The Full Ratchet: Venture Capital Demystified

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

  • Backstory/path to venture.
  • Talk about your experience at Lightspeed and your decision to leave.
  • Where/when did you first meet Jyoti Bansal, the founder, AppDynamics?
  • What's unusual about what you do?
  • 'Unusual Academy' and 'Get Ahead Platform' -- what are they and what's the difference?
  • You’ve spoken about your team at Unusual being focused on redesign the early-stage VC market and giving founders a distinct advantage. What about your approach gives founders a distinct advantage?
  • You've spoken about founder focus on "How it works" vs. "Why it matters" -- what's the disconnect you've observed with early-stage founders?
  • You've covered your own experience of learning through suffering -- is that also a quality/characteristic you look for in founders?
  • Arrogance vs. Humility -- have you invested in founders displaying these traits? What's been your experience?
  • 3 must-haves that you look for in a new investment?
  • If there's one common theme in failed investments -- what is it?
  • Is there anything unusual about your approach to sourcing? If so, what is it?
  • What are some best practices for founders when picking a VC?
  • Over the past year or so the percentage of total VC dollars invested in early-stage deals fell to the lowest levels the industry has seen in five years. Why do you think this is the case?
  • You've talked a lot about the seed funding gap and challenges to get to Series A. I'd love to get your thoughts on what's required to raise an A?
  • Do you focus on product-market-fit prior to the A round -- if so, how do you define it?
  • What's the problem with Sovereign Wealth in Silicon Valley?
  • Do you have specific examples of unintended consequences or challenges with certain types of LPs behind a VC fund?
  • Re. founders -- You've said that "the biggest mistake you can make is taking an investment from a mega-fund" Why?
  • How has the early-stage venture landscape shifted from previous years? What do you expect to see in the future?

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

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

Direct download: 197._The_DNA_of_Startup_Success_John_Vrionis_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

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

  • Jeff Clavier
  • Bradley Tusk
  • Scott Kupor

Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.

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

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

Direct download: Investor_Stories_124__Post_Mortems_Clavier_Tusk_Kupor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EST

Courtney Reum of M13 joins Nick to discuss Creating Unfair Advantages, Surviving Founder Burnout and Driving Successful Exits. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory/path to venture
  • Tell us about your experience being an investor at Goldman Sachs and working with brands like Procter & Gamble, Under Armour and Vitamin water. What are some takeaways you got from that experience that influence you today? 
  • You and your brother founded VEEV Spirits which became the first line of organic ready-to-drink cocktails. VEEV received the Technomic Fast 50 Award and was named an Inc. Magazine 500 Fastest-Growing Companies in the U.S. What are some key factors that helped you establish such a successful brand? Tips for founders?
  • Tell us about the approach you used to raise capital for Veev?
  • Tell us the story behind founding M13. What was your vision for the firm early on? 
  • What is your current focus/thesis at M13? Tell us about your “repeatable playbook” approach. 
  • You took some big risks investing early in companies like Lyft, Ring, and Slack, which of course has paid off. Can you share with us some key points as to why you invested and how you were able to get conviction so early on?  
  • I want to switch gears and talk a bit about your book that you and your brother, Carter, wrote “Shortcut Your Startup.” The book is focused on separating yourself from the pack and flipping traditional startup advice on its head to provide an empowering toolkit for founders. Can you dive into that toolkit and a brief summary of the book? 
  • The benefits and biggest challenges to working with your brother?
  • One of the topics in the book I thought was interesting was “obsessively take advantage of your unfair advantages” tell us about what this means and how founders can implement it. 
  • Another topic I want to ask you about was “Success doesn’t equate to a successful exit” - What does lead to a successful exit and how do you gauge that you're on the right track? 
  • You also talk about “getting into the trenches” and “knowing if you're a speedboat or a sailboat” in the book. Can you give us some insight on these topics and why they’re important? 
  • From your experience, what do you think contributes most to founder burnout and how do you avoid it? 
  • What advice would you give CEOs or other C-suite executives to keep employee morale high and help their employees thrive? 
  • What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a founder and that you commonly see founders face today?
  • You have a passion for startups that are thinking about what consumers don't even know they want -- maybe for 10-20 years. Yet, in the future can't imagine living without. How do you vet a startup investment with such nascent consumer demand?

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

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


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

  • David Horowitz
  • Jim Kim
  • Ash Rust

Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

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

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

Direct download: Investor_Stories_123__Strange__Unusual_Horowitz_Kim_Rust.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Oren Klaff of Intersection Capital joins Nick to discuss Flip The Script & Perfect Your Pitch. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory/path to finance
  • What led to the founding of Intersection?
  • What's your mandate and focus at Intersection? Tell us about the Velocity product.
  • Your bestselling book Pitch Anything, provides a detailed methodology on effectively presenting, persuading and winning a deal during the pitch. Can you go over some key takeaways from the book for listeners?
  • In the book you talk about the "S.T.R.O.N.G Method.” Can you briefly summarize the most important components of this approach and give some examples on how it works? 
  • Your newest book "Flip the Script: Getting People to Think your Idea is Their Idea" is about to launch on August 13th.. why'd you write the book?
  • I liked the title of your first chapter... Inception.  Many will remember the blockbuster movie.  What's the "We are evolved distrust information from the outside world"... how does this impact the approach?
  • Is there a framework of structure that folks should follow to successfully flip the script?
  • What's the biggest mistake folks make when trying to sell?
  • Whats' the most practical, simple, pragmatic advice you can give... let's say a founder trying to raise venture capital... that they can take away from this convo and implement immediately.
  • Do you have a set of questions and structure for every sales discussion going in or do understand the concepts and then treat every conversation organically? Any tips on getting the meetings w/ prospects? 
  • Let's say someone has optimized their close rate... do you have tips on securing more qualified meetings?
  • If you write another book... what topic is next?

 

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


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

Direct download: 195._Flip_The_Script__Perfect_Your_Pitch_Oren_Klaff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EST

1