99 episodes

Startup insider Kent Lindstrom explores the reality behind the Silicon Valley headlines as he sits down with the established veterans and up-and-comers who are shaping the way we view the world online and beyond. Topics include technology trends, startups, Silicon Valley politics, women in silicon valley and more. Learn the histories of each guest and be enlightened by their area of expertise. New episode released each Tuesday at Noon, Pacific Time.

Something Ventured -- Silicon Valley Podcast Kent Lindstrom

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 4.8 • 23 Ratings

Startup insider Kent Lindstrom explores the reality behind the Silicon Valley headlines as he sits down with the established veterans and up-and-comers who are shaping the way we view the world online and beyond. Topics include technology trends, startups, Silicon Valley politics, women in silicon valley and more. Learn the histories of each guest and be enlightened by their area of expertise. New episode released each Tuesday at Noon, Pacific Time.

    158 David Bohnett -- GeoCities Founder Turned Philanthropist and Social Activist

    158 David Bohnett -- GeoCities Founder Turned Philanthropist and Social Activist

    David Bohnett founded GeoCities in the 1990s, well before the internet attained its current ubiquity.  GeoCities became publicly traded on NASDAQ and was acquired by Yahoo! Inc. in 1999. In a 2007 article, the Wall Street Journal described it as a Facebook prototype and noted, “Back then, entries were known as home pages, not profiles. But the basic, expressive elements of today’s Facebook and competitor MySpace … were all right there.”
    David found himself wealthy with the ability to do whatever he wanted for the rest of his life.
    He became a philanthropist and social activist.
    In addition to serving as Chair of the David Bohnett Foundation, he is the Chairman of the Executive Committee on the Board of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and Trustee of the Brookings Institution, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the University of Southern California (USC).
    Since 1999, the David Bohnett Foundation has focused on several funding areas: The Fund for Los Angeles, supporting a broad spectrum of arts, educational and civic programs including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LACMA and CicLAvia; LGBTQ-related causes; graduate school leadership programs at the University of Michigan, UCLA, NYU and Harvard; voting rights and registration initiatives; supporting research and public policies to reduce the toll of firearm violence; and animal research and rights.
    Grants totaling over $115 million to date have supported the work of a wide range of organizations including the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Wildlife Alliance, the ACLU Foundation, Equality California, and the David Bohnett Gay & Lesbian Leadership Fellows program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. The David Bohnett CyberCenters are another major undertaking — currently at over 60 LGBTQ centers nationwide, they offer business, educational, research, and recreational opportunities to the local gay and lesbian community via access to the Internet.
     
    David Bohnett Foundation.  http://www.bohnettfoundation.org/
     
    Something Ventured  https://somethingventured.us/ 

    • 45 min
    157 Kara Nortman: Upfront Venture’s co-Managing Partner on Becoming a Leader of a Major VC Firm, and Co-owner of Angel City FC

    157 Kara Nortman: Upfront Venture’s co-Managing Partner on Becoming a Leader of a Major VC Firm, and Co-owner of Angel City FC

    Kara Nortman is a Managing Partner of venture firm Upfront. Upfront famously hosts the “Upfront Summit” – a hard-to-describe, but massive confab of celebrities, entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders held in Los Angeles.

    Kara is a founding member of All Raise – you’ve heard about All Raise a number of times on Something Ventured. She’s also an owner – along with Natalie Portman and Serena Williams – of LA’s women’s soccer team Angel City Football Club (“Angel City FC”).
    As co-Managing partner of Upfront, she is one of the first women promoted to a leadership role at a major venture capital firm.
    EPISODE QUOTES:

    On Being Asked to Join Natalie Portman and Serena Williams as Co-owner of Angel City FC Soccer Team

    “It is probably the craziest story of my life and one that I have a great amount of gratitude for. I think it's made me realize that butterfly effects do happen. But you can't force them. When you get the pocket of energy in from a butterfly flapping, you have to follow it. And that’s what happened with the soccer team.”

    On Choosing People You Want to Work with for the Long Term

    “You should pick people you want to look at in your cap table and you want to see show up on your cell phone late at night and you enjoy spending time with and whose bar mitzvahs and weddings you might want to go to.”

    On Being a Great Board Member

    “One of my venture capital mentors said to me at one point in time, ‘You have three daughters. You are going to learn more from raising your daughters around how to be a good board member than you are going to learn from any board.’ And I think about that a lot. It's role modeling, right? Treating people the way you want to be treated.”

