950 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
    • 4.5 • 372 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: Jason Lemkin on Why Founders Do Not Care About Their VCs Anymore, Why Zoom Made Us All Worse Investors, Why 80-90% IRR Should Have Been Warning Signs and the Algolia Journey From Seed to $2.25BN Valuation

    20VC: Jason Lemkin on Why Founders Do Not Care About Their VCs Anymore, Why Zoom Made Us All Worse Investors, Why 80-90% IRR Should Have Been Warning Signs and the Algolia Journey From Seed to $2.25BN Valuation

    Jason Lemkin is one of the OGs of SaaS of the last decade. As the Founder of SaaStr, he has inspired more SaaS founders than one can imagine building "The World’s Largest Community for Business Software." Jason also invests out of the $100M SaaStr Fund and in the past Jason has led rounds into TalkDesk, Pipedrive, Algolia, Gorgias, Salesloft, and many more incredible companies. Prior to founding SaaStr, Jason was the Co-Founder of Echosign, an early e-signature business, funded by Emergence Capital and that was acquired by Adobe for $100M.

    In Today's Episode with Jason Lemkin On Algolia We Discuss:
    1.) Meeting the Unicorn: Algolia:

    How did Jason first come to meet Nicolas (Founder) and Algolia? What specific elements of cold emails make the best attract Jason's attention? What do they have in them? What are the most common mistakes people make with cold emails? What is the single biggest mistake Jason made when making the deal with Algolia? How did Jason lead their seed round when their round was "oversubscribed"?
    2.) Competition and TAM: The Reasons To Say No:

    Competing with Free: How did Jason analyze the competitive landscape Algolia was facing? How did he gain comfort that they could compete and win against free and open-source? TAM Analysis: The TAM at the time for Algolia was $2M. How did Jason analyze the TAM at the time? How did he get comfortable with such a small TAM? What are the single biggest mistakes investors make when analyzing competition today? What are the biggest mistakes founders make when presenting the competitive landscape? What are the single biggest mistakes investors make when analyzing TAM today? What are the biggest mistakes founders make when presenting the TAM and how it breaks down?
    3.) Investing Lessons Transition from CEO to VC:

    Jason has previously said one of his biggest lessons is "bet on what you know when you go from CEO to VC"? What did he mean by this? How can one keep this operator knowledge and mentality when one is a VC for a long time? What are the biggest pieces of advice that Jason would give to operators becoming investors? What are the biggest mistakes that Jason made in his first 3 investments as a VC? How did he change?
    4.) Mastering the World of Venture Today:

    Why does Jason believe that he has become a worse investor with the rise of "remote investing"? Why does Jason believe he is a worse investor without having a partner in SaaStr Fund? Why does Jason believe that even the best founders do not want hard feedback anymore? Should we as VCs still give it to them? What has Jason learned here? Will we see great LP churn and many LPs leaving the asset class? What will happen to the existing incumbents with massive AUM and reduced performance?

    • 59 min
    20VC: Wolt CEO, Miki Kuusi on Leadership Lessons Scaling to a Reported $8.1BN Exit to Doordash, Building Teams not Families, The Difference Between Trust and Safety Within Companies, How To Use Compensation to Create Culture & Why You Should Not Be Look

    20VC: Wolt CEO, Miki Kuusi on Leadership Lessons Scaling to a Reported $8.1BN Exit to Doordash, Building Teams not Families, The Difference Between Trust and Safety Within Companies, How To Use Compensation to Create Culture & Why You Should Not Be Look

    Miki Kuusi is the CEO of Wolt and Head of DoorDash International. In 2014 Miki founded Wolt with a mission to turn the smartphone into a remote controller for life, starting with delivering your favorite restaurant food, to you at home. Today Wolt operates in 23 countries, across several different categories, has over 4,000 employees, and last year, Doordash made the move to join forces with Wolt in a deal worth a reported $8.1BN. Previously, Miki was the CEO of Slush, one of the leading tech and investor events in the world attended by more than 25,000 people annually.

