the startup that provides the world’s most popular way to buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. They have backing from some of the biggest and best in VC having raised over $215m from the likes of Andreesen Horowitz, IVP, USV, DFJ and many more incredible investors. As for Brian, prior to Coinbase he was a Software Engineer @ Airbnb and before that founded his own startup, Universitytutor.com

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brian made his way from Airbnb to founding one of the early disruptors in the crypto space with Coinbase?

2.) Doing an 80/20 analysis, what are the 3 fundamental differences between Bitcoin and ethereum? What is Brian’s opinion on the scaling path ahead for ethereum? How do the teams behind ethereum and Bitcoin differ and what effect do these differing approaches have?

3.) What is an ICO? Does Brian believe ICOs will be a sustainable method of company financing in the future? What needs to take place to ensure for the continued momentum of ICOs? What have been the biggest surprises of ICOs for Brian?

4.) How does Brian view the regulatory stance around both ICOs and blockchain more generally? What is he concerned will happen? What would be the optimal regulatory framework for the theme to thrive?

5.) How does the rise of blockchain disrupt the VC industry? Why does Brian agree with Naval in stating the future will involve the unbundling of money, control and advice from the realms of VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman

Brian’s Fave Blog: Week In Ethereum

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

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

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: 2nd Most Downloaded Episode of 2018: Kirsten Green, Founding Partner @ Forerunner Ventures

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Kirsten Green is the Founding General Partner @ Forerunner Ventures, where she has raised over $250M from leading investors and has invested in more than 40 early-stage companies. Forerunner Ventures is the only VC firm to invest in both Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com, two of the biggest and highest-profile e-commerce exits in recent years, and counts Birchbox, Bonobos, Glossier, Hotel Tonight, Warby Parker and Zola among its portfolio companies. She’s been honored in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2017, named VC of the Year at TechCrunch’s 2017 Crunchies Awards, and is part of Forbes 2017 Midas List.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kirsten came to found one of the most successful early stage funds of the past decade in Forerunner?

2.) Question from Michael Kim @ Cendana: How does Kirsten view the optimal portfolio construction theory for a thematically specialized consumer fund? What is the one question Kirsten asks herself pre-investing in a startup?

3.) Question from David Pakman @ Venrock: Given the scope of consumer as a space, is Forerunner large enough to attain the required ownership levels? What does this mean for the future of Forerunner in terms of further funds, opportunity funds and entry points?

4.) What are the 3 core principles to developing an exciting investment opportunity in the consumer space? What commonalities do they have? What do you look for in a consumer brand founder that might be different from a software founder?

5.) Why does Kirsten believe that Amazon has done more to make the market opportunity than they have to crush it? What makes Kirsten believe we really are in the early innings for commerce? How will we see the notion of brand evolve over the coming years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kirsten’s Fave Book: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Kirsten’s Fave Blog: TheSkimm

Kirsten’s Most Recent Investment: Packagd 

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

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

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: Most Downloaded Episode of 2017: Peter Fenton, General Partner @ Benchmark

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Peter Fenton is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the world’s leading VC funds with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, eBay, WeWork, Yelp and many more revolutionary companies of the last decade. Peter himself sits or has sat on the board of Twitter, previous guest Cockroach, Optimizely, New Relic and ZenDesk just to name a few. Prior to Benchmark, Peter was a Managing Partner @ Accel. It is clearly not just me that has a man crush on Peter though as he has been named to Forbes Midas List for many consecutive years with the last list placing Peter as No 3 in the world.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Peter made his way into the world of VC with Accel and came to be a General Partner @ Benchmark?

2.) How does Peter differentiate between the good and the great VCs? How can VCs use hyper-curiosity and hyper-competitiveness to improve their investing ability? Why does Peter not believe that operational experience is a necessity pre-VC?

3.) How does Peter view the importance of valuation in the investment decision making process? How much of a role does it play for him and what is his psychology around valuation, especially with regards to ownership levels?

