The Full Ratchet (TFR): Venture Capital and Startup Investing Demystified

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

Brendan Wallace
Bilal Zuberi
Joe Medved

Each investor highlights a situation where they decided not to invest, why they passed, and how it played out.


To listen more, please visit for all of our other episodes.

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

Direct download: Investor_Stories_100_-_Why_I_Passed_Wallace_Zuberi_Medved.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

John Fein of Firebrand Ventures joins Nick to discuss From Operator to Accelerator MD to Fund Manager. In this episode, we cover:


  • So you participated in 5 startups, after which you scaled an organization from zero to 1,500 employees and $2B/year in revenue. Talk about your background and experience at United Health.
  • Tell us a bit about your decision to raise a fund.
  • When I started raising fund I, I had calls w/ 30+ GPs and my target was $5M but I told him, under no circumstances would I raise more than $10M, even if things went really well. He responded that the difference between a $5M and a $10M is significant and that the story and strategy would be very different for the two. So I know that you started with a $7M target and ended at $18M... how did your strategy change and did you get any pushback from early LPs as the fund got larger?
  • How did the process play out... in what ways was it different than what you expected?
  • How early do you go?
  • How did you create urgency w/ prospective LPs to make a decision. From personal experience, I found a number of large LPs that preferred to wait until final close
  • You've gone on the record stating that you'll avoid investing in arrogant founders, where many VCs specifically look for this character trait in entrepreneurs. Do you think it's the best economic decision to avoid working w/ arrogant founders?
  • Everyone says they're a founder-focused VC... but when I speak w/ founders I find that there are very few that are actually qualify. What does this mean from your standpoint and how are you serving founders in ways that others aren't?
  • What are some of the key strengths of your pipeline and dealflow.... how are you seeing more deals and higher quality deals than others?
  • The feedback cycle in venture is really long... you won't truly know how your fund stacks up against others from you vintage for many years. How do you track progress and assess if you're winning over the near term?
Direct download: 175._From_Operator_to_Accelerator_MD_to_Fund_Manager__John_Fein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30pm EDT

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

Paul Martino
Evangelos Simoudis
Ben Narasin
Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.


To listen more, please visit 
for all of our other episodes.

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

Direct download: Investor_Stories_99-_Post_Mortems_Martino_Simoudis_Narasin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta joins Nick to discuss VCs Ride the Bus, Comeback Cities & Unorthodox Investing. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory / Path to Bloomberg Beta
  • Bloomberg Beta has taken a self-described "unorthodox approach"-- Tell us about your approach and why it's unique.
  • I was exploring your page on Github and noticed that you've open sourced the entire operating manual-- why'd you do so and do you think other VCs should do the same?
  • What's worked and what hasn't?
  • You've talked about how you struggled figuring out what you wanted to do for a living. Have you figured it out?
  • So, last year a number of SF-based VCs got on a bus and traveled the Midwest in what they called the Comeback Cities tour. Tell us about the experience and why you and others came to the Midwest to look for opportunities?
  • How did the tour lead to a venture fund?
  • Why do you think it's important to work w/ angels in the Midwest?
  • What surprised you on the trip?
  • Can you talk a bit about machine intelligence and how it's impacting the future of work?
  • How do you see the VC asset class changing over the next few years?
Direct download: 174._VCs_Ride_the_Bus_Comeback_Cities__Unorthodox_Investing_Roy_Bahat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT