The NFX Podcast

By NFX

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We believe creating something of true significance starts with seeing things others do not.

Episode Date
The Unusual Signs of a Billion Dollar Company with Elad Gil & James Currier
00:35:41
Can your company be a Billion-dollar business? When we look inside the early days of companies like Stripe, Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart & Square, what are the patterns that may shed light on how great Founders beat incredible odds? In this episode of the NFX podcast, Elad Gil — one of the world's top angel investors in an astonishing number of Billion-dollar companies (Airbnb, Airtable, Anduril, Brex, Checkr, Coinbase, Flexport, Gitlab, Gusto, Instacart, Opendoor, PagerDuty, Pinterest, Samsara, Square, Stripe, & Wish) and cofounder of ColorGenomics— joins NFX partner James Currier to unearth what makes certain Founders and teams exponentially better. Together they examine the counterintuitive -- and often contrarian -- patterns that he has observed in many of the world’s best known Billion-dollar companies and their decision frameworks along the way. NFX Essay - https://www.nfx.com/post/unusual-signs-billion-dollar-companies Elad's Twitter - https://twitter.com/eladgil
Nov 23, 2020
The Founders' List: Steve Yegge's Famous Rant on 'Google vs Amazon' (Famous Memos)
00:22:49
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Longtime Googler Steve Yegge posted an insightful rant on his Google+ page about how Google is failing to make platforms for its products. He also shares some interesting little tidbits about his six-year stint at Amazon working for the 'Dread Pirate Bezos'. The rant was intended to be shared only with his Google coworkers, but was accidentally made public. Read the full memo here - https://gist.github.com/chitchcock/1281611
Nov 20, 2020
The New Growth Mindset with Sean Ellis & James Currier
00:25:25
In order to drive growth, you need to be data-driven and relentlessly creative. The difficult part of implementing growth in your company is finding someone who is good at both. Growth expert and thought leader Sean Ellis (Dropbox, Eventbrite, GrowthHackers, LogMeIn) sits down with NFX General Partner James Currier to share his thoughts and insights around: - The current stage of growth hacking - The digital growth evolution - The balance of data and creativity - Understanding the physics of growth - Importance of word of mouth Be sure to check out Sean’s latest project GoPractice! as well as his famous book ‘Hacking Growth’.
Nov 16, 2020
The Founders’ List: "Why Figma Wins" by Kevin Kwok (Former Investor at Greylock)
00:31:34
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. "Design is all of the conversations between designers and PMs about what to build. Building for this entire process doesn’t take away the importance of designers—it gives them a seat at the table for the core decisions a company makes. Companies that are successful in the long term are the ones that can repeatedly find the next loop." This is the audio version of Kevin Kwok's essay, 'Why Figma Wins'.  His analysis of the trajectory of Figma reflects the incremental product thinking & execution required to build this type of bottoms-up giant.  Kevin was formerly worked at Greylock Partners investing in marketplaces, autonomous vehicles, bottoms up productivity tools, and more. He is particularly interested in understanding the underlying structures that shape industries and the core loops that drive companies and writes on his popular site www.kwokchain.com. Read the full article here - https://kwokchain.com/2020/06/19/why-figma-wins/
Nov 12, 2020
Status Games with Eugene Wei (Product Lead at Amazon, Hulu, Erly, Flipboard, Oculus) and James Currier
00:49:27
Status can be a volatile, powerful driver of engagement. Status and one of its underlying mechanisms, scarcity must be considered by product designers in every category, as early on as possible. But it can also be a double-edged sword, as managing a network and the status dynamics within it is constantly recirculating, always shifting. For this reason, status that is more entertainment-based than utility-based can over time become precarious, as well as too restrictive for continued user growth. NFX partner James Currier sits down with Eugene Wei (Product Lead at Amazon, Hulu, Erly, Flipboard, Oculus) to draw from his original Status-as-a-Service article and expand to discuss status in entertainment, frameworks for emotional product design, video games as world leaders in defining scarcity, the future of virtual goods, and the underlying status games that drive us all -- in technology and in life.
Nov 10, 2020
The Future of Digital Advertising with Mikael Cho & Luke Chesser (Co-Founders of Unsplash)
00:40:54
