74 episodes

Host Mike Maples Jr from venture capital firm FLOODGATE offers lessons from the startup super performers—BEFORE they were successful—featuring interviews with some of Silicon Valley’s most legendary entrepreneurs and thought leaders, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Nextdoor co-founder Sarah Leary, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger, and more.

Starting Greatness Floodgate

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Host Mike Maples Jr from venture capital firm FLOODGATE offers lessons from the startup super performers—BEFORE they were successful—featuring interviews with some of Silicon Valley’s most legendary entrepreneurs and thought leaders, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Nextdoor co-founder Sarah Leary, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger, and more.

    Lessons of Greatness: Leslie’s Compass

    Lessons of Greatness: Leslie’s Compass

    When a startup product goes to market, the two key muscles it can flex are marketing and sales. In nearly every facet of a startup product, marketing or sales takes the natural lead in getting the product to customers. But startups often pour resources into these two areas in unfocused ways, and the results can be disastrous. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses the work of Silicon Valley legend Mark Leslie and specifically the framework of Leslie’s Compass, a simple but essential set of heuristics designed to bring more clarity and focus to your startup’s strategy.

    • 11 min
    Mark Leslie: Silicon Valley Go-to-Market Legend (Part 2)

    Mark Leslie: Silicon Valley Go-to-Market Legend (Part 2)

    Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE welcomes back go-to-market expert and Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer Mark Leslie for the second of their two-part interview, this time focusing on the role and responsibilities of a CEO and a deep dive into Leslie’s Compass, an essential set of heuristics for every startup founder. Leslie also discusses the value of founders focusing on a five-year plan for their startup, why it’s challenging to make meaningful change inside a large company, and why every founder should understand the relationship between their sales and marketing departments.

    • 36 min
    Lessons of Greatness: The Sales Learning Curve

    Lessons of Greatness: The Sales Learning Curve

    When a startup launches a new product, it's tempting to ramp its sales force too quickly. Often, this leads to a crash-and-burn scenario for companies that failed to learn what it took for the *entire organization* to achieve product-market-fit. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses how Mark Leslie's Sales Learning Curve framework helps startups keep themselves honest about their progress toward product-market fit, rather than falling into the trap of wishful thinking that usually leads to disaster.

    • 11 min
    Mark Leslie: Silicon Valley Go-to-Market Legend (Part 1)

    Mark Leslie: Silicon Valley Go-to-Market Legend (Part 1)

    During the 1990s, Mark co-founded Veritas Systems, which he piloted from nothing to 6,000 employees and $1.5B in revenue in a decade. Now a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Leslie is one of the foremost experts in go-to-market strategy in Silicon Valley, and in the first of this two-part series with Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE, Leslie discusses what strategies he used to make Veritas a runaway success, and the origins for the Sales Learning Curve.

    • 45 min
    Lessons of Greatness: The Infinite Game

    Lessons of Greatness: The Infinite Game

    We’re taught from a young age about *finite* sporting games like baseball, basketball, and soccer. Or board games like checkers or chess. Or academic games like grades and test scores. Or status games like credentials and university degrees. In these games, we know the rules and how to determine who scored the highest, according to rules set by someone else. But what about *infinite* games, where the rules and players are changeable, and the primary goal is to keep the game going? In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses how Shopify founder Tobi Lutke exemplifies the advantages of playing the Infinite Game and how to tell when business leaders have fallen into the trap of finite games at the expense of achieving their mission.

    • 6 min
    Tobi Lutke: A Startup Founder Arming The Rebels Against Amazon

    Tobi Lutke: A Startup Founder Arming The Rebels Against Amazon

    Growing up in Germany, Shopify co-founder and CEO Tobi Lutke was never quite comfortable with people telling him to do things because that's the way they're done. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Lutke to discuss the origins of Shopify, the difference between finite games and infinite games, and the reason it's important for startups and companies to always question assumptions imposed by "experts."

    • 40 min

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