Podcasts about YC

Share on
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Reddit
Copy link to clipboard
  • 387PODCASTS
  • 810EPISODES
  • 44mAVG DURATION
  • 5WEEKLY NEW EPISODES
  • Nov 23, 2021LATEST

POPULARITY

20112012201320142015201620172018201920202021


Best podcasts about YC

Show all podcasts related to yc

Latest podcast episodes about YC

Latitud Podcast
#69 - Altitud | Alex Vilhena from Plug Pagamentos and the future of payment solutions

Latitud Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 17:13


Alex Vilhena was born in Rio de Janeiro, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Communications and had a chance to try out the startup scene in the US. Big lover of jiu-jitsu, he has over 10 years of client-facing roles under his purple belt, and helped build Santander's Loyalty Program before moving on to his own projects in the financial industry.Now CEO of Plug Pagamentos, he gets to brag about being a YC portfolio company while he and his co-founders are simplifying payment services by providing a one-stop solution to manage multiple providers through a single API integration.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com

TrueAnon
Episode 196: Muppets Take The Meta (teaser)

TrueAnon

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 3:27


To hear the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/TrueAnonPod --------- Goggles: On. Soylent: Gurgled. Metaverse: Penetrated. YC & Brace force Liz at gunpoint into VR Chat. We leave her there for giggling demons. If you want to rescue you her you must—Enter the Metaverse

The Quest with Justin Kan
The OnlyFriends Show: The Great Resignation, Facebook's Metaverse and YC Applications

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 82:15


Welcome to my new show OnlyFriends, where my Silicon Valley group chat comes to life. On this episode, we discuss  my new companies, our new advice segment, Dear OnlyFriends, the COVID vaccine, Coinbase's mission-focused statement, and crypto gaming.  Starring: Justin Kan: Twitch co-founder and investor at Goat Capital (https://twitter.com/justinkan)Emmett Shear: Twitch co-founder and current Twitch CEO (https://twitter.com/eshear)Michael Seibel: Twitch co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator (https://twitter.com/mwseibel)Nicole Farb: Darby Smart co-founder and investor at Headline (https://twitter.com/nicolefarb)Submit your story to Dear OnlyFriends here! If you liked  this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible.   THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |

Business of Cyber
BoC #33: Founding Doppler, a Secrets Management Platform, backed by Sequoia & Google Ventures, with CEO Brian Vallelunga

Business of Cyber

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 29:31


Brian Vallelunga is the CEO & Founder at Doppler, a universal secrets management platform. Brian and I discuss: 1. Founding 7 companies starting in high school 2. Product/market requirements when getting an idea off the ground 3. The Chipotle sales strategy 4. Going through YC and raising money from Sequoia & GV 5. Doppler & where they're going

The Quest with Justin Kan
The Airbnb Story You've Never Heard About

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 18:46


Airbnb almost didn't make it. Here's the story of how they got into Y Combinator, after a few screw-ups, tons of breakfast cereals sold, an improbable email and advice from a sad Emmett who could've invested at the perfect moment.  I also shared this story on my YouTube channel and Twitter. Drop a comment to let me know what you think which startup stories you want to hear about next! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible. THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |

Founders Unfiltered
Ep43: Making Blockchain Simple ft. Matic Network

Founders Unfiltered

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2021 29:27


Jaynti was born and brought up in a small town in Ahmedabad. He studied at a local college, where students' ambition was limited to getting a job at TCS. Jaynti too followed a similar path and took a job at an Indian corporate. A friend introduced him to YC's Hacker News - a website focusing on technology and budding startups. Desiring to work with great people, he tried cold mailing people at top US startups - even offering to work for free, but didn't receive any response. He worked at a couple of startups, and learnt more about the zero to one building journey. He was always working on multiple side projects, waiting for something that really clicks. Jaynti came across bitcoin and was drawn to the endless possibilities the technology offered. Diving deeper into blockchains, he discovered the limitations of existing tech. Ethereum had made it possible for anyone to make apps on blockchain, but as the network grew transacting on ETH became increasingly slow and expensive - with cost of 1 transaction rising even higher than $80. To solve the problem of scaling blockchains, Jaynti created Matic - a layer 2 solution that augments Ethereum and drives its scalability. Using Matic brings the transaction cost to less than 1 INR, while also making it 20 times faster. Today, Matic's worth more than $10B and is used by companies worldwide for applications including NFTs, DeFi For more details - https://ajuniorvc.com/podcast/

Stigma Podcast - Mental Health
#91 - Modern Health Co-Founder and CEO Alyson Watson

Stigma Podcast - Mental Health

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 35:45


Alyson Watson is CEO and co-founder of Modern Health, a mental health unicorn!  Modern Health is a global mental health benefits solution for employers that covers the spectrum of mental wellbeing needs from tech enabled solutions to professional support solutions on one platform. You can connect with Alyson here:  LinkedIn What If Fellowship: https://whatif.vc/fellowship   HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT: Alyson shares her background with mental health, her education, and how it led her to the mental health space. She also shares about Modern Health and what their mission is. Alyson talks about Y Combinator, what the process looks like as a startup who applies, the benefits from it and the difference it made for her when starting up Modern Health. We discuss the stigma and lack of access that used to surround mental health support from employers and how Modern Health is helping to solve these issues. We talk about how mental health problems limit productivity and how this is a societal problem, not only in the workplace but in personal lives as well. Alyson shares what more she thinks companies can do to promote mental wellness with their employees. We discuss the vision for Modern Health and where she sees the company going in the future. Alyson shares her advice for those who are wishing to start up their own company and what she wishes she knew when she started.   Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: What If Fellowship, Website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website, Twitter, LinkedIn, What If Ventures (Mental Health Venture Fund)

The Quest with Justin Kan
My New Startups, Spicy Advice, Coinbase and Crypto Gaming (The OnlyFriends Show)

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 90:24


Welcome to my new show OnlyFriends, where my Silicon Valley group chat comes to life. On this episode, we discuss  my new companies, our new advice segment, Dear OnlyFriends, the COVID vaccine, Coinbase's mission-focused statement, and crypto gaming.  Starring: Justin Kan: Twitch co-founder and investor at Goat Capital (https://twitter.com/justinkan)Emmett Shear: Twitch co-founder and current Twitch CEO (https://twitter.com/eshear)Michael Seibel: Twitch co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator (https://twitter.com/mwseibel)Nicole Farb: Darby Smart co-founder and investor at Headline (https://twitter.com/nicolefarb)Submit your story to Dear OnlyFriends here! If you liked  this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible.   THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |

POD OF JAKE
#82 - DANIEL GROSS

POD OF JAKE

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 51:35


Daniel is the Founder and CEO of Pioneer. He previously created a search engine called Cue which was acquired by Apple where he went on to lead various AI and search projects. Daniel was the youngest founder to be accepted into Y-Combinator in his late teens and later returned as a Partner and started YC's AI program. He has been an early investor in companies including Uber, Instacart, Coinbase, GitHub, SpaceX, Opendoor, Airtable, Figma, Gusto, Notion, Cruise Automation, and dozens of others. Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielgross. [2:18] - How Daniel's early interest in computer programming kickstarted his journey into entrepreneurship [10:11] - Replacing people with software in the venture capital process and how to measure success [16:56] - The impacts of venture capital and startup culture expanding beyond Silicon Valley [24:33] - Living a balanced life in health and productivity [32:58] - Daniel's perspective on longevity [39:57] - Self-improvement and the third-person mindset [46:07] - Optimizing for flow in designing one's days --- Support the show by checking out my sponsors: Join Levels and get personalized insights to learn about your metabolic health. Go to https://levels.link/jake. --- https://homeofjake.com

York College Chapel Talks
York College Was My Egypt - Bailey Davis

York College Chapel Talks

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 15:41


Bialey Davis, head coach of the cheer and dance programs, shares how her story back to YC was very similar to Moses' journey back to Egypt. Scripture: Exodus 3

J.J.L bro
¿Cómo crear anuncios más creativos?

J.J.L bro

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2021 13:19


En la actualidad vivimos llenos de pantallas que rodean 360 grados nuestra mirada, podríamos decir estamos constantemente sobreexpuestos visualmente a imágenes, videos y creaciones artísticas digitales sin pedirlo o sin estar preparados para consumirlo. Es por eso que cada vez nos sorprendemos menos y pocas cosas nos llaman la atención, pero… ¿Por porque sucede esto? Y ¿Cómo hacemos para llamar la atención de nuestros usuarios a través de los anuncios? En este podcast Juan José Lubrina te cuento todos los secretos, para que puedas crear anuncios más efectivos y cautivadores. ✅ Síguenos en Instagram: https://cutt.ly/Hknqzpu ✅ Síguenos en TikTok: https://cutt.ly/2hENxbM ✅ Síguenos en Facebook: https://cutt.ly/bknqWvp ✅ Síguenos en LinkedIn: https://cutt.ly/hknqItS ✅ Visita Nuestro Sitio Web: www.jjlbro.info --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jjlbro/support

Startup Mindsets
Richard White CEO of Fathom YC'21

Startup Mindsets

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 54:27


Richard White has over a decade of entrepreneurship founding Uservoice and Fathom. He takes us through his journey from selling PlayStation cheat codes as a kid to being part of the first YCombinator batch in Cambridge in 2005 to the latest with Fathom in YC 2021. We talk fundraising from Zoom Apps Fund and what it's like couch surfing while creating a tech company. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/startupmindsets/support

Thinking Outside The Bud
Nohtal Partansky, CEO, Sorting Robotics

Thinking Outside The Bud

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 32:28


Nohtal Partansky, CEO, Sorting Robotics Nohtal Partansky is the CEO of Sorting Robotics, a Y Combinator backed startup based in Los Angeles, CA. Nohtal started his professional career working at NASA-JPL building the MOXIE Instrument; a device that is currently producing oxygen on the surface of Mars. After completing the MOXIE project at NASA, Nohtal had a desire to start his own robotics company so in 2018 he left JPL and started Sorting Robotics. Sorting Robotics initially built inventory management robotics for e-commerce companies, but wanting to grow bigger Nohtal applied and was accepted into Y Combinator. After getting into YC, Sorting Robotics targeted the cannabis automation market and started building robots for cannabis manufacturers. In 2020, after seeing a need in the market for contract packaging, Nohtal started Rise Co-Packing a cannabis co-packing company based in Oakland, CA. Now, Nohtal is focused on building out the automation infrastructure in the cannabis sector to bring the industry into the 21st century with ramp up to national legalization. https://www.instagram.com/jikojoints/ https://www.jikojoints.com/ https://www.sortingrobotics.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

The Quest with Justin Kan
Is Facebook Unethical? China's Crypto Ban, Theranos and Fraud (The OnlyFriends Show)

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 79:51


Welcome to my new show OnlyFriends, where my Silicon Valley group chat comes to life. On this episode, we discuss China banning crypto, the Theranos trial and fraud in Silicon Valley, whether Facebook is unethical, and free startup ideas. Starring: Justin Kan: Twitch co-founder and investor at Goat Capital (https://twitter.com/justinkan) Emmett Shear: Twitch co-founder and current Twitch CEO (https://twitter.com/eshear) Michael Seibel: Twitch co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator (https://twitter.com/mwseibel) Nicole Farb: Darby Smart co-founder and investor at Headline (https://twitter.com/nicolefarb)If you liked  this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible.   THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |

Educative Sessions
#81: ”From the Academy to the Valley” with Davit Buniatyan of Activeloop.ai | Educative Sessions

Educative Sessions

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 13:54


At an early age, Davit Buniatyan was poised for a stellar career in academia. However, for some reason, he refused the call to jump into tech entrepreneurship after his PhD advisor at Princeton left to pursue a new calling. Eventually, Davit got the call to pursue his own startup idea as well. Check out David's story from the academy to the Valley.   Watch the YouTube HERE: https://youtu.be/YZxspGOqWzU ABOUT OUR GUEST   Before Davit Buniatyan started his PhD at Princeton at the age of 21, he was featured by TechCrunch at the age of 18. During his time at Princeton, he worked on a lot of fun stuff, such as making Alexa more human (which got him featured in CNet). Also, he reconstructed neurons inside mouse brains, which made him think of a radically more efficient way to handle data for machine learning. This idea got him into Y Combinator, where he started https://www.activeloop.ai/, a YC company.  Join Activeloop's community to connect with fellow engineers and data scientists: ►► https://www.activeloop.ai/ Listen to the Human in the Loop podcast to learn about what's new in machine learning: ►►https://www.activeloop.ai/podcasts/ Check out Hub, an open-source library maintained by Activeloop: ►► https://github.com/activeloopai/Hub Visit Educative to start your journey into code ►► https://educative.ioDon't forget to subscribe to Educative Sessions on YouTube! ►► https://www.youtube.com/c/EducativeSessions   ABOUT EDUCATIVE   Educative (educative.io) provides interactive and adaptive courses for software developers. Whether it's beginning to learn to code, grokking the next interview, or brushing up on frontend coding, data science, or cybersecurity, Educative is changing how developers continue their education. Stay relevant through our pre-configured learning environments that adapt to match a developer's skill level. Educative provides the best author platform for instructors to create interactive and adaptive content in only a few clicks.   More Videos from Educative Sessions: https://www.youtube.com/c/EducativeSessions/   Episode 81: "From the Academy to the Valley" with Davit Buniatyan of Activeloop.ai | Educative Sessions

Fundadores:  Startups | Emprendimiento | Venture Capital
Christian Patiño | Coderhouse | Soluciona tus propios problemas | Ep. 68

Fundadores: Startups | Emprendimiento | Venture Capital

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 44:14


Hoy estoy con Christian Patiño CEO y Cofundador de Coderhouse, una plataforma para tomar cursos en línea y en vivo de temas como diseño, programación, marketing, entre muchas cosas más. Este startup está respaldado por inversionistas como YC, Reach Capital y David Velez.  Hablamos de cómo empezó Coderhouse por resolver necesidades propias, la evolución que fueron teniendo como empresa, su paso por Y Combinator y el cambio que hicieron a volverse full remote desde antes de la pandemia. El sector de startups de educación esta creciendo aceleradamente y estoy seguro de que en unos años veremos a muchos unicornios de latam en este sector, así que no te pierdas esta gran plática. No olvides dejarnos una reseña Libros mencionados:High Output Management - Andrew Grove  Follow Us:NewsletterEscribe una ReseñaEncuesta de AudienciaTikTokInstagramTwitterLinkedinWeb

Hustleshare
Mikee Villareal - The Hustle Behind MadEats

Hustleshare

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2021 84:21


Fresh off her Y Combinator stint, Mikee Villareal of MadEats joins us in this episode to share how MadEats got into YC and how they got in despite not having any tech background. Mikee will also share her early hustles in the F&B industry that prepared her for launching her own food startup. She will also share how she and her team struggled to create MadEats and how they hustled to get to YC despite being rejected in their first try. Mikee will also detail their whole YC experience and how they hustled to grow MadEats that a lot of founders can learn from especially if they want to get into YC. This episode is brought to you by Xendit Philippines ad. Join their SME program here now: https://podlink.co/xenditph Also brought to you by PDAX. Join PDAX here: podlink.co/hustlesharepdax For show notes, go to hustleshare.com Hustleshare is powered by Podmetrics

The Narrative Monopoly
#30 - Antonio García Martínez, The Pull Request

The Narrative Monopoly

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 64:11


BioAntonio García Martínez is a writer at and the publisher of The Pull Request, a publication about technology by technologists for technologists. He also hosts the The Pull Request podcast on Callin. He is best known for writing the best selling book: Chaos Monkeys, Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley.  The book details his journey from the PhD physics program at Cal Berkley, to trading credit derivatives at Goldman, to founding a YC company - AdGrok, to working as Facebook's first ads targeting product manager.  Times1:00 - Intro to Antonio, who is the smartest person Antonio has ever met, and intro Qs4:30 - We are no longer a serious people; Afghanistan & democracy11:15 - Elites solving problems for twitter not reality & hot button issues13:00 - Accountability in democracy15:45 - The Pull Request & tech journalism21:45 - Antonio pushes back on The Narrative Monopoly!29:45 - Thinking about what to focus on33:45 - 30 Years War analogy to where we are with the internet38:45 - Federalism41:15 - Austin and people leaving CA43:15 - Decoupling how information flows from matter moves and the implications51:30 - Historical counter point to problems of internet information distribution58:00 - The advent of frictionless and ubiquitous information1:02:45 - Where to find Antonio LinksThe Pull RequestAntonio's twitterNarrativemonopoly.com

The Quest with Justin Kan
From Twitch to Y Combinator CEO @Michael Seibel (2020)

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 85:09


I sat down with my Justin.tv cofounder, Michael Seibel, to talk about how we turned our live reality show Justin.tv into the global platform that eventually became Twitch. Michael was previously the CEO of Y Combinator, the seed stage fund known as the first investor in Stripe, Dropbox, Instacart, Coinbase, Reddit, and thousands of other startups. Michael is one of my closest friends and an amazing mentor. In this episode we talk about his education at Yale, founding Justin.tv together, mentoring the Airbnb founders early on, how to get funded by Y Combinator, and so much more.  (This episode was originally released as S1:E1 in 2020) If you liked  this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible.   THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |

Software Misadventures
Ashwin Kumar - On learning new things by breaking them down, the secret to winning >$100k from hackathons, the art of storytelling, and much more - #15

Software Misadventures

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 74:11


Ashwin is a Startup Partnership Lead at Stripe. From web development to co-founding a YC startup, to deep learning, Ashwin has a knack for picking up new skills extremely quickly. In this episode, we chat about the methods he employed to successfully make these transitions, learnings/tips from winning 30+ hackathons in a row, and what engineers can gain from better story-telling.

Equity
Community is the new AI

Equity

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 28:59


Natasha and Mary Ann and Alex were all aboard this week with Grace on the dials, which meant that we had a flat lovely time recording Equity for you. Of course, Equity is TechCrunch's venture capital focused podcast where we dig into the most critical funding rounds, and natter about the key news items impacting startups.Before we hop into this week's topics, you can follow the show on Twitter, where we rather often host impromptu Twitter spaces that sometimes become episodes. Come hang!Here's the rundown for this week:Chalo raises $40M to improve bus transit in India: This startup wins name (and startup) of the week. Chalo wants to tackle inefficiencies in India's bus system, so we noodle over why that makes sense and what challenges could be ahead.Masterworks raises $110M for fractional art ownership: Call it a Series A if you must, but the megaround that Masterworks just raised helps underscore the global shift towards alternative investing, and fractional ownership. How long until we get Masterworks on the blockchain? That would be the real IRL-NFT crossover we are kinda waiting for.CostCertified wants to save your next home reno project:  CostCertified, which just participated in Y Combinator's summer cohort, raised $8.45M in seed funding. The Canadian company's end goal is to build the “Amazon for construction.” CostCertified allows contractors to send a shoppable interactive estimate to homeowners so that they can choose their selections during a project, and see the effect on price instantly.All about community: Community has been watered down, there's no doubt about it. But, there is still arguments for why it works - and we make them (often).Google invests in Africa: American tech giant Google is putting capital to work in Africa, but in the form of infra investment and early-stage investing. Frankly both make good sense given the advertising giant's business model.Edtech goes B2B: Udemy is going public! We have dug through the numbers already, but thankfully with Natasha on the show we got to go a level deeper on where edtech revenues may come from next.And that's our show! We are back bright and early on Monday!

大人的Small Talk
EP192 在職時間的長短,真的重要嗎?要撐多久履歷才會好看?

