Episodes
This episode features Ben Casnocha, Village Global co-founder and partner, in conversation with Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. Cal starts out by defining what digital minimalism is exactly. He talks about why he refrains from using social media and explains how the mechanics of social apps create something resembling an addiction. They discuss Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy of time management as explained in Walden, and why you should...
Published 03/17/19
We were thrilled to host a Masterclass roundtable session with our founders and John Donahoe (@Donahoe_John), CEO of ServiceNow. Prior to ServiceNow, John was CEO of eBay for more than seven years. He is known as one of the most inspirational leaders in Silicon Valley and is a highly sought-after mentor to CEOs including Brian Chesky at Airbnb, Drew Houston at Dropbox, and Ben Silbermann at Pinterest. We’re honored to have him among our small group of world-class executives and collaborators...
Published 03/14/19
Eric Ries (@ericries) recently joined Village Global co-founder and partner Ben Casnocha (@bencasnocha) in San Francisco to chat with some of the founders of our portfolio companies. Eric is a Village Global LP, friend of the firm, and author of The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Over the nearly 75-minute session, Eric gave a masterclass in Lean Startup techniques, addressed questions from founders on some of the...
Published 03/12/19
Erik is joined on this episode by Cyan Banister (@cyantist), partner at Founders Fund, and Niv Dror (@Nivo0o0), founder of Shrug Capital. They start out talking about why they’ve each been successful investors and what their respective “superpowers” are. Cyan tells a story about hearing Chris Sacca talk about his fund on a bus and meeting Travis Kalanick in a hot tub. Niv talks about the playbook for micro VCs and why after suggesting as a joke that he start his own fund, he actually ended...
Published 03/10/19
Mark Goldenson (@goldenson), Village Global Network Leader, creator of VentureKit, and formerly founder and CEO of Breakthrough, joins Erik to talk about his requests for startups in the mental health space and in digital health more broadly. Mark recounts his entrepreneurial journey so far, including his experience at Breakthrough, a mental health startup he created and ran that was later acquired. He talks about the four key problems in mental health and how connecting therapists and...
Published 03/07/19
Erik is joined by Afton Vechery (@aaffttoonn), co-funder and CEO of Modern Fertility, and Anarghya Vardhana (@anarghya503), VC at Maveron. Afton explains how she went from private equity to running a women's health startup and talks about the problems that she saw in the space and how Modern Fertility aims to change the lives of women. Anarghya talks about their investing criteria at Maveron and what they're looking for in the healthcare space. They talk about the reasons that women's...
Published 03/07/19
Aline Lerner (@alinelernerLLC), founder of interviewing.io, and Tasneem Minadakis, Engineering Leader at Google and advisor to interviewing.io, join Erik to talk about recruiting software engineers and opportunities in the recruiting space more broadly. Aline explains how interviewing.io allows for anonymous interviews, including the story of creating software to mask voices so neither side could tell who exactly the other party was. She talks about some of the correlations they found in...
Published 03/07/19
Blaine Hatab (@blainehatab), CEO of Distru, joins Erik to talk all about the cannabis space. He explains what he is doing at Distru, how he got into the business and why the cannabis space is ripe with opportunity. He talks about the changes that have occurred in the market over the past several years with legalization in various localities and why that has led to a challenge for companies trying to comply with varying and changing rules. He discusses the different types of companies that...
Published 03/07/19
Erik is joined by Ron Bouganim (@ronboug), founder and managing partner at Govtech Fund. Ron explains his thesis at Govtech Fund and how he got started in the space. He gives us a sense of just how neglected the technical operations of government are and why there are so many ripe opportunities in the space. He talks about why traditional venture capital wasn’t interested in the deals he was sending his way and why he had to start his own fund. He paints a market map for us in the space...
Published 03/07/19
Jonathan Swanson (@swaaanson), co-founder and chairman of Thumbtack, and John Kobs (@johnkobs), co-founder of Apartment List join Erik to talk all about marketplaces. John and Jonathan talk about their lessons from running their respective companies about what makes a good marketplace, and how prospective founders can find opportunities in the space. They break down what it takes to get initial supply and demand, and the merits of two-sided marketplaces. They talk about some of the trends...
Published 03/07/19
Ashu Garg (@ashugarg), partner at Foundation Capital, joins Erik for a primer on the marketing tech space. They talk about how Ashu got started in the space and Ashu discusses a blog post he wrote predicting that this decade will be the decade of the CMO. He says that marketing is key in the current business landscape, in the same way sales, finance and IT held that mantle in previous eras. He talks about some of the big trends in marketing tech over the last several years, which ones are in...
Published 03/07/19
Erik is joined by Vincenzo Iozzo (@_snagg), Village Global network leader and director at CrowdStrike, as well as Jamie Butler (@jamierbutler), CTO at Endgame. James and Vincenzo talk about where opportunities are in the space and what their requests for startups are. Vincenzo says that he’d like to see cybersecurity risk securitized to create financial incentives for companies to insure their operations against cyberattacks. The two of them create a market map of the space and talk about...
Published 03/07/19
Elaine Wherry (@elainewherry) joins Erik on this episode to give us the playbook for recruiting for your startup. Elaine was co-founder of Meebo and is now investing at Edelweiss VC. Elaine explains her superpower — being able to build quantitative systems around qualitative characteristics. She talks about how to evaluate candidates with your team and the way she uses TaskRabbit workers to calibrate her team’s assessment of a candidate. Elaine discusses why work simulations are so important...
