Harry Stebbings

Harry Stebbings

VC at Atomico, Host of The Twenty Minute VC Podcast

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON December 05, 2016

Discussion

Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Have you ever heard of a podcaster turned VC? Well, you have now. My name is Harry Stebbings and I am the Founder of The Twenty Minute VC, the world's largest independent venture capital podcast. It all started from my bedroom 23 months ago with no contacts and no more than $100. Today we have a thriving business with strong revenues and double digit month on month growth. As of today, I have also been appointed the youngest VC in the World! I like to chat about, you guessed it, all thing venture capital, startups, entrepreneurs and of course anything to do with mojitos!
Miles Matthias
Miles Matthias@miles_matthias · CTO @EquityEats
How did you grow your audience?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@miles_matthias very good question and very much a case of riding on people's coat tails at the beginning, so I was very strategic in terms of selecting guests that had large following who had significant distribution channels that we could distribute the content to, for example, our first interview was with the amazing @guykawasaki who has over 2m followers on Twitter! We also used viral hacks such as click to tweets in the podcast description and really optimised for podcast search engine optimisation.
Ty Danco
Ty Danco@tydanco · Angel investor
@HarryStebbings: are you old enough to be considered a millennial, considering you can't drink in NYC yet?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@tydanco Haha Ty you are a funny man! So appreciate all you have done for me and am I a millenial, I guess so. No I cannot drink in the US yet (shocking!) I am also a very old man at heart, nothing I love more than a hot chocolate, a little Dido and a kindle! So I am a 70 year old deep down, mixed with a little cohort analysis and talk on variable pricing mechanisms and that is my dream night!
Colin Keeley
Colin Keeley@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
What do you do to maintain relationships with your guests after interviews?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@colinkeeley Very good question, facebook is an excellent example as it allows me to gain a view into the personal world of my guests and stay connected to them when momentous occassions happen, such as babies and weddings and then I can react to those with congrats messages and presents, allowing the conversation to be sustained! Another great way is to build a twitter list of past guests and then use that to keep updated with the network. I also use the network for questions for future guests, this not only helps to get great content but allows me to stay in touch with past guests!
Colin Keeley
Colin Keeley@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
How do you approach preparing for an interview? How long does it normally take?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@colinkeeley combination of twitter, facebook and then asking the network around them for personal and detailed topics that they can discuss at length! That also allows u to namedrop people in the show which further expands distribution channels as the people you asked will then also share the show! It takes about 3 hours per interview and we only release 4 out of 10 interviews we do! Tough process my friend!
Abhinaya Konduru
Abhinaya Konduru@itsabhinaya
@harrystebbings Do you let your interviewees know that you might not release their interview beforehand?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@itsabhinaya no I do not to be honest, that can make them more nervous and is not really necessary, I go into every interview thinking it will be a great one and if it is not we can assess from there. i also have a beta group to test shows I am not sure about and see if there is PMF and market validation!
Abhinaya Konduru
Abhinaya Konduru@itsabhinaya
@harrystebbings I see. How does the conversation with the interviewees go once you decided to not release? Do you let them know or wait from them to ask?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@itsabhinaya I let them know and it does not have to be a bad conversation. It is very much like turning down a founder, you try and be as constructive and helpful as possible and say, here is why it did not work for me. This is how we can improve and these are the milestones we need to be at to reach the required level. The same is for interview guests! They usually really appreciate it and find it very helpful feedback!
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Harry so great to have you on Product Hunt LIVE! How does it feel to have the tables turned and to have you answering all the questions? ;) You're journey is so inspiring and a true example of determination and hustle. What are the main things that other young people can learn from your experiences to break into the world of tech? What two top tips of advice can you give them?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@ems_hodge haha it feels fun, I have asked many questions here so this should be interesting! As for breaking into the world of tech this is super simple, it is such a competitive world and there are so many people fighting for the position that you want, so just like startups, you need to differentiate yourself. Not only differentiate yourself but have recorded logs of how you have done this, this could be a blog, this could be a podcast, this could be a chain of events that you ran. You have to be able to point to something and say this was me and this was how I conveyed my passion! Now this is what I can bring to your firm having done this. Essentially, in VC, you either bring in LP capital or dealflow, that is VC broken to simplest form! For me, the show allowed me to build and harness a network in both! SO break down the components required for success and then illustrate a path to how you can obtain them and then show that path!
Pedro Almeida
Pedro Almeida@pmarquesalmeida
Harry Super fan of yours! Congrats! When are you doing a podcast/write a blog on how to enter in VC? As always, let me know whenever you are in Lisbon👍
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@pmarquesalmeida that is a great topic and yes I should do it! Adding to my Wunderlist now my friend!
