The Podcast

Episode 21: Tips on Scaling an Enterprise Company in a New Market, with Tom Turner, CEO of BitSight

Tom has worn many hats in his time at BitSight, including EVP of Sales and Marketing, COO and CEO. In this episode, he walks us through how to navigate relationships with founders as an incoming CEO, how to use content marketing in an enterprise market, and how to think about go-to-market strategy for a global business.
Tom Turner is CEO and President of BitSight. Tom has extensive security industry experience, and has helped build category-defining companies. Prior to joining BitSight, Tom was a founding member of the executive management team of IBM Security Systems, a new division within IBM Software group that was created on the heels of the Q1 Labs acquisition.
Formerly, he was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Channels at Q1 Labs. Before joining Q1 Labs, he served as Director of Marketing for endpoint security at Cisco Systems. Tom also served as VP of Marketing at Okena, Inc., where he helped pioneer the intrusion prevention market and led the company to its successful acquisition by Cisco.
Highlights from the episode:
1:36 Tell us about your company
2:17 How did you become the CEO at BitSight?
4:34 What is it like to be a CEO of a business where the founders are very engaged with the company?
5:52 How do you manage instances where you disagree with the founders?
7:06 Tell us a bit more about your choice to take on the VP of Sales role during a transition in leadership
9:32 What is it like to find enterprise sales talent in the Boston market?
12:00 What is it like to be in a business where you have to create a new market?
13:41 How do you find the ideal profile of a customer for your product?
14:57 How should a founder or CEO think about marketing spend for a new enterprise product?
16:30 Tell us about your decision to host a customer conference and how do you measure its success?
18:55 In thinking about your go-to-market strategy, how did you decide between selling to large companies versus mid-market customers?
22:31 How are the support models different for the two types of customers?
23:49 What are the challenges in being a globally distributed company?
27:01 What did you learn about fundraising for a rapidly scaling company?
30:06 What is your favorite book or piece of content that would be useful to our listeners?
31:11 Who is a founder or business executive that you respect and why?
32:05 What’s something you believe that other’s generally don’t?

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, Singapore and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.

Episode 20: How to Build a Brand and Other Comms Tips from Caryn Marooney, VP of Global Communications at Facebook

This week we are joined by Caryn Marooney for a salon episode that focuses on PR and communications. Caryn shares tips on how to build a brand, when to take PR in house, and how to handle a publicity crisis.

Caryn leads global communications for Facebook and its family of apps including Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Prior to joining Facebook in 2011, Caryn co-founded OutCast Communications, one of Silicon Valley’s premier technology communications firms. As co-founder, partner and CEO, Caryn was responsible for planning and executing communications strategies for companies of every size, including Amazon, Netflix, Salesforce and VMware.
Caryn was named to the board of directors of Zendesk in 2014. She is originally from New York City and holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Highlights from the episode:

2:29 What was the biggest challenge that you saw startups facing with respect to communications? What types of pain points did you see them encounter most frequently?
3:22 What should startups focus on first when it comes to letting the outside world know they exist?
5:00 What process do you recommend founders go through to define brand and communicate company values?
7:10 How prescriptive should a founder be about their brand versus letting it evolve?
9:03 Can a brand get away with different brand personalities or does it need to consolidate around one identity?
9:53 How do you get attention from the press? How do outside PR firms help with that?
12:26 How do you vet if a PR firm is good and how do you get the most value out of working with one?
16:07 If you don’t have a significant “mic-drop” moment to launch a product, should you avoid PR altogether?
17:01 At what point should they bring a PR function in-house?
18:58 How do you ensure you get enough attention from your agency?
24:44 Tell us about the REBS model and give a example of messages or communications that fit the model well
24:37 Does a company’s communications strategy change as it grows?
26:56 In times of crisis, how do you handle PR?
29:02 Should founders seek marketing and communications executives for their boards?
30:59 What is your favorite tagline or slogan from a tech company?
31:35 What’s a book you’d recommend to founders in your area of expertise?
32:08 What’s something that you believe that most others don’t?

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 19: Changing the Way People Listen To Music, with Tim Westergren, Founder of Pandora

Pandora Founder and former-CEO, Tim Westergren, joins Founder Real Talk to reminisce on how his experiences playing in a band prepared him for running a company. From the first moment of product-market fit, to the right partnership that doubled growth rates, Tim shares the ups and downs of his 18-year journey with the company.

Tim started the popular personalized radio service in 2000 with the Music Genome Project. In addition to Pandora, he is an award-winning composer and accomplished musician with 20 years of experience in the music industry – spanning production, audio engineering, film scoring and live performance. Presently, he works extensively with technology partners, distribution partners, advertisers and investors to help shape the future of Pandora and personalized radio.

