The Podcast

Episode 16: The Secret to 40,000 Brand Ambassadors, with Michelle Cordeiro Grant, Founder & CEO of LIVELY

Michelle created a movement to empower women from the first piece of clothing they put on in the morning. She shares the secrets of how she built a culture-driven business that has inspired more than 40,000 brand ambassadors, the role of customer feedback in her product strategy, and how she took a direct-to-consumer brand to multiple offline retail locations.

Michelle Cordeiro Grant, Founder & CEO of LIVELY, has spent her career creating brands and product for some of the world’s largest retailers including Federated, VF Corporation, Limited Brands/ Victoria’s Secret and Thrillist Media Group. Grant realized that her passion was in supporting, creating and developing amazing brands and products and instantly fell in love with the entire process from concept to customer. While working with Victoria’s Secret, she learned that the $13B lingerie category, in the US alone, was dominated by a single brand, with a single point of view, so Grant was inspired to create a completely new experience for the category — one she calls Leisurée — and LIVELY was born.

Highlights from the episode:

2:45 What prompted you to start the company and this movement?
4:42 What are your company’s values and how did it affect how you built the company?
6:25 How did you grow the brand-ambassador community to 40,000 strong?
8:31 How does the brand leverage Instagram?
9:13 Talk about your company’s social media strategy. What kind of metrics do you think about, how do you staff your team to optimize for social media?
10:27 Beyond Instagram, what other social platforms are relevant as a direct-to-consumer brand?
11:25 How do you think about competition?
12:09 What’s an example of your company implementing a customer-driven strategy?
13:48 What are the challenges of being both a digital brand and selling a physical good?
15:09 What’s an example of a time where you tried something and it didn’t go as planned?
16:23 As a digital-first, direct-to-consumer brand, why go offline? What are the benefits and what is the long-term strategy?
17:41 What are some learnings from opening your own shop compared to launching within a known retailer?
19:48 On your most recent trip to China, what made it an eye-opening experience? How did it change your perspective or influence your strategy?
23:28 Tell us more about the choice to expand into other categories. Why did you make this choice and how did it go?
25:23 How have you built your team?
30:19 What is a book or piece of content you’d recommend to entrepreneurs and founders?
30:52 Who are some mentors that helped you along the way?
31:28 Tell us about an entrepreneur you really admire and why?
31:51 If LIVELY was a person, what would you tell her?

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 15: From Open Source to Paying Customers, with Mitchell Hashimoto, Co-Founder of HashiCorp

Mitchell turned his hobby into a business that now serves 100 of the Fortune 500 companies. In this episode, he talks about how he grew the HashiCorp open source community, monetized an open-source product, and decided to bring on a CEO.

Mitchell Hashimoto is best known as the creator of Vagrant, Packer, Terraform and Consul. Mitchell is the founder of HashiCorp, a company that builds powerful and elegant DevOps tools. He is also an O’Reilly author. He is one of the top GitHub users by followers, activity, and contributions. “Automation obsessed,” Mitchell solves problems with as much computer automation as possible.

Highlights from the episode:

3:31 How did you get to where you are now?
5:30 How did you know when your hobby should be a company?
6:55 How did you find your co-founder? Why did you think a co-founder made sense? What are the positives and negatives of being best friends with your co-founder?
9:07 When you left your job, what was your vision for the company and how has it changed to your vision today?
10:05 How did you nurture and grow the HashiCorp API community?
12:08 How did you transition from an open source project to a commercialized one? How does it change your job as a founder?
14:06 Within your open source customer base, how do you identify which customers to monetize?
17:08 How did you and your co-founder decide to bring on a CEO?
21:01 How do you run a distributed business? What are some of the challenges and how have you dealt with that? What are some tools you use to overcome the lack of proximity for people?
24:21 Tell us about your user conference. Why did you decide to doing an annual conference so early in the life of the company and what benefits have you seen from doing it?
26:08 As your company has scaled from 5 to 300 people, how has it changed your relationship with your customers and what burden do you feel?
28:15 What is your product philosophy and how do you share that with the product and engineering teams?
30:35 Favorite book, blog, or piece of content?
31:04 What do you believe that not many others believe?
31:39 What is your hobby? How do you recharge?