Max Mersch
Max Mersch@merschmax_ · VC - OpenOcean
Congrats again mate! Regarding Atomico: What were the key reasons that made this offer stand out? What are your main tasks on a day to day basis? What sectors & stages will you be focusing on? Is your Slush panel uploaded anywhere? Couldn't make it but would love to watch it!
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@merschmax_ Great questions as always from you max! The reasons 1.) The team, @atomico I believe we have the best team in Europe to capture the very nascent market opportunity that is developing at this stage. The likes of @ljungman @sirajkhaliq @bengrol @twehmeier presented a vision that was not akin to a VC but a founder with a mission! It was infectious. They also approached the hiring process with so much thought and discipline. They were also very quick to respond and show that they wanted this to happen. 2.) Main tasks, the mission is still to build the show to be the behemoth that it can be. The byproduct of this is fantastic deal flow from some of the worlds best VCs. An unparalleled level of access to the best deals. Also a sustainable and incredible platform that portfolio founders can utiltise for growth and partnership opportunities. I do not know many VCs that can do that and that is why @jasonlk is such a genius with @saastr 3.) Haha, good question, I am a SaaS man so the chance to work with @teddiew is fantastic. I am very much focussing on Series A Enterprise SaaS in the UK and then Series B and C co-investment opportunities utilising my network in the US!
Michele Lorubio
Michele Lorubio@michele_lorubio
Hi Harry! What do you think about API businesses?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@mikchef94 massive potential was very inspired by it following the interview with @dessaigne on @saastr and hugely excited for the future of @algolia
Nicolas Dessaigne
Nicolas Dessaigne@dessaigne · Co-founder & CEO, Algolia
@harrystebbings @mikchef94 @saastr @algolia Thanks for nice words Harry! I had a great time on the show :)
Philip Kuklis
Philip Kuklis@philipkuklis · Co-Founder, Hubble
What are your favorite books about venture capital?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@philipkuklis that is super easy! Mine is always @bfeld Venture Deals, Brad is one of the brightest and best thinkers in the industry and it has been a pleasure and an honour to get to know him throughout my journey! I also love @jasonlk and @motoceo latest book, that really is a must read for all in SaaS!
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What's the biggest life lesson you've learned in the last 12 months?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@ems_hodge this one goes to @tombritton my email was down and the site was down and I was literally crying on the floor thinking my life was over and he told me, 'Harry in life, nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems'. I always hold that with me and remember than when the anomalies of life hit me. Also love @headspace to stay calm! ;)
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Which pre-series B startup would you most like to invest in?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@andrewett Great question and I have huge respect for @maccaw @clearbit and am super exited for their future. I am also super excited for @Frankmycroft @boosterfuels phenomenal business and would love to be involved with both of them.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Harry! Was great meeting you in London and congrats on Atomico! Q: What do you do to prepare before an episode of The Twenty Minute VC? 🤔
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@nivo0o0 Thanks so much man and amazing to meet and go clubbing IRL! ;) Thanks on the @atomico very exciting times ahead! As for prep, heavy dd with regards to mutual connections and finding niche and very personal topics to dig into, then we have Twitter and discovering their current thought processes, then look for their recent writing, in that order, the network is always by far the best source though! I think i am forever asking @bwertz for suggestions which he is always amazing to provide!
Lubos
Lubos@mrlubos
@nivo0o0 When were YOU in London?!! 😮
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Jack Smith
Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
"As of today, I have also been appointed the youngest VC in the World" - what's new? did you join a fund? question: do you think that it would be easier or harder for you to be getting traction for 20m vc if you were in America vs the uk?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@_jacksmith absolutely, joined atomico and so delighted with the move. As for why, I had the chance to raise an angel fund now or I could learn from some of the brightest and the best in the industry and then go out and raise an institutional fund in 3 years. That was more enticing to me than learning on someone else's money now. As for easier or harder, it would be easier if I was in SF, I would be more able to stay connected and build deeper and more meaningful relationships due to the constant contact but for now, I am in sunny London! ;)
Ravi Vyas
Ravi Vyas@ravivyas84 · Founder Odiocast.com
I am a big fan of the shows :) . Question: How did you first meet Jason Lemkin
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@ravivyas84 thanks so much and so appreciate that, means so much to have your support! I first met Jason when I reached out to him cold when he was at storm and I asked him to come on @twentyminutevc he kindly obliged and that was the start of the relationship. We then stayed in touch and when I heard his show a few months later on @twistartups with @jason I thought there was massive potential for @saastr the podcast and suggested it to him and he loved the idea. From there and now 50,000 downloads a week we have not looked back. Working with Jason is one of the highlights of my career and I learn everyday! A true pleasure and a wonderful chap!
