1,172 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
    • 4.4 • 434 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: Scale's Alex Wang on Why Data Not Compute is the Bottleneck to Foundation Model Performance, Why AI is the Greatest Military Asset Ever, Is China Really Two Years Behind the US in AI and Why the CCPs Industrial Approach is Better than Anyone Else'

    20VC: Scale's Alex Wang on Why Data Not Compute is the Bottleneck to Foundation Model Performance, Why AI is the Greatest Military Asset Ever, Is China Really Two Years Behind the US in AI and Why the CCPs Industrial Approach is Better than Anyone Else'

    Alex Wang is the Founder and CEO @ Scale.ai, the company that allows you to make the best models with the best data. To date, Alex has raised $1.6BN for the company with a last reported valuation of $14BN earlier this year. Scale tripled their ARR in 2023 and is expected to hit $1.4BN in ARR by the end of 2024. Their investors include Accel, Index, Thrive, Founders Fund, Meta and Nvidia to name a few.

    In Today's Show with Alex Wang We Discuss:
    1. Foundation Models: Diminishing Returns:

    What are the three core pillars that can meaningfully improve foundation models performance? Why is data the single largest bottleneck to the performance of models today? What data do we need to capture that we do not currently, that will have the biggest impact on model performance moving forward? Will we see the largest companies in the world revert back to on-prem with the increasing security challenges of migrating all customer data to foundation models?
    2. AI: A Military Asset in Global Conflict: China + Russia

    Why does Alex believe that AI has the potential to be an even more powerful military asset than nuclear weapons? If this is the case, should we have open systems? Do we not have to have closed systems? Why does Alex believe that the CCP's approach to industrial policy is better than anyone else's? How does Alex evaluate the rise of Chinese EV car manufacturers in the last few years? Does Alex really believe that China is two years behind the US in the AI race?
    3. "I Get Fairer Treatment in Congress than in the Press":

    Why does Alex believe that the best PR is no PR? Why does Alex believe that he got fairer treatment in congress than he does in the media? Why does Alex believe that all founders should look to own their own distribution channels today?
    4. Alex Wang: AMA:

    What are some of Alex's biggest lessons from Patrick Collison on the impact that a hot company brand has on the ability for that company to hire the best? Does Alex think Trump is going to win? What would be the impact if he were to? Why does Alex believe that enterprise software will be changed forever in the next few years? What question is Alex never asked that he thinks he should be asked?  

    • 59 min
    20VC: Reid Hoffman on Foundation Models: Who Wins & How Do Incumbents Respond | The Inflection AI Deal: How it Went Down | Why Trump is a Threat to Democracy | The Future of TikTok | Lessons from Sam Altman, Brian Chesky and the OpenAI Board

    20VC: Reid Hoffman on Foundation Models: Who Wins & How Do Incumbents Respond | The Inflection AI Deal: How it Went Down | Why Trump is a Threat to Democracy | The Future of TikTok | Lessons from Sam Altman, Brian Chesky and the OpenAI Board

    Reid Hoffman has been one of the most impactful people in technology over the last two decades. He is the Co-Founder of Linkedin (acq by Microsoft for $26BN) and Co-Founder of Inflection.ai. As an investor, Reid has backed the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, Zynga and more. Reid is also a Board Member @ Microsoft and was on the board of OpenAI.

    In Today's Show with Reid Hoffman We Discuss:
    1. Foundation Models: Commoditisation, Business Models, Incumbents:

    Does Reid believe we are seeing the commoditization of foundation models? Is it too late for new foundation models to be born today? Are they VC backable? How will foundation models eventually make money? What will be the sustainable business model? Does Reid believe that foundation models will be acquired by large cloud providers? Who goes first?
    2. Inflection & Microsoft: What Went Down:

    How did the Microsoft and Inflection deal go down? Did Satya call up one day and make it happen? With the decay rate of models, Microsoft did not do it for the models, so why did they do it? Was Inflection a sustainable business in it's own right? Does this not prove that to win at this game, you have to be an incumbent with incumbent cash?
    3. OpenAI: Board, Lessons and Management:

    What are 1-2 of Reid's biggest lessons from being on the OpenAI board with Sam? Why did Sam ask Reid in front of the whole company if Reid would fire him if he did not perform? Scarlett Johannsen, super alignment team quitting, NDAs tied to equity, this is a lot in a short amount of time, how does Reid analyse this?
    4. Trump is the Biggest Threat to Democracy: What Lies Ahead?

    Why does Reid believe that Trump is a threat to democracy and evil? What were Reid's biggest takeaways from a two hour lunch with Joe Biden? How does a Trump administration change the world of AI, technology and startups?
    5. The Future of TikTok:

    Is TikTok a threat to US democracy? Should it be banned? What will be the outcome of the current judicial process? Will they sell to a US entity? How could Trump impact the future of TikTok in the US?
    6. Reid Hoffman: AMA:

    What are Peter Thiel's biggest strengths and weaknesses? I believe Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most unappreciated public market CEOs, what are the core components that Reid believes makes Mark so special? How did Reid miss out on investing in SpaceX's first round? What did he not see that he should have seen? What do we think is crazy today but will be a no brainer and very normal in 10 years?  