    In Today's Discussion with Miki Kuusi:
    1.) Founding Slush and Wolt: An Entry into Startups:

    How did Miki come to found Wolt? What was that a-ha moment? Did Wolt have product-market-fit from Day 1? What was the turning point when they did? What does Miki know now that he wishes he had known when he started Wolt on Day 1?
    2.) The Makings of a Truly Great Leader:

    How does Miki define "high performance" today in leadership? How does Miki think about what focus means in leadership? What is the hardest decision Miki has had to make when it comes to focusing the company? What did he learn from Ilkka @ Supercell? What does Miki believe is the KPI of success as the CEO? How does it change? What does Miki believe is the difference between good vs great leadership? What does Miki believe is the biggest sacrifice he has made as the CEO?
    3.) Hiring a Team to Compete on a Global Stage:

    How does Miki use compensation to create a culture of ownership and accountability? Does Miki start from a position of trust and it is there to be lost or no trust and it is there to be gained? What is the difference between a team and a family in company building? What is the core difference between trust and safety in company building? Why does Miki always want to have trust but not want to have safety? What are the single biggest hiring mistakes that Miki has made? How has he learned from them? Why does Miki believe you do not want to hire people that have done it before but hire the people who have seen those people do it before? Why does Miki believe most companies are merely glorified recruiting operations? Does Miki believe that companies need to be as big as they have grown into, headcount-wise?
    4.) Miki Kuusi: The Personal Journey

    What single day was the hardest day of the Wolt journey for Miki? How did it change him? Why does Miki believe that for their Series B, all-bar one VC turned them down? How does Miki assess his own relationship to risk and money today? Why is Miki an advocate for founders taking secondaries along the journey? What can Europe do to become a powerhouse in tech moving forward? Why did Miki decide to sell the company to Doordash? What is he most excited to learn from Tony Xu, Doordash Founder and CEO?
    Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
    Miki's Favourite Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

    • 1 hr 4 min
    20VC: When to Make Your First Growth Hire? Senior or Junior? How To Onboard Them? How To Monitor Their Progress? from Growth Leaders @ Facebook, Instagram, Lyft, Instacart, Miro and more

    20VC: When to Make Your First Growth Hire? Senior or Junior? How To Onboard Them? How To Monitor Their Progress? from Growth Leaders @ Facebook, Instagram, Lyft, Instacart, Miro and more

    Casey Winters is the Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite. Prior to Eventbrite, Casey led the growth product team at Pinterest. Before Pinterest, Casey started the marketing team at Grubhub and scaled Grubhub’s demand-side acquisition and retention strategies. 

    Elena Verna is the Interim Head of Growth at Amplitude. Former exec @ Miro, Netlify, SurveyMonkey. Growth Advisor to companies including Krisp, MongoDB, Ledgy, Builder.io and SimilarWeb.

    Kieran Flanagan is SVP Marketing at HubSpot, where he has helped the business grow internationally, move to a product-led business, quadrupled its marketing demand, and built out its media team, including the acquisition of ‘The Hustle.’

    Andy Johns career started in growth at Facebook when the company scaled from 100M-500M active users. Since he has worked in some of the leading growth orgs at companies like Twitter, Quora and more recently at Wealthfront as Head of Growth and President.

    Bangaly Kaba is the Director of Product Management @ Youtube. Prior to Youtube, Bangaly led the product growth and consumer product orgs at Instacart and before Instacart was Head of Growth @ Instagram, helping grow Instagram from 440M to > 1B monthly actives in 2.5yrs.

    Ed Baker is a growth advisor to various startups including Lime, Zwift, Whoop, Crimson Education, GoPeer, and Playbook. Ed was the VP of Product and Growth at Uber from 2013-2017. Prior to Uber, Ed was the Head of International Growth at Facebook.

    Adam Fishman was the Chief Product and Growth Offer @ Imperfect Foods. Before Imperfect, Adam was VP of Product and Growth @ Patreon, Before Patreon, Adam was the Head of Growth @ Lyft, Adam was the first growth and marketing employee hired and grew the team to 18 people.

    In Today's Discussion on When To Hire a Head of Growth:
    1.) When is the right time to hear your first growth hire?

    2.) Is this hire a senior growth leader or a more junior growth engineer?

    3.) What can early-stage startups do to entice senior growth leaders to their early-stage company?

    4.) What data infrastructure should be in place prior to hiring your first growth hire?

    5.) What does the optimal onboarding process look like for all growth hires?

    6.) What can founders and CEOs do to set their growth hires up for success?