Published 03/05/19
Erik is joined by returning guest, Simon de la Rouviere (@simondlr), co-founder at Ujo and ConsenSys, and Achill Rudolph (@AchillRudolph), lead link and initiator at Convergent. They start with an introduction of what personal tokens are, how they work, and why they have the potential to empower people around the world. Achill explains how they are thinking about them at Convergent and how they’ve been used so far by creators. Erik asks why blockchain is necessary for an application like...
Published 03/03/19
Erik and co-host Anuj Abrol (@nujabrol) interview Keith Rabois (@rabois), newly announced GP at Founders Fund. Keith starts out by talking about why he joined Founders Fund and the reason that the structure of VC means we don’t see more people moving from one fund to another. They talk about the future of venture and whether there will be more M&A in the space and where he sees things going in the next 10 years. Keith explains why being an effective VC is much more an art than a...
Published 02/28/19
Erik is joined by Justin Kan (@justinkan), founder of Atrium, Twitch and others, as well as Anuj Abrol (@nujabrol), Justin’s Chief of Staff and Erik's co-host for this episode. Justin talks about the wisdom he’s gained over the past few years after selling Twitch and founding Atrium. He explains why it’s important to stay humble, not get too attached to any particular outcome for your startup and why he wishes that someone had told him ten years ago that no amount of accomplishment will...
Published 02/26/19
On this episode Erik is joined by Christina Cacioppo (@christinacaci) of Vanta, and Amjad Masad (@amasad) of Repl.it. They discuss the reasons why developers tools are for the most part “primitive” and the cause of the mess of different technologies and utilities that a developer needs to know how to use in order to create an app. They talk about the concept of “end user computing” and the progress that’s been made in allowing non-developers to do more and more sophisticated things that were...
Published 02/24/19
On this episode Erik talks to Andrew D’Souza (@andrewdsouza), founder and CEO of Clearbanc, and Ali Hamed (@AliBHamed), investor at CoVenture, recurring guest and fan favorite. Andrew breaks down how Clearbanc works, why now is a unique time to build a new model of funding, and how they are using quantitative metrics in a business that has typically relied heavily on qualitative factors. He says that he would like to see venture capital go back to funding technical risk, and that for a lot...
Published 02/21/19
Erik is joined by Anda Gansca (@agansca), co-founder and CEO of Knotch, an independent content intelligence platform for marketers. Anda starts out by explaining the shift in the marketing world to content, the story of Knotch, and why the company has been in a great position to take advantage of that trend. She says that display advertising, including banner ads, outdoor advertising and television ads, are “basically ineffective.” She takes us behind the curtain of marketers and...
Published 02/19/19
Erik is joined by his co-host for this episode, Brianne Kimmel (@briannekimmel), investor, advisor and Village Global network leader. They talk to Christoph Janz (@chrija), investor at Point Nine Capital, a Berlin-based early stage venture capital firm focused on SaaS and digital marketplaces. Christoph lays out their investing thesis at Point Nine and talks about why they are geography-agnostic when it comes to potential deals. He explains at which stage they like to invest and some of the...
Published 02/17/19
Erik is joined by Brad Hargreaves (@bhargreaves), founder and CEO of Common and co-founder of General Assembly, and Zach Aarons (@ZacharyAarons), co-founder and partner at MetaProp, a proptech venture fund. The guests explain what exactly proptech is and why it’s an exciting space for entrepreneurs. They go over some of the sub-segments within proptech, some of the existing unicorns in the space, as well as the incumbents that new entrepreneurs might encounter and how they themselves getting...
Published 02/14/19
Bradley Tusk (@bradleytusk) joins Erik on this episode to talk about the intersection of politics and tech. He’s founder and CEO of Tusk Ventures and author of The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups From Death By Politics. He’s also a philanthropist, political strategist, and hosts his own podcast, Firewall. Bradley has worked with Michael Bloomberg, Chuck Schumer, Uber, and many others. He shares the lessons he’s learned throughout his experience both working in politics and helping guide...
Published 02/12/19
Scott Belsky (@scottbelsky) joins Erik to talk about his new book The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture. Scott is Chief Product Officer at Adobe and was CEO and co-founder of Behance. He’s also an early stage investor. Scott discusses his experience founding, scaling and selling Behance, then working as a venture capitalist, early stage investor and as CPO at Adobe. He talks about what he means by “the messy middle” and talks about...
Published 02/10/19
Erik sits down with Donnie Dinch (@donnie), Michael Galpert (@msg) and Greg Isenberg (@gregisenberg), to follow up on the projects they were working on a year ago when they all got together at the end of 2017 to talk about consumer social on one of our first podcast episodes. They discuss what’s changed since then and what they see ahead in the consumer social landscape. They discuss some of the unexpected twists and turns their ventures took over the course of 2018 and some of their...
Published 02/07/19
Erik talks to longtime friend and co-author of No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, Liz Fosslien (@fosslien / fosslien.com). She talks about the importance of “feeling your feelings” and not running away from them, especially at work. Liz gives some practical tips on how to give good feedback, how to approach negotiating, and how to be a good boss. She talks about the difference between diversity, inclusion and belonging, why it’s so important to strive to make...
Published 02/05/19