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/karanortman 
    Upfront: https://upfront.com/ 
    Something Ventured:  https://somethingventured.us/ 

    • 35 min
    156: Is “Working Backwards” the Most Important Business Book Ever? Lessons from Amazon

    156: Is “Working Backwards” the Most Important Business Book Ever? Lessons from Amazon

    In their new book “WORKING BACKWARDS: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon” (St. Martin’s Press, February 9, 2021.) Bill Carr and Colin Bryar share Amazon’s secrets.   They had a front row seat for most of Amazon's history, and they are sharing what they learned in their new book.
    Not only is Amazon one of the most valuable companies in the world, it has succeeded across a stunning array of categories from web services to movies.  So it’s hyperbolic, but possible to make the case that this is the most important business book….ever.
    “Like being in the room with Jeff Bezos”
    Working Backwards is a practical guidebook and a corporate narrative, filled with the authors’ in-the-room recollections of what “Being Amazonian” is like and how it has affected their personal and professional lives. They demonstrate that success on Amazon’s scale is not achieved by the genius of any single leader, but rather through commitment to and execution of a set of well-defined, rigorously-executed principles and practices—shared here for the very first time.
     
    The authors you’ll spend some time with on this episode:
     
    Bill Carr joined Amazon in 1999 and spent more than 15 years with the company. As Vice President of Digital Media, Bill launched and managed the company's global digital music and video businesses, including Amazon Music, Prime Video, and Amazon Studios. After Amazon, Bill was an Executive In Residence with Maveron, LLC, an early-stage, consumer-only venture capital firm. Bill later served as the Chief Operating Officer of OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S. Today Bill is co-founder of Working Backwards LLC where he coaches executives at both large and early-stage companies on how to implement the management practices developed at Amazon.  
     
    Colin Bryar joined Amazon in 1998 — four years after its founding —  and spent the next 12 years as part of Amazon's senior leadership team as Amazon grew from a domestic (US-only) seller of books to a global, multi-dimensional powerhouse and innovator. Colin served as a Vice President at Amazon, and for two of his years was "Chief of Staff" to Jeff Bezos, AKA "Jeff's shadow", during which he spent each day attending meetings, traveling with, and discussing business and life with Jeff. After Amazon, he and his family relocated to Singapore for two years where Colin served as Chief Operating Officer of e-commerce company RedMart, which was subsequently sold to Alibaba. Colin is co-founder of Working Backwards LLC where he coaches executives at both large and early-stage companies on how to implement the management practices developed at Amazon.
    Working Backwards
    https://workingbackwards.com/
    Something Ventured
    https://somethingventured.us/

    • 39 min
    155 Amy Nauiokas: The CEO of Anthemis Group’s Journey from the Peace Corps to Managing Nearly $1 Billion

    155 Amy Nauiokas: The CEO of Anthemis Group’s Journey from the Peace Corps to Managing Nearly $1 Billion

    Amy Nauiokas is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anthemis, a leading digital financial services investment firm.  Anthemis manages nearly $1 billion.  Amy is also Founder and Chair of Archer Gray, a media production and content company.
    Straightforward for a venture capitalist, right?  Except maybe for the TV/Movie company she also runs.  But wait – she’s also a liberal arts major who joined the Peace Corps out of college.  In this episode we discuss how she made her way from the Peace Corps to leading one of the biggest fintech venture capital firms.
    We also talk about the early 80s women in finance who she views as pioneers truly worth paying homage to, and whose issues she contrasts to those faced by women in today’s finance/venture world.
    EPISODE QUOTES
    On the Diversity of Anthemis and Its Investments
    “We brought together people of very eclectic, different and diverse backgrounds to form this platform. And now we're 50 people around the world and we're working out of three physical offices and probably about 10 virtual offices. And we're north of 50 percent female. Sixty five percent of the decision-makers at the firm are women. We have, I think, about 40 percent people of color and and 12 percent LGBTQ. Twenty five percent of our portfolio is led by women. Twenty percent of our portfolio is led by someone who is Black or a person of color.”
    On Sand Hill Road
     “We’re realizing it's a lot of the same people with the same backgrounds, with the same capital base sitting in the same office on Sand Hill Road, which isn't even in San Francisco, it’s in the Valley. Entrepreneurs elsewhere don’t realize these guys aren't leaving their desks, let alone going to Oakland to meet a company or going to San Francisco to meet a company.”
     
    On How to Support Women and People of Color
    “Shut up, listen and make some space. I honestly think that's the main thing. Imagine that anybody who isn't you is thinking about it all the time. Every single part of every single day, I think about my identity and what it means to my existence. I think we have a responsibility as allies to any community to take the time to be quiet and to listen and see what we might be able to learn in that very quiet moment when we let other voices be heard.”
    Anthemis Group: https://www.anthemis.com/
    Something Ventured:  https://somethingventured.us/

