The Twenty Minute VC (20VC) interviews the world's greatest venture capitalists with prior guests including Sequoia's Doug Leone and Benchmark's Bill Gurley. Once per week, 20VC Host, Harry Stebbings is also joined by one of the great founders of our time with prior founder episodes from Spotify's Daniel Ek, Linkedin's Reid Hoffman, and Snowflake's Frank Slootman.
If you would like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC (20VC), head to www.20vc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and more.
20VC: Clubhouse Founder Paul Davison on What Went Right and What Went Wrong | What Does Clubhouse Do Now To Regain Mindshare? | Why Clubhouse is not a Content Platform? | What is the Next Wave of Consumer Social and Does Web3 Play a Role? |
Paul Davison is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Clubhouse, the startup that believes people are at the centre of every moment, providing a platform to talk with friends and meet new friends. To date, Paul has raised over $310M with Clubhouse from a16z, DST, Elad Gil, Naval Ravikant, and many more. Prior to co-founding Clubhouse, Paul was the Founder of Highlight, a location-based consumer social service backed by Benchmark. Before Highlight, Paul actually spent time at Benchmark as an EiR.
In Today's Episode with Paul Davison We Discuss:
1.) Entry into Startups:
How Paul came to found Highlight in the early days of consumer social? What elements worked with Highlight that he took with him to Clubhouse? Which elements did not work that he learned from?
2.) Clubhouse: What Worked:
What does Paul believe are the primary reasons that Clubhouse grew so fast? What metrics does Paul use to determine true product-market-fit and stickiness? What is good retention on Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30? How important is 12-month retention?
3.) Clubhouse: What Did Not Work:
COVID: Does Paul believe that Clubhouse was the COVID antidote we all needed? How sustainable is that if so? What trends make it more sustainable? Live Does Not Work: How does Paul respond to Mike Mignano's comments that "live does not work"? Why does Paul believe that Clubhouse is not a content platform? Quality: Does Paul agree that the quality of live is not as good as the quality of produced content? Is that a problem? If the quality is worse, what is significantly better about live?
4.) The Future of Social:
Does Paul agree that we are seeing the disregard of the once hailed social graph in favour of a new era of recommendation media? What does this mean for Clubhouse? With the rise of the likes of BeReal, how does Paul think about the importance of authenticity in the next wave of consumer social? How does Paul forsee Web3 and the next generation of consumer social being interlinked? What will it take for Web3 to break through? What are the core barriers today? Does Paul agree that the best consumer social tools empower creators with Superhuman powers?
5.) Lessons on CEOship:
What are Paul's biggest lessons on successful company building? How does Paul manage the criticism and negativity of the press personally? How does Paul maintain the morale internally when the press cycle is so negative? How has Paul adapted himself to gain a thicker skin and not pay as much attention?
Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
Paul's Favourite Book: Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity, Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
20VC: Why Greed is the #1 Enemy of Venture Returns, Why Not Enough VCs Play to Win and Lessons from Scaling to $100M and 1,200 Employees and Then Cratering with Julio Vasconcellos, Founder @ Atlantico
Julio Vasconcellos is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Atlantico, one of the leading early-stage funds in Latin America. Prior to the world of venture, Julio got his break in the world of startups as Facebook’s first country lead for Brazil. Julio then went on to co-found Peixe Urbano, a company he scaled to over 1,200 employees and $100M+ in revenue. Post the sale of Peixe Urbano, Julio became an EiR @ Benchmark Capital where he met Scott Belsky. Scott and Julio went on to co-found Prefer, a Benchmark backed company transforming the future of work. If that was not enough, Julio has a stellar angel track record with prior investments in the likes of Ipsy and Quinto Andar.
In Today's Episode with Julio Vasconcellos We Discuss:
1.) Entry into Startups:
What are 1-2 of Julio's biggest takeaways from being Facebook's first hire in Brazil? What does Julio know now that he wishes he had known at the start of his career in startups?
2.) Lessons from Scaling Peixe Urbano to $100M in Revenue:
How does Julio advise founders on when is the right time to launch a second product or market? How does Julio advise founders on the right balance between growth and unit economics? When times are tougher, should founders cut fast or cut slower? What is irreversible? What are the single biggest and worst things to break in hyper-scaling?