4.) Why is Peter amused when he hears other investors say they must ‘invest in big markets’? What were his big takeaways from watching the investment and hyper-growth journey of Snapchat? How did that influence his view on markets?

5.) Peter has previously said that he is a ‘student of great board members’. What are the commonalities among the truly great board members? How do they engage and interact with the entrepreneur? How do they get the most out of their fellow board members?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Peter’s Most Recent Investment: Zen.ly

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

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

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: How To Upscale Management Teams Effectively, When Should The CEO Play The Role of “Lifeguard” & What Role Does The Board Play In The Team Upscaling with Matt Straz, Founder & CEO @ Namely

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Matt Straz is the Founder & CEO @ Namely, the leading HR platform for mid-sized companies. Since founding Namely, Matt has grown Namely to over 1,000 clients, 150,000 users, and has raised $158M from the likes of Sequoia Capital, True Ventures, Matrix and Bullpen, just to name a few. Prior to Namely, Matt was co-founder of Pictela, an ad tech company he sold to AOL in 2010, and a long-time media and advertising executive. Due to this success, Matt has been named one of the 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his first forays into the world of tech and startups and the a-ha moment for the founding of Namely?

2.) When does one go from a world-class startup team to a world-class leadership team? How did Matt go about making this transition? What were the core challenges? Does Matt agree with Chris Caren in saying, “you should look to individuals with 3-4 years of runway”?

3.) When upscaling, how does Matt think about internal promotion vs external hire? What is the right way to communicate that to the current team? Where do most managers go wrong in expectation setting with their team?

4.) What role does the board play in the upscaling of management? What process takes place for new senior hires to be made? How does Matt look to balance the challenge of negotiating with the current team and the board on new hires?

5.) Why was Matt wrong in his initial response this year for Namely’s need to reset their Mission, Vision and Values (MMV)? When must all companies look to revisit this? How does Matt look to balance the immediacy of today with product roadmap and vision of tomorrow?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matt’s Fave Book: 438 Days

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

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

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: How To Balance Between Vision and Stubbornness, Why Speed Is The Most Important Startup Superpower & The Main Role of A Startup Founder Today with James Currier, Managing Director @ NFX

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James Currier is the Managing Partner @ NFX and one of Silicon Valley’s foremost experts in growth and network effects. Just last week, NFX announded their latest fund, a new $150m fund to turn NFX into a significant institution.  As for James, before becoming an investor, he co-founded one of the internet’s first successful user-generated companies, Tickle, in 1999. Under James’ leadership, Tickle grew to become the 18th largest website in the world and was acquired by Monster for $110 million. James then co-founded three other successful companies – Wonderhill (online video games, merged with Kabam in 2010 which then sold for $800M), IronPearl (acquired by PayPal in 2013), and Jiff (raised $68M from Venrock & GE before merging with Castlight in 2017).

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way from multiple success in the world of operations with Tickle, Jiff and Wonderhill to now managing NFX’s new $150m fund?

2.) Why does James believe speed is the number one superpower for startups? How important is being first to market for products? Why does language and psychology play a much more prominent role? What should the correlation be between product and the language used to market the product?

3.) What does James believe the main job of the founder is? Where do most founders go wrong in depicting their story? Why is it so important for founders to “speak with data”? How can one retain that personal sentiment when heavily using data?

4.) Why does James believe that network effects play such a prominent role within value creation of companies? What really is core to network effect success? Other than marketplaces and social networks, what other forms of network effect exist and succeed?