    • 1 hr 15 min
    20Sales: How Rippling Built Their Sales Machine: How to Hire, Train and Manage the Best SDRs, What is the Right Comp Package for Sales Teams & The Playbook to Start and Scale Your SDR Team

    20Sales: How Rippling Built Their Sales Machine: How to Hire, Train and Manage the Best SDRs, What is the Right Comp Package for Sales Teams & The Playbook to Start and Scale Your SDR Team

    Ashley Kelly is the VP of Global Sales Development at Rippling, the all-in-one platform for HR, IT, and finance. Before Rippling, Ashley played a crucial role in scaling Brex’s outbound sales from $2M to over $300M in ARR, and has hired over 800 SDRs during her time in some of the best tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Lever and Zenefits. 
    In Today’s Episode with Ashley Kelly We Discuss:
    From NASCAR to Silicon Valley SDR
    How did Ashley make her way into the world of sales?
    Why does Ashley think the best AEs and leaders start off as SDRs?
    What is Ashley’s advice to new SDRs starting their jobs today?
    Age of AI: Is SDR Outbound Dead?
    Does Ashley agree that outbound is dead today? Is SDR dead?
    How will AI change SDR? Why is Ashley hesitant to adopt AI?
    Why does Ashley think founders should always build the first sales playbook?
    What did Ashley mean by SDR is the 3rd pillar between sales and marketing? 
    What does Ashley think most companies get wrong about outbound?
    SDR Hiring: Who, What, When & How
    When does Ashley think founders should hire their first SDR?
    How does Ashley structure the hiring process? What questions does she ask?
    What profile does Ashley look for when hiring for an SDR?
    How does Ashley structure the finance package? How is it different for each team?
    Why did Ashley avoid hiring SDRs with SDR experience? Why has she changed her mind?
    What was Ashley’s biggest hiring mistake? What were her takeaways?
    Onboarding New SDR Hires
    How does Ashley onboard new SDR hires? What is her onboarding timeline?
    How does Ashley set targets for new hires? When should they be fully productive? 
    When does Ashley know if a new hire isn’t working?
    What are common traits among Ashley’s most successful hires?

    • 53 min
    20VC: Perplexity's Aravind Srinivas on Will Foundation Models Commoditise, Diminishing Returns in Model Performance, OpenAI vs Anthropic: Who Wins & Why the Next Breakthrough in Model Performance will be in Reasoning

    20VC: Perplexity's Aravind Srinivas on Will Foundation Models Commoditise, Diminishing Returns in Model Performance, OpenAI vs Anthropic: Who Wins & Why the Next Breakthrough in Model Performance will be in Reasoning

    Aravind Srinivas is the Co-Founder & CEO of Perplexity, the conversational "answer engine" that provides precise, user-focused answers to queries. Aravind co-founded the company in 2022 after working as a research scientist at OpenAI, Google, and DeepMind. To date, Perplexity has raised over $100 million from investors including Jeff Bezos, Nat Friedman, Elad Gil, and Susan Wojciki.

    In Today’s Episode with Aravind Srinivas We Discuss:
    Biggest Lessons from DeepMind & OpenAI
    What was the best career advice Sam Altman @ OpenAI gave Aravind?
    What were Aravind’s biggest takeaways at DeepMind?
    How did DeepMind shape how Aravind built Perplexity?
    What did Aravind mean by “competition is for losers?” What did he learn about talent assembly at DeepMind?
    The Next AI Breakthrough: Reasoning
    Does Aravind think we are experiencing diminishing returns on compute & model performance?
    Does Aravind agree reasoning will be the next big breakthrough for models?
    What are the reasons Aravind thinks models suck at reasoning today?
    What is the timeline for reasoning improvement according to Aravind?
    What does Aravind think are the biggest misconceptions about AI today?
    Will Foundation Models Commoditise?
    Does Aravind think foundation models will commoditise? What will the end state of foundation models look like?
    Why does Aravind think the second tier models will get commoditised?
    Why does Aravind think the subscription model will not work for AI models with true reasoning? 
    Why does Aravind think the application layer companies will benefit from foundation models commoditising?
    Why does Aravind think foundation models will not verticalize?
    When does Aravind think is the right time to go enterprise? What is his strategy to differentiate Perplexity from its competitors?
    AI Arms Race: Who Will Win?
    Who does Aravind think will be the winners of foundation models?
    What do AI companies need to do to win the model arms race?
    How does Aravind think startups can compete against incumbents' infinite cash flow?
    What are the reasons Aravind thinks Perplexity’s browsing is better than ChatGPT?
    What is Aravind’s biggest challenge at Perplexity today?
     