3.) Investing: Why Not Enough Play To Win:
What is more important, a great market or a great founder? Why do not enough VCs today play to win? If they do not play to win, what do they play to do? Why is greed the number one enemy of venture returns? What are the single biggest investing lessons Julio has learned from Benchmark Founder, Andy Rachleff? How have they impacted his investing mindset? Why does Julio believe you can have a close relationship with founders as an angel and not a VC? How did Julio's approach to investing change with the transition from angel to VC? Does Julio believe that boards really add any value? If so, how? What is Julio's biggest investing hit? How did it change his approach? What is his biggest miss? How did that impact his mindset?
4.) The Future for LATAM:
Is Julio as concerned as I am by the removal of growth stage capital from the LATAM ecosytem? Does this mean a higher mortality rate for LATAM companies? How does Julio advise founders? How did COVID adoption of technology in LATAM fundamentally differ to the US?
20 Product: The No 1 Metric You Need To Look at When Building Product | Why the Best in Product Have No Domain Experience | Why You Should Not Hire From Incumbents & The Difference Between Good vs Great PMs with David Lieb, Visiting Group Partner @ Y Co
David Lieb is one of the product OGs of the last decade. As the founder of Bump David pioneered how over 150M users shared data, contacts and more before the company was acquired by Google. At Google, David took this one step further by creating Google Photos, which he has led with immense success for the last 9 years. In the last few weeks, David announced his latest move, to join Y Combinator, one of the world's leading accelerators as a Visiting Group Partner. If that was not enough, David also has a stellar angel portfolio with the likes of Rippling, Flexport, Tally, Maven and many more.
In Today's Episode with David Lieb We Discuss:
1.) Entry into Product:
How did an idea at business school turn into Bump and ultimately the creation of Google Photos? What are the single biggest mistakes David made with the early Bump product? What does David know now that he wishes he had known at the start of Bump?
2.) Scaling the Team Alongside the Product:
What is product-market fit to David? What is it not? What are the single biggest mistakes founders make when they think they have it? What should founders do first and most importantly, when they do have it? Why does David believe individual user data is more important than relying on data?
3.) Product: Art or Science:
Why does the description we have for product managers need to change? How does David determine when to act on customer feedback vs stick to the current product plan? What is the right way to do customer discovery? What questions are best to ask? Where do founders make the biggest mistakes in customer discovery? Ultimately, is product more art or science? Is this changing with ever-increasing data?
4.) Product: The Process:
How does David conduct product reviews? What are the biggest mistakes founders and product leaders make when managing product reviews? Who is invited? Who sets the agenda? Who determines who is accountable for what? How do product reviews change in a world of Zoom? What is better? What is worse? What can product leaders do to build culture in remote worlds? How can product leaders make everyone feel safe and comfortable to share how they feel, regardless of seniority, in product reviews?
Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
David's Best Performing Investment: Flexport
20VC: From Struggling to Raise Funding to IPOing at Close to $9BN Just Five Years Later; The $8BN Company You Might Not Know | How To Build Large Companies with Small Teams | The Biggest Hiring Lessons and Mistakes with Seba Kanovich, CEO @ dlocal
Seba Kanovich is the CEO @ dlocal, the #1 payments leader with a single solution focused on Latin America and other emerging markets. In June 2021, dlocal raised $617M in their NASDAQ IPO listing valuing the company at nearly $9BN. Before their IPO, dlocal raised from some of the best including General Atlantic, Bond Capital, and Oren Zeev to name a few. Prior to dlocal, Seba was CEO @ AstroPay, a leading payment solution provider in Emerging Markets.
In Todays Episode with Seba Kanovich We Discuss:
1.) The Journey to CEO of an $8BN Company:
How Seba made his way to the role of CEO of an $8BN company through dinner at his mother-in-law's house? What does Seba know now that he wishes he had known when he first became CEO?
2.) Leadership 101:
What does "high performance" in business and leadership mean? How important are velocity and speed of execution in startups? When should one trade speed for quality? Where is the nuance? How does Seba approach prioritization? What framework does he use to determine what to focus on? How does Seba think through effective delegation? How can leaders determine what only they can do?
3.) Leadership: The Challenges and Lessons:
What are Seba's biggest insecurities in leadership today? How does he manage them? How have they changed over time? What is the single most painful leadership lesson Seba has learned that he is also pleased to have learned? What gets easier with scale as a leader? What gets harder? In a scaling organization, what is the first thing to break? What can be done to mitigate this?