大人的Small Talk

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 22:36


常常有人會說,就算工作再糟也要撐一段時間才能離職,不然履歷會不好看。聽眾YC來信提問,他已經得到下一份工作的Offer,但提離職時主管說他年資只有一年半,這麼短暫的時間未來履歷會扣分,認為他應該留任而不受理他的辭呈。主管的這番話,不禁也讓YC懷疑起自己的決定,他應該為了"讓履歷好看",而繼續忍受現在的職場嗎? 節目中提及課程 【A103履歷優化與個人品牌重塑】https://bit.ly/3mp0EHJ 【本集節目由台灣精品贊助播出】 「台灣精品」創新產品的共同品牌,創造你對每一天生活及未來的美好想像。 一起從台灣精品認識台灣的卓越品質,更多資訊:https://www.taiwanexcellence.org/tw 創新台灣,精彩世界 晶睿通訊AI人群偵測魚眼網路攝影機 歐漾 智控型龍頭式生飲淨水器 有什麼問題想問Joe跟Bryan嗎?提問&合作信箱:podcast@ftpm.com.tw 如果你喜歡我們的節目,歡迎贊助我們:https://bit.ly/3kskVsZ 如果你喜歡這集節目,歡迎到Apple Podcast給我們五星評價,並留言給我們鼓勵! FB|https://www.facebook.com/darencademy/ IG|https://www.instagram.com/da.ren.cademy/ 大人學網站|https://www.darencademy.com/

