267. Advice from a Unicorn Founder Turned VC, the Future of the VC Landscape for Founders & VCs, and the Founder Love Metric (Tim Guleri)

Tim Guleri

Tim Guleri of Sierra Ventures joins Nick to discuss Advice from a Unicorn Founder Turned VC, the Future of the VC Landscape for Founders & VCs, and the Founder Love Metric. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What’s the thesis at Sierra Ventures?
  • What’s been your biggest influence on the firm’s ethos?
  • You’ve had two incredible outcomes as a founder… first question is do you think the process of building a company today is materially different than it was when you did it… if so how?
  • We’ve talked a lot on the show, over the past 8 months about the effects of COVID on venture… what have been you main observations on how VCs are adjusting to investing during COVID?
  • What do you think the new normal for startups looks like post-covid?
  • How do you advise a founder that’s in a hot space, doesn’t need capital, but has inbound interest and large investment offers, maybe at inflated valuations, from tier 1 coastal investors?
  • How do you handle situations where the product is just not a great fit for the market and the momentum is not building the way it should?
  • You’ve been through the exit process this yourself and, I’d imagine, even w/ great outcomes those are some of the hardest decision one faces as a CEO… Do you have a framework or an approach to assessing whether an exit offer is strong and should be taken or whether the founder should hold out for a bigger outcome.
  • There are a lot of factors that play into having to wind down a company…  are there any that standout that signal to you that it’s no longer working and we need to face to reality?
  • You mentioned something interesting recently pertaining to your relationship with founders and that’s that you track a metric that you dub “Founder Love”. Can you explain how you gauge and measure this?
  • What do you think the venture industry looks like in 5-10 year

Guest Links:


  •  We will take a great team from anywhere on planet Earth. Because we think that entrepreneurship can be, can be born anywhere. And so we don’t focus on central casting that you have to be from XYZ school and ABC Geo. We just look for the best entrepreneurs chasing an idea that we believe has a massive future ahead. 
  • To be really good at this game, you have to keep reputting yourself as an investor because these trends change and markets change, and entrepreneurs change. 
  •  I think if you’re a great entrepreneur today, you can actually build a very efficient business very quickly. Whereas I think, when I was building my companies, that took the kind of the classic kind of, you know, four to six years to get to $10-$15 $20 million in revenue.
  •  I spend a lot of time with early founders, I test for the true intent on why a founder is in the business in the first place, because I believe that nothing great is built overnight, one has to be very dedicated and fundamentally open to building a solid foundation, which is built to last. 
  • So what I do is I spend a lot of time with my early-stage founders, which is why I love the early stage game because, you know, the cement is quite not quite set yet. And you’re very malleable as a team and a company. And we focus om product-market fit, we you know, we focused on the sales motion, and when is the sales fit
  • Raise money to make sure that you can dramatically increment the value, the actual value of what you’re producing as a business. 

Transcribed with AI:

Tim Guleri joins us today from San Mateo. He is managing partner at Sierra Ventures, an early stage venture fund investing in the next generation of enterprise in emerging technologies. Prior to Sierra, he was a serial founder, having built and sold two successful infrastructure companies,Scopus Technology, which IPO’ed in 1995, at 800 million, and Octane Software
, which was acquired for 3.2 billion. Tim, welcome to the show.

Thank you, Nick. Pleasure to be here.

Yeah. Imean, do you have such a broad and extensive background both as a founder and a VC? Can you kind of give us the to Two Minute Summary of sort of your path to technology and venture?

