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Acquired LP Show Profile

Acquired LP Show

English, Technology, 1 season, 98 episodes, 4 days, 11 hours, 24 minutes
About
Every company has a story. On the Acquired LP Show, we join the next generation of expert founders and investors — those whose stories are being written in real-time. We go behind the scenes on their journeys and bring back emerging insights and lessons that are useful for anyone in the startup ecosystem.
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The Scientific Journey Behind Ozempic (with Lotte Bjerre Knudsen, Novo Nordisk's Chief Scientific Advisor)

On our Novo Nordisk episode, we covered the business of Ozempic, the GLP-1 taking the world by storm. On this episode, we dive into the science of the molecule semaglutide (and its predecessor liraglutide) with the world expert on the topic, Lotte Bjerre Knudsen. Lotte is Novo Nordisk’s Chief Scientific Advisor, and led the research group back in the early 1990s that first invented the molecule. A few topics from our conversation:The science behind what is happening in the body that causes weight loss while on OzempicWhat it was like in the 1990s and 2000s believing in a drug for a problem that the rest of the industry (including her own company) had written offHow weight loss was actually a goal from the very start — not just a side effect of diabetes medication like you often read today!Sponsors:Quartr
3/6/20241 hour, 35 seconds
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Visa Follow-Up and Today’s Payments Ecosystem (with Gaurav Ahuja)

We’re joined by Imprint cofounder and Thrive General Partner Gaurav Ahuja to dive deeper into the modern payments ecosystem and Visa’s current place within it. Gaurav was one of our research sources for the Visa episode, and we wanted to bring his insights to you all too. We discuss whether Visa really should be worried about eroding interchange fees, the impact of realtime payments systems, opportunities for startups and whether the Visa / Mastercard duopoly could really be overthrown. Tune in and enjoy!Links:https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/Avg_IF_by_PCN.pdf
12/3/20231 hour, 33 minutes, 1 second
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Morgan Housel

Sponsors:NetSuite: https://bit.ly/acquirednetsuiteWe sit down with Morgan Housel, who is one of our very favorite authors and has also become a good friend of the show over the past few years. Morgan’s last book The Psychology of Money had a huge impact on both of our personal financial philosophies (and by extension Acquired’s!), and Morgan was kind enough to give us an advance copy of his new book launching tomorrow, Same as Ever. It’s equally as good, and maybe even more relevant in the current environment for thinking about what’s not going to change as we cycle through vastly different macro financial environments. Tune in and enjoy!Links: Morgan’s new book Same as Ever The Psychology of Money Morgan’s blog on Collaborative Fund and on Twitter Morgan’s new podcast!
11/6/20231 hour, 38 minutes, 5 seconds
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Doug Demuro on Analyzing the Car Industry, Creator-Led Businesses, and Porsche Episode Follow Up

While preparing for our Porsche episode with Doug DeMuro, we had a lot more than Porsche to discuss… but the episode was already over 3 hours! We decided to save the rest for its own episode, released here on ACQ2. Doug helped us understand what’s going on with the car industry supply chain in 2023, the transition to electric vehicles, the car dealership business model, and how most consumer car purchase decisions really get made.We also got to talk with Doug about his business empire. In addition to his YouTube channel with ~5 million subscribers, Doug started a car marketplace called “Cars and Bids”. Earlier this year, Doug took a $37 million investment from The Chernin Group, and Doug walked us through that transaction and what it’s been like going from “indie creator” to a large and more professionalized organization. And of course, there’s some discussion on our Porsche episode together.Links: Cars and Bids! Doug on YouTube and Twitter
9/18/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 45 seconds
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Generative AI in Video and the Future of Storytelling (with Runway CEO Cristobal Valenzuela)

We sit down with RunwayML’s CEO Cristobal Valenzuela to discuss the incredible tools they’re bringing to film and video creators (including last year’s Best Picture “Everything Everywhere All at Once” from A24), and the history + current state of the “visual” branch of generative AI. We cover how they’ve gone to market with both creators and enterprises, the potential for much more radical future use cases, and the company’s recent $141m strategic raise from Google, Nvidia + Salesforce and the context of the current AI fundraising landscape. Tune in!Links: Runway Follow Cris on Twitter
8/30/202355 minutes, 8 seconds
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Saving the Planet with Better AI Data Centers (with Crusoe CEO Chase Lochmiller)

We sit down with Crusoe Energy CEO Chase Lochmiller to talk about the two “hard to imagine” tasks they’ve undertaken: 1) building a new AI cloud infrastructure provider from scratch, and 2) colocating and powering it with stranded energy from some of the harshest and most remote locations on earth.Crusoe’s cloud of course has to compete with (and in many cases exceed) the price/performance curves of cloud incumbents like AWS, Azure and Google in processing AI workloads. And the way it does so is by building data centers literally on top of oil flares (and other wasted energy sources) that otherwise comprise multiple percentage points of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. In other words — methane that previously just got lit on fire is now powering your favorite AI startup’s training workloads!We cover what it actually takes to build and operate a public cloud, the latest Nvidia networking and server innovations and what they mean for GPU data centers, and how to set up a company to pursue something “hard” like this across the team, operations and capital raising fronts. Tune in!Links: Crusoe Energy and Crusoe Cloud Follow Crusoe and Chase on Twitter
8/14/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 50 seconds
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Comparing the Dotcom Crash to Today (with Tom Cowan from TDM)

Every now and then, we come across super interesting and under-the-radar (at least to us!) public markets folks like NZS Capital who make us think differently about the art of investing. TDM is another one of those groups — founded 18 years ago in Australia, they’ve compounded a single, private pool of capital at 26% per annum over nearly two decades. That’s Warren & Charlie territory!TDM recently published a memo comparing the current “post ZIRP bubble” market with what happened in the years following both the dot-com crash and the GFC in 2008. As always, past performance isn’t necessarily predictive of the future, but what happened back then surprised us and might surprise you too. More importantly, it gave us the perfect excuse to sit down with TDM cofounder Tom Cowan and share the conversation with you all. Tune in and learn alongside us!Links: TDM’s 2023 Market Memo The current BVP Cloud Index Follow TDM on Twitter or LinkedIn My First Million: https://www.mfmpod.com/
6/20/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 31 seconds
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Generative AI Moats in B2B with Emergence Capital’s Jake Saper

How do you build defensible business value in an era when, as AngelList CEO Avlok Kohli said on our last ACQ2 episode, the “cost of intelligence is going to zero”? Longtime friend of the show Jake Saper and his partners at Emergence Capital have been refining their thesis for this brave new world of Generative AI in B2B, and we sit down with him to discuss. We cover topics including: When do exactly correct answers matter, and when do they not? When are human-in-the-loop systems necessary? When do startups have an advantage vs. incumbents, and vice-versa? Where can companies capture value on a durable basis? When do you need proprietary data in order to be defensible? Whether you’re building or investing in existing businesses from the “pre-AI” era or brand new startups that are native to GPT, this episode has plenty of takeaways you should consider. Tune in!Links: Jake’s recent blog post on Generative AI and B2B Follow Jake on Twitter My First Million: https://www.mfmpod.com/
5/9/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 9 seconds
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AngelList CEO Avlok Kohli on the Transforming the Company — and Venture Itself

Since joining AngelList as CEO in 2019, Avlok Kohli has presided over perhaps the most unexpected and astounding transformation in the venture ecosystem: taking AngelList from an SPV provider to a company that is quickly becoming the software platform for the entire industry.Today, AngelList provides investors and founders with the infrastructure they need to launch and scale a startup or fund, and supports over $15B of assets (including David’s own Kindergarten Ventures!). We sit down with Avlok to discuss how it all happened (and happened so fast), and - also unexpectedly and astoundingly - how generative AI is about to transform their entire business and the venture ecosystem again. Tune in!Links: Visit AngelList to get started Follow Avlok on Twitter My First Million: https://www.mfmpod.com/
4/20/202358 minutes, 6 seconds
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Retool CEO David Hsu on Finding Product-Market Fit via Sales

David Hsu has one of the most interesting founders journeys in tech today. After growing up in Silicon Valley, he left to study both philosophy and computer science at Oxford in the UK, then returned immediately afterward to found an internal enterprise tools company. Fast forward to today, and Retool is a multi-billion dollar valuation juggernaut that — almost uniquely for this era — operates at roughly cashflow breakeven while still growing rapidly. On this episode David shares his thoughts on finding product-market fit through sales, the dangers of product-led growth, how to get $1-5 million in ARR with just 5-10 people on the team. Tune in!Links: Retool! Follow David H. on Twitter
4/13/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ben and David on My First Million

Ben and David joined Sam and Shaan of "My First Million" to talk about scaling to a large podcast, the company they would like to own, the CEO's you don't want to compete against, and the 100+ year history of Nintendo.  If you liked this and want more of Sam and Shawn, subscribe to the MFM YouTube channel here. Links: * Hampton * Wait But Why * Marques Brownlee * Nintendo * NVIDIA ------ Show Notes: (01:45) - Intro to Acquired (10:00) - How to scale to a big podcast (14:05) - How big do you have to be to be at the top of the business category? (23:55) - What commonalities are there between weird companies? (27:40) - How to tell a real from a fake contrarian (34:45) - Nintendo (37:45) - Which company would you most want to own? (40:45) - Who would you least want to compete against? (52:30) - Business ideas (56:40) - Will you ever sell Acquired? (58:20) - Best ways to make money as a podcast
4/7/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Future of Cloud Data Collaboration (with Samooha Co-Founder Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan)

On our AWS episode, we talked briefly about the next chapter of cloud: data warehouses. But what makes them so powerful? Why do enterprises rely on them? And how will cloud customers collaborate on data stored in multiple clouds? We sit down with Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, the co-founder and CEO of Samooha, a new company backed by Altimeter and Snowflake Ventures to tackle the problem of secure data sharing and collaboration in the cloud. Kamakshi has an impressive background to speak to this problem, having been a part of AdMob (sold to Google), and the founder/CEO of Drawbridge, which sold to LinkedIn. She then went on to work in Microsoft's Office of the CTO, where she obviously had a lot of experience understanding the needs of cloud customers. If you want a better understanding of how enterprises use the cloud, multi-cloud architecture, and how security and privacy works with customer data at scale, this episode is for you! Links: Kamakshi on Twitter Samooha Samooha Product Demo Video
3/20/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 41 seconds
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Democratizing the Tools of Big Tech with Statsig CEO Vijaye Raji

Statsig CEO and former Facebook VP Vijaye Raji joins us to discuss democratizing the tools of big tech. Before starting Statsig, Vijaye spent 10 years at Facebook where he led the development of their mobile ad product (yes — THAT mobile ad product that’s the core of FB today). We talk all about about Facebook’s early days in mobile, and the internal building and shipping process that let them continuously experiment and roll out features out to billions of users, which Statsig is now bringing to engineering and product teams everywhere. This episode is a must-listen for product builders at all stages! Listen in any podcast player. Links: Statsig’s generous free feature flags offering Statsig experimentation community on Slack, LinkedIn and Twitter
2/10/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 26 seconds
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Capital Formation and the LP / GP Relationship (with Altimeter’s Meghan Reynolds)

We sit down with Altimeter Capital’s head of Capital Formation Meghan Reynolds (who previously was TPG’s global co-head of Capital Formation for 10 years) to talk about everything that goes into the LP - GP relationship at venture funds. We cover how (and why) to think strategically about Capital Formation, why it should be about so much more the just investor relations / fundraising, and also why and how it’s going to change dramatically over the next decade. This was a GREAT conversation, and very relevant for GPs, LPs, and also company founders and employees heading into 2023 and post zero-interest-rate capital markets. Links: Follow Meghan on Twitter! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.  
1/9/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 22 seconds
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Crypto Self-Custody 101 (with Austin Federa)

The Acquired community's own Austin Federa joins us for a 101 primer on how to self-custody your crypto assets, and why it’s the only truly safe way to hold them. Given all the current turmoil (and fraud) in crypto-land, we were thinking “how could we do something to help the Acquired community right now”, and Austin gave us the perfect idea. In addition to running the #digital-assets channel on the Acquired Slack, Austin is the head of communications at the Solana Foundation and has plenty of hard-won experience through previous crypto cycles and implosions. This episode covers both the nuts and bolts of a “how-to” guide, as well as a more philosophical discussion of self-custody across asset classes, and the practicalities and convenience tradeoffs involved. ‍Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain and the best place for developers to build Web3 applications. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you), and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by Austin himself! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.  
12/3/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 37 seconds
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Netflix's Journey, Building TCV, and Investing Through Downturns (with TCV co-founder Jay Hoag)

We had the rare opportunity to interview Jay Hoag, cofounder of the first tech crossover investing firm, TCV, at TCV’s Engage Summit in Half Moon Bay earlier this fall. Jay and Rick Kimball started TCV back in 1995 and have been part of the private-to-public journeys of storied companies like Netflix (which Jay shares some great war stories about on this episode), Spotify, Zillow, Expedia, Facebook, Airbnb, Peloton and many others. Jay and TCV were kind enough to let us release the conversation as an Acquired LP episode, and we’re excited to share it with all of you. We cover the firm’s history, how companies should calibrate the magnitude of their future-looking product investments (a topic we didn’t realize would end up being so timely) and perhaps most importantly, pivotal moments where now seemingly unstoppable companies almost died amidst big macroeconomic changes. We hope you enjoy! Links: The Acquired Merch Store The Acquired Slack ‍Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you), and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by the Acquired community's very own Austin Federa! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
11/10/202245 minutes, 7 seconds
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Consumer Investing in 2022 (with Brian O'Malley of Forerunner Ventures)