Sub Club
Seth Miller, Rapchat - From Bootstrapping to Partnering With Sony

Sub Club

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 45:58


Our guest today is Seth Miller, Founder and CEO at Rapchat. Seth is on a mission to democratize music creation with Rapchat's mobile app. Rapchat takes the friction out of making music, and has helped millions of artists unleash their creativity.Seth earned his bachelor's degree in business administration, with an emphasis on management information systems, from Ohio University. Before founding Rapchat, Seth worked as a consultant for Adidas, and an IT Systems Engineer.On the podcast we talk with Seth about bootstrapping his way to signs of product market fit, raising money from strategic partners like Sony Music, and what it's like to have Facebook completely rip off your app.In this episode, you'll learn: Finding the right niche for your app Bootstrapping and early funding Using the right marketing channels for your app Filtering out the wrong users for your app's paid features How to transition your app from free to paid Links & Resources Sony Nico Wittenborn Twitter Adjacent Complex Seth Miller's Links Follow Seth on Twitter Rapchat Follow us on Twitter: David Barnard Jacob Eiting RevenueCat Sub Club Episode Transcript00:00:00 Seth:We would be dead for sure if I didn't learn how to code. It's an invaluable skill that I'll have in this organization and future organizations. It also just helps me think about things. It's a really great way to look at the world sometimes.00:00:31 David:Hello, I'm your host, David Bernard. And with me as always, RevenueCat CEO, Jacob Eiting. Our guest today is Seth Miller, founder and CEO at Rapchat. Seth is on a mission to democratize music creation with Rapchat's mobile app. It takes the friction out of making music, and has helped millions of artists unleash their creativity on the podcast.We talk with Seth about bootstrapping his way to signs of product market fit. Raising money from strategic partners like Sony, and what it's like to have Facebook completely rip off your app.Hey Seth, welcome to the podcast!00:01:06 Seth:How's it going? Thanks for having me.00:01:07 David:It's been a long time coming. You and I first chatted way back in 2019. You were the first office hour call I ever took at RevenueCat.00:01:18 Seth:Oh, wow. 00:01:19 David:Yeah, going way back in my RevenueCat days. 00:01:22 Jacob:It tells you how bad of a CEO I am that we've never actually spoken on the phone in those two years.00:01:30 Seth:Or how good David was!00:01:31 Jacob:Yeah.00:01:32 Seth:I was sold after one call. I'm like, all right, dude, where do I sign up? How do I get this going? 00:01:37 Jacob:We have a lot of cross connections, because you're an Adjacent portfolio. Nico is a co-investor. We're also both Ohio-based. So, yeah, lots of cover today.00:01:54 Seth:We got to hang out. 00:01:55 Jacob:We should. It's beautiful in Ohio today, but I'm not going to make an Ohio podcast.But, maybe kickoff and tell us, what is Rapchat?00:02:07 Seth:Yeah, absolutely. So, Rapchat is the easiest way to make music on your phone. We have an iOS and Android app. You really just like tap in, and open the app. We have hundreds and thousands of free beats on the app. So, you just pick a beat, you can record over it, and then you can share that anywhere.We have people making full-length studio-quality songs from their phone and sharing it to Instagram and SoundCloud. And then also on the platform, we have a social layer as well. Which is really cool. Pretty much a recording studio in your pocket, with a community, with a social layer.Similar to Visco, or Instagram for music. Our mission is really to democratize music by providing access and tools to the next billion music creators.00:03:01 Jacob:How did you get on this idea?00:03:05 Seth:Well, like just scratching my own itch in the early days. Almost eight years ago when I was in college, apps were really starting to become a thing, and same with social networks and you-do-see platforms that let you create content and share it. You know, the golden era of Vine, Snap, all of that. But there was nothing for music.I also had a hobby of freestyling with my friends. So, we'd get together, throw on beats, and rap, and some people would sing and just create all sorts of stuff. It was something that I noticed that was like, yeah, this should exist on your phone. I should be able to do this with my high school buddies that are on a different campus that I used to do it with.That was really it, just scratching my own itch. Then over time, I think we've really come to realize that there's just this massive opportunity to do this at scale for those that really want to make music and take it seriously.So, I've kind of outgrown my own use case a little bit, even though we have people that come and have fun, but really we're focused on providing tools for the everyday artist that historically has been kind of gatekeeped out of participating in music. So, we try and give them everything we can in their pocket, and still feels like we're only getting started. 00:04:26 Jacob:It's not as easy to pirate logic these days I imagine, like it used to be.00:04:31 Seth:Yeah. Right.00:04:32 David:What did those early days look like? Did you learn to code? Did you have a coding background? What did those early days look like, and when did you get the app out? 00:04:43 Seth:Yeah, I mean, pure chaos and it's not too much different today, you know, it's just a little more organized. yeah, the first version of the iOS app was June, 2014. I think it was June 7th and that was really. I wouldn't even pass as an alpha version think especially with how good some of the test flights are, but, you know, it was very basic.It was, you could open the app record one track over like 10 predefined beats that had to come with the app store bundle, like would even have server side, like beats, and. Like, we just wanted to test that people would do it. And you know, of course the first couple of months, is just getting friends off Facebook and family to download it.But then, I started to notice like, you know, a little bit of traction and then more traction and then basically quit my job. I was like, all right, I gotta, I gotta really go after this. And it, that exactly. That's when I taught myself how to code too, because, I had a lot of help in the early days, just from like friends, faculty members, anyone I could get to work on it But then after, you know, I noticed there's just like basically early signs of product market fit, I guess, if you will now, but people sharing it. I was like, I really want to make updates to this thing and I can't afford any engineers and I don't know anything about fundraising. So it was like the only way I could make any updates and then wrote really shitty code for like three years.And, but got enough traction improved to kind of, you know, enter the startup space, the fundraising space. Now, luckily we have really amazing engineers and I still write some code here and there. That's probably not that great, but, you know, I love it. So,00:06:22 David:Did you have any co-founders? 00:06:24 Seth:Yeah, so we, I mean, we had a team on campus in the early days, that, you know, we're helping out. We've had a lot of people along the way, help out in different parts of the journey it's been. An epic journey, you know, and, lots of ups and downs, but yeah, we've had lots of different people help us out.And, now we have a fully distributed team, and still relatively small 10 people, but, lots of great product builders and, yeah, it's a lot of fun00:06:54 Jacob:Yeah. David can, can probably talk more to the pain of not like having on staff. Like it's not so much. I mean, yeah. I mean, the cost is a thing for sure. But like, I think a bigger thing often is the, the, the turnaround time, right? The iteration time of not having well, you know, even if you're. You know, product person who's non-technical and you have a technical co-founder, there's even like friction there and communicating the ideas.Right. If you're not really in sync. And so having that all in one mind can really like speed things up. And in the early days, that's what it's all about. Right? It's all about iteration speed. It's all about getting, you know, different sticking stuff, different stuff to the wall. As fast as possible to see what takes off.So, that's always the advice saying, I don't know if there's anybody that listen, this is there, there probably are people in the podcast in a similar situation where they're like, maybe they didn't study programming or whatever. Like it's gotta be, I mean, I don't know so that you can, you can go against this.Maybe it's not the case, but it feels like it's probably the best way to invest your time is like, get to the basics, like as fast as you can.00:07:59 Seth:Yeah, I think so. I mean, the amount of time you'll spend trying to like find a co-founder that codes. Sure. The ultimate is like, you find a co-founder you guys gel and like, they know how to code and you know, you know how to do everything else, but like, I dunno, we would be dead for sure. If I didn't learn how to code and it's an invaluable skill that I'll have in this organization and future organizations, it also just helps me like, think about things like it's a really great, like, you know, way to look at the world sometimes.00:08:32 Jacob:Yeah. You're not bamboozled by engineers too, which 00:08:34 Seth:Yeah. Yeah. And I can like talk to engineers and I think like, it really helps me get, buy-in like I can go to the engineering team and be like, yeah, no, tell me the real shit. Like, you know, what's really going on and we can have technical combos as opposed to like, you know, kind of the, I don't know if it's just a whatever stereotype of early CEO that's like, I need this and this is why, and I'm going to go sell and you know, that can get you into trouble and. Yeah. So anyway, I, I'm a huge advocate. I get some people are really, it's a scary thing to learn. It does take time. You're really bad for00:09:08 Jacob:Ever, basically, I don't think, I don't think you ever get, you're not going to be good. Like every engineer you work with is going to be like, oh right, like this 00:09:16 Seth:Exactly, But I do think it's, it's really helpful, especially those in the early days. Cause like, trust me, you can look at Google and be like, oh, I need to raise money for my startup, which is what I did.And eventually we did, you know, do some fundraising, but It's again, the amount of time you'd spend trying to figure out how to fundraise and just jump in this like really deep ocean versus, you know, a skill that you'll have for life that will instantly, you know, provide value in your current job even.Yeah. I'm, I'm all for it. I mean, I try to get people to code no matter what, 00:09:47 Jacob:I guess like you mentioned kind of that, that early stage. Finding product market fit. Like how long if something's called wandering the desert, but like how long did you wander the desert? Like how long until, and then when you first started to see those indications, because probably market fits this, like it's, it's a bad term because like, It means different things to different people and founders can deceive themselves all the time.And, you know, even, even YC is like, I think one of the best orgs for defining this and communicating this there, their definition is not very good right there. Like, it just feels like it's going faster. It's like, okay. Like you can still lie to yourself really easily. So what did that look like for you?00:10:26 Seth:Yeah, no, I could not agree more and could go on lots of, lots of rants about this, or just in general, like, you know, benchmarks or anything like that. I think. You know, and I'll just speak for myself. Cause like you said, it's like totally different for every company. but the, the first signs is when I remember I was working the first and only job I had out of college, I was a systems engineer at progressive insurance.So I was in their data center, literally like working on servers, had no idea what I was doing, but, I was there for like six months and I remember I was like at work, searching Twitter, like Rapchat on Twitter, just to. And then over time, like more and more people just kept sharing their tracks to Twitter and like saying how much they love it.And then app store reviews were a big thing. I mean, it's just clear that we like, like people truly loved the product. and that was kind of the first step. And you can't really like quantify. It's not like, oh, there was a thousand Twitter it's, you know, quotes or. 00:11:29 Jacob:You weren't measuring like day one retention, day 30 retention. 00:11:32 Seth:Was, I learned that I learned all that stuff over time and like, we track, we track a lot of that stuff, but I'm telling you like the most important stuff was like the qualitative in the early days.Then, but you need qualitative at scale. Like it's not just like your friend, you know, it's like, plus you know, 50,000 I may use at that time or whatever it was. And I think that. That was really key. Like the first thing is like, people were actually able to record music on their phone and share it.Some people were really good at it. Like this is, this is kind of like obvious now, but it wasn't back in the day. Like there was like technical challenges there where, you know, people didn't think it would be a thing. Some people still don't think it's like a billion opportunity, but like, you know, we had to prove out that people would really record music on their phone.Like that was, it seems so obvious, 00:12:21 Jacob:What was the propeller heads app? gosh, what was that called? 00:12:25 Seth:Had a few, I00:12:26 Jacob:There was, there was, I remember this bad podcasting. I don't know the name of it, but I remember there being some really key like music apps that were kind of around that era. Right. It was like, the phones were finally getting fast enough to be able to do this without like just falling over and dying in 00:12:41 Seth:Yeah. Yeah. 00:12:42 Jacob:Timeframe.00:12:42 Seth:And Andrew, it's still like really freaking hard to get. Right. But I mean, over time now we have like a process of like, how we think about, you know, does our product work for a certain market? And it's changed. Like I would say you never really—we're not in a desert, but you never stop wandering Like your product evolves over time. The market evolves over time. We've seen different personas evolve and grow in our community over time. and now, like I said, in the early days, a lot of it was providing just like a fun, social media app that was music-based for the F for everyone. And now, while we do have those components, it's much more about providing a really great recording studio in your pocket with a community of creators for the everyday artists.Like, so now we've actually. Zoned in a little more and focused on one or two specific segments. And we have really strong metrics engagement, now subscriptions for that specific persona. So I think that's a big thing. Like in the early days, you'd read all these blogs and, you know, what to look at for retention or what to look at for product market fit.But a lot of times it's not married with context of like personas. And so for the first three years, I mean, we were getting whatever millions of downloads a year. But like this person, in India's here to have fun. This person in Georgia is here to take it seriously. And we were just looking at it all blended.And so like, once we learned to actually be like, no, like when now we literally ask, like, why are you here? Like, what are your aspirations? And, then we view things through that lens. That's been one of the biggest unlocks, like, it it seems obvious again, but. If you don't think that way then in the early days, you're just kind of like wondering like, well, why is my day one retention?Like not changing. It's like, well, you know, you're getting 30% of your users from this like really bad channel and they're low intent. And like, you should filter those out. because that's noise.00:14:42 Jacob:I it's so tricky though, because I was in a similar position when we were trying to work on growth elevate. And, you can, you can really easily. That thing where founders are trying to lie to themselves, it's a very easy way to lie to yourself. Right. And be like, yeah, I have a great retention if I just ignore all the users with the bad retention.Right. And it's like,00:15:02 Seth:Yeah. Yeah.00:15:03 Jacob:I think context is the important thing. Right. It's like, okay, like what are the actual context for this? And I mean, it makes me think of, the photo room, a founder who we had on a couple, a couple of weeks ago. I don't know the ordering of the pockets come down, but they also had a similar situation where they found it, like within their greater per user base, like a persona where retention was really strong intent was really high.And then it's kind of great because it gives you, I feel like from a founder and product perspective, it gives you license to focus right. A little bit and be like, okay, like we found this profile, that's going to be our most important. And we're going to like really put our energy here. And it kind of clarifies a lot of like things for the, you know, product decision-making. 00:15:43 David:One thing to interject on this real quick is that, I think a lot of people underestimate just how amazing Facebook got at doing this for founders. Because that the feedback loop and Facebook's algorithm and how much data that had on people prior to app tracking transparency and apple is kind of unwound all of this, but that's part of why Facebook has worked as the like user acquisition main channel for so many apps to grow is because all of what you were talking about, Jacob, and you were talking about.They just do it automatically with really sophisticated eye AI and way more data than you're ever going to have to understand people's intent and the, the, the types of people who are going to. Oh, well in your app. So when you're feeding those subscription monetization events back to Facebook and Facebook's experimenting with $50,000 a year money, what are they really doing?They're doing what you can do. And now with app tracking transparency, we're going to have to do it more is they're finding those personas and then advertising to them to get you that return on investment. I think people underestimate how great Facebook did it at finding the. Amazing personas that work in your app.But now, like it's kind of back to doing what you've done. So I'd love to hear a little bit more to, you know, early on just seeing it on a, you know, Rapchat trending on Twitter and like following all that stuff. Like, I think a lot of. Over instrument early and just need to like hit some critical mass first.But then as you get a little further along, you know, you've talked about building this like product market fit engine, like how, like, what's your, what's your stack. And then how do you think about measuring and learning about those personas and then kind of building for them and orienting the app around that?00:17:44 Seth:I mean, there's a lot there. So, I mean, again, for context, like we are now just getting into that game, which is like the worst time ever to get into the game where, you know, we're actually trying to bring those users in with our dollars at00:17:59 Jacob:Maybe, but, but you know, as it's been disrupted, right. So there's opportunity. You, you you'll have probably a better time than somebody who's trying to adapt from something they got used00:18:07 Seth:Right. We're going the other way. Pretty much like, so. 00:18:10 David:Facebook charged a lot to do it. That's the thing it's like, they captured a lot of that revenue by figuring it out for you, but if you can figure it out and then find those channels that reach those personas in a more cash efficient way you actually are at, at, in a better place. It's just more work on your side of things, but then you understand your customers better.So there's benefits to,00:18:30 Jacob:So, so maybe Seth put it on a timeline for me. So like you said, 2008, 2009. So you're, you're getting on a, a decade of, of working on this, right. It's been, it's been, how long have you been working on. 00:18:41 Seth:2013,00:18:43 Jacob:Sorry. Sorry. How are you telling me a college point? This is before the podcast. Sorry. I'm very good broadcaster.It's yeah, 2013. So it's still okay. 7, 8, 8, 8 years or so. So when, when did, when I guess like we are, when did to kind of lead into David's question, like when did you kind of transition from like, maybe it's it's recently, but like at some point, did you go like, okay, like how do I grow this thing? Like, what's the, what's the, you know, I see this happening a lot.Consumer apps cause consumer apps really, it maybe they're inherently viral, but they almost always have to have something to drive the growth. Like some sort of mechanism. When did, did you ever have a point where you started transitioning, start to think about that more as part of the company-building 00:19:26 Seth:Yeah, absolutely. I mean, so I mean to date, like, you know, we've had over 7 million people create music in over a hundred countries and over 80% of that's been organic. So it's like, you know, we've really, that was our whole thing forever because we didn't have capital. we may have had capital, but we didn't have enough to have remotely a good budget so we really, yeah, we, we kind of tweaked and refined our viral loops in the early days because that's all we had. So when I say scrolling on Twitter, that was like the first instance before you could eat, there was a time period where you couldn't even post on Twitter, you had to open the messages in the app, and then we made it really simple.Again, all this shit's so obvious now, and now every app does it, but you know, we made it really simple to post a link to your Rapchat to your Twitter and your Facebook. I remember it was only Twitter and Facebook, like two ugly square buttons. because those were the things at the time. And that worked though.I mean, we saw a 10x Return on that. And I mean, to date, you know, that type of flow, come in, create content, share externally, bring your friends in. Some of them will either have the app. Some of them will go to the landing page on the website, download the app, that loop. I mean, that's been millions and millions of downloads.So, you know, we're kind of lucky in that sense that, you know, being a UGC and having some network effects, like that's really been key. and. And just continuing to improve the onboarding, improve the recording experience, improve the sharing experience. Like at some point we, you know, added Instagram and video where we auto-generate a video for you.That was a really good moment because people, and now that's our most used features, like sharing a video of your. because those do better on social network algorithms. So I think, you know, we've kind of had the core loop identified for quite some time and it's just been consistently tweaking and investing and making that better now, since we've had that—and that's kind of driven itself and still drives itself, you know, we're looking at all these different other components as well.So, we're testing out some paid stuff. we're testing out. Different types of like content marketing and like, we have our own podcast now and we really are bullish on like, you know, creating educational content for the mass music maker across different channels and think we can do some really cool stuff there.We're starting to explore different parts of like the growth stack, and even web like SEO and web, we haven't invested in. And we think it's a huge opportunity because we want to expose this content to. To everyone and we can create unique experiences per platform, and we have the bandwidth to do it now.So now it's kind of the fun part. whereas, you know, before it was, yeah, pretty much all organic. 00:22:12 Jacob:Surviving 00:22:13 Seth:Yeah.00:22:13 Jacob:How did you make money with the app, like throughout the history and when did you realize subscriptions were the only and best way to make money on the app store?00:22:19 Seth:Yeah, nice plug. no, I mean, we didn't, we didn't make money forever. Like until last year I think we hit like we're hitting year one. So we'll, you know, we'll figure out these yearly renewal renewals and all that, but, yeah, we didn't make money. Like we basically punted making money. Jury's still out.Like I think if I were to start another app company, I would just implement subscriptions way earlier. But, you know, this is what, when we started and we raised our first round of funding. So we've raised three rounds of funding and,00:22:51 Jacob:When did you raise your. 00:22:53 Seth:First round was 2017 and it was very much like, of course the investors are like, no, no, no, don't make money. know, grow user base, do what Twitter did.00:23:02 Jacob:Oh, you need money. I've got some right here. 00:23:05 Seth:Yeah. Just keep raising venture capital. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Essentially like, just get on the treadmill of ambiguous. And then at some point you can do an advertising layer and that's how it's done. Like that's that's and it's not like we had any much better ideas either.And we're like, all right, like, yeah, let's just keep growing the user base.00:23:22 Jacob:How did you get, how did you get this for years? You just like eating ramen and work in side jobs and 00:23:27 Seth:Yeah, dude. Yeah, Yeah. I mean, so two of them were at college. It was like part-time, you know, like grind in, it took a minute to just to get the test flight out and then the first version then. After progressive I for a year, you know, I just, I mean, I cashed out my 401k and paid some decent money at progressive and sold Bitcoin at like $250 a coin and yeah. Things like that. So 00:23:50 Jacob:Nice. 00:23:52 Seth:Max out some credit cards. I mean, whatever00:23:54 Jacob:You do what you gotta do. Right. it was real, scrappy until that, that, that first round. So, I mean, that's, that's the trade off there. Like you don't either you're at makes money and like you can flow and like kind of live off it or yeah, you got to do that kind of stuff and then eventually bridge to capital.So I was kind of curious, like how, 00:24:10 Seth:Yeah. And, and to be honest, like that, wasn't the only time we had to be scrappy. Like even after the first round, you know, like a lot of companies, we were kind of like, okay, we scaled our user base. Like I think, I dunno 10 X after the seed round, but it still wasn't quite like series a level. So we were kind of stuck in between rounds and it's like, oh shit.Back off payroll. Okay. Like, here we go again. And, you know, it's, it there's Mo there's been moments, multiple moments like that. and without revenue, it was like, you're kind of at the, you 00:24:41 Jacob:Is this it's a safety net, right? Like it's something you can go back on. Right? That, that, that I I've, I've been the receiver of that advice. Not, not in this round, that building revenue cap, but in the past of the like, just go, go, go. And it's, it's not bad advice. Cause it does like that's how Instagram did it.Right. There's examples of companies. But it's that classic. Like you, you know, people with a portfolio of tens or hundreds of companies giving advice to somebody with a portfolio of one and like the risk there, the, the, the, the, the, the risk equation is fundamentally different there, right. between people.And it's just one of those tensions with venture capital that exists. And like, you just got to negotiate. So, yeah. It's, it's, yeah. You know, it's a story we've heard all too much. I think it's why. No, I, I be, obviously I've got a horse in the race, but like, it's why I think subscriptions are great. Right.Cause it just like, you can still use venture capital. And in fact, like, I think it's going to be very accelerative. Right. But, but like you have options, right. And you're like less fragile now. 00:25:45 Seth:I mean, and I'm happy to say, like after that grind now we're absolutely in the best place we've ever been. We have, you know, recurring revenue, we have more cash at the bank than we've ever had, like multiple years of runway. And we should hit cashflow positive, like pretty soon. So it's like totally different ballgame.And I think to answer your other question, we turned out subscriptions. Yeah. About a year ago. And it really changed the like perspective of product building too. And I think that's a fundamental difference, like when we were raising our seed round and, you know, we had, I mean, we do, we have a social network on top of our tool and people were like, Hey, why don't you just try and get to like a billion users?Like that really changes how you build product and what type of features you prioritize? Like, yeah, you're going to be more like, okay, let me put it in another sharing. Like, let me really nudge you to share or like, 00:26:35 Jacob:Eyeballs. Right? you don't care. You don't care. What's behind them, right. You're just like 00:26:38 Seth:Like you basically focus on the top of the funnel instead of the middle, bottom of the funnel and like with subscriptions. Yeah. I mean, subscriptions bottom, bottom of the funnel and that's cool because it kind of focused, it, it focuses you more and that's, that was just a really, it was all big unlock, like last year and know, frankly, we had to figure out how to make money. We were kind of like in between again and, yeah, it just came to us.David came to us and convinced us to do revenue00:27:07 Jacob:Yeah, I forgot. I forgot that that was the, that was the case. I mean, that was part of the thesis of, of what we built to. I ideally lower the barrier and, and stuff like that. So, but how has, like, has has that, because I think there's one that you kind of mentioned just like top of funnel versus bottom of funnel, you think of an app that's driven by virality.There's like disadvantages to reducing, right. To like, so you must be balancing that really delicately, right? Because you still, you don't want to, you don't want to take the gas out of that, that viral loop 00:27:40 Seth:Yeah. Yeah. I mean, especially a year ago when we were like, oh man, we've had a free app. We have like, you know, 400,000 monthly active users or whatever it was at the time. And we're about to introduce this like paid product, you know, it was kind of nerve wracking that tastefully. You know, we took the approach where we didn't paywall any of the current functionality, like you could come in, you could do everything you did before.In fact, we upgraded the free functionality as well, and then we built new stuff. So like new vocal effects, new ways to like automatically make your song sound better using algorithms, and a few other cool things that people wanted and we paywalled like additional functionality. So I think that was really crucial to do it that.Way and we spent, you know, a few extra months building that, but, that was key. And then people converted and they're still converting because it's just like you get the core experience you come in and then, you know, we gradually level them up and we've launched one subscription product We have Rapchat gold, which again, unlocks Supreme creator tools.But now we're working on a second one that we're going to layer on top that helps these artists make money and gets their songs on Spotify and apple music. And that's going to kind of complete the artist journey. So, building subscription products can be like really fun and fulfilling for both parties.You know, it's like, we're finding ways to help you in your career. And also like, we don't have to start either, you know, it's like we can00:29:04 Jacob:Yeah,00:29:05 Seth:Grow together. And that probably sounds too happy, but like really it, it is like, it's, been 00:29:10 Jacob:You know, it's almost like an efficient market, right. Where people are paying for value and 00:29:15 Seth:That. 00:29:15 Jacob:Value is getting created, right? Like it's almost like a good way of00:29:19 Seth:Yep.00:29:20 Jacob:Like00:29:20 Seth:I like that.00:29:21 David:So tell me a little bit more about, about the fundraising process, as an app and kind of being at a, you know, you said there was that kind of in-between time where it's like, you, you, you had all these signs of product market fit. You were going after the big opportunity. And then when you switched to subscriptions, it wasn't too long after that, that you, went and raised money, right?Did did the subscription product really take off or was it just early and signs of it? It really taking off that, seed investment. 00:29:54 Seth:When we closed that round, you're talking about that's, you know, whatever public and, that, that was around Nico and adjacent came in, you know, we were a couple months into subscription, so it's not like we had a ton of data, and we weren't even like fully rolled out. Now we had proof that.People Liked it and good conversion rates and stuff like that. But I think that was iteration one of the paywall and iteration, one of the flow and really early. but I do think it changed the pers, like how, investors perceived our company and we, we proactively changed it too we're like, no we're building subscription products for our best users.You know, we, we were able to kind of take control of the pitch more-so than before where it's like, you're not making money. How are you going to make money? Are you going to be a social network with ads? Are you going to be a tools company? It's like, No like, this is, this is what we are like, you know?And, that really put us in control. And, yeah, once we got Nico and a few other, like we, it was also just a good time in the market. Like, I feel like in the past couple of years—you guys have seen, there's been a lot of activity on the investor side getting into subscription. apps On the market side with IPOs on the founder side with building really great apps that scaled.I mean, Adjecent's whole portfolio as an example. so I think people were also like, that was the first time where the market worked in our favor. Right. Because before were a music tech social app, it's like, no one wants to fucking touch that. 00:31:19 Jacob:You're like a, you're like Instagram, but smaller.00:31:22 Seth:Yeah. Right. Like, and so. It also like it, it was kind of a perfect storm, I guess.And, yeah, we were very fortunate to get in the right investors that understood the market and also understood like the vision, like the vision was a lot clearer and like, I know Nico really latched onto it and his kind of thesis was perfect for like what we're doing for music. so yeah, it just, it, it was a good fit obviously Sony was in it and like, you know, that, that was kind of a big key moment to get validation from like the music industry where it's like, oh, they're a lot more open and flexible to some of these new-coming technologies and apps and companies.And in fact, like see value in working together, that kind of knocks down that like historical music/tech graveyard of the industry, killing every music tech startup.00:32:13 Jacob:They learned their lesson once probably.00:32:15 Seth:Yeah. Pretty much. 00:32:16 David:Yeah, I'm I'm really curious about, about Sony specifically. And then, you know, you've already been talking about Nico, but you, after, after raising that round and going through that process, what, what's your perspective and maybe even any advice to people thinking about this, about that kind of strategic alignment and the kind of value add, you know, finding that, that company/investor/founder fit. any lessons you've learned from that? 00:32:45 Seth:Yeah, it's hard one 00:32:48 Jacob:Was going to say, I was going to ask like, why? because it sounds like you're leverage different changed probably right from 00:32:54 Seth:Yeah. 00:32:54 Jacob:Because I, I can't imagine, did you raise this first rounds in Ohio?00:32:57 Seth:Yeah, it's some in Ohio, some in the Midwest. You know, smaller funds on the coast, but mostly, 00:33:04 Jacob:To have changed drastically since even 00:33:06 Seth:Yeah. 00:33:06 Jacob:Those first couple of rounds, right? Like it's going00:33:08 Seth:Yeah, for sure. For sure. No, we have a lot more left. I mean, we're, we can be a lot more choosy. We've got to pick like really great investors as of late. it's a whole different, yeah, it's been, it's been crazy.Crazy awesome. But yeah, I mean working, I don't know that you'll get a lot of different advice in working with strategics or big industry partners and depending on who you talk to, some will say don't touch them at all. Some we'll say, if you can work with them, work with them. you know, all I can say is, from my experience, like, it's, it's not easy.Like you're working with a massive, usually a public company and they have a lot more process than, than you do. So like literally getting a deal done is just going to take longer, be more strenuous, probably have a couple of strings. We were fortunate enough for it to be a really good, like clean same terms type of deal, but.It's, it can be really difficult. and that's kind of up to the founder and the company to figure out like, is it worth it? you know, for us major record labels are. Still kind of the end state for a lot of potential artists in their journey. Like they still provide a lot of value if you get to that point.So like, of course we want to, for the long tail, for our, millions of creators, give them that opportunity. if we can help bridge the gap to get signed at some point, that's really, that's really interesting to us. but yeah, it's hard and again, it's very contextual. It depends on every deal.It depends on every company and in general, It's just, it's gonna take a, it's gonna take some time, 00:34:36 Jacob:Yeah. dealing with like a big company, like, like Sony, like venture deals, probably the only thing you're probably tooled for this stage. Cause like that's a bit cleaner, right? Like a venture deal. It's like they invest money. Yeah. If you can get it on the same terms as like another venture investor, like it keeps it clean versus like if you're working on partnerships or something like that, it gets more complicated and I think different.And I'm sure, I'm sure that's probably something you're thinking about going forward. It's like, how do you actually like begin to really engage on those partnerships? I think that's even harder. So in this specific case, or like maybe a more general case, I can venture a small, like venture investment. It can be like a nice way to kind of just like, get your foot in the door with, with a company or like a strategic, just kinda meet people.Just kind of give them some visibility. And then as you grew up, but I would be, I would ha I would caution against like, trying to engage on some big, hairy, strategic, like, partnership deal. I would like push that out until you get a bit bigger. And like you said, like can match the, like the bandwidth differences a little bit better.00:35:33 Seth:Yeah. I have like our own general council full00:35:36 Jacob:And a partnerships 00:35:37 Seth:Tons of it. yeah, 00:35:41 Jacob:That might probably not the best use of your time at this stage. Right. So.00:35:45 Seth:No, I totally agree. I mean, that's, that's, that's pretty spot on 00:35:48 David:And how did you even get an intro? I mean, if you don't mind sharing, like, it seems like it is such a perfect fit, but even those perfect fits, like sometimes it's hard to just even get your foot in the door. 00:36:00 Jacob:Email CEO, 00:36:01 Seth:Yeah, right. honestly, like that's, shit, I don't even know. I mean, I think someone might have intro to us, or I, I reached out to somebody, I mean, we've had a lot of different contacts. I mean over the years and you guys know this, but like now, okay. We've been startups for five, six years and have pretty good network and investors, partners, founders, and it's just kind of a flywheel like now, you know, things come in, things go out.Like it's kind of a engine. I think with that one, it was later on in my like startup journey. So I had a lot of. Connections out there already with the other major labels too. It's like, you know, we we've talked to, we've kept in touch. That was one thing I think we've done really well throughout, like our time, even though we, you know, we've been around for a minute, but we've consistently like kept people updated, whether it's investors, whether it's potential employees, whether it's partners and you know, sometimes like the guy you knew or girl who.Four years ago that you were talking to at a specific part of a bigger company is now leading venture. Right? Like in that, that type of stuff happens a lot. And I don't think this is one of those instances. Like I literally think we talked to one division of Sony and then someone like, introduce us to another like, oh, you should talk to the U S music department or whatever.And, you know, all that to say, like, it's just happens. Like you just reach out to people or people reach out to you. There's there's no like magic 00:37:29 Jacob:These, big places have venture teams typically, right. Or they have like some venture part of their Corp dev wing. That's like, has, you know, funds and knows what they're doing usually. but, but yeah, I mean, it's tricky to. Pick partners like, cause yeah, you also, like we're, we're a interesting company in the sense that like we have kind of many implicit partners.Right. and it, it, it, you know, there's no, like there's no like cap table, you know, wedding rings between any of us, which, which maybe simplifies or doesn't, 00:38:01 Seth:I thought you guys own like 10% or at yet.00:38:04 Jacob:Yeah, that was, that was that's how you got our free plan. 00:38:07 Seth:Right, right. 00:38:08 Jacob:Days you didn't read the full, you didn't read the 00:38:10 Seth:Yeah. 00:38:11 Jacob:Terms of service, parody, parody, comedy. 00:38:14 David:Yeah, I did. I did want to ask, Facebook. Kind of jumped into your space not too long ago. 00:38:22 Jacob:Where were you? Cause you, we guarantee you, you remember when you saw this, but w what were you doing when, like you saw like, Facebook, like clingy guys?00:38:31 Seth:I honestly think I might've been sitting right here. Like I think I was just working.00:38:35 Jacob:Yeah. 00:38:36 Seth:It was nothing special.Like. 00:38:37 Jacob:That's Like a S a founder moment. Like, there's these moments where you're like, oh, somebody just like a bullet, just grazed my ear. Right?00:38:43 Seth:No, I wish I could say I was like at the gym on the treadmill and then it came in and I like jumped up the treadmill. 00:38:50 Jacob:It's most likely you're sitting at your desk, 00:38:52 Seth:Yeah, statistically. Yeah. no, it was, it was kind of a weak, like I don't, I don't even know how to describe the emotions. I mean, I was just like, I kind of laughed. It was just like, okay.You know, I definitely wasn't. Like scared or super worried or freaking out, like, you know, it's maybe, I don't know, 2019 me or something or in the early days would, I'm like, oh shit, like now I can't get venture funding or now I can't like keep building, like, they're going to crush it. But I mean, we've been around in some minute ourselves, so yeah, I just, it was kind of funny and ironic.And then it went like many viral on Twitter with a lot of, you know, my network and other people. And then, I had friends sending it to me like, oh dude, what do you gotta do? And, I don't know, man, like just probably download it and see how bad it is and go from there.They're like, yeah. And it was, and honestly, it was just kind of a fun thing.Like, you know, it, it did, like we got press around the round and then some people could write about that. And it was kind of a funny story and somewhat of a badge of honor, like people, you know, they copy a lot of the top apps. And again, it's just kind of like validation that like clearly you're onto something.I mean, they used the same. Color scheme emojis at okay. One of my most proud things. 00:40:10 Jacob:Stuff that makes you angry, right? As a 00:40:12 Seth:Yeah. 00:40:12 Jacob:They cloned you it's that they 00:40:14 Seth:Yeah. 00:40:15 Jacob:Right? That's what makes me mad. 00:40:16 Seth:The thing that really got me was, Like for our like, button, right. it's a flame, it's like an emoji. And like when you hit it, it like turns into the actual emoji flame. And I always thought that was like the sickest thing ever.Like they did the same exact thing. I was just like, all right. Like, I mean, that's what the little things are, what confirmed that they actually kind of like really looked at your, your app. But, no it's been, I don't even know what they've been up to. I don't even know if they shipped updates. It's zero concern to us. it was just kind of fun. It was like funny to share with the team and, investors and, you know, a lot of investors were like, hell yeah, like that's a good sign. Like 00:40:55 Jacob:Yeah, you should hire somebody off the team. 00:40:57 Seth:Yeah, right. Oh, trust me. I would love to 00:41:00 Jacob:Because like you just think about like, yeah, I, I think you've got the right mentality about it. I'm not even telling you this as like, trying to make you feel better. Like really? Cause like, think how much more skin in the game you have it. I don't know who built this.It's probably some product managers like promotion, packet, project or whatever. I'm being condescending to people working in big companies. But you know, but, but, but think about it like this, you know, this is a, this is a one-time thing there's trying out, right? This is. Passion, right. This is your life or you've last whatever years, right?Like good luck. Unless it, unless they just happened to be way more talented and way more funded, which maybe Facebook is, but like they're not, they don't execute perfectly on everything. Right. So, I think you just smile and you just be like, yeah, let's go, right. It's not, it's not like apples competing with you and being like we're pre installing a chat wrap 00:41:42 Seth:Right, right. Yeah. 00:41:44 Jacob:Which you know, could happen, but 00:41:46 Seth:Sure. Yeah. I mean garage band. Yeah, I appreciate that. I mean, the thing is also like, look in the early days we were. I'm just sharing this for context. Like we were, you know, one of the first apps that actually let you record your voice over a beat and share it like that was like New.Okay. Now there's plenty of apps where you can come in and record vocals. You know, different types of audio for beats and like music making apps are kind of a commodity. but what we've done that I mentioned, and we kind of fell into this was like, we built that social layer, that community layer, and you can't replicate that, you know, like they can come in and replicate the tool and have a feed, but like, nah, dude, we already have like hundreds of thousands of like passionate creators that have been with us that have been riding with us. And my favorite thing was when complex tweeted. And like complex being like a very like cultural industry outlet. And they tweeted out and their responses to that were just like the most hilarious thing. I don't even think I could say like half of it, but it was like, basically like Zuck this like reptile coming into like, you know, vulture culture vulture and like, oh shit, that would be my worst nightmare.People said about us and they don't like, it's just are we're authentic. And you know, we really care about the community and that's, you know, That's 00:42:59 David:That's awesome. Well, I think that's a great place to wrap up. We're coming up to the top of the hour, but I did want to give you a few seconds to pitch. I know you're hiring and you got a lot going on right now. Any specific roles at the company that you think our audience might be a great fit for? 00:43:17 Seth:Yeah, for sure. I appreciate that. I mean really just like product builders, and I say that broadly. So, engineers, designers, growth marketers, we're looking for really great people to help us scale. Again, we're still a small team. Ten people fully remote and, really looking to scale the product and the company. Now that we have some stability it's a great time to jump on board. We really think that this era of mass music creation has begun, and we kind of kickstarted it, but we're only getting started, right? We just have a really strong opportunity to provide the everyday stack for the everyday artists.00:44:04 David:Yeah, that's amazing. I took a look at your careers page. It looks like there's some great opportunities there across the whole stack, which is fun. 00:44:13 Seth:Where were you looking at, David?00:44:17 Jacob:You guys are welcome to have this conversation, but just let me leave the room, please.00:44:22 Seth:I'm kidding. I'm kidding.00:44:25 David:I do have a background in audio engineering.00:44:27 Jacob:Yes. True.00:44:31 David:No, I'm not in the market. I have too much fun having conversations like this with people like you.00:44:37 Jacob:Alright, thank you for listening to the Sub Club podcast. 00:44:41 David:That's a great place to go out on there. Thank you so much, Seth, for being on the podcast. It's been great. You've been so generous with your time and just sharing.Seth's been on multiple other podcasts. He's been on app promotion stuff. So, I love it when people in this space are open and share about the successes, the failures, how they're building things.So thanks for your time today and for being so active in the kind of broader app maker community. 00:45:11 Seth:Yeah. I just want to say, thanks. Thanks to you guys. The podcast is awesome. I listen to it, every episode. Not to plug your product, but your product, we love it. It's been instrumental in building a real business over here.00:45:30 Jacob:That's awesome. 00:45:31 Seth:I just appreciate you guys. Yeah. 00:45:36 Jacob:Thanks. It was great to meet you.00:45:38 Seth:Likewise, man. Let's let's hang out. You guys take care.