"What's happening in general on the internet is an evolution to visual storytelling. The image is more powerful than ever, but it's also much harder to be seen than ever due to saturation. What's happening is the exchange is in social capital - the exchange is in being seen." NFX partner James Currier sits down and chats with Mikael Cho (CEO & Co-founder) and Luke Chesser (Head of Product & Co-founder) about their Founder journey to creating Unsplash, solving the chicken and egg problem within their marketplace, the psychology of their users, and what the future of digital advertising will look like.
Nov 09, 2020
The Founders’ List: Bill Gate's internal Microsoft Memo "The Internet Tidal Wave" (Famous Memos)
00:27:59
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Surfaced during the prolonged Justice Department antitrust action against Microsoft from 1998 to 2001, Bill Gates outlines a strategy internally for Microsoft to not only enter the internet, but to dominate it in his famous ‘Internet Tidal Wave’ memo. Read the full memo here - https://sriramk.com/memos/billgates-tidalwave.pdf
Nov 05, 2020
The Founders’ List: "The 3 Types of Platform Companies" by Elad Gil (Color Genomics & Twitter)
00:08:21
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. "Conflating what makes a platform work versus e.g. an infrastructure product can backfire and cause a team to have the wrong strategy for building a product or getting customers. These startups tend to fail." This is the audio version of Elad Gil's popular essay on The 3 Types of Platforms. Elad was the former Co-Founder/CEO of Color Genomics, Entrepreneur, Operating Executive at Twitter, and investor/advisor to companies like Airbnb, Stripe, Square, and Pinterest. Read the full article here - http://blog.eladgil.com/2015/01/the-3-types-of-platform-companies.html
Oct 29, 2020
The Competition For Your Attention with Sarah Frier (Bloomberg) & James Currier
00:40:53
"I think that everybody is getting attuned to strategic communication in a way that was not happening before social media. NFX partner James Currier talks with Sarah Frier, who reports on social media companies for Bloomberg News from San Francisco. Her stories have earned her a reputation as an expert on how Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter make business decisions that affect their future and our society as well as being the author of 'NO FILTER: The Inside Story of Instagram.' Sarah and James touch on a variety of subjects including the role and effect social media has on society and how to think about navigating your potential influence as an early-stage Founder.
Oct 26, 2020
The Founders’ List: “Don't Believe Your Own B.S.” by Pete Flint (General Partner at NFX)
00:16:11
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. "Superpowers cut both ways. They may spur meteoric growth, but without enough self-awareness, they can just as easily lead to a startup’s undoing." As a founder, it's important to be your startup’s biggest advocate, but it’s also important to create strong self-awareness and rise above your own ego. Listen as Pete Flint explains how to detect your own B.S. and allow your company to succeed. Pete is a general partner at NFX. Read the full article here - https://www.nfx.com/post/reality-distortion-field/
Oct 22, 2020
Focus Superpowers with Nir Eyal & James Currier
00:45:45
All early-stage companies are in search of traction. It’s notable that the opposite of traction is distraction and top Founders have an inverse response to distraction. As the world around them gets more distracting, what they see is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to break out from their competitors and win. NFX partner James Currier talks with Nir Eyal, former instructor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and author of the bestseller, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.” 2013 His latest book, “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life,” 2019 is out now. Nir walks us through his frameworks for product building, focus, traction, and building a culture centered around speed and growth. We’ve organized some of Nir’s insights from our podcast conversation for the benefit of focused Founders everywhere. Visit nirandfar.com for more.
Oct 19, 2020
The Golden Age of Simulation with Chris Anderson & James Currier
00:35:44
On this episode of the NFX Podcast we have one of the most generative people in Silicon Valley, Chris Anderson. He was famously Editor in Chief at Wired for over a decade during an insanely influential time in tech. He also is an author of The Long Tail, Free, and Makers. Chris has since founded 3DR, an American company headquartered in Berkeley, California that makes enterprise drone software for construction, engineering, and mining firms, along with government agencies. In this episode, we cover: - How regulations need to catch up with technology - What is Simulation - Why it’s the Golden Age of AI/Simulation - Virtual Reality for Robots - We’re transitioning to an abundance of data, are we using it right? - & different use cases for simulation
Oct 14, 2020
The Founders’ List: “Social Capital in Silicon Valley” by Alex Danco (Shopify & Social Capital)
00:19:39
