656 episodes

The Village Global podcast takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. Learn more at www.villageglobal.vc.

Village Global Podcast Village Global

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 113 Ratings

The Village Global podcast takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. Learn more at www.villageglobal.vc.

    Encore: Secrets of Public Speaking and Oral Communication from Renowned Speaking Coach

    Encore: Secrets of Public Speaking and Oral Communication from Renowned Speaking Coach

    Michael Balaoing, founder of Candlelion, joins Village Global co-founder and partner Ben Casnocha on this episode to discuss:

    - The importance of the acronym WTF (what’s the feeling?) when you’re giving a presentation.

    - The four roles that you take on as a speaker: captain, pilot, guide, and game show host.

    - The five questions to ask when seeking feedback on a presentation.

    - How to keep the audience engaged throughout a talk, not just during the Q&A at the end.

    - How to bake stories into your presentations and remix your talks for different audiences.

    - The keys to virtual communication.

    Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. 

    Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

    Want to get updates from us? Subscribe to get a peek inside the Village. We’ll send you reading recommendations, exclusive event invites, and commentary on the latest happenings in Silicon Valley. www.villageglobal.vc/signup

    • 42 min
    Encore: Brad Feld on What Nietzsche Can Teach Entrepreneurs

    Encore: Brad Feld on What Nietzsche Can Teach Entrepreneurs

    Brad Feld (@bfeld), VC at Foundry Group and co-author with Dave Jilk of The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche, joined Village Global co-founder and partner Ben Casnocha to discuss:

    - Common misconceptions about Nietzsche and why being misunderstood makes him an especially interesting philosopher.
     
    - What Nietzsche can teach entrepreneurs deciding whether to pivot or persevere. Brad says that founders should view their entrepreneurial journey not in terms of a single company, but as the next 30-50 years of their life.

    - Why Brad hates the term “passion” and says it’s overused in entrepreneurial circles.

    - Why to focus more on whether someone’s words and actions line up rather than the strength of their beliefs.

    - The lessons that Brad has for making decisions among groups today given Nietzsche’s aphorism that “insanity in individuals is rare, but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”

    Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. 

    Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

    Want to get updates from us? Subscribe to get a peek inside the Village. We’ll send you reading recommendations, exclusive event invites, and commentary on the latest happenings in Silicon Valley. www.villageglobal.vc/signup

    • 50 min
    How to Nail Product-Market Fit and Scale a B2B Company with Thejo Kote of Airbase

    How to Nail Product-Market Fit and Scale a B2B Company with Thejo Kote of Airbase

    Thejo Kote (@thejo) talks to Village partner Ben Casnocha. Thejo is a two-time founder and CEO. His current company, Airbase, is a spend management platform serving companies with 100 and 5,000 employees like Coda, 15Five, Front, Marqueta, CaptivateIQ, Abnormal, and more. Airbase has raised over $200 million, has tens of millions in ARR, and is consistently ranked as a top spend management company by G2.

    Highlights:

    - Rather than jumping into building Airbase, he built high-fidelity mockups and went back to prospective customers and asked if they’d buy it to “pre-sell” it.

    - In B2B, build for a specific, recognizable buyer. You want to sell to a specific role within the org who will be your champion. Ideally this is someone who also has influence within the org.

    - Select the kinds of customers who aren’t likely to switch in the early days. Team with early customers who actually want to be partners and are motivated by the relationship. Flatter them by asking: “are there any other innovative, forward-thinking leaders you know who I should also talk to?”

    - 6-8 months later after proving value and showing they could be a good partner, he said “hey, I want to get your feedback on our pricing model. Is this fair for the next set of customers?” 100% of the customers converted when he asked if they were willing to opt in to the pricing structure with a significant discount for their initial partnership.

    - When hiring salespeople, Thejo focuses more on personality traits rather than prior experience selling to the same segment. Also, if candidates are drawn to the liquid comp at a large, public company, they’re likely going to have a hard time transitioning to a startup. Find people who have been comfortable taking risks.

    - Airbase is fully remote and Thejo doesn’t think in terms of onshore vs. offshore within the company because that instantly creates a class system. Anyone anywhere in the world is part of their single, remote team, which has the internet as its headquarters. Each member of the team is “equitably inconvenienced” in his words.

    Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

    • 57 min
    Encore: Cloudflare Co-Founder Michelle Zatlyn’s Advice on Hiring, Fundraising, Scaling, and more

    Encore: Cloudflare Co-Founder Michelle Zatlyn’s Advice on Hiring, Fundraising, Scaling, and more

    Michelle Zatlyn (@zatlyn), co-founder, president, and COO of Cloudflare, joined Village Global co-founder and partner Ben Casnocha for a masterclass with our founders in late 2020.
     
    They discussed:
     
    - The origin story of Cloudflare, including how the co-founders met, and how Michelle realized that she too could start a company.
     
    - Her advice on fundraising after raising more than $300M for Cloudflare, including why you should keep the rest of the VC partnership in mind, and how to show rather than tell in your pitch.
     
