-Cheers for having me.-Thank you.
Tell me about your change at Benchmark,
you had joined as a general partner,
moving to venture partner,
what’s that all about?
Behance was a company that I founded in 2005,
seven years after starting the company,
that’s when we joined Adobe,
and I joined Adobe for three years.
While I was at Adobe,
you know, that’s when I decided to try that
full-time investor track,
and just, you know, give it a shot,
and I did a lot of investing as a side thing,
and wanted to experience it full-time.
And so in the process of doing that found a great team
that I wanted to join which was, which was Benchmark,
and so sort of, you know,
six or seven months in,
it was really about…
thinking about what I want to do for the next 10 to 15 years,
and realizing that I missed the earlier stage.
I had a love that I didn’t realize,
you know, around the seed stage,
until I kind of missed it,
because when I was at Benchmark,
I wasn’t allowed to do any seed investing.
As a venture capitalist for this stint,
what did you learn about investors
that you didn’t really know before as an entrepreneur
that on hers might be very interested in?
A couple of observations,
and tips that I give to entrepreneurs these days as well.
The first is that entrepreneurs
know that it’s all about sales.
The problem is that when you oversell the truth,
the greatest investors can detect it immediately.
The entrepreneurs that I met over the course of any investing
and I continue to meet through…
through my relationship with Benchmark
that I admire the most
are those that…
are able to say like it is.
If you portray something that they say as an advantage,
and it’s not they’ll actually correct you,
and say well, you know,
that’s not really a sustainable advantage for us.
There’s just something about
that behavior, that makes you feel like
you can have a longer term relationship with this person,
and that they will admit the truth to themselves,
and that’s a really important thing to look for as an investor.
One of the things that I struggle with as an investor
that I think is an advantage as an entrepreneur
保持对员工 对产品乐观 相信任何可能
just the optimism in people and in product and in possibilities,
as an investor, you’re constantly saying no, no, no, no,
you’re looking for flaws,
and you’re quickly cutting cutting bait.
As an entrepreneur, you have to be optimistic in people,
you’re always hiring people
before they’re actually capable of doing what they’re gonna have to do.
You’re always growing into shoes that are bigger.
It’s an interesting balance between
pragmatic ways of looking at the world,
and being optimistic about the potential.
I try it with every investment to find something that
er…you know, as a little counter into it,
a little lean forward and also something that I can work from.
Pinterest was actually my first ever seed investment,
Back in 2010.
The exception to that rule,
in that investment was the fact that
Pinterest was optimizing for something that
that everyone else was trying to minimize,
and I was down straight,
and here comes Pinterest, where there were literally five links
to the source on every single pin.
Everywhere you touched was a link out.
And I’m sure some investors said well that can’t be a good,
you know, long-term opportunity,
you know, if, if traffic is being given other places,
but in fact, what that meant
is that their referral sites of people that were getting all the traffic,
were then putting pin buttons on their web sites
instead of other buttons.
So it’s one of those forward-thinking,
product attributes that I think really made the difference.
Pinterest became this incredible referral source across the web.
I associate you so much with a New York startup scene
and the New York tech scene here,
how do you see that shaping up in the future?
where do you see that going?
I think that New York City might be one of the best places to start a company.
When it comes to scaling a company,
you know, that’s where it can become…
It’s harder probably to hire…
a great designer or a great engineer in San Francisco,
Now it is in New York.
And also to retain your team in those early years,
and that journey in between when everyone is sort of suffering,
and there’s no end in sight.
I think there’s more loyalty in the New York ecosystem,
where there’s this notion of we stick together,
we’re gonna make this work,
and there’s less constant noise and confusion around
who’s raising more money and
who’s hiring more engineers.
I think there’s more of a constant transition,
you know, in the valley, that we don’t have.
So there are some real benefits to New York.
But when it comes to having to scale a sales for us to,
you know, hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people think about
I mean there’s a lot of things in the later stages of a company’s life.
And that are easy…
more easy to confront I believe on the west coast.
One of the other things that you’ve written and talked about a lot is tech design,
what’s your latest thinking about where that’s headed?
Design in tech is,er…
is having a renaissance right now,
and, and design has always been sort of important,
but what is new about now
is that the…
the full stack of technology that’s used to build many products
is being quickly commoditized.
And you can just throw in with lines of code,
you know, all these different functions for payments and connecting
and social graph access,
all these different things.
So what’s happening as the stack becomes more commoditized.
It’s really the interface…
that’s distinguishing a product experience.
And as that becomes more true across industries,
both consumer and enterprise,
the designers at these teams,
not only need to have the seat at the table,
they may even, even need to be the founder
or the co-founder.
Because design is now becoming the competitive advantage of technology.
You can make the argument that is a great opportunity
but also a great opportunity for those
existing players and in a given market?
I think everyone needs to be more design driven,
and, and again, it doesn’t mean having great designers.
It means giving designers a voice on product,
having product in some ways led by design,
and that’s, that’s more rare still.
Thank you so much for having us,
Thank you for having me,
thank you for the drink.