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 14: How to Hire in a Competitive Marketplace and Other Talent Questions, with Jen Holmstrom, Head of Talent at GGV Capital

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

Jen shares her experience working with start-ups as a talent and search specialist and answers all your most pressing questions. This episode is the first of many salon episodes where we feature an expert from the field who has worked extensively with founders, from early to growth stage.

Jen Holmstrom joined GGV Capital in 2016 and leads the firm’s talent and recruiting efforts. To support founders as their companies scale, she created Founders+Leaders, a leadership development platform that provides training, mentorship, network and more. Prior to joining GGV, Jen was a Talent Partner at Highland Capital Partners and a leader on the executive search team at Facebook. Jen’s career has been focused on team building in fast growing companies. Before Facebook, Jen was a Director at San Francisco-based Riviera Partners, an executive search firm focused on recruiting engineering and product leadership for fast growing venture-backed technology companies, and also worked with SPMB, a technology focused talent search firm. Jen received an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and BS from Boston College.

Highlights from the episode:

3:13 What’s the biggest pain-point you hear from founders?
4:28 What are some things that people should be looking for in cofounders or first couple of employees if they want to scale?
5:14 How important is it to define culture early on? Does it help with hiring later on?
6:24 What happens after I’ve exhausted all the people in my network? What do I do about hiring?
7:07 When is the right time to bring a recruiting function in-house?
8:46 Have you seen any companies doing unique things on candidate experience that help them standout from the crowd?
10:33 What are some best-in-class practices for recruiting?
13:37 What is a head of people and why is it becoming a prominent role in startup land? What makes someone good at that job?
17:59 How do you think about employee engagement? How do you hold people accountable in an organization but also ensure that they have high satisfaction? What types of tools help with this?
19:51 How do distributed teams work? How do you maintain culture in a distributed team? What tools do you recommend for helping distributed teams?
24:11 How does a start-up compete against large companies like Facebook and Google when you can’t pay as much as the competition?
27:05 How do you have hard conversations? What are tricks to help make these conversations go better as opposed to being terrible?
29:08 How do you become a more successful manager? What are some tips to managing teams?
30:20 What book or article do you recommend?
30:56 What’s your favorite interview question?

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 13: How to Thwart Terrorist Attacks and Help Save Countless Lives, with Jay Kaplan, CEO and Co-Founder of Synack

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

Jay started his career at the NSA and brought his love of uncovering cyber vulnerabilities to the private sector through Synack. In this interview, Jay gives his perspective on how to find product-market fit in cyber security, how early customers shape the product, and how to balance the sales and leadership responsibilities of being a CEO.

Jay Kaplan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Synack, the hacker-powered security platform for the enterprise. Prior to founding Synack, Jay served in a number of cyber-related positions at the Department of Defense and NSA, as a member of the DoD’s Incident Response and Red Team and as a Senior Computer Network Exploitation and Vulnerability Analyst at the National Security Agency. He received multiple accolades for classified work conducted while at the NSA, where his focus was supporting counterterrorism-related intelligence operations. Jay was a former member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President. He received a BS in Computer Science with a focus on Information Assurance and a MS in Engineering Management from George Washington University while studying under a DoD/NSA-sponsored fellowship.

Highlights from the episode:

4:02 How do you go from the NSA to building a hacking company?

6:21 How did you find your cofounder?

9:33 How did you find product-market fit?

11:03 How did you launch your go-to-market strategy and break into a new geography?

13:01 Why did you choose to launch your business in SF?

13:45 How did you win your first customers?

16:33 How did early customers change what you are building? Did you change certain things you weren’t expecting to in those early days?

17:46 How have you thought about building your team and what’s important when you’re hiring somebody new? What’s worked well for you and what are some pitfalls to avoid?

