For me, the most exciting time to become involved in a startup is the very earliest of stages, when there is a vision and promise of what could be. Pre-product-market fit. Pre-product, even. That’s exactly when I met ZachSherman and BenJohnson of what would become Timber.
When we first talked, they didn’t have a prototype developed yet. They didn’t have an official name. They hadn’t even incorporated the company. In fact, they hadn’t even quit their previous jobs.
However, the two of them shared a vision of a cloud-based logging platform designed to help software developers get more done. One that offered developers context to their logs, centralizing and intelligently parsing to offer them the ability to click, filter, and search in real time. This system, enabled by the new capabilities of tools like Amazon Kinesis and Athena, would empower developers to quickly find whatever they needed, address Continue reading "Timber! Out of the Woods: Why We Invested in a Startup With a New Approach to Logging"
One of the most frequent questions we discuss with portfolio companies is when to make which senior hires. The answer is driven by experience/skills of the founding team, trajectory, cash position, type and stage of the startup. Since the first four are very contextual, stage serves as a common denominator to define rules of thumbs. … Continue reading When to make senior hires from $0 to 10M in revenue
In this animated short video, a16z Partner Benedict Evans describes “the s-curve” in the life cycle of technology innovation, and why it’s important. Technologies like the PC, internet, and mobile phone emerge, grow, and mature in waves — from “a …
Modern technology owes much to the introduction of the binary digit or “bit”, first proposed by Claude Shannon in “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, a paper published in 1948. The bit would go on to transform analog to digital, making …
Will Porteous is the General Partner & COO @ RRE Ventures, one of New York's leading venture funds with investments in the likes of Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Giphy and Paperless Post just to name a few. As for Will, he works primarily with media and hardware companies, where he is a Director of BuzzFeed, Paperless Post, Spaceflight, and Spire. Prior to VC, Will held senior management positions with SupplyWorks and NetMarket, the e-commerce pioneer now owned by Cendant Corp.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How Will made his entry into VC and came to be the hardware and media specialist as General Partner and COO @ RRE Ventures?
2.) Why does WIll believe VC is like the movie industry? How can VCs be prepared to movie producers? How does the talent required to make a great movie resemble that of making a great startup?
I recently read Boyd (h/t and thanks to rands) and it got me thinking about the role of the founder and the VC in a successful partnership. There is a stark difference in the mindset and approach required for founders and VC’s to maximize their contribution to a company. Winning depends on each knowing their role and respecting the role of the other.
The founders I work with know that a critical part of my working style is knowing when to be quiet. I prefer to create silence, even awkward, uncomfortable pauses after a question or a reframing of a challenge because when founders step in and fill the gap in conversation, the quality of the discussion goes up. Every. Single. Time.
My job is to help take a mental model apart. I push founders to pull at the building blocks of the model in an effort to topple the