    • 33 min
    20VC: Why Operating Experience Becomes Irrelevant Fast and Operators Often Give Bad Advice to Founders, Is Silicon Valley Really Dead? Are Gen Z the Most Entitled Employees? What Will Happen to a Generation of Pre-PMF Companies with $50M in the Bank wit

    20VC: Why Operating Experience Becomes Irrelevant Fast and Operators Often Give Bad Advice to Founders, Is Silicon Valley Really Dead? Are Gen Z the Most Entitled Employees? What Will Happen to a Generation of Pre-PMF Companies with $50M in the Bank wit

    Jeffrey Katzenberg is an entertainment industry executive and entrepreneur, who throughout his career has repeatedly reshaped the media landscape. Jeffrey co-founded DreamWorks SKG, serving as CEO of DreamWorks Animation, which he grew into the world’s largest animation studio, known for Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and more. In 2016, DreamWorks Animation was sold to Comcast for $3.8 billion. Before founding DreamWorks, Jeffrey was Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, where he took the studio from last place to first at the box office with hits like Three Men and a Baby, Pretty Woman, Father of the Bride and Sister Act. Most recently, Jeffrey co-founded WndrCo alongside Sujay Jaswa and has led WndrCo’s investments in Airtable, Frame.io, Quibi, Vise, Placer.ai, NexHealth, Deel, and ID.me.

    Sujay Jaswa is one of Silicon Valley’s leading business innovators. At Dropbox, he created and led the company’s global business and finance organizations. Sujay and his teams raised over $1 billion, launched and scaled Dropbox’s products for businesses, created partnerships responsible for over 100 million users, executed some 20 acquisitions, and scaled the global business team from two to more than 500 employees in seven global offices. During this period, the company significantly scaled overall revenue from $12 million in 2010 to over $500 million run rate, Dropbox for Business revenue from $1 million to over $200mm run rate, and users from 15 million to 300 million. Most recently, Sujay Jaswa and Jeffrey Katzenberg co-founded WndrCo and Sujay has led WndrCo’s investments in Figma, 1Password, Databricks, Pango, Pilot, Rally, Zagat / The Infatuation, and other great companies.

    In Today's Episode with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sujay Jaswa:
    1.) From Dreamworks and Dropbox to Venture with WndrCo:

    How did Jeffrey and Sujay both make their way into the world of venture from Dropbox and Dreamworks? What was Jeffrey's single biggest lesson from his time leading Dreamworks and being in Hollywood? What was Sujay's biggest takeaway from being at the helm as COO at Dropbox?
    2.) Operating Experience is Irrelevant and Can Be Dangerous:

    Why does Sujay believe that operating experience is irrelevant? What are the single biggest mistakes that operator investors make when it comes to advising their founders? What do both Sujay and Jeffrey do to try and refresh their operating experience in real time? How did Quibi impact their willingness and desire to take large risk both investing and operating?
    3.) Building Teams and Hiring People:

    What are the single biggest hiring mistakes Jeffrey and Sujay have made? What did Jeffrey mean when he said at Disney, “if you do not come in on Saturday, do not bother coming in on Sunday”. How do Jeffrey and Sujay feel about remote work? Why did it not work for them? What did Alfred Lin @ Sequoia teach Sujay about the question all managers need to ask themselves on questing whether they should let someone go?
    4.) Silicon Valley: Dead and Entitled?

    Why does Jeffrey strongly disagree with the death of Silicon Valley? What will happen to the generation of companies that raised too much with no product-market fit? How will the mass layoffs in the valley change the valley as it is today? Does Sujay agree that millennials are the worst segment to hire from? Are they entitled?
     

    • 39 min
    20VC: Semil Shah on The Biggest Mistakes VCs and LPs Made Over the Last 24 Months, Why LP Churn is Coming, Core Lessons on Scaling from $1M Haystack Fund I to Today and How To Find, Win and Manage LPs as an Emerging Manager

    20VC: Semil Shah on The Biggest Mistakes VCs and LPs Made Over the Last 24 Months, Why LP Churn is Coming, Core Lessons on Scaling from $1M Haystack Fund I to Today and How To Find, Win and Manage LPs as an Emerging Manager

    Semil Shah is the Founder of Haystack, one of the leading pre-seed and seed firms of the last decade. Among Semil's portfolio include the likes of DoorDash ($DASH), Instacart, Hashicorp ($HCP), Opendoor ($OPEN), Figma (acquired by Adobe), Carta and many more exceptional companies. Semil's first fund is marked between a 30 and 40x fund, astonishing.

