197. The DNA of Startup Success (John Vrionis)
John Vrionis of Unusual Ventures joins Nick to discuss The DNA of Startup Success. In this episode, we cover: Backstory/path to venture. Talk about your experience at Lightspeed and your decision to leave. Where/when did you first meet Jyoti Bansal, the founder, AppDynamics? What's unusual about what you do? 'Unusual Academy' and 'Get Ahead Platform' -- what are they and what's the difference? You’ve spoken about your team at Unusual being focused on redesign the early-stage VC market and giving founders a distinct advantage. What about your approach gives founders a distinct advantage? You've spoken about founder focus on "How it works" vs. "Why it matters" -- what's the disconnect you've observed with early-stage founders? You've covered your own experience of learning through suffering -- is that also a quality/characteristic you look for in founders? Arrogance vs. Humility -- have you invested in founders displaying these traits? What's been your experience? 3 must-haves that you look for in a new investment? If there's one common theme in failed investments -- what is it? Is there anything unusual about your approach to sourcing? If so, what is it? What are some best practices for founders when picking a VC? Over the past year or so the percentage of total VC dollars invested in early-stage deals fell to the lowest levels the industry has seen in five years. Why do you think this is the case? You've talked a lot about the seed funding gap and challenges to get to Series A. I'd love to get your thoughts on what's required to raise an A? Do you focus on product-market-fit prior to the A round -- if so, how do you define it? What's the problem with Sovereign Wealth in Silicon Valley? Do you have specific examples of unintended consequences or challenges with certain types of LPs behind a VC fund? Re. founders -- You've said that "the biggest mistake you can make is taking an investment from a mega-fund" Why? How has the early-stage venture landscape shifted from previous years? What do you expect to see in the future? To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes. Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.