Yeah, absolutely. So I, as you just noted, was, I call myself the accidental VC, I’ve actually was born into technology kind of got my technical degree. And then I was lucky enough to join Scopus technology as a as employee number six, and did my tour of duty and, you know, went from engineering to sales, and product management, that company, we took public 95 and, you know, sold to Siebel systems for 800 million, I really got confidence that I can build a company and run it myself, which I then did, as CEO and founder of octane, as you noted in their people to a $50 million business. And back in 99, we’re ready to take it public and got, as happens in the valley off and inbound from a large public company. And the price kept going up to a point where we had to take the offer, which was 3.2 billion. And I stayed there for two years as vice chairman and ensuring that the sales teams integrated. And then I was introduced to Scopus, from from Scopus, I had a partner, Dave Schwab, who would become a partner at at Sierra. And he said, hey, you’ve been successful, you know, place over when you try this VC thing. And I actually was not looking for a VC job at the time. And they put the hook in by inviting me to join the board. And when I joined the board, I was like, listening to these entrepreneurs struggle through things that I’ve just personally struggled through. And I was like, Okay, I think I can, I can actually help these guys. And I crossed the DMZ to join CRM 2000 to 2002. Wow.

In in tell us, what is the thesis at Sierra?

Yeah, so the thesis is, you know, come early, stay late. And it’s all about focused on b2b. So business, automation technologies that make the businesses become more efficient scaling and become market leaders. So we tend to be first institutional capital, and we do seeds and series A is we’re investing out of a 12 Fund, the funds been around for 37 years. And we have, we will take a great team from anywhere on planet Earth. Because we think that, you know, entrepreneurship is can be, can be born anywhere. And so we don’t focus on Central Casting that you have to be from XYZ school than ABC, Geo, we just look for the best entrepreneurs chasing an idea that we believe has a massive future ahead. And then we’d like to be the first institutional check and help these companies kind of grow through all the various stages of scaling real business. And, you know, we’ve kept our funds to a very manageable size. So funds are typically in the 200 to $50 million range. And that allows us to really have enough capital to really help these companies scale, but at the same time, ensuring that they build fundamentally capital efficient businesses. And we have a great network and obviously funds that follow us into our investment. So that’s a bit about Sierra and myself and my two partners, Mark Fernandez, and Ben, manage the firm. And we’ve actually old linens here for nearly 20 years.

Yeah, I’ve been fortunate to connect with Mark a couple of times before, yes. This is a first lesson. Yeah, he’s great. First time, we’ve had a chance to chat. Do you guys all have a specific focus? You know, within Sierra, or are you all kind of operating? And the thesis together?

I think we’ve we all have a, you know, have areas of interest. But ultimately, one of the things that’s fascinating, but venture to be really good at this game, you have to keep reputting yourself as an investor because these trends change and markets change and entrepreneurs change. So having said that, Ben who has a deep technology background from Princeton, and physics, who’s a PhD, that tends to do a lot more deep tech oriented investments. And Mark and I are more kind of the classic infrastructure stack. So security cloud computing, regular SAS And instead of that we, you know, we kind of have free hunting license, and we trust each other’s instincts. So I think there’s a little bit of an overlap on what Mark and I looked at, look at that, between the three of us, I think we can go the entire gamut of what enterprise b2b innovation cycles looks like for the next multiple decade.

Tim, you’ve had, you know, some, some pretty incredible outcomes as a founder and early employee, I guess, my first question for you is, you know, how do you think the process of building you know, venture scale tech company today is different than you know, when you did?

A great question, actually, Nick, one that I thought about deeply myself. And what I’d say is that when I was an entrepreneur, both at Scopus and at Octane, building a company was a lot less efficient than it is today. And I’ll talk about that in a second. That’s number one. Number two is that competition was also less, the market was pretty early. And what’s changed now is that, you know, with cloud computing, and effectively, you know, you can rent not just, you know, capacity to build or write software, you can rent, hire, globally, capital is relatively easy to access, especially in the early stages for company. So as a consequence, a lot more companies compete for the same space or space, same idea. So. But I think if you’re a great entrepreneur today, you can actually build a very efficient business very quickly. Whereas I think, when I was building my companies, that took the kind of the classic kind of, you know, four to six years to get to 1015 $20 million in revenue. In this day and age, because of the kind of the leverage effect of cloud and kind of being able to sell and service over the Internet companies that have the right business model, we can get to, through those numbers in the first couple of years of, you know, breaking ground.

