257. Investing in First-time Founders, the Evolution of Social, the Future of Big Tech, and the Freedom of Remote Work (Niko Bonatsos)

Niko Bonatsos

Niko Bonatsos of General Catalyst joins Nick to discuss Investing in First-time Founders, the Evolution of Social, the Future of Big Tech, and the Freedom of Remote Work. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What’s the thesis at General Catalyst?
  • Livongo… up nearly 300% since public debut last year β€” I hear you were in the room during the early formation stages.
  • You have been at GC for almost 10 years β€” what has been the most significant change in VC, aside from the pandemic, since you began your career?
  • What are your thoughts on the explosion of seed funds and now many angel funds as well?
  • Since the pandemic broke, what’s been the most significant adjustment at GC, and/or how do you see the approach to investing changing going forward?
  • What surging trends during the pandemic will continue to grow faster, and which will revert once the pandemic is over?
  • Do you think this fundamentally changes benefits that are offered to employees?
  • I’m not sure if you caught the recent documentary on Netflix β€” social dilemma explaining social media issues. Many experts argued that we are not evolved to handle all of these inputs and that big tech has and will continue to manipulate our beliefs and actions. What’s your take?
  • Tweet: “Are you building a consumer product that is perceived as annoying, controversial, or stupid by most people? If yes, I’d love to hear from you!” What are some examples of consumer successes that started this way?
  • What qualities does a founder need to have for you to be interested in?
  • Break up big tech?
  • The three data points

Guest Links:

Transcribed with AI:

Speaker 1 0:02
welcome to the podcast about venture capital, where investors and founders alike can learn how VCs make decisions and reach conviction. Your host is Nick Moran. And this is the full ratchet.

Nick Moran 0:18
Niko Bonatsos joins us today from San Francisco. He is managing director at General catalyst and early stage venture fund investing in information technology startups. Prior to GC, he was an r&d Engineer at yo Kagawa Electric Corporation, Tokyo. Nico, welcome to the show. Thank you, Nick,

Unknown Speaker 0:34
excited to be here.

Nick Moran 0:35
Yeah, excited to have you. I’m glad we were able to find this time and go deep on your background. Maybe that’s a good place to start. Can you tell us about sort of your path to tech and venture?

Speaker 2 0:45
Sure, happy to you know, VCs love talking about themselves. So let me get started. So it was made in Greece, in case you’re wondering about the accent, grew up in Greece in the UK. And as a young kid, turned out to be better at maths. So it was kind of natural for me to go and become an engineer. The cool thing to do back 15 years ago, or so when I went to college was to go and study electrical and computer engineering in my home country in Greece. So did that. And like a lot of other ambitious kids at the time, the only way to escape was to go and try to do a PhD at a really cool American University. So on my way, there, I did some research in medical signal processing at the Harvard Medical School figured out during that process that it was very lonely solitary career that required a lot of dedication. So this ended up axing my aspiration to become a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. So ran away for from that and ended up into here, it was a dream of mine to go and explore a culture much different than the European culture, especially as a young band, so ended up working for a big Japanese industrial automation company as an r&d engineer, mostly doing what we would call today computer vision. But what didn’t have, you know, that kind of fancy name, spend a year there. But then the Greek in me said, You’re too young to start working full time, I was 23 at the time, literally dyno. So went back to school, when to the UK, went to Cambridge, and started manufacturing, engineering and management. And was a almost like a technical MBA kind of program where we did classes for a couple of weeks, learning about the Toyota Production System, lean manufacturing, all that cool stuff, and then ended up applying all the elements, working for real companies like mostly manufacturing companies, kitchen cabinets, manufacturing companies, light equipment, companies, all these kind of companies. But well being in Cambridge, for the first time I got exposed to tech startups, because a good ecosystem over there at the time. This was like 2008 2009. However, still, at that time, the most ambitious folks ended up going to Silicon Valley, either to raise capital or to find customers or to recruit executive team members or find mentors or, frankly enough, so the company’s dissembled the largest tech incumbents on the planet. So good fortunate to get the Fulbright scholarship and ended up at Stanford in September 2009. After starting there and trying unsuccessfully to build the social network alongside several of my friends on top of LinkedIn, we thought this would be we can differentiate sell, as everybody was building apps on top of Facebook at the time. I ended up with general catalyst in late 2010, right when the firm was getting started in California. So I think my journey to tech and startups has been a convoluted one. But hey, you know, 10 years later in venture capital, here I am, and it’s been a very exciting decade. I experienced alongside my amazing partners, and awesome portfolio founders.