Highlights from the episode:
1:57 How did being in a band prepare you for starting and running a company?
3:02 How did you motivate the team in a challenging fundraising environment?
5:40 How did you find conviction in the product before it was proven in the market?
8:39 How did you switch business models?
11:44 How did you deal with skeptics and disbelievers inside the company?
14:13 How did you deal with the regulatory challenges of creating a new technology?
17:28 How did you leverage the power of a grassroots community to grow the business?
19:20 What led you to the decision of bringing on an outside CEO? What characteristics do you look for?
21:46 How did you make the decision to support a new platform as a method of growth?
24:25 How did you manage the internal morale after a high fluctuation IPO?
26:21 How did you think about competition and what would you have done differently?
28:36 What is your favorite book or piece of content that you recommend to founders?
30:32 What’s one thing you believe that most others don’t?
30:51 What’s your favorite channel or favorite song to seed a channel on Pandora?

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.

Founder Real Talk: Recommended Books of 2018

This year, I had the pleasure of interviewing 18 founders, executives, and industry experts for the Founder Real Talk podcast. At the end of each interview, I ask the same question: What book would you recommend to other founders and leaders? To my surprise, each person has  recommended a different book (except for High Output Management which was mentioned twice), which shows how individual the founder journey is. At the risk of oversharing, I have picked my top 10 favorites from their recommendations. If you’re hungry for more books, check out my list from 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Additionally, we are giving away 20 signed copies of The High Growth Handbook written by our most recent guest, Elad Gil. Please email fyan@ggvc.com with your favorite episode and why, followed with your mailing address and we’ll send a copy to the top 20 responses.

High Output Management by Andy Grove

Former chairman and CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, shares his perspective on how to build and run a company.

“Great book for first time operators or executives.”

Will Gaybrick, CFO of Stripe

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson

Crucial Conversations guides people on how to communicate effectively in uncomfortable and emotional environments.

“I used to be very bad at having difficult conversations with people. This was literally one simple trick that was incredibly impactful for me.”

Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder and CEO of Slack and Flickr

The High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil

As companies grow from small start-ups to global brands, a set of common patterns have evolved into a repeatable playbook that Gil has captured in High Growth Handbook.

High Growth Handbook is a must-read for any startup founder starting to scale or hoping to get to that point. The book is also highly relevant for executives at high growth startups.”

Glenn Solomon, Managing Partner at GGV Capital

First Break All the Rules  by Marcus Buckingham

Gallup surveys more than 80,000 managers and reveals what the world’s greatest managers do differently.

“It is a great book for first time managers and anybody who’s leading a team to learn about the power of listening to your team members. And then also how to leverage their strengths to drive performance and to help them realize who they are.”

Jen Holmstrom, Head of Talent at GGV Capital

Customer Success by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman, and Lincoln Murphy

Customer Success is a tactical guidebook for the customer lifecycle from driving adoption to generating advocacy.

Recommended by Nick Mehta, leader of the Customer Success movement and CEO of Gainsight.

Blue Ocean Strategy, 1st edition by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

The authors argue that lasting success comes from creating untapped, new market spaces ripe for growth.

“I remember reading it early on in my career and it just really opened my mind to the idea of ideas.”

Michelle Cordeiro-Grant, Founder and CEO of Lively

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This timeless classic covers six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without creating resentment.

“The book goes through a lot of the principles of how to interact and connect with other human beings and how the basis of human interactions is the basis of success regardless of what function or industry you go into.”

Kelly Wright, former EVP of Sales at Tableau

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

This practical guide on negotiations is written by a former international hostage negotiator.

Recommended by Eric Wu, Co-Founder and CEO of Opendoor.

Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner make creativity accessible to anyone through the power of design thinking.

Recommended by Jackie Reeses, Head of Square Capital and Chief People Officer of Square

Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute

This book’s advice for leaders centers around who we are instead of what we do.

“I wish I had read it before. I just bought it for the whole senior leadership team. Really amazing book on leadership.”

Stewart Butterfield, Co-founder and CEO of Slack and Flickr

***

From GGV Capital, Founder Real Talk is a podcast that gets real about the challenges that founders and startup executives face and how they’ve grown from tough experiences. The show is hosted by Glenn Solomon, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, and produced by Fischer Yan, who works on marketing at GGV Capital.

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 18: Starting and Building High Growth Start-Ups, with Elad Gil, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Color

We’re getting close to the holidays and the team at Founder Real Talk wanted to give back to our loyal listeners. We’ve procured 20 copies of the High Growth Handbook, a must read for any founder looking to scale their business, written by the guest of today’s show Elad Gil. If you’d like a signed copy of this book, please email us at FounderRealTalk@ggvc.com with your favorite episode and why. Select the top 20 responses and mail a copy to you. Please include your mailing address.