Interesting, does that change the way you guide and advise companies and, I mean, you’ve been, you’ve been at the venture game for a long time to some at imagine, like, you know, that the responsibilities and, you know, the ways that you lean in and provide value and help and, and see these founders develop and evolve their businesses is has changed.

Yeah, and so I think the way I like to get involved in companies, and this is where I spend a lot of time with early founders is, I really test for the the true intent on why a founder is in the business in the first place, because I believe that nothing great is built overnight, one has to be very dedicated and very, you know, fundamentally open to building a solid foundation, which is built to last. And I think if you, as a founder don’t have that orientation, you might get lucky and flip your business for a great, great profit, but the odds are against you. So what I do is I spend a lot of time with my early stage founders, which is why I love the early stage game because, you know, the cement is quite not quite set yet. And you’re very malleable as a team and a company. And we focus on you know, product market fit, we you know, we focused on the sales motion, and when is the sales fit? Perfect? We look at the team architecture, we look at the financial architecture, gross margins, and and you know, what are the appropriate growth rates, we look at the capitalization strategy, like how much money when is the right formula for this company, we look at positioning architecture of the of the company to my earlier point about the market being very competitive. So, these six or seven foundational elements is what I really spend time on. And I think if I get a great response on the other side from foun8 the investment.

You know, Tim, we’ve talked a lot on the show, over the past eight months hear about sort of the effects of COVID on venture, you know, what have been some of your main observations on how VCs are adjusting to, you know, investing in this environment.

I think both adjustments happen both on the entrepreneur, entrepreneur side, and also on the venture side. So I always love to, quote, Rahm Emanuel . I think Chicago native, if I remember correctly, you know, said never let an mayor. Yeah, yeah, never let a, serious crisis go to waste. And I think that applies, you know, abundantly to this, this time we’re in, which is obviously a very tough time for families and the nation in the world. But I think the, what it’s done is, it is suddenly accelerated a certain thing, that we’re already directionally heading in that that way, which is the digitalization of the industry. Certainly, people have been chatting about, you know, remote medicine and, you know, elearning, etc. and all that is, then been thrust forward by a decade in one year. And I think that is causing, you know, foundational change in work and consumption habits. And I think it’s gonna, it has changed forever, I don’t think we’ll obviously When, when, next year, when you know, we have vaccines, you know, people are going to go back to work, but there’ll be a lot more comfortable, you know, doing these kind of exchanges that you and I are doing today, and the venture capital, and a couple of things have happened. One is, we’ve certainly seen exponential flow of entrepreneurs, which are much more global. Because when you don’t have any place to physically go, you have every place, you know, that you can be at, over over the ether. So we are seeing pitches from, you know, all over the world this morning, at 7:30am. I committed to entrepreneurs in Israel, and these are people that, you know, we have never met in person. So, so we are adapting, we are continuing to find great projects and great teams, and people like us and like you that are in the people business, because we invest in people, I think it’s hard to make that call without physically spending time and breaking bread and sort of learning what the person has behind the person. And the way I’ve adapted to that is that, during you know, before we close the investment, we try to make an effort to see the team in person. And I know it’s hard to be COVID safe and all that good stuff. But since COVID, we’ve done 16 odd investments at Sierra and I think every single case of you’ve met the entrepreneur before, you know, the flows around. So we try to be flexible and nimble, but at the same time keeping some of the best practices that have been successful for us, you know, true in the STEM as well.