5.) What does James believe is the right mindset for growth? What has James always believed about paid growth? Why is James altering his views on paid growth in today’s environment? Does James believe we are in a fallow period for the consumer space?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: The Razor’s Edge

James’ Fave Blog: The Edge

James’ Most Recent Investment: Outdoorsy

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

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

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: Inside The World’s Leading Crypto Fund, The Future Exit Environment for Crypto Assets & The Beauty Of Benevolent Dictatorship with Olaf Carlson-Wee, Founder @ Polychain Capital

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Olaf Carlson-Wee is the Founder & CEO @ Polychain Capital, one of the world’s premier funds actively managing a portfolio of blockchain assets. Having founded the firm less than 2 years ago with their initial $4m fund, Polychain now has over $200m AUM with backing from the likes of Sequoia, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and USV just to name a few. Prior to founding Polychain, Olaf was the first employee at Coinbase serving as their Head of Risk and as product manager. In addition, Olaf has also been an active angel with a portfolio including the likes of Robinhood, Ethereum and Numerai.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Olaf made his way into the world of crypto from academic studies to Coinbase to today with Polychain?

2.) What really is Polychain Capital and what is the primary mandate with the $250m AUM? With the firm’s investments being always liquid, how does one look to stay aligned to founders with an exit possible at any time?How does Olaf think about LP fund withdrawal, would that symbolize a snowball effect in the crypto space?

3.) How does sourcing crypto opportunities differ from sourcing venture opportunities? How does the subsequent DD process change when evaluating crypto opportunities? What does Olaf want to see in whitepapers and what are the big red flags when analysing crypto investments?

4.) How does Olaf think about the exit environment for crypto assets? How does Olaf believe traditional corporate acquirers will respond to crypto assets and those that have raised through ICO? What does Olaf mean when he says, “we will see token network acquisitions in the future”?

5.) Have tokens created a paradigm shift in the method through which companies are funded? Charlie Lee @ Litecoin stated on the show, “ICO’s were his biggest concern for crypto”. Does Olaf share this concern and where does he see the nuances?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Olaf’s Fave Book: Infinite Jest

Olaf’s Most Recent Investment: 0x Project

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.

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

20VC: AppDynamic’s Jyoti Bansal on The Sale vs IPO Process with AppDynamics’ $3.7Bn Exit & The 3 Simple Things VCs Look For When Investing In Startups

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Jyoti Bansal is the former Founder & CEO of AppDynamics, backed to the tune of over $350m in VC funding from the likes of Lightspeed, Greylock and Kleiner Perkins, just to name a few, before it’s ultimate acquisition by Cisco for $3.7Bn. Today, Jyoti is the Founder and CEO of BIG Labs, essentially a laboratory for creating, developing, and launching innovative ideas. The first of these ideas being turned into companies being, Harness.io the industry’s first continuous delivery as a service platform, where Jyoti is the Founder & CEO. As a result of his tremendous success, Jyoti has been a recipient of many leadership awards including, “Best Cloud Computing CEO to Work For,” “Best CEO” by San Francisco Business Times.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jyoti made his way from selling farm machinery with his father in India to founding and selling AppDynamics for $3.7Bn?

2.) How does Jyoti look to build world class teams around him? What are the core characteristics and profiles and seed success into an organisation? How does Jyoti look to optimise each individual function in the organisation?

3.) What did the sale process of AppDynamics look like? Did Jyoti and the team run a dual process of acquisition & IPO? How did the deal come about? What were the negotiations like? Why did Jyoti turn down the first two offers? What was critical to the successful deal?

4.) Jyoti has said before, “there are 3 simple things VCs look for”. What are those 3 things? How did the fundraising of AppDynamics go in the early days? What was it about the first 20 pitches that made VCs say no? What does Jyoti most look for now when choosing the VCs to work with?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jyoti’s Fave Book: Crime and Punishment

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

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

Namely is the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform your employees will love to use. It’s as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely’s mission is to help mid-sized companies build a better workplace. See how Namely can transform your workplace at www.Namely.com.

Eero is the world’s best-reviewed wifi. A system of eero and eero Beacons wirelessly connects to blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi, so despite the increased number of devices with Christmas coming, you’ll still be able to get powerful mesh WiFi in every nook and cranny of your home, backyard included. No more dead spots, slow spots, drop-offs, or buffering — right out of the box. Eero is only available in the US and Canada and you can check it out here!

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