Hunter Walk

Hunter Walk

Investor at Homebrew. Previously made products at YouTube, Google and Second Life.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 07, 2015

Discussion

Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
Hi! You might know me from such social networks as Twitter (@hunterwalk) and, well, Twitter. I'm here to answer questions you may have about funding things (I cofounded seed stage venture fund Homebrew), making things (I used to work at YouTube, Google, Second Life), raising things (I'm a dad) and whatever else you think I might have a point of view about (POV not guaranteed). Let's do this!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@rrhoover Ryan, tsk tsk, you know the answer to that already.... yes (i kid, i kid)
jamestodd
jamestodd@jamestodd · Serial encourager and delighter
@rrhoover I love you people.
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Sorry, I think I just derailed this chat. 😁
Josh Dickson
Josh Dickson@joshdickson40 · Founder @ Syrah
@rrhoover SLJ is a little busy running those two public/almost public companies right now (this is a joke don't email me)
Jack Smith
Jack Smith@_jacksmith · Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Adviser
Hi Hunter. Two other VCs; Bill Gurley and Marc Andreessen have been open about their distaste for each other. Ben Horowitz says that Gurley once advised him to cut Andreesen out of their company. You seem like someone who would be hard to dislike. Have you made any enemies during your career, or heard of anyone disparaging you behind your back? - If so, how have you handled such situations?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@_jacksmith oh, i'm sure there are people who disagree with me to the point of disliking me. I actually don't have any problem with that so long as people are upfront about it and open to me trying to understand why we've reached that point. The only thing I can't stand are grinfuckers - people who smile at you and then talk shit behind your back. I think that usually comes from weakness and self-doubt so it's best to let those people just burn themselves out than make too big a deal about it. But if i felt like it was impacting my ability to get my job done or based on false statements, I'd confront them about it.
Drew
Drew@_vriesman · Purveyor of new products
@hunterwalk @_jacksmith borrowing "grinfuckers"!
Corey Rabazinski
Corey Rabazinski@coreyrab · SaaS marketer
Hi Hunter! You've mentioned YouTube's place in today's world a few times on Twitter. If you were still working there today, what one feature or product-direction would you champion?
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@coreyrab Great Q!
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@coreyrab it's really hard to go to youtube.com and have any idea of what's going on in the world right now. there's no watercooler aspect to it - what are people watching, discussing? i'd focus on that aspect and trying to give people a reason to come back to the site multiple times/day
Nathan Bashaw
Nathan Bashaw@nbashaw · Head of Product at Gimlet Media
Who illustrated your snazzy avatar?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@nbashaw i'll never tell you! (an artist in Ohio)
Mike Rosengarten
Mike Rosengarten@smasher5 · founder @ unknown
Phillip Yang
Phillip Yang@geekyyang
You're active on Twitter, and love engaging with others. I remember seeing you do a GIF/meme battle with Jason Calacanis before and loved it. Do you enjoy sessions like that? And, what's the best advice you can give to entrepreneurs/founders in utilizing Twitter?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@geeky_yang yup, love The Twitter. I do enjoy a little back and forth joking/sparring/debate but tend to not get into arguments or the 30 minute long sessions where everyone ends up talking past each other. For me it's quick hits of engagement - I use Nuzzel and Pocket to find/save content that I want to read later. re: utilizing Twitter, sometimes people get encouraged to be outrageous or controversial because that gets a reaction. Don't. Just be yourself. And if you're really trying to get someone to notice you, it's quality, not quantity, of those interactions IMO.
Adam Marx
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@hunterwalk @geeky_yang I've noticed this for sure. Some of the best interactions I've experienced are the sparring ones; keeps the mind sharp and the sense of humor always looking for the next gag ;)
Jack Hage
Jack Hage@jackpointnl · Sofware Developer
No question. Just a big thank you for your support and help with http://bioischanged.com !