We sit down with Brian O’Malley of Forerunner Ventures to talk about where in the cycle we are right now for consumer investing. We touch on the macro environment (obviously!), but also how to navigate between and around the current generation of platform incumbents, and where the next breakthrough consumer technology companies might come from. And in true Acquired Playbook fashion we talk about the benefits of focusing on niches — and how on the internet they can expand ever bigger than you might initially imagine! Links: Acquired Qualcomm Live Show at Breakpoint 2022! The 2022 Acquired Survey! The Acquired Merch Store The Acquired Slack ‍Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you), and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by the Acquired community's very own Austin Federa! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
10/31/20221 hour, 19 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Profitable B2B Growth Playbook and Mutiny’s Story

The CEO of Mutiny, Jaleh Rezaei, joins us to talk about the playbook to profitably grow a B2B company — something particularly useful for founders in 2022! Jaleh was Gusto’s first head of marketing (and before that worked at VMware and Sequoia), and has since gone on to build Mutiny, which helps B2B companies dynamically optimize their websites for conversion and has raised over $70m from Sequoia, Insight, Tiger and other great investors. Links: Acquired Qualcomm Live Show at Breakpoint 2022! Follow Jaleh on Twitter The 2022 Acquired Survey! The Acquired Merch Store The Acquired Slack
10/24/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 42 seconds
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Kindergarten Ventures’ Vanta investment, and building a new Strategy for Venture (with Thomas McGannon)

Kindergarten Ventures LP (and fellow podcast host over at Unlimited Partners) Thomas McGannon interviews David about Kindergarten’s investment thesis for their recent large investment in Vanta. Along the way they discuss KV’s overall strategy, how it fits into Acquired, and why it’s “accidentally” become the best answer David has ever had to “why should a great founder take my capital?” Links: The 2022 Acquired Survey Vanta! Kindergarten Ventures on AngelList ‍Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you), and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by the Acquired community's very own Austin Federa! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
10/3/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 41 seconds
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Reinsurance, Climate + Kindergarten Ventures (with Nat Manning)

We sit down with Kettle cofounder — and David’s Kindergarten Ventures partner — Nat Manning to discuss the fascinating world of reinsurance, risk and climate. We couldn’t think of a better and more appropriate conversation to have on the LP Show, and this was an absolute blast. Tune in and enjoy! ‍ ‍Links: Kettle Kindergarten Ventures on AngelList ‍ ‍Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you!), register for Breakpoint here, and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by the Acquired community's very own Austin Federa!   Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
9/9/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 8 seconds
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The 2022 State of Crypto + Web3 with Solana's Austin Federa

We sit down with long (long!) time Acquired community member Austin Federa to discuss the current state of crypto and Web3. By day Austin is the head of marketing & communications at the Solana Foundation, where he was one of the earliest employees. But many of you also know Austin from his "night job" as the founder and lead of the #digital-assets channel in the Acquired Slack, where he does an incredible job curating some of the best and most accessible digital asset discussion on the internet. No matter whether you're already deep in Web3, curious but sitting on the sidelines, or a diehard crypto skeptic, this episode is well worth listening to and learning from.   Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you), and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by the Acquired community's very own Austin Federa! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
8/22/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 59 seconds
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Dissecting ProfitWell's Acquisition (with Patrick Campbell)

What does a $200 million+ acquisition look like up close? How much time, focus, and communication happens between the first conversation and closing the deal? And when do the CEOs of each company just need to use the "red phone" and have a direct conversation without the 86(!) lawyers in the room?  We sit down with ProfitWell founder and CEO Patrick Campbell to answer it all, centering on ProfitWell's recent acquisition by Paddle. And incredibly, Patrick built and scaled the SaaS company without taking a single dollar of investment! If you're running a company that may one day need to navigate an acquisition (or just curious), tune in!  Links:  - Our Previous Episode with Patrick, a Masterclass on Pricing - The Documentary: "We Sign Tomorrow?" ‍Sponsor: Thank you to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for the LP Show this season. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here (just tell them them at Ben and David sent you), and you can find and listen to Solana's own podcast here, hosted by the Acquired community's very own Austin Federa! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
7/27/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 39 seconds
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David Interviewed on "Unlimited Partners"

David is the first guest on a new podcast, Unlimited Partners! This is a wide-ranging interview where upon listening, even Ben learned some new things about David :) Unlimited Partners is hosted by long-time friend of the Acquired community, Thomas McGannon. UP is his journey to learn - what makes great partnerships? They explore stories of people working together throughout business building, investing, community and family. While much of this is brought to you through Thomas’ work as a limited partner investor, their hope is that this podcast project finds a way to share themes and lessons for anyone looking to learn from the best partnership has to offer. Follow the Unlimited Partners Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unlimited-partners/id1625166477  ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! ‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
5/23/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 21 seconds
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Travel for the Creator Economy

We sit down with TrovaTrip co-founders Nick Poggi and Lauren Schneider to talk about travel for the creator economy. This one is very close to home since Ben is on their board! TrovaTrip is a marketplace that enables creators to easily plan trips to places around the world with their audiences. It's a whole new way for people to travel, with other like-minded people who share the same passions and communities. We talk with them about growing from a bootstrapped business to over 10,000 travelers booked, growing a travel business during the pandemic, and dive deep on the power of choosing a business model with favorable cashflow dynamics. Tune in! Join us at the Acquired Arena Show on May 4 at 5 PM! https://acquired.fm/arenashow ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! ‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
4/15/202257 minutes, 10 seconds
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Reverse Interview: Ben and David at Vanta

We dropped by Vanta's all-hands in SF a few weeks ago for Christina to interview us for a change! We decided to turn the mics on and record it as an LP episode. We discussed lessons learned from building Acquired, the shape of the show's growth trajectory, how we think about the business, and dive into our own origin story. Also -- JOIN US FOR THE ACQUIRED ARENA SHOW!!  May 4th, at 5 PM in Seattle! You can RSVP at https://acquired.fm/arenashow. Hope to see you there!
4/8/202232 minutes, 31 seconds
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Composer (with CEO Benjamin Rollert)

We sit down with Composer CEO Benjamin Rollert to talk about bringing serious financial firepower to the people, wallstreetbets-style. Composer opens up to anyone the same level (or better) of tools that top quantitative hedge funds hire armies of PhDs and computer scientists to build internally. We have a blast discussing how he came at this space as a total outsider, and why Gamestop may prove to be the "iPhone moment" for Composer and all high-powered  consumer financial tools. And oh yeah, he also worked with Packy and Composer was the first Not Boring portfolio company. :) Tune in!  ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! ‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
3/23/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 14 seconds
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TradFi vs. Crypto, Explaining BNPL, and What's Next in Fintech (with Bain Capital Ventures' Christina Melas-Kyriazi)

We sit down with Bain Capital Ventures' newest fintech Partner Christina Melas-Kyriazi to talk about everything happening right now in fintech, and the experience of helping build Affirm and the BNPL space from crazy idea to massive consumer finance category. Anyone interested in the history and future of fintech will love this one. Tune in!  ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! ‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
3/10/202254 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ben and David on "Capital Allocators"

In late 2021, Ben and David were guests on Ted Seides' podcast, "Capital Allocators". The episode kicked off Ted's "Venture is Eating the Investment World" mini-series. From Ted: David Rosenthal and Ben Gilbert are venture capitalists and hosts of the Acquired podcast. Acquired is one of my favorite shows. In it, David and Ben tell stories of great companies in technology with thorough research and a fun, engaging style. Our conversation kicks off the mini-series with their respective backgrounds in venture, the creation of Acquired, and their research process for show. We then dive into the origins of the cottage venture capital industry, inflection point after the tech bubble, rise of an abundance of capital, firms investing across stages, the competitive response of others, the mass introduction of angel investors, businesses staying private for longer, and the potential for crypto to change the game once more. You can see more about the show here: https://capitalallocators.com/podcast/acquiring-an-industry/   ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! ‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
2/18/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 32 seconds
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10-K Diver: Building a Top Fintwit Account and Teaching Finance Principles to Everyone (Pseudonymously!)

Get a cup of coffee. We sit down with the voice of one of our favorite Twitter accounts, 10-K Diver, to talk about his journey building one of the most widely followed (and respected!) fintwit accounts out there. We had a blast and — of course — learned a ton from one of the greats!! You can get this episode in your favorite podcast player here! ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
2/17/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 59 seconds
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NZS Capital Part II: What’s Going on in Today’s Markets? (Plus more Semiconductors!)

Back by popular “Acquired demand” (plus we really wanted to have this conversation for our own edification!!), friends of the pod NZS Capital return to talk about what’s going with the current market gyrations, and for a much-needed refresher on how to invest when — surprise — knowing the future is still an impossible task. As always we left this conversation with renewed appreciation for the NZS approach and the utility of their resiliency + optionality mental model. This is not one to miss! ‍Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! We're super excited to have them as our first LP Show partner. Tegus empowers investors and Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
2/4/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 57 seconds
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Race Capital, Crypto Investing, and FTX + Solana’s Early Days

It has been dubbed "one of the best venture investments of all time" by Packy McCormick, generating over a 4000X return in 3-and-a-half years. Today, we are talking with Chris McCann and Edith Yeung, the earliest investors in Solana, and partners at Race Capital. They also unbelievably were the earliest investors in FTX and started Race Capital in the midst of crypto winter! On this episode, we talk with Edith and Chris about the stories behind both of those investments and their views on what's next in crypto from their vantage point in the center of the ecosystem. Links: - The Generalist's FTX piece with Race Capital's Public Investment Memo - Picture: Chris and Edith with Jihan Wu, Founder of Bitmain - Picture: Edith with Anatoly (Solana founder) and Min Kim (ICON co-founder)   Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! This is a new experiment for us and we're super excited to have them as our first partner. Tegus empowers Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO They're trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial at https://bit.ly/acquiredtegus and just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch!
1/27/20221 hour, 34 minutes, 16 seconds
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Italic & a New Era of Online Retail

We sit down with Jeremy Cai, the CEO of new retail pioneer Italic, for a fascinating discussion of how they're upending the traditional manufacturer-brand-retailer model by taking the opposite approach of earlier DTC startups. Rather than elevating brand and cutting out retail, Italic cuts out the brand and lets the actual manufacturers (who you've never heard of but who make most of the actual products that J. Crew, Everlane, etc sell) market and sell direct to customers. Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for being our first presenting sponsor for the Acquired LP Show! This is a new experiment for us and we're super excited to have them as our first partner. Tegus empowers Corporate Development teams to make decisions smarter and faster by pairing the highest quality user-generated content and data with best-in-class technology. Tegus expert calls are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to the shared platform for all their customers to read or listen to. They are the only company in the world that aggregates qualitative information on private companies from seed-stage to pre-IPO. They’re trusted by many amazing investors and companies around the world like JFrog, Spark, Thrive, Redpoint and more. You can learn more and get a free trial at https://www.tegus.co/acquired and just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch!
1/6/20221 hour, 12 minutes
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2021 Recap: Acquired x Not Boring x The Generalist

Originally broadcast live on New Years Eve: we raise a glass (of coffee haha) and recap 2021 with our besties Mario Gabriele from the Generalist and Packy McCormick from Not Boring. Thank you for making 2021 an incredible year for all of us at ACQ, NB + TG, and may 2022 be filled with great things and grand adventures for us all!
1/2/20221 hour, 43 minutes, 53 seconds
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Mission-Driven Founders, Global Investing, and Canva (with Wesley Chan)

Last month, Ben sat down with Wesley Chan at Web Summit for a quick, 18-minute interview. The conversation was supposed to be about global investing in 2021 as an early-stage VC, but the conversation turned mostly into the origin story of Wesley's (unbelievably good) seed investment in Canva. Wesley's firm Felicis Ventures invested pre-revenue, leading the seed round, and Canva is valued at $40 billion today. Wesley dives into the details (and why he invested in the first place!) in this interview.
12/30/202118 minutes, 18 seconds
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Blue Origin and the 2021 Space Landscape (with Rob Meyerson)

Today we're excited to have a longtime friend of the Acquired family on the LP Show, Rob Meyerson. Rob was the President of Blue Origin for 15 years, and today is an investor and advisor to space industry startups. Ben recorded this interview live at the fantastic aerospace industry conference, ASCEND, where Rob is the Executive Producer. In this interview we cover: How Blue Origin started, and what it was like in the early days (spoiler: they weren't yet building rockets!) Rob’s experience working directly for Jeff Bezos What’s changed about SpaceX since May of 2020, when we did our Acquired episode on the company Rob’s theses about what sectors of commercial space are poised for growth in the next few years
12/6/202140 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ben and David on "This Week in Startups" Holiday Special

Ben and David go on "This Week in Startups" with Jason Calacanis for a holiday special!  Discussion includes: - Talking TWIST and All-In this year with everything from politics to weight loss to private jets - Acquired's year and some of Ben and David's biggest insights from episodes - VC, valuations, and crypto investing mechanics - Use cases for crypto, and trying to get Jason (a skeptic) excited - Carveouts: our favorite books, podcasts, and TV shows from this year Note: we are publishing this simultaneously in the paid LP feed and the public feed since it is already available in the public TWIST feed.
12/2/20211 hour, 30 minutes, 42 seconds
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt: A Fireside Chat