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. "The 20s will see San Francisco face down some really big problems, and we’ll see if the city makes it out better or worse. But the wealth of social capital they’ve compounded will remain an undeniable asset to the tech community for a long time. " This is the audio version of Alex Danco's popular essay on Social Capital in Silicon Valley. Alex is currently head of Shopify Money and was a previous associate at Social Capital. Read the full article here - https://alexdanco.com/2020/01/23/social-capital-in-silicon-valley/
Oct 12, 2020
The Founders' List: Slack's Internal Memo 'We Don't Sell Saddles Here' (Famous Memos)
00:13:52
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. The memo below was sent to the team at Tiny Speck, the makers of Slack, on July 31st, 2013. It had been a little under seven months since development began and was two weeks before the launch of Slack’s ‘Preview Release’. "When you want something really bad, you will put up with a lot of flaws. But if you do not yet know you want something, your tolerance will be much lower." Read the full memo here - https://medium.com/@stewart/we-dont-sell-saddles-here-4c59524d650d
Oct 08, 2020
The Founders’ List: “The Guide to Unbundling Reddit” by Greg Isenberg (Late Checkout, Indicator Fund, TikTok Advisor, Previously WeWork/Islands/5by)
00:06:03
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. "The broad networks are everything to everyone, the niche ones are something special to a certain group." This is the audio version of Greg Isenberg's popular essay on The Unbundling of Reddit. Greg is a co-founder of Late Checkout, venture partner at Indicator Fund, and Growth advisor at TikTok. Previously he was the head of product strategy at WeWork and Founder of Islands & 5by. Read the full article here - https://latecheckout.substack.com/p/the-guide-to-unbundling-reddit
Sep 30, 2020
The Founders’ List: “Status as a Service (StaaS)” by Eugene Wei (Former Product Leader at Amazon, Hulu, Flipboard, Oculus)
01:35:16
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. A Must Listen for all Founders - audio version of Eugene Wei’s hugely popular essay on the role of status in product development. Eugene was a product leader at Amazon, Hulu, Flipboard, and Oculus. Read the full article here - https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2019/2/19/status-as-a-service
Sep 24, 2020
Good vs. Great Companies: The Unseen Truths of Breakout Success with James Currier & Selina Tobaccowala
01:03:13
NFX partner James Currier talks with Selina Tobaccowala - co-founder of Evite, CTO and President of SurveyMonkey, and cofounder of the fitness app Gixo. It’s rare to get a candid view into what happens behind the scenes of companies that break out from the pack - and the hard decisions that lead to their success. In this episode, James and Selina talk about: - Knowing when and how to sell your company - The difference between selling Evite vs. selling Gixo - Why to build strategic relationships as early as possible - How to upfront the hard conversations - How to build and measure product virality - & more great advice for early-stage Founders Read the full essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/good-vs-great-companies/
Sep 21, 2020
The Founders' List: James Currier (Managing Partner at NFX) on "The Psychology of Founders Who Win in Downturns"
00:04:40
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published by James Currier, General Partner at NFX. Read the full article here: https://www.nfx.com/post/psychology-winning-founders-downturns/
Sep 17, 2020
Prof. Tom Eisenmann (HBS) on Hidden Patterns of Startup Failure
00:53:12
NFX partner James Currier talks with professor Tom Eisenmann about why, exactly, over 75% of startups fail. Tom has been teaching entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School for more than a decade and has uncovered patterns of startup failure that we want every Founder to hear -- so you can avoid making these same mistakes yourself.
Sep 14, 2020
The Founders' List: Company Culture at Netflix (Famous Memos)
00:24:50
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Netflix’s memo on company culture on their employee website is geared toward those looking to join the company. Netflix's leadership outlines its values, company structure, communication style, and overall mission as a company and is widely regarded as a center of excellence with a strong culture in the tech industry. Read the full memo here - https://jobs.netflix.com/culture
Sep 10, 2020
Cyan Banister on the Future of AR/VR
00:38:53
