20VC: Zynga’s Mark Pincus on When To Ride Your Winners and Cut Your Losers, Why People With “Broken Resumes” Make The Best Hires & The 2 Biggest Lies Told In Silicon Valley By Founders and VCs

Mark Pincus is a serial entrepreneur and investor, best known for founding Zynga, the first company to introduce the mass market to social gaming. To date, more than one billion people around the world have played Zynga’s games, which include hits like FarmVille and Words with Friends. Mark is also known for his investments in some of the internet’s largest and most successful companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Snapchat and Xiaomi. One of the earliest pioneers in social networking, Mark founded multiple startups including support.com and tribe.net, before going on to create Zynga. A fun fact - recognizing the importance of social networking, in 2003 Mark teamed up with his friend Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, to purchase the fundamental Six Degrees patent –  which broadly covers social networks – in order to keep it out of the hands of patent trolls and guarantee that all players could innovate on Continue reading "20VC: Zynga’s Mark Pincus on When To Ride Your Winners and Cut Your Losers, Why People With “Broken Resumes” Make The Best Hires & The 2 Biggest Lies Told In Silicon Valley By Founders and VCs"

20VC: Why Valley Investors Are Really Gamblers, Why The Business Model of Selling To The Biggest Sucker Is Wrong & Why The Best Potential Hires Don’t Care Who Your VC is with David Barrett, Founder & CEO @ Expensify

David Barrett is the Founder & CEO @ Expensify, the startup relieving the world’s frustrations, one expense report at a time. With 35,000 companies and more than 5 million users, David has raised close to $30m from the likes of Redpoint, OpenView, Travis Kalanick, Baseline and SV Angel. However, David certainly does not have traditional views on funding, something we very much touch on in the interview today! Prior to Expensify, David built a peer-to-peer file transfer technology called Red Swoosh with Uber's Travis Kalanick, which was acquired by Akamai in 2007.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David went from founding Red Swoosh with Travis Kalanick to changing the sexy world of expense reporting with Expensify?

2.) Why does David want to change the cult of the second time entrepreneur? Why does David believe that Silicon Valley fundamentally changes exits in the wrong way? How does David define true Continue reading "20VC: Why Valley Investors Are Really Gamblers, Why The Business Model of Selling To The Biggest Sucker Is Wrong & Why The Best Potential Hires Don’t Care Who Your VC is with David Barrett, Founder & CEO @ Expensify"

20VC: Why VCs Fundamentally Assess Founders The Wrong Way, Why VC Needs To Innovate On The Scouting Model & Why SAFE’s and Convertible Notes Are The Future Of Investing with Elizabeth Yin, Founder & General Partner @ Hustle Fund

Elizabeth Yin is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Hustle Fund, as they describe, the ventue fund for hilariously early hustlers. Elizabeth is also the co-founder of HustleCon, a conference series for non-technical entrepreneurs to launch and scale their startups. Prior to Hustle Fund, Elizabeth was a Partner @ 500 Startups where she ran the 500 Startups seed program in Mountain View and where she and her partner saw over 20,000 startup decks. Before that Elizabeth was a successful operator, as the Co-Founder and CEO of Launchbit, an adtech platform that was acquired by BuySellAds.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Elizabeth made her way from successful founder with LaunchBit to Partner @ 500 Startups to now founding partner of Hustle Fund?

2.) Why does Elizabeth believe that VCs fundamentally assess founders the wrong way? What is the right way to assess founders in such early stages? How can one really stress Continue reading "20VC: Why VCs Fundamentally Assess Founders The Wrong Way, Why VC Needs To Innovate On The Scouting Model & Why SAFE’s and Convertible Notes Are The Future Of Investing with Elizabeth Yin, Founder & General Partner @ Hustle Fund"

20VC: a16z’s Alex Rampell on The Struggle Between Innovation vs Distribution, When How To Determine Whether An Application is Optimised Through Centralised or Decentralised Networks & Why Most ICOs Today Are Ridiculous