20:27 How do you balance the job of selling the product with the other responsibilities of being a CEO?

22:05 When building your team, how did you decide it was the right time to bring on execs?

24:07 How did you generate demand around a new product?

26:35 What’s the worst moment you’ve had in a meeting?

27:55 Tell us about your hiring philosophy

29:18 What’s the best thing you’ve done to maintain the spirit and culture of your company?

30:59 What is the best book that you’ve read recently?

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 12: How to Build Community in a New Category, with Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

Repeat CEO Nick Mehta joined Gainsight in its Series A and has since grown the company into the customer success management category leader. In this episode Nick shares what it takes to build an industry leading company in a previously non-existent category, how to use customer conferences as a way to build community, and how to attract a roster of all-star VCs.

Prior to Gainsight, Nick was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Accel Partners where he focused on developing opportunities in the enterprise application and infrastructure markets. Prior to Accel, Nick served as Chief Executive Officer of LiveOffice, where he led the company’s profitable growth to $25 MM in revenue and successful sale to Symantec. During college in the mid 1990s, Nick co-founded his first business, a venture-funded online golf retailer called Chipshot.com that became one of the top 20 online retailers of its time. Nick holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Harvard University.

Highlights from the episode:

4:00 As a CEO, what are the things you focus on early in building the company?

5:07 How do you grow a new market? How do you build awareness?

7:03 Tell us more about customer conferences as a way to sell enterprise software

8:50 How did you grow the community around your product?

12:05 How do you measure if your community building efforts are successful?

13:19 How do you sell to large enterprises? Tell us about your go-to-market strategy

15:38 How do you identify key stakeholders and who you should be selling to?

18:24 How do you price your enterprise product?

19:05 Have you lost a customer and how do you deal with it?

22:33 How do you resuscitate a customer to win them back?

21:08 How do you maintain that your company feels personable as you scale your customer base and grow the company?

23:25 How do you think about competition?

26:25 How do you think about culture and how did you pick your company’s values?

29:24 How do you approach diversity and inclusion?

31:05 As a repeat CEO, how did you do things differently this time around? What advice would you give to first time CEOs?

34:20 How do you attract great VCs?

37:10 Hot Seat Questions

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.
Episode 11: How to Build a Winning Sales Team, with Kelly Wright

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

Kelly Wright tells the story of how selling books door-to-door shaped her approach to start-up sales and how she went from the first sales person at Tableau to becoming the EVP and scaled the company to nearly $1B in revenue.

Kelly brings 20 years of experience in leadership and sales roles, including ten years at Tableau selling the company’s award-winning applications. She has previously held positions at a number of high profile companies, including VP positions at AtHoc, a major venture-backed software company in Silicon Valley, and sales and management positions at Southwestern, Inc., Dale Carnegie and Bank of America. With an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, Kelly has also spent time at strategic consulting firms Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company, helping executives solve strategic questions about organizational structures, channel conflict, operations, pricing and international expansion.

Highlights:

3:47 Why did you choose a sales role? What attracted you to sales?

4:16 What was it like to be the first sales person at Tableau and scale it to close to $1B in revenue and become EVP?

9:14 How do you decide between working with advisors vs. hiring experts?

10:23 What advice were you given on how to scale?

12:50 How do you build and maintain positive culture?

16:06 As the company scaled, how did it change how you managed the team?

20:20 How did you coach the sales team?

26:51 How did you manage your time as a sales leader?

29:58 What were some of the best life lessons you’ve learned?

33:19 Hot Seat Questions

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 10: Eric Wu, CEO and Co-Founder of Opendoor, on How to Build a Plane While Flying and Other Tips for Founders

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Eric talks about building a capital intensive business across multiple geographies and how he balances speed vs. scale. He also discusses his controversial take on hiring, how poker influences his outlook on business, and how to transition from an IC to a manager.