Green And Gold Rugby
The Dropped Kick-Off 33 – Young Grasshoppers (Q&A VII)

Green And Gold Rugby

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 83:01


The Rugby Championship is wrapped up, so the Two Nicks, Jack and Car Park CEO & Chair of the Christmas Club Natho come together to answer your questions WARNING: coarse language Q&A VII: GAGR – Reds Revival – There's talk of Kurtley Beale putting his hand up for the Spring Tour (#justno), as well as possible selection of Tolu Latu, Rory Arnold, and Will Skelton. How many “imported” players are too many? Will this affect the development of the younger Wallabies? Twitter – HuwTindall – Don't want to get ahead of ourselves but what experiments do you want to see on spring tour and what do you think Rennie will do? I want to see Perese and the Euro big 3 for the pack – i.e. Latu, Arnold, Skelton. That and get Lolesio some minutes along with Pettaia. Twitter – Alastair Walton – Any news on Kerevi's injury? When is the Spring Tour squad being announced? Is Japan a chance to run some of those without a lot of game time under their belts? Who would that be? Twitter – CactusBack – The players that joined the squad throughout bledisloe etc were part of the squad a month before getting any game time. Whats the schedule in Europe likely to be – mainly when will the euro players join the squad and will it be long enough to actually get game time do you think? Twitter – Tomato Lemons – TRC 2021 Pens v YC:

Marc's Essential Mix Tape Radio Show
Episode 1690: Marc's Essential Mix Tape #1691 Yo Like Future Mix. feat JayZ, Meghan, YC, Drake, Young Thug, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, DDG, Lil Pump, Com Leray

Marc's Essential Mix Tape Radio Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 22:16


Big Pimpin'  | Jay-Z feat. UGKThot Shit  | Megan Thee StallionRacks  | YC ft FutureWay 2 Sexy  | Drake feat. Future & Young ThugKill 'Em With Success  | Eearz, ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz & Mike Will Made ItMoonwalking In Calabasas  | DDG ft BluefaceEsskeetit  | Lil PumpTwinnem  | Coi LerayX  | Tinashe Ft. JeremihJumpman  | Drake & Future

Nerding with Friends
Music from Freshman Year

Nerding with Friends

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 24, 2021 85:13


Here at Nerding with Friends, we love music just as much as we love comics and anime. In this episode, we took a trip down memory lane to our college days and the songs popular back then. We brought in the homie K-Mitch for this one for his musical expertise and to nerd out over the nostalgia of the music we studied and partied to back in the day. During this time (2010-2011) we saw the rise of a lot of current stars like Drake, as well as some one-hit wonders like YC. Once you finish the episode check out the curated Apple Music and Spotify playlists we made with some of the hits from the time. Did we miss out on your favorite song from the time? Let us know in the comments! Freshman Year Playlist Apple Music Playlist - https://apple.co/3EGkUwH Spotify Playlist - https://spoti.fi/3ktgnFI About Nerding with Friends — Beat by Mal (Twitter- @malphroditee904 & IG – @mallycyrus904) Follow C.Ro$$ on Twitter and IG at @c_ross321 and Codename: Comet on IG at @_codenamecomet and Twitter at @ codename_comet. — This episode is sponsored by Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Send in a voice message | Support this podcast | Rate and Review on PodChaser --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/nerdingwithfriends/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nerdingwithfriends/support

Latitud Podcast
Pivoting to success: Pamela Valdés, Beek

Latitud Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 57:07


About 6 years ago, Pamela Valdés was faced with an important choice between a full scholarship for university in the US or dropping out to get her business off the ground. As you may have guessed, the latter won. That was the birth of Beek, a startup created to be the top audio platform in Latin America. Originally from Mexico, Pamela was part of YC in 2017 and got investments from VC firms like Greylock and Accel. Outside of work, Pamela enjoys surfing and, of course, listening to audiobooks. Over 50 a year.In this episode, Pamela shares:How Beek pivoted and evolved along the journeyThe importance of managing herself as the company growsHer unique story of getting into YCAnd some special book recommendationsStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com

Datacast
Episode 72: Folding Data with Gleb Mezhanskiy

Datacast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 67:53


Timestamps(01:42) Gleb shared briefly about his upbringing and studying Economics in university in Russia.(04:15) Gleb discussed his move to the US to pursue a Master of Information Systems Management at Carnegie Mellon University.(07:07) Gleb went over his summer internship as a Business Analyst at Autodesk.(08:40) Gleb shared the details of his project architecting data model/ETL pipelines as a PM at Autodesk.(11:34) Gleb unpacked the evolution of his career at Lyft — from an individual data analyst to a PM on data tooling and a high-impact project that he worked on.(16:54) Gleb shared valuable lessons from the experience of leading multiple cross-functional teams of engineers and growing the data organization significantly.(19:48) Gleb mentioned his time as a Product Manager at Phantom Auto, leading the development of a teleoperation product for autonomous vehicles over cellular networks.(25:28) Gleb emphasized the critical factors to consider when choosing a working environment: trusted managers/colleagues, maturity of tools/processes, and the function of data teams within the organization.(29:10) Gleb shared the story behind the founding of Datafold, whose mission is to help companies effectively leverage their data assets while making Data Engineering & Analytics a creative and enjoyable experience.(33:04) Gleb dissected the pain points with regression testing and the benefits of using Data Diff (Datafold's first product) for data engineers.(36:54) Gleb unpacked the data monitoring feature within Datafold's data observability platform.(39:45) Gleb discussed how to choose data warehousing solutions for your use cases (and made the distinction between data warehouse and data lake).(47:03) Gleb gave insights on the need for BI and data observability/quality management tools within the modern analytics stack.(50:40) Gleb emphasized the importance of tooling integration for Datafold's roadmap.(52:07) Gleb has been hosting Data Quality meetups to discuss the under-explored area of data quality.(54:02) Gleb shared his learnings from going through the YC incubator in summer 2020.(55:45) Gleb discussed the hurdles he had to jump through to find early customers of Datafold.(57:47) Gleb emphasized valuable lessons he has learned to attract the right people who are excited about Datafold's mission.(59:17) Gleb shared his advice for founders who are in the process of finding the right investors for their companies.(01:02:11) Closing segment.Gleb's Contact InfoLinkedInDatafold (Twitter and LinkedIn)Data Quality MeetupsMentioned ContentCourseHarvard's CS50: Introduction to Computer ScienceBlog PostsModern Analytics Stack (June 2020)Choosing Data Warehouse for Analytics (June 2020)3 Ways To Be Wrong About Open-Source Data Warehousing Software (June 2020)Buy Not Build (Aug 2020)Datafold Raises a $2.1M Seed Round Led by NEA (Nov 2020)Datafold + dbt: The Perfect Stack for Reliable Data Pipelines (Feb 2021)PeopleMaxime Beauchemin (Founder and CEO at Preset, creator of Apache Superset and Apache Airflow)Tobias Macey (Host of the Data Engineering Podcast)Books“How To Measure Anything” (by Douglas Hubbard)“Lean Analytics” (by Benjamin Yoskovitz and Alistair Croll)NotesMy conversation with Gleb was recorded back in March 2021. Since the podcast was recorded, a lot has happened at Datafold! I'd recommend:Reading Gleb's open-source edition of the modern data stack.Listening to Gleb's appearance on the Data Engineering podcast.Watching the lightning talks and panel discussions from recent Data Quality meetups number 4 and number 5.About the showDatacast features long-form, in-depth conversations with practitioners and researchers in the data community to walk through their professional journeys and unpack the lessons learned along the way. I invite guests coming from a wide range of career paths — from scientists and analysts to founders and investors — to analyze the case for using data in the real world and extract their mental models (“the WHY and the HOW”) behind their pursuits. Hopefully, these conversations can serve as valuable tools for early-stage data professionals as they navigate their own careers in the exciting data universe.Datacast is produced and edited by James Le. Get in touch with feedback or guest suggestions by emailing khanhle.1013@gmail.com.Subscribe by searching for Datacast wherever you get podcasts or click one of the links below:Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google PodcastsIf you're new, see the podcast homepage for the most recent episodes to listen to, or browse the full guest list.

Latitud Podcast
Building the largest tech school in Latin America: Freddy Vega, Platzi

Latitud Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2021 66:10


Over the last few years, Latin America has been seeing more and more people interested in founding a startup. To them, Freddy Vega has one advice: don't do it.The deterrence may sound strange, especially coming from someone who is a natural born entrepreneur. Freddy started at age 16, when he created what became the largest community of developers in Latin America, Cristalab. He had learned how to program by himself 3 years prior, on a borrowed Casio calculator.After meeting Christian Van Der Henst, who led an equally successful initiative in education, they decided to merge their communities. Soon after, they started hosting live educational shows every Thursday, which ultimately evolved into Platzi: an online learning platform offering courses in technology, business and several other categories. With millions of students across Latin America, it bets on teaching saleable skills fast and on a huge scale, while also seeding a lifelong-learning attitude.Fun fact, Platzi was the first company with a Latin American market to ever go to YC, in 2015.Keep listening to learn:What's behind the "don't do it" adviceHis self-development journeyHow to build psychological safety within a companyHis thoughts on culture in Latin AmericaAnd how to unleash the power of communityStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com

Sub Club
Matthieu Rouif, PhotoRoom - Finding Product Market Fit by Unbundling Photoshop

