662: In this interview, we discuss the thesis behind Unscaled and his latest book Intended Consequences, and how companies need to be intentional about scaling their businesses. Hemant emphasizes the importance of integrating General Catalyst’s values in the companies he grows and looking at the long-term consequences of these investments. He also gives his perspective on social-good businesses and how artificial intelligence can be used to measure the consequences of investment decisions. Finally, we discuss how Hemant’s approach to investing has changed over the pandemic, why writing allows him to become convicted in his own thinking and other keys to his successful career.

Also available on YouTube:

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This episode is sponsored by Cisco.

528: Neeva co-founder Sridhar Ramaswamy discusses

  • Some of the tough questions and interesting business challenges Sridhar faced during his time at Google
  • The consequences of an all growth at all costs mentality
  • Sridhar’s take on the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit facing Google
  • Sridhar’s experience at Greylock and why he joined the firm as an investor
  • The genesis story of Neeva
  • Why he felt the time was right to leave Google and start Neeva
  • The importance of having a great co-founder when starting a company
  • Why a customer first model lends itself much better to monetizing content on the web

Learn more about Neeva at http://neeva.com/

In this interview, Pat discusses 

  • Some of the key trends regarding observability
  • The benefits of taking a best of breed approach to it
  • Why observability is part of the solution to data privacy, not the problem
  • Some first steps those low on the maturity curve relative to observability can take
  • Why it has been a key to the digital acceleration that has happened during the pandemic
  • How COVID has dramatically accelerated Sequoia’s business
  • Some of the indelible marks of COVID that will become permanent

While Clint discusses 

  • The biggest problem he sees with the emergence of observability
  • Why observability has become an important trend
  • How Cribl is able to reduce its clients’ infrastructure spend by 30% on average

Among a variety of other topics.

Our 500th episode features a wide-ranging with David Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group’s co-founder and co-Executive Chairman. We discuss:

  • David’s experience growing up in a blue-collar family in Baltimore
  • His experience working for the Carter administration
  • Why the Carter administration was viewed as unsuccessful
  • David’s decision to leave government and the legal profession to start Carlyle 
  • How David and a partner came up with the firm’s name
  • How Carlyle got prominent political figures to join the firm, including presidents and prime ministers 
  • David’s decision to diversify the business and go global
  • David’s rationale for taking the firm public
  • David’s philanthropic endeavors
  • Why he has decided to give all of his money away
  • Why he now stays out of politics

Among a variety of other topics.

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This episode is sponsored by Zoho and Sykes

486: Emmet B. Keeffe III, Operating Partner at Insight Partners and founder of Insight IGNITE, discusses:

  • The three parts of Insight’s investment thesis
  • An overview of the company’s digital acceleration program, Insight IGNITE
  • The challenges of communication between IT and the rest of the business
  • How Insight Partners can save IT leaders many trips to Silicon Valley by finding tech globally
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many of the areas the company has invested in
  • The four types of boards that exist based on the size and maturity of those companies and the assistance each needs from its directors
  • The increased importance on creativity for humans with more AI and automation
  • Emmet’s take on IoT, the cloud, automation, 5G, and RPA

Among a variety of other topics.

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This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

482: Index Ventures Partner Shardul Shah discusses

  • Shardul’s thoughts on how COVID-19 has accelerated a tech-enabled shift to an employee-focused culture rather than customer-focused culture
  • How a younger workforce deals with unprecedented economic shock
  • How investment decisions and collaboration have been impacted by virtual communication 
  • How his investment philosophy is tied to empathy and community
  • The story of the least successful investment he’s ever made

Among a variety of other topics.

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This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

480: Former Cisco CEO John Chambers discusses:

  • John’s experience with previous financial crises 
  • The playbook he is running with his 18 startups through the current pandemic. 
  • Why John went into venture capital after his time at Cisco
  • Why John is partnering with 18 startups, rather than just one 
  • How the current crisis has impacted John’s investment theses. 
  • The playbook John ran when making acquisitions at Cisco
  • The successes and failures he has experienced with digital transformations
  • The impact COVID is going to have long-term including how 
    • COVID has and will continue to accelerate the shift to digital
    • Why the top ten companies in each industry will be shuffled, and
    • Why we won’t have an environment where everyone works from home

Among a variety of other topics.

This episode was recorded live at the 2020 Metis Strategy Digital Symposium.

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This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

478: Reid Hoffman is an iconic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author. Perhaps best known as the co-founder and former CEO of LinkedIn, he is currently a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, where he focuses on early-stage investing. He hosts the podcast, Masters of Scale. In this interview, we discuss:

  • The current pandemic and the economic crisis 
  • How one must lean on one’s ecosystem for insights and support while offering the same back into the ecosystem
  • How the pandemic has caused previous market failures to move to market readiness
  • The importance of entrepreneurs co-designing their go-to-market strategy
  • The precise definition of blitzscaling and its application to large companies

Among a variety of other topics.

This episode was recorded live at the 2020 Metis Strategy Digital Symposium.

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This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

430: Mayfield Fund Managing Director Navin Chaddha discusses what the company looks for when deciding which entrepreneurs to invest in and which do not fit the Mayfield model. The company looks closely into what the entrepreneur is doing, which entails determining what is driving them, what their values are, what their vision is, what their mission is, and if they are interested in creating a product company and flipping it or if they are interested in building an industry-defining company and changing the way people work, live, and play. To do that, the company must spend a great deal of time with the entrepreneur outside of the pitch meetings to truly understand what is driving and motivating them. Further, Navin cites that it is critical to find out who they are, which involves determining if they have high EQ and IQ, how hungry they are, and what their ethics are. We also discuss Mayfield’s work in China and India, three attributes of millennials and how to reach them, what makes for a great partnership between partners and the early-stage companies, among other topics.

427: Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman shares stories from his childhood, his time as an undergraduate at Yale, on Wall Street, and business school at Harvard, and his experiences at Lehman Brothers and Blackstone. These stories how he went from nearly failing in an English course in college to the Dean’s List, how he offered constructive criticism to the Dean of Harvard Business School while he was a student, how he led one of the biggest mergers in history to date as a fourth-year associate at Lehman Brothers who had never done a merger, as well as tales from the founding and growth of Blackstone. We also discuss the importance of having a strong culture and hiring the best people, how and why China bought 9.9 percent of the firm when Blackstone was going public, the Schwarzman Scholars program that he has developed in China, among other topics.