Eric Wu is co-founder and CEO of Opendoor, a consumer technology company that is reinventing how people buy and sell real estate. Prior to Opendoor, Eric was the founder and CEO of Movity.com, a geo-data analytics company acquired by Trulia.com in 2011. At Trulia, Eric led location, social, and consumer product development. Eric also co-founded RentAdvisor.com, which was later acquired by Apartment List, and runs a real estate fund that has invested in over 100 multi-family units. Eric has been an investor and advisor to a number of startups and social enterprises including Watsi, CareMessage, and Color Genomics.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 9: Edith Harbaugh, CEO & Co-Founder of LaunchDarkly, on Building an Enterprise Software Company

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Edith shares her story of founding LaunchDarkly. She walks through the valuable lessons learned from disastrous product launches to first pitch meetings. Nowadays she has a podcast called “To Be Continuous” about continuous delivery and software development, teaches a class on how to fundraise, and has her own philosophy on how to manage procurement cycles for young enterprise software companies.

Edith Harbaugh is CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly. Edith has more than 10 years of experience in product, engineering and marketing with both consumer and enterprise startups. She was Product Director at TripIt, where she launched TripIt for Business and ExpenseIt. She was Product Manager at Vignette, a global content management company. She holds two patents in deployment. She moderated the lean startup list. Edith earned a BS, Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and a degree in Economics from Pomona College. She enjoys trail running distances up to 100 miles, and co-hosts “To Be Continuous,” a podcast about continuous delivery and software development.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 8: Barmak Meftah, President & CEO of AlienVault, and His Advice to Enterprise Founders

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Barmak discusses product-market fit, go-to-market strategies, and how to beat incumbents in the enterprise space.

AlienVault was recently acquired by AT&T. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but as shareholders, GGV Capital is very excited about this outcome.

Barmak is a veteran of the technology industry with a passion for building and leading great teams. Over his 20 years of experience in enterprise software, he has assembled an incredible track record for delivering award-winning products. Under his leadership since 2011, AlienVault has become one of the fastest growing security vendors in the industry with thousands of customers and partners around the world. Prior to AlienVault, he served as VP of the Enterprise Security Products division at HP. At HP he led the Fortify and SPI Dynamics business units after the successful acquisition of Fortify by HP in September 2010. Barmak was the 10th employee at Fortify and as Chief Products Officer, lead the build-out and expansion of the company, dubbed “The Next Big Thing” at Enterprise 2005. He also serves on several boards, including LoopUp (LSE: LOOP) and SparkCentral.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 7: Mikkel Svane, Co-Founder & CEO of Zendesk, on Humility, Diversity and Never Getting Too Comfortable

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Mikkel talks about how three guys from Copenhagen found themselves in Silicon Valley before people invested in foreign companies, and how they were able to turn that around by creating a new category in the SaaS space and take Zendesk public.

Mikkel Svane is the CEO, chairman and founder of Zendesk, a global company that builds software for the best customer experiences. He has driven the vision, culture, and growth of the company for the last 10 years. Under his leadership, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and currently helps more than 125,000 organizations around the world better help, engage with and understand their customers. Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, he is a published author of the book Startupland, a father of three, and a lover of handcrafted cocktails.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 6: Jackie Reses, Lead of Square Capital and People Lead of Square, on Talent, Culture, and Hiring for Fields That Don’t Exist

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Jackie shares how she brought the rigor of private equity to People Operations at Square. Along the way she talks about how she found an entrepreneurial opportunity within the company through Square Capital, how she built a team for a field that didn’t exist, and how her team uses data to foster diversity for Square Capital customers.