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jackpointnl love that service!
jamestodd
jamestodd@jamestodd · Serial encourager and delighter
@jackpointnl Just registered!
rachel
rachel@serial_milk · co-founder, Kip
Hi Hunter, thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! With your experience in building product, what's the most important thing that people often miss or don't do in development?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@serial_milk people can sometimes lose sight of the "why" - why are we building this and is this feature the best way to accomplish the goal or are there other ways to proceed. Especially happens post v1 of a feature where the natural energy is to start thinking about v2
jamestodd
jamestodd@jamestodd · Serial encourager and delighter
@hunterwalk @serial_milk Wish I could upvote that answer more than once.
Eric Willis
Eric Willis@erictwillis · Working on something new
@hunterwalk Thanks for doing this AMA, Hunter. Do you have an anti-portfolio? Is there an investment that you decided not to make that you ended up regretting? Interested to know about some of the "ones that got away".
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@erictwillis i'm 100% positive that a great venture fund could be constructed on the back of the investments we've passed on! I'm told by industry vets that this is a good thing because it means we're seeing good opportunities and so long as we also think we've been able to invest in some special companies too (we do!) that we'll ultimately do quite well. to be more specific, there's no one or two companies that we passed on that I still kick myself about but there's one "loss" (founder decided to choose a different fund - for quite logical reasons) that I still think "darn, i wish he would have picked us!"
Sydney Liu
Sydney Liu@sydney_liu_sl · Co-Founder of Commaful.com
Hi Hunter! Thanks for doing this AMA. You're super public about all the tests in your life around productivity, including your calendar. What are your 3 favorite hacks? They can be life hacks, productivity hacks, Twitter hacks, investing hacks, product hacks, etc. Thanks and keep up the awesome tweets! Sydney
jamestodd
jamestodd@jamestodd · Serial encourager and delighter
@sydney_liu_sl @hunterwalk Bolting on to Sydney's question... also any favorite hackxperts?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@sydney_liu_sl 1. don't read any content is realtime unless it helps you make a decision immediately (ie all the blogs, news articles, etc etc - save them to Pocket and read them later) 2. don't fall into trap of confusing busy = productive. step back periodically and figure out whether you're getting the important stuff done. 3. life cannot be lived sustainably if you have only one passion. even if you're in a period of work where it's all consuming, find a small way to take periodic breaks during the day/week, even if it's just for a cup of coffee, walk around the block, meditation, whatever.
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@hunterwalk Any fun stories from your days at Second Life?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@russfrushtick in the early days we didn't have enough benefits budget to afford both a 401k plan and buy jerky for the office. We voted and decided that jerky was more important than a 401k because happy engineers could build more $ value than just putting our money into a retirement plan :)
Jonny Miller
Jonny Miller@jonnym1ller · Cofounder @Maptia
Hey @Hunterwalk, love your whatif's list (https://quip.com/rcLXASq4IbIj) – kudos for the transparency! Of the 28ish ideas on the list, which would you personally be most excited to help bring to life and why?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jonnym1ller on those it's not about my degree of personal passion but about the degree to which we're encountering founders with a really interesting controversial audacious view of the future! That said, it's been really fun to see folks take swings at the IMDB for Products because I do think we lose track of "who made what" and that giving people credit for contributions is important.
Chandra Kalle
Chandra Kalle@chandrakalle · Maker @orangecaffeine.com
Would love some quick thoughts on enterprise mobile - top trends you're seeing? how are tech founders with no in-roads trying to break in?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@chandrakalle what's most exciting for me in the enterprise is that lots of traditional industries are finally getting the benefit of consumer-quality, mobile, collaborative software. We've got an investment in the commercial construction space that is replacing horrible old enterprise software and spreadsheets.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello @hunterwalk I love your blog. Skimm has been able to create a consumer based very organically. What was that one thing about Skimm that made you invest in it? Personally, I like how Skimm has changes news for me. We are building something similar in fashion world. Any advice?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@neeeharika hi! The Skimm has been a great investment for us thus far and we really enjoy working with that team. I think Satya and I recognized its potential ahead of other venture investors because we'd seen at YouTube, Twitter and Google AdSense how large and profitable media businesses could be build around serving communities who felt like they weren't getting what they needed from current options. In this case three specific things struck us: 1) great founder<>market fit and a very talented, special cofounder team 2) loyal community and great engagement metrics from very early on 3) a readership demographic that would be very very attractive to sponsors, partners, etc
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@hunterwalk Jason Calcanis challenged people to build a better YouTube, in a famous 2013 blog post. Is there a sweetspot between YouTube and Mubi for creators of quality content, that showcases and monetizes only their best stuff?