Jas Chimni
Jas Chimni@jas_chimni · Product Analyst
Your show is really nice and gives insight into a venture capital, How do you discover and connect with VCs? How did you manage to get them on your podcast when you first started the show?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@jas_chimni How do I connect, hustle and cold email in the beginning. Now all the show is with referrals but in the beggining it was hustle and doing a lot of research and writing very fine tuned emails that would appeal to them on a personal basis, showing the research that I had done. The key to this is heavy research and then making the email as personal as possible, if you have the ability to name drop big names that helps or if you have mutual friends, that also helps!
Amrith Shanbhag
Amrith Shanbhag@amrith · Community at Product Hunt & Feathrd
If you had no experience with podcasting and were to start a fresh podcast series *today*, how would you do it?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@ambonium great question, I would choose a super niche category, for example, I am super passionate about container shipping after interviewing @typesfast @flexport and so I would choose a vertical like that and then be very strategic in my approach! Smaller higher quality listeners is better than trying to please everyone. You can also monetise high quality listeners with greater ease also!
Will Schwarz
Will Schwarz@will_schwarz
@harrystebbings @ambonium @typesfast @flexport was one of my favorite episodes
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@wpschwarz @ambonium @typesfast @flexport Ryan is incredible and I am so excited for the future of Flexport. All I ask, Ryan let me invest?
Justin Ramb
Justin Ramb@justin_ramb · Askedoo - Live-Streaming Q&A
What are a couple of metrics you look for in new app startups?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@justin_ramb great question and very much depends on the stage. With founders that have been referred, I ask not to see a deck for the first meeting as I want to get to know them and what drives them and why they are doing this. Ultimately, this is a marriage so if I and the founder do not get on, regardless of the business being good or not, if we are not a good fit then it is better for them and for me if they choose to go elsewhere and I am very happy then to help them find alternative financing sources! If I am on SaaS, basic MRR, ARR, I look very closely at account growth over time, I also look at negative churn as super important! On consumer, it is all about retention and low CAC for me.
Colin Keeley
Colin Keeley@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
What do your emails look like for: asking people to be on the show, preparing for the show, & getting guests to share the episode?
Colin Keeley
Colin Keeley@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
What have you found to be the most effective ways to grow your audience?
Matthieu Dederichs
Matthieu Dederichs@mattdederichs
Hey @harrystebbings! As a new European VC, how do you see Europe creating the next $100bn tech company? What components are needed, why is it realistically achievable and what's Europe unfair advantage?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@mattdederichs great question: unfair advantage is people, we have more STEM grads than the US and we have the most amazing technical minds coming out of institutions like Cambridge, UCL, Oxford. The challenge will be if we can avoid early sales and exits. That is the big challenge! As for components needed, this is simple, we need a greater supply of capital flowing into the market! On all stages we are significantly lagging behind the US on a proportional basis and so that is super important and that is also why we have seen the likes of @usv come into the Euro markets because there is the lack of capital from respectable European sources! But ultimately, we need a much better exit environment and that is key and without that we will struggle however, that is improving and will continue to improve in the coming decade! Watch this space!
Adam Marx
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
Hey Harry, stoked that you're taking some time today! :) I often say that life is relationships. In my experience that's been one of the solid truths of business and hustle. So much of what you do with 20MVC (and what we all do) revolves around cultivating long-term relationships. What are some things you think about when cultivating one of these important relationships? How do you go about it which might be different than other strategies you've seen people employ before? Cheers man!
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@adammarx13 great question and this is super simple, it has to be really natural and really organic. Everyone on the show I really like and really want to build a relationship with, for example, @johnhenderson @jasonlk @nussenbaum are some of my best friends. Take the business and transactional elements out of it and just build a human relationship! I think that is key, do not think of this as networking or business building this is one human connecting with another, preferably over mojitos! :)
Joe Hovde
Joe Hovde@jhovde2121 · Marketer & Founder at whittleaway.co
Hi Harry! First congrats on the big news, excited to see what you do @Atomico. My question: At this point you've had hundreds of hours of practice interviewing people. How has this impacted your personal life? Do you find you're a better conversationalist than you were before 20vc? Do you sometimes find it difficult to turn off "interviewer-mode?" Hope to see some 🔥 mojito snaps to celebrate the new gig. Joe
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@jhovde2121 @atomico my fave question of all! My personal life, nil! I do not have one, no one ask about work life balance because I google that every day! I am 20 and I get invited to more wedding and christenings than i do 21sts! Nature of the beast is that all my friends are at least 35 and up! HOwever, yes since starting the show I am a much better conversationalist! Lets just say on dates I can always fill the science with talk on CAC and LTV! #nowonderiamsingle Turning off is also hard and not always easy but everyone likes someone who is interested and asks questions, it is just my family that would like the break! ;)
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Are you longer on AR or VR?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@andrewett way longer on AR, the intersection of the virtual and the physical for me is super exciting and although Google did not approach it well it is not a space that should be ignored by any means. As for VR, also very interesting, I think the content production side is the most exciting aspect now as we will see the rise of mega brands churning out great VR content. This could lead to the Disney of our age!