Nick Moran 4:19
Love it, love it. I, in my career, I’ve developed a number of products in my very first back in 2007, I think was a low code, no code, motion automation software. And we would work with companies like Yoko Ogawa and you know, motion control companies primarily in Japan doing wafer handling and printed circuit board manufacturing. So we’ll have to go to that. We’ll have to discuss that another time. I

Speaker 2 4:47
mean, in many ways, my experience in Japan helped me see the future a little bit because when I was there, the Japanese had smartphones. You had like the equivalent of Google Maps and your phone. You could real time translate The restaurant menus. You could play games in your phones. And this was before the iPhone, you know, God lamps. And this helped me see the future quite a bit. So I’m very grateful to my time in Japan and my Japanese friends helped me quite a bit with my early years as an investor.

Nick Moran 5:17
Amazing, amazing. So yeah, bring us up to speed on the you know, what’s a quick thesis at General catalyst.

Speaker 2 5:25
at JC, we’re in the business of partnering with ridiculously ambitious founders were poor building category defining businesses, and are doing positive things for the world. We believe in this concept of responsible innovation. And we’re mostly investing capital from nonprofit institutions. So we do want you know, or dollars to appreciate, of course, and do great positive things for the world along the way. So we invest in information technology, we’re a multi stage VC firm. So we write checks that range from half a million to $150 million. We have offices in New York and Boston and San Francisco, not that this matters in that COVID First world, but that’s what it used to be back in the day. And personally, I do invest a lot in first time founders who have a lot of ambition. They are learning animals, and they want to have great positive impact in the world in two different areas. The first one to use VC buzzwords, is future of work, anything that helps people solopreneurs small businesses make more money, have access to more opportunity, and live more fulfilling lives. So that’s the first bucket. And the second one is any kind of product or service that gets the cool kids of the internet really excited. So new ways to fall in love, communicate with each other, entertain ourselves. And these companies tend to be an online communities gaming products, social media products, etc.

Nick Moran 6:59
Yeah, I came across this, this tweet that you wrote that I was going to bring up a bit later, but you wrote this tweet, are you building a consumer product that is perceived as annoying, controversial, or stupid by most people? If yes, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have some examples of some consumer successes that started out this way?

Speaker 2 7:18
So many, right, like people would have said about snap that this is like perfect for sex thing in the beginning, but little did they know, in the early days, 80% of the users were women, people would have said about wish.com. This is like random crappy quality products that nobody wants to buy and fill their homes with. But, you know, price matters. That you could say, for Tinder, this is like the perfect, you know, like hook up app who wants to just quickly, you know, like, see others only their photos, not know and not learn about anything about them, and, you know, meet them. But turns out that people, especially the younger generation, a bit time younger millennials, they didn’t want to spend time filling in long online dating profiles to get to meet each other. So I think, in the very beginning, controversy is good for consumer media products, because at a minimum, it gets some people to be really passionate about them, and really excited. And also gets a press and the word of mouth going. So if you hear very emotional commentary that’s either love or hate. The Press wants to write about what you tell your friends about something you’re deeply passionate about, or you deeply hate are going to be curious to try that. And that’s what young startups that nobody knows about them. That’s what they need. Because the alternative is to pay money to acquire these customers. And often they don’t have to do so.