Cyan Banister is an early stage investor in Uber, Niantic, SpaceX, many others. She’s a partner at Long Journey Ventures and spends most of her time dreaming about what the future could look like. In this NFX conversation with James Currier, they talk about the opportunities of AR, VR and the future of human connection.  Highlights from the conversation: - Allow yourself to become obsessed with something. Really obsess about the product and dream about what it can become. - Invest in things that will become part of your life.  - Futurism is more than being intellectual, it’s more about daydreaming, it’s about how you feel and how you live. - Silicon Valley is getting too serious. Where did the hacker mentality go? AR, and crypto are real frontier categories where there is still bright eyedness of “we don’t know what’s going to happen.” - Endless curiosity helps identify people who are solving problems that are actually real problems. - Be curious about how systems work. Analyze businesses and what makes them special. Try to figure out the economics of everything, anything. - Sometimes it makes sense to paint inside the lines, but sometimes you really have to paint outside the lines. Regarding the future of VR: There's no reason why you and I, if we want to hang out, that we have maybe 8 options… go to dinner, have a phone call, see a movie, maybe go for a walk… but why aren't there thousands of options? There should be so many, that's why Founders need to think bigger.
Sep 08, 2020
The Founders' List: Margaret Gould Stewart (VP of Product Design at Facebook) on "How a Single Conversation with my Boss Changed my View on Delegation and Failure"
00:03:58
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on Aug 5, 2016 by Margaret Gould Stewart, VP of Product Design at Facebook. Read the full article on Medium here: https://medium.com/newco/how-a-single-conversation-with-my-boss-changed-my-view-on-delegation-and-failure-ae5376451c8d
Sep 03, 2020
Nir Erez from Moovit on Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
00:39:20
"Mobility as a service" is the idea of packaging together one person's entire portfolio of transportation options. Even if it’s a different mode of transportation for the first mile, the bulk of the journey, and for the last mile. Car, ferry, ride share, bike, scooter, whatever - all serviceable in the same app. This is the future that Nir Erz, CEO at Moovit, can see clearly, and why Intel bought Moovit for $900M. NFX partner Gigi Levy-Weiss sits down in Israel with Nir to discuss how Moovit beat Google Maps in data, why KPIs are pure gold, how to think globally when launching locally, and what the future of transportation looks like. Highlights from the conversation: 1. Building data and data network effects How to leverage your user base to build a volunteer workforce of data (the Wikipedia volunteer model) >> pseudo-automatic data capture Two tricks for launching in new markets: acknowledge to users that the app is not complete, and directly ask them for their help Why data is central to Moovit's product value (an important factor discussed in our essay on data network effects) How to build a verticalized data moat (public transit data) that allows you to compete and beat a big horizontal incumbent (aka Google Maps) 2. The Importance of KPIs - "KPIs are gold" Knowing what the right industry benchmarks are can be extremely valuable for your company. The right KPIs can save you from wasting time and effort. Why Founders should set clear success metrics for their company or quit "Guys, those are my best years and I'm not gonna waste my best years on a company that is not going to take off. So my only request to you is -- let's set measurable goals for every stage of the company. If we’re not going to hit those goals, I’m not going to stick around." 3. The future of transport and mobility The future of transport is multimodal Cities, in particular, will be multimodal, with different transportation for the first mile, the bulk of the journey, and the last mile. People will want one seamless solution that allows them to pay for various modes of transport. "Mobility as a service" is the idea of packaging one person's entire portfolio of transport options at one access point / platform
Aug 31, 2020
The Founders' List: Max Mullen (Co-Founder of Instacart) on "How to Run a Product Brainstorm"
00:03:51
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on Oct 6, 2017 by Max Mullen, Co-Founder of Instacart. Read the full article on Medium here: https://medium.com/the-product-co-op/how-to-run-a-product-brainstorm-666a90a0986d
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Julie Zhuo (Former VP Product Design at Facebook & Co-Founder of Inspirit) on "How to be Strategic"
00:07:34
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on Oct 2, 2018 by Julie Zhuo, Former VP Product Design at Facebook & Co-Founder of Inspirit. Read the full article on Medium here: https://medium.com/the-year-of-the-looking-glass/how-to-be-strategic-f6630a44f86b
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Joel Spolsky (Co-Founder of Trello & Stack Overflow) on "Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon"
00:14:48
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on May 12, 2000 by Joel Spolsky, Co-Founder of Trello & Stack Overflow. Read the full article here: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/05/12/strategy-letter-i-ben-and-jerrys-vs-amazon/