Sub Club

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2021 44:36


Watch the video version of this show on YouTube »Matthieu Rouif is the co-founder and CEO of PhotoRoom. PhotoRoom enables anyone to create studio-quality photos on their iPhone. Before founding PhotoRoom, Matthieu was the Senior Project Manager at GoPro. Matthieu is also the co-founder and CTO of HeyCrowd, and co-founder and CEO of As-App.Matthieu earned his graduate degree in materials science and engineering from Stanford University, and his bachelor's degrees in economics, and physics from École Polytechnique. While at École Polytechnique, Matthieu was a member of the skydiving team and debate team. Matthieu also served as a Parachutist Commando Officer in the French Air Force.Matthieu started developing apps in 2009 as a student at Stanford, and subsequently started two iPhone app companies. He was part of the Replay app team when they won App of the Year in 2014. Matthieu started PhotoRoom after leaving GoPro in 2018.In this episode, you'll learn: Matthieu's retention strategies for keeping app users subscribed Innovative and clever ways to get users to demo your app Balancing your app's pricing and features How churn can be an asset Links & Resources YC HeyCrowd GoPro Photoshop Zenlea Shopify Poshmark Depop Corel Matthieu Rouif's Links Matthieu on Twitter Matthieu on LinkendIn PhotoRoom is hiring! 10 Tools to Ship an iOS App in 2 Weeks PhotoRoom's Website PhotoRoom API PhotoRoom on Twitter Follow us on Twitter: David Barnard Jacob Eiting RevenueCat Sub Club Episode Transcript00:00:00 David:Hello, I'm your host, David Barnard. And with me as always, Jacob Eiting, RevenueCat CEO. Our guest today is Matt Rouif, co-founder and CEO at PhotoRoom, the app for removing backgrounds and creating studio quality photos right from your phone.On the podcast, we talk with Matt about how his time at GoPro led to founding PhotoRoom, how churn can actually be an asset, and how being locked in Apple's basement led to one of PhotoRoom's biggest marketing wins.Hey, Matt. Thanks for joining us on the podcast today. How are you doing?00:00:48 Matthieu:Great. Hey David, Hey Jacob.00:00:51 Jacob:Hi, it's nice to finally meet internet/virtual face-to-face. We've known each other for a little while. I've become fortunate to know you kind of through RevenueCat, but not actually know-know you. So, it's nice to finally put a face to the name.I was looking back through my email and I think the first I ever heard of you was from our mutual friend, Cisco, if I say that correctly?00:01:23 Matthieu:Yeah, Francisco.00:01:24 Jacob:Francisco, who shared with me a blog post that I had seen that you wrote where you talked about RevenueCat as part of your stack. Since then, I think we talked as you were thinking about going into YC, and then after YC, I put in a little bit of money, so this is a good opportunity to check in on my investment.I'm super excited to dive in, because there's a lot of questions. I kind of have followed you guys and kind of seeing some of the stuff you've been doing, but I don't know, like the behind the scenes decision making processes and like, and all that stuff. So yeah, I'm excited to hear the story firsthand.00:02:04 David:Yeah, but before we get into PhotoRoom, you've got quite a history in app development. So, I want to go back to the beginning and talk war stories. A lot of people were in the industry way back when. Jacob and I both started really early as well. So, you got your start during the Stanford class and you were actually a teaching assistant at Stanford at the time, right? I'm kind of stealing your story, but yeah. Tell me, tell me how you got into it.00:02:34 Matthieu:Yeah. Actually I wasn't a teaching assistant in physics. I was doing a master's in physics at Stanford, right at the moment of the first iPhone class. And, I actually went to Stanford because I was fascinated by the entrepreneurship. And I had this business idea of printing photos and sending them.And that seemed a lot easier not to buy hardware, but just use the iPhone which just started at that point. So, I was at Stanford, there was the iPhone class. I wanted to do a photo app. So, see, 12 years later....00:03:05 Jacob:A 12 year overnight success.00:03:07 Matthieu:That's what they say. Exactly. And, yeah, I got, I actually, I got started, programming.I was doing physics before, and I didn't know anything about programming. So I took a class with a friend that went through the basics, and I just wanted to push products on apps. And I found that the iPhone was the best at that point. And actually the photo app became something else.The first company I started back in grad school and they became like a ski resorts app. I shipped, we had all of the major ski resorts. And, It was a great, I did that for two years and a major ski resorts and, yeah.I started an apps company after that, one called HeyCrowd around a social network. So like we had surveys that you could answer to with polls, like, a bit like Instagram stories now, and that didn't work so well compared to the ski resort, but, yeah, I got into iPhone apps right since the beginning.00:04:18 Jacob:I remember the Stanford course. It was on iTunes U that was mass disseminated or was it the later one?00:04:25 Matthieu:No, it was the one that it wasn't Stanford U. There was a, the guy from Fitboard during the class. I don't know if it was doing that.00:04:42 Jacob:Yeah. I remember. I remember it being like the moment when we were like, oh, this is going to go mainstream. Right? Like, because up to that point, you had to learn iOS by doing basically Mac OS. That was like the one point there was the big nerd book you learned Mac OS, and then the SDKs came and you like tried to learn quickly, like what worked and what didn't.But, if you were like me who came from no Mac programming, there was really no iPhone entry into it. I remember when the Stanford course came out. It was like one year too late for me. Because like at that point I had already done a lot of stuff, but it was still really great.I still watched the whole thing. I remember watching it. But it's interesting. We have the same path. I don't know if we ever talked about this, but I was studying physics in undergrad as well. Yeah, I didn't go to Stanford, but I went to a small state school instead, just cause, you know. But yeah, kind of similar story where like I was in, I wasn't in grad school, but I was physics, undergrad.Didn't really know what I wanted to do. I really loved physics and the math and all that stuff, but like, there's a stronger economic pull, let's put it that way, to work on apps. That was the same story for me. Like took a little bit of what I had learned, writing code for experiments and things like this, and then kind of started making apps.And then, yeah, the rest is history.00:06:06 Matthieu:Yeah. I think one of the introduction to physics is like how fast data applies to the real world from science to real world. And you don't find that in a, like a physics job where you kind of find that back in, like a software development where you like, can we solve a math problem, a computer science problem, and you can directly apply it to real00:06:25 Jacob:Yeah. Or like, even with business modeling and stuff too, you know, you think about how a business moves and like what number moves this number. And there's no physics there. You're not approximating a physical system, but some of the same principles apply. Right. You're like trying to find some laws that are underlying it and work from there.So yeah, I found it hasn't been terribly unrelevant, but, but yeah, that's interesting. What else, what else do we have in common? Let's keep going.00:06:48 Matthieu:Yeah, sure.00:06:49 David:Well, actually, I, I want to jump in. I want to get to PhotoRoom, so we're actually going to skip over. You've done a lot now. So after, after that you went to replay and replay was like onstage at a keynote. And you're the co founders that you were working with, you know, as, as you joked, before we started recording, spent a month in the basement and apple, as everyone does before a keynote.But then you ended up at GoPro working on imaging. so just tell me about that. Leaving GoPro. I mean, Great company done a lot of innovative stuff. but tell me about leaving to start a PhotoRoom and what the inspiration, I guess we've heard part of it, you know, 12 years of working on imaging and wanting to build a photo app.But yeah. Tell me about the founding of, of.00:07:36 Matthieu:Yeah, I, I, so GoPro is an amazing company, but it's more marketing and hardware. And, I really wanted to, I grew a bit frustrated about like how we could, do better software. Yeah, a few frustration from that I, as a product, I was product manager by them. So I was like frustrated with the design tool, like a Photoshop and, and, you kind of have to move to, and by that time you had to move to California to move the stuff.And I was based in there in Paris and I decided to stay there with the family and, and kind of, we had an amazing missionary team at GoPro in Paris, but it's really difficult to. To change the paradigm of a kind of a software, like a, if it works from a kind of more deterministic way. So I kind of realize that it's really tough to ship a new software with new paradigm, and we've mentioned our new insights.So I thought there was a big opportunity with the new, new hardware coming on, the iPhone formation, learning the new, the new, yeah, this new kind of way of thinking about software. And, I left the GoPro to start a company and we've just ideas in mind. And I also, at the time realized that there was a. A lot of apps, you know, like after 10 years on the app store, you kind of know the tricks of the app store. And I knew there were a lot of apps in the top of the photo apps that were around razor and background eraser. I realized like, okay, if they're just kind of a, you know, I say scam, but it's certainly scam, but all these apps that are built quickly, there must be some demand around it.And so that's, I started with the background remover idea. Like I saw that there was a mission learning team at GoPro that there was some background removal, paper and all that. Okay. There must be some demand. Let's ship something quickly and see how it goes. And that's kind of the nice thing of like 10 years of development, you know, the right tool to go fast and just shipped a prototype in two weeks.We've actually referring at, by then I have a blog post on like the 10 tools I use there and, And, yeah, it was, it went super fast, super fast to the store and we have some machine learning and, on-device machine learning by then. So it's as a, and it kind of caught up, like you tried a dozen ideas on some kind of stay on the wall on some, like, and just stay on the wall.00:09:43 Jacob:So at the time it was called BGE app background app. Right. was the focus initially, did you have like a big scope for it or was that your entry? You were like, Hey, I know that they there's these photo apps that kind of suck that are doing this background thing. I think we can do it better. And like, let's see where it goes from there.Or did you have like a bigger plans or longer term aspirations? 00:10:04 Matthieu:I think there was, an understanding that people kind of needed that and the tech tech was 10 X better as they say. So it was really interesting, but I didn't, I mean, we didn't have the full plan for that. It's really a few months in that we are understood with Elliot the kind of the market fit.And we understood also like this idea of, and we call it, we translate pixels into concept that makes it much easier to, to, to edit. So w for the room is the best for digital for entrepreneurs. And the idea is that instead of using mask and layers and pixels, you just like, the machine learning, understanding what are the.The big cells and they just tell you, okay. A cat. So we call it cat to catch up on the cat. And you should have actions that are relevant to a Catholic changing the fur color. if it's, if it's a piece of clothing, it should be the texture of the clothing. If it's a, if it's a kind of graphic change of color, you know, kind of, it makes it much more accessible than what exists in like 10 year, 20 years, software that exists by for the editing.00:11:03 Jacob:So, so yeah, I mean, I think that sounds like a very much a pitch and a story that somebody would be taught at Y Combinator. So I'm curious, like what I'm curious, like, how did that evolve? Like how so you, you, you, you guys launched the app in the, I remember I was talking in like the spring of 2019.00:11:20 Matthieu:Yeah. Like may 2019. Exactly. 00:11:22 Jacob:And then, you started YC in the fall or the winter?Yeah.00:11:25 Matthieu:No, we actually, so we started YC in the following summer. We were supposed to do the winter batch after that. So seven months. And, we, we couldn't because our visa issues, at some, with the family, I couldn't move to, to, to YC. Yeah. 00:11:42 Jacob:Can tell you there's one way to solve that problem.A global pandemic.00:11:49 Matthieu:Exactly. Yeah. That's exactly right. So we did it involve, I think we shipped super fast. We failure my co-founder who is like a, like a machine learning genius. and we follow early on the YC startup school, which is kind of the, first step to. And, and so what does it help you? It kind of, you measure the, yeah, the progress.So, how much customer you're talking to, Ahmed, how much money you made and how happy you are doing what you do. And so that's kind of how we iterated 00:12:24 Jacob:You were 00:12:25 Matthieu:Months. 00:12:26 Jacob:During, startup school or 00:12:28 Matthieu:Yeah, the school kind of asks you every, every week, discussion and you make sure you make progress on that. I think these are the right question to make progress on your business.And here's, what's kind of, kind of natural, like two months later. So we started in may, may, June on that, application for YC where I probably in September, like, so, so we did like all summer, we did the startup school scheme and then framework and made some progress on that. And we got the YC application in September and the interviews actually in Paris, In, I think November.00:12:57 Jacob:And then, ha had you, I guess like, your, your aspirations or your reasons for applying, I guess, are in some ways, self evident to somebody. You know, obviously you don't need to convince me, but for the listeners, I, what was your, yeah. What were your motivations? Like? Why did you, well, I guess for one there's, you know, I don't know.I always hear there's a couple of reasons, right? Like sometimes it's prestige, like people want to the prestige of YC, sometimes it's, it's the help, which I honestly think is the, the, the best reason. Cause I, you know, it's, it was honestly really good for us, but then there's also like, you know, it's, it's a great way to springboard venture back.Thing, right as well. So like, did you have like strong reasons? Was it all of the above or what was the motivation for, for getting on the venture? 00:13:44 Matthieu:Yeah, that's a good question. so I think number one reason was, ambition. I think like a lot of your brain startups, you Batara, can be not ambitious enough. And I think if you're ambitious, like YC is really a way of, the alpha taking the ambitious path. Okay. Then how to make it like a business and a product that has a strong impact, like on a very large number of people.So that was, that would be my number one. I think then it's kind of the learning. we are at the beginning of the company, we sit for failure, then what's what kind of is the most important, you know, for their culture. And we talked about it also. And, one thing we really value is learning fast and I think YC kind of helps you, you probably a lot of like, you learn so much faster because you're at the right contact.So it's, I mean, it's. It's on the partners. Like every time we have a office hour, almost every time, like, wow. Blown away, there is like also Atlas. I get the right investors, I mean on the revenue, on the like mobile subscription and like, yeah, like you like auger from Blinkist, like, someone from, John from Spotify.So that's really helpful and also extra connection like we have in AI, we have the VP of AI and locale Facebook, and I don't think we could reach this network with, with. 00:15:01 Jacob:Yeah, the network thing is depends on, you know, what your background is. Obviously you had been in the peninsula, but still it's hard to be really deeply networked and still it's hard to. Invest in your engineering skills. Right. And like your IC skills and invest in a network at the same time, which was kind of my world.Like I had an okay network, but like, it wasn't super well networked. So YC was like a big like boost to that. Right. You could get interest to people. You could get a little bit, it's still, a who, you know, game Silicon valley is still in a lot of ways or the broader concept. 00:15:33 David:Before we move on. I wanted to talk to us a little bit more about the, about the ambition of PhotoRoom, because, and this is something I think is, would be really relevant to a lot of our listeners who are, are building apps in the space. And, and I, as an indie developer for 12, 13 years, feel like I've, I've, I've worked too much with, with blinders on.Not thinking about the bigger opportunity. So like the first app I launched was trip cubby. It was a model it's log tracking app, to get reimbursements from taxes or get reimbursed from your company, for your mileage. And I just, I treated it like a little tiny indie business, lifestyle, business, and everything else.Meanwhile, 00:16:19 Jacob:IQ00:16:20 David:IQ built a huge 00:16:23 Jacob:Probably launched about the same time. Right. I would think. 00:16:26 David:No, they launched much later actually, which is even again, it's like I had a multi-year lead as kind of the, how to do that 00:16:33 Jacob:Assuming the market was there. Like my, like you probably came when the market was finally there, 00:16:37 David:Starting to grow, but yeah. But what's so cool. Is that, I think there's so many opportunities in the app store that people overlook that seem really niche. Like you just started out replacing backgrounds in photos, 00:16:50 Jacob:And now you're going to be the next generation Photoshop. Is that a good one? Is that a good pitch? I don't know what the 00:16:54 Matthieu:Yeah. 00:16:57 David:What, what's the ambition that, where that took you from, okay.We can replace background images too. This is, could be a huge business because we're, un-bundling one of the like key parts of Photoshop, which is a massive business. So what, what, what is the, what was the ambition and what is the ambition that you feel that this, this can be such a big thing. 00:17:21 Jacob:How did you, how did you convince yourself of that? The ability to do that?00:17:25 Matthieu:Yeah. 00:17:25 David:Yeah.I mean, it's, it's amazing.00:17:27 Matthieu:I think it's, well first like working on photo, video editor, like I realized that, I mean, video is big. Like we got, I think we free-play then named quick by GoPro. We got to $100 million. It's kind of tell you like, and most people, they are still using like photo collage. So everyone's working on photo and video is too complex for most people.So like, if you get 100 million for a video, then it's probably like any good, like yeah. Project improvement like 10 X product improvement on photo must get like 1 billion users. And I think it's like, that's one of the YC model, but it was really starting from a pain point of myself, like creating the assets for actually for the app store.Like you have to create a PSD. And I was like, you spent so much time on non creative task. And I was like, I want to make that much simpler. And I think the big heart moment was kind of talking to the user. So, and also like talking, yeah. Talking to people like we kind of build in the open and people told us, it's like, yeah, Yeah, it's a, it's like a actually it's like programming, like a U instead of you're you're doing like, object oriented, editing, like you understand what kind of objects you have and you make actions that are relevant to that.And that's, that's kind of done myself, like really burning myself away. Like it's much simpler. Like you have an object and you, you offer it to the user. What's the logic for the subject lines, Photoshop. It's such a pain to learn. Like I think everyone would remember is kind of the blown away part of Photoshop, but also the pain it is to understate.00:18:51 Jacob:And it hasn't gotten easier in 20 years. Like the only way now you can paint on a sphere or something like, there's nothing like new, I still open it and it's comforting. Cause I learned in CS two or whatever, and it's all still the same, but like, I don't think it's necessarily, like, I think, I think there's even a broader near you.I'm going to make your, your $10 billion company, a trillion dollar company. But I think there's an even broader narrative there around just like the future of software and how machine learning. Further like narrows the gap between like in software, like programming, not in the traditional sense, but like telling a computer what to do and the computer telling, like asking us or like bringing us like the things it can do.And you see this in like varying degrees of it working well. Right. like Gmail, like suggesting like absolutely insane sounding replies that I would never say, like, that's kind of that, but, but I think that's all maybe a little bit too far, but I think what you guys are doing, it's really great. You know, like segmenting photos, like giving people those tools, like taking, especially for a tool like email it's like writing, like, I don't know.An AI assistant to like, say, thanks like I can, I got that. Thank you. But for, for, yeah, like, like cutting backgrounds out and like setting up. Yeah. Just building like, things that to a human, because we're so visual in the way we think seem really basic, right? Like I want the cat in front of a blue background, right?Like that. Just tell the computer and it can do that right now. The existing tooling is like very manual and very skills driven. And you guys are bridging that gap. So like yeah. Who knows something? I don't know. Maybe photos, aren't the end of it for you guys, maybe next you just start tackling the next software domain.Right? I, you know, I don't know that we'll get to 10000000001st and then we'll worry about the trillion dollar.00:20:28 David:And that's the really magical thing about your app and your onboarding that I wanted to ask you about. So exactly what Jake was saying. When I think of removing a background and I've worked in Photoshop literally since the nineties, late nineties, I'm old. but it's, I've tried that like a hundred different times.And even in the most modern Photoshop, I don't even know how to do it. I expect it to be. I downloaded PhotoRoom and in like three taps, your onboarding is magical because you don't get in the way of the person having a desire to get something done. And then seeing it happen. So in like three tops from opening the app, I see a background removed and it was just like00:21:16 Jacob:Okay. 00:21:16 David:Instant, like mindblowing experience. 00:21:19 Jacob:Yeah.00:21:20 David:This thing that like, I know it's so hard and I think of needing professional tools and needing to be a professional to even figure it out. It just happens magically after three or four taps in your app was that I assume that was very intentional. Did you have different onboardings before and kind of iterate to that point?Or what led you to just such a focused get the person to that?00:21:45 Matthieu:Yeah, that's a good grade. She was our interview. I think, we like, if we, especially in the beginning every week, we'd go to McDonald's and pay a meal to student or anyone. And they like the tagline for McDonald's and Frances com. Everyone can come in and come as you are. So we really met like tourists students professionals, and like doing user interview.We got so frustrated. I think that people didn't get to the step of removing background that kind of like00:22:12 Jacob:Oh, so you would give them an unlogged out like a brand new device and like, watch them go through onboard.00:22:17 Matthieu:We would like pay the meal initially for downloading the app. We'd like first ask you three, four questions about their photo usage on their, on their phone. kind of ask them to download the app and yeah. Blinded as yeah. And, and we were like came sneaking. We just were, we were just iOS at the beginning.So try to find people with iPhones and not Android, and that was stuff, but yeah, I mean, people usually stopped before and they don't understand something and like to build trust with them, we figured out like the best is to short tech. So I can we get to the point where. We actually have all these people, we try the app that actually see the bag, the magic effect of Futterman like, so like taking a white sheet of paper, we valued microphone and like thinking, how can we do that?And it got to like adding that as early as possible in the onboarding. I think that's, that's, that's fine.00:23:06 Jacob:I think, I remember now reading about the McDonald's testing and your, your, YC application and being like. That's the moment I knew these guys were going to make it, I guess like it's was brilliant, right? Like I, I don't know how much user testing, like real good user testing is. If you do it in some sort of like professional context, it's probably really weird and like expensive and like hard.And this is dead simple, super scrappy. Right? People don't do it because I don't know nerds. Don't like talking to people like we don't like, you know, it's, it's, it's tough to put your, your app in front of somebody and see them. Not, it's one thing to read like bad retention numbers on amplitude is another thing to like, see somebody actually churn and like, but honestly that's the best way to learn.Like this is the best way to like, get really actionable feedback. So, I'm sure that was, that was super beneficial.00:23:53 Matthieu:Yeah, it's a, it's a trick from Zenly. So the social network and maps, like that really is, one of the best, app in embarrass and they, and we apply that and yeah, it requires some. It's not easy, I must say. But, you really, you learn so much and the pain today is more like we have more qualified users.So it's really easy in the beginning when you're in your photo apps and people just as the app and everyone has photos. So it's easy to explain. Then you want to like talk to your kind of retain user. It's difficult to get them at the McDonald, but now we're friends with all the vintage shops around the block.So in Paris, so we get.00:24:28 Jacob:So that, yeah, that was I kind of my question I wanted to ask. I'll just slide it in now, but like I've noticed, I don't know. I don't know if you had this intention initially, but it seems like you've found a new. Even amongst these apps in something I would say commerce or even e-commerce it seems like a lot of people use these, use your app to take photos of objects, to use as like advertising or gone Shopify.Is that, is that true and statement or am I just like misreading investor updates?00:24:56 Matthieu:No, it's totally true. Actually, it's not. The interesting thing is it came from a personal lead, like using, as you say, Photoshop and wanted it much easier for me, but I wasn't clear who was using the CRA's background apps. I'm talking to like user at McDonald's. We realized like there was all these reselling apps, especially in the Europe and the U S where people.Yeah, they're just like selling Poshmark on vintage in Europe and they, there is no app that's focusing on their photo need. Like everyone's doing like selfies or I dunno, whatever lens on video you can make or, but, no one's in it helping them. And it actually came from the user interview like, oh, that some user told us like, oh, my girlfriend would love that she's selling on Depop.And, and we kind of like it after multiple user asking us in support. asking us, and in talking at the user interview of my goal, we realized that, oh, that's a niche that we should kind of focus on. So that's Allie Kim, 00:25:51 Jacob:Was that pre YC, like pretty early in the process.00:25:55 Matthieu:And it came in a few, just not in one day, but it, I think early, after being taken at twice a 00:26:02 Jacob:Okay. 00:26:03 Matthieu:Like early 20, 20,00:26:04 Jacob:So then my next question, I guess, is like, how do you decide then? So you have a car for strong product. You, you, you might have like varying. This is, I think this is very common for a lot of apps and companies is like, you have probably different levels of product market fit depending on the market.Right? So like maybe broadly across all users of iPhone, your product market fit may not be as strong. But then when you look at this one niche, like maybe it's really strong. And then I think some. End up in a situation where you have to kind of decide, like, do I want to go for this maybe less fit, broader market, or maybe a tighter market with a stronger fit that I'm starting out with.Did you have that internal conversation? And then did you make an active decision? Like we're going to focus on this and then yeah. And then what's the plan after that? Like, or is that the forever plan?00:26:48 Matthieu:I think we, the easy part is as a product guy, I'm really convinced that our usage is really deep. Like we're starting from a different Lego brick, like, okay, you don't need it mask or square pixels, you edit like objects. So, I mean, any app that kind of want to copy that Nike that's to stop doing what it does today.So it's kind of the thing that relates to the missionary understanding excelled in the beginning. So we were confident. Digging into this usage and this product paradigm and like product basic block is interesting. And then we decided to focus on the pro usage and, and it's difficult as a follower. You want to serve everyone at the beginning, we were even doing a video plus photo, like in December of 2019, we dropped the video, just for animation.And then we dropped kind off the casual use case to focus on the pro and, and it's, it's been helpful. You're not like giving up on the other users. You, I mean, some of the features, they're still going to use it, the other, the casual, the people doing memes from, from the app, but she just like when you build features, you think about them.And I, around that, I think YC is helpful because. like if you reach local maximum from one vertical, like product market fit, then you investing so much on the take. It gets better than the, all the local maximums or, or adjustment. Like you can reach them after, and it's not a big deal and kind of believe and believing and trusting that helps you on, on like a, okay, we're going to focus on this one for, let's say three months and we say,00:28:14 Jacob:Yeah. I mean, I think that's a really good point in that I think can trip up people early in the process is that you think. That making an active choice to close yourself off to part of the market as a mistake. Cause you're like, well, I want to serve everybody or, well, I want to, you know, I want to have the most broad appeal I can cause it does, it feels wrong, right.To not serve a use case. but often tactically it's a bad choice because yeah, in the early days, anything. Hey find any users that love your product, even if it's a small group, there's, it's a, it's a closer step to like, get your foot onto that than it is to try to get sustainability on like mediocre product market fit across the broad market.Because then also it makes, yeah, it makes your McDonald's discussions easier. Well, maybe you don't have McDonald's discussions anymore. It makes your product discussions easier. Cause you can say like, okay, these are pilot. We're not going to do all this stuff. We're going to focus on this stuff, which gives you more of a loss city.I just really feel there's so much to getting that velocity early. Right. Like getting something that's like moving and growing and getting fast. And I think that's one of the things, I mean, I don't know, I won't, I won't docks you guys on retention numbers and stuff, but you know, when you have a, I'll just say that when you have a pro user base, that's using it for something non casual retention gets easier, right.Like have a reason to come back. And so if you, I mean, there's not that many apps like that. That on it's hard, it's hard, it's hard. It's rare to find mobile apps that have that opportunity. Right. So when it's there, you need to take it00:29:45 Matthieu:Yeah. 00:29:46 David:How do you think about pricing for that value creation? Since, since those that kind of pro segment really probably gets a lot more value than you're even currently charging. because they're actually making money with your product. Like how did you think through your print pricing? And did you iterate to this point from a more kind of consumer pricing to them to a, I mean, to me it feels like you're in the middle still of somewhat consumer-friendly and really honestly, probably cheap for a professional use case.So how did you land on your current price?00:30:24 Matthieu:Yeah, to be honest, it's like most of the photo apps. I mean, when we started and maybe it's different, they are all pricing like 10 bucks a month and that's kind of given by, I guess, Spotify Netflix, like it's kind of the, the glass ceiling of the price of subscription, even for prosumer. And, and we kind of iterated on the under yearly from 40 bucks to 69 bucks, in, in the U.So we didn't like, we kind of landed on that quite early. you don't want to alienate the user, especially if you put the up-selling in the onboarding, like, to be too expensive. I think we have a major opportunity though, to like address the more advanced business and the more than one person in a shop, it's just, it's really difficult to build this a B2B case in in-app like, you don't have that many apps that use that in the up-sell of the phone.So you probably have to show it like. The the first price, to every user and on the pro you probably can to brigade them after, I think it's something we can do later, like focusing on the product for now and make it simple as much as you're like, if you start with two prices, like the support, basically it is going to go crazy.We still do the support of the users. That's something we try to maximize for simplicity here.00:31:37 Jacob:I mean, it's a good point to make, especially too. It depends on, depends on your cashflow constraints as well. Just like how much, how extractive you want to be, how much you want to push it. Right. because you know, when you have good retention, like there's an argument, an argument to be made to not mess that up by because you're raising your price will hurt your attention, right?Like it's kind of at least on paid, right? Like more expensive. It is. People are going to churn more. and if you're compounding your total, like paying subscribers, that might be more important and then extracting an extra, an incremental $2 or $10 or whatever from each user, right. It might be better off just to keep them happy and longterm.And that's what makes it, I don't know, pricing just so complicated. It's about finding that equilibrium to maximize like the longterm area under the curve and not just, not just like the individual LTVs.00:32:27 Matthieu:Yeah, exactly. I think there was one. yeah, we, you want to talk to, like, you don't want to. Expensive at the beginning, you should have too expensive. Like one of the really source of feedback was also our support. And like, if you're too expensive, you get less pro. And the goal, I mean, the reason we launched after two weeks with was like the feedback from process so much more valuable than the feedback from, for users.I mean, you still want people to pay, like, just stop at 500 bucks in long month is going to be like, there's no way people are going to pay for that. So, and I was actually talking on Twitter that like, we actually put forth first a monthly plan because we wanted people to churn and be able to talk to them.So there was really a focus on learning from the 00:33:07 Jacob:Interesting. 00:33:08 Matthieu:Early days.00:33:09 Jacob:Yeah, I've always. Yeah. The, the short, I think, long, the annual subscriptions obviously have a bunch of benefits to, to, to app developers, but you do end up flying blind for a very long time. Right. Until you really know what those numbers look like. So if you're on monthly, purely, it does kind of simplify things early on.Which is another case to be made for just not over thinking your pricing, like initially, right? Like you guys launched just with the monthly and it was fine that you added, I don't know when you added an annual product, but you brought it in when the time. 00:33:40 Matthieu:I think the logical, so learning from GoPro and replay days is the pricing is quite elastic. So you double your price, you divide by two, the number of pros like minus plus 10%. And so, so it doesn't, I mean, it's, I mean, when you get bigger, it's way of doing experiments on pricing, but in the early days it's worth, it's not worth like taking too much time on that.00:34:01 Jacob:Yeah. I mean, it's good to know if you have an elastic curve, it means you're pretty close to, to the optimum already, right?00:34:06 David:Did you start from day one at that $10 a month price point?00:34:10 Matthieu:I think we were at eight or nine. it's pretty much like every pro for the pro apps. Like not selfies was at that on the photo and it's, and I think. The co, I mean, it goes from Spotify on Netflix. Like, everyone's like a, it's like if comparing industry report, they tell you a comparing you to Spotify on that fixed anyway.So it's a, I think it's a good, like a way to start on as they increase the price, they increase kind of the time of all the possible ATV of all the apps, which is really good. Thank you.00:34:40 Jacob:If they don't take care of it, inflation will don't worry. 00:34:43 David:But, but that's just amazing two weeks, to an MVP that you could charge $8 a month for, and people actually paid it.00:34:50 Jacob:Well, 12, 12 years in two weeks, David, if00:34:52 David:Well, right, right, right. No, no, that's a great point. But the point being that there, there are still opportunities that when you have experience and domain knowledge, that it's not the, the programming, it's not the, it's not such a monumental task to build something that's really valuable to people in this space on mobile, that you can build something good quickly with that experience.00:35:17 Matthieu:The first app was really crappy though. Like I think we 00:35:20 David:Yeah. 00:35:21 Matthieu:A few weeks before having our pay first paid users.00:35:23 David:Gotcha. I did want to talk a little bit about your marketing, so, What did you do at launch? Did, did you get a little pressed? Did you, you know, talk to apple, how did you get that initial code?00:35:35 Matthieu:So yeah, we were super, I mean, apple has been super supportive to us. I think. Before GoPro, GoPro acquired replay. so we play was, app of the year, senior as, elevate. So 00:35:46 Jacob:You guys at the year in France, is that what the00:35:48 Matthieu:No, so so I have a card, I brought the screenshot that, 00:35:52 Jacob:The U S 00:35:53 Matthieu:So we didn't, yeah, we didn't, get the U S we didn't get the U S and north America, and it's kind of a private, taser, but it's, we got like most of the Europe and Asia. And, yeah, and then I was seeing like the star that elevate their they're thinking the other U S and we should get that. 00:36:14 Jacob:It was good for you that we hadn't localized maybe 00:36:18 Matthieu:Yeah, 00:36:19 Jacob:That was the thing we were like only English at the time.00:36:22 Matthieu:Well, elevate is such a difficult business to localize. So I think it's a photo video is easy to localize it. Yeah.And, and so we got like, we got the keynote, so, and we kind of, I mean, the app is really good at marketing. using the latest technology of, apple in, like the metal and using the lasers, the GPU, I kind of build a relationship from there, with the apple team and also like learning AR that's kind of the narrative of apple, like to showcase apps.Leveraging the latest technology. They do their marketing through developers and that's awesome for us. Like it's super opportunity. And so what was that? When we started, it was well, we're using a Carmel to do the background removal and we did use like really early on in September of 2019, we use our KPIs to remove the background, to do some live preview of the photo.And so we got into, there is an accelerator inference in the biggest, like sexual life is one of the biggest things. Accenture and apple has a program there and we got in there and they helped us and like marketing and, and business, during the summer. And we had some tech workshop and in September we got Macy's, marketing from the using Eric.He, three, I think, API APIs. So I think all the days was marketing through, using the latest tech software and hardware from.00:37:42 David:And where did it go from there? Yeah. So after, after you've, you've gotten some traction in some of those early customers. did you jump into paid user acquisition 00:37:52 Matthieu:No. 00:37:54 David:Of, of, paid to, organic growth?00:37:58 Matthieu:Yeah. So we got into, we didn't do paid until like, we really got traction and market fit. So early 20, 20, and we started to have some, we got Gary V tweeting about us, like a video, farmer. So that was like a viral video demoing the app. And we kind of, I mean, the thinking was if some videos of demoing for term or viral, it probably works so-so as ad.So we kind of use these viral videos and try ads on that. Started ramping up, I think before YC, Facebook ads. So in April of last year and, it kind of, yeah, it was a good, channel of acquisition for us. And we always had in mind, like, we don't want to spend too much, we wanted to have it under control, but the payback was really good.So we kind of, added mix like, I don't know, it was three 17, maybe at that point in between the, between paid 30% beta and the 70%. And, yeah, organic and so that we ramped that up and I think it wasn't a good time to all this marketing and we kind of fast in that, at that point, because there was a COVID, the beginning of the COVID and all marketing was going down.So it was super cheap to try stuff there. 00:39:09 David:Yeah. 00:39:09 Matthieu:So I tried to be a part of these tick on that an influencer. I like a lot of times. So like all of that, we were at the right time and at the right moment for that day,00:39:17 Jacob:So how much, like are you balancing? I mean, obviously there's always so much you're balancing as a founder. but you know, how much are you thinking about investing back in the app and like broadening your appeal, making it better new markets, like new platforms versus. The scale of approach, like how can we scale marketing and, and continue to grow?Or is it like 50, 50? Like, do you have a top priority right now? Or, or how has the, like, how has your, your mind thinking about like your biggest growth levers?00:39:48 Matthieu:Yeah, we try to try to have a higher, level kind of privacy laws. So let's focus on retention or let's focus on this specific kind of users. So, in the U S for just three months, and we tried to align product and growth, on like a three months of that. And so that's kind of. that's yeah, that's how we think about it with Elliot and, and try to have it on growth and on product and kind of put us to talk more to these kinds of users, so to improve on, on these kind of shoes or just, just niche for instance.And, I don't know if people are selling on this marketplace for a month and then we'll see maybe another nation, another country, but still improve the experience for everyone.00:40:29 Jacob:And are you thinking about marketing in terms of like specific people selling on specifics, like marketplaces, like the you're actually going like channel by channel that, that, that, that closely. And does that inform like features or does that inform creative or how does that feed back into your part?00:40:44 Matthieu:Yeah, we're good. We're getting into that. Like we tried to understand bearer by a persona use case. What's the LTV and what's the retention is, and I think we are at the scale where we start to do that, but before it was like a general, a general creative for everyone and kind of demo the value of the app.And we were super lucky that our creative we're working for them. And I think like now, like the way marketing works, it's, like a. Facebook or Google are doing most of the optimization and you're more into like, what can I add up my creative so that it fit the focus I want to do for it. I don't know if the U S so I'll be a make sure you're in English.I'll make sure if you're like looking at multiple countries, try not to be too localize. I think there is a Netflix called neutralize, or they have a specific wording on making the, the artwork or the creative, not to localized, not to English, for instance. Okay. So you just content that's good. So it's kind of, that dictate kind of what we try to do with growth and marketing.00:41:39 David:That's great. Well, I have a million more questions, but we do need to, to wrap up. We're going to put links into the show notes to find you on Twitter and LinkedIn and, and PhotoRoom is such a great name, easy to Google, easy to find on the App Store. but you're also hiring, what, what positions do you have open?00:42:02 Matthieu:We're hiring a lot. We're hiring on growth and paid acquisition, hiring project designer, iOS developer, Android developer. And the way we think about the team is really to have a, like, we are 10 people, and we have a strong impact to millions of users. So, really leveraged like a small team, high impact.I think it's possible because of apps. So, we're looking for really senior people for that, and mostly in Europe. So we have like a, two, three days a month, in the Paris HQ, but, you can work from anywhere in Europe.00:42:35 Jacob:Yeah. And I'll, I'll second that. I think working on this product would be really interesting. Purely based on my insider knowledge as an investor and your friend, but for real, I mean, a lot of apps don't, you know, get to the point you have. You've got a lot of tailwinds and I think actually, the upsides are go far beyond the App Store.The future is very, very, very big. And you guys are ambitious. So take these jobs. Thank you.00:43:02 David:Yeah. 00:43:03 Matthieu:Yeah. We were thinking be everywhere. We stopped for a while, but we were like mobile first, not mobile only. And we have the web app web tool that we launched last week. We have an API for any developer that wants to remove the background. We have photo and attribution, and have the module folks using it.So it's really, I think we want to be close to the entrepreneurs, and we want to communicate through pro images that sell. And so sometimes it's not an app, it's just a photo and button. And so you can use the API for that. So, yeah. 00:43:33 Jacob:It's pretty great when you have a good product market fit, it just gets really fun. 00:43:37 Matthieu:Yeah. And we have that kind of, now that we have money, we kind of, we have like super smart people on the machinery team. So, we have the best thing on the market to do that. And that's super exciting. Now we're shipping new machinery next, I think next week. And it's going to be awesome. I can't wait to see the result on the analytics.00:43:52 David:That's amazing and 10 people. I thought you were bigger. I guess you want to be, you want to be, 15 or 20 with all the postings you have. 00:44:01 Jacob:That's why I'm really bullish on this market, David.00:44:04 Matthieu:Yeah. 00:44:04 David:Yeah, 00:44:05 Jacob:A small team can do a lot of stuff in this space. It's crazy.00:44:07 Matthieu:Yeah, It's00:44:08 David:It is crazy. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast. It was great chatting, and thanks for sharing your insights, Matt. 00:44:13 Jacob:Yeah. We'll have to catch up again in two years to see how, see how it's going. 00:44:17 Matthieu:Yeah, of course. With pleasure. Thank you guys.