It’s funny, we’re doing the same at this point, we have done investments, just pure virtual, but we sort of decided that we’re gonna we’re gonna meet all the founders, you know, mid year this year and create that comes with some challenges in this environment. We’ve been able to pull it off. Yes, I’m curious. You know, I had a debate with a VC last week about what happens after this is over right after the vaccines are, are fully deployed. And we go back to more in person environments. Do you think the VCs that are investing outside the valley and continually taking a more us wider global approach, you know revert to what they were doing before which is more local in nature, do you think this continues

So I continue to see experience, I think by by, you know, by virtue of the fact that we are all example yours became VCs is that we always had this mentality Can I have money will travel, right. So we will take the capital, where are the best teams are 68% of the funds returns, you know, in the last couple of three funds have been from teams that are outside the Bay Area. And so we’ve always been kind of this global view of, you know, pulling teams and effectively being the bridge of a team that might be in Canada, or Israel, or Tokyo or whatever being the bridge to the valley, which obviously, is a epicenter of, you know, m&a, and capital and all that good stuff. And I think that, now we’re seeing a lot of other funds also doing something similar. They’re trying to seek out, you know, startups and other other areas. So I think my view is that trend is gonna continue, it’s the same reason that, you know, I was joking with some of my companies that are in Boston that I used to show up physically for every board meeting, and I told them at 21, it’s gonna be 5050, I don’t need to be physically there for every board meeting, because I can do it remotely as effectively. Right. So the same will go for deal origination. The same will go for I think, you know, getting deals over the finish line. So I think venture capital was certainly for certain folks like ourselves over the global business, I think that’s going to become more so for local business, which I think is great for entrepreneurship. Globally,

very good. You know, we’ve seen a range of different effects on founders and startups, since this thing broke, you know, some, some startups have had significant headwinds, and, you know, cash crunch and experience some troubles, right. Others in hot spaces, you know, many of the sectors and areas that you guys invest in, you know, they’ve experienced a tailwind. And we’ve witnessed a couple situations, which are tricky, I’d love to get your take, because you got a lot more experienced than I do. tricky situations where a founder is a beneficiary things are going quite well, they’re in a very hot space, they don’t need capital. But you know, tier one, VCs are coming in and offering lots of money at valuations that, you know, suggests their progress is much further than it really is, you know, how do you advise a founder in that situation?

So, that’s great question, I think we’re suddenly currently in this, you know, in this in this phase of venture where there’s more capital flooding in, just because capital has nowhere else to go right now to get the kind of returns that that public investors expect. And so I think that trend is further, you know, sort of amplified by the fact that whether you’re a endowment or a mutual fund, you see technology in your face all along, like with a zoom session, or teams or whatever you happen to be in, you fundamentally know that technology wave is going to continue to drive forward. And there’s lots of upside to that sector. And then the way you play that sector is you play venture capital. And that’s why venture capital, you know, last couple of three quarters has been some of the highest per quarter inflow of VC dollars that you’ve seen. And consequently, those dollars have to find a place into into companies and you’re seeing these large scale rounds, for companies that are much younger, you know, then then it would suggest the rounds are much bigger than what the companies will be deserving of based on revenue and other traction. I normally tell my founders is that. And these are companies that have kind of reached product market fit and are in that scale phase. So the question really becomes, okay, how much you take. And I’ve always told them, and this is the cap table architecture point I was making early earlier, which is part of the foundation, that you kind of want to always raise money to make sure that you can dramatically increment the value, the actual value of what you’re producing as a business. So as measured in, you know, Arr, or revenue growth or growth rates, etc, then deserve the next next incremental dollar from the from the venture market. And, and if you feel that you can take a little more capital and accelerate that without the wheels coming off, then you should, you know, take on that extra $10 million in that in that investment that’s being offered. So I always tell them to start with a bottom up analysis and what that 18 month journey looks like that on overdrive a little bit and then see what the capital needs are, and that should be the dollars you should raise because if you raise more, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice because that capital is sitting on your balance sheet and not actually producing the option. Save for you, you’re better off by raising a little more money spending it to get growth, and then you get to the next milestone raise at a high valuation.