4.) The Funding and The IPO:
Why did dlocal bootstrap for 4 years instead of raise funding? How did that process change their mindset toward capital efficiency? What was good about it? What was bad? What are the single biggest advantages great investors can bring to the table? Why did Seba decide 2021 was the right time to go public? What was the biggest surprise about going public? What is better and what is worse about being a public company?
Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
Seba's Favourite Book: Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
20 Sales: How To Interview Sales People; The Red Flags and What to Look For, How Sales Leaders Should Change Goals and Quotas in Harder Markets and What Reps Can Do To Ensure They Hit Their Numbers in These Markets with Eleanor Dorfman, Sales Leader @ R
Eleanor Dorfman is a Sales Leader @ Retool, the company that allows you to build internal tools, remarkably fast. Prior to Retool, Eleanor joined Retool when there were only three account executives and has scaled the sales org sales to over 30 AEs, many SEs, and an entire SDR team. Before Retool, Eleanor was at Segment, where she built out the company’s customer success operations team before pivoting to creating an expansion sales team, renewals team, and a new business sales team. Finally, before Segment, Eleanor made her way into startups, starting as an unpaid intern at Clever, just four years later, Eleanor was Head of Customer Success and Solutions Engineering.
In Today's Episode with Eleanor Dorfman We Discuss:
1.) Entry into Sales from Working with the US Education Department:
How did Eleanor get her first role as an unpaid intern at Clever? What are 1-2 of her biggest takeaways from her time at Segment? What are the biggest advantages of sales reps having experience in customer success?
2.) The Sales Playbook:
How does Eleanor define, "a sales playbook"? When does it need to be created? Does it need to be the founder who creates it or can it be a Head of Sales? Is it possible to run a PLG and enterprise motion from Day 1? How does this change your sales playbook? How does Eleanor advise founders on when is the right time to layer on an enterprise motion, on top of a PLG motion?
3.) Who, What and When: Building the Sales Team
Should founders hire a Head of Sales first or sales reps first? If sales reps, should founders always hire sales reps in two's? How does Eleanor structure the hiring process for all new sales team recruits? What are the clearest signals of 10x sales hires? What are red flags in the interview process? How does Eleanor use demo's and case studies to determine technical ability?
4.) The First 30, 60 and 90 Days: The Onboarding:
What is the right structure for all new sales hires to be onboarded? Why does Eleanor believe you will always hire your Head of Sales Enablement too late? What are the signs that now is the right time to hire your Head of Sales Enablement? What tools, materials and resources can founders provide to shorten the ramp time for new AEs? What are the single biggest mistakes founders make in the onboarding of new sales reps?
20VC: Why 95% of Venture Capital is Not Really "Venture Capital" | The Five Core Levers Needed To Assess Risk and Price a Startup | The Future of Venture; Who Wins, Who Loses, What Happens to the Crossover Funds with Will Quist, Partner @ Slow Ventures
Will Quist is a Partner @ Slow Ventures. Over the last decade, the team at Slow Ventures have invested in the earliest rounds of over 500 companies including Robinhood, NextDoor, Airtable, Solana and many more. As for Will, prior to Slow he spent over 8 years at Industry Ventures and before industry, cut his teeth in the world of finance at Banc of America.
In Todays Episode with Will Quist We Discuss:
1.) Entry into Venture:
How Will made his way from 6th generation San Francisco to Partner @ Slow? What are 1-2 of the biggest takeaways from his early 1-1s with Don Valentine? What does Will know now that he wishes he had known when he started in venture with Industry?
2.) WTF Really is Venture Capital?
Why does Will believe that 95% of venture capital today is not really venture capital? What is true venture capital in Will's mind? How does Will divide the world of VC into two with; venture classic and new venture? How are they different? How are their return profiles different?
3.) The Questions: Discovering Greatness:
Why does Will believe “for the most part, investors across asset classes are just asking the same questions”? What are those questions? What different answers are each looking for? What are the 5 core questions that will needs to understand to determine conviction and accurately price an asset? How does Will think through and analyze the question when meeting founders of; “what needs to come true for this business to become a great business”?
4.) The Future of Venture Capital:
How does Will predict the venture capital ecosystem will look in 5 and then 10 years? What are the most concerning traits of the venture ecosystem for Will today? Who will be the winners of the next decade? Who will be the losers? What happens to the crossover funds? What will happen to Tiger?