Jackie Reses serves as the Lead of Square Capital and People Lead for Square. As Lead of Square Capital, Jackie oversees the team working to expand access to funding for small businesses, enabling them to grow and achieve their goals. As People Lead of Square, she also oversees all leadership, recruiting and people programs to drive the growth and culture of Square. Prior to Square, Jackie was the Chief Development Officer for Yahoo and she served on the Board of Directors of Alibaba Group. She spent a decade prior to Yahoo leading the US Media Group at Apax Partners, a global private equity firm with $40Bn in assets, and before that she spent seven years at Goldman Sachs (1992-1999) in mergers and acquisitions and the principal investment area. Jackie currently sits on the advisory council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Board of Directors of the Wharton School and NPR.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 5: Stewart Butterfield, Founder & CEO of Slack, on the Secret(s) to Slack’s Success

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Stewart tells Slack’s origin story and the hard decisions it took to get there, elaborating on when to follow your dreams and when to “stop banging your head into the ground until you bleed out.”

Stewart Butterfield is the co-founder and CEO of Slack. Over the last 20 years, Stewart has built a distinguished career as a designer, entrepreneur, and technologist. He co-founded Flickr in 2003, and was its CEO through its acquisition by Yahoo!. Among many other honors, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine, one of BusinessWeek’s Top 50 Leaders, featured on Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List, and was recognized as the 2015 Technology Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 4: Laura Behrens Wu, CEO & Co-founder of Shippo, on Why Culture is Not a Fluffy Word

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Laura talks about her experience being a young CEO from a different country, how she built Shippo’s culture from the top-down, and how her executive coach made her more like Steve Jobs.

Laura Behrens Wu is the founder and CEO of Shippo. Shippo simplifies shipping for eCommerce companies by offering discounted shipping rates and a streamlined solution across all different shipping providers. It’s Amazon-level shipping for all e-commerce stores. Laura, featured in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017, runs a 65 person team based in San Francisco.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 3: Russ Fradin, CEO & Co-founder of Dynamic Signal, on building 6 companies in 22 years

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

In this episode, Russ tells the stories of life as a serial entrepreneur, including knowing when to pivot…or not, how to build delightful company culture, and how to be unapologetic about work-life balance.

Russ Fradin is the founder and CEO Dynamic Signal, the leading employee communications & engagement platform worldwide. Russ is a digital media industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience in the online marketing world. He co-founded and was CEO of Adify, which was acquired by Cox in 2008, and he also co-founded SocialShield. Russ was also SVP of Business Development at Wine.com, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at comScore, and was among the first employees at Flycast, which was acquired by CMGi in 2000. He is an active angel investor in the digital world and currently sits on a number of boards.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 2: Nate Blecharczyk, Co-founder of Airbnb, on Selling Breakfast Cereal and Other Growth Hacks

In this episode, Nate chats about how to get out of the “trough of sorrows” through finding product-market fit, growing a global marketplace, and thinking outside (or inside) the box on building a business.

Nathan (Nate) Blecharczyk is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Airbnb. Nate also serves as Chairman of Airbnb China. Nate plays a leading role in driving key strategic initiatives across Airbnb’s global business. Previously he oversaw the creation of Airbnb’s engineering, data science, and performance marketing teams. Nate became an entrepreneur in his youth, running a business while he was in high school that sold to clients in more than 20 countries. He earned a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University and held several engineering positions before co-founding Airbnb. As a guest, Nate has stayed in hundreds of homes using Airbnb and he is also a host in San Francisco, where he lives with his family.

Episode 1: Sarah Friar, CFO of Square, on Innovation, Leadership and the Value of Understanding Your Customer

In this episode, Sarah chats about how to not ruin someone’s day, or livelihood, the importance of staying ahead, and how leadership inspires change across an organization.

Sarah Friar is CFO and Operations Lead at Square. Sarah joined Square in July 2012 from salesforce.com, where she served as SVP of Finance & Strategy. Prior to salesforce.com, she worked at Goldman Sachs for over 10 years, with experience in corporate finance, M&A, and equity research, and ultimately as lead software analyst and Business Unit Leader for Goldman Sachs’ Technology Research Group. She previously worked for McKinsey in both London and South Africa. She holds a Masters of Engineering degree from Oxford University and an MBA from Stanford University. In addition to New Relic, Sarah sits on the Boards of ModelN, Walmart, and Spark, a nonprofit focused on changing the lives of at-risk middle schoolers through mentorship.