Nick Moran 9:00
So of course, I’m in Chicago. And I’d love to start with a company that has some Chicago roots company that’s up nearly 300% Since their public debut last year. Lavon go. Rumor has it you were in the room during the early formation stages. Can you talk a bit about sort of that story behind Lubanga?

Speaker 2 9:22
Sure. So I was very fortunate thanks to my partner Hamas to be in the room since the very beginning of the Congo, and was very active participant to a lot of the development of the company for the first three years of his life as a board member alongside him on to Livongo is a company in the Chronic Disease bossley diabetes space and helping diabetes consumers really be compliant with the workflows of diabetes is customer and not have any excuses, but to really track their glucose, listen to the coaches and make sure that whatever they’re supposed to do, they actually are doing in the case of an emergency, their entire care team and family get alerted, so that everybody is in sync and the right. Next steps are followed. Since the early days, it started with the founders and the two founders of Livongo. Of course, they’re from Chicago, Glen Tullman. And Lee Shapiro, they weren’t known quantities to my partners at JC because they had co invested in one of our other healthcare IT portfolio companies to medica that we successfully exited. And they were in crossroads, because they were eager to find out what they want to do next. And they came to DC to have a brainstorming session with my partner Hemanth. But what to consider doing next, they had a lot of ideas, then they have been business partners, had been business partners for a long time that were pass them on to case and they will pass them passionate about clean tech that we’re passionate about health care to the campaign, because a lot of ideas, they wanted clearly to start a new company. And after a lot of brainstorming, and because Glenn son was diabetes type one patient became clear that this would be fertile ground for them to build a new company. Of course, you know, the numbers did support that in the diabetes space, a very big company could get billed, because a lot of dollars from the US healthcare spend, get allocated there. So we got started with to build a company in the space came across a young consumer hardware healthcare company that x a Greek American founder had started KeyMander Levy’s who had built the wireless glucometer that could send all the data in the cloud after you know, people were breaking their fingers. And we ended up go hiring that company. And this was the genesis of Livongo. Of course, my partner, her mind was really savvy. And he wanted the product to be best in class from day one. So we have to open the Silicon Valley offers to recruit the product and the engineering and so to put like Silicon Valley to work, Glenn and Lee are phenomenal known quantities in the healthcare world, they are some of the best salespeople have ever come across in my life. Like they’re the kind of people you know, that can sell ice to folks living in the Arctic Circle. And folks really trust them, especially in the health care world. So they indeed, you know, brought a very big account in the self insured employer channel and afterwards in the from the insurance world, to the company grew very quickly to go public, five, six years later, after a good sound did and then a year later announced their merger with TelaDoc and become the biggest, frankly, you know, healthcare IT digital healthcare IT axon to date,

Nick Moran 13:44
you mentioned at the top that you look for first time founders is, is this common to kind of, you know, have a thought exercise with the founders and at the formation stage, or is our founders most often coming to you with the concept and you’re, you’re investing in it as

Speaker 2 14:01
I would say the majority of the founders come to us with an idea with perhaps a product, perhaps a business already. But you know, in our business, as venture capitalists, we’re also collecting, you know, smart individuals, we’re learning from smart individuals, who sometimes may be looking for a gig, maybe thinking about starting something, or they’ve decided to start something, but they don’t have an idea handy. And, you know, in some of these occasions, those individuals may end up working for a portfolio company, or a few months later, they may end up starting a company. So we’re very people focused, relationship driven VC firm, and that’s how a lot of our investment opportunities get generated.

Nick Moran 14:53
So you’ve been at GC for nearly 10 years now. Right? Aside from the pen EMIC What’s some of the code

Unknown Speaker 15:01
have thought, right?