We are very excited to bring you a special LP interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Aside from Joe's well-known work as a Golden Globe-nominated, Emmy-award-winning actor in films like 500 Days of Summer, Inception, and Looper, Joe is also the founder of  HITRECORD, a startup which brings creative collaborators together across film, music, books, and more. Ben sat down with Joe to discuss: The creator economy’s focus on the finished product vs. the creative process, and how he thinks about this at HITRECORD The state of the film and TV industry today, amidst the shift to streaming platforms and tech companies as primary distribution channels What it has been like on set playing Travis Kalanick in Showtime’s upcoming “Super Pumped” Thanks to our good friends at Fika Ventures for setting this conversation up!
11/15/202141 minutes
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Update on Dad Life, MacBook Pros, and Acquired Video

The title says it all. This feels weird to release by Acquired standards -- an hour of audio with zero research! -- but we wanted to check in with y'all and say hi from parental leave. Topics covered: - Update on Dad Life - Ben's new MacBook Pro - Discussion of Acquired's approach to doing video / YouTube
11/9/202157 minutes, 28 seconds
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Web3 Marketplaces (with Braintrust CEO Adam Jackson)

We sit down with Adam Jackson, the cofounder and CEO of Freelance Labs, which builds the incredible Web3 project Braintrust. (Disclosure David is an investor via Kindergarten Ventures.) We talk all about what a marketplace looks like in Web3, and why it's a completely different animal than traditional Web2 marketplaces like Uber, eBay, DoorDash, etc. Prior to starting Braintrust, Adam was the CEO of Doctor on Demand, so has literally lived both sides of the table. Tune in for a FASCINATING discussion of everything that crypto / tokenization enables, and why it's such an exciting shift that unlocks massive, $000B+ opportunities like Braintrust.
10/26/202159 minutes, 13 seconds
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Audius (with CEO Roneil Rumberg)

We sit down with Roneil Rumberg, the cofounder and CEO of Audius — the decentralized music platform which currently is likely the widest-adopted Web3 project in existence with over 6m active users. This conversation was AWESOME, and covers everything from Silicon Valley history, to how the music industry works, to the technical aspects and challenges of building a Web3 project today. Huge thank you to Roneil to joining us, and we're looking forward to hearing more from Audius on Acquired in the years to come!
10/11/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 58 seconds
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Special drop: David on Levels' Podcast!

Earlier this week David went on Levels' podcast, A Whole New Level, hosted by Acquired "Super LP" and Levels' head of growth, Ben Grynol. We had such a blast that we wanted to share here with the community as well! Full show notes from Levels below: When most companies start, they are single-threaded companies. More specifically, companies start with one product or revenue stream and evolve. Amazon is a great example of a company that has built an ecosystem. The company started as an e-commerce site for selling books, and now has a number of inter-related businesses that make up the entire Amazon ecosystem. Netflix is an example of a company that started as a single-threaded company – (a platform for viewing video content) – and has, for the most part, remained that way since its inception. As we build Levels, we often think about the way that our company will evolve – will it be an ecosystem for health, or will we remain focused on monitoring glucose? In this episode, David Rosenthal, (VC and Host of Acquired Podcast), dives deep into what it takes to build an ecosystem around a company.
10/7/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 55 seconds
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Explaining Macroeconomics, The Fed, Interest Rates and Valuations (with Matt McBrady)

Confused about everything going on with The Fed, inflation and how it affects tech and startup valuations? Or why it seems like every Jerome Powell comment brings out an army of finance's equivalent of fortune tellers and tarot card readers? So were we, so we called up the best person we know to explain everything -- Matt McBrady. Matt may be the only person who's been an academic economist, worked at the US Treasury, run a massive hedge fund AND helped start and sit on the board of two very successful startups, aQuantive and Axon/TASER. Tune in for a crash course in everything you need to know! ‍ Links J.P.'s Never Gonna Give you Up Follow Matt on LinkedIn to see his posts or connect with him for consulting, board opportunities, etc For more on Matt’s academic work, check out his UVA faculty webpage
8/16/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 6 seconds
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Kim-Mai Cutler -- From Journalist to VC

We sit down with Initialized Capital's Kim-Mai Cutler to talk about her opposite journey from us at Acquired, going from journalist to VC. We riff on how the landscape has evolved from Kim-Mai's parents' "Hewlett Packard generation" in the Valley through the TechCrunch era that se was a big part of, to today and how the nature of reporting, investing and influence -- the intersection of the two -- has changed.
8/4/202143 minutes, 6 seconds
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Managing a Crypto Fund (with Kyle Samani from Multicoin Capital)

How on earth do you professionally manage a crypto investment firm? That was the question we wanted to find out, so we dialed up one of the best in the business: Multicoin Capital cofounder and managing partner Kyle Samani. Appropriately fresh on the heels of our Solana special episode (Multicoin was one of Solana's earliest investors), we dive into how in a few short years Kyle, Tushar and the team have built one of the largest and most well-known dedicated crypto funds on the market. We cover Multicoin's three crypto "mega-theses", how they've structured the firm across both a venture and hedge fund, and the dynamics of managing capital and running a firm in the new and fast-moving world of crypto investing. Links: Multicoin's crypto mega-theses: https://multicoin.capital/thesis/ The Block: https://www.theblockcrypto.com Kyle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KyleSamani
7/22/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 56 seconds
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Owning Your Own Media Stream (from Collison Conf with Garry Tan)

Ben interviewed Initialized Capital founder and friend of the show, Garry Tan at Collision Conf last month. Garry is of course also a YouTuber, Clubhouse'r, and master of content creation. The good people at Collision Conf gave us the thumbs up to share this interview on the value of owning your own media stream with all of you.
6/3/202120 minutes, 43 seconds
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Making your customers your secret weapon (with Highspot's Oliver Sharp)

We're joined by Oliver Sharp of Highspot, Seattle's most recent unicorn company (at least at the time of recording!), to talk about how and why to architect everything a software company does around its customers — what today is often called "customer-led growth" — but really represents a company building philosophy that runs much deeper. Oliver has serious software cred: he first joined Microsoft in 1984, and then later became part of Bill Gates' famous "TA" staff after Microsoft acquired his first startup. The conversation was *fantastic* and we owe a huge thank you to Oliver for sharing his decades of learning by doing with us. Make sure you don't miss this one!
4/29/20211 hour, 32 minutes, 23 seconds
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LP "Expert Call" with Josh Clemente from Levels

We got *awesome* feedback on the recent special episode we did with Levels founder Josh Clemente -- so we asked Josh if he'd join for a follow-up Q+A session on our next LP Call, and he graciously agreed!  The conversation was so good we decided to release the audio recording in the LP feed. (In addition to the LP Drive as always -- the video recording is linked there.) Thanks again to Josh and the Levels crew, and we hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did live!
4/23/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 1 second
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The Meituan Bear Case (with Lillian Li)

When the internet’s top China tech analyst Lillian Li posted a great Twitter take (linked below) on our Meituan episode, we knew we had to try to get her on the LP Show to tell us all more. What’s really going on with these platforms on the ground in China, what is the government’s role in all this, and why is Meituan’s outlook “rosy, but maybe not quite as rosy as we painted on the episode”? Thanks to the magic of the internet, a few Twitter DMs later and voila — not only do we have this awesome episode with her, but a new friend and collaborator on hopefully much more Western - China tech crossover content to come! Links: Lillian’s Chinese Characteristics substack: https://lillianli.substack.com Lillian’s original Twitter thread after the Meituan episode: https://twitter.com/lillianmli/status/1370327344704016384?s=21 Our original Meituan episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/meituan
4/1/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 15 seconds
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Modern Treasury interviews Ben & David (and vice versa!)

The very cool (and also very hot! you can read about their recent funding rounds from Benchmark and Altimeter) fintech startup Modern Treasury recently asked if they could interview us for their internal "Coffee Break" series of fireside chats. We agreed, on one condition... that we also get to interview them and share with Acquired LPs! The result was a match made in Acquired interview heaven. :)  Links: Modern Treasury: https://www.moderntreasury.com  MT's Journal: https://www.moderntreasury.com/journal 
3/18/202152 minutes, 18 seconds
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State-of-SaaS and Deep Collaboration (with Jake Saper from Emergence Capital)

Emergence Capital's Jake Saper returns to the LP Show to talk 2021 "state-of-SaaS" and Emergence's Deep Collaboration thesis. We cover how Figma changed the game for embedded collaboration within work tools, and why this theme represents a deep vein that Emergence is investing behind with companies like Ironclad and Jake's latest investment in Maze. Plus we cover the impact of the Zoom investment (undeniably one of the greatest venture investments of all time) on Emergence as a firm, and why investing in your partnership through coaching, peer groups and simply prioritizing dedicated time together is just as important after big successes as before. Peer group resources Jake recommends for entrepreneurs: Enrich Pace 10X CEO Leaders in Tech
3/5/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 1 second
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The Idea Dinner #1 (with Mario Gabriele and Packy McCormick)

We team up with Mario from the Generalist and Packy from Not Boring for a something new: The Idea Dinner! We've been longtime fans of each others' work and, given all the buzz on Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, decided to team up and run a little experiment: The Idea Dinner. Last night on Twitter Spaces we all got together and brought one beverage of choice, one public market investment idea, and one private market investment idea. Despite some technical audio issues... it was a blast! We're super excited to share the recording here with everyone who couldn't make it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Stay tuned for more to come!
2/26/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 14 seconds
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Roblox IPO Preview (with Mario Gabriele from The Generalist)

It's a kids game, it's a social network, it's... potentially the hottest IPO of 2021? We team up with Mario Gabriele from The Generalist + S-1 Club to break down Roblox's business and its prospects as a public company. Links Mario & friends' definitive S-1 Club analysis of Roblox's prospectus: https://www.readthegeneralist.com/briefing/roblox-ipo  Mario on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mariodgabriele (For readers of The Generalist) Acquired:  https://www.acquired.fm The Acquired LP Program: https://www.acquired.fm/lp
2/12/20211 hour, 25 minutes, 9 seconds
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What Remote Work Looks Like in 2021 (and Beyond) with Doist CEO Amir Salihefendić

With 2020 and (hopefully soon) the global pandemic coming to a close, both existing and new companies everywhere will soon face a choice of how to operate going forward. Embrace the "future" that was pulled forward by the pandemic and remain remote? Or return fully/partially to a physical office environment? For those who choose the future (and investors who are considering betting on them), Doist and its CEO Amir Salihefendić provide a 10-year case study of both the challenges that arise and the opportunities unlocked by embracing the internet to its fullest extent in growing and running an organization. And oh yeah — along the way they built a profitable, double-digit $m ARR business with 100 employees, that's been completely bootstrapped on $0 capital invested. We dive into it all!   Share this episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/what-remote-work-looks-like-in-2021-and-beyond-with-doist-ceo-amir-salihefendic    Topics Covered: Amir and Doist's journey from side programming project to bootstrapped, double-digit million ARR global business How they've operated as remote-only company for the past 10+ years, with 100 people across 35 countries and 10+ time zones Why just going remote but keeping the same tools and culture as in-person doesn't solve any problems and just creates more Why the temporal nature of work is just as (if not more) important than its physical location, and how the new modality of "asynchronous" work takes advantage of that How remote + asynchronous unlocks massive opportunity both for new companies and the tools to serve them   Links: Doist: https://doist.com Doist's "remote setup guide": https://twist.com/remote-work-guides/remote-company-setup "The CEO with an Empty Calendar": https://superorganizers.substack.com/p/the-ceo-with-an-empty-calendar Packy's "We're Never Going Back" post: https://notboring.substack.com/p/were-never-going-back Amir on Twitter: https://twitter.com/amix3k
12/21/202054 minutes, 14 seconds
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VC Fundamentals Part 4: Portfolio Construction & Management (with Jaclyn Hester & Lindel Eakman of Foundry Group)

We continue our VC Fundamentals series with Portfolio Construction & Management — how do you build and manage a fund's portfolio as a whole, beyond each individual portfolio company and investment decision? We brought in two of the very best people in the world to help us dissect this topic: Jaclyn Hester & Lindel Eakman of Foundry Group. Jaclyn and Lindel have been early and longtime LPs in some of the best venture funds in the world: USV, True, Spark — and of course Foundry — and now also sit on the GP side of the table at Foundry. Tune in for a master class on how the best VC managers think about generating and optimizing fund performance. Share this episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/vc-fundamentals-part-4-portfolio-construction-management-with-jaclyn-hester-lindel-eakman-of-foundry-group  Topics Covered: 1. The bar for what "good" venture fund performance looks like in terms of returns: Where venture sits on the spectrum of capital allocation options available to limited partners The difference between "gross" and "net" fund returns and why IRR is still important The distribution of returns across venture firms & funds — how many hit the performance bar — and the importance of diversification vintage years 2. Portfolio construction: how do you allocate the fund's capital across companies? Why have a "portfolio" at all vs. loading up on a few high conviction investments — and what an LP's incentives are for diversification vs. a GP's How to determine overall $ size you should target for a fund Concentration vs diversification and the concepts of "shots on goal" and "groups" of high-potential companies within a portfolio Fund reserves planning — are you "making your money at the buy", or able to buy up over time in your winners? 3. Balancing playing offense and defense: The upside potential of "interstitial rounds" Whether it's possible to save a company with more capital, and if pivots are a good idea 4. Time allocation vs capital allocation within a fund: Understanding and managing your own cognitive biases Why time & effort allocation across a portfolio rarely matches capital allocation (and shouldn't) Why a firm's partnership dynamics are typically the most important driver of funds' outcomes Links: Foundry Group: https://www.foundrygroup.com Seth Levine's post on skewed VC returns: https://www.sethlevine.com/archives/2020/10/vc-fund-returns-are-more-skewed-than-you-think.html Fred Wilson's posts on losing money and portfolio outcome distributions: https://avc.com/2016/04/losing-money/and https://avc.com/2012/07/the-power-of-diversification/
11/30/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 32 seconds
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Masterclass: Superhuman's Fundraising Playbook (with CEO Rahul Vohra)

Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra joins us for an absolute masterclass on startup fundraising that shatters much outdated traditional wisdom in the space. We cover why it's possible to build momentum and raise even as a solo founder, how you should think about syndicates vs. "brand name" VCs, and why you always want to be preempted and how to make that happen. This episode is a 100% must-listen for anyone raising money now, or planning to in the future. Topics Covered: How to run a successful fundraising process Why founders should think about raising money as "creating a market" for their company's equity How to build fundraising momentum, and why you shouldn't be afraid of using outsourced design and development agencies Preempted fundraises vs marketed fundraises: why you always want to be preempted, and how to orchestrate that happening Non-obvious ways that founders should think about runway, amount to raise and raise-timing in order to always have leverage in fundraising conversations Round construction The value of "brand name" investors vs. non-traditional capital, and why you actually want both at different times Why founders might want to raise their first capital from other founders and operators (versus from funds) Why founders should put some of their own capital into early rounds How to use high-resolution financings (SAFEs and convertible debt) efficiently The concept of "interstitial financings", where you raise convertible debt in-between rounds, and when & how to use them Investing while also being a founder / operator Time/attention allocation and why it's now possible to do both effectively Flexibility to build positions over time vs. traditional fund structures Rahul's own angel fund with Todd Goldberg Bonus! The origin story behind the Superhuman name Links: Todd & Rahul's Angel Fund: http://toddandrahulangelfund.com/
11/12/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 9 seconds
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Book Club Discussion: Brotopia with Emily Chang

Hello LPs! Posting the audio recording of our Book Club Zoom session with Emily Chang in digestible podcast form. For those who weren't able to attend, we hope you get as much out of the recording as we did being there live! Thanks as always, Ben & David   LP GDrive link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PX_6bUsHJRN3eZsCH5K8m-9OfHTOuFXH Book notes public post: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/book-club-discussion-brotopia-with-emily-chang GDoc version of book notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1939VQja1rIK9yP1Ahe4w2frPy4-nUYEH7pxwRk-WjBk/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=110434699798216361855
10/23/202055 minutes, 41 seconds
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How YC Rewrote the Seed Playbook with Garry Tan

We're joined by Posterous co-founder, former YC partner and current Managing Partner of Initialized Capital Garry Tan to go deep on how YC changed the game for company creation and seed investing, how they thought about building the "cult" of startups, and what lies ahead as the early-stage world continues to globalize and evolve more quickly than ever.   Topics Covered (among others): How the recruiting challenge for early-stage startups led to outside-the-box thinking Peter Thiel’s “crazy” (but not actually crazy) offer to Garry to join Palantir Leveraging “cult” startup culture into a magnet for specific types of people Y Combinator’s path from fringe to mainstream Insight that those same cult recruiting techniques could be applied at a meta-level to recruiting company founders themselves Initial strong reactions to YC, and knowing they were on to something The beginning of “influencer investing” with Paul Graham’s essays + Hacker News The blooming of Seed as an asset class alongside and around YC The landmark deal with SV Angel and DST / Yuri Milner to “auto-fund” every YC company starting in 2011 YC scaling from ~10-12 companies per batch to 70-80 and now 200+ per batch Starting Initialized Capital within YC, and then spinning it out into one of the largest independent seed funds Influencer investing and startup evangelism going mainstream The impact of The Social Network movie Exporting the ~”YC message” to the entire world: you can start a startup The power of direct, bi-directional access to people via the internet Links: Paul Graham’s Essays: http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html Hackers and Painters: https://www.amazon.com/Hackers-Painters-Big-Ideas-Computer/dp/1449389554/ Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com Garry's (great) YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIBgYfDjtWlbJhg--Z4sOgQ
9/29/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 53 seconds
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VC Fundamentals Part 3: Company Building

We continue our VC Fundamentals series with Company Building — everything that happens after you write the check. We catalog the different categories, strategies and tactics for VCs to "add value" to their portfolio companies, from direct involvement to portfolio services to simply doing nothing (often better than many alternatives!). For both of us, this is the best and most fun part of being an investor, and we hope that shines through in this episode. Here's to building great companies!   Share this episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/vc-fundamentals-part-3-company-building    Topics Covered: The goals of Company Building: (Obviously) add value to your investments (Less obviously) increase your odds of finding / winning your next investments The four categories of company building: "Direct" work by the GPs "Active" platform and portfolio services teams "Passive" brand halo effect Simply "doing nothing" Activities you actually do: Board work (both governance and strategic / operational planning) Planning and orchestrating future financings and exits Recruiting, closing deals and "selling" Cofounder / executive disputes and departures Pivots and company shutdowns And perhaps the most important Company Building advice of all: Don't Freak Out.   Links: Our interview on the main show with Doug Leone: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/sequoia-capital-part-ii-with-doug-leone Fred Wilson's great post on pivots vs. shutdowns: https://avc.com/2018/11/pivot-or-fail/
9/15/20201 hour, 32 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Outsiders Book Club Discussion with author Will Thorndike

Hello LPs! Posting the audio recording of our Book Club Zoom session with Will Thorndike from The Outsiders in digestible podcast form. Big thank you to Will and to all of you who made this a really special experience. For those of you who weren't able to attend, we hope you get as much out of the recording as we did live! Thanks as always for being on this journey with us, - Ben & David   LP GDrive link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PX_6bUsHJRN3eZsCH5K8m-9OfHTOuFXH Book notes public post: https://medium.com/@AcquiredFM/book-club-notes-the-outsiders-569175957ab4 GDoc version of book notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gipiBGB_xnuQkPFVJVZ-XxSVjy6DSxwEloEN3qnloyA/edit   Outsiders Book Notes Summary Thoughts: This fantastic book consists of eight case studies of “Outsider” CEOs who, borrowing the words of Warren Buffett’s quote on the cover, “excelled at capital allocation” and created enormous shareholder returns during their tenures. Btw, how crazy is it that Warren Buffett gave the cover quote? That rivals Reed Hastings writing the forward for 7 Powers. 😀 All of the CEOs profiled (with the exception of Buffett himself) operated in the pre-internet and, in most cases, pre-private equity eras. While much has obviously changed -- the days of buying companies for Notes: Rather than cover each case study (Acquired listeners will appreciate reading in full for the stories!), we list our overall themes and takeaways below: The primary job of a CEO should be capital allocation (monetary + human) in pursuit of value creation, not “leadership” or growth CEOs who are “leaders” (good with the press, investors, at all-hands, etc) are often optimizing for external validation, not firm value creation Growth -- in revenue, headcount, business lines, etc. -- does not always translate to value (see e.g., AOL-Time Warner, VC-backed companies spending unprofitably, etc). Often a slower but more disciplined approach is better in the long run. Developing a (high) internal IRR hurdle rate that all capital projects are required to hit or exceed in order to obtain approval is the best way to manage to value creation Independent thinking (avoiding Buffett/Munger’s “institutional imperative”) is required to achieve sustained above-market results If everyone else in the industry / market is doing (or not doing) something, you should really ask yourself why, and whether you would earn superior returns by taking a different approach. Again the best way to do this is to run the numbers (simply! No complicated excel sheets.) and assign projected rates of return + risk to your various scenarios. Decentralization of operations and decision making is generally preferable to centralization An exception to this rule may be capital allocation decisions, which should be made by the CEO / headquarters team. However, Constellation Software (not profiled in The Outsiders) is a fantastic example of a world-class capital allocation operation that is itself radically decentralized. Flexibility coupled with analytical rigor is generally preferable to detailed future planning Also not discussed in the book, but one highly effective “Outsider-type” CEO uses a simply modified First Chicago Method for evaluating all capital projects: think about 4 scenarios ranging from big win to total loss, then assign your best estimate probabilities to each. Then update those probabilities every ~6-12 months as you learn more. If the weighted return estimate falls below your hurdle rate, kill it. Frugality is next to godliness Avoid cash outflows that do not create a tangible return like the plague. E.g., corporate overhead costs, managing to GAAP net income vs cashflow (which results in higher taxes) We love this one: the “Edifice Complex”. Construction of an elaborate new headquarters building tends to be inversely correlated with future investor returns. (note this applies equally to startups, VCs/investment firms, etc) It’s generally better to adopt (non-core) new technologies into your business later vs earlier Except for technology that is core to your product and customer relationships (which you should probably own/develop in-house anyway), it’s better to be a “settler” vs a “pioneer” when say adopting a new CRM system, etc. Let others prove ROI and figure out how to use it effectively, then implement once the value case is clear (which it often won’t be). This one is specific to John Malone / TCI, but we couldn’t resist and it’s fun re: Acquired history. TCI (and its successor Liberty Media) was basically the Tencent of cable! They owned the distribution platform and king-made + took equity stakes in content providers: BET, Turner, Discovery, etc. Curious how much of Tencent’s strategy has been deliberately borrowed from TCI/Liberty vs. developed independently. “Compound[ing] is the 8th wonder of the world” (-Einstein) Don’t interrupt it!! Massively differentiated results can only be realized over long periods of time -- the vast portion of the value in a compounding asset comes in the final years you own it. Look at the chart below [note, was too hard to embed in podcast notes, check the links to view!] showing relative share price performance of the 8 “Outsider” CEOs -- it only begins to diverge widely vs. market 10+ years in.
9/3/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 34 seconds
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Primer on SPACs with Kevin Hartz and Troy Steckenrider of A* and AONE

We dive into everything you need to know about SPACs — what they are, why they're a compelling alternative to IPO/DPOs, and how they might play an even more important role in startup financing going forward — with two of the very best people to teach us: Kevin Hartz and Troy "SPAC Professor" Steckenrider of the newly-minted $200m SPAC, AONE. Share this episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/primer-on-spacs-with-kevin-hartz-and-troy-steckenrider-of-a-and-aone  Links: A* and ONE: https://www.a-star.co John Luttig's great Medium piece on SPACs: https://luttig.substack.com/p/spac-attack-everything-a-founder Bill Gurley on SPACs as an attractive alternative to IPOs/DPOs (posted after recording): https://abovethecrowd.com/2020/08/23/going-public-circa-2020-door-3-the-spac/ TLDR: SPACs are an alternative path for companies to go public, however until recently they were mostly obscure and little-known/used. Meanwhile, the traditional IPO process has become onerous and broken: it takes 9+ months of company time, yet investors get only 15 minutes of management access and must make a decision in SPACs provide (in theory) a better path: ~2 months of company and investor time spent together, the net result of which is a large cash infusion at an appropriate equity price via a liquid public stock that anyone can buy/sell. In other words, what IPOs are supposed to look like. SPACs themselves also provide an interesting option for investors: each one is essentially a publicly traded "atomic" growth fund that will invest in just one company. You as a retail investor can go buy shares in e.g. AONE, Dragoneer's SPAC, Bill Ackman's SPAC, etc, whereas you could never get access to their traditional funds. (which are only open to select large institutions) SPACs are also interesting to large institutions themselves: rather than commit large sums of capital upfront to blind-pool funds, they can invest company-by-company with whomever they like, and take back their capital whenever they don't like a deal.
8/25/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 54 seconds
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Recording -- 7 Powers Book Club Discussion with Hamilton Helmer

Hello LPs! We heard from several of you that Book Club recordings were hard to digest as Zoom recordings. So we stripped out the audio and are posting here in podcast form.  Thanks to all of you who made this a really special experience with Hamilton, and for those of you who weren't able to attend we hope you're able to get as much out of the recording as we did live! -Ben & David
8/19/20201 hour, 16 minutes
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VC Fundamentals Part 2: Investment Decision Making

Despite many advances in industry transparency over the past ~10 years, much about the actual "jobs of a VC" remains locked inside firm/institutional knowledge and venture's apprenticeship model. With this series we aim to change that. Our goal is to draw back the curtain on what the actual tasks are that VCs do day-to-day, how you can learn them, and ultimately what's required to succeed. We hope this series will be helpful both to anyone looking to break into the industry and to those who are already practicing, and also for entrepreneurs and consumers of venture capital to understand more about the motivations and activities of those across the table! We continue in this episode with (initial) investment decision making: how it's done in practice across the industry, who within firms makes the decisions, and -- most importantly -- the incentives and behavioral finance elements that shape people's actions. Our goal on this one was to explain and hopefully bring to light a process that impacts nearly everyone in our industry, but few people are ever exposed to (and even then only rarely).
8/6/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 9 seconds
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Arming the Restaurant Rebels with Tock CEO Nick Kokonas

