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ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2, 1.10 (V) (Optional) The Pitch Process - A VC's perspective (3)

I think we're going to stick whoever is best at the job is going to stay on top. » Entrepreneurship is itself quite male, skewed quite male. Venture capital, even more so. And venture capital has certainly, particularly in the Bay Area, have taken a lot of heat recently for just how male it is. Putting aside the particular lens you have because of your perspective on shopping and commerce as women and certain kinds of industries. Do you think you manage the business differently? Do you think there are ways you make decisions, the way you manage the business. Do you think it's different than what we find at an all-male venture accounting firm. » I think it is. It's hard to tease out exactly how but we find that when we collaborate on diligence notes, I think, male or female aside we're just extremely diligent, period. » Right, yeah. » We have extensive work that we do. » Yeah. » A lot of venture capitalists, will go on gut and pattern recognition, that's something that we care about a lot. There's huge value to that. » Yeah. » Because if you've already seen everything in a market, you don't need to do much of market research to figure out what feels like it's closer to the right answer than not, and we do do that as well. But, I think that our general perspective is just some venture capital firms will really over-index on technical team. » Yeah. » Like if there's not amazing engineering staff and understanding exactly how much coding experience they have then it's no go. I don't look at our deals that way. » Yeah. » We don't necessarily need some crazy PhD that can code all kinds of stuff. We need somebody who understands what our shopping experience needs to look like. » Mm-hm. » Or what a mobile experience needs to look like. And what is the most simple way to get to that answer. I don't think it's technology for the sake of technology. And so we just happen to be looking at different type of outcomes. And I think that people are always going to be really important for any investor to feel comfortable that you've got the right team here. Again, there's always emphasis on multiple time entrepreneurs or teams that are really sort of, why this team, this problem, so it makes sense. But for us, we'll also think about Why this founder might have a sort of magnetic quality that's going to draw people to him or her, whether it's customers, investors, PR people, and most importantly recruits. So it's different, again, a different lens but not necessarily a different number of things that we're looking at. And I think for our deal, so we have, I think on our website, there's a bunch of capitalists are always looking for a big market, big idea, big problem scalable solution. We agree. Those are all things that we are also looking at, but we look at what is an unfair marketing advantage. What is special about this particular idea that's going to get an off money better and faster than someone else who is just paying for every single customer? And I think that's a question that doesn't necessarily get asked a lot. We also ask a lot about business model, unit economics, really early on because, again, we're not quite so sure how to invest in these general ideas that maybe one day make money. Maybe they don't, but they seem interesting. It's not really our perspective, so there's a different perspective. » I want to wrap up by asking you to give some advice to young entrepreneurs. So you say no a lot. So you've seen good pitches, you've seen bad pitches, you've seen what it takes, what's lacking. The first time entrepreneur who is interested in attracting venture financing, what advice would you give them? » I would say think really long and hard as to why you want venture capital. » Mm-hm. » Because you're signing up for a path. » Yeah. » You can't get off. » Yeah. » And if your business is not one that really can support that level of fast growth and skill, and you're not ready for that ride. It's not just something to be able to tell your friends you did. It's a promise that you are signing up for this journey, and you're not going to stop until you win. And I think that level of pressure is not necessary for every successful business. There are other ways to fund a business that it doesn't necessarily take on that much pressure. I think a lot of times companies that otherwise could have stayed in business will go out of business because of the capital structure they took. So I mean that's more of a friendly word of caution. In order to get a venture capitalist's attention if you decided that that is the path you want to go, I would say really think about our perspective. Now I've got a portfolio. Our business is that of having winners that are returning 10, 20, 30, X our fund. Why is your business going to be the one to do that? You know, I get it. It's a good idea. It's neat. It grabs attention. We're investing all ideas we see, because we see tons of them. It has to be great. » Yeah. » It has to be something that has potential to crush it. » Yeah. » And so, if you have an idea that's starting to percolate, think about what the big vision is and think about what it would take to get this little idea to become something bigger, and really talk about that, because that's what people are going to get excited about. » All right, well thanks so much for coming here and sharing your wisdom. » You're so welcome thank you for having me.