Nick Moran 15:04
Right? What’s been some of the biggest, I don’t know, maybe the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry of VC since you began your career, I think

Speaker 2 15:15
the outcomes keep getting bigger. And as a result, a lot of capital continues to find its way into tech companies, tech PCs, tech startups. So like, you know, we’ve been running, at least in our world, the tech world for like, almost 12 years now, you know, where every year is better than the previous one. But the biggest change is like the magnitude of the wins. And the level of ambition that founders as a result, new founders, you know, have, the biggest change in my mind was course, it’s become more competitive than ever before, to give an all this capital, but has found its way into the VC industry. And we’ve seen very clear strategies and different groups that are investing as specialists in specific stages. So when I got started, micro VCs did not really exist. For example, there were some angels and super angels and companies would go out, buy to raise 750 K, after a couple of months, they were like, Oh, we have 490,000. I think this is enough for us, you know, to hit our milestones. Now, the moment you have a lead, there’s no chance you won’t be oversubscribed. Right? I mean, their seed round,

Nick Moran 16:34
what’s your take on sort of the explosion in seed funds, and this early stage capital, institutional capital?

Speaker 2 16:41
I mean, this is amazing news for all the founders is a great, great news for all the founders. It’s also good news for as multistage VCs in many ways, because there are a lot more opportunities that get generated get funded. Funding is in some ways, especially when some of the larger micro VCs, and keep on you know, doing their prerogative for a long time. So this means you know, more of the cap table has already been sold for a long time, you know, after we invest. But broadly speaking now for the ecosystem of startups, it’s absolutely great that there’s so many founders and they can help individuals who have hopes, dreams and big ambitions to turn their ideas into products and businesses. It’s good.

Nick Moran 17:27
What’s been the biggest change in GC since the pandemic broke in March.

Speaker 2 17:35
You know, GC was a distributed firm, for at least the last decade that have been part of the firm, but as truly formalizing that across the entire firm, back of his investment team, continue to have a fantastic culture that enables learning and empowers everybody to take initiative. It’s been a great, great development for all of us. I think we’ve been also more aggressive investing in companies outside of them major hubs and also doing a fair amount more in Europe that my fantastic partner Adam, woking has been waiting for us. These are some of the developments, you know, if you prefer in terms of pace of investing, you know, we were active before we continue to be active. We were fortunate to close your most recent set of funds of $2.3 billion in April. And we’re very grateful to our LPS for honoring their commitments continue to be excited about our firm. Yeah, so we’ve been pretty active across all stages, because the opportunities are immense, as I was talking about before, and being on the frm any of us know who works in tech, you’re on the right side of history. So,

Nick Moran 19:02
of course, the pandemic has created headwinds and tailwinds for a variety of sectors and tech trends, which, which that have experienced significant tailwinds, do you think are here to stay and will sustain, you know, significant growth over time? versus those that, you know, may just be artificially boosted? From the situation we’re in? Sure.

Speaker 2 19:26
I mean, I think anything that has to do with good cell health and in particular, healthcare in general is here to stay. Like the adoption of telehealth. Such a great idea. You know, it was one of these obvious ideas, but life and fixing were like slowing down things. But now I don’t think you know, for a lot of instances you would like to go your dog or you would like to walk into the CVS. You could do a quick video chat. You could have your drugs delivered to your door that’s here to stay I think ecommerce for huge swathes of the population was not the obvious way to do your shopping or your grocery shopping. But now, a lot of baby boomers, even older folks, you know, have really started using portfolio companies to corrode or buying more stuff online. That’s absolutely, you know, are here to stay. These are just, you know, a couple of ideas.

Nick Moran 20:25
I’ve been shocked at how long it’s taken, my folks, my parents to order on Amazon over the years, I mean, just, you know, some of the basics. And now they’re, they’re pros at that, you know, and they’re using Instacart, and all the rest of it.

Speaker 2 20:38
There you go, you know, necessity is the mother of all infants. And, you know, as some of my ancestors said, One day, and clearly it applies, you know, to the adoption of technology.

Nick Moran 20:49
I’d like to get your take, I know you do a lot of consumer investing, I’d love to get your take sort of the evolution of social a bit. And there’s this this documentary, I don’t know if you’ve caught it on Netflix called the social dilemma. It’s talking about all these issues with social media. And many of these experts are arguing that, you know, we’re not evolved to handle all these inputs, and that big tech has and will continue to sort of manipulate both beliefs and actions. You know, what’s your take on this Nikko?

Speaker 2 21:18
Sure. So obviously, in social media and online communities, and online media, in general, is an ever evolving, you know, field. And as younger folks become, go online, and consumer preferences change over time, you get to see new ideas that become successful products. And then some of these companies become very significant. Every time you have a new tech platform, this enables new products to get built. Like you know, with mobile, we now have a number of mobile apps that are freaking huge. But as soon as we have other technologies that become platform technologies, maybe VR, maybe some of the audio stuff may be AR over time, we’re gonna see brand new income limbs that over time will become very sizable businesses. So of course, I watched the documentary, there are a lot of friends and acquaintances from Silicon Valley, who are the protagonists over there, I would say it’s a story of the magnitude of unintended consequences, you know, because when you’re getting started as a, as a young founder, or as a first time founder, in general enough, you’re putting a product out there, you’re just maniacally focused on the one thing that either use yourself if you’re building for yourself, or whoever the initial customer is, would really, really love because that’s what they want. You’re not thinking about what would happen if like, 100 million people use this, you’re not thinking about what would happen if they’re going to be bad, you know, apples doing nasty things. And this, you know, also is combined with the idea of how leadership and a lot of these companies in our lives evolve over time and be more thoughtful about the societal impact that technology has now that we are the incumbents now that we’ve made it easier to round the world. However, when you’re getting started, as a, as a company builder, you can’t outsource your company building to be a tornado, you know, because in that case, it’s going to be uploaded bloated product, trying to please everybody, and nobody is gonna care about that stuff. So I think you got to be edgy in the beginning, you got to be singularly focused, that’s a recipe for success. And fast growth inevitably creates a lot of challenges and opportunities. However, if I knew if the companies that have the right values and the right leadership that willing actually to even recruit fantastic leadership from well run companies, even outside of tech and have more people on advisory boards and the board of directors who have the right values, you don’t get into challenging problems, that a lot of these companies, you know, have faced. So I think I’m optimistic about the role of tech and how we can be an agent of change and how quickly we can be an agent of change. But also, it’s a great opportunity for us now that we’ve made it and we’re helping run the world like without tech now in the COVID first world communication would really be happening, work won’t be happening, our kids wouldn’t be able to go to school, you wouldn’t be able to get to the doctor. I mean, let’s talk about all these amazing, you know, developments and products that Tech has empowered. So I’m optimistic. And we can be more thoughtful as we achieve all this scale.

Nick Moran 25:08
People see what they want to see. And despite all the advantages, you know, it’s easy for people to criticize and see what’s wrong with especially early stage tech, but but also a stamp established tech. Yeah,

Speaker 2 25:24
I mean, in general, you that’s good that all of us, obviously now have opinions, it’s fantastic to discuss some of the pressing issues. And every year, there are going to be new challenges and opportunities that come out because of the magnitude of the scale that tech companies have achieved in a very short period of time.

Nick Moran 25:44
What do you know, we’ve talked about big tech, a little bit. Facebook, of course, one of the largest social companies, but what do you think happens with big tech? Do you think big tech is limiting? The pace of innovation and success in early stage tech? And do you think, you know, big tech should be broken up?