What's Next|科技早知道
S5E25|毕业了 377 家公司的这届 YC 为什么失去了投资人的兴趣

What's Next|科技早知道

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2021 38:46


Y Combinator 2021 夏季班居然毕业了 377 家公司。在 377 家公司中,近 50% 的初创公司位于美国之外,其中来自印度、英国和墨西哥的公司占比最多。虽然这届初创公司数量达到历史新高,但获得的关注度反而是近年来较低的。 377 家公司中有哪些亮眼的?YC 正在跟随哪些赛道?另外,毕业了这么多家公司,Demo Day 投资人看得过来吗?YC 投的这些才创建不到 2 个月的公司,投资人敢接盘吗?YC 的背书还有吸引力吗?为啥投资海外公司这么香? 这期节目我们和大观资本的 Richer 和新加入声动活泼的内容研究员刘灿,一起聊聊最近从 YC 毕业的公司,以及 YC 面对的挑战。 注:节目中的嘉宾观点仅代表其个人,不代表所任职的公司。 #加入我们# 声动活泼正在招聘「内容研究员 」、「业务拓展和合作管理总监/经理」、「声音设计师」、「播客制作实习生 」、「内容营销负责人」及「节目制作人」,查看详细讯息请在公号「声动活泼」回复暗号:入场券 。简历接收邮箱

Solo Documental
La isla del Apocalipsis

Solo Documental

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2021 86:54


En lo más profundo de las remotas junglas de una isla desconocida para el mundo exterior, se esconde un secreto que bien podrí­a escribir el capí­tulo final en la milenaria historia de las profecí­as sobre el 2012. Durante siglos, este lugar se ha mantenido oculto salvo para un puñado de personas. En su interior permanece un antiguo y gigantesco monolito donde los arqueólogos creen que se marcan las coordinadas exactas de la zona cero del Armagedón. La estatua está llena de sí­mbolos maya que pronostican que en este lugar se ofrecerá la mejor perspectiva para observar el eclipse solar total que indicará el Apocalipsis de 2012. Lo sorprendente es que está isla se encuentra en el Pací­fico Sur, muy lejos del hogar de los Maya, de quienes se piensa no fueron gente marinera. ¿Cómo pudieron haber navegado los Maya hasta este lugar tan lejano? Y ¿Cómo podrí­an haber conocido su destino?..

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig
Greatest Hits Episode: Marta Forero, Driving Economic Growth in Latin America via Corporate Education with UBits, Ep 151

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 10, 2021 44:10


Greatest Hits Episode: Marta Forero, Driving Economic Growth in Latin America via Corporate Education with UBits, Ep 149 ​​For this week's episode of Crossing Borders, we're revisiting one of our greatest hits episodes featuring UBits' Marta Forero.   As the only Latin American woman in her Y Combinator cohort, Marta Forero is helping break the mold for women in the tech industry. From a young age, she knew she wanted to make an impact on the world. After university, she took a high-paying job, which she then left to start a business of her own, combining her passion for education for transformative growth with a love of technology to create an online university.   The result was UBits, a corporate online learning platform headquartered in Bogota, that Marta co-founded with Julián Melo. UBits, which also operates in Mexico and Peru, focuses on training based on bits– small training units created by industry experts…hence The University of Bits or UBits. UBits offers corporate training in Spanish in Business, Finances, Soft Skills, and Software Skills, and is a first-mover in the space.   In this episode, Marta explains what it's like to be a female entrepreneur in Latin America, provides tips on how to apply for YCombinator and make the most out of the experience, as well as why she and her team chose to bootstrap UBits for four years before raising money. She shares one of the more unique stories of how she met her cofounder: at a bookstore.    Check out the rest of this episode to hear how Marta took UBits from Colombia to YC, and then across Latin America. Wise Words From Dad Most entrepreneurs, especially those from Latin America, get actively discouraged by family members when they decide to leave a stable job to follow their dreams to start a business. However, Marta's Dad breaks this archetype and actually encouraged her to take the risk and launch her own university. He also has other pieces of useful advice for struggling entrepreneurs, and we should probably have him on the podcast someday!   Listen to my interview with Marta to find out how her dad encouraged her to start her business, and what other entrepreneurs can learn from his advice. A Chance Encounter at a Bookstore   Marta didn't choose Julian as a cofounder. A book did. They ran into each other during a shared quest for a book in Bogota in 2013 and soon realized their passions for education were well-aligned. In this episode, Marta explains how she and Julian became business partners and eventually decided to work on UBits together, all after meeting in a bookstore.   Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to learn about Marta's experience choosing a co-founder, and how to find a good match while building a business. Tips on preparing for a YCombinator interview After participating in YCombinator and raising $2M from investors by Demo Day, Marta is a great resource to Latin American entrepreneurs looking to approach YC. She suggests that all Latin American YC candidates learn certain financial and startup terms in English before taking the flight to Silicon Valley.   Listen to the rest of this episode to hear Marta's advice for learning cultural communication tools to help Latin American entrepreneurs master the Y Combinator interview. Empowering Women in Tech Being a Latin American woman in the tech industry can potentially create barriers when seeking funding from investors. In this episode, Marta discusses the pressure she felt as a female entrepreneur when she applied for YCombinator. With this in mind, she hopes to encourage and inspire younger women to challenge the paradigm and take advantage of the opportunities in tech.   Check out this episode to hear how Marta plans to bring more women into tech and entrepreneurship in LatAm.   Marta Forero and UBits were already unique for being one of very few Latin American companies to reach Y Combinator. As a female founder, she is a part of an even smaller minority of Latin American women to participate in the accelerator program. Her inspiring story of empowering Latin American workers through online education brought her from Colombia to Silicon Valley, then back to Peru and Mexico where UBits continues to expand.    Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to hear Marta tell her story in her own words.   Outline of this episode:   [2:44] – What is UBits? [3:09] – Courses the platform offers [4:00] – How did you decide on UBits? [5:26] – Why Marta decided to build a company [7:18] – The benefits of a supportive dad [9:32] – First steps in founding UBits. [11:32] – How did you meet your co-founder? [13:33] – On getting their first client [15:40] – Decision to focus exclusively on online courses. [16:52] – Toward a scalable business model [18:22] – When did you decide to start raising money for the business? [18:35] – Bootstrapping in Latin America. [19:40] – Applying for Y Combinator [23:20] -Tips for a Y Combinator interview. [25:18] – How did you practice putting everything into 15-second responses? [26:20] – Going to the US with a strategic plan and not feeling shame. [29:24] – How to make the most of YC [31:23] – Raising an investment round after Y Combinator. [33:05] – Advice to other Latin American founders trying to raise in the US. [35:10] – Being a female founder in Latin America. [36:40] – How the ecosystem can improve on being more gender-inclusive. [38:20] – Advice for women looking to raise money in the US and expand their business. [40:46] – Marta's top resources for entrepreneurs [41:47] – What's next for you and UBits?   Resources mentioned: Marta Forero Julian Melo UBits Gamestorming by Dave Gray [BOOK] Y Combinator Lynda “Titanes” / “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss

Youth Club Pakistan
MURDER IN COLD BLOOD _ Raja Zia ul Haq with YC team

Youth Club Pakistan

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 68:44


MURDER IN COLD BLOOD _ Raja Zia ul Haq with YC team

Equity
Reframe your Metaphors, and other lessons from Y Combinator S21 Day 1

Equity

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 24:54


After a 17-hour marathon through nearly 200 startup pitches, the Equity team was fired up to get back on Twitter and chat through some early trends and favorites from the first day of Y Combinator's demo party. We'll be back on the air tomorrow, so make sure you're following the show on Twitter so you don't miss out.What did Natasha and Alex chat about? The following:First Impressions: We started by going through top-line numbers, geographic breakdown, and how the accelerator is doing when it comes to the representation of diverse founders. The last bit had a tiny bit of progress, but diversity continues to be an issue in YC's batches - even as cohort size grows. We also chatted about what startups pitching can work on: like better mics, which are cheap and good.Our early favorites: Metaphor, Lumify, Alex's favorite duo Indian real estate plays, Akudo, Reframe, and Playhouse.And some hmmm moments, including our thoughts on Writesonic, which Natasha has a potentially paranoid theory on.TechCrunch has extensive coverage of the day on the site, so there's lots to dig into if you are in the mood. More tomorrow!

The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private E
297. How to Raise a VC Fund, The YC for Emerging Managers, and Family Office Trends (Winter Mead)

The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private E

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 59:14


Winter Mead of Oper8r joins Nick to discuss How to Raise a VC Fund, The YC for Emerging Managers, and Family Office Trends. In this episode we cover: Tell us a little more about Oper8or. Why did you leave Sapphire to start this program? Give us an overview of Oper8or? Walk us through the selection process and what you're looking for. Bring us up to speed on progress-to-date, how you measure success, and what the plan is going forward? You published your first book last year -- “How to Raise a Venture Capital Fund”.   The target audience for the book is fairly obvious... was the motivation to write the book similar to why you started Oper8r? What are the most common mistakes new fund managers make? How do you think about types of LPs or profiles that fund managers should be targeting? What are the patterns, practices or even tactics of the most successful fundraisers that you've observed? You co-authored a research effort w/ First Republic on Family Office Investors -- what were the key takeaways? What are some of the common reasons that LPs pass that might not be so obvious? What's the biggest difference between winning fund strategies of the early 2010s vs winning fund strategies in the next decade? What factor do you find to be of critical importance that is most often underappreciated by LPs? Currently over 1500 active venture funds...  Do you think the market can support this high of a volume of funds? Often, a startup investor may get early positive or negative signals on an investment within the first 18-24 months. As an LP, how long does it take to get a sense whether the decision to invest was good or you might want to have that one back? Why is emerging VC compelling as an sub-asset class of VC? Missed a recent episode? Go to The Full Ratchet blog and catch up! Also, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. The host of The Full Ratchet is Nick Moran, General Partner of New Stack Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to investing in the exceptions. To learn more about New Stack Ventures by visiting our Website and LinkedIn and be sure to follow us on Twitter. Are you a founder looking for your next investor? Visit our free tool VC-Rank and tell us about your business. We'll send a list of possible investors right to your email's InBox!