     

    • 55 min
    This Week in SaaS: PluralSight Goes to Zero, Salesforce and Mongo Hit Hard, The Next IPO Candidates and How Do We Solve the Problem of Liquidity in Venture Capital

    This Week in SaaS: PluralSight Goes to Zero, Salesforce and Mongo Hit Hard, The Next IPO Candidates and How Do We Solve the Problem of Liquidity in Venture Capital

    Jason Lemkin is one of the OG SaaS investors with all of his first five investments turning into unicorns with Pipedrive, Algolia, Talkdesk, Salesloft and RevenueCat all in his portfolio. SaaStr is the largest global community in SaaS and he has taught a generation the fundamentals of SaaS on saastr.com.

    In Our First Ever Episode of This Week in SaaS
    1. PluralSight Goes to Zero:

    WTF happened to PluralSight? How did it go from $3.5BN to $0? Will this have a wider impact on the willingness of PE to buy tech companies? Who are the next contenders to go from hero to zero? Zendesk? Anaplan? Will this generation of PE funds be let off by their LPs for a poor vintage?
    2. Salesforce's Worst Stock Market Drop Since 2004 + Mongo Takes a 23% Hit:

    Why did Salesforce lose $50BN of market cap in a single day? Is the same true for MongoDB taking a 23% hit in one day? What does it mean when the new normal is these once hyper-growth companies now growing only 6% per annum?
    3. The Settlers into Slow Growth:

    Why does Jason believe that Dropbox and Box have both settled into a world of slow growth? What happens to Twilio from here in a world post Jeff Lawson? What happens to Retool from this point on? Would Jason be a buyer of Notion at $10BN?
    4. Venture Capital is Broken:

    Why does Jason believe that we need to see a relation of public multiples for the math in venture capital to work again? Why does Jason believe that the way we mark portfolios with TVPI leads to corrupt and bad behaviour? How does Jason think we will solve the problem of liquidity with IPOs being shut, M&A being out of the window and now PE being a doubt as the source of buyers?

    • 1 hr 9 min
    20Growth: The Six Channels Startups Need to Dominate to Grow, Why the Best Growth Talent Never Comes from Marketing or Product, Who and How to Hire Growth Leaders and Teams and Why in a World of AI, Growth is More Science than Art with Matt Lerner

    20Growth: The Six Channels Startups Need to Dominate to Grow, Why the Best Growth Talent Never Comes from Marketing or Product, Who and How to Hire Growth Leaders and Teams and Why in a World of AI, Growth is More Science than Art with Matt Lerner

    Matt Lerner is one of the OGs of growth having spent 11 years leading growth teams at PayPal. Post PayPal, Matt led the growth marketing program at 500 Startups. He is also the bestselling author of Growth Levers and How to Find Them. Today, Matt is the Co-Founder and CEO of SYSTM, an accelerator program helping startups find their growth drivers. 
    In Today’s Episode with Matt Lerner We Discuss:
    From Philosophy Student to PayPal Growth Leader:
    How did Matt make his way into the world of growth?
    What were Matt’s biggest lessons from 11 years at PayPal?
    What did Matt know now that he wished he’d known when he entered the world of growth?
    How to Master Growth in a World of AI:
    What is growth to Matt? What is it not?
    Why does Matt think growth is more science than art?
    Does Matt Agee with Adam Gross @ Vimeo that paid acquisition below $100M ARR isn’t PLG?
    How does Matt think AI will change the world of growth today?
    What does Matt think are the most common growth mistakes founders make?
    Optimizing Growth Channels: Dos & Don’ts
    Why does Matt believe there are only six types of growth channels?
    What is the “locksmith moment" & how do startups find channels that work for them?
    How does Matt pick a Northstar metric? 
    What are the most common mistakes founders make when picking North Star metrics? When is the right time to change them?
    How does Matt approach horizontal product messaging? What works? What doesn’t work?
    How to Hire & Manage Growth Teams
    What does Matt look for in the first head of growth hire?
    What questions does Matt ask when interviewing?
    What were Matt’s biggest hiring mistakes? What did he learn?
    Why does Matt think the best growth hires have no marketing experience?
    What are Matt’s two steps to master onboarding?
    What are the 3 most common patterns in leaders according to Matt?
     

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
434 Ratings

434 Ratings

AH_12 ,

Asparagus from Veggie Tales

I’m almost certain the host is the voice actor for the asparagus from veggie tales

Arj-Un ,

Must listen for any founders.

Harry is simply brilliant at this. I’ve learnt more as a founder listening to this podcast than reading a plethora of books. His curation of questions, guest list, and applicability of content to real world problems that founders face on their journey is unmatched. It is timeless in that it keeps with the latest trends in the industry. When you’re on a walk, a drive, or simply with a few minutes on hand, this podcast will help you realize new pathways applicable to your journey. Whether you’re a first time founder or a serial entrepreneur, add this to your collection of knowledge bases. You will be thankful!

Adi rates ,

Too good to miss!

Just heard my first show, the Ultimate Hiring Playbook with Matteo Franceschetti and I was glued to both the content and the delivery. Harry Stebbings packed dozens of high value questions and Matteo delivered as much good insights as he possibly could.

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