51 episodes

B2B a CEO is the show about how to scale your enterprise startup and how to grow from founder to CEO. Hosted by Ashu Garg, general partner at Foundation Capital. Subscribe to the newsletter here: https://ashugarg.substack.com/

B2BaCEO (with Ashu Garg‪)‬ Foundation Capital, Ashu Garg

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 155 Ratings

B2B a CEO is the show about how to scale your enterprise startup and how to grow from founder to CEO. Hosted by Ashu Garg, general partner at Foundation Capital. Subscribe to the newsletter here: https://ashugarg.substack.com/

    How to Win Your First Enterprise Customer (Doug Winter, Founder and CEO at Seismic)

    How to Win Your First Enterprise Customer (Doug Winter, Founder and CEO at Seismic)

    My guest today is Doug Winter, the founder and CEO of Seismic, a leading enterprise sales enablement platform. Today, Seismic has a team of 1,500 people and nearly $400 million in recurring revenue.

    We start the conversation with Doug explaining what sales enablement actually means. From there, we turn to the early days of Seismic and unpack Doug’s approach to finding product-market fit, positioning, and targeting enterprise customers from day one. He speaks candidly about the challenges of scaling and closes with actionable advice for founders in 2024.
    Fewer than 1% of B2B software companies reach Seismic’s scale. Doug’s story offers a valuable blueprint for founders with similarly audacious ambitions.

    I hope you find this conversation as inspiring as I did. Let’s dive in!

    (00:00) Cold open
    (2:21) Doug explains what sales enablement is
    (3:39) Genesis of the idea for Seismic
    (7:08) Seismic's scrappy early days
    (13:10) Lessons from fundraising
    (18:23) Targeting large enterprises from day one
    (22:32) Scaling a GTM engine
    (28:23) Making proactive leadership changes
    (37:12) Running great board meetings
    (40:59) Impact of AI on Seismic's business
    (44:42) Advice for founders starting in 2024

    • 51 min
    How to Shape the Future of AI (Naveen Rao, VP of Generative AI at Databricks)

    How to Shape the Future of AI (Naveen Rao, VP of Generative AI at Databricks)

    My guest this month is Naveen Rao, the co-founder of MosaicML and current head of Generative AI at Databricks.

    Naveen's journey is unique, as it echoes the evolution of AI itself. He’s best known for founding and selling two successful companies. The first, Nervana, an AI-focused chip company, was acquired by Intel for $400 million in 2016. The second, MosaicML, was acquired by Databricks in June for $1.3 billion.

    In our conversation, we unpack the insights and frameworks that led Naveen to make these bets in the first place. We begin by exploring his long history in AI research and startups, from his early days at Qualcomm, his founding of Nervana, and the genesis of MosaicML.

    We then turn to the complexities of the ever-changing AI landscape and go behind the scenes of MosaicML’s acquisition by Databricks. We close with Naveen’s takes on the most urgent questions in AI, including the recent tumult at OpenAI, the road to AGI, the role of regulation, and where he thinks generative AI will go next.

    What struck me most is Naveen’s remarkable ability to not only anticipate the future but also actively pave the path toward it. For founders looking to navigate our current AI moment, this episode is full of valuable lessons.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    How to Power the AI Boom (Robert Nishihara, Co-Founder & CEO of Anyscale)

    How to Power the AI Boom (Robert Nishihara, Co-Founder & CEO of Anyscale)

    In this episode of B2BaCEO, I speak with Robert Nishihara, co-founder and CEO of Anyscale. Anyscale’s aspiration is to build the fastest, most cost-efficient infrastructure for running LLMs and AI workloads. When it is successful, Anyscale will be to the AI era what Microsoft was for the PC era: the underlying operating system on which all AI applications are developed and run.

    Anyscale is built on Ray, an open-source compute framework that Robert and his co-founders developed as PhD students at UC Berkeley. Under the guidance of Professor Ion Stoica, who also co-founded Conviva and Databricks, the team sought to make distributed computing broadly accessible. Anyscale was then launched as a fully managed platform for Ray, making even the toughest problems in distributed computing easy for developers to tackle. Today, Anyscale is a billion-dollar business powering mission-critical AI use cases at companies like Amazon, Cohere, Hugging Face, NVIDIA, OpenAI, and Visa.