Vytas Butkevicius
Vytas Butkevicius@vytasbu · Freelance designer
Hi @hunterwalk , thanks for AMA! As a non technical PM, I keep on struggling and have a couple of Q's related to "Ode to non tech PM" on Medium: how did you deal with tasks, projects that are very technical (e.g. infrastructure work)? Moreover, how do you talk about pure tech startups or solve problems in tech? Hope you have a great day!
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@vytasbu part of being a PM without an engineering background is picking the right projects. One which is heavy infrastructure focused might not be a good match. My recommendation when dealing w an especially technical piece of a project is to (a) not fake it if you don't understand - get things explained simply to you (b) ask really good questions which help frame the decisions and then let your engineers make the decisions. don't get in their way. (c) have a trusted relationship with your engineer counterpart (at google we used a product lead paired w an eng lead) because they can usually tell you when you're making a mistake or misunderstanding an issue
Mike Rosengarten
Mike Rosengarten@smasher5 · founder @ unknown
@hunterwalk @vytasbu great advice from Hunter. I love to hire both technical & non technical PMs. Diversity is great. There can be a huge advantage to NOT knowing how to build software at the 1's and 0's level. It often can help you focus on user experience. The most important thing is to build a relationship with the people you work with (across the company) with an emphasis on engineering (given that's a harder skill to grok).
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
@hunterwalk Hunter, what do you think has been missing from online education companies in order to be seriously considered as an alternative to regular school education? Also, what would make you invest in one of them? Thanks!
Jake Chapman
Jake Chapman@runvc · Partner, Sazze Partners
If you had to be a partner at a different VC firm, which one would you choose?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@runvc if Homebrew didn't exist, I think I'd be more likely to raise an AngelList syndicate or a small pool of capital and just invest on my own. Starting a fund is such a personal thing and a longterm commitment. There are lots of other VC firms I love to work with as co-investors but I'm just not sure I could imagine myself at anyone else's table.
Tomas Ruta
Tomas Ruta@tomasruta · 2x funded founder, 3x CMO VC-funded co's
@hunterwalk We have a product team and a growth team at my startup. Growth is responsible for acquisition and referrals, but responsibility for activation, retention and revenue is owned by neither team. Is there any "best" way for allocating ownership? I know there might be no good answer to this one..
Markus Stefanko
Markus Stefanko@mastef · Dood:Puzzle Planet,pitchXO,Tab Manager+
@tomasruta Another way to put this could be also how early in a startup you should focus on a 'customer success'-team?
chaz littlejohn
chaz littlejohn@chazdazzle · Founder, Pokeit.co
@hunterwalk Now that Jack Dorsey's back in the CEO spot at Twitter, what advice would you have for him moving forward?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@chazdazzle Jack doesn't need my help but the one thing, and he know this, is nothing sacred - you need to be willing to take a step or two back in order to move forward. also be really clear w the team. If there are people who aren't excited to make Twitter something bigger and slightly different than what it is today, they should leave.
Markus Stefanko
Markus Stefanko@mastef · Dood:Puzzle Planet,pitchXO,Tab Manager+
@hunterwalk Thanks for doing this AMA! A big amount of PH makers are from outside the states, yet the biggest rounds are still CA based. When non-US founders pack their bags and travel to the states for a few weeks to raise funds for their baby - what's your proposed "tour-de-CA" to maximize their chances; any trends you've spotted that work better for non-US companies in the Valley?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@mastef hi! great question but hard for me to answer since we only invest in early stage US companies. My sense is that founder from outside the US have to address a bunch of spoken and unspoken concerns from potential investors. One of the unspoken issues is "how do i know the team is good" so figuring out ways to convey how top notch the team quality is probably gets you part of the way.