    • 39 min
    154 Vern Howard: Hallo's CEO is NOT Your Deliveryman

    154 Vern Howard: Hallo's CEO is NOT Your Deliveryman

    Vern Howard’s story is remarkable.  Vern was a math prodigy who left high school early, when he tested into Virginia Commonwealth University to study Computer Science and Math.  He paid his way through school by teaching math and serving as a janitor on campus.
    He went on to sell men’s suits, which taught him the art of selling.  After joining Capital One – whose signing bonus he used to rebuild an Alpha Romeo – he built Capital One’s first mobile banking application.  He also built out the Application Security Team at Capital One before, naturally, becoming a securities trader.
    Hang on, we’re not done yet.  He became an entrepreneur.  He sent a book to Steve Case’s partner at Revolution and….well, listen to find out what happens!
    Episode Quotes
    On Getting Started as an Entrepreneur
    “So two people I met accelerated everything. Ted Leonsis kind of introduced me to this network of people. Mike Lincoln over at Cooley was like, “Yeah, everyone is raving about you. You didn't go to an Ivy League school, you're not from this background. But you’re just  going into all these office and people are saying: Who's this kid? Vern, right.” So they got me started and did our legal work for free, util we got funded.”
    On Why Employers are So Focused on “Top Colleges”
    “So I think it's a two pronged problem. One is, these are businesses, right? So there's budget, and once you start talking about like numbers and budgets you start looking at ROI. And every recruiter says, OK, great. If we spend one hundred thousand dollars to go to thirty one schools this season, what's the ROI now? If we go to Stanford or we go to Michigan, we kind of know what we get there,  because some of our current engineers went to school there. So we know their level of output is XYZ, as far as coding goes.
    But if we take a risk and go with something we've haven't done before, like going to Sweetbriar College, which is an all-women's college in Virginia, (the founder of TaskRabbit went there). We may want to take a risk, by going there. We might spend fifty thousand dollars and have no ROI to show. So the best play, much like VC culture, is we go to Stanford, we get 3 students --great.
    But what happens is the competition, right? If your brand isn't as big as you think it is as a company, your recruiting line is nonexistent. Everyone went over to the Robinhood line.”
    On Black Founders Being “Over-Mentored”
    One thing I see amongst the Black founder community is a ton of mentors. And I think Black founders are over-mentored and under-funded. I don't know who coined that term, but a ton of people DO want to mentor. That's funny. I have people fill my inbox from the top VC's in the nation and just say, hey, Vern, let me be your mentor. And, you know, I'm always greatly appreciative, I like the advice.  But I’d also like to get funded”
    Hallo:  https://www.hallothere.com/
    Something Ventured:    https://somethingventured.us/
     

    • 40 min
    153 -- 2020 Thank You-cast Extravaganza!

    153 -- 2020 Thank You-cast Extravaganza!

    An episode in which I thank each of the 2020 guests.  A podcast first (probably).  I briefly recall – fondly – a bit of each of the 2020 episodes. Is it interesting?  I think so.  Can I do it in one take?  Turns out, yes.  Enjoy, and thank you for listening.

    Marco Zappacosta, Thumbtack Founder
    Keller Fitzsimmons, “Lost in Startuplandia” Author
    Jeff Macpherson, Tiki Bar TV Creator
    Brianne Kimmel, worklife Founder
    Paul-Henri Ferrand, Brex COO
    Matt Hulett, Rosetta Stone CEO
    Mike Stutz, Television Producer
    Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle Senior Political Writer
    Kaiser Kuo, Sinica Podcast Host
    Eric Tarczynski, Contrary Capital Founder
    Somesh Dash, IVP General Partner
    Monique Woodard, Cake Ventures Founder
    Michael Ellison, Codepath Founder
    Promise Phelon, The Growth Warrior Founder
    Scott Simpson, Comedian – Cheaper than Therapy Founder
    Parker Conrad, Rippling Founder
    Brad Feld, Foundry Group Founder
    Domm Holland, Fast Founder
    Garrett Smallwood, Wag Labs CEO
    Deena Shakir, Lux Capital Partner
    Rob Chesnut, AirBnB General Counsel
    William Davidow, Mohr Davidow Founder
    Trae Vassallo, Defy.vc Founder
    Sarah Leary, Nextdoor Co-founder
    Jaclyn Hester, Foundry Group Partner
    Hooman Radfar, Collective Founder
    Jeff John Roberts, “Kings of Crypto” Author
    Stacey Bishop, Scale Venture Partners

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

JoshCrist ,

Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 🔥

Whether you’re well established as a technology innovator in Silicon Valley, or just getting started on your entrepreneurial journey - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Kent does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving start up, and life you can be proud of - from leaders who have actually innovated on the front-lines themselves. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

Joshfelser ,

Revealing

Kent really gets his guests to open up and talk about interesting and important issues they normally would suppress. SV is a fresh take on tech and the colorful personalities behind it. I truly enjoyed being a guest and I wish I'd cursed more

kateharp ,

Does not suffer from Testosterone

This is only podcasts I know of that is able to talk about silicon valley businesses while also being woman, people of color, and gay-friendly. It doesn't just interview people who are hyped up white guys bragging about how great they are (only 3% of Silicon Valley is black). My only suggestion is to interview more people in the above 3 categories -- not just to hear their struggles dealing with the conservative SV culture, but also how about success stories of how they negotiated the challenge to make things work for them. My favorite podcasts are the ones that talk about the tech culture and local issues (such as housing problems with influx of tech workers). Also would like to hear more interviews with people who help others get into tech jobs (that have traditionally been unaccessible) such as the "Hack the Hood" Bootcamp.

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