Real talk about startups and VC

Before I watched this interview I knew Chris Sacca was a big player in Venture Capital and that he was a popular guy in the valley, now I can see why. For being so successful I don’t think someone gets any more down to earth. Im sure that there is another whole lavish side to silicon valley that most people don’t see from the outside but it seems that a lot of the really successful people don’t change once they make it, something to aspire to. Anyway, this guys story is incredible. Day trading a leveraged portfolio (to pay back student loans he used trying to build a startup) up to $12M then within 72 hrs being $4M in the hole! Definitely some cool stories. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video here are some cool take aways:

– be helpful. As a rule create value before you ask for something. For example they talk about people going out and hustling clients for a company they don’t even work for. Then taking these clients in to head office looking for a job. There’s a million ways you could do this for a company your looking to work for. These companies get thousands of resumes, the CEO’s get hundreds of emails of people looking for a job.. good way to stand out.

-they talked about the marketing spectrum based on measurability which was pretty interesting. From billboard ads to coupons, delivering a sale and actually being the point of sale payment processor. Every step the ads get more measurable, they cost more money. For example as you work backwards; Groupon wants part of your sale, Cost per Action (less expensive but you know you brought a customer there), Cost per Impression (someone’s eyes saw it but they didn’t convert or you don’t know) ..and so on. Funny quote from this part  “If I deliver someone into your physical store, fu*k you pay me” lol.

-VC strategy. Chris mentioned that VC’s make their big money doubling down on their winners in second rounds. Also they know that a lot of their deals are going to suck but when their right they need to be really, really right.

– My favorite insight was about what he looks for in founders when he’s investing in companies. In retrospect it’s so on point. Here’s his five standards   1) Doesn’t like hiring someone who hasn’t had a brutal job, or basically can’t prove they have a work ethic. Watch at 47:40 for about a minute it’s hilarious. 2) Prefers people who have travelled or studied abroad. You need to be resourceful when your out of your comfort zone, it’s a great skill to have. 3) Plays sports, or at least has a balance in life. He finds these are the most creative people. 4) College degree isn’t a pre req but he finds the people who did really well in college are proportionately successful. 5) Finally he just looks for interesting people in general. He bought the house next to his in Truckee where he brings the founders of some investment companies up on weekends to “break bread” with family and friends. He basically just wants to know that he would enjoy spending time with those people, be able to have some good conversation and have fun.

If you have time I encourage you to watch the whole video, I’m now a big fan. Kind of like how Never Say Never transformed people into beiber fans, maybe not quite ha but similar. Enjoy.


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