Markus Stefanko
Markus Stefanko@mastef · Dood:Puzzle Planet,pitchXO,Tab Manager+
@hunterwalk @mastef Simple and actionable advice. Thank you!
Preethi Rao
Preethi Rao@preethiprao · Cofounder, YoDay
@mastef @hunterwalk Non-US companies look at the Valley as the hidden city of Gold! From what I have heard, I feel its about reaching out to the right people at the right time - and most importantly LUCK! Do you agree? In addition, the foreign policies restrict funds from streaming out to Non-US/Non-EU companies (in our case startups!).
Pedram Daraeizadeh
Pedram Daraeizadeh@pedramdara · Product Management and Marketing
@hunterwalk beside the money itself, what other things you do to help improve the products of those startups you invest in? For example do you work with advisors outside of Homebrew's core team?
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@hunterwalk Do you think Vessel (paid early access to YouTube stars) will be a success? Why or why not?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@prcary team there is very smart but i also think it's very difficult to create distribution windows around moving community-driven content from its native platform (YouTube) to another platform. If Vessel is successful IMO it'll be because they were able to license/create new types of programming from these creators and/or a consumption/community experience that's different from YouTube, Vine, etc
Steven Cruz
Steven Cruz@thecruziest · Finance, Shapeways
@hunterwalk How does Homebrew (being a smaller firm without analysts/associates) go about sourcing deals?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@thecruziest it's all about being one of a handful of funds that a founder (or advisor/friend to the founder) thinks they want to work with. quantitatively, about 65% of our deal flow comes via intros from other founders/operators, 25% from other investors, 5% service providers (lawyers, agencies, etc) and 10% inbound/outbound direct.
Chris Kurdziel
Chris Kurdziel@ckurdziel · Product @ Vimeo
@hunterwalk Hey Hunter - thanks for taking the time to do this with the community here! My question is about seed and even pre-seed stage companies: Both you and Satya come from operating backgrounds - what do you find your portfolio needs the most help with at these early stages (assuming recruiting is probably #1 but anything else like building process/culture for growth)? Recognizing that not every founder has every quality necessary to scale a company to $1B+, what traits in a company do you think can be taught (via mentorship, help from investors, etc) and which ones have to be inherent in the founders from day 1?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@ckurdziel we think great companies start from early on thinking about three things: product, distribution, team. we found that during our first two years we were under resourced on team thinking and that was taking a lot of our time, so we brought on a Head of Talent this summer who is working w the portfolio in both tactical and strategic ways to ensure every company we invest in is able to move quickly and skillfully in their hiring practices.
Justin F Harris
Justin F Harris@justinfharris · Co-Founder, Beehive
Hey Hunter thanks for doing this AMA. Will you be doing more "5 Questions With" on your blog? (Really enjoyed those) At what stage do you prefer entrepreneurs reach out so you can review and see a products growth before making a funding decision?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@justinfharris thanks - i really enjoy the five questions stuff too. I think i'm going to do more of them in the future because a friend just agreed to work w me a few hours a week to help figure out interesting people to ask, etc. I don't want to just highlight the folks everyone already knows. i don't necessarily need to see product growth but i like seeing something when it's no longer just an "idea" or something you might work on, but you feel like you're starting to get the results you want from building/testing and committing to make it a company.
Daniel Singer
Daniel Singer@danielsinger · X6 Fleet Manager at @pandastartup 🐼
Favorite Twitter Personality?
Daniel Singer
Daniel Singer@danielsinger · X6 Fleet Manager at @pandastartup 🐼
@danielsing3r it worked this time :P
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
Ryan Block
Ryan Block@ryan · Cofounder of Begin
I've been fascinated by the big rise in early stage specific investors (like Homebrew) at the same time as the "series A crunch" reality. This seems like a right balancing of capital deployment by the investor market, but I also wonder whether you feel like this also has made for a situation where some interesting, but less likely-seeming companies get locked out of buying more time to figure things out? (Please also feel free to speak to Chamath's post yesterday -- not that I'm calling you a bro. https://www.theinformation.com/b...)
