"Startups die when you stop typing."

111619: Interview by Email: @vcstarterkit


“Interview by Email” is (hopefully) a new way to bring people’s thoughts to you with much less time commitment but with more thought.

Podcasts put people “on the spot” as do live Interviews. Most of these have the incentive to “draw out” something inadvertent like Dara recently

I felt we need to be brief, candid and efficient in the era of “280 char synopses” - but would like people to be thoughtful. Hence the “by email”. I also used the “Power of 3” to let my interviewees offer more balance in their replies. Often Investors try to buttonhole founders with “Whats the 1 thing your startup does different?” - Which is complete horse-shit IMHO.

Here’s our 1st edition. Many thanks to @vcstarterkit for indulging me! Hope you like it. If you do, tell your friends to subscribe!

From: VC Starter Kit <vcstarterkit@gmail.com>
To: BUGGER OAF <buggeroaf@gmail.com>

What describes you?

1/ What describes you best? A founder / operator / investor?
Former founder, now operator

2/ Where are you based?

3) How long have you been associated with startups?
~8 years.

As a Founder:

3 lessons learnt founding company
* Competitors don't matter
* Let investors chase you, not the other way around
* Building a startup is a marathon, invest in being able to run the whole distance.

Startups die when you stop typing. (Edit: mic drop statement of the post)

3 investors you'd work with outside your captable.
* Gil Penchina
* Shruti @Array.VC
* Martin Casado

3 twitter accounts you recommend we follow
* pmarca
* pmarca
* pmarca

As an Operator:

3 lessons learnt working in startups?
* Founders have moral authority that needs to be used wisely
* Rate of iteration is a feature that needs to apply to every team
* Retaining everyone is a bad sign

3 founders you'd work for outside your current / past roles
* Elad Gil
* Brian Krausz
* There are other people but they aren't well known or aren't founders (yet)

3 twitter accounts you recommend we follow
* @daniellemorrill
* @asteroid_saku
* @atShruti

Parody Accounts:
* @buggeroaf (Edit: Thank you!)
* @ThatGrittyBoi
* @chiefofstuffs

Pick a topic you'd like to discuss in detail:
The concept of an innovation budget in startups:
You should spend almost all of your innovation budget on your product and growth. Innovating on organizational structures seems nice but it can implode. As much as you want a flat structure, it seems to always blow up in about three years. Doing a culture reset is incredibly hard and rarely happens with the founder still in the picture.

[Edit: Watch out for a @vcstarterkit blog post expanding on this]

2 big trends you're seeing around you.
* Micro GPs. Everyone wants to become a VC but firms don't want to size up and people don't want to deal with the politics of firms

* (more recently) The SV elite's sudden vocal turn towards more centrist/conservative positions.

3 people you'd like to see interviewed on this blog.
* @pmarca
* @maiab
* @tylerwillis 

Thank you!

Bugger Oaf