We’re joined by Tock CEO Nick Kokonas to discuss how they’re “arming the restaurateur rebels” versus DoorDash / Uber Eats, in much the same way Shopify has done so for ecommerce merchants versus Amazon. This episode is full of lessons on how to execute a counter-positioning playbook to disrupt entrenched incumbents, including the influence of Nick’s friend / Tock investor and Nobel prize winning economist Richard Thaler. Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s also building a “picks & shovels” type business or an investor interested in the future of the food industry or disruption in general, this is not one to miss. See Ben's original Tweet that spurred the episode here: https://twitter.com/gilbert/status/1277740701246083072 There are lots of great replies to help understand the restaurant tech ecosystem, and of course, Nick chimed in with a tweet that led to him coming on the show. (Thanks to Matt Shobe for connecting us!) You can read distilled observations from all the replies here. “Even if you’re long on Tesla, don’t buy Tesla Options.” – Nick Kokonas (Instagram: @nkokonas, Twitter: @NickKokonas)   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Links: Tuesday is Not Saturday Tim Ferriss Interview w/ Nick:  VCs Congratulating Themselves   Show Bookmarks: [02:20] – The Beginning of Tock [06:18] – The Margins of (most) Restaurants [12:00] – Margins & Food Delivery Platforms [16:20] – Building Tock / SaaS in Restaurants [32:20] – March 06: The Oh Sh*t Day [44:55] – Elevated Carry Out [50:15] – Tock20: Operating a Restaurant in 2020 [56:45] – Nick’s Journey through Venture Capital   People Worth Knowing: Nick Kokonas Mark Canalis Jeff Kaplan Richard Thaler Steve Burnaki  Steve Hafner Grant Achatz Kimbal Musk Howard Schutlz   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Tock Alinea Group Canalis Postmates Opentable Grubhub Doordash Ubereats Royster Next Rezy Booking.com Twitter Facebook Shopify Zyrmed Bane Equity Origin Ventures Square Tesla Shopify   Episode Specific Terms: No-Show Inefficiency Demand Variability Margin Sunk Cost Fixed vs Variable Costs Adwords Arbitrage Customer Incentive Misalignment Operating Leverage vs Downside Protection Time-Slot Based Businesses Clearing Risk Kitchen Pacing vs Incremental Sales Elevated Carry-Out Gross Merchandising Volume On-Prem Services vs Cloud Based Dislocation BATNA   Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
7/27/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 22 seconds
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VC Fundamentals: Consumer Investing Master Class with Sarah Tavel, General Partner at Benchmark

Benchmark General Partner Sarah Tavel joins us for a master class on consumer investing. We start with why invest in consumer at all (given the inherent risks of its "hit-driven nature"), then deep dive on marketplace investing and wrap up with social, gaming and consumer transactional businesses. Big thank you to Sarah for sharing her immense knowledge on this topic, and to her partner (and fellow Acquired "master class lecturer" on enterprise investing) Chetan Puttagunta for introducing us and for making it happen!   Links to Sarah's consumer investing blog posts: "Hierarchy of Marketplaces" posts: https://medium.com/@sarahtavel/the-hierarchy-of-marketplaces-introduction-and-level-1-983995aa218e "Hierarchy of Engagement" post: https://medium.com/@sarahtavel/the-hierarchy-of-engagement-expanded-648329d60804 Rocks, Sand, and Water Framework for Consumer Attention: https://medium.com/@sarahtavel/the-opportunity-and-risks-for-consumer-startups-in-a-social-distancing-world-a-framework-for-15f65e2fbdff
7/7/20201 hour, 1 minute, 22 seconds
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VC Fundamentals Part 1: Sourcing

Despite many advances in industry transparency over the past ~10 years, much about the actual "jobs of a VC" remains locked inside firm/institutional knowledge and venture's apprenticeship model. With this new series we aim to change that. Our goal is to draw back the curtain on what the actual tasks are that VCs do day-to-day, how you can learn them, and ultimately what's required to succeed. We hope this series will be helpful both to anyone looking to break into the industry and to those who are already practicing, and also for entrepreneurs and consumers of venture capital to understand more about the motivations and activities of those across the table! In this episode we start with sourcing: what it is, why it's important, who does it and when, and -- most importantly -- the brass tacks of where to look and how to do it.   Show Links: SpaceX Launch Emergence Capital Investment Themes M-Hacks (Univ of Michigan Hackathon) Startup Weekend   Show Bookmarks: [05:05] – Thoughts on early-stage VC [07:12] – Why is sourcing important? [12:11] – Sourcing strategies [21:08] – Sourcing tactics (generally) [25:25] – Sourcing tactics according to Andy Ratcliff [41:24] – Breaking out of Systematic VC Sourcing [52:45] – Who does what form of Sourcing?   People Worth Knowing: Sun Tzu Andy Ratcliff Dan Valentine Mike Moritz Peter Thiel Brian Singerman Fred Wilson Brad Burnham Kathryn Gould Greg Gottesman Margit Wennmachers Bill Gurley Chetan Puttagunta Peter Fenton Turner Novak   Companies Mentioned in Episode:                                                                   SpaceX Benchmark Sequoia Sysco Google Madrona Founder’s Fund Paypal Union Square Ventures Twitter Tumblr Foursquare Zynga Flickr Foundation Capital Rover Andreessen Horowitz OutCast Backend Capital Y-Combinator VTS Branch Metrics Cameo Gelt VC Slack Meritech   Episode Specific Terms: Sourcing Asset Class Top Of The Funnel Generalist (Outbound Driven) vs Specialist (Inbound Driven) Referral Driven Proprietary-Deal Driven Investing Thesis Thematic Investing Network Effects Product to Commodity Paypal Mafia Logo Shopping & Brand Halo Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
6/10/202056 minutes, 46 seconds
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Pricing: everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask, with ProfitWell CEO Patrick Campbell

We're joined by Patrick Campbell, founder & CEO of the world's leading SaaS profit-optimization service ProfitWell, to dive deep on all things pricing and monetization. Patrick began bootstrapping ProfitWell 8 years ago, and has since grown the business into a massive success with customers like Notion, Lyft, Masterclass, Atlassian, Help Scout, HubSpot, Cisco, Autodesk and many more. Patrick gives us a masterclass in how to think with a profit-maximization lens about pricing, feature development, growth and retention. And, as a special bonus at the end of the episode, he talks about his own entrepreneurial journey, bootstrapping the company without any venture funding, along with challenges overcome along the way. This episode has something for everyone to learn about company building — and is not one to miss! Links: Patrick's 2x2 matrix of product features: https://i.imgur.com/J3AAilr.png Max Diff analysis: https://learn.profitwell.com/article/tFfVQbtRnT-quantified-buyer-personas Van Westendorp's Price Sensitivity Meter: https://www.priceintelligently.com/blog/bid/190607/unlock-price-sensitivity-s-profitable-surprise Transitioning Customers to your Current Pricing: https://www.priceintelligently.com/blog/grandfathering-discounting-prices-terrible-subscription-business ----- Show Bookmarks: [01:43] – Patrick’s Start [04:09] – Pricing Overview [12:32] – Pricing Models [18:31] – Freemium, Trials,  and The First 30 Days [28:53] – Picking the Price and Common Pitfalls [33:35] – Conducting Research for Pricing [46:24] – Grand(father/mother)ing Existing Customer Base [56:50] – Bootstrap vs Investment [64:10] – Initial Team Structure of ProfitWell   People Worth Knowing: Brian Balfour Casey Winters Nick Francis Peter Zotto   Companies Mentioned in Episode:                                                                   ProfitWell (Price Intelligently) Gemvarra US Intelligence Community Menlo Ventures Hallmark Reebok McKinsey Google AdWords AWS Snapchat Hubspot Zoom Zuora (Billing System) Berkshire Hathaway YesWare Slack Amazon HelpScout   Episode Specific Terms: Acquisition, Monetization, Retention (the pillars) Underpricing Analysis / Paralysis Revenue Per Customer Lifetime Value Cost of Production vs Shipping Billing Systems Value Metrics Add-Ons Inside Sales Unique Pricing-Per-User Freeware & Shareware Growth Hacker (aka Full Stack Marketing) Viral Coefficient and Network Effect Multivariant Research and Data Limitation Pricing Signal Qualitative and Quantitative Research Conjoint Analysis Two-Factor Authentication Indie-Business NPS / CSAT Scores Unit Economics Tech-Enabled Service   Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
5/21/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 4 seconds
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High-performance Hiring & Interviewing with former Amazon Worldwide GM of Prime Membership, Anna Collins

We're joined by former Amazon, Microsoft and Bulletproof executive Anna Collins to discuss how high-performance organizations structure their hiring and interview processes. Whether you're a small startup or a big public company, as Anna puts it, there is no more important question than who you put "on your bus". Anna distills what she's learned across 20+ years and making thousands of hires into actionable, must-listen advice for anyone aiming to grow their organization in a high-performance manner (or on the other side, anyone looking to join a high-performance company!). Anna's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-collins-5965/ Transcript link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PX_6bUsHJRN3eZsCH5K8m-9OfHTOuFXH ------- “I believe that structure is what is required for creativity and for humans to actually connect. If you have chaos, that is the opposite of having the ability to connect and having a good candidate experience. It’s all about being human and you need the structure to facilitate that and to be productive.” – Anna Collins Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Links: 14 Leadership Principles of Amazon 33 Competencies of MSFT   Show Bookmarks: [01:30] – Introduction of Anna Collins [08:22] – Anna’s path to Business School [09:42] – Peer Mentoring and Leadership at aQuantive [13:35] – Leadership and Interviewing at Amazon / Microsoft [20:26] – Balancing Standard Process and the Human Element in Interviewing [25:05] – Anna’s Interview Playbook [32:35] – Iteration of the Job Description and the pool of Available Talent [34:50] – Balancing Previous Work Experience in Interviewing and Hiring [39:37] – Anna’s rules on Interviewing and Interviewee Experience [44:24] – Behavioral Interviewing and Good Questions [50:50] – Questioning with Purpose [56:00] – Last thoughts on Interviewing   People Worth Knowing: Kathy Delaney Smith (Harvard Basketball Coach) Mike Galgon (Pioneer Square Labs) Randy Wooten (former colleague) Jeff Hull Warren Buffet Jeff Bezos   Companies Mentioned in Episode:                                                                   Amazon Prime Microsoft CVS Health Harvard University US Service Academies Reserve Officer Training Corps M.I.T. Johnston & Johnston aQuantive Yahoo Bulletproof   Episode Specific Terms: Tactical Interview Questions Team vs Individual Peer Mentoring Media Buying for Clients Earning Trust Working backward (Customer Focused) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) PRFAQ (Amazon) Bar Raiser (Amazon) / As Appropriate (Microsoft) Mission, Vision, and Values Skills and Functional Knowledge Interviewing Biases Being an ‘Athlete’ (Flexible / Adaptable / Coachable) Interview Panacea Pre-Brief and De-Brief
5/5/202055 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Jason Calacanis Special (cont.)

In Part 2 of our conversation, Jason reveals his "secret master plan" behind the Calacanis empire, as well as how he and his team manage all their various activities and their own productivity. And of course we couldn’t resist diving into some behind the scenes stories and hot takes, including a long bet on a future TWiSt - Acquired live show crossover collab. :) You can find Part 1 of our conversation in the main show feed at: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/acquired-special-episode-jason-calacanis
4/29/202050 minutes, 44 seconds
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Adapting LP Episode: Mystery - How to Grow When Your Original Business Goes to Zero (with cofounders Shane Kovalsky & Vince Coppola)

LP announcement: we now have an LP Gdrive! You can find full transcripts of LP Episodes and video recordings of LP Calls there: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1PX_6bUsHJRN3eZsCH5K8m-9OfHTOuFXH We're joined for a special LP Adapting episode by the cofounders of Mystery, a Seattle seed-stage startup that we've mentioned before on Acquired and was started by early Convoy employees. In ordinary times, Mystery sends customers on magical date nights and group outings throughout the city with no planning or decision making required -- an "easy button" for date night. Of course, we no longer live in ordinary times, and Mystery has undergone an incredible transformation. Within the span of a month, the company went from having "found" product market-fit and nearly completing a fundraise, to 100% of their business evaporating (and literally pitching Sequoia on the same day they released the Black Swan Memo), to then launching a completely new stay-at-home product and that not only recovered all of their revenue but meaningfully grew the business. We hope you all enjoy this conversation, and take some inspiration for navigating your own businesses through these stormy seas! Links: https://www.trymystery.com https://sandwich.co 
4/7/20201 hour, 1 minute, 20 seconds
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Everything you need to know about Pre-Seed (with Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures)

Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures joins us to illuminate everything Pre-Seed -- not just what it is and how founders/companies should navigate it, but also and more deeply:  - How he came into this corner of the venture world - How he started Precursor as a solo GP and raised his first/subsequent funds, and what that journey was like - How he manages the firm, its overall strategy, and especially portfolio construction within this relatively new asset class (spoiler: it's different!) Note: we recorded this episode in the days right before it became clear that the coronavirus was going to become a major global crisis. While the world has obviously changed since, nothing in this episode is fundamentally different and -- if anything -- Pre-Seed rounds are going to be more relevant for entrepreneurs and investors going forward as valuations and check-sizes contract. We hope you enjoy and find the discussion as useful and illuminating as we did!
3/24/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 31 seconds
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Remote Work, No-Code, and Products that Sell Themselves (w/ Zapier CEO Wade Foster)

