1,164 episodes

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.

The Twenty Minute VC (20VC): Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch Harry Stebbings

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

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: OpenAI's Sam Altman, Mistral's Arthur Mensch and more discuss: Will Foundation Models Be Commoditised | Which Startups Are Threatened vs Enabled by OpenAI | Is the Value in the Infrastructure or Application Layer?

    20VC: OpenAI's Sam Altman, Mistral's Arthur Mensch and more discuss: Will Foundation Models Be Commoditised | Which Startups Are Threatened vs Enabled by OpenAI | Is the Value in the Infrastructure or Application Layer?

    Sam Altman is the CEO @ OpenAI, the company on a mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. OpenAI is one of the fastest-scaling companies in history with a valuation of $90BN and $2BN+ in revenue.

    Brad Lightcap is the COO @ OpenAI and the man responsible for the incredible scaling of sales, GTM, partnerships and business to today being over $2BN in revenue.

    Arthur Mensch is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mistral AI. Since its inception in May 2023, Mistral has raised over $520M in funding from investors like Andreeseen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Microsoft with a current valuation of $2 billion. 

    Des Traynor is a Co-Founder of Intercom, and has built and led many teams within the company, including Product, Marketing, and Customer Support. Today Des leads all of Intercom’s R&D efforts, and parts of Intercom’s marketing.

    Tom Hulme is a Managing Partner of GV (Google Ventures), and leads the European team. Today, GV has over $10BN in AUM and Tom has led investments in Lemonade.com (IPO), Snyk, Secret Escapes, Blockchain.com, GoCardless, and Currency Cloud (exited to Visa).

    Tomasz Tunguz is the Founder and General Partner @ Theory Ventures, just announced last week, Theory is a $230M fund that invests $1-25m in early-stage companies that leverage technology discontinuities into go-to-market advantages.

    Sarah Tavel is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the most successful and renowned venture firms in the world. At Benchmark, Sarah has led rounds in Chainalysis, Hipcamp, Medely, Rekki, Glide, Cambly and more.

    In Today's Episode We Discuss:
    Will foundation models be commoditised? What is the end state for the foundation model landscape in 10 years? How will large cloud provider incumbents approach M&A with smaller foundation model providers? When will we see marginal revenue exceed marginal cost in the foundation model business model? Where is the value: the application layer or the infrastructure layer? How can startups know whether they will be threatened by OpenAI? What are good tests/questions to know if you are in the path of one of the large foundation models? How does the business model of SaaS fundamentally change in a world of AI? Will we see the end of per-seat pricing in a new world of AI? What is the right way to approach pricing in a world of AI? Consumption? Tokens?  

    • 21 min
    20VC: Box's Aaron Levie on Predictions for the Next Wave of AI: Will Foundation Models Be Commoditised | How the Business Model of SaaS Changes Forever | Startups vs Incumbents: Who Wins | App vs Infrastructure Layer: Where is the Value?

    20VC: Box's Aaron Levie on Predictions for the Next Wave of AI: Will Foundation Models Be Commoditised | How the Business Model of SaaS Changes Forever | Startups vs Incumbents: Who Wins | App vs Infrastructure Layer: Where is the Value?

    Aaron Levie is one of the OG founders of the last two decades as the Co-Founder and CEO of Box. Today, Box does over $1BN in revenue with a market cap of $3.85BN, and has raised over $560 million from the likes of DFJ, Andreesen Horowitz, and Coatue. 
    In Today’s Episode with Aaron Levie We Discuss:
    What You Need to Know Entering This AI Wave:
    Why does Aaron think we are currently in a transformative window in AI?
    What does Aaron think it takes to be successful in this next wave?
    Which areas does Aaron think founders should be focusing on today? Where should they not?
    AI Adoption: Business Model, Implementation, Regulation.
    How does Aaron think AI will change how we work & run a business?
    What does Aaron think is the single biggest obstacle to AI adoption in large organizations?
    Does Aaron agree with Sarah Tavel @ Benchmark AI companies will be selling work not tools? 
    How does Aaron think AI will change the SaaS business model?
    Why is Aaron not as worried about AI regulation? What are his biggest concerns today?
    The Next AI Breakthrough: AI Agents
    Why does Aaron believe the next big breakthrough in AI will be agents?
    How does Aaron think AI agents will change org structures?
    How does Aaron think agents will differ from RPA? How will RPA companies benefit from AI? 
    What does Aaron think AI agents will look like in five years?
    Startups vs Incumbents: Who Wins?
    What is Aaron’s advice to startups today building against OpenAI?
    Does Aaron think startups have more advantage in foundational models or the application layer?
    What advantages do incumbents have? What are their biggest weaknesses?
    Who does Aaron think are the biggest winners in AI today? Who is underperforming?
    Why does Aaron think Apple isn’t losing the AI race?
     
