Investor Stories 331: Visionary Founders (Lyman, Jones, Keidan)

Investor Stories 331: Visionary Founders (Lyman, Jones, Keidan)


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

  • Lily Lyman
  • Michael Jones
  • Jon Keidan

We asked guests to discuss the most visionary founder that they’ve worked with and what makes them so special.

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:

0:19
Welcome back to TFR on today’s special segment, we ask guests to discuss the most visionary founder that they’ve worked with. And what makes them so special. Here’s the segment called visionary founders.

0:36
On today’s special segment, we have Lily alignment of underscore Lily talk about one of the most visionary or inspiring founders that you’ve worked with, and what makes them unique.

0:45
Sure, I’m lucky enough to get to work with a lot of great founders, but the one that comes to mind is the CEO and founder of high Marley. guy named Mike Green, he’d be mortified that I’m talking about him publicly, because he’s incredibly humble, but he is, he is a very unique character in such that he, you know, he has a true vision on how insurance can be delivered differently. And, you know, he thinks about lovable experiences, and simple, lovable experiences is what He wants to bring in the insurance industry, which is not an industry known for that type of user experience. But, you know, he held that as his North Star and, you know, in the process has delivered a very sophisticated and great product in order to deliver those types of experiences. But, you know, he’s somebody who is very humble, he’s got a big vision, he’s, you know, he’s got a ton of ambition. And part of that, that he’s coupled with that is building a great culture. And from the earliest days, he’s really thought about culture at the company, they hire really good humans and kind people. And, you know, we were lucky enough to invest at the first institutional round alongside True Ventures. And it was interesting in the earliest teams, he brought on a people ahead of people, I think, is one of the first seven employees. It’s amazing woman named Stephanie Bishop. And it’s pretty unusual for a company at that size. But I think it was, he recognized a that he wanted to build something really big and enduring. So I better get ahead of it, and be that people and having the right people touch and the right culture, manna from the earliest days, and it sets the tone. So he made an investment early in that role. And that person in particular, that to me was just such a reflection of both the type of company that he wants to build and, and the type of so again, I think what makes him unique is he has a, an incredible vision, an incredible ambition. But it’s combined with humility, being understated and being extremely people and culture centric. And I think he wants to change the way that that businesses can be built with that at the heart of it. And I think that’s inspiring. And amazing.

2:44
On today’s special segment, we have Mike Jones of science, Mike, who is one of the most visionary or inspiring founders that you’ve worked with, and what makes them unique.

2:54
That’s such an interesting question. I mean, certainly the CEO of liquid death has an insanely awesome vision. And I’d say that he’s probably the best I’ve worked with, from a marketing perspective, like his understanding of what connects a brand to a to a fan is just, it’s next level. Early days in my career, I had a digital agency, and we did a lot of work early days with Red Bull. Unbelievable, like unbelievable brands, unbelievable vision, unbelievable commitment to that vision, relentless, unwavering commitment, you know, just incredible. You know, I’ve been fortunate, like, I’ve worked with a ton of founders, you know, it’s someone this week has asked me like, who’s like, Tell me some of the more brilliant people you spend time with, like, I’ve been fortunate for the time to look a lot of really, really smart people that are way smarter than me, right? Like, and probably like you, you spend time with some of these incredible founders and their big visions. The funny thing about a founder talking about you and I in a vision is they’re talking about a very specific context, which is the company they want us to engage in and fun, they’re going to be, they’re gonna be a little reluctant to tell us about the broader vision, right? Like, because, you know, so I’ve met some founders that have opened up to me being like, here’s my three stage approach, right? And it’s like a 2030 year approach, right? And I think when you think about the businesses that like, aligns behind these are like, multi decade, maybe century plus kind of business approaches, most founders will express those visions to me, or probably you or anyone in venture, because they know that our lens is a five to 10 year kind of lens. And I would argue that’s actually this question you’re asking me is actually a problem with venture in that. I bet I have founders that I work with that would have epic 50 year visions to create massive EBIT driven businesses that they probably won’t pitch and will pursue, because ventures timeframe is very limited. Wow. Don’t you agree? I do. Like how they’re looking at a business being like this is gonna be great in 25 years.

4:51
Even sometimes, the vision, you know, it’s like, we got to dial that back for the series a pitch because it might scare

4:56
him. You gotta pull it back.

4:58
I I remember so I was pitching a vision for my firm a couple of weeks ago to an LP that I really respect. Yeah, like, incredible allocator. And he laughed a bit. And he was like, You can’t do this. You can’t do like, this, just this doesn’t work. And I was like, whoa, okay, so this is like, I’m speaking a whole different language. This is not going to land. And then I saw, like a post from Susa ventures. And they basically just announced they did what I had, like suggested. And I’m like, see, it can be done. That’s

5:29
crazy. Yeah. But

5:31
there’s that receptiveness of the audience. And then there’s the constraints of the capital. And it’s a it’s a, it creates, it works for capital, I get it. And as an investor, it works for me, I get it. But I think we might be limiting the types of businesses we go after, because because of the way we approach capital, I think you’re right.

5:56
On today’s special segment, we have John Keeton, of torch capital, John, who’s the most visionary or inspiring founder that you’ve had the opportunity to work with, and what makes him so unique? Oh,

6:06
wow, there are a bunch. I’ll name two, they both happen to be in healthcare, or three technically. So one is is z at row Roman, he’s built a brilliant, brilliant business and his vision, his big vision has always been very clear, which is to make healthcare easier, more affordable and accessible across the country. And he started with the DEA and hairloss, like HIMS, and some others. But he had a much bigger vision beyond a product company of medical, probably no health care product company. And the things they’ve been able to do the verticalization of the infrastructure, they’re getting into GLP ones, which is wait, you know, the weight loss, which is very difficult to treat. At the beginning, you have to have multiple diagnostics and check ins with doctors and getting the dosages right and all that they built this and they can solve I think in the future, they’re able to solve more and more sushi for more more chronic conditions for Americans anywhere, including and health deserts. He’s phenomenal is is understanding of both his business and where the world is going in healthcare and the appetite of consumers is is among the best. And he’s very inspirational with it. And another two founders are Carolyn and Felicity, who started to the women’s health care company, again, really big vision, women’s health care as a horrible experience. On every front, they were sort of victims of it themselves. Yet, despite one being at Google and bringing Bridgewater with great health care, and they’re very smart. And they’re very, you know, they take things into their own hands and they respond around the system. And so they created a women’s health care platform aimed clinics. That’s basically the whole Whole Woman’s Health, where its primary care, Gynecology, mental health, vention, fertility, wellness, all under one roof with a centralized back system. And so whoever you see, they know your health records, they know what to check in. It’s a much more it’s a pleasant experience. It’s a beautiful place to go. An example of how much they got product market fit is when they opened Williamsburg earlier this year. 100 women sign up in the first week 800 Women sign up for healthcare company saw Taylor Swift. So that just shows you build an amazing product and you have a vision, you know, big vision, and all the decisions you make or how you move a company toward that vision. It’s It’s incredible, and it isn’t easy. They have dealt with every hurdle you can imagine building a healthcare business, a hybrid clinic plus tech stacks. Plus, there is frankly assault myself a lot of empty misogyny, but just skepticism around women’s health and why that’s unique and a whole other category. Yet women spend 1 trillion a year on health care. So it’s they’re as impressive as it gets. So I’d say Carolyn Felicity Tia z at row, those are some of the best founders I’ve ever met, and it’s been an honor to continue to work with that.

8:52
That will conclude this installment of investors 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