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Dharmesh Shah (Co-Founder & CTO of HubSpot) on "Aligning Vectors: How To Optimize To Maximize Impact"
00:08:52
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on Oct 16, 2017 by Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder & CTO of HubSpot. Read the full article on Medium here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/aligning-vectors-how-optimize-impact-dharmesh-shah/?trackingId=AyxTmFVyQ7iCFm6409fYeA%3D%3D
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Elizabeth Yin (Co-Founder & General Partner at Hustle Fund) on "15 Annoying Things that VCs say or ask"
00:14:20
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published by Elizabeth Yin, Co-Founder & General Partner at Hustle Fund. Read the full article here: https://elizabethyin.com/2019/05/17/15-annoying-things-that-vcs-say-or-ask-and-how-to-think-about-them/
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Scott Belsky (Founder of Behance) on "Creativity is The New Productivity"
00:12:30
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on Sep 9, 2019 by Scott Belsky, Founder of Behance. Read the full article on Medium here: https://marker.medium.com/creativity-is-the-new-productivity-d287d6ad7533
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Sean Ellis (Founder & CEO of GrowthHackers) on "The Growth Pyramid Revisited"
00:06:26
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published on Mar 15, 2018 by Sean Ellis, Founder & CEO of GrowthHackers. Read the full article here: seanellis.me
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: 2004 Founder's IPO Letter from Google (Famous Memos)
00:23:21
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one. It’s been more than 10 years since Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote a long and personal “owner’s manual” for shareholders detailing their hopes and worries about taking Google public in 2004, and sharing the company’s ethos. Read the full memo here - https://abc.xyz/investor/founders-letters/2004-ipo-letter/
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Yahoo Memo: The 'Peanut Butter Manifesto' (Famous Memos)
00:11:49
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. In October 2006, Yahoo Senior Vice President Brad Garlinghouse wrote an internal memo, urging the company to narrow its focus and clarify its vision. The memo, now famously called the "Peanut Butter Manifesto," pointed out Yahoo's lack of focus, using peanut butter as a metaphor for spreading its resources too thinly. Read the full memo here - https://sriramk.com/memos/garlinghouse-peanut-butter.pdf
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: James Currier (Managing Partner at NFX) on "Building Strong Companies with The No Politics Rule"
00:04:58
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. This essay was written and published by James Currier, General Partner at NFX. Read the full article here: https://www.nfx.com/post/building-strong-companies-the-no-politics-rule/
Aug 24, 2020
The Founders' List: Pete Flint (Managing Partner at NFX) on "Why Startup Timing is Everything"
00:08:52
Aug 24, 2020
Craig Newmark on Building Craigslist, Teamwork, & The Golden Rule
00:11:41
At NFX, we dig into network effects companies and their founding stories, so we emailed Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist. Craigslist is the purest example of a 2-sided network effect and has remained stronger than ever for the past 20+ years. NFX partner James Currier had a chance to sit down with Craig to talk and catch up. Craig handed over the operations of Craigslist in 2000 and is now more focused on his philanthropy, but when we catch up, we get to discuss his mental models for business and for life. Just like the product he built, his secret to success is simple - treat others the way you want to be treated and put service above all else.
Aug 13, 2020
Steve Blank on "Don't Waste A Good Crisis"
00:21:26
Speed is often the secret weapon, especially when adjusting to and tackling a crisis. Credited with launching the Lean Startup movement, eight-time entrepreneur-turned-educator Steve Blank joins NFX partner James Currier and shares counterintuitive advice for how startups should be thinking right now. Steve says "don't waste a good crisis" and discusses how to find opportunity in disruption. He's changed how startups are built, how entrepreneurship is taught, how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate. Startups specifically need to speed up and put the pedal to the metal. It’s tough love time - if anyone at your organization is still operating under the old normal, consider one of the two P’s - pivot or part ways! Listen to how Steve breaks down how Founders can navigate an extended crisis and why now is the time to innovate. Read more at - www.nfx.com
Aug 05, 2020
George Dyson on Why Your Work Matters: Darwin, Machines, & The Future We're Building
00:34:20