     

    • 56 min
    20VC: Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora on How to Create and Sustain Competitive Advantage and Defensibility | What Makes Masa Son a Genius Investor of Our Time | How the Best Leaders Communicate and Delegate

    20VC: Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora on How to Create and Sustain Competitive Advantage and Defensibility | What Makes Masa Son a Genius Investor of Our Time | How the Best Leaders Communicate and Delegate

    Nikesh Arora is the CEO @ Palo Alto Networks, the leading cybersecurity company in the world with a market cap of $102BN. Before joining Palo Alto Networks, Nikesh was the President and COO of SoftBank Group. Before that, he spent ten years at Google as a senior exec, and President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before that Nikesh was CMO for the T-Mobile International Division of Deutsche Telekom AG. Nikesh serves on the board of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. Previously, he served on the boards of SoftBank, Sprint, Colgate-Palmolive Inc., Yahoo! Japan and Tipping Point.

    In Today's Episode with Nikesh Arora We Discuss:
    1. From Investing with Masa @ Softbank to CEO of Largest Cyber Company:

    What are Nikesh's biggest lessons from working and investing with Masa @ Softbank? What are Nikesh's biggest takeaways from 10 years at Google and working with Eric Schmidt? What does Nikesh know now that he wishes he had known when he started his career?
    2. What Makes the Most Valuable Businesses in the World:

    How does Nikesh think about competition and monopolies? How does Nikesh assess the idea of defensibility, moats and sustaining competitive advantages? What are the most common reasons why incumbents are overtaken? How have Palo Alto Networks been so successful in their M&A strategy? What has worked in M&A? What has not worked? What is their process?
    3. What Makes the Best Leaders in the World:

    Does Nikesh agree that the best CEOs are the best resource allocators? How do the best leaders communicate with large teams at scale? How do the best leaders approach decision-making? What is Nikesh's framework? How does Nikesh approach the idea of delegation? What does he delegate vs what does he not?
    4. Behind the CEO: Nikesh Arora: Husband and Father:

    How does Nikesh reflect on his own relationship to money today? What are Nikesh's biggest lessons in what it takes to bring children up in a world of affluence and ensure they have hunger and ambition? What are some of Nikesh's biggest lessons on parenting? How does Nikesh reflect on what it takes to have a great marriage?  

    • 52 min
    20Product: How Linktree, Webflow and Airbnb Used Rituals and Product Principals to Guide Product Roadmap, Why All Product Teams Should Have a Scorecard and How to Use it & How to Run the Best "Product Jams" with JZ, CPO @ Linktree

    20Product: How Linktree, Webflow and Airbnb Used Rituals and Product Principals to Guide Product Roadmap, Why All Product Teams Should Have a Scorecard and How to Use it & How to Run the Best "Product Jams" with JZ, CPO @ Linktree

    Jiaona “JZ” Zhang is the Chief Product Officer at Linktree, the world’s leading link-in-bio platform empowering 45M+ creators, brands and SMBs. JZ joined Linktree from Webflow, where she served as SVP of Product. Before that, she spent four years at Airbnb where she built and led numerous teams on the host side. JZ’s also held leadership roles at the likes of Wework, Dropbox and teaches at Stanford University and Reforge.
    In Today’s Episode with Jiaona Zhang We Discuss:
    Entry into the World of Product
    How did JZ first fall in love with product?
    Why does JZ believe the best PMs have experience in the gaming industry?
    Does JZ think Linktree could be a $100BN business? How could Linktree become a $100BN business?
    Mastering Product Metrics
    Why does JZ think product is the most chameleon role? Where does product start & end? 
    Why does JZ think every function should have tension with product?
    What is a KPI tree? How does JZ branch business & product metrics?
    When does JZ think startups should set up a metric infrastructure?
    What are the three levers of product? How does JZ determine which ones to trade off?
    How to Run Product: Planning, Strategy, & Rituals
    Why does JZ think planning should not exist?
    What are strategy and rituals? When should founders do either?
    What are JZ’s three core rituals?
    What is the scorecard method? How do they help team transparency?
    What are product jams? When does it work? When does it not work?
    Product Career Advice
    When does JZ think founders hire a product person? 
    What are the most common mistakes early stage founders make when hiring for product?
    Does JZ think domain expertise is important? What does she look for in product hires?
    What is JZ’s advice to PMs who want to get promoted today? 
    What is JZ’s advice to young people who want to get into product?
     