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@ryan hi ryan! i haven't read Chamath's post (or The Information report) yet but have it in Pocket! Regarding your question, so the most useful things for entrepreneurs in my opinion would be more alternatives of early stage capital where venture returns aren't the goal. I'm not worried about high growth startups not being able to find Series A capital - I haven't seen any of our companies struggled to raise their A round when we thought they were ready to do so. I do think there could be a host of software SMBs - let's call them startups which settle at <50 employees and are profitable ongoing but don't (and maybe shouldn't) focus on hypergrowth. If I wasn't "part of the problem" (Homebrew seeks venture returns), I'd think a bit about how to better classify, identify and fund these types of businesses too.
What's are the 3 most sci-fi-esque technologies you're excited about investing in? And how do you decide to invest in something you may not have domain expertise in?
Mike Rosengarten
Mike Rosengarten@smasher5 · founder @ unknown
What is the most surprising thing you've experienced in raising your fund @ Homebrew?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@smasher5 hi Mike! that raising a venture fund is just like raising for a startup. you take a lot of meetings and look for investors who seems like good partners. When we were raising Fund 1, some LPs thought the fact there were two of us (satya, hunter) was great - in their mind partnerships work better for smaller funds. Others said they prefer single GP seed funds. we've raised two funds so far - third will be in 2017/18 likely. First fund felt like raising a seed round (based on reputation and pitch). Second fund felt more like an A round (momentum!). Third will be more like a B round (metrics!).
Mike Hince
Mike Hince@zer0mike · Freelance UI Designer Founder Howler.co
Hey, How important is it to work for a company the size of Google etc to kick off a tech/startup career?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@zer0mike if you have the chance to work at one or two "transformative" large tech companies, the best thing you get is exposure to lots of other smart people. Over the course of a career in tech, these folks will also go on to do great stuff and hopefully remain your friends, employees, managers, investors, etc etc etc. I also think being at a rocketship-like company gives you an appreciation for what can go right. there's lots of post-mortems, etc on how many things can go wrong at companies, but if you've seen things go right you get some skills, some muscle memory for that too.
Michael Babich
Michael Babich@michaelbabich · Entrepreneur, hacker, and traveler.
@hunterwalk Like reading your tweets. Thanks for the AMA session. What is your POV on investment in European companies having no US office? What is in your opinion the best strategy to attract US money from Europe? Is moving to the US the only option to appreciate US seed stage investments?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@michaelbabich fortunately i think there are more venture funds looking outside the US, either from their US offices or w dedicated intl funds/JVs. Because of our size and model Homebrew can't do this yet - we invest solely in US/Canada so that we don't stretch ourselves too thin. So i don't have specific advice for you unfortunately :(
Bernard O'bien
Bernard O'bien@bernard_o_bien
Hi @HunterWalk, Thanks for doing this. What are the 3 things you look for in niche investments? What personal attribute(s) will you say has helped you be successful?
Jeff Needles
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
@hunterwalk What's the best way to evolve in the venture industry? Either as an individual or a firm/fund becoming more accredited/well known? 👊
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jsneedles hi jeff - what do you mean by "Evolve?"
Jeff Needles
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
@hunterwalk How to either increase awareness or improve stature/standing if you're already in the biz 😻 or get started.
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jsneedles ah got it. i think it's important to stand for something. There are so many sources of capital, that just being a checkbook won't get you far. Have a POV on why you're in this business. Oh and bet on winning companies - nothing helps more than perception of success ;)
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
ok, clock is striking 11am PT and i'm audi 5000. thanks everyone for these great questions. See you on The Twitter!
SaraReyChipps
SaraReyChipps@sarajchipps · Jewelbots, CEO
I know you're super conscious of optimizing your calendar, so I have a calendar related question. I've been considering marking off times for meetings then sending people links so they can reserve time on my calendar. I have had people do that to me before and it feels a little cold even though I understand why they do it. It would ultimately save me a significant amount of time. What are your thoughts?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@sarajchipps for whatever reason, the design and framing of those tools strikes me as cold when I encounter them too. In theory I don't think it's a bad idea I just wonder how it can be presented to folks in a less transactional way. Definitely block off "maker time" though.