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I think we're going to stick whoever is best at the job is going to stay on top. » Entrepreneurship is itself quite male, skewed quite male. Venture capital, even more so. And venture capital has certainly, particularly in the Bay Area, have taken a lot of heat recently for just how male it is. Putting aside the particular lens you have because of your perspective on shopping and commerce as women and certain kinds of industries. Do you think you manage the business differently? Do you think there are ways you make decisions, the way you manage the business. Do you think it's different than what we find at an all-male venture accounting firm. » I think it is. It's hard to tease out exactly how but we find that when we collaborate on diligence notes, I think, male or female aside we're just extremely diligent, period. » Right, yeah. » We have extensive work that we do. » Yeah. » A lot of venture capitalists, will go on gut and pattern recognition, that's something that we care about a lot. There's huge value to that. » Yeah. » Because if you've already seen everything in a market, you don't need to do much of market research to figure out what feels like it's closer to the right answer than not, and we do do that as well. But, I think that our general perspective is just some venture capital firms will really over-index on technical team. » Yeah. » Like if there's not amazing engineering staff and understanding exactly how much coding experience they have then it's no go. I don't look at our deals that way. » Yeah. » We don't necessarily need some crazy PhD that can code all kinds of stuff. We need somebody who understands what our shopping experience needs to look like. » Mm-hm. » Or what a mobile experience needs to look like. And what is the most simple way to get to that answer. I don't think it's technology for the sake of technology. And so we just happen to be looking at different type of outcomes. And I think that people are always going to be really important for any investor to feel comfortable that you've got the right team here. Again, there's always emphasis on multiple time entrepreneurs or teams that are really sort of, why this team, this problem, so it makes sense. But for us, we'll also think about Why this founder might have a sort of magnetic quality that's going to draw people to him or her, whether it's customers, investors, PR people, and most importantly recruits. So it's different, again, a different lens but not necessarily a different number of things that we're looking at. And I think for our deal, so we have, I think on our website, there's a bunch of capitalists are always looking for a big market, big idea, big problem scalable solution. We agree. Those are all things that we are also looking at, but we look at what is an unfair marketing advantage. What is special about this particular idea that's going to get an off money better and faster than someone else who is just paying for every single customer? And I think that's a question that doesn't necessarily get asked a lot. We also ask a lot about business model, unit economics, really early on because, again, we're not quite so sure how to invest in these general ideas that maybe one day make money. Maybe they don't, but they seem interesting. It's not really our perspective, so there's a different perspective. » I want to wrap up by asking you to give some advice to young entrepreneurs. So you say no a lot. So you've seen good pitches, you've seen bad pitches, you've seen what it takes, what's lacking. The first time entrepreneur who is interested in attracting venture financing, what advice would you give them? » I would say think really long and hard as to why you want venture capital. » Mm-hm. » Because you're signing up for a path. » Yeah. » You can't get off. » Yeah. » And if your business is not one that really can support that level of fast growth and skill, and you're not ready for that ride. It's not just something to be able to tell your friends you did. It's a promise that you are signing up for this journey, and you're not going to stop until you win. And I think that level of pressure is not necessary for every successful business. There are other ways to fund a business that it doesn't necessarily take on that much pressure. I think a lot of times companies that otherwise could have stayed in business will go out of business because of the capital structure they took. So I mean that's more of a friendly word of caution. In order to get a venture capitalist's attention if you decided that that is the path you want to go, I would say really think about our perspective. Now I've got a portfolio. Our business is that of having winners that are returning 10, 20, 30, X our fund. Why is your business going to be the one to do that? You know, I get it. It's a good idea. It's neat. It grabs attention. We're investing all ideas we see, because we see tons of them. It has to be great. » Yeah. » It has to be something that has potential to crush it. » Yeah. » And so, if you have an idea that's starting to percolate, think about what the big vision is and think about what it would take to get this little idea to become something bigger, and really talk about that, because that's what people are going to get excited about. » All right, well thanks so much for coming here and sharing your wisdom. » You're so welcome thank you for having me.


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