The Full Ratchet: Venture Capital Demystified

Bilal Zuberi of Lux Capital joins Nick to discuss Startup Moats. In this episode, we cover:

  • An overview of moats
  • Example companies with moats
  • How to build a monopoly from the outset and if Bilal requires in startups he invests in
  • Incremental vs. step-change innovation and the implications on the breadth and depth of the moat
  • The types of moats
  • Bilal's take on data and network effect-based moats
    using a business model as a moat
  • His thoughts on building brand as a sustainable competitive advantage
  • How NPS score plays a role
  • An example where Bilal thought there was a moat but it proved not to have the defensibility predicted
  • And finally I get Bilal's take on Lux's investment strategy, their portfolio and how they are building value in the water, on the ground, in the air and even up in space

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR149_Zuberi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Vic Pascucci of Lightbank joins Nick to discuss New Founders, New Stages, New Offerings-- The Only Constant in Venture is Change. In this episode, we cover:

  • Where'd you get your start in venture and how'd your path lead to Lightbank?
  • Can you walk us through the Lightbank backstory... before you joined?
  • What's the current thesis and investment focus for the firm?
  • How active a role do you play with portfolio companies?
  • What, if anything, do you think the team at Lightbank can do a better job of going forward?
  • Do you think your approach is different than Eric and Brad's?
  • Recently spoke w/ Semil Shah about the multiple stages, within seed... pre-seed, seed, inst seed, post seed, seed extension. WTF is going on with the seed round?
  • There's been an explosion of seed funds... do you think this is a problem? Is there a bubble at seed or, w/ the way barriers to startup have come down, is the influx of capital warranted?
  • I'm noticing entrepreneurs moving away from SAFEs and Convertibles... are you seeing the same? If so, why do you think that's the case?
  • How have you seen startup capital raises change over time and do you think it's moving in the right direction?
  • What should every founder be thinking about, during a fundraise, that most often they're not even considering?
  • Are you seeing a difference in the makeup of founding teams and their capabilities? From personal experience, I certainly notice a difference in the style and approach of a early-20's tech founder vs. a mid-30s founder w/ domain knowledge.
  • So, you're a blockchain guy... I see you on various blockchain boards and I know that you invested in Coinbase in 2015... and, on the record, you were very bullish on cryptocurrency's at the time, when many were not. But what's the deal w/ all these token offerings and ICOs? I'm a relative novice here... can you explain to me what's going on and where you see it going?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR148_Pascucci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Adam Draper
  • Chris Farmer
  • Mark Suster

Each investor highlights a situation where

they decided not to invest, why they passed,

and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS73_Passed_Draper_Farmer_Suster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

Madhavan Ramanujam of Simon-Kutcher & Partners joins Nick to discuss Monetization Strategy & Why Price Trumps Product. In this episode, we cover:

  • What's the backstory and how did you develope this monetization expertise?
  • What VC firms and/or investors have you worked with?
  • What's the most common missteps that innovators make?
  • What are the 4 types of innovation fails?
  • I want to talk about your three key rules for monetizing new products: Having the WTP conversation early, Investigating how to charge not just what to charge and not settling for one-size fits all... Let's start w/ the WTP conversation, walk us through this point and the three questions one should ask?
  • Essentially, are you suggesting that startups run a conjoint analysis to see what features customers want and how much they'll pay or is it more than that?
  • How do the results inform the pricing strategy?
    Is this the Van Westendorp methodology, if not, how's it different?
  • Talk more about the second rule... Investigating how to charge, not just what to charge.
  • The final rule is: Don't settle for one-size-fits-all... walk us through your point here. form factor, application, segment
  • This is controversial in the venture space where many investors are looking for one business model across all customers... what's your response to VCs here?
  • How do you apply your methodology in situations with a nascent market... where customers may not fully understand their needs, the problems they will experience or the solutions available?
  • Final thoughts and advice for startups that are creating a new product?
  • Any words of advice for investors that are assessing startups very early on?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR147_Ramanujam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:


David Verrill
Galen Mason
Jason Calacanis

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS72-_The_Strange__Unusual_Verrill__Mason__Calacanis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Zach Coelius of joins Nick to discuss Investing in Rocket Ships Before they Take Off, Part 1. We address questions including:

  • His Path to investing
  • The Biggest difference between entrepreneur Zach vs. the entrepreneur Zach invests in?
  • Best lesson from his startup, Triggit?
  • Right place, right time... how do you apply to investing?
  • Top 3 characteristics you look for in founders?
  • Great entrepreneur... bad idea/bad market... how do you proceed?
  • How about with founders that aren't quite ready yet for funding?
  • How did you get your start on AL?
  • Strengths of Syndication Process?
  • Krypto Labs in Abu Dhabi- major takeaways, thoughts on crypto & ICOs?
  • Early exits... do you take them when you get the option?  At what amount/multiple do you take money off the table
  • Lessons from poker that you apply to investing?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR146_Coelius.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Andrew Parker
  • Niki Scevak
  • Bryce Roberts
  • Charles Hudson

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson
learned about startup investing and how
it's changed their approach.

Direct download: IS71_Lessons_Parker_Scevak_Roberts_Hudson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

Semil Shah of Haystack joins Nick to discuss First Institutional VC Fund Raised-- Key Learnings, Part 1. We address questions including:

  • Maybe we can start off with how your investment focus has evolved since the last time you joined us.
  • What are your thoughts on how seed has split into pre-seed, seed, seed extension, and post seed?
  • Are you investing once with a company or reserving for these various stages within seed?
  • You just closed fund 3... tell us about the first two funds that set the stage.
  • Would you do things differently if you could go back?
  • Which raise was the hardest?
  • How did the expectations of LPs change from the early funds to the institutional fund?
  • What surprised you most about the raise?
  • Did you connect w/ prospectives through referrals, cold calls, a combination?
  • Walk us through the metrics... how many targets, meetings, avg commitment amt, etc.
  • Did you ever think you might not complete the raise?
  • What's the best advice you got on the raise and who'd you get it from?
  • In our first interview, you talked about how you couldn't get a full-time job at a venture firm. I'm sure you've had plenty of offers as you've built a track record. Did you ever consider making the jump?
  • When I sent my fund deck to you, you said "Awesome and looks good. As I always say, the deck matters much less than having capital partners who believe in you" For anyone listening that aspires to raise... talk about what you meant by this comment.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR145_Semil.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT

1