Drew
Drew@_vriesman · Purveyor of new products
Current CPA trying to break into VC. Nothing seems to be working!! I feel like I need to pivot and become an engineer or something to get a more technical background. Thoughts?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@_vriesman_ best way to break into VC is to have a successful 5+ year career on the operating side at promising companies that you've started or joined (and made an impact).
Phil Hayes-St Clair
Phil Hayes-St Clair@philhsc · CEO, AirShr
@hunterwalk to what extent do you think it's useful for founders to share their start up journey on blogs (eg like Marc Barros)? Does having access to this insight help you as a VC to create a more complete picture of a founder?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@philhsc I think of it this way: it helps me understand and observe the evolution of their thinking and also gives me a sense of whether they're an entrepreneur who I think could be a good match for us from a communication, values, motivation standpoint.
Sahil Kinha
Sahil Kinha@jaatscanfly · fanboy
Hi @hunterwalk , many thanks for being here! Can we expect to see Homebrew investing in India / SE Asia any time soon? If yes, I might have something big for you here in India? :P
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jaatscanfly thanks for the kind words but we're staying concentrated in the US for now. challenge of being a small fund!
orliesaurus
orliesaurus@orliesaurus · Lasers handler
@hunterwalk what do you think of the trend of teams building more and more often remote teams? what's your take on immigration of talented individuals to the U.S. being held back by current laws - when will we see/who will be able to accomplish a breakthrough?
Sahil Kinha
Sahil Kinha@jaatscanfly · fanboy
Hey @hunterwalk , you're one of the more prominent faces among the VCs of the US on twitter and medium.. is there a conscious effort to do so? If yes, is that from your side or Homebrew as a whole? And have you seen any direct benefits come out of this in terms of dealflow, or otherwise?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jaatscanfly first, I love to write and converse in this way so the fact that these tools exist make me really happy. Love the realtime feedback, love the fact that so many different voices can be heard, etc. When I was at google i had to be more careful because i didn't want anything to be taken out of context as "google executive says...." - now it's more freeing. From a Homebrew standpoint, I guess my hope would be that people who don't know us yet can get a feeling of who we are. I don't want to try and be all things to all people but if we can help some people say "hey, he said some interesting stuff about XYZ, maybe I'd like to tell him about my startups (or work that cool company he mentioned)" then yeah, it's great for Homebrew.
Tuan Le
Tuan Le@tuanl34
@hunterwalk: Thanks for taking off your time to do this chat. A couple of questions for you: 1. What is your best personal investment up to date? Why did you choose to be a VC rather than activist/public investor? 2. How did you come up with the kinda weird name "Homebrew" for your firm? Why HomeBrew over your career at YouTube? 3. The biggest regret you have had in your investment journey so far?
Kevin Navarrete
Kevin Navarrete@knavarrete91
@hunterwalk hello there ! Just wanted to say thank you for always tweeting interesting things I can learn everyday. I just wanted to ask what career advice do you give young people ?
Adam Marx
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
Hey Hunter, thanks for doing the AMA! I ask this question a lot on AMA's, but I'm curious at the different responses: for you, what makes a person or team simply magnetic? Also, which bands are you diggin this week? (We shall come back to this one on Twitter later ha \m/ ).
Mike Rosengarten
Mike Rosengarten@smasher5 · founder @ unknown
@hunterwalk many VCs say that they want to work with an entrepreneur for the long haul. In your experience (first and secondhand), how often do you see a VC firm back a founder that failed a second time? Third time?
Leah Faul
Leah Faul@leahfaul · Program Manager
@hunterwalk What do your believe are the keys to success in launching and owning your own business? I have read so many books on this and there are so many things to remember, I am curious to what you think is the MOST important, especially starting out.
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@leahfaul to be working on something that you can imagine doing for at least 10 years and to never compromise on the quality of people you work with. If something doesn't feel right about a person, or if they're not getting the job done, get rid of them. Nothing dooms new ventures faster than bad teams.