How about how about sort of counter examples? So maybe a lack of product market fit, you know, how do you? How do you handle those situations wherethe product,there’s something there, right, but the product ultimately is just not a great fit for the market. And you can tell based on, you know, momentum, momentum and metrics, that it’s just not not building the way that it should, you know, how do you how do you advise founders in those circumstances,

I think the advice always is that you just have to sit in the, you know, sit in the foxhole, and keep keep adjusting the go to market or, you know, refactoring the product, and then trying again, because till you have that, and if you try to accelerate on a on a, you know, on a foundation that is that has wobble in it, you’re gonna, you’re gonna come off. And that’s the the the most common mistake when companies go from a seed round series A, is that in the the the mistake, raising capital for, you know, for for a market signal that every question about the product market fit has actually been answered. And those two are actually not, not the, you’re not related. You can raise capital, but still have wobble and you’re on your product market set. And so my advice is, even though you have raised money, you don’t spend it, and you stay in your zone with a couple of sales teams and just looking for market fit KPIs. And then and only then, you know, you know, put your foot on the accelerator.

good insight there. I recall having Eric Paley on the program many years ago, and he I think he made the comment that venture capital will amplify whatever you’re doing, whether good or bad. If you don’t, if you don’t have the formula, correct, yet,it’s just going to amplify the wobble in this case.

Yeah, absolutely.

So if we fast forward a bit, you’ve got a lot of experience with with exits. And whether it be, you know, taking your portfolio company through or going through them yourself. And I’d imagine as great as the outcomes have been that you’ve been through, those are probably also very, very difficult decisions to face as a CEO. And I actually come from the m&a world myself, but do you have a framework or an approach to assessing whether an exit offer is, is sufficiently strong and should be taken or you know, whether the founders should hold out and continue building for a bigger outcome? You know, how do you think about that?

Yeah, I think, firstly, those are, you know, high class problems, right? when you, when you suddenly are faced with that, I think, ultimately, it’s a function of two things. One is, if you see that there is a upside, if you continue to invest in the company, as a team, which means that the team feels that way, and investors feel that way, then, then you will not take the offer that’s in front of you, right. So the first thing I tell my founders is that if you build a great business, you will get offers along the way, right. And that’s been true 100% of the time. Because Because, you know, just as you’re building the business in a really foundationally interesting way. There are public companies that are watching the same space looking for growth, and they come knocking on your door. So the first thing is to build an interesting business, which has great growth rates, and great fundamental value customers. And then, if you could see that, that, hey, we have lots of runway ahead of us the market is, you know, eating up the product. Competition is still there, but you know, controllable, and we can effectively, you know, build us to double or triple the revenue that we set out. I think those companies should go longer, and I think teams that feel that way, do go longer. That’s number one. But the second factor is the team itself. So I’ve had multiple instances where it’s first time founders, you know, the $600 million of cash offer, or 700 million, you know, the founders or, you know, the 30s, or something, and it’s a life changing amount of money for their families, right? triple ended, you know, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars. And, and I think it’s hard. I’ve seen in many cases where they might see the future growth potential, but they can, like, you know, Tim, let me just bank this one. And let’s, let’s try that, you know, multibillion dollar company in the next go around. And I, by the way, I totally understand it, because ultimately, it’s their company. It’s their vision for the support act. So I don’t think that there’s been a single instance where an entrepreneur wanting to do that. And, you know, we end up with a different decision. So it is a combination of the entrepreneurs vision and gumption and drive and market availability and the reader for what the markets gonna look like in a couple of years. And I think those things is what we allow us to, you know, drive, like in the case of, you know, sourcefire, which is a security company, I led the round of based in Maryland, that ultimately, we sold after taking it public to Cisco, for 2.4 billion. The reason that, that we kept going even after we went public is because we knew that there were these massive networking companies that had to play in the security space. And so that company, we doubled that pride and took it public and got the big, you know, sort of exit exit value when Cisco bought them. On the other hand, more recently, we sold this company treasure data for 600 million to SoftBank. And that was in the data warehousing cloud data warehousing space. And there, it was a phenomenal offer a great multiple on where the company was, and the founding team, which a first time founders wanted to take that. And that’s what we did, you know, the long term relationship with those founders, and the founders are back Boomerang back into Sierra via doing a second company with them right now. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s all about the relationship with these founders, and, you know, letting them you know, run the vision, as I see fit.

