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: $18BN Market Cap and $1BN in ARR in 8 Years; Samsara | How to Find Product Market Fit Reliably | How to Create a Multi-Product Company | The Pros and Cons of Serial Entrepreneurship with Sanjit Biswas, Founder & CEO @ Samsara
Sanjit Biswas is the Founder and CEO @ Samsara, allowing businesses that depend on physical operations to harness Internet of Things (IoT) data. Over the last 8 years, Sanjit has scaled Samsara to $1BN in ARR and a public company with tens of thousands of customers. Before Samsara, Sanjit was the CEO and co-founder of Meraki, one of the most successful networking companies of the past decade. Sanjit grew Meraki from his Ph.D. research into a complete enterprise networking portfolio. Meraki's sales doubled every year from inception and in 2012, Cisco acquired Meraki for $1.2 billion. Huge thanks to Doug Leone for some fantastic question suggestions pre this episode.
In Today's Episode With Sanjit Biswas We Discuss:
1. From Founding to $1BN in ARR in 8 Years:
What was the founding a-ha moment for Sanjit with Samsara? Sanjit sold his prior company Meraki for $1.2BN, what worked with Meraki that Sanjit took with him to Samsara? What did not work that he left behind? What does Sanjit know now that he wishes he had known when he started Samsara?
2. The Man Who Found Product Market Fit Time and Time Again:
What is the one single moment that Sanjit believes you know you have product market fit? What are the biggest mistakes founders make when chasing product market fit? How does being a bootstrapped company change how a company approaches chasing PMF?
3. Mastering a Multi-Product Company:
How do you know when it is the right time to launch a second product? Does the second product have to make the first product better? What are the biggest mistakes companies make when going multi-product?
4. The Art of Great CEOship:
Does Sanjit believe that the best CEOs are the best capital allocators? What has been the single best and single worst capital allocation decision in Samsara's journey? What are the biggest mistakes Sanjit has made in leadership? How did he learn and grow from them?
20VC: Ramp's Product Playbook: How To Hire Product Teams, How to Run Sprints, How to Increase Product Velocity, When and How to Go Multi-Product with Geoff Charles, VP Product @ Ramp
Geoff Charles is the VP of Product at Ramp, leading the product management, operations, and support teams. Prior to Ramp, Geoff helped spin off Mission Lane and scale credit products to millions of consumers. He started his career advising Fortune 100 financial services companies.
In Today's Episode with Geoff Charles We Discuss:
1. How to Become a Product Leader:
How did Geoff make his way into the world of product? What are the single most important skills for product people to learn early? What are the biggest mistakes that product people make early in their career?
2. When and Who to Hire for the First Product Team:
When is the right time to hire your first product people outside of founding team? Why are the best product teams in the early days professional services teams? What is more important; the person has stage or sector experience, when joining? Should you hire senior product people or junior product people as the first hires?
3. How to Increase Velocity Using Sprints:
How does Geoff and Ramp use two-week sprints to have insane product velocity? How are they structured? How are goals set? Who is included? What makes a good vs a bad sprint? How is accountability tied to sprints? When do two-week sprints no longer become possible? What happens then?
4. Going Multi-Product, Will Incumbents Kill You and Product Re-Usability:
When is the right time to add a second product? What are the biggest mistakes companies make when going multi-product? Why is it unlikely that an incumbent is the one to kill you? What competitor should worry you? What does Geoff mean when he speaks of "product re-usability"? Why is it crucial to velocity?
20VC: From Construction Worker to Billionaire CEO; The 21-Year Epic Journey of Procore to an $8.6BN Company, Advice from Tobi at Shopify on Being a Great CEO & Why The Idea of "Becoming an Entrepreneur" is BS with Tooey Courtemanche
Tooey Courtemanche, Jr. is the Founder, CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board of Procore. He founded Procore in 2002 with a mission to connect everyone in construction on a global platform. After 13 years of business, the company had just $9.6M in revenue, 8 years after that they have over $890M in revenue. Under his leadership, Procore has grown to become a leading global provider of construction management software, connecting over 2 million users across 150+ countries. Today Procore trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PCOR. Huge thanks to Brian @ Bessemer and Will @ Iconiq for some amazing question suggestions today.
In Today's Episode with Tooey Courtemanche:
1. The Founding of a $8.5BN Company:
How did Tooey's wife, Hilary and their house-building lead to the idea for Procore? What does Tooey know now that he wishes he had known when he started? Did Tooey always know he would be a success? What was the moment of most doubt?
2. The 13-Year Journey to $9.6M in Revenue:
Why did it take so long to hit the $10M revenue mark? What changed in 2015? What is Tooey's biggest advice to founders and investors who face market timing risk? Why was Tooey laughed out of VC offices in 2008? What are his biggest pieces of advice to founders raising from VCs today? How does Tooey advise founders on the balance between vision and sticking to a mission vs realising when it is not working and giving up?
3. The Art of Great CEOship:
What advice did Tobi @ Shopify give Tooey on being a great CEO? How did it impact his approach? What are the biggest differences between the reality of being a CEO and the Instagram version? What have been Tooey's biggest lessons on hiring? Why does hiring smart, ambitious but not humble people never work? Why does Tooey believe the idea of "becoming an entrepreneur" to be BS?
4. Parenting, Money and Marriage:
Why does Tooey believe great parenting is like great CEOship? How does one bring up children to be ambitious and humble in a very privileged upbringing? What are the secrets to being there as a husband while also being a rockstar CEO? How does Tooey reflect on his own relationship to money and wealth today?