Keep an eye out for the Founder Real Talk Recommended Reading List, a collection of all the books and resources recommended by past Founder Real Talk guests. You can find that on founderrealtalk.ggvc.com. It’ll make a great list for the holidays. Without further ado. Here’s today’s episode.

Serial entrepreneur and Color founder Elad Gil joins Founder Real Talk to share insights and his experiences in starting and building high growth start-ups. We talk about how a founder’s role changes over time, how to build a team that scales, and what conditions need to be in place for “high growth” to happen. His recent book “High Growth Handbook” is a must-read for any startup founder starting to scale up or hoping to get to that point one day. The book is also highly relevant for executives at high growth startups.

Elad Gil is an entrepreneur, operating executive, and investor or advisor to private companies such as Airbnb, Coinbase, Checkr, Gusto, Instacart, OpenDoor, Pinterest, Square, Stripe, Wish, and others. He co-founded and is the Chairman of Color Genomics, and was its CEO until December 2016. Before that, he was the VP of Corporate Strategy at Twitter, where he also ran various product (Geo, Search) and other operational teams (M&A and corporate development). Elad joined Twitter via the acquisition of Mixer Labs, a company where he was co-founder and CEO. Mixer Labs ran GeoAPI, one of the early developer-centric platform infrastructure products. Elad spent many years at Google, where he started the mobile team and was involved in all aspects of getting that team up and running. He was involved with three acquisitions (including the Android team) and was the original Product Manager for Google Mobile Maps and other key mobile products. Elad received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has degrees in Mathematics and Biology from the University of California, San Diego.

Highlights from the episode:

3:18 What is your definition of “high growth” and what does it look like when a company is in that stage?
5:32 What conditions must be met before a company reaches “high growth?”
7:06 What is the role of a founder/CEO in a high growth situation? How do CEO priorities change as the company scales?
9:03 How should a founder/CEO of a high growth company define “winning?”
10:36 What types of skills does a leader need to develop as the company scales?
12:14 Any tips for time management?
14:20 Is it important to have a chief of staff? What should someone look for in that role?
17:31 Do you think CEO coaches are helpful? Do you think mentors are helpful?
18:28 How do you know when to add a specific executive? Which executives should be priority hires?
19:19 What is the best way to ensure you’re hiring the right person?
22:45 How do you think about the tradeoff between functional expertise and culture fit in hiring for an executive position?
25:03 What is the role of an independent board member? What traits should you be looking for in this role?
27:23 How should a founder think about the process of looking for a CEO?
29:44 When thinking about financings, do you recommend founders accept capital before they reach defined milestones? What are the pros and cons?
32:11 What’s a favorite book or blog you recommend for founders?
32:44 Name a growth stage company you admire and why?
33:42 What piece of advice were you given as an entrepreneur that served you well?

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 17: Developing Global Infrastructure for Online Commerce with Will Gaybrick, CFO at Stripe

Will gives an inside look at Stripe, one of the most valuable venture-backed startups in the U.S. In this episode, he talks about Stripe’s developer-first ethos, how the company is expanding into international markets, and how to run a great board meeting.

Will is the CFO at Stripe, where he leads Stripe’s financial operations, including economic strategy, business forecasting, financial planning and analysis, and treasury duties. Prior to Stripe, Will was a general partner at Thrive Capital, where he worked closely with internet businesses across all stages and geographies, particularly within software and e-commerce. He’s also worked as a software developer and company founder. Will holds degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and law from Yale.

Highlights from the episode:

1:10 Tell us about your background and what led you to join Stripe as CFO
4:35 What made Stripe an interesting company to join and where do you think the company is headed?
7:33 What was it like to join a team with two well-known founders?
9:45 How does the API business model drive value for the company?
12:17 How has the team built the business to focus on the developer and make sure the developer feels well served?
14:13 Do you have any stories where something in the developer community didn’t go quite as planned? How do you get ahead of issues so they don’t become bigger issues down the line?
16:12 What are some tactics to drive loyalty with developers?
17:02 How do you balance working with customers of all sizes, ranging from startups to big companies? What challenges does that create?
20:50 How does the company think about capturing the global market?
21:58 What tactics does the company use to spur international growth?
27:27 What are concerns for a CFO of a company that has achieved high valuations? How do you manage investor expectations?
30:50 What book do you recommend to founders and executives of high growth companies?
32:19 What makes for a really great board meeting?
34:30 Who is a mentor that has helped you in your career and how might others think about how they can recruit a mentor?

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 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?
37:18 Tell us about a book you recommend to other founders and leaders?
39:09 What’s your favorite interview question?
38:49 What’s something you believe that most people don’t?

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?
33:27 What is a book you recommend to other founders and leaders?
34:22 What is something you believe that most people don’t?

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.