Investor Stories 334: Lessons Learned (Wagner, Lyman, Jones)

Investor Stories 334: Lessons Learned (Wagner, Lyman, Jones)


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

  • Peter Wagner
  • Lily Lyman
  • Michael Jones

We asked guests to tell the most important lesson they’ve learned in their 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.

Want to keep up to date with The Full Ratchet? Follow us on social.

You can learn more about New Stack Ventures by visiting our LinkedIn and Twitter.

Are you a founder looking for your next investor? Visit our free tool VC-Rank and weโ€™ll send a list of potential investors right to your inbox!

Transcribed with AI:

0:19
Welcome back to TFR on today’s special segment, we ask guests to tell the most important lesson that they’ve learned in their career. Here’s the segment called Lessons Learned.

0:35
On today’s special segment, we have Peter Wagner of wing VC. Peter, can you tell us a story highlighting a critical lesson that has changed the way you invest? Well,

0:44
so I got into venture in what turned out to be a real acceleration phase, you know, if you think about the, you know, the venture cycle, you know, where, which is sort of a boom bust cycle. And, and so, you know, for, like, say, the first four years I was in, you know, everybody was a genius, you know, this was like, 96, to 2000. And then post the.com, bust, everybody was a moron, you know, like nothing worked. And, you know, frankly, it would have been a lot better to have those happen in the other order, you got to learn the hard lessons early. And as opposed to, you know, kind of having easy times in the beginning, and then you learned like, a lot of bad lessons, or at least you get away, you know, get away with that with a lot of mistakes without having to pay that paid up. So that, you know, I learned a lot in that kind of post 2000 period, where, you know, you’re clean, you’re dealing with a lot of messes, and all of a sudden, like reality is revealed. And so that, you know, for me, I think downturns, the downturns is where like, you know, as long as you don’t just get completely demoralized, there’s a lot of a lot of good learning. Awesome.

1:59
On today’s special segment, we have Lily alignment of underscore, Willie, can you tell us a story highlighting a critical lesson that has changed the way you invest?

2:07
You know, I think it sounds cliche, but I always go back to people. And I think, you know, success and companies back to two people and teams and founders and their, their attributes. And I think the cases where I have either have most regret in not investing or you know, in some of the cases, if if something hasn’t turned out, it’s misreading a team or miss reading and people dynamic within a team. And so I think my my lessons are, you know, if you have a gut instinct on people, which I you know, that tends to be the thing that I spend most time on, or, I don’t know if it’s a superpower or not, but but people is my orientation, and, you know, partners that complement all different skills. That’s the type of investing but listening to my gut on people, either in the in the positive or the negative, I think it’s something I wish I had learned earlier. And I still spend time making sure that I’m listening to it, because I think, again, I think people make or break, make or break an investment. And also like, who you spend time with, you know, for at least a mentor, you know, we you know, the sad statistic is that the relationship between a founder and early stage VC lasts longer than the average marriage in the United States, which is really sad. He’s dead, but it’s true. And so you know, thinking about who you’re spending time with, who are you? Who are you getting in the trenches with really matters. And so again, just listening to my gut on people is probably the biggest lesson that I’ve learned. And I think I’ll continue to learn.

3:38
On today’s special segment, we have Mike Jones of science. Mike, can you tell us the story highlighting a critical lesson that has changed the way you invest?

3:46
Yeah, I mean, sir, I mean, maybe many investors have this lesson, one lesson, I’ve realized is like, we can build very successful small companies in very small industries. And that as an investor, that’s not really going to do you any favors, right. So like, you know, I realized, like, there’s certain natural industries that are just that just produce small, small businesses that really don’t have a ton of long term strategic value. And so in success, you kind of fail, right? And that just, you know, for venture and the types of returns, we’re all targeting, it just won’t work. And I have people all the time being like, Well, why don’t you invest? You know, I know I can triple my business size, and it’s going to be great and such a good deal for you. It’s like, Yeah, but you know, the reality I’m not gonna get the multiply one on you enterprise value is gonna be really, really small. Right? And like, you may just end up building a profitable business that’s you know, subscale that I really can’t sell, right. And so, you know, I think like, we all have to be swinging for really, really big opportunities, and it’s hard for small business owners to kind of understand why that is, but as an investor that becomes clearer over time.

4:52
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