Mohsen Khalkhali
Mohsen Khalkhali@mossibat · Venture investor @ Iratel Ventures
@hunterwalk Great to have you here. What is the one thing that a new VC should do in a new ecosystem to help the founders flourish and succeed?
Andrew Bass
Andrew Bass@andrewdbass · Startup junkie and improving hacker
@hunterwalk can you tell me about the best examples of early stage marketing that you have seen?
George Stocker
George Stocker@gortok · VP Software Engineering, Jewelbots
Why is there such a dichotomy between funding for Hardware startups and funding for Software startups? With software startups it's generally about eyeballs (MAU), whether or not there's a business plan or revenue model in place for those eyeballs. We also generally see a lot of software startups getting funded even though there is no clear business plan in place. The typical refrain is "We'll monetize it later!" With hardware startups, investors typically want to see 'traction', which presents some sort of chicken and egg problem: Without a product out the door you can't really show traction, and without investor funding, you can't get the product out the door (this is a broad generalization; the supposition is that money gives you time and let's you get the product out the door faster than not having that money would). Couple the desire for 'traction' with an actual business and monetization plan, and it feels like there is a dichotomy (or gulf) between the criteria for investing in a hardware startup vs. a software startup. What gives? (Full disclosure, I work for a hardware startup; but I don't speak for them).
Preethi Rao
Preethi Rao@preethiprao · Cofounder, YoDay
Hi Hunter! With the years of experience in judging a good & bad startup - have you ever felt that you made a wrong choice/decision?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@preethiprao oh all the time - i hope that it's mostly false negatives and not false positives! :) i'd also be disappointed if we weren't good judges of people - ie end up backing folks that make poor choices later on in terms of values, ethics. ultimately though we're going to be wrong fairly often - but I can root for lots of companies to succeed, even if I don't always invest in them.
Mike Rosengarten
Mike Rosengarten@smasher5 · founder @ unknown
@hunterwalk what is the most innovative technology you've been pitched? (Vision for the technology counts, too, if that's easier)? Really curious to hear about 5yr+ horizon tech/vis.
Sahil Kinha
Sahil Kinha@jaatscanfly · fanboy
@hunterwalk What is your relationship with @sacca like? He has some pretty strong opinions about Twitter- do you remember an instance when Chris and you strongly disagreed with each other on something wrt twitter?
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@jaatscanfly i've known @sacca since probably around 2004/5 since we both worked at google. he's always been generous, helpful and 100% consistent with me. I'm sure there's stuff we disagree on but fundamentally I'm super proud to call him a friend.
Chris Sacca
Chris Sacca@sacca · Chairman, Lowercase Capital
@hunterwalk @jaatscanfly If word gets out that @hunterwalk and I have too much in common, my rep will be irreparably tarnished. That said, his shirts could use an upgrade. Amirite?
Kedar
Kedar@kkhire · Founder of Pedal
Hey Hunter, I'm a big fan of Homebrew's Bottom Up Economy thesis. It's becoming increasingly clear that technology/software is making life easier/better for SMB's. My question to you is, what are some strategies that you or someone you've worked with has employed to connect with managers/owners of local businesses? (I've found that in most cases, they are not the most tech-literate people)
Mike Rosengarten
Mike Rosengarten@smasher5 · founder @ unknown
@hunterwalk thanks for answering all of these questions! Do you believe founders should include a slide on their recruiting strategy (e.g. access to talent) or talk to these points when pitching?
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Thanks for being here and taking the time to talk with the PH community!! Much appreciated :)
Genia
Genia@gmiinko · Executive -Blockchain Research Institute
@hunterwalk can you please elaborate on why you believe CEO compensation is to blame for "short termism" vs Wall St expectations? aren't CEOs beholden to shareholder expectations? (is this not a chicken and egg problem?)
Carmel DeAmicis
Carmel DeAmicis@carmeldea · Figma
Hai Hunter! Is Homebrew funding Klout's Joe Fernandez's next endeavor? 😜