We're joined by Wade Foster, cofounder & CEO of Zapier, a company that basically hasn’t raised capital, doesn’t have an office, doesn’t have salespeople, and whose product consists of connecting other people’s products. And yet today they are doing well over $50M in profitable ARR, have hundreds of employees and thousands of hyper-passionate customers, and are one of the most interesting private SaaS companies in the world. We’re super excited for Wade to join us and dive into the full story of this came to be! ------ “We as founders have been prone to overthinking things. Just go for it, don’t be afraid of being a little weird about it. It’s hard to stand out. If your conviction is telling you to something unconventional, unconventional stands out.” Wade, CEO of Zapier @wadefoster   Show Links: makerpad.co Zapier Fibonacci Pricing High Growth Handbook Ford vs Ferarri Poor Charlie’s Almanack The Ultimate Guide To Remote Work   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Introduction of Zapier [03:18] – What Music and Founding a Company have in Common [05:30] – The birth of Zapier [09:15] – Why was Zapier founded at the right time? [11:44] – Zaps: Great for Legacy Companies and Startups alike [14:30] – Zapier and the Low-Code / No-Code movement [17:55] – How and Why Zapier Won [24:15] – Chasing Emerging Opportunities [28:55] – Wade’s thoughts on Remote Work [34:33] – ASYNC [38:53] – Zapier’s Financing Strategy   People Worth Knowing: Bryan Helmig Mike Knoop Ben Tossel Marc Andressen Henry Ford II Carroll Shelby Charlie Munger Eric Yuan Kevin Hale   Companies Mentioned in Episode:                                                                   Venmo Wufoo Mail Chimp Google Contacts High Rise PayPal QuickBooks Marketo Uber Salesforce Github Zendesk Twillio Stripe Ift Mulesoft Apogy Intuit ItDoesIt Apiary Gartner Webflow Airtable Instagram Hipstamatic UI Path Berkshire Hathaway Costco Y-Combinator Trello Zoom Gitlab Casper   Episode Specific Terms: API Integration Activation Rates Open API SaaS API-First Low-Code No-Code Citizen Developer VA-Loans Clones AWZ – Airtable / Webflow / Zapier Repeatable Model Network effects Come For The Tools Stay For The Network RPA Screen Scraping Research and Development Product Pickers Fixed Costs Variable Costs Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
2/24/202041 minutes, 33 seconds
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Reverse Interview: Acquired Strategy, with Nathan Baschez of Divinations (& former Gimlet Media + Substack)

“There’s no real secret to making the stuff we make. It’s not something where you have to be crazy talented. The thing is, you just spend a little bit longer on it than is reasonable. Most people would give up, and then you just keep going on it for three more hours making it better, doing more research, whatever the thing is that makes it better. Wherever most people would say, yea, that’s good enough, you just keep going for a little while longer. Not an eternity longer, just a bit longer.” -Nathan, quoting Alex Blumberg, Gimlet Media ------- Ben and David agree to have the tables turned in a great interview by friend and longtime Acquired supporter Nathan Baschez, who was formerly the Head of Product at both Gimlet Media and Substack, and now writes the excellent Divinations newsletter on tech and business strategy.  This episode originally came about because one of Nathan’s first articles at Divinations kindly focused on Ben and Acquired, which you can read in full here: https://divinations.substack.com/p/ben-gilbert-on-how-acquired-launched The core Divinations newsletter is free for everyone, but if you’d like special access to any of their paywalled content, Nathan shared this discount link for all Acquired LPs: https://divinations.substack.com/acquired . Check it out!    Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Links: Nathan Baschez The Morning Show (AppleTV) Thinking Fast and Slow Summary Willpower Summary Marshmallow Experiment How I Built This Startup Serial Invest Like The Best The No-Code Movement Diggnation Joe Rogan Show   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Intro of Nathan Baschez [03:32] – Nathan takes the reins; “how/when do you change your opinion on a company?” [10:57] – The Business Strategy for Acquired / Acquired LP [23:57] – Episode Hits, Duds, and Analytics [37:26] – The evolution of Acquired [46:42] – The worst moments of Acquired / analytics revisited [53:58] – The makings of a great interview [56:12] – What’s next for Acquired? [61:38] – A bit more about Divination, Writing, and Nathan   People Worth Knowing: Elon Musk Daniel Kahneman Eric Schmidt Andy Rachleff Baumeister Trip Hawkins Chetan Puttagunta Rahul Vohra Kara Swisher Alex Blumberg Amira Valliani Patrick O’Shaughnessy Vlad Magdalin Dan Sheppard Gilbert Arenas   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Jetsetter Gimlet Media Hardbound Snapchat Disney + TikTok Instagram YouTube Convoy Script Zoom AppleTv Tesla Madrona Amazon Whole Foods Uber Lyft Benchmark Stanford GSB Square Superhuman Glow Atlassian Activision/Blizzard Zappos Squarespace Rover WeWork Sequoia Capital Webflow NBA   Episode Specific Terms: Podcast Flywheel Bingeable System 1 and System 2 Thinking   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
1/21/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 2 seconds
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (with Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner at Benchmark)

Let's face it, Acquired borders on Star Wars fan podcast anyways. So we dipped our toe in the water of making it official, with our review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We are joined by fellow Star Wars nerd and repeat special guest, Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner at Benchmark. In this episode, we *nearly* avoid any business analysis or speculation on the technology, media, or enterprise ecosystems, with only a brief revisit to the question: "Was it worth it for Disney to buy Lucasfilm?" Did we love it, hate it, or want to bury it like the prequels? Tune in! There are definitely spoilers, so be warned!
1/10/20201 hour, 36 minutes, 24 seconds
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Cameo CEO Steven Galanis on building the first non-advertising driven social media company (at least in the US!)

Steven Galanis, cofounder and CEO of the red-hot Chicago startup Cameo, joins us to discuss how they've turned selling personalized celebrity shoutouts online into both a massive business and the most interesting new social media phenomenon to hit the West since TikTok. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did recording this one!   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Links: Broke – ESPN Documentary Mark McGrath’s Breakup Cameo   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Meet Steven, and the beginnings of Cameo [06:20] – Steven’s history before Cameo [15:31] – The Start of Cameo [20:10] – The first Cameo (Powermove.io) [24:54] – Product Market Fit [31:15] – The Evolution of Celebrities and Direct To Consumer Companies [39:05] – Value Proposition and Bookings Generation [47:21] – Content, Monetization, and the future of Social Networks [50:00] – Cameo and Company Building [62:18] – Scaling as the CEO; Are you still the best person for the job? [64:39] – On Mentorship   People Worth Knowing: Snoop Dog Zach Maurides Martin Blencowe Devon Townsend Mike Gamson Jeff Weiner Cody Ko Jason Kipnis Thaddeus Lewis Cassius Marsh David Dobrik Nicole Quinn Emily Weiss Dennis Crowley Alexis Ohanian Michael Rappaport Perez Hilton Matt Maloney Mark Lawrence   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Snapchat Duke University Facebook Teamworks Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) LinkedIn Relativity Zoom Microsoft Vine Twitter Instagram YouTube Patreon TikTok Sophia Girlboss Glossier Goop Musically Groupon Spothero   Episode Specific Terms: Repeatable Supply Startups as a Marketplace Influencers Network Effect Business Founder Market Fit The Hacker – The Hustler – The Hipster (The Makings of a successful Team) Flywheel Direct To Consumer Direct Monetization Marketplace Businesses Growth Mindset   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
1/6/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 51 seconds
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Building Webflow, and the No-Code Movement (with Vlad Magdalin, Co-Founder and CEO)

We're joined by Webflow's Co-Founder and CEO, Vlad Magdalin, talking about how he started the company (over a decade, trying three times), how to nail the timing of your startup, and the future of the "no-code movement." Vlad took his company through YCombinator in 2013, and raised only $3m in the following six years, before closing a $72m Series A from Accel earlier this year. He gives his perspective on why now is the only time Webflow could have worked (not in 2009, the last time he tried to start it), what's changed in browser technology, and how he was inspired by one of the original designers of the iPhone software. Vlad also shares his wisdom for other founders and opportunities he thinks will be available for entrepreneurs in the next five years when robust "no-code" infrastructure is built out. ----- “The differentiator between No-Code and Low-Code is that Low-Code makes this implicit admission that in order to really finish a project, I’m going to need a developer. Or I am going to need to know how to take it across that last mile. In No-Code, the aspiration is that for the vast majority of cases, you will not that. Or, if you do, that one or a few developers that can create the No-Code version that abstracts away the Low-Code version and put it into the hands of millions.” -Vlad Magdalin, @callmevlad   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Links: Bret Victor – The Future of Programming (youtube) Bret Victor – Inventing on Principle (vimeo) Paul Graham – Default Alive or Default Dead Essay   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Meet Vlad and Webflow [04:25] – The first and second evolution of Webflow [10:30] – The third attempt at starting Webflow [19:26] – Serendipity and the last iteration of Webflow [25:50] – Webflow’s Product Market Fit [30:00] – Webflow Today [35:53] – Segmentation and the Ideal Customer Profile [38:52] – The No-Code Movement [46:52] – How Webflow can change how problems are solved [48:10] – The rise of Productivity and Creativity Software [54:50] – How Webflow got to Profitability and Investment Strategy   People Worth Knowing: Scott Cook Bill Campbell John Donahoe Scott Adams Bret Victor Brian Chou Paul Graham Arun Mathew   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Dreamweaver Intuit Stripe Y Combinator Corel Draw Shopify Apple HP Tennis Channel Quiksilver Wall Street Journal Weebly Square Space TurboTax eBay Photoshop Wordpress Google Superhuman Notion Airtable Sketch Figma Atlassian Qualtrics   Episode Specific Terms: WYSIWYG No-Code Movement CMS Scaffolding Product-Market Fit Domain Battles Web 2.0 Responsive Design Direct Manipulation Web Browser as Application Platform Landing Page OAUTH User Authentication Web Site vs Web Application Full Stack Node CDN JavaScript No-Code vs Low-Code   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
12/12/20191 hour, 1 minute, 15 seconds
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Early Stage and Enterprise Investing (with Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner at Benchmark)

We are joined by Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner on Benchmark, talking his investment philosophies, enterprise technology trends, and the uniqueness of Benchmark. How is this firm with only five partners and no associates so repeatably successful? Chetan shares the story of his very first investment, MongoDB, and lessons learned from his other investments and board positions in Elastic, Sketch, Duffel, Mulesoft, and many others. Chetan also helps us understand how he balances staying open-minded enough to let founders shape his vision of the future (and not the other way around), while staying educated on areas where he thinks the future is bright. ------------- “The product/market fit question, I don’t find to be a conclusive one…because one of the assumptions is that you’re assuming the market itself is constant, which we all know is not true. Today’s product/market fit might be tomorrow’s outdated solution.” – Chetan Puttagunta, @chetanp   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Show intro and introduction of Chetan Puttagunta [05:00] – Operations at Benchmark [09:20] – How does Benchmark choose where they invest? [11:20] – Product/Market Fit [14:50] – Themes, Theses, and Trends and being flexible in investing [20:32] – How to educate yourself on emerging markets [29:00] – Enterprise Investing [34:55] – Thoughts on being a VC vs Entrepreneur, and investing in Enterprise [44:05] – What Chetan wants to improve [47:09] – “Two-Sport” athletes at Benchmark   People Worth Knowing: Andy Rachleff Don Valentine Eric Vishria Peter Fenton Steve Blank Warren Buffet   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Acquia Benchmark Duffel Elastic Glow MongoDB MuleSoft Pachyderm ReplyYes Shopify Sketch Stripe Twilio   Episode Specific Terms: Cloud Infrastructure Compounding Effects Enterprise Infrastructure Flow State Fund Cycle Learn-It-All vs Know-It-All Leverage on Fiddling Luck Product/Market Fit Relational vs Non-Relational Databases Sharding Issues VC vs Entrepreneur Yacht Problems   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
11/11/201951 minutes, 45 seconds
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Chewse CEO Tracy Lawrence on growing both as a company and a founder

"You can call it paranoia, or you can call it innovation. The language doesn’t matter if the feeling is the same. This is all an experiment I’m running eight years in of: How do I update my mindset to want to approach things by activating the pleasure center more than the pain center.  I’m more likely to move away from pain and towards pleasure. So why don’t I make innovation a game and bring play to, literally playfulness, into it. I see too many founders burn out because they have lost playfulness in their culture." – Tracy Lawrence, @chewishgirl -------------- Tracy Lawrence, founder and CEO of Chewse (@chewse) takes us on the journey of how and why she founded Chewse. Tracy, Ben, and David discuss most of the traditional topics (early days, product-market fit, mission alignment), but spend most of the time talking about non-traditional topics like mental health, vulnerability, and love for company and self. If you’re a founder, this episode will perk both your IQ and your EQ. For everyone else, your faith in the future of tech might get restored. Enjoy!   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Show intro and introduction of Tracy Lawrence [06:00] – How Salary Publishing works and affects the culture at Chewse [10:40] – The early days of Chewse [15:45] – Market Timing and the Chewse’s differentiation [16:48] – Business Model Innovations and the Take Rate [20:10] – Product/Market Fit and Innovation [28:37] – What is a “Love Company”? [36:45] – Tracy’s thoughts on Fundraising and Authenticity [43:10] – What Tracy from other founders [49:19] – How and why Tracy built a village [52:32] – Mission Alignment with the Chewse Team [59:00] – Tracy’s personal message for non-traditional founders     People Worth Knowing: Andy Grove Brad Felt Jerry Colonna Marc Andreessen   Companies Mentioned in Episode: All Raise Amazon DishDash DoorDash Foundry Foursquare GrubHub Reboot Seamless Six Taste Food Tours Subway TedX UberEats   Episode Specific Terms: B2B Markets Comp vs Band IQ vs EQ Market Place Approach Mission Alignment Open-Salary vs Fair-Salary Product Market Fit Take Rate Vulnerability   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl 1. Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm 2. Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! 3. Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
10/21/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 33 seconds
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Marketplaces Deep Dive with Ramesh Johari