Speaker 2 26:05
I don’t think big tech is limiting innovation success, we’ve seen again, and again, how they’ve been very successful, recruiting incredible talent to work for big tech, doing r&d Very successful often, you know, like, hardcore r&d that otherwise, you know, the government did not fund in most countries. We’ve also been seeing how successful they are in acquiring a number of companies that we greatly VCs invest in. Some of these acquisitions end up becoming incredibly, incredibly successful enterprises. Like I’m talking about the YouTubes of the world with bookings.com of the world, the Instagrams that WhatsApps of the world, you know, these are nominal liquidations, that took place by big tech and push the envelope forward and became massive, massive, you know, platforms. And, of course, you know, a number of the large tech incumbents have been, over the years very successful in launching new products themselves, most of them fail, because it’s hard to, in a big organization to build something small, beautiful catering for small in this market, it’s hard to don’t get out of bed at night to do that you’re getting out of bed to think, How can we serve our customers? How can we make more money so we can be promoted faster and get her end of the year bonus, but sometimes, you get to see, you know, some products be very successful adult Lawns by successful large tech incumbents see tech be broken up, I would leave that to the policymakers and to the politicians, because they are the ones who decide about all these things. Obviously, you saw recently in the new cycle that Congress decided, after quite a bit of time looking into some of this stuff, whether you know, some of the companies or tech monopolies and deciding, oh, maybe you know, that’s the case. So let’s see, what’s the accidents that they’re going to take on, on that stuff? That’s sort of new, you know, whenever a sector becomes really big, whenever there is the idea of abusing one’s distribution, so that the competition cannot survive, companies get broken up, it has happened again, and again, in various sectors. in tech, we have not seen much yet. Is this going to change? I have no doubt over time, you know, we’re gonna see more regulation in that world. Because as we were talking about before we made it, you know, we’re helping around the world right now. And this noise, a lot of the incumbents and naturally, there are going to be tension. So with some tech companies be regulated or broken, I think it’s inevitable that this will happen.

Nick Moran 28:54
Do you think, you know, with the changes that we’re seeing recently that have been accelerated with remote work and sort of the spread of startup formation across this country and others? Do you think the degree to which the Valley and San Francisco is the the center of influence of all tech, do you think that that becomes less strong over time, and that, you know, there, there is a a significant portion of startup talent and startup value that’s created, you know, outside of Northern California.

Speaker 2 29:30
I think Silicon Valley today is a mindset in the COVID first world doesn’t matter if you’re in downtown San Francisco or you are anywhere in the world, location of your liking. You don’t have an advantage if you’re in the south, everybody is one zoom away from everybody else. So for folks who are not in the main hubs, use it to your advantage because people are bored or tired behind their computer screens are here to answer Your your call or video chat. And I think it’s also very liberating for a lot of companies and founders, because now they can hire talent everywhere before they were limited by their geographic boundaries. But now you know, you can hire the talent that you are dreaming about, because working remotely working from home has become something socially acceptable. So do I think Silicon Valley will continue to be a leading force in the world of tech startups, innovation and marketing technology in particular? Yes, I do believe so. But is Silicon Valley, the only place where you have to go in order to be successful in the world of tech as it used to be when frankly, even I went there? No, it’s not. And you can see companies like Shopify now be worth hundreds of billions of dollars that are not, you know, based in Silicon Valley. In Europe, you now have over 30 companies that are valued over a billion dollars, and we have more developers all over Europe than in the US. So I do think personally, that talent is universal. Well, opportunities not. And in a world where intrapreneurship is becoming more mainstream, Silicon Valley is a mindset and all of us investors are eager to find opportunities to invest in outside of the main hubs, and we don’t look down on companies that have remote or distributed engineering teams. I think that’s great news for all builders out there. Great.

Nick Moran 31:32
Niko, you’ve come to the right place. We’re in the middle of the country. And yeah, it’d be great to get on some cap tables with general catalyst. But so I’ve got would be amazing,

Unknown Speaker 31:43
would be amazing.

Nick Moran 31:44
I’ve got a hypothetical for you. Okay, it’s called three data points. So I’m going to give you a hypothetical situation. And you can ask me for three specific data points, in order to make your decision on investment. So this is not how investing works. But we’re going to pretend this is how it goes. So let’s say you’re approached to invest in a consumer SAS startup, the startup has 3 million of ARR, it’s growing 10 to 20%, month over month, let’s say for the past six months, with a quick ratio over four, and LTV to CAC three to one. Again, the catches, you can only ask three questions for three specific data points in order to make your decision. What three questions do you ask?