Alex Rampell is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he leads the firms fintech investments and serves on the boards of Branch, PeerStreet, Point, and Quantopian. Prior to joining a16z, he was the CEO and co-founder of TrialPay, a leading transactional advertising and payments company with 100 employees and over $300M in revenue. TrialPay was acquired by Visa in 2015. Previously, Alex cofounded FraudEliminator, the first consumer anti-phishing company, which merged into SiteAdvisor and was acquired by McAfee for $75M in 2006. Prior to joining the firm, Alex had been an active angel investor with the likes of Pinterest, Bloomreach, SiftScience among many others in his portfolio and served as an advisor to the SV Angel fund. He also co-founded three other companies: TXN, Point, and Affirm, with Max Levchin.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Alex make the move from serial entrepreneur with numerous Continue reading "20VC: a16z’s Alex Rampell on The Struggle Between Innovation vs Distribution, When How To Determine Whether An Application is Optimised Through Centralised or Decentralised Networks & Why Most ICOs Today Are Ridiculous"

20VC: Why Self-Awareness Is The Most Important Characteristic For Founders, When Is The Right Time For A CEO To Hand Over The Reigns & What CEO’s Can Learn About Company Culture From Teaching Middle School with Lloyd Tabb, Founder & Chairman @ Looker

Lloyd Tabb is the Founder & Chairman @ Looker, the startup leader pioneering the next generation of business intelligence (BI). They have raised over $175m from some of the best in the business including CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, First Round, Redpoint & PivotNorth. As for Llyod himself, he has spent the last 25 years revolutionizing how the world uses the internet, starting with his founding of Commerce Tools, which was acquired by Netscape. At Netscape, Lloyd led several releases of Communicator and helped define Mozilla.org. Following Netscape, Lloyd later was CTO of LiveOps, co-founder of Readyforce and founder then advisor to Luminate.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Lloyd make his way into the world of startups and come to sell his first to Netscape at such a young age?

2.) Why did Lloyd decide to hand over the reigns of CEO to Frank at such an early Continue reading "20VC: Why Self-Awareness Is The Most Important Characteristic For Founders, When Is The Right Time For A CEO To Hand Over The Reigns & What CEO’s Can Learn About Company Culture From Teaching Middle School with Lloyd Tabb, Founder & Chairman @ Looker"

20VC: The Lean Startup’s Eric Ries on The Missing Function of Entrepreneurship in Most Companies, Creating A New Accountability Paradigm & How To Structure Promotions and Compensation In The New Structure

Eric Ries is the author of International Bestseller, The Lean Startup, which changed the language of business introducing terms such as A/B testing, MVP and "pivoting". The book has sold over 1m copies and been translated into over 130 languages launching a global "lean startup" movement. Eric is also the author of the recently released, The Startup Way, detailing transformations at tech titans such as Facebook and Amazon, providing a framework for entrepreneurial management. In addition, Eric is also the Founder & CEO of The Long-Term Stock Exchange and has served as an EiR at the likes of Harvard Business School, IDEO and Pivotal.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What is the origin story of "The Lean Startup" and Eric's realizations for the importance of the methodologies presented in the book?

2.) What is the matrix management structure? In which cases does it work well? Where does Continue reading "20VC: The Lean Startup’s Eric Ries on The Missing Function of Entrepreneurship in Most Companies, Creating A New Accountability Paradigm & How To Structure Promotions and Compensation In The New Structure"

20VC: Oren Zeev on Why Diversification Does Not Work, Thesis Based Investing Is Sceptical & Partners Mostly Stay Together For LPs

Oren Zeev is the Founding Partner @ Zeev Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's most under the radar but high performing funds with a portfolio including the likes of Houzz, Chegg, Audible, Bonobos and recent guest with Adi Sideman @ YouNow. Prior to founding Zeev Ventures, Oren was a General Partner @ Apax Partners, as part of the founding Apax Israel team. Before VC, Oren was a founding team member of IBM's chip design group in Haifa.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Oren made his way into the world of VC as part of the Apax Israel founding team? What was the catalyst behind his decision to go solo with Zeev Ventures?

2.) What were Oren's biggest lessons from investing in the up and down of the bubble with Apax? Why did this lead to Oren's belief that "diversification does not work"? How does that play out Continue reading "20VC: Oren Zeev on Why Diversification Does Not Work, Thesis Based Investing Is Sceptical & Partners Mostly Stay Together For LPs"