The Consumer VC: Venture Capital I B2C Startups I Commerce | Early-Stage Investing
Sam Corcos (Levels) - Solving the metabolic health crisis with real time glucose monitoring

The Consumer VC: Venture Capital I B2C Startups I Commerce | Early-Stage Investing

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2021 56:20


Our guest today is Sam Corcos, co-founder and CEO of Levels. Levels makes it easy for people to see how their diet is affecting both their health and their lifestyle in a quantifiable way by measuring biomarkers in real time. In previous episodes we've discussed tracking your sleep, your exercise. Levels is tracking your blood glucose so you can make better decisions about what you consume. This was a fascinating conversation about how to optimize what you eat and how wearables can help you understand your body better. Without further ado, here's Sam.And there you have it. It was a pleasure having Sam on the show. Highly recommend following him on Twitter @SamCorcos.Some of the questions I ask Sam.What was your initial attraction to entrepreneurship? You started a few companies that were in different categories. CarDash (cardash.com) and what made you interested in the human body?Why did you decide to focus on metabolic health and optimizing your health?Why didn't you want to be on the technical side for Levels?What was it like building a company with 5 co-founders? That might be the most amount of co-founders we've had on this show. What's that dynamic like?Why are we in a metabolic health crisis?Why did you decide to focus on continuous glucose monitoring? Is the change in glucose the best indicator to track what foods are best for you?What are some of the biggest myths when it comes to what a healthy diet actually is?It seems like theres conflicting information about nutrition makes them doubt their food choices. How does Levels help in this capacity?How did Levels come together?What's your approach to nutrition?How did you go about building the product?How did you seek customer validation?What's the most expensive piece to you product?When did you realize this is a consumer need?What was it like going through YC?What was your approach to fundraising?What were some of your biggest learnings during COVID?What were some of the most important habits that you've developed for productivity?How did you think about pricing your product?What's one thing you would change about venture capital?What's one book that inspired you personally, one book that inspired you professionally?What's the best piece of advice that you've received?

Square One: Conversations with the Best in Business
103: Justin Kan, Co-Founder of Twitch

Square One: Conversations with the Best in Business

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 33:09


Today we're thrilled to welcome Founder and Investor, Justin Kan. Justin has founded a number of companies over the past 2 decades but the one he's most well known for is Justin.TV. Justin.TV was one of the early pioneers of live video streaming. After rebranding to Twitch, the company later sold to Amazon in 2014 for $970M. After Twitch Justin spent time as a Partner at YC where he evaluated and funded hundreds of startups. Recently he's started his own firm GOAT capital. Today we talked with Justin about lessons learned from founding, building, scaling, and investing in some of Silicon Valley's best startups.

The Quest with Justin Kan
Alexis Ohanian: Reddit Founder, Y-Combinator, Seven Seven Six, Parenting, Investing

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 49:33


I've known Alexis Ohanian for almost fifteen years, ever since we were in the trenches together as part of the first Y Combinator cohort. He is best known as the co-founder of Reddit, a fellow former partner at YC, and the founder of his new venture fund, Seven Seven Six.  Alexis and I became close friends during our time at YC together, and I witnessed the trials and tribulations he went through while building Reddit first-hand. I've had the pleasure of watching my friend grow into a great founder, leader, investor, and parent. In this episode, Alexis opens up about his personal struggles during the early days of Reddit, the challenges of modern parenthood, and the philosophy behind Seven Seven Six. I really appreciate Alexis for being so vulnerable in this episode, and I think it is a powerful message that all founders need to hear. Follow Alexis on Twitter here, and find out more about Seven Seven Six here. Enjoyed this episode? The incredible stories on this podcast are made possible by our sponsors, check them out to support The Quest Pod:Universe | The best mobile command centre for building your online business and content.Cashapp | Spend, save, invest in stocks and cryptocurrency easily 

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig
Benjamin Labra, Houm: Streamlining the Real Estate industry in Latin America, Ep 148 LatamList title: Benjamin Labra, Houm: Fixing Latin America's broken real estate industry, Ep 148

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2021 25:53


Benjamin Labra, Houm: Streamlining the Real Estate industry in Latin America, Ep 148   Latin America's real estate market is opaque, broken and bureaucratic. The home buying process in the region can take up to a year, and even just renting an apartment requires having another property as collateral in some countries. There are many pain points in the industry that are being unaddressed by the market.   That's why Benjamin Labra is looking to fix the broken real estate industry in Latin America with Houm, an end-to-end solution helping property owners rent, manage and sell their properties through an online marketplace.   I sat down with Benjamin to talk about how he's tackling some of the industry's deepest-rooted problems and streamlining the home buying and renting process in the region. We also discuss his experience at Y Combinator and how to build and maintain company culture once you go remote. Real estate runs in the family Real estate runs through Benjamin's veins. He comes from two generations of Chilean real estate developers and was practically raised on construction sites and he always knew he wanted to do something on his own. For four years he managed his own private equity real estate firm and eventually decided to jump into tech.    Learn more about Benjamin's journey into tech in this episode of Crossing Borders. Houm: allowing apartment rentals without a cosigner One of the ways in which Houm's solution is truly revolutionary for the real estate market is that they've gotten rid of the cosigner. To mitigate this risk, the proptech guarantees the payment to the landlord even if the tenant doesn't pay. In doing so, property rentals become much easier and faster to process – and can be done in less than 24 hours, compared to up to 3 weeks without Houm.   Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about how Houm tackles the pain points of the real estate industry in Latin America. The YC stamp of approval Getting accepted into YCombinator can help many early-stage startups. Even though Benjamin and his team knew they were on the right path, the accelerator's stamp of approval validated their vision.   Learn more about the ways in which participating in YC transformed Houm as well as the perception of US investors in this episode of Crossing Borders.   Benjamin Labra's extensive experience in the real estate industry makes him one of the best-equipped people to tackle the challenges that property owners and tenants face in Latin America.   Outline of this episode: [1:10] - About Houm [2:28] - Painpoints of the real estate industry in LatAm [4:00] - A family of real estate developers [5:32] - On Chilean talent [7:33] - Jumping into tech [8:35] - Switching from the investment side to running a startup [10:05] - Basics of renting a property [13:20] - Speeding up the renting process [16:17] - A change in US investors' perception  [18:52] - Challenges of operating remotely [20:28] - Advice to entrepreneurs in smaller LatAm countries [21:38] - Proptech boom in LatAm [22:30] - Books, blogs, & podcast recommendations [23:00] - Advice to Benjamin's younger self   Resources & people mentioned: Benjamin Labra Houm Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Indie Hackers
#220 – Be Brave, Not Cool, with Michael Seibel of Y Combinator

Indie Hackers

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2021 51:19


Michael Seibel (@mwseibel) and I discuss the secret sauce of what goes on inside Y Combinator and how indie hackers can create it for themselves. And because Michael sees nearly 2,000 startups a year--we'll find out the difference between companies that make it and companies that don't.  Follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mwseibel Read startup advice on the YC Startup Library: https://www.startupschool.org/ Apply for a YC batch: https://www.ycombinator.com/apply

The Quest with Justin Kan
Matteo Franceschetti: Eight Sleep, Tech, Y-Combinator, Health, Founder

The Quest with Justin Kan

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 41:45


Matteo Franceschetti is the CEO and co-founder of Eight Sleep, a smart mattress company focused on optimizing sleep quality, duration, and recovery through insights and analytics. The company has raised over $40 million since its inception in 2014. In this episode, we discuss practical advice on improving health and longevity through optimizing sleep, the importance of prototyping your product, and the unique challenges of scaling a hardware company. Matteo recounts the development of his intense competitive drive as a boy growing up in Italy, his pivot into startups coming from a career as a lawyer, the YC experience, learning to be an effective communicator and leader, and the laborious process of finding product-market fit. The Quest Pod x Universe Site-Building Contest: The Quest Pod is partnering with Universe App to give away $1000 in cash, plus a chance to pitch me your worst startup ideas (and get roasted ) in a YouTube video! The rules are simple: Come up with the worst startup/product idea ever - the more unethical, inefficient, or useless it is, the better, Download the Universe app and build a basic landing page for your idea. Must clearly state what the product/company is, and its purpose, Follow me on Twitter, and submit your site URL and basic details here Keep an eye on your Twitter DM's - I'll contact you if you win. Enjoyed this episode? The incredible stories on this podcast are made possible by our sponsors, check them out to support The Quest Pod:Universe | The best mobile command centre for building your online business and content.Cashapp | Spend, save, invest in stocks and cryptocurrency easily 

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig
Greatest Hits Episode: Daniel Bilbao, Fighting Fraud in Latin America, Ep 146

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 39:41


Greatest Hits Episode: Daniel Bilbao, Fighting Fraud in Latin America, Ep 146 For this week's episode of Crossing Borders, we're revisiting one of our greatest hits episodes featuring Truora's Daniel Bilbao.   Originally from Cali, Colombia, Daniel studied in the US and started a company in Silicon Valley before realizing he wanted to use his experience to solve a pressing Latin American problem: fraud. Truora, a startup that provides instant background checks, was born to fight that problem. I sat down with Daniel for this episode to talk about why he decided to go after the Latin American market instead of Silicon Valley, how he raised money from Y Combinator, Accel, and Kaszek Ventures, and why he wants to tackle the problem of fraud in Latin America. We also discuss why he based his company in Cali and the lessons he learned building and working for three startups in Latin America and Silicon Valley. Magma has been supporting Truora since before YCombinator, so I'm especially excited to share the story of this ambitious founder from Colombia on the podcast. Why background checks are a big deal in Latin America Background checks are customary practice in the US for reasons of compliance. Background checks are essential in Latin America to avoid fraud and criminal activity. With the rise of the gig economy has come the challenge of hiring and managing massive teams of contract workers; Truora makes it possible to run a background check on new employees in a matter of 30 seconds using a smartphone. Leveraging his team and experience, Daniel pushed Truora to early revenue by doing deals with Rappi, Uber, and Davivienda on a bootstrapped budget. Truora is not stopping at background checks; Daniel wants to solve the problem of fraud from the ground up. Find out how Daniel plans to grow Truora across Latin America while staying lean in this podcast episode. If I ever got a tattoo, it would be of my flag Daniel Bilbao used to swim on the Colombian national team, so it would be hard to find someone more patriotic about his own country. Daniel returned to Colombia to build Truora after realizing that Latin Americans are on the cusp of realizing the enormous opportunity that they have to build global companies that compete with the US, Europe, and Asia. He even spends part of his Sundays advising founders from the region. Daniel is honest about the problems he sees in Latin America, but he quickly repositions them as opportunities. Check out the rest of the podcast to hear how Daniel plans to build a winning team across Latin America with Truora, starting from Cali, Colombia. We work in the United States of Latin America Latin American markets are more similar than they are different, says Daniel. He contends that they're closer to Texas and California than people might think. His advice: do multiple geographies, and do it right away. If you feel you are spread too thin, the problem probably lies in the product or the team, rather than the growth plan. In this episode, Daniel explains why he thinks it is better to spend $50K to launch and learn in a new market than to go for huge revenue right away. Although Truora is still in its early stages, Daniel has seen a number of startups grow, and a number of startups go down in flames. Bipi, a car rental startup where he worked, laid off hundreds of people (including him) before it failed. Find out what Daniel learned from previous startups and how he applied his knowledge to Truora in this episode of Crossing Borders. If you have a good team and nothing else, apply. You can always apply again. Daniel has been through YCombinator twice, first with Paladin Cyber, then with Truora. Paladin went on to raise $4.5M after YC and other Silicon Valley Investors and Truora recently raised $3M from Kaszek Ventures and Accel. He knows what accelerators and investors look for and is always willing to share his advice. His tip for Latin American founders: learn to tell your story, but go straight to the point. No BS. If you are a returning listener to this podcast, you may remember that Marta Forero (UBits cofounder) gave similar advice about her own experience in the Y Combinator interview. Daniel is a top resource on how to get into and get the most out of Y Combinator. Listen to the rest of this episode to hear his tips on raising money from top US and Latin American VCs, and how to turn that investment into revenue. Daniel Bilbao has been fortunate to work closely with top startups in the US and Latin America in times of success (his identical twin was an early Rappi team member) and times of hardship. His only regret was that he didn't start innovating earlier. Check out Daniel's story to learn how and why he made his way from doing business in Silicon Valley back to his home country to fight one of Latin America's most entrenched problems. Outline of this episode: [1:30] – Nathan introduces Daniel [2:14] – Why is fraud a big problem to solve in Latin America? [7:08] – The difference between background checks in LatAm and the US [9:42] – Growing up in Cali, Colombia [12:48] – How startup failure led to Paladin Cyber [14:10] – Where did you get the attitude to give back to your home country? [16:14] – Lessons learned in Daniel's childhood [19:32] – Why Truora likes to hire very junior engineers [20:21] – Lessons learned from Beepy [22:38] – How does experience with Beepy and Rappi influence Truora? [25:37] – Why transparency is important at a startup [26:14] – How to build the Truora team [27:16] – How does the app work? [28:35] – How to raise money for Truora [30:51] – Top tips for companies applying to YC [32:41] – How to get the most out of YC? [33:30] – Advice for founders raising money in LatAm [35:36] – What's next for Truora? [36:53] – Daniel's recommended resources [38:12] – Daniel's advice to his younger self Resources & people mentioned: Truora Y Combinator Accel Kaszek Ventures Magma Partners Paladin Cyber Rappi Influence – Robert Cialidini Grit – Angela Duckworth  

I Need To Know Podcast
I Need To Know Podcast Episode: #106 Yogi Calhoon & Host L-Deez

I Need To Know Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 70:33


Artist Yogi Calhoon Stopped By FAME Studio To Chop It Up With Host L-Deez About What He's Been Up To Lately Recording New Music And Content As Well As His Brand "YC" Doing Very Well Independently. Yogi Talks About His History As An Artist From The Bay Giving Detail On Some Of The Major Artist He Has Worked With Behind The Scene's On His Rise In The Music Industry. Check Out The Interview Above

Zwiftcast
Ep 99: Nathan braves a tornado as the Zwiftcasters chew through all the latest Zwifty news and chat

Zwiftcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2021 71:49


The three amigos are back together for the first time in a few Eps to chew through all the latest Zwifty news, chat and gossip. . . . in an episode recorded as Nathan nervously kept an eye on a tornado headed towards his studio! Simon, Shane and Nathan kick off with a review of the first interview from Zwift's newish in post Chief Product Officer, YC, before meeting the Zwifter who accomplished the magnificently mad ride of 100 miles standing up. Prominent Zwifter Chad Tavernia goes one better chatting with Simon, promising to repeat the feat inside. Good luck with that Chad! The Zwiftcasters move on to discuss what can only really be described as a pretty chaotic game update in July - and Shane switches on rant mode.  Auto-categorisation is a solution to sandbagging in racing long advocated by many Zwifters and now, thanks to Martin Carew at WTRL Racing, a nascent system is being tested in earnest. Simon checks in with Martin for a progress report. The Zwiftcasters round off Ep 99 with a chat on the latest tech, including Elite's Rizer device and Zwift's decision not to attend the upcoming Eurobike show. With an off-piste diversion into Speed Walking plus a little bit of news for runners on the platform, the boys wrap it up for this one. We hope you enjoy listening

My First Million
#204 - Behind-the-Scenes of Shaan's Power Writing Course

My First Million

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 55:22


In this episode Shaan (@ShaanVP) breaks down all the numbers behind his Power Writing course and gives Sam (@theSamParr) a walkthrough on how short squeezes work. The two of them later discuss the unbundling of YC, on-demand rental companies, and the future of gas stations. --------- * Want to be featured in a future episode? Drop your question/comment/criticism/love here: https://www.mfmpod.com/p/hotline/ * Support the pod by spreading the word, become a referrer here: https://refer.fm/million * Have you joined our private Facebook group yet? Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourfirstmillion and join thousands of other entrepreneurs and founders scheming up ideas. --------- Show notes: * (:47) Intro * (1:49) Sam's bullish on America * (5:52) A beginner's guide to short squeezes * (8:35) The programming language behind Ethereum smart contracts * (16:09) Meet Greg16676935420 * (19:27) The unbundling of YC * (22:37) A breakdown of Shaan's Power Writing course * (32:55) Swimply and other rent-on-demand companies * (43:17) The future of gas stations

Klaviyo Growth Podcast
Growth Podcast feat: Alloy Automation - Building Your Tech Stack

Klaviyo Growth Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 30:57


On this episode, we're joined by Sarah Du, CEO and cofounder of Alloy Automation — a YC-backed ecommerce automation platform that helps you reclaim time and focus. This episode dives into tech stacks (like., pairing Shopify and Klaviyo) and the ins and outs of using technology to grow your business.Tune in to listen to Sarah's journey as she went from an ex-Harvard student to a San Francisco CEO and cofounder, and how she helps other brands implement new solutions to improve their ROI through Alloy. Follow us on social at: Twitter - @klaviyogrowthInstagram - @klaviyogrowthFacebook - @klaviyogrowthYouTube - Klaviyo SuccessKlaviyo Product Event: klaviyo.com/events/product-eventsThe Klaviyo Podcast is a way for marketers to learn email marketing, sms marketing, and ecommerce marketing from industry experts and peers. These should provide insights on how to increase your email marketing revenue, increase conversion rates, improve open rates, and generally provide email marketing best practices.