As a Founder, having a strong sense of direction, purpose, and context for what you are doing every day gives you an advantage. Finding the deeper meaning gives you speed and power. Your work matters. But to see how it does clearly requires us to step outside of the caves of our day-to-day lives of running startups to understand how we all got here, and where we're going. There is a rich history you are building upon, and your work - whether a corner or floor of the cathedral - is a foundation that others will build on as we collectively build the future. Dyson is an exceptional mind. His perspective brings light to our greater purpose in building new technology. Read the full essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/why-your-work-matters/
Aug 04, 2020
Garrett Smallwood & James Currier on the Founder Journey and Navigating Uncertainty
00:34:01
Garrett Smallwood (CEO of Wag!) joins NFX partner James Currier to share his thoughts on profitable and efficient management of companies, thoughtfully operating before and after COVID-19, and shifting your mental models to adapt to your current situation. Garrett has earned all the badges — having sold his company to Wag!, operating as VP of Product, Partnerships, and Corp Dev, before building the roadmap to CEO. Garrett's current roadmap at Wag! is centered around operational excellence, strategic advantages through services and density, how to navigate through uncertainties, and the importance of thinking deeply about the way you build your company.
Jul 31, 2020
April Underwood shares the Product Thinking That Built Slack & Twitter
01:01:30
Twitter and Slack are two of technology’s most talked-about companies. They are both category-defining products marked by hypergrowth, each amassing a large base of deeply loyal users and a valuation of more than $20B. But Founders rarely get access to the product decisions being made behind the scenes, or the strategy and frameworks that guided them. April Underwood was instrumental at both companies, first as Director of Product at Twitter and then as Chief Product Officer at Slack. She is a powerhouse product leader with an unusual depth of experience in growing both B2C and B2B products from 0 to 1 to ubiquity, and building world-class product teams along the way. April joins the NFX podcast to offer inside stories and lessons learned from leading product at Twitter and Slack. Founders and product leaders everywhere will benefit from the 3-part framework she developed at Slack for hiring great PMs, her insights about leveraging early adopters, and how product CEOs can stay close to their product teams without slowing them down. Read the full essay - www.nfx.com/post/product-thinking-slack-twitter-april-underwood/
Jul 13, 2020
Keith Rabois on how Contrarians Think: The Early Days of Square, Yelp, & PayPal
01:03:51
In this episode of the NFX Podcast, Keith Rabois and James Currier examine the rule deviation behind some of technology's greatest startup feats — PayPal, Square, Yelp, and even Apple, Tesla, and SpaceX. They discuss: - The 5 People You Spend the Most Time With: It's easy to be a contrarian. It's hard to be right. What are the environmental and psychological factors needed to really think for yourself? - The Extreme 1% of the Bell Curve: A framework for rule deviation that leads to invention, not replication. - Being a Founder is Like Chewing Glass: The 3 biggest factors Keith cites that made the early PayPal team so strong, going on to create YouTube, Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yammer, & more. - Counterintuitive KPIs that Transformed Yelp, PayPal, & Square: The non-obvious (even ridiculous-at-first) KPIs that changed their trajectory. - & much more Read the essay - www.nfx.com/essays
Jun 30, 2020
Rahul Vohra shares the Frameworks Behind Superhuman (NFX Keynote Episode)
00:22:50
Rahul is the founder and CEO of Superhuman where he and his team are building the fastest email experience in the world. Before Superhuman, Rahul founded Rapportive, which was acquired by LinkedIn in 2014. We’re bringing you an NFX Keynote podcast that gives you a deep dive into Rahul Vohra’s mind. His strategic thinking on product-market fit is verging on legendary, and in this episode, Rahul shares his biggest learnings about customer onboarding, why products should be designed like games, and the frameworks he wants every founder to know about pricing and positioning. www.superhuman.com
Jun 18, 2020
The Google of Biology: Meet the Company that is Reading & Writing the Code of Life
00:42:09
Biology is the new frontier. At NFX, we’ve been investing in this space. And in this episode of the NFX podcast, we talk to Trevor Martin, the CEO and Co-Founder of Mammoth Biosciences, an NFX company, that is now the largest repository of CRISPR IP in the world. They are developing the Google of biology where they will help anyone find what they are looking for in the genome. They are also working on a rapid COVID-19 test that uses CRISPR. Today we will talk about the cutting edge of what’s happening and why the future will be defined by biology. Read more at - www.nfx.com/essays
Jun 08, 2020
The Insider Story of Houseparty with Ben Rubin & James Currier