André de Albuquerque
André de Albuquerque@itstheandre · Host @Pioneers Show
Hey Harry. From the moment I started listening to your podcast a few weeks ago, you have gotten me hooked. My question for you is: How did you turn from the person with $100 to a VC? How was the journey? Was it all trhough podcasting? (Dude trying to create a podcast here)
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@andrealbuq94 love it and thanks so much for this. Haha, yes it was all through a podcast that started from my family bedroom. I think I am also pretty good with people and relationship building and I so love what I do and VC that people saw the passion and found it infectious and helped me! I think people also respected the hardwork I presented and my differentiated offering. If you want to build a podcast it is simple, give up the day job, do nothing but the show and after 12 months if you are lucky, you might start to earn revenue. What are you podcasting on? Happy to help. HIt me up on Twitter!
André de Albuquerque
André de Albuquerque@itstheandre · Host @Pioneers Show
@harrystebbings hey! Thank you for the reply! It's seems extremely interesting. I want to start creating content and to be able to make my voice heard. Ill start my podcast on the entrepreneurs journey for 'their own world conquest' I'll hit you up today. Do you prefer pm or a regular tweet? 😄 And, like @pmarquesalmeida : when you're in Lisbon be sure to let us know :)
Will Schwarz
Will Schwarz@will_schwarz
Hey Harry, do you plan on investing on a thesis-driven process or are you trying to stay more general? What are your top two industries for innovation right now?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@wpschwarz thanks so much for this. I am very much thesis and vertical specific focussing on the UK Enterprise SaaS Series A space. this allows for better and faster pattern recognition building and higher levels of deal flow exposure due to the niche investing style. 2 top industries for innovation, great question, this sounds like the buzzword usage but we are only just beginning to see the integration of machine learning into enterprise software, there is so much bandwidth with application to all enterprise verticals from HR to payroll to accounting! Then I am also very heavy on esports, I think the platforms behind esports are the most interesting and so I am very much focussed on the driving forces that make distribution of esports more effective!
Will Schwarz
Will Schwarz@will_schwarz
@harrystebbings fantastic response. The development behind esports is going to be really interesting to watch. I feel like we didn't see real innovation in regular sports until sabermetrics w/ the Oakland A's. Things are moving so much faster for esports that the platforms will be crucial!
Louis Svugr
Louis Svugr@louis_sugar · I make and market stuff.
Congrats on the new gig! I'm sure it will be awesome. Considering your young age and relatively short time in business so far, have you ever gotten a bit of an attitude from any "seasoned vets" who have been in the industry way longer? If yes, how did you deal with it? How do you think this is going to be an issue when you meet with founders who are older and more experienced than you? love your success-story and of course the 20mVC podcast. Keep it up! 🚀
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@louis_sugar thanks so much and yes very exciting times ahead with @atomico wow this is a good question and I think I watch what I say here. Generally no, everyone is super respectful and in admiration for the 100,000+ subscriber base I have built. However, there have been some, in response to them, that is fine, that is their choice and their ignorance for the future of VC. They seem to fail to understand that VC has fundamentally stayed the same for 40 years and it is models like @atomico value creation team with the likes of @bengrol @sophiabendz that represents the future and a fundamental shake up of an antiquated industry. So those that are hostile, I have found are hostile potentially due to arrogance of position and a feeling of invincibility. Which is fine, I respect them for what they have achieved and would love to convince them on the future of VC!
Toby Eggleston
Toby Eggleston@tobyeggleston · Surfer, skier, tax lawyer
Hello Harry! Following on from your answer above how have you developed your own investing thesis? Have you found it difficult to formulate your own ideas as opposed to being swayed by the different responses of so many VCs that you have interviewed? Cheers Toby
Small Crowd
Small Crowd@small_crowd
Hey Harry, do you believe that word-of-mouth in some cases could return more value, than marketing, audience targeting etc, if we're talking about apps specifically? Do you believe that the buzz begins exclusively with the media, or there might be a natural social hype for some things?
Nipun Gupta
Nipun Gupta@nipungupta · Veni. Vidi. VC. Podcast
Congrats again on realizing your dreams, @harrystebbings ! Glad to connect on Snapchat. What is the value you can provide to a non-media startup as a new VC ?