We're joined by Stanford professor and senior advisor to Airbnb, Uber, Stitch Fix and Wave Capital, Ramesh Johari, who is one of the world's leading experts in marketplaces. Ramesh has been advising David and his partners at Wave since day one, and we're super excited to bring his incredible experience and insights to all of our Acquired LPs. In this conversation we dive deep into nearly every aspect of starting, building and then operating a marketplace at scale. Whether you are a marketplace entrepreneur, employee, investor, or just curious about how some the most powerful businesses of our time work, this is not one to miss!
10/3/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 52 seconds
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How a Startup Studio Works

Ben and David discuss the newest development in the venture ecosystem, startup studios, through the lens of Pioneer Square Labs (which Ben cofounded in 2015). David manages to trick Ben into sitting on the other side of the table and being interviewed about how PSL works, how he and his partners started it, and what lies ahead!   For more information, check out http://psl.com.
9/15/201952 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Random Episode: Twitter Commentary and 2019 Survey Feedback

Ben and David couldn’t agree on topic for this LP episode with the clock winding down to our recording going live... so we decided to “do it live” and commentate on our Twitter feeds haha (and discuss your survey feedback). We hope you enjoy this fun slice of randomness, and we’ll be back with more actionable interviews and company building topics very soon!
9/3/201945 minutes, 33 seconds
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Product recruiting and executive search (with Andrew Abramson from Riviera Partners)

We dive into one of the most critical components of company building, recruiting product leaders (and executives in general), with Andrew Abramson of Riviera Partners -- one of the most elite search firms in silicon valley. We cover first how companies and founders should think about recruiting senior leaders, from knowing when you're ready to working with search firms. Then we dive into the other side, how product managers should think about managing and progressing in their own careers toward senior leadership roles. Thanks to Andrew for joining us and we hope everyone can take away something applicable for their own companies and careers! ---------- Great Founders think about the product; Exceptional Founders think about who should lead the company vs who should lead the product. They sound similar but they are very, very different.  – Andrew Abramson, @AndrewA91   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Show Bookmarks: [00:00] – Show intro and introduction of Andrew Abramson [02:35] – What is Executive Search? Why, and how it works? [08:50] – The recruiting process [13:30] – How is the recruiting process managed? [16:30] – How does the company and the candidate interact? [21:55] – What separates from good and great in the Executive Search? [28:50] – How does compensation work? [33:35] – Where should a candidate start? How can a candidate determine if they’re ready? [39:15] – What skills and jobs does a strong potential candidate have on their resume? [43:20] – Common misconceptions in Executive Search?   People Worth Knowing: Andrew Abramson Meg Whitman Jeffrey Katzenburg Evan Spiegel April Underwood Tom Conrad Kathryn Gould David Beirne   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Riviera Snapchat Dollar Shave Club Safire Partners WndrCo Quibi Pandora Twitter Slack Zoom DropBox Zillow LinkedIn Foundation Capital Benchmark Google   Episode Specific Terms: Executive Search Executive Recruiter Product Management Product Led Founder/CEO Consumer Product vs B2B Product   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
8/17/201949 minutes, 11 seconds
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Times they are a’changin: Series A is not what it used to be

“If you look at the firms that were traditionally the early-stage ventures firms, the Series-A firms, and you look at their fund sizes and their firm sizes and compositions, it’s changed significantly in the last ten years. Your typical early stage venture fund was a $250M Series A fund. Now your typical early stage fund is anywhere from $500M to 1B.”   Why Listen? In this episode, Ben and David dive into the evolution of Seed Funds and how early stage investing has changed in the last two decades both for investors and founders alike. Understanding the past changes in the ecosystem helps founders and investors establish themselves for the future. If you are an early-stage founder, this episode will contextualize the information you need to prepare your company for investment.   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Links from the Show: Wing’s analysis of the current state of the early-stage venture ecosystem: Seed is the new A, A is the new B Secrets of Sand Hill Road Gartner Hype Cycle Value of VC Investment (1995-2018) US VC Investment Surpasses Dot-Com Era   Show Bookmarks: [02:15] – Seed is the New Series-A; Series-A is the New Series-B [08:00] – The Evolution of Seed Funding [10:00] – The Evolution of VC Firm DNA [15:30] – Money in Venture as an Asset Class [16:50] – LP Capital: Where does the money come from? [19:11] – Venture Capital History Revisited [20:10] – The Bullish side of Technology Opportunity [28:45] – The Bearish side of Technology Opportunity [33:21] – What does this all mean for founders? [36:00] – Judgment as a scarce resource   People Mentioned in this Episode: Ron Conway Benedict Evans Bill Gurley Howard Marks Warren Buffet John Zimmer Scott Kupor   Companies Mentioned in this Episode: Wing (Venture Capital Firm) SV Angel (Institutional Seed Firm) Floodgate (Institutional Seed Firm) Baseline (Institutional Seed Firm) Andreessen Horowitz Berkshire Hathaway Fidelity Stripe Glow Quoteapro Flexport Convoy Benchmark Sequoia Lyft Lehman Brothers TechCrunch   Episode Specific Terms: Vision Fund Valuation and Series A Pre-Seed / Seed / Seed Extension Funding Early Stage Venture Financing Series-A (Post Product Market Fit) Super Angels Seed As An Asset Class of Funding Full Services VC Firm Price Sensitivity in Funding Vision Fund Seed Investing vs Growth Investing High-Beta Bets LP Capital vs Venture Capital Layers of Platform Infrastructure Four-Year Vest Synthetic Reps   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm   Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback: [email protected]
7/29/201942 minutes, 14 seconds
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Due Diligence

Could I see myself or my wife working for/with this CEO? Would I quit my job and go work for this person? That’s the crux of it. If you’re a CEO out raising money, that is the lens with which you should view every interaction with a VC. You should come across in such a personally compelling way that they’re drawn to you. That’s the bar they are holding you to.   Summary The right amount of diligence is a great topic to think about, whether a company is ready for investment or not. This episode was made for founders getting ready for investment, or founders who want to start asking the right questions about their work. Ben and David discuss in depth what you can reasonably expect from VCs conducting diligence, and how to set yourself up for long-term value creation. Most importantly, Ben and David discuss the questions you should be prepared to answer and the questions you should be prepared to have asked about you.   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter! LP Show Page   Links from the Show: http://acquired.fm/survey   Show Bookmarks: [02:45] – The importance of Diligence [03:50] – Early Stage and People Diligence [13:15] – Market Landscape [18:02] – How can an Entrepreneur find the right VC for the right landscape? [22:11] – What is the best diligence a found has done on Wave Capital? [24:10] – ‘Where does the money come from?’ [29:35] – Diligence on the Product [37:06] – Post-Term Sheet Diligence [41:02] – Accounting Diligence [42:47] – Legal and IP Diligence [48:30] – Diligence on Seed vs Series B and beyond [50:00] – Diligence Variation based on time, risk, and opporunity   People Worth Knowing: Bijan Sabet Bill Gurley Don Valentine Eric Yuan Jake Saper Steve Jobs Trip Hawkins   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Perkins Coie Sequoia Spark Capital Square Cisco Taunt Uber Zoom   Episode Specific Terms: Consumer App Escape Velocity Frontier Tech IP Assignment Agreement M&A Market Map Pre and Post Term Sheet Diligence Product Risk vs People Risk Representations and Warranties Sovereign Wealth Fund Team Risk Term Sheet The Data Room VC Sourcing Strategy   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl
7/7/201956 minutes, 8 seconds
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Building tech and product for marketplaces (with Rover cofounder Phil Kimmey)

“There’s often a desire to keep adding features because ‘Oh wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this or that?’ The reality is if a customer is only spending five minutes with your product, they’re only going to interact with a very tiny subset of your feature set. And so, you’re better off usually improving something that 80% of [customers] interact with that is really core than things around the edges that are more functionality.” - Phil Kimmey   Why Listen? We are very excited to be joined by Phil Kimmey, one of the co-founders of Rover (and a frequent member of various 30 under 30 lists), who designed Rover in its infant stages at a Startup Weekend! In this episode, we dive into Rover’s initial design, how the business model was proved, and wrap up with a lengthy discussion on Value-Add Features vs Data-Driven Features. Phil also provides his opinion on what makes new tech and development teams successful and explains why PayPal still sends Rover’s monthly summary statements to his parent’s house.   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback:[email protected]   Links from the Show: Conjoined Triangles of Success   Show Bookmarks: [01:20] – Rover’s Start [05:28] – Proving the Idea [08:42] – What was harder: Supply or Demand? [12:12] – Rover’s original construct [15:50] – What mistakes were made in Rover’s setup? [19:20] – Market-place technology & White Labels [23:21] – Deciding on Features and Builds [25:49] – Rover’s Transition from Web to Mobile App [29:29] – Rover’s KPIs [33:00] – Rover’s Technology for Marketing [35:35] – Value-Add vs Data Driven Features and Services [45:15] – Advice for New Technology Teams   People Worth Knowing: Greg Gottesman (Rover, Madrona, Pioneer Square Labs) Aaron Easterly (Rover) Jason Kreitzer (Rover)   Companies Mentioned in Episode: AirBnB AirBnB+ Bandwidth Braintree DogVacay GetAround Kayak.com KissMetrics PayPal Periscope Pubnub Redshift Rover Stripe Twilio Uber   Episode Specific Terms: Acquisition Model Alternative Marketplace Platforms Booking Engine Continuous Integration-Continuous Deployment (Jenkins) Flywheel Front End Metadata Mobile App vs Web App Modular vs Monolithic Code Base Responsive Web Page SMS Costs Startup-Weekends Uber for XYZ Unit Economics Value-Add Services
6/13/201948 minutes, 5 seconds
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Reflections on the APLUSS IPOs so far, Uber+Lyft+regulators+autonomy, and listener Q&A

“Uber, pre-IPO, had raised more money than Lyft’s current market cap. And now, because they raised 9B in an IPO, they’re close to total money ever raised to being 2x of Lyft’s current market cap. It’s an outlier in every way.”   Why Listen? Ben & David reflect on what they’ve learned from the APLUSS IPOs so far, what’s ahead for Uber and Lyft, and tackle some longstanding listener questions.   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Links from the Show: Narrative Violations – Bedrock Capital   Show Bookmarks: [01:35] – Lyft Updates [04:20] – Uber Updates [07:03] – Regulatory and Anti-Trust Concerns with a Merger [14:30] – Q&A – Mutual Funds Owning Shares in Major IPOs (Alexander) [22:47] – Q&A – Uber and the future of self-driving (Peter) [35:02] – Q&A – Explaining DoorDash and their Valuation (Packy) [43:15] – Q&A – Buying Puts on Widely-held Tech Predictions (Jason [Tagfu]) [52:50] – Show Wrap-Up   People Worth Knowing: Aaron Easterly Bill Gurley Dara Khosrowshahi John Zimmer Logan Green Matt Cohler Tony Xu   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Bedrock Capital DARPA DogVacay DoorDash Emergence Capital Federal Trade Commission Fidelity Mutual Funds Glow GrubHub Intel Janus Mutual Funds Lyft Microsoft Pinterest Rover Seamless Sequoia Softbank Rowe Mutual Funds Tesla Trulia Uber Vanguard Index Funds Zillow Zip Car Zoom   Episode Specific Terms: Anti-Competitive Legislation Buy Up Keywords Cashflow ‘Google Halo’ Narrative Violations New Value Creation OEMs Passive Investing Path to Merger Path to Profitability Point of Integration in Value Chain Post IPO Growth Private to Public Market (Price Handoffs) Regulated Monopoly / Duopoly Regulatory Frameworks Retail Investors Second Market Supply and Demand Dynamics Total Capital Under Management Value Chain
5/30/201953 minutes, 39 seconds
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Building Product & Ops at Uber (with Brian Tolkin)

