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?
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