00:53:40
This is the insider story of Houseparty. In the last two months, the video app has grown 1600% to become the #1 social app in 82 countries, including the U.S., with hundreds of millions of users. Its success, however, has been many years and trials in the making. In this episode, early investor & advisor James Currier joins Ben Rubin, the Founder of Houseparty to share the insider story of how the product went from zero-to-one to ubiquity. It’s the real story that most founders never get to hear. This episode is about the ups and downs of building Meerkat & Houseparty, and about his new work communications network, /Talk (Slash Talk). This is a masterclass in product, pivots and perseverance that every Founder will benefit from.
May 18, 2020
Josh Elman & James Currier on the Arrival of the Next Social Era
00:55:44
Today Josh Elman & James Currier discuss the history of social media, where it is today, and the next wave of social companies that may be a result of the current lockdown situation. Due to the massive behavioral changes over the last few months, Founders may have room to build and the 'Golden Age' of social media might see a resurfacing. Josh Elman has run product for top-tier companies like Robinhood, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and was a partner at Greylock. In this episode, we discuss: - A brief history of social media - The behavioral changes from COVID-19 - The 'New Wave' of social media platforms - The opportunity for founders to build companies - How social products reshape the human connection Be on the lookout for new episodes on The NFX Podcast and read more NFX content at - www.nfx.com/essays
May 04, 2020
The Founders' List: Your Life is Driven by Network Effects by James Currier
00:49:30
Working with network effects in our 100+ portfolio companies makes it impossible not to notice how the same mechanisms and math that create near-destiny for companies also create near-destiny for us as individuals. It’s mind-blowing once you see it. We will get to how the network force should guide your decision making in the 7 crossroads of your life, including: What Family You’re Born Into, your High School Network, your College Network, your First Job, Marriage/Choosing a Life Partner, Where You Live, and Reassessments. We all think we make these choices ourselves. It certainly feels like we’re in full control. But it turns out that our choices — both in our startups and in our lives — are more constrained than we think. Our networks are our most valuable resource. They are the way our lives express themselves. Those networks are made up of all the people you care about, the people you, inspire, move, and help to live their best lives.
Apr 30, 2020
How Reid Hoffman & James Currier See the Path Ahead for Founders during The Great Reset
00:33:39
Today Reid Hoffman & James Currier discuss the path ahead for Founders in a post-COVID world. What you need to learn and unlearn to get your company through a crisis, frameworks for the tough decisions Founders are facing today and the way they see the world changing forever - opening new opportunities for savvy founders. Reid is the co-Founder and was the executive chairman of LinkedIn, and is now a partner at Greylock. In this episode, we discuss: - How to be human first - The VC landscape post-COVID - How to make decisions around risk - The mental patterns Founders should unlearn - Founders & frugality - Silicon Valley's involvement in COVID-19 - Zero-sum thinking Be on the lookout for new episodes on The NFX Podcast and read more NFX content at - www.nfx.com/essays
Apr 16, 2020
David Sacks shares how PayPal & Trulia Navigated Downturns
00:45:26
Today we’re talking with David Sacks & Pete Flint about how to lead a company through an unforeseen downturn, and what it takes to adapt and survive in an unpredictable economy. David is a general partner at Craft Ventures and previously a Co-Founder of PayPal & Yammer. Both David and Pete founded iconic companies and led them through unstable markets to emerge with high growth and success. In this episode, we discuss: - The Founder mindset during a downturn - The Investor mindset during a downturn - Tactics/frameworks for founders - Happy Talk vs Hard Talk - Silicon Valley during COVID-19 Be on the lookout for new episodes on The NFX Podcast and read more NFX content at - www.nfx.com/essays
Apr 07, 2020
Stacy Brown-Philpot on Leading Startups Through Uncertainty
00:36:55
TaskRabbit invented the gig-economy in 2008 with a marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand for everyday tasks. Stacy Brown-Philpot became CEO of TaskRabbit in 2016 and led the company through its acquisition by IKEA in 2017. In this episode, we discuss: - Leadership changes - Growth vs. profitability - Competition - Exits - Expanding - Regulation Be on the lookout for more Iconic Marketplace episodes on the NFX podcast in the near future and read more NFX content at - www.nfx.com/essays
Mar 18, 2020
How Iman Abuzeid (CEO of Incredible Health) Raised Venture Capital
00:24:47