[on Uber’s Early Organizational Structure] “Uber always thought about it as a twin turbine plane: maybe for a short period of time, you could operate on one engine. But if you want to operate at full efficiency, you need both engines working in tandem and working effectively together.”  Brian Tolkin, (@briantolkin) We’re super excited to be joined by Brian Tolkin, one of Uber’s first ~100 employees who built their “Product Ops” organization and then went on to lead Product Management for UberPOOL and all shared rides on the platform. We dive into the nitty gritty of how Uber built their “twin turbine” engine of decentralized real-world Ops and centralized Tech Product, and how the organization evolved as it scaled. We also cover Brian’s new role at OpenDoor, and the even tight ops + product coupling they’re building now in real estate.   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter! Link to the Acquired LP show page Links from the Show: Stanford Venture Capital Club Ben Evans: The End of the Beginning (video) Lyft IPO (Acquired) Pre-Meeting Narrative Example OpenDoor.com   Show Bookmarks: [01:51] Brian’s backstory / “How I started at Uber” [03:42] Uber’s Operating Model in its Early Stages [06:29] Uber’s “Playbooking” aka Best Practice Sharing [09:10] Uber’s Early Thesis on Product Market Fit [13:30] Early Team Constructs and Focuses [17:50] The Start of the Product & Ops Team [21:10] “Platforms and Programs” [24:21] The Product & Ops Team Today [26:15] The Twin Turbine Plane [28:03] Taking Uber Global [31:37] UberPool [36:28] Brian’s Move to OpenDoor   People Worth Knowing: Ben Evans Brian Tolkin Jeff Holden Travis Kalanick   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Amazon Andreessen Horowitz Cabulous (RideGuru) DiDi (China) Grab (SE Asia) Groupon Hailo (London) Ola (India) Juno Lyft OpenDoor TaxiMagic Uber UberBlack UberCab UberPool UberX   Episode Specific Terms: Bi-Directional Communication Gap Centralized “Growth/Marketing/Funnel/Onboarding/Pricing” Teams Decentralized Teams Flywheel Funnel Optimization Highly Distributed (as an Operating Model) Knowledge Base Local and Viral Network Effects Local Operations vs Centralized EPD Onboarding Platforms and Programs Playbooking Scale Two-Pizza Teams Uber Launch Team “Launchers”   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC Pioneer Square Labs, @psl
5/5/201942 minutes, 40 seconds
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VC Term Sheets

Ben & David take their turn at the "power ballad" of VC blogging/podcasting, explaining how venture term sheets work. From valuation to pro rata rights to founder vesting, we leave no stone unturned in this episode. If you're a founder, work at a startup, or are considering doing one of those someday, this episode is for you!   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!     Links from the Show: Acquired LP: Lyft Episode Acquired LP: Demystifying Corp Dev (Sara Adler) AR&D Letter of Intent to DEC          Brad Feld: Venture Deals CooleyGo.com GAAP Jeff Bezos, Vesting, and The Divorce                       Perkins Coie Accelerator SeriesSeed.com Standard Series Seed Term Sheet [Link in Bio]   Show Bookmarks: 02:46: What is a Term Sheet? What is it for? When does it happen? 06:02: The History of Term Sheets 07:50: Timeline of Term Sheets 09:30: Who is responsible for the definitive documents? 12:40: Breaking down the Standard Series Seed Term Sheet [The 95%] 14:40: How is Valuation and Dilution determined? How does it work? 22:22: What is an Option Pool? 26:41: What is the standard for Option Pool duration? 27:50: How do I plan for fund-raising for my business? 31:59: The rest of the Term Sheet [The last 5%] 32:25: Liquidation Preference 35:22: Voting Rights, Voting Events, and Control Terms 40:10: The Costs of Investing and other Financial Information 43:55: What are Participation Rights? 48:03: The Costs of Investing revisited 50:17: Key Holder Matters / Founder Vesting / Resetting Vesting 56:05: Acceleration and M&A 58:53: Binding Terms and Wrap Up 61:37: Acquired LP - Lyft Episode Follow Up   People Worth Knowing: Brad Feld George Soros Greg McAdoo Jeff Bezos Jon McNeill Carl Icahn Logan Green Louis Gonda MacKenzie Bezos Philip Deutch Saraa Adler Ted Wang   Companies Mentioned in Episode: Avis Rental Car Cooley Cowboy Ventures Digital Equipment Corporation Enterprise Rent A Car Fenwick and West Github Lexington Ventures Lyft (ZimRide) Oasis Investment Partners Social Capital Zip Car   Episode Specific Terms: Acceleration Aggregate Proceeds Alignment Binding Terms Board of Directors & Lead Investor Change Number Directors Control Term vs Economic Terms Declare Dividends Definitive Documents Documentation Terms Earn Outs Financial Information Founder Vesting [Resetting Vesting] Fundraising Expenses Future Rights GAAP Guard Rails [leaving room for other investors] Liquidate or Dissolve Approval Liquidation Preference and Preferred Stock Liquidity Event Market Terms Option Pool Participation Rights Pre Money vs Post Money Valuation Preference Stack Preferred Stock vs Common Stock Priced Round Redeem/Repurchase Shares Runway Securities To Issue Term Sheet Valuation Term     Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC PSL, @psl Follow Acquired: @AcquiredFM, acquired.fm Let People Know You’re an LP on Twitter! Suggestions and Feedback:[email protected]  
4/9/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
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Reinventing Upfront and building LA (with Upfront partner Kevin Zhang)

We’re joined by Upfront Ventures partner Kevin Zhang to discuss the evolution of both Upfront as a venture firm and the LA tech ecosystem more broadly. We cover the journey from Upfront’s founding as “Global Retail Partners” in 1996 to its place today as the premier and largest tech investor in Southern California. We talk about rebranding the firm and choosing Upfront as a name, launching the Upfront Summit, what LA is "good and not good at", and Kevin’s thesis around gaming as a great place for venture investing.
3/28/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Art of SaaS Investing (with Jake Saper, Partner at Emergence Capital)

“80% of the worlds workforce doesn’t sit at a desk, and 95% of the world’s software is built for people who sit at a desk. Once people build software for the other 80%, the size of the addressable market that could be created could dwarf what we currently have, which is pretty humbling to think about.” Jake Saper, Emergence Capital (@jakesaper)   We dive deep into the nitty gritty details of SaaS investing and company building with the best in the business, Jake Saper from Emergence Capital. Emergence has been around since the beginning of the SaaS industry and -uniquely for a venture firm- is entirely focused on early-stage investing within it. They were early investors in major successes like Salesforce, Veeva, SuccessFactors, Box and Yammer, and more recently, Gusto, Zoom, and many more.  This episode is a must-listen for anyone investing in, operating in, or thinking about modern SaaS companies!   Be sure to follow the Acquired Podcast: Acquired.fm @AcquiredFM Let People Know You’re An LP on Twitter!   Links from the Show: Emergence Capital Emergence Capital – “Series-A SaaS Metrics” Emergence Email Newsletter   Show Bookmarks: [03:50] – SaaS Basics [06:45] – The Beginnings of Emergence Capital [08:39] – The Emergence Capital Model [10:51] – Back to the Origin Story [15:38] – The Emergence Capital SaaS Thesis and Investment Themes [20:50] – Coaching Networks [29:22] – Evaluating Market Size for SaaS Companies [38:46] – Building SaaS Companies [39:49] – The Makeup of CEOs and Founding Teams [47:43] – Before Product Market Fit [“Focus”] [51:40] – SaaS Metrics and Product/Market Fit [1:05:52] – What happens after the investment? [The IPO Press Release] [1:09:20] – Go-to-Market in SaaS [1:14:45] – SaaS Pricing [1:19:00] – Show Wrap Up   People Worth Knowing: Jon David Dannie Herzberg Doug Landis Gordon Ritter Jake Saper Joseph Floyd Mark Benioff Matt Wallach  Paypal Mafia Peter Gassner  Rob Ward  Stewart Butterfield Viviana Faga   Companies and Products Mentioned in Episode: Airbnb Apple Music Box  Compendium Confluence Drone Deploy Emergence Capital Enrollment Guru (knowledge management) Gusto Kleiner Perkins Madrona Meritech Microsoft Pfizer Salesforce Service Max (acquired by GE) Slack Software as a Service Spotify SuccessFactors Taunt Textio Force.com Veeva Yammer Zendesk Zenefits Zoom   Episode Specific Terms: ARR/MRR (Triple/Triple/Double/Double) Churn/Negative Net Churn Cloud Coaching Networks Cohort Analysis (The Smile) Deskless Workforce Diligence Disintermediation Enterprise Flywheel Generalist VC vs Focused VC Horizontal vs Vertical Software Investing Themes Investment Memo Investment Thesis Market Pull Multi-Tenancy vs Single Tenancy Network Effects On Track Earnings (OTT) On-Prem Opportunity Sizing  Principles, Senior Associates, Associates Product/Market Fit (“Customer Love”) Referral Effects SaaS Sales and Marketing Efficiency Technical Thesis Total Addressable Market (Top Down-Market Sizing) Utilization (as a Consumer Metric) Value Provided on Unit Basis (Bottom Up Market Sizing)   Ben and David’s Affiliations: Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC PSL, @psl
3/5/20191 hour, 22 minutes, 17 seconds
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Beyond Instagram with Emily White

We continue the conversation with Emily White, covering topics including her career path, what it was like working with Sheryl Sandberg for so many years, her time at Snap, her experience serving on public company boards, and how she operates as an investor now at Anthos Capital.
2/26/201929 minutes, 11 seconds
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Why aren't energy startups funded like software? (with Doug Rand)

As promised in our holiday special, we dive into the past, present and future of clean energy funding, with the absolutely perfect guest: the former Obama administrations Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Doug Rand. This episode was totally eye opening for us, and we hope inspires many of you to think about energy and climate through an entrepreneurial lens.    Worldwide Meetup! To celebrate passing 1m downloads, we’re hosting a worldwide meetup! Join us on February 21, 2019 at 530pm PT (830pm ET) on Zoom and Slack for our first worldwide meetup. Ben and David will be live on video hanging out and taking questions on both Slack and Zoom. Check Slack and our website for details and the Zoom link as we get closer!   Links: ARPA-E: https://arpa-e.energy.gov Steve Blank’s Secret History of Silicon Valley: https://steveblank.com/secret-history/ NSF Innovation Corps: https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/i-corps/
2/11/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 21 seconds
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Investment Theses

Ben and David talk about some of their current investment theses at PSL and Wave, as well as how VCs think about themes and theses in general.  Links: Greg McAdoo “Wave” talk at Startup School 2008 https://youtu.be/fZ5F2KhMLiE The Myth of the Job Hopping Millenial https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/7/11/17559484/gig-economy-jobs-rooted-rootless-moving-job-hopping-millennials
1/28/201941 minutes, 13 seconds
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How VC Firms Really Work

Ever wondered what's really going on during the Monday Meetings of your friendly neighborhood VC firm? Ben and David take you behind the scenes to discuss structure (especially how the management company works), staffing, LPs, and most importantly decision-making and motivations for VC firms and their partners. Whichever side of the table you're on, we hope you find this episode useful!
1/14/20191 hour, 11 minutes, 52 seconds
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2018 Holiday Special

Ben and David continue the Acquired holiday tradition... in special, extended LP form. Happy holidays to everyone and thank you for being a Limited Partner!   Note: we apologize for David’s sound quality... we’re still working out the kinks on our mobile recording setup.   Extended carve out links: Books:  David: Broken Earth trilogy https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01947LZ8A Ben: eBoys https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FC1HTG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 Article:  David: “My Dad's Friendship With Charles Barkley” http://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2018/12/14/lin-wang-charles-barkley Ben: Birth of a New American Aristocracy https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-american-aristocracy/559130/ Podcast:  David: 996 Podcast https://996.ggvc.com/category/podcast/ Ben: Dissect Season 2 https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dissect/id1143845868?mt=2 Music:  David: Tiny Desk concerts https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/ Ben: Odesza’s A Moment Apart & https://open.spotify.com/album/3VzsvmhnUb9OZ59bq2aoNZ?si=dHUDPR4tSW2u6yey0MWTFw TV / Movie:  Both: Black Panther https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/ App:  David: Steady Health https://steady.health Ben: Moment https://www.shopmoment.com Weather Line: http://weatherlineapp.com Auto Sleep http://autosleep.tantsissa.com
12/21/20181 hour, 32 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Art of Pitching

Ben and David discuss “the art of the pitch” through the lens of fundraising for seed-stage companies, but the takeaways are also (hopefully) applicable far beyond!   Links: Sequoia pitch deck template: https://www.sequoiacap.com/article/writing-a-business-plan/# Don Valentine talk at GSB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKN-abRJMEw Jim Goetz talk at GSB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnmYSze9M2g
12/2/201857 minutes, 25 seconds
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Growing Airbnb (with Dan Hill, CEO of Alma and former Head of Growth at Airbnb)

Ben and David are back for LP episode #3, with special guest Dan Hill. Dan discusses: - How his startup, Crashpadder, got acquired by Airbnb - Why Airbnb succeeded, and why marketplace businesses in the US have an advantage in early growth - How they decided on growth metrics at Airbnb - How his new company, Alma, is making charitable giving simple ------- You can always manage your subscription by logging into your account at https://kimberlite.fm.   Share that you’re an LP on Twitter!
11/19/201852 minutes, 46 seconds
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Product-market fit

Ben and David are back for LP episode #2, this time diving into the most elusive of early-stage investing and company building topics: product-market fit. You can always manage your subscription by logging into your account at http://kimberlite.fm   Share that you’re an LP on Twitter!
11/5/20181 hour, 1 minute, 36 seconds
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VC Vocab

Kicking off the LP Bonus Show and diving into some jargon-y VC vocab. You can always manage your subscription by logging into your account at http://kimberlite.fm   Share that you’re an LP on Twitter!
10/21/201849 minutes, 8 seconds