197. The DNA of Startup Success (John Vrionis)

John Vrionis of Unusual Ventures joins Nick to discuss The DNA of Startup Success. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory/path to venture.
  • Talk about your experience at Lightspeed and your decision to leave.
  • Where/when did you first meet Jyoti Bansal, the founder, AppDynamics?
  • What's unusual about what you do?
  • 'Unusual Academy' and 'Get Ahead Platform' -- what are they and what's the difference?
  • You’ve spoken about your team at Unusual being focused on redesign the early-stage VC market and giving founders a distinct advantage. What about your approach gives founders a distinct advantage?
  • You've spoken about founder focus on "How it works" vs. "Why it matters" -- what's the disconnect you've observed with early-stage founders?
  • You've covered your own experience of learning through suffering -- is that also a quality/characteristic you look for in founders?
  • Arrogance vs. Humility -- have you invested in founders displaying these traits? What's been your experience?
  • 3 must-haves that you look for in a new investment?
  • If there's one common theme in failed investments -- what is it?
  • Is there anything unusual about your approach to sourcing? If so, what is it?
  • What are some best practices for founders when picking a VC?
  • Over the past year or so the percentage of total VC dollars invested in early-stage deals fell to the lowest levels the industry has seen in five years. Why do you think this is the case?
  • You've talked a lot about the seed funding gap and challenges to get to Series A. (Read more...)