Harry Stebbings

VC at Atomico, Host of The Twenty Minute VC Podcast

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON December 05, 2016

Discussion

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 · CTO @EquityEats
How did you grow your audience?
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@tydanco · Angel investor
@HarryStebbings: are you old enough to be considered a millennial, considering you can't drink in NYC yet?
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@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
What do you do to maintain relationships with your guests after interviews?
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@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
How do you approach preparing for an interview? How long does it normally take?
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@itsabhinaya
@harrystebbings Do you let your interviewees know that you might not release their interview beforehand?
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@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@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 Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, 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@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@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@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@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@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@mikchef94
Hi Harry! What do you think about API businesses?
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@dessaigne · Co-founder & CEO, Algolia
@harrystebbings @mikchef94 @saastr @algolia Thanks for nice words Harry! I had a great time on the show :)
Philip Kuklis@philipkuklis · Co-Founder, Hubble
What are your favorite books about venture capital?
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 Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
What's the biggest life lesson you've learned in the last 12 months?
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@andrewett · PMM @Twitter // Previously @ProductHunt
Which pre-series B startup would you most like to invest in?
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@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
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@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@lmenus
@nivo0o0 When were YOU in London?!! 😮
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
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@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@ravivyas84 · Founder Odiocast.com
I am a big fan of the shows :) . Question: How did you first meet Jason Lemkin
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 · 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@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 · 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@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@wpschwarz · Media Operations, Kin Community
@harrystebbings @ambonium @typesfast @flexport was one of my favorite episodes
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 · Askedoo - Live-Streaming Q&A
What are a couple of metrics you look for in new app startups?
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@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@colinkeeley · Podcast Host @ Tech In Chicago
What have you found to be the most effective ways to grow your audience?