You know, the, the other side of the coin is, there’s, there’s a lot of challenges in this industry, right, they don’t all work out. Some companies fail. And, you know, there, there are many factors that play into, you know, why a company needs to be wound down? You know, are there any signals that, that you notice that, you know, a company is no longer working? And maybe you have to face reality, and have a hard conversation about what the future looks like?

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I actually take a lot of pride in being that dispassionate, you know, observer of the hard facts, and, you know, putting that on the table for entrepreneurs to consider, right. And I always maintain, Nick that. And sometimes my entrepreneurs get a little mad when I say this, but I say it anyways, is that the public market actually doesn’t care what you’re building, they don’t care whether it’s CRM supply chain, it’s a widget, you know, you know, what the flashy blue bulb on it, they don’t care about any of that. They just care about the financial metrics that the business is going to produce, right? The top line growth, the gross margin, the EBITDA, the cash flow, right. So they don’t actually care what you’re doing. They just care about those metrics. So if you look at it from that vantage point, and you look back at the business, that you’re building, the software, the specific, you know, market that you’re innovating with, it gives entrepreneurs a very clear view, on the way they should be looking at the business, from the perspective of the ultimate arbiter of what your value is, which is the public market. Right? Right. Because one day, I’m going to say, Hey, this is a snowflake, and it’s going at this crazy rate, and let’s get a $70 billion valuation versus you know, some company that gets out of the gate at two and stays at 2 billion, right.

So, like, You got it, you got to know your customer, even when it

equids. Exactly, exactly right. So, in those scenarios, when you actually train an entrepreneur to appreciate that perspective, right. Then what begins to happen is if you start seeing the metrics not track to ultimately yield that kind of p&l and growth rate, you know, something is awry in the in the structure of the way the business is built Financially, and that is the early warning sign when you know, we start working super hard to fix it, that doesn’t get fixed as a cost of customer acquisition, or gross and net churn, or, you know, or how do you scale 20. And then you know, to get to the next 40, it’s taking you a lot more dollars than it took you to get to the first, right, there’s all these things that get measured at every stage of the business. So I, I’m a hawk, and I never I wouldn’t say I started this way, because I was an entrepreneur that, you know, always came from a product centric view of the world. And as I became a, you know, a VC that has seen, you know, sort of a few round trips and appreciated what the what those things actually indicate early on in the company’s life, those have become very central to the way I look at businesses today and the warning signals that you were just talking about. And I consider it a privilege to bring those to the attention of entrepreneurs and, and then we fix it early. Or, and if you don’t fix it, then it’s time to have a conversation that guys, the most important thing that you are trading on right now is your time. And if the business is not going to take off, I’m going to be around here as a VC happy to support you. But is it worth your time? And should we try something else?

You know, Tim, in our brief communications, you had mentioned something interesting, pertaining to your relationship with founders. And that’s that you track a metric that you dub founder love. Can you explain, you know, how you gauge this? And what it’s a measurement of?