20VC: HelloFresh CEO on Why When You Raise VC You Only Have Two Options, Why Your IPO Price is Irrelevant, Why Timing is So Important in Going Public & Why D2C is Not Dead with Dominik Richter
Dominik Richter is the Founder & CEO @ HelloFresh, one of the largest direct-to-consumer businesses of the last decade and the #1 recipe box delivery service. Fun fact, two of the three biggest cooking facilities in North America are HelloFresh facilities with the third being Disney World Orlando. Dominik has made over 40 angel investments in the EU and the US.
In Today's Episode with Dominik Richter We Discuss:
1. The Founding of One of the Largest D2C Companies:
How did Diminik's dreams of being a footballer translate to founding HelloFresh? What does he know now that he wishes he had known when he started? Why does Dominik respect the brands that large banks have built?
2. To Raise or Not to Raise:
Why does Dominik believe when you raise VC, you either have to sell or go public? What are the single biggest differences between raising in the US vs Europe? What are Dominik's biggest pieces of advice to founders raising today? Why does Dominik believe so many of the D2C companies should not have raised venture funding?
3. The IPO: When, How and Why:
Why did Dominik decide to IPO the business so early? Why does Dominik believe that the first-day trading price is irrelevant? Why does Dominik believe that timing is so important when going public? What are the biggest pros and cons of being public?
4. The Rise and Fall of D2C:
D2C has been crushed lately, why? Is this the end of D2C as a category? Is D2C an investable category for VC? HelloFresh is one of the biggest and $2.5BN market cap? What have been the best and worst resource allocations Dominik has made? Do recessions help or hurt recipe box businesses?
20Growth: The Golden Rule to $100M in ARR, Why CAC to LTV is BS Early On, Why Your First Growth Hire Should Be a Former Founder & How Ramp Does 200 Growth Experiments Per Quarter with Guillaume Cabane
Guillaume Cabane is a growth advisor to high-growth SaaS Startups, including Ramp, Spot, Airbyte, G2, Gorgias, Metadata, Madkudu, and others. Guillaume held VP of Growth roles at Drift, Segment, and other successful startups, where he helped them grow from ~50 to 300. Prior, Guillaume spent 6 years at Apple.
In Today's Episode with Guillaume Cabane We Discuss:
1. Entry into Growth:
How did Guillaume make his way into the world of growth? What are 1-2 of his biggest lessons from him time at Segment where he 4x revenue? What does Guillaume know now that he wishes he had known when he entered growth?
2. Enterprise vs SMB & CAC/LTV:
Why does Guillaume think it is harder to go enterprise down than SMB up? What are the biggest mistakes companies make when scaling into enterprise? What are the biggest mistakes startups make with product-led-growth motions? Why does Guillaume believe it is impossible to analyse CAC/LTV in early companies?
3. Activation, Engagement and KPI Setting:
What are the biggest mistakes companies and teams make in activation? What can growth and marketing teams do to guarantee engagement in prospects? Why are all KPIs not tied to revenue BS?
4. Hiring the Growth Team:
What are the core characteristics of great growth hires? How quickly does it become apparent when you have made a bad growth hire? Why do founders make the best profiles when hiring your first growth hire? What are the biggest mistakes Guillaume has made when hiring for growth?
5. Why Growth is Like Venture:
What is the secret to building a great growth portfolio? Why is it impossible to scale to $50M ARR with only one good channel? What is the right way to spread resources across channels? When is the right time to add new channels and diversify?
20VC: Keith Rabois and Mike Shebat on Creating an Olympian Mindset to Work Ethic, Why First-Time Founders are Better Than Serial Entrepreneurs, Why Remote Work Does Not Work, Why the Best Founders Always Start in their Teens & Why Companies are Cults?
Keith Rabois is a General Partner @ Founders Fund, one of the world's best venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, SpaceX, Anduril, Tesla and many more. For the last 23 years straight, Keith has either invested in or founded a $BN company. Keith is also the Co-Founder and CEO @ Openstore, the company that will buy or run your Shopify business.
Mike Shebat is the Founder and CEO @ Traba, the company providing industrial staffing when and where you need it. To date, Mike has raised $49M with Traba from some of the best including Founders Fund, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures.
In Today's Episode We Discuss:
1. What it Takes to Build a Great:
Why does Mike expect everyone to work in office 12 hours per day, 4 days per week? At what point does an extra hour of work not lead to more output? What are the expectations in terms of emails, out of office, the weekends? Keith, from the 23 BN companies you have worked with, is this insane work ethic aligned to all of them? Which had it? What did not? What core components of PayPal's work ethic made it so strong? What does Keith mean when he says Linkedin could and should have been 5x bigger?
2. The Hiring Process for the Swat Team:
What does the hiring process look like for this type of work environment? What are the signs that someone is really aligned to it vs faking it for the interview process? What have been Keith's biggest lessons on both compensation and title in the hiring process? Why does Keith believe that culture is like concrete? What are the biggest mistakes he has made on culture and what would he have done differently?
3. First-Time Founders, Innate Entrepreneurs & Europe's Failing:
Does Keith agree the best founders always show signs of early entrepreneurship in their teens? Why does Keith prefer first-time founders to serial entrepreneurs? Why are they better? Why does Keith believe that Europe has not created a $100BN company since 1990?
4. Remote Work, Network Effects and Baseball:
Why does Keith believe being great in venture is like baseball? Why does Keith and Founders Fund not invest in remote teams? How does he explain Gitlab? Why does Keith believe Airbnb has the best network effect he has ever seen?