Investor Stories 330: Key Advice (Ding, Wagner, Kaiser)

Investor Stories 330: Key Advice (Ding, Wagner, Kaiser)


On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Shensi Ding
  • Peter Wagner
  • Joe Kaiser

We asked guests for the most important piece of advice that they’d share with folks early in their venture career.

The hosts of The Full Ratchet are Nick Moran and Nate Pierotti of New Stack Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to investing in founders outside of the Bay Area.

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Transcribed with AI:

0:18
Welcome back to TFR on today’s special segment, we asked guests for the most important piece of advice that they share with folks early in their venture career. Here’s the segment called key advice.

0:36
On today’s special segment, we have Shenzi ding, the co founder of merge Shansi, if you could share one piece of advice with a new founder, what would you tell them,

0:45
You got to recruit you have to source it, that’s just the most important thing that you could do, you have to get used to going on LinkedIn searching out companies, going page by page by page opening up LinkedIn pressing, send sequence on gem and just getting used to it because no one’s going to recruit for you for certain roles in the future. And even if they do, you just you can’t have the future your company in someone else’s hands, you have to be in control of your own company’s fate. And a lot of times, that means recruiting really good people. So you just have to learn how to recruit.

1:22
On today’s special segment, we have Peter Wagner of wing VC. Peter, if you could share one piece of advice with a young new investor, what would you tell him?

1:30
Don’t do any deals? Yeah, no, what I would tell them is, is pick an area that you’re going to focus on, and just don’t stray. So now you got to choose wisely here. But you know, identify something that you think is fertile ground, you know, sort of for the next bunch of years, an area where you want to make your where it’s worth making yourself like a domain authority, you know, sort of a real expert, at least as what passes for an expert in investor circles. And just, you know, go to school on that, because like, that’s your competitive advantage. It’s like you have the luxury of doing that, like other people that have other advantages, like track records, and maybe more relationships and more credibility. They’re all tangled up with a lot of existing projects. You know, you on the other hand, as you mentioned, you have the luxury of just punching way ahead of the pack. And so like isn’t you just point the arrow, you know, correctly do that. And you know, good things good things will happen.

2:35
On today’s special segment, we have Joe Kaiser of Mercado partners. Joe, what piece of advice would you give to an emerging investor, someone who’s only a few years into their career?

2:45
Nate, I think that the key thing to two key things and they’re both on a on a qualitative level one, and I tell this to my team is know who you are. And by that I mean, don’t don’t try to copy you know, I don’t want you to have Bill Gurley and try to be the next Bill Gurley be who you are, from your talents and your personality, you have to be authentic. That’s what founders truly want. And so part and parcel that is don’t overlook how, how consequential what we do is to these companies. And by that I mean like the hard the hard lesson I learned is take a term sheet, for instance, most of these companies are only going to raise capital, if there’s incredibly successful, they’re only going to raise capital three, four or five times. So think about that. They’re only going to sign a term sheet three, four or five times in the history of this company and the history of that founders baby. And so don’t overlook the importance of that moment. Don’t just email, the term sheet delivered in person. And I learned that one the hard way. There’s back in 2018 There’s a company I just loved. It was called signal sciences founder Andrew Peterson, just a brilliant guy, the three founders brilliant cybersecurity thinkers, Andrews former former Google person, and Andrew and I had been building a relationship and getting close to a term sheet for like, over a year. And then we we get to the moment of the altar. And I have asked the term sheet. I think we were going to an off site and he was going somewhere else at the same time. And so I was just like, Well, I’m just going to hit send. I’ll talk to him when I get back. Lo and behold, there are a few things in the term sheet that if I was in person, I would have just seen the body language and said, Whoa, Andrew, that’s not your mystery. But because it wasn’t there. He got a chance to get frustrated and maybe arguably upset and took our term sheet called three other investors. Before that, that three or four days that I had said Okay, in three days, I’m going to follow up. And by then that was I had gone from a one on one conversation about about closing that series B to now a this is a full on competition that we ultimately lost. So I learned and that company went on to great success. So I learned that the very hard way and I think this is a very relationship based personal business that as investors we can never lose sight of.

5:31
That will conclude this installment of investor stories. If you’re enjoying the program and would like to see it continue. Take a moment and leave a five star review in iTunes. Okay, that will wrap things up for today. Until next time, over prepare, choose carefully and invest confidently thanks for joining me