Ho Nam - Lessons in Venturing Differently
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Today, we are replaying our conversation with Ho Nam, co-founder of Altos Ventures. As the numbers go, Altos is one of the greatest venture capital firms of the last quarter century. We unpack Ho's origin story and the values that shaped him most as a person and investor, and then we then turn to Altos itself. Altos has emerged as one of the most elite venture investors by breaking traditional VC rules, by backing hedgehogs rather than foxes, by focusing relentlessly on capital efficiency, by investing at all stages of a company, and by displaying an unusual dose of kindness and patience along the way. This is a remarkable story of the art of what's possible when a group of investors are first and foremost in service to founders. It is also a tale of great struggle and resilience, constant evolution and self-discovery, and the courage to be different. Please enjoy our class with Ho Nam. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here. ----- Art of Investing is a property of Pine Grove Studios in collaboration with Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Art of Investing, visit StayGrovey.com.  Follow us on Twitter: @ArtofInvest | @Buhrman_Rick | @PaulBuser | @JoinColossus Show Notes (00:00:00) Welcome to Art of Investing (00:04:19) Ho’s early life and formation leading up to Altos Ventures (00:09:00) How seeing his parents at work shaped his career and investing perspectives (00:12:53) Developing a habit of hard work before finding the thing you love (00:17:53) The inter-title organisms and what drew him to Harvey Mudd (00:22:56) Working on a summer project with Henry Singleton; The Outsiders (00:24:06) Early career experiences that shaped the kind of investor he is today (00:37:10) Why getting into Stanford was yet another “sliding door” moment  (00:40:54) The decision he took that lead to founding Altos and becoming an entrepreneur (00:45:42) Whether or not their initial mission aligned with what Altos eventually became (00:55:54) How critical points of differentiation came together and where the courage came to double down on them  (01:01:40) An overview of the hedgehog concept  (01:07:29) How to adhere to the hedgehog concept in light of so much noise today writ large (01:11:40) What makes an Altos investment and where it starts (01:25:32) How he works with entrepreneurs and helps them along the way  (01:34:24) The importance of conviction rather than convention  (01:40:12) Reflections on what he hopes to get out of the rest of his life
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