Yeah, so it’s, it’s really This, this, you know, this relationship that you’ve you kind of have your with your founding team? Which is, which has to do with how much you trust each other? And do you really consider each other as true partners, right? I try to be very clear with my founders that I am not. On the second row of the bus, or the third row of the bus, I’m sitting on the 22nd row of the bus, you’re driving the bus, right? My job is to be the eyes and ears. My job is to be your support system. My job is to be the naysayer, my job was to be your best friend and your best enemy. Depending on you know what we’re talking about, right? I’m not in the second seat, you put somebody else in the second seat, I’m the ultimate taxi, I’m going to be on the 22nd seat watching where there’s buses going, and then calling the plays as appropriate. So what happens is, that look, the ecosystem and you know, this, this make this super smart people that become venture capitalists knowledgeable, right. But sometimes they’re not as engaged or available. So it’s this gift of time, right. And if you can’t get this gift of time to entrepreneurs, you should not be in this business. because anybody can write a check, anybody can write a check. So sort of this this this founder love, you know, that we tend to share is, I think a reflection of that. Knowledge, of course, and capital, of course, these are these are table stakes, to be a good venture capitalists. But to be engaged and available, I think is the the ultimate gift you can give an entrepreneur and we do that at Sierra, my partners are, you know, as 24 by seven, as I am. And in a way, I always feel that I’ve never worked a single day in my life, because this doesn’t feel like work. I mean, it’s really doesn’t feel like work. And my guys call me as my last call. Last night, it was 1130 at night. And my wife was watching Netflix and I was I had my son and you know, adding in a dog to one of my entrepreneurs in Seattle. And it was just a privilege and that love is what lets you you can bank it, and you can deplete it. Also, when you have had a tough conversation or need to have a tough conversation, I think it’s that relationship that really lasts. And you know, that’s the way we think about our business. Sounds familiar?

Well put on. Tim, what do you think? What do you think the industry, the venture industry looks like in five to 10 years?

I think it’s getting very specialized. So you’re seeing a lot a lot of funds that are taking different tax, because the market itself is growing. And as it grows, becoming a generalist becomes hard because the best teams and the best ideas are seven levels before that below the surface and you have to be very deep in the domain to really be a great investor. Which is exactly why we picked They’ve heard from our focus on b2b. We’ve got 80 CIOs on our advisory board. And one of the reasons, you know, friends like Tim, she will reach out and send companies away or entrepreneurs is because they know what that relationship will look like, eventually become partners. So I think specialization is one definite trend that I’m seeing. I think the other one is what roughly called service provider, you know, plus plus. So in the effort to differentiate themselves, beyond the check, I think a funds are really, for the first time putting out more than just lip service, on how they help their portfolio companies get from stage a two stage B. And that’s happening, by the way in early stage venture and also in late stage venture. And I think that is a phenomenal innovation that’s going on and the best funds are doing that really well. And I think it’s a it’s a great differentiator for the funds that are doing it. And I think that’s another trend I’m seeing that’s here to stay and venture capital.

Tim, what do you know, you need to get better at,

you know, I think I would love to be able to be better at simulating more technical trends and technical data, because fundamentally, I’m a tech investor. And I just don’t feel I have enough time in the day to go deep enough on the topics that I should really be deeper on. So I am still trying to figure out personally, how do I, you know, keep my, the edge of my knife super sharp, when it comes to technical trends. And then I’d love to be a little more prepared mind on a broader set of, you know, trends that are happening in the market. Because typically, what happens is when you enter into a company, you have to become up to speed very quickly on the technology. Now, I can do that, but would be way better if I already had that going when I sold the company in the first place. So that’s a bit of a mission I’m on But suddenly, I give myself probably a b minus right now and not not not doing that well enough. So that’s that’s a, you know, a quest for mine, which hopefully, I’ll be able to solve in the next next couple of years,

Too humble Tim. And then finally, you know, what’s the best way for listeners to connect with you and follow along with Sierra?

You know, we are very accessible. So, you know, my email is on dub dub dub, CEO of n.com. I’m Tim at Sierra ventures.com, at Tim Leary on Twitter. And you can also reach out to me, I just kind of send me a message on LinkedIn. And we pride ourselves in getting back promptly. The next step, so whatever the case may be, we’re certainly in the service business. And we, you know, we love to hear from entrepreneurs that are in the ecosystem. So any of those venues, like you can reach me or any of our partners?

Well, Tim, thanks so much for for making the time to do this today. I learned a lot and you know, appreciate the Connect and appreciate all the insights that you shared with me in the audience.

Absolutely, Nick, and thank you for doing this for all the entrepreneurs, I think they must love this. And these are untold stories you bring to life. So really a great service and great seeing you as well. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it. Thanks.