After raising venture capital from NFX, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and Precursor Ventures, CEO & Co-Founder Iman Abudzaid made her fundraising learnings, methodology, and frameworks public for the benefit of Founders everywhere.

Topics discussed with Iman include:

  • When to fundraise
  • Fundraising amount & goals
  • Personal insights & learnings
  • Personal fundraising process
  • Traction & metrics
  • Evolution of the pitch deck
  • And much more

Incredible Health - https://www.incrediblehealth.com/
TechCrunch article - https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/12/incredible-healths-hiring-platform-for-nurses-gets-15m-led-by-andreessen-horowitz/

Signal - https://signal.nfx.com/login
The Brief - https://thecompanybrief.com/

To read more essays and content on fundraising, network effects, growth, and frameworks visit - www.nfx.com

Jan 29, 2020
How Marco Zappacosta (Founder & CEO of Thumbtack) Built a Billion Dollar Marketplace
00:54:30

Marco Zappacosta (Co-founder & CEO of Thumbtack) talks with Pete Flint (NFX & founder of Trulia) about what it takes to build a billion-dollar marketplace and the lessons he's uncovered along the journey.

They discuss how they solved the chicken & egg problem, what he would have done differently as an early-stage marketplace, fundraising lessons, and how short-term metrics can actually hinder long-term retention.

Read more essays from NFX - www.nfx.com

Nov 11, 2019
The Founder List: 16 Non-Obvious Fundraising Lessons On Pitching (James Currier, Partner at NFX)
00:23:48

As Founders ourselves, we started 10 venture-backed companies that exited for over $10 Billion. During that time as Founders and now as VCs, we’ve seen 16 counterintuitive lessons in pitching VCs that increase your odds of success. Today we’re sharing them for the benefit of the entire founder community.

Learn more at - www.nfx.com
Start your Company Brief at - www.thecompanybrief.com

Oct 28, 2019
Scott Cook (Founder of Intuit) Shares Why Top Founders Understand Network Effects
00:48:00

About 2 years ago, Intuit Founder Scott Cook came to NFX to meet with James Currier to discuss their shared interest in network effects. It was one of the most compelling conversations James has had with anyone on the topic, and so we recently visited the Intuit HQ in Mountain View, CA to continue the conversation. Today we're making it public, for the benefit of Founders everywhere

Oct 08, 2019
The Founder List: The Psychology Of Startup Growth (James Currier, Partner at NFX)
00:09:24

Growth comes from adopting the right psychology. The right mindset. From an approach you bring to your daily work consistently for years. In this episode of The NFX Podcast, James Currier shares the five hallmarks of high-performance growth psychology.

Follow @NFX on Twitter

To read our essay on the The Psychology Of Startup Growth, visit -https://www.nfx.com/post/psychology-startup-growth

To read more NFX Essays visit - www.nfx.com

Aug 22, 2019
The Founder List: The Hidden Patterns to Great Startup Ideas (James Currier, Partner at NFX)
00:08:00

It’s often said that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. We disagree. This might be true at later stages, but at the initial stage of a startup, the core idea makes a huge difference. Small changes in your initial idea/direction will make a big difference to where you end up. In this episode of The NFX Podcast, James Currier uncovers the hidden pattern to great startup ideas.

Follow @NFX on Twitter

To read our essay on the The Hidden Pattern to Great Startup Ideas, visit -https://www.nfx.com/post/hidden-patterns-great-startup-ideas

Aug 22, 2019
The Founder List: 9 Habits of World Class Startups (James Currier, Partner at NFX)
00:09:08

Startups that grow into transformative companies do two things: (1) they nail the basics and (2) they cultivate the right habits (core operating principles). In this episode of The NFX Podcast, James Currier lists 9 habits that get investors to lean in and take special notice.

Follow @NFX on Twitter

To read our essay on the 9 Habits of World Class Startups, visit -https://www.nfx.com/post/9-habits-world-class-startups

For more NFX essays, visit - www.nfx.com

Aug 21, 2019
Manish Chandra (Founder & CEO) shares The Poshmark Story
00:49:29

They were rejected by 200+ investors. They were turned down by every single payment processor in the country. They discovered they were in violation of USPS regulations, and almost ran out of money.

Yet today, Poshmark is one of the most successful marketplaces of all time.

Be on the lookout for more Iconic Marketplace episodes on the NFX podcast in the near future and read more NFX content at - www.nfx.com/essays

Jun 18, 2019
The Founder List: Inside the Marketplace of Uber (James Currier, Partner at NFX)
00:11:12

James Currier of NFX outlines 5 important lessons you can learn from Uber and their growth over the last 10 years.

Check out our past Inside the Marketplace episode on Lyft here - https://soundcloud.com/nfxpodcast/idea-to-ipo-lyft-vs-uber-and-the-battle-for-ridesharing-dominance

May 02, 2019
Inside the Marketplace of Lyft with James Currier & Pete Flint (NFX Partners)
00:33:44

Pete Flint & James Currier of NFX discuss Lyft's upcoming IPO, the defensibility of the ridesharing business model, and what Lyft should do next.

Check out our past Inside the Marketplace episode on Lyft here - https://soundcloud.com/nfxpodcast/inside-the-marketplace-uber-nfx-podcast

Mar 25, 2019
Andy Johns & Pete Flint on "Why Growth Hacking Is Broken"
00:30:24

"Why Growth Hacking Is Broken" - Pete Flint & Andy Johns by NFX

Feb 13, 2019