Speaker 2 32:27
Is it a category leader? Second one would be founder related like, are the founders ridiculously ambitious, obsessed with the customer? And their learning? Seems? Founder related question. And then the third one would be in a few years, why was there doing is going to be so valuable that everybody in the world would look back and be like, diagonals can’t believe, you know, couldn’t we’re not using this product before? We didn’t have so this. So third questions about the strategic value in the future?

Nick Moran 33:09
And how would you frame those to the founders, if you’re talking to the founder, specifically, the category leader, like what would the question be for the founder? And the ambition one, you know, how do you is there a way that you can’t get it that with one question, but is there a good question that gives you insight into that?

Speaker 2 33:25
Yeah, so the ambition one would be like, five to 10 years from today? What’s your vision? What do you stand for? And I would just let the founders rumble. And they should take really jaw dropping inspiring with a bunch of detail. Clearly, they’ve thought a lot about it. It’s like, oh, yeah, we’re gonna have 16 million arr. That’s not as inspiring. Or hopefully, by then, you know, we’ll be getting acquired. That’s an immediate red flag, you know, I don’t want to hear in terms of the category leadership, the question to the founders would be, tell me a little bit about your competition. How do you win or lose, and you would see how they talk about the competition, if they’ve framed their company correctly. Explaining why what they have makes her customers be really obsessed, cannot live without it. And they’re crushing the competition, because they’re faster, cheaper, better, without talking, saying nasty things about their competition could get me excited. But if they get into details, you know, we weigh in half of the times we lose the other half of the times or oh, there’s a lot of platform risk here because we’re on top of somebody else. Or you know, people use it but we’re not the system of record, you know, stuff like that. You know, again, me on chain.

Nick Moran 34:53
Nikko, what resources have you found valuable that you would recommend to listeners?

Speaker 2 34:58
You know, wish people could listen name to my partners and our partners and meetings because for me personally, they’ve been a fountain of wisdom and a lot of knowledge over the years, especially because some of them are not temporary. These are very successful company builders. In the absence of that, I think having mentors is what has been very, very helpful to me. So whatever you’re doing as a founder, company builder, participant in the tech ecosystem, learn how to cold email people should pretty high. Whoever you look up to, because you never know, maybe that person wants to pay for work. Or maybe that person has aspirations to recruit somebody like you. So find one or two good mentors in the fields that we care about, we’re going to devote time to do and for me, that’s the best resource that you can have. It’s almost like a gift.

Nick Moran 35:57
What do you know, you need to get better at?

Speaker 2 35:59
I think right now, especially in that COVID First World. I need to get better at evaluating and dealing with very salesy video, for most all, you know, characters that often get to be the CEOs and founders of companies that are raising money. And it’s harder, you know, to sometimes, you know, vet them after like a quick 30 minute window Zoo. I think that’s one area that I know I need to get better.

Nick Moran 36:32
And then finally, what’s the best way for listeners to connect with you and follow along with general catalyst?

Unknown Speaker 36:39
They can reach out to me they can email me Nick or John collins.com is my email.

Nick Moran 36:45
Well, maybe we’ll go from 100 emails, a data 150. Nico, it’s been alright, let’s

Unknown Speaker 36:51
do it.

Nick Moran 36:52
And, you know, thanks so much for your insights for for all the founders and aspiring investors out there.

Speaker 2 36:57
I do appreciate your thoughtful questions. And thank you to all the listeners for their attention.

Speaker 3 37:08
All right, that’ll wrap up today’s interview. If you enjoyed the episode or a previous one, let the guests know about it. Share your thoughts on social or shoot him an email. Let them know what particularly resonated with you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that some of the smartest folks in venture are willing to take the time and share their insights with us. If you feel the same, a compliment goes a long way. Okay, that’s a wrap for today. Until next time, remember to over prepare, choose carefully and invest confidently thanks so much for listening