    • 1 hr 1 min
    20VC: Fundraising Wisdom that is Total BS; Dilution, Meeting Associates, Taking the Highest Price, Always Be Raising | Why Second Time Founders Are More Investable & Why Not To Hire People Out of College with Dan Siroker, CEO @ Limitless

    20VC: Fundraising Wisdom that is Total BS; Dilution, Meeting Associates, Taking the Highest Price, Always Be Raising | Why Second Time Founders Are More Investable & Why Not To Hire People Out of College with Dan Siroker, CEO @ Limitless

    Dan Siroker is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Limitless, a personalized AI powered by what you’ve seen, said, or heard. For his latest funding round, Dan took an unusual approach resulting in 1,000 preliminary offers with valuations as high as $1BN — and resulted in a $350 million Series A valuation. Prior to founding Limitless, Dan was the Founder of Optimizely, scaling the company to $120M in ARR and raising from some of the best in the business including Peter Fenton @ Benchmark who led the Series A.

    In Today's Episode with Dan Siroker We Discuss:
    1. Serial Entrepreneurs are More Investable:

    Why would Dan always prefer to invest in serial entrepreneurs than first time founders? How do serial entrepreneurs approach team building and size of team differently? How do serial entrepreneurs approach focus and prioritisation differently? How do serial entrepreneurs approach pivoting differently to first time founders? What is Dan's advice from Elad Gil and YC's Dalton Caldwell on when to pivot?
    2. The Secret to Fundraising: How to Speak VC

    Should founders always be raising? What is the right thing to respond to investors when they reach out to you outside of a round? What question are investors really asking when they ask, how much are you raising? How should founders approach valuation, what should they say when they are asked for it? How can founders create urgency in a funding round? What works? What does not?
    3. How to Raise the Best Funding Round:

    Should founders engage with associates or only worth it with decision-makers? Why should founders always choose the investor who is on the early arc of their career? Why was Dan's first meeting with Peter Fenton the best meeting he has ever had with a VC? Why does Dan believe that taking the highest price is never the right answer? To what extent does having a true Tier 1 VC lead your round, change the game for your company?
    4. Dan Siroker: AMA:

    How did becoming a father change the way that Dan operates? Why is Dan scared we might see technological progress stall for the next 20 years? Why did Dan not do YC the second time around with Limitless? What is the story of how Optimizely nearly bought Amplitude?  

    • 1 hr 16 min
    20VC: Behind the Scenes at Y Combinator: The Interview Process | What the Best & Worst Do in the Program | Do the Best All Raise Pre-Demo Day & YC's Fundraising Advice to Startups | Why the Value is in Application Layer AI with Tom Blomfield

    20VC: Behind the Scenes at Y Combinator: The Interview Process | What the Best & Worst Do in the Program | Do the Best All Raise Pre-Demo Day & YC's Fundraising Advice to Startups | Why the Value is in Application Layer AI with Tom Blomfield

    Tom Blomfield is a Group Partner at YC. Before YC, Tom founded two unicorns in the UK. He was co-founder of Monzo (most recently valued at $5BN), one of the first challenger banks in the UK. Monzo raised more than £1bn and counts 15% of the UK population as customers. Before Monzo, Tom founded GoCardless (YC S11), an online payments processor, most recently valued at $2.1BN.

    In Today's Episode with Tom Blomfield We Discuss:
    1. From Founding Two Unicorns to YC Partner:

    Does Tom believe that all great founders show signs of exceptionalism early? What does Tom know now that he wishes he had known when he started his first company? Why did Tom decide now was the right time to switch from founder to investor with YC?
    2. The YC Application Process: How it Works:

    How do the YC partners select which companies are accepted vs rejected? What specifically does Tom look for in the problem the company is looking to solve? In the interview, what are the signals of the highest quality founders? What questions does Tom always want to ask in YC interviews with founders?
    3. The YC Batch: How it Works:

    How do the YC partners work with the 25 companies in their batch? What is the interaction? What are the single biggest mistakes companies make while in YC? What are the biggest pieces of advice YC gives founders on fundraising approaching demo day? How do the best YC founders fundraise and use demo day? How do the most nervous fundraise? How are YC partners measured in terms of their success and effectiveness?
    4. AI: Consumer vs Enterprise/ Infrastructure vs Application Layer:

    Does Tom believe there is money to be made investing in infrastructure layer models today? Why is the commoditization of foundation models the best outcome for society? Why is Tom most excited about the application layer for the next wave of AI? What are the most exciting opportunities in consumer AI that are wide open today? 20VC: Behind the Scenes at Y Combinator: The Interview Process | What the Best & Worst Do in the Program | Do the Best All Raise Pre-Demo Day & YC's Fundraising Advice to Startups | Why the Value is in Application Layer AI with Tom Blomfield

    • 1 hr 4 min

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