    If you’ve been a PhD student at UC Berkeley, created a popular open-source framework, and built a billion-dollar business on top of it, you’ve likely learned a thing or two along the way. Robert’s story offers valuable lessons for fellow founders and builders at all stages of the startup journey.

    • 45 min
    How to Build, Scale, and Sell a Startup (Tracy Young, Co-Founder of TigerEye & PlanGrid)

    How to Build, Scale, and Sell a Startup (Tracy Young, Co-Founder of TigerEye & PlanGrid)

    My guest this month is Tracy Young, the co-founder and former CEO of PlanGrid, a productivity tool for construction companies. From going through YC and losing a co-founder to cancer, to being acquired by Autodesk for $875 million, Tracy has picked up many valuable lessons that other founders and CEOs can learn from.

    Our conversation unpacks these lessons, including finding (and keeping!) product-market fit, navigating startup growing pains, showing up effectively to board meetings, and managing the emotional toll of fundraising. We also speak about Tracy’s new venture, TigerEye, and what she’s doing differently the second time around.

    After having countless conversations with founders over the years, I thought I’d heard it all. Tracy proved me wrong. Her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in any industry.

    • 48 min
    How to Deploy AI in Your Company (Matei Zaharia, CTO & Co-Founder of Databricks)

    How to Deploy AI in Your Company (Matei Zaharia, CTO & Co-Founder of Databricks)

    If you’re not hardcore about AI, then stop the podcast now — because this episode for real technology nerds. Ashu’s guest is Matei Zaharia, CTO and cofounder of Databricks, and a professor of computer science at Stanford University.

    Ashu and Matei cover a lot of ground — most of it technical, all of it very relevant for anyone who’s serious about building with artificial intelligence. They start with a discussion of Databricks’ early days: how the startup established a foothold in a market dominated by entrenched incumbents and some of the challenges Matei and his cofounders faced.

    The rest of the conversation is all about AI. Matei breaks down the most common challenges that enterprises run into when attempting to adopt AI. He shares tips for how startups can best deploy foundation models. And he speculates on what the game-changing new use cases for AI will be over the next two years.

    Matei also pulls back the kimono on some of the cutting-edge machine-learning research he and his team at Stanford are working on. Finally, listen to the end for a fascinating exchange about artificial intelligence beyond large language models.

    • 39 min
    How to Capture the AI Moment (Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, Chief Strategy Officer at Microsoft)

    How to Capture the AI Moment (Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, Chief Strategy Officer at Microsoft)

    As everyone listening to this podcast knows, the release of ChatGPT last November ushered in a new age of AI and catalyzed a wave of AI startups. For this episode of B2BaCEO, Ashu goes deep on AI with Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, former serial entrepreneur and investor, and current Chief Strategy Officer at Microsoft.

    Ashu picks Bobby’s brain on what sectors and problem spaces he thinks are ripe for innovation with AI and what the opportunities for startups are. They then dissect the four layers of the AI stack, from applications to platforms to infrastructure to models. Lastly, they talk about flavors of artificial intelligence beyond large language models.

    If you’re a founder or executive who wants to understand the AI moment and all the opportunities it holds for enterprises and society — listen to this conversation.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
155 Ratings

155 Ratings

PeteSteg ,

Great mix of tech and leadership

I recommend this show for founders - current and wannabe - navigating the technological currents to scale their business. Ashu has a broad variety of guests and topics. More technical that your average business/entrepreneur podcast. Highly recommended.

D Triathlete ,

CEO Growth, Demystified

Ashu makes the founder-to-CEO leap seem like a breeze. Genuine gold for up-and-comers. Cheers for the insights!

kjb0514 ,

Engaging, Authentic, & Actionable!

Ashu and his incredible guests deliver an insane amount of value in every episode. Engaging, authentic, and actionable are just a few of the words I’d use to describe the time you’ll spend with them and you'll always be glad you tuned in. Thanks so much for putting out such a spectacular show Ashu - keep up the great work!

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