    - How they found the best talent, including why their blog brought them plenty of inbound interest, and why searching far and wide around the globe for engineers helped them build their team quickly.
     
    - Why they don’t use recruiters at Cloudflare.
     
    - How to turn a weakness into a strength.
     
    - How to process feedback and when it makes sense to ignore it.
     
    - Stories of extreme frugality in the early days of the company, including building their own Ikea desks.
     
    - How an emotional response by customers helped them know they had product-market fit.
     
    Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. 
     
    Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
     
    Want to get updates from us? Subscribe to get a peek inside the Village. We’ll send you reading recommendations, exclusive event invites, and commentary on the latest happenings in Silicon Valley. www.villageglobal.vc/signup

    • 50 min
    Lessons from the Early Days at Uber and Advice for Founders with Kevin Novak

    Lessons from the Early Days at Uber and Advice for Founders with Kevin Novak

    We're excited to launch a new EIR program for data science founders in partnership with Rackhouse Ventures, founded by Kevin Novak. Learn more about the program: https://www.villageglobal.vc/rackhouse-village-global-eir-program

    Kevin Novak (@novakkm), an early Uber employee, was instrumental in developing their data science program and was the creator of surge pricing.

    Highlights:

    - Kevin, originally a nuclear physicist, applied his analytical skills to develop Uber's first surge pricing model in three weeks—a task that would typically take six months in academia.

    - He says that founders shouldn’t wait until they have plenty of data to make decisions — instead, start with first principles thinking while also building a virtuous data cycle by ensuring you are collecting data that will inform future decisions.

    - He comments that AI might be “overhyped on average” at the moment. The first breakthrough product is essentially an API, which has led to incumbents responding more quickly and more aggressively. Kevin argues that if you are founding a generative AI company, you are effectively making the claim that incumbents won’t be able to respond and implement an LLM themselves.

    - Kevin cautions founders not to fall in love with any one idea too early. It’s better to hedge your bets and experiment with one or two. Through trial and error, you can eventually decide on one idea that has the potential to be a strong business. 

    - For the Village Global-Rackhouse EIR program, we’re looking for founders with deep passion for founding a company. We don’t require you to have your idea and team established. 


    Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. 

    Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

    • 46 min
    Encore Episode: John Donahoe’s Lessons on Leadership and Being a Better CEO

    Encore Episode: John Donahoe’s Lessons on Leadership and Being a Better CEO

    This encore episode is a recording of a special masterclass roundtable session for our founders with John Donahoe. John is CEO of Nike and was previously CEO of ServiceNow and eBay. He is known as one of the most inspirational leaders in Silicon Valley and is a highly sought-after mentor to CEOs including Brian Chesky at Airbnb, Drew Houston at Dropbox, and Ben Silbermann at Pinterest. We’re honored to have him among our small group of world-class executives and collaborators whose time and expertise help power our network of founders at Village Global.
     
    He shared advice on when to hire ahead, invest in and train, or replace personnel on your team and gave insight into his most common piece of advice on professional growth when advising CEOs.
     
    Quotes From This Episode
     
    "When you talk about priorities at an aspirational level, they overlap a lot. People start realizing we're more similar than we're dissimilar."
     
    "Adversity never feels fun. I don't seek adversity. But I'm no longer scared of adversity. When it emerges, instead of trying to run from it, I now accept that it is a reality and I say, 'well, at least I'm going to learn and grow.'"
     
    "My experience has been that around any issue that involves change, you have roughly 20-25% of people who want to be part of it, no matter what the topic is, you have 25-30% of people who want to fight it, and you have the 50% of people in the middle saying 'which side is going to win?'"
     
    "[When someone is let go] The fear is humiliation usually. That's almost a bigger fear than actually leaving the company."
     
    "We're never as good or as bad as labels make us out to be."
     
    "I would say in general, for every 10 hours of business development conversations, 8 of them are a waste."
     
    "I do gratitude practice driving into work every morning. It's proven in brain science that your brain becomes more negative over time. But it's also been proven in brain science that you can counteract that."
     
    "The older I get, the more I've made friends with uncertainty. I don't avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty is as present to me today as it was before but I'm a little more comfortable with it today."
     
    Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.
     
    Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
113 Ratings

113 Ratings

Dan1777999877 ,

Learn something new every listen!

It is not every day that I get to learn from individuals of this caliber! Venture Stories has quickly become a favorite in my feed. Highly recommend giving it a listen!

SO***q ,

The best walk companion and source of inspiration

I love Village Stories as not only do they bring great speakers but they are excellent interviewers who bring out the most interesting elements of every topic. I find that the episodes are structured in a way that anyone who is not an expert in a topic finds value in understanding the theme’s key insights. And they are super fun to listen to on my daily walks!

LisaIsHereForIt ,

Phenomenal guests and topics 🌟

Venture Stories has quickly become a must-listen in my feed! I'm consistently impressed by the engaging conversations, insightful content, and actionable ideas. I truly learn something every time I listen!

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