72 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

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 355 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: 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
    Lessons of Greatness: The Artistry of Startup Breakthroughs

    Lessons of Greatness: The Artistry of Startup Breakthroughs

    Too many people mistakenly believe that being a good entrepreneur comes from simply talking to customers and solving their pain. But the most impactful companies are built for aesthetic reasons - think of Twitter, Lyft, Apple, and Medium - and those companies serve as expressions of what their founders thought the world needed. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses the success of Pandora’s visionary founder Tim Westergren, and offers three tips for founders looking to bring a more aesthetically beautiful future to the world.

    • 8 min
    Tim Westergren: How The Band Kept Playing At Pandora

    Tim Westergren: How The Band Kept Playing At Pandora

    Tim Westergren maxed out 11 credit cards, racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and was rejected 348 times for a second round of funding for his revolutionary idea for a music streaming platform. But like any true artist, Westergren remained committed to his vision of creating an aesthetically more beautiful future with Pandora, and now the company boasts more than 6 million monthly subscribers. Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Westergren to discuss the company’s humble beginnings, why it took an act of Congress to keep the company alive, and why both men believe the best founders are artists who can sell their vision.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
355 Ratings

355 Ratings

Align Infrastructure ,

Mike Maples’ Podcast: First And Only Podcast Recommendation

I’ve never provided feedback before re any podcast.

But, I want to thank Mike Maples and his team on doing an extraordinary job with his podcast and I highly recommend it to any entrepreneur.

I listen to nearly all of his podcasts and I find them to be the best of the very best.

Thanks again Michael,
Jay Jacobs

BR129pnf ,

My go-to founder inspiration

As a recent 0-to-1 founder - I’m so glad I stumbled upon this podcast. Mike is a straight shooter, and the dialogue with his world-class guests is natural and to the point. It’s the type of podcast that I’ll re-listen to episodes multiple times…and learn something new each time.

Bartlong ,

Lotta gems in hear!

I haven’t found a better resource for aspiring entrepreneurs- start here! You’ll love how passionate and insightful Mike is about the 0 to 1 stage of things. I’ve pulled more gems from this podcast than any other. Thank ya, Mike and Team!

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