The History of Computing
How Venture Capital Funded The Computing Industry

The History of Computing

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 24, 2021 30:14


Investors have pumped capital into emerging markets since the beginning of civilization. Egyptians explored basic mathematics and used their findings to build larger structures and even granaries to allow merchants to store food and serve larger and larger cities. Greek philosophers expanded on those learnings and applied math to learn the orbits of planets, the size of the moon, and the size of the earth. Their merchants used the astrolabe to expand trade routes. They studied engineering and so learned how to leverage the six simple machines to automate human effort, developing mills and cranes to construct even larger buildings. The Romans developed modern plumbing and aqueducts and gave us concrete and arches and radiant heating and bound books and the postal system.  Some of these discoveries were state sponsored; others from wealthy financiers. Many an early investment was into trade routes, which fueled humanities ability to understand the world beyond their little piece of it and improve the flow of knowledge and mix found knowledge from culture to culture.  As we covered in the episode on clockworks and the series on science through the ages, many a scientific breakthrough was funded by religion as a means of wowing the people. And then autocrats and families who'd made their wealth from those trade routes. Over the centuries of civilizations we got institutions who could help finance industry.  Banks loan money using an interest rate that matches the risk of their investment. It's illegal, going back to the Bible to overcharge on interest. That's called usury, something the Romans realized during their own cycles of too many goods driving down costs and too few fueling inflation. And yet, innovation is an engine of economic growth - and so needs to be nurtured.  The rise of capitalism meant more and more research was done privately and so needed to be funded. And the rise of intellectual property as a good. Yet banks have never embraced startups.  The early days of the British Royal Academy were filled with researchers from the elite. They could self-fund their research and the more doing research, the more discoveries we made as a society. Early American inventors tinkered in their spare time as well. But the pace of innovation has advanced because of financiers as much as the hard work and long hours. Companies like DuPont helped fuel the rise of plastics with dedicated research teams. Railroads were built by raising funds. Trade grew. Markets grew. And people like JP Morgan knew those markets when they invested in new fields and were able to grow wealth and inspire new generations of investors. And emerging industries ended up dominating the places that merchants once held in the public financial markets.  Going back to the Venetians, public markets have required regulation. As banking became more a necessity for scalable societies it too required regulation - especially after the Great Depression. And yet we needed new companies willing to take risks to keep innovation moving ahead., as we do today And so the emergence of the modern venture capital market came in those years with a few people willing to take on the risk of investing in the future. John Hay “Jock” Whitney was an old money type who also started a firm. We might think of it more as a family office these days but he had acquired 15% in Technicolor and then went on to get more professional and invest. Jock's partner in the adventure was fellow Delta Kappa Epsilon from out at the University of Texas chapter, Benno Schmidt. Schmidt coined the term venture capital and they helped pivot Spencer Chemicals from a musicians plant to fertilizer - they're both nitrates, right? They helped bring us Minute Maid. and more recently have been in and out of Herbalife, Joe's Crab Shack, Igloo coolers, and many others. But again it was mostly Whitney money and while we tend to think of venture capital funds as having more than one investor funding new and enterprising companies.  And one of those venture capitalists stands out above the rest. Georges Doriot moved to the United States from France to get his MBA from Harvard. He became a professor at Harvard and a shrewd business mind led to him being tapped as the Director of the Military Planning Division for the Quartermaster General. He would be promoted to brigadier general following a number of massive successes in the research and development as part of the pre-World War II military industrial academic buildup.  After the war Doriot created the American Research and Development Corporation or ARDC with the former president of MIT, Karl Compton, and engineer-turned Senator Ralph Flanders - all of them wrote books about finance, banking, and innovation. They proved that the R&D for innovation could be capitalized to great return. The best example of their success was Digital Equipment Corporation, who they invested $70,000 in in 1957 and turned that into over $350 million in 1968 when DEC went public, netting over 100% a year of return. Unlike Whitney, ARDC took outside money and so Doriot became known as the first true venture capitalist. Those post-war years led to a level of patriotism we arguably haven't seen since. John D. Rockefeller had inherited a fortune from his father, who built Standard Oil. To oversimplify, that company was broken up into a variety of companies including what we now think of as Exxon, Mobil, Amoco, and Chevron. But the family was one of the wealthiest in the world and the five brothers who survived John Jr built an investment firm they called the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. We might think of the fund as a social good investment fund these days. Following the war in 1951, John D Rockefeller Jr endowed the fund with $58 million and in 1956, deep in the Cold War, the fund president Nelson Rockefeller financed a study and hired Henry Kissinger to dig into the challenges of the United States. And then came Sputnik in 1957 and a failed run for the presidency of the United States by Nelson in 1960.  Meanwhile, the fund was helping do a lot of good but also helping to research companies Venrock would capitalize. The family had been investing since the 30s but Laurance Rockefeller had setup Venrock, a mashup of venture and Rockefeller. In Venrock, the five brothers, their sister, MIT's Ted Walkowicz, and Harper Woodward banded together to sprinkle funding into now over 400 companies that include Apple, Intel, PGP, CheckPoint, 3Com, DoubleClick and the list goes on. Over 125 public companies have come out of the fund today with an unimaginable amount of progress pushing the world forward. The government was still doing a lot of basic research in those post-war years that led to standards and patents and pushing innovation forward in private industry. ARDC caught the attention of a number of other people who had money they needed to put to work. Some were family offices increasingly willing to make aggressive investments. Some were started by ARDC alumni such as Charlie Waite and Bill Elfers who with Dan Gregory founded Greylock Partners. Greylock has invested in everyone from Red Hat to Staples to LinkedIn to Workday to Palo Alto Networks to Drobo to Facebook to Zipcar to Nextdoor to OpenDNS to Redfin to ServiceNow to Airbnb to Groupon to Tumblr to Zenprise to Dropbox to IFTTT to Instagram to Firebase to Wandera to Sumo Logic to Okta to Arista to Wealthfront to Domo to Lookout to SmartThings to Docker to Medium to GoFundMe to Discord to Houseparty to Roblox to Figma. Going on 800 investments just since the 90s they are arguably one of the greatest venture capital firms of all time.  Other firms came out of pure security analyst work. Hayden, Stone, & Co was co-founded by another MIT grad, Charles Hayden, who made his name mining copper to help wire up the world in what he expected to be an increasingly electrified world. Stone was a Wall Street tycoon and the two of them founded a firm that employed Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, Frank Zarb, a Chairman of the NASDAQ and they gave us one of the great venture capitalists to fund technology companies, Arthur Rock.  Rock has often been portrayed as the bad guy in Steve Jobs movies but was the one who helped the “Traitorous 8” leave Shockley Semiconductor and after their dad (who had an account at Hayden Stone) mentioned they needed funding, got serial entrepreneur Sherman Fairchild to fund Fairchild Semiconductor. He developed tech for the Apollo missions, flashes, spy satellite photography - but that semiconductor business grew to 12,000 people and was a bedrock of forming what we now call Silicon Valley. Rock ended up moving to the area and investing. Parlaying success in an investment in Fairchild to invest in Intel when Moore and Noyce left Fairchild to co-found it.  Venture Capital firms raise money from institutional investors that we call limited partners and invest that money. After moving to San Francisco, Rock setup Davis and Rock, got some limited partners, including friends from his time at Harvard and invested in 15 companies, including Teledyne and Scientific Data Systems, which got acquired by Xerox, taking their $257,000 investment to a $4.6 million dollar valuation in 1970 and got him on the board of Xerox. He dialed for dollars for Intel and raised another $2.5 million in a couple of hours, and became the first chair of their board. He made all of his LPs a lot of money. One of those Intel employees who became a millionaire retired young. Mike Markulla invested some of his money and Rock put in $57,000 - growing it to $14 million and went on to launch or invest in companies and make billions of dollars in the process.  Another firm that came out of the Fairchild Semiconductor days was Kleiner Perkins. They started in 1972, by founding partners Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank Caufield, and Brook Byers. Kleiner was the leader of those Traitorous 8 who left William Shockley and founded Fairchild Semiconductor. He later hooked up with former HP head of Research and Development and yet another MIT and Harvard grad, Bill Perkins. Perkins would help Corning, Philips, Compaq, and Genentech - serving on boards and helping them grow.  Caufield came out of West Point and got his MBA from Harvard as well. He'd go on to work with Quantum, AOL, Wyse, Verifone, Time Warner, and others.  Byers came to the firm shortly after getting his MBA from Stanford and started four biotech companies that were incubated at Kleiner Perkins - netting the firm over $8 Billion dollars. And they taught future generations of venture capitalists. People like John Doerr - who was a great seller at Intel but by 1980 graduated into venture capital bringing in deals with Sun, Netscape, Amazon, Intuit, Macromedia, and one of the best gambles of all time - Google. And his reward is a net worth of over $11 billion dollars. But more importantly to help drive innovation and shape the world we live in today.  Kleiner Perkins was the first to move into Sand Hill Road. From there, they've invested in nearly a thousand companies that include pretty much every household name in technology. From there, we got the rise of the dot coms and sky-high rent, on par with Manhattan. Why? Because dozens of venture capital firms opened offices on that road, including Lightspeed, Highland, Blackstone, Accel-KKR, Silver Lake, Redpoint, Sequoia, and Andreesen Horowitz. Sequoia also started in the 70s, by Don Valentine and then acquired by Doug Leone and Michael Moritz in the 90s. Valentine did sales for Raytheon before joining National Semiconductor, which had been founded by a few Sperry Rand traitors and brought in some execs from Fairchild. They were venture backed and his background in sales helped propel some of their earlier investments in Apple, Atari, Electronic Arts, LSI, Cisco, and Oracle to success. And that allowed them to invest in a thousand other companies including Yahoo!, PayPal, GitHub, Nvidia, Instagram, Google, YouTube, Zoom, and many others.  So far, most of the firms have been in the US. But venture capital is a global trend.  Masayoshi Son founded Softbank in 1981 to sell software and then published some magazines and grew the circulation to the point that they were Japan's largest technology publisher by the end of the 80s and then went public in 1994. They bought Ziff Davis publishing, COMDEX, and seeing so much technology and the money in technology, Son inked a deal with Yahoo! to create Yahoo! Japan. They pumped $20 million into Alibaba in 2000 and by 2014 that investment was worth $60 billion. In that time they became more aggressive with where they put their money to work. They bought Vodafone Japan, took over competitors, and then the big one - they bought Sprint, which they merged with T-Mobile and now own a quarter of the combined companies. An important aspect of venture capital and private equity is multiple expansion. The market capitalization of Sprint more than doubled with shares shooting up over 10%. They bought Arm Limited, the semiconductor company that designs the chips in so many a modern phone, IoT device, tablet and even computer now. As with other financial firms, not all investments can go great. SoftBank pumped nearly $5 billion into WeWork. Wag failed. 2020 saw many in staff reductions. They had to sell tens of billions in assets  to weather the pandemic. And yet with some high profile losses, they sold ARM for a huge profit, Coupang went public and investors in their Vision Funds are seeing phenomenal returns across over 200 companies in the portfolios. Most of the venture capitalists we mentioned so far invested as early as possible and stuck with the company until an exit - be it an IPO, acquisition, or even a move into private equity. Most got a seat on the board in exchange for not only their seed capital, or the money to take products to market, but also their advice. In many a company the advice was worth more than the funding. For example, Randy Komisar, now at Kleiner Perkins, famously recommended TiVo sell monthly subscriptions, the growth hack they needed to get profitable. As the venture capital industry grew and more and more money was being pumped into fueling innovation, different accredited and institutional investors emerged to have different tolerances for risk and different skills to bring to the table. Someone who built an enterprise SaaS company and sold within three years might be better served to invest in and advise another company doing the same thing. Just as someone who had spent 20 years running companies that were at later stages and taking them to IPO was better at advising later stage startups who maybe weren't startups any more. Here's a fairly common startup story. After finishing a book on Lisp, Paul Graham decides to found a company with Robert Morris. That was Viaweb in 1995 and one of the earliest SaaS startups that hosted online stores - similar to a Shopify today. Viaweb had an investor named Julian Weber, who invested $10,000 in exchange for 10% of the company. Weber gave them invaluable advice and they were acquired by Yahoo! for about $50 million in stock in 1998, becoming the Yahoo Store.  Here's where the story gets different. 2005 and Graham decides to start doing seed funding for startups, following the model that Weber had established with Viaweb. He and Viaweb co-founders Robert Morris (the guy that wrote the Morris worm) and Trevor Blackwell start Y Combinator, along with Jessica Livingston. They put in $200,000 to invest in companies and with successful investments grew to a few dozen companies a year. They're different because they pick a lot of technical founders (like themselves) and help the founders find product market fit, finish their solutions, and launch. And doing so helped them bring us Airbnb, Doordash, Reddit, Stripe, Dropbox and countless others. Notice that many of these firms have funded the same companies. This is because multiple funds investing in the same company helps distribute risk. But also because in an era where we've put everything from cars to education to healthcare to innovation on an assembly line, we have an assembly line in companies. We have thousands of angel investors, or humans who put capital to work by investing in companies they find through friends, family, and now portals that connect angels with companies.  We also have incubators, a trend that began in the late 50s in New York when Jo Mancuso opened a warehouse up for small tenants after buying a warehouse to help the town of Batavia. The Batavia Industrial Center provided office supplies, equipment, secretaries, a line of credit, and most importantly advice on building a business. They had made plenty of money on chicken coops and though that maybe helping companies start was a lot like incubating chickens and so incubators were born.  Others started incubating. The concept expanded from local entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs and now cities, think tanks, companies, and even universities, offer incubation in their walls. Keep in mind many a University owns a lot of patents developed there and plenty of companies have sprung up to commercialize the intellectual property incubated there. Seeing that and how technology companies needed to move faster we got  accelerators like Techstars, founded by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis in 2006 out of Boulder, Colorado. They have worked with over 2,500 companies and run a couple of dozen programs. Some of the companies fail by the end of their cohort and yet many like Outreach and Sendgrid grow and become great organizations or get acquired. The line between incubator and accelerator can be pretty slim today. Many of the earlier companies mentioned are now the more mature venture capital firms. Many have moved to a focus on later stage companies with YC and Techstars investing earlier. They attend the demos of companies being accelerated and invest. And the fact that founding companies and innovating is now on an assembly line, the companies that invest in an A round of funding, which might come after an accelerator, will look to exit in a B round, C round, etc. Or may elect to continue their risk all the way to an acquisition or IPO.  And we have a bevy of investing companies focusing on the much later stages. We have private equity firms and family offices that look to outright own, expand, and either harvest dividends from or sell an asset, or company. We have traditional institutional lenders who provide capital but also invest in companies. We have hedge funds who hedge puts and calls or other derivatives on a variety of asset classes. Each has their sweet spot even if most will opportunistically invest in diverse assets. Think of the investments made as horizons. The Angel investor might have their shares acquired in order to clean up the cap table, or who owns which parts of a company, in later rounds. This simplifies the shareholder structure as the company is taking on larger institutional investors to sprint towards and IPO or an acquisition. People like Arthur Rock, Tommy Davis, Tom Perkins, Eugene Kleiner, Doerr, Masayoshi Son, and so many other has proven that they could pick winners. Or did they prove they could help build winners? Let's remember that investing knowledge and operating experience were as valuable as their capital. Especially when the investments were adjacent to other successes they'd found. Venture capitalists invested more than $10 billion in 1997. $600 million of that found its way to early-stage startups. But most went to preparing a startup with a product to take it to mass market. Today we pump more money than ever into R&D - and our tax systems support doing so more than ever. And so more than ever, venture money plays a critical role in the life cycle of innovation. Or does venture money play a critical role in the commercialization of innovation? Seed accelerators, startup studios, venture builders, public incubators, venture capital firms, hedge funds, banks - they'd all have a different answer. And they should. Few would stick with an investment like Digital Equipment for as long as ARDC did. And yet few provide over 100% annualized returns like they did.  As we said in the beginning of this episode, wealthy patrons from Pharaohs to governments to industrialists to now venture capitalists have long helped to propel innovation, technology, trade, and intellectual property. We often focus on the technology itself in computing - but without the money the innovation either wouldn't have been developed or if developed wouldn't have made it to the mass market and so wouldn't have had an impact into our productivity or quality of life.  The knowledge that comes with those who provide the money can be seen with irreverence. Taking an innovation to market means market-ing. And sales. Most generations see the previous generations as almost comedic, as we can see in the HBO show Silicon Valley when the cookie cutter industrialized approach goes too far. We can also end up with founders who learn to sell to investors rather than raising capital in the best way possible, selling to paying customers. But there's wisdom from previous generations when offered and taken appropriately. A coachable founder with a vision that matches the coaching and a great product that can scale is the best investment that can be made. Because that's where innovation can change the world.

new york google japan university steve jobs mba r d wall street amazon apple stone colorado director world war ii mit tumblr texas france greek rock san francisco cold war medium softbank united states hbo manhattan research investors banks development romans sun notice egyptian bible yahoo silicon valley netscape harvard aol david brown oracle cisco airbnb shopify morris xerox reddit technicolor hp arm highland zoom seed jock rockefeller lps west point quantum blackstone dropbox apollo fairchild stanford computing docker venture gofundme outreach philips weber pharaohs sputnik paypal ifttt schmidt wework silver lake raytheon trade intel funded iot discord great depression house party drobo joe kennedy companies staples dupont boulder colorado batavia wag billion markets time warner atari nvidia crab shack figma saas genentech corning github venture capital alibaba ipo brad feld intuit electronic arts firebase chevron amoco stripe nasdaq lightspeed perkins arista railroads byers domo parlaying mobil sprint t mobile groupon sequoia robert morris y combinator david cohen roblox herbalife lsi jp morgan red hat lookout nextdoor lisp macromedia doordash venetians tivo igloo tommy davis checkpoint john d minute maid techstars yc okta exxon nelson rockefeller wealthfront doerr zipcar john doerr workday henry kissinger kleiner perkins kleiner bill perkins andreesen horowitz smartthings dan gregory sumo logic pgp accel kkr digital equipment digital equipment corporation sendgrid verifone greylock servicenow jared polis greylock partners doubleclick redfin palo alto networks paul graham compaq randy komisar venrock standard oil fairchild semiconductor teledyne ziff davis masayoshi son coupang early american comdex tom perkins traitorous john jr noyce charlie waite caufield development corporation jessica livingston michael moritz opendns redpoint wyse quartermaster general wandera
The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private E
290. The Rise of Low-Code/No-Code, How Tech is Changing Developer Roles, and the Launch of Founder-Led Venture Funds (Brian Luerssen)

The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private E

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2021 51:53


Brian Luerssen of Long Jump joins Nick to discuss The Rise of Low-Code/No-Code, How Tech is Changing Developer Roles, and the Launch of Founder-Led Venture Funds. In this episode we cover: Walk us through your background and path to Draftbit. Tell us about the customer market and who you're targeting with Draftbit. Are there good comps or parallels in the non-mobile space? Will the user of Draftbit still be a developer, or do you have cases where it's the application product manager or others? Is it just web apps and native apps covering the spectrum? There's this principled group of developers, that don't want to use App builders. They want to build the ground up themselves. How do you deal with that objection? Have you guys achieved product-market fit? Yes or no?  What's the biggest challenge to getting product-market fit and hitting huge growth numbers? Where do you go now? How do you see the business evolve? What's the end-all large market opportunity for Draftbit? Does it stay a platform that you build on and it exports code or does it end up becoming kind of its own place you build within, like a WordPress, or maybe even a Webflow? Any thoughts or advice for founders out there that are early-stage builders taking on something ambitious? Tell us about the origin story of Long Jump and why was this fund founded? So $100k, across the board for all investments is or is there some discretion to move up or down? Is this kind of like an application accelerator program? What happens if you come upon an opportunity where they're raising an early round. It's coming together quickly. It's something that hits home with one of the GPs. Can you jump into that or does it have to go through your formalized process? I imagine a lot of the LPs are founders, former founders that have been through this. Is that a bad assumption? Do you have some back office or operations support or somebody that's kind of focused on connecting these dots? How have you thought about other established models and kind of taken best practices? Why not direct them to an accelerator program? How do you handle the criticism from investors that claim you should focus on the business Draftbit and not running a fund? What is the future look like for Long Jump? YC vs TechStars. Go. I'm curious as YC is scaling, I think it's like 700 companies a year now, the density and power of the network, is it the same as it once was? I don't know, does the signal decline or not? Have they architected a hub and spoke network or a mesh network? Can the spokes or the nodes get a lot of value out of each other as it expands, or is it overly reliant on the hub for value? I'd be curious to get your comparison advantages, disadvantages, to the Bay Area versus a second-tier ecosystem and how you've seen that change over time. What do you know, you need to get better at? What's the best way for the founders out there to get in touch with Long Jump? What are you looking for? What should they come with to get accepted? Missed a recent episode? Go to The Full Ratchet blog and catch up! Also, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. The host of The Full Ratchet is Nick Moran, General Partner of New Stack Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to investing in the exceptions. To learn more about New Stack Ventures by visiting our Website and LinkedIn and be sure to follow us on Twitter. Are you a founder looking for your next investor? Visit our free tool VC-Rank and tell us about your business. We'll send a list of possible investors right to your email's InBox!

Its Whatever Podcast
Episode 7 - Why We Moved From Atlanta

Its Whatever Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 36:25


In this episode Milli & YC detail the move from Atlanta back to Virginia & why.