    In Today's Episode with Semil Shah We Discuss:
    1.) The Makings of Semil Shah:

    What is Semil running away from? What is he running towards? What does Semil know now that he wishes he had known when entering venture? What is Semil's biggest advice to managers raising their first funds now?
    2.) Fund Sizing: Growing vs Staying Disciplined:

    Question from Hunter Walk: How does Semil determine the right size fund to raise with each fund Question from Satya Patel: Why have you resisted increasing AUM? In the last episode Semil mentioned a three-year deployment cycle for the fund, did he stick to it? What are the benefits and drawbacks? What investing mistakes did Semil make over the last 3 years that he wishes he had not made?  
    3.) The Secret to Fundraising for a Fund:

    What is Semil's biggest advice to emerging managers on finding new LPs? What works? What materials do managers need to have in place for a new fundraise? Deck? Dataroom? What are the most common mistakes VCs make when pitching LPs their funds? How does Semil follow-up with potential LPs post-call? What works? What does not? How does Semil suggest creating a sense of urgency for LPs to commit to a fund? How does Semil feel about giving preferential terms to convince LPs to commit to the first close?
    4.) The Current Landscape:

    For VCs:

    How will the current landscape impact emerging managers' ability to raise? What advice would Semil give to them? Raise smaller? Kyle Harrison said on the show recently, “differentiation will kill 80% of venture firms, especially the so-so ones”. Does Semil agree? Who is set to struggle? Who is set to thrive in this environment?
    For LPs:

    What does Semil think are the biggest mistakes LPs made over the last 2-3 years? How will they respond in this market cycle? If Semil were handed an endowment fund, how would he allocate today? Does Semil agree, we will see a denigration of venture returns to those of PE like multiples? Why?
    For Founders:

    How does Semil advise founders on raising today when everyone says they are investing but very few really are? How does Semil advise founders on how to think about valuation inflection points with respect to raising capital?
    Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:

    Semil's Favourite Article: Master of Play

    Semil's Most Recent Investment: Impart Security

    • 1 hr 4 min
    20VC Rising Star: Why Founders Should Expect More From Their VCs | How To Know Pre-Investment Whether a VC Will Be Valuable and How to Get the Most Value Out of Them | Is There a Misalignment Between Founders and VCs with Oana Olteanu, Partner @ SignalF

    20VC Rising Star: Why Founders Should Expect More From Their VCs | How To Know Pre-Investment Whether a VC Will Be Valuable and How to Get the Most Value Out of Them | Is There a Misalignment Between Founders and VCs with Oana Olteanu, Partner @ SignalF

    Oana Olteanu is a Partner @ SignalFire where she focuses on enterprise software at Seed, Series A and Series B. Prior to joining SignalFire, Oana was at Scale Venture Partners where she invested in applied ML and developer tooling. Oana sourced Scale’s investments in Observe.ai, Flatfile, and Proscia. She was part of the deal teams for Honeycomb and AllyO (acquired by HireVue). She also supported existing portfolio companies such as Dialpad, Matillion, and BigID. Prior to Scale, Oana was an AI seed investor at SAP.io, SAP’s $35M seed fund, where she sourced the investments in Plum.io, Oto.ai, and Akorda.

    In Today's Episode with Oana Olteanu We Discuss:
    1.) From Tank Driving in Romania to VC's Rising Star:

    How Oana made her way from driving tanks in Romania to becoming a VC? How did leaving Romania for Germany and then moving to the West Coast impact her mindset? What does Oana know now that she wishes she had known when she entered VC?
    2.) How to Assess a VC: The Founders Guide:

    Pre-investment, how can founders know whether a VC can add value? What are the signs? What three core questions will reveal how much value a VC can add? Post-investment, what can founders do to extract the most value from their VCs? What should the founders ask their investors for help with? What should they do themselves?
    3.) The VC > Founder Relationship:

    Oana has the highest founder NPS of any VC I have ever had on 20VC, what does Oana believe makes her founders rate her contribution so highly? What works? What does not? How does Oana give sometimes very hard feedback to founders but retain that relationship of trust and safety at the same time? What mistakes do other VCs make in giving feedback? What does Oana believe are the single biggest misalignment between VCs and founders?
    4.) VCs Behaving Badly: 101

    What are the single biggest ways Oana sees VCs behaving badly? How does Oana think founders expectations of the product of venture should change? Does Oana believe boards are valuable? What can be done to improve them?
    Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
    Oana's Favourite Book: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
372 Ratings

372 Ratings

Limnophilia ,

great content, not fond of editing

Love the content but not crazy abouttheeditingthatmakes-theshowsoundlikethisreads.

MountainViper ,

Stoptalkinglikethis!

Everheardofspacesorpausesbetweenwords?Itssoannoying.

consciousdave ,

Favorite business podcast

Harry is a great interviewer and is consistently able to get high profile but interesting guests that actually have a lot of experience and insight. You can tell that Harry is passionate about what he does and it shows in his voice and the questions asked. Would definitely recommend this to almost any entrepreneur or investor, especially those who like business podcasts.

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