Greymatter offers perspectives and stories from some of the world’s top technology entrepreneurs and business leaders. The featured company builders share personal and insightful lessons while shedding light on common, relatable challenges in the entrepreneurial journey. Greymatter is produced by Greylock Partners.
Entrepreneur First | Successful Co-Founder Dynamics
Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford founded Entrepreneur First in 2011 with a mission to expand the global network of entrepreneurs and investors – so that one's geographical location doesn't make or break whether they have the opportunity to participate in the startup ecosystem. The "talent investor" organization recruits and backs individuals at the very earliest stage: before they have a team, or often even an idea. Greylock general partner and Entrepreneur First board member Reid Hoffman sat down with Alice and Matt to discuss how the organization has evolved over the years, the surprisingly positive impacts of the pandemic on company-building, and what they see for 2021 and beyond.
Remotion | Creating Ambient Awareness
Working remotely often means back-to-back scheduled meetings and a constant barrage of text and email notifications. The result is exhaustion. But that doesn't mean coworkers don't want to talk to one another. Ad-hoc conversations are energizing and foster stronger team connections, which is why Remotion built a video workspace designed to enable colleagues to virtually "glance over" at one another and just start talking. Remotion CEO and co-founder Alexander Embiricos Greylock general partner and Remotion board member Sarah Guo talk about how Remotion is helping companies build a talk-live culture even while remote; how early customers are using the product; and his vision for the future of work. This episode is part of the #WorkFromAnywhere podcast series.
Reid Hoffman | ABZ Planning
Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman discusses the ABZ planning framework, a key concept from his book The Startup of You. Hoffman revisits the concept for 2020 - which he refers to as "The Age of the Inconceivable" – offering a systematic approach to adaptation that allows for the pursuit of goals while also maintaining the ability to quickly course-correct when external shocks or unexpected discoveries occur.
MLT | Accelerating Change
The technology industry is home to an unacceptable paradox: the sector is both the epicenter of wealth creation and wealth disparity. This gap begins in the early stages of company-building, among venture capital-backed startups and the people who found, build and invest in them. People of color have largely been left out of this group. Changing that reality is the mission of career advancement nonprofit Management Leadership of Tomorrow (MLT), which works to put people of color in leadership positions. A major part of MLT’s work is dispelling the myth that the lack of diversity in the tech industry comes from a so-called pipeline problem of talented African American, Latinx and Native American science, engineering and computer science grads. In actuality, the problem is a network gap, which is why MLT and Greylock have recently launched a new partnership to accelerate change for POC in the venture and startup ecosystem. Additionally, MLT has established a fund to provide further financial resources, and the organization is also a limited partner in Greylock’s newest fund. MLT CEO and founder John Rice and Greylock general partner David Sze sat down with Greymatter to discuss the new partnership.
Zapier | Automated (Remote)Work
Enabling efficiency has always been at the heart of Zapier’s mission: the automation software startup was founded specifically to serve as the lynchpin platform between myriad web apps, allowing people to focus on their core projects without getting bogged down with mundane tasks. Moreover, the company has been distributed from the get-go, and has found that the requisite digital tools, meeting structure and business strategies that make remote work possible also happen to be the most proactive, pragmatic and productive ways to run a business. Zapier CEO and co-founder Wade Foster sat down with Greylock general partner Sarah Guo to discuss what he’s learned in the nine years since the company was founded, and how he sees the widespread shift to remote work affecting the way companies operate in the future. This episode is part of the #WorkFromAnywhere series hosted by Sarah Guo and David Thacker.
Making Changes at Scale
At the SaaStr Annual event (held virtually this year) Greylock general partners David Wadhwani and Sarah Guo discussed the key elements to successfully navigating operational phase shifts, which David has experienced numerous times over the course of his two-decade career as a software executive at companies such as AppDynamics and Adobe. David detailed 5 things every company and founder should do to navigate phase shifts successfully, illustrated by examples of how they played out during his own experience.