Matt Mazzeo

Matt Mazzeo

Managing Director, Lowercase Capital

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 19, 2015

Discussion

Hi, Product Hunt team! I'm Matt Mazzeo, Managing Director of Lowercase Capital. My partner @sacca and I find, back, and support early stage teams across the startup landscape. We invest across almost every segment. A few of our more recent investments are Mobcrush, Mark43, Dubsmash, Medium, Makespace, InVenture, Digital Genius, Slack, and Next Games in addition to the teams at Uber, Stripe, Twitter, Instagram, and Docker. Before Lowercase, I was an agent at Creative Artists Agency, helping clients at one of the largest entertainement and sports agencies build businesses in tech. Die hard LA Kings and Lakers fan. Part time LA sushi tour guide.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's something you and Sacca disagree on?
Abe Storey
Abe Storey@abe_storey · Entrepreneur & Growth Marketer
@mazzeo What is 1 thing that you hate to see founders do/say during an initial VC meeting and 1 thing you love? What advice would you give to your 18 yr old self? Thank you for taking the time do this PHLive today :)
Sydney Liu
Sydney Liu@sydney_liu_sl · Co-Founder of Commaful.com
Hi Matt! Thanks for doing this AMA! Keep up the awesome tweets and streams (on both Periscope and Meerkat!) As a VC, you have to manage a lot on your plate (from meetings to emails and more!) What are the top 3 hacks that you have discovered? These can be life hacks, productivity hacks, relationship hacks, email hacks, growth hacks, etc. Thanks! Sydney
Jeff Needles
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
@mazzeo How did you feel about being so heavily featured in StartUp season 1? Did you listen back? How did it make you feel? I for one HATE watching/hearing myself... #EphemeralContent #LIVEorNEVER
James Wilsterman
James Wilsterman@jameswilsterman · Founder @ (925)
For consumer/social products, what stage do you guys like to invest? + Founder with an idea? + Founder with a prototype? + Private beta w/ a 10 - 100 users? + Public / pre-launch beta w/ 100 - 1000 users? + Launched w/ press and traction? For entrepreneurs, which of the above tends to be the right point to take investment?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Hi Matt, thanks for joining us today. To what extent does having Chris Sacca enhance the deal flow at LowerCase? Would love to have you on @twentyminutevc big fan following your mention on @abexlumberg Startup!
Jason Mercer
Jason Mercer@jasoncmercer · co-founder of cooler
@mazzeo for a social startup, what is the minimum level of traction you would need to see in order to take a meeting? Could the product still be in private beta, or would you want to see public product available first?
Kiel Berry
Kiel Berry@kielberry
VC is a busy world. What do you do to relax or step back to get perspective?
Kamil
Kamil@kamilszybalski · Growth Entrepreneur. Was @Hootsuitelabs
Hi Matt, wondering what you're currently reading and what's on your bookshelf?
Philip Skogsberg
Philip Skogsberg@philip_skogsberg
Hi Matt. What are one or two things entrepreneurs can learn from VCs like yourself (coming from the perspective of being investors and managers etc)?
Daniel Bulygin
Daniel Bulygin@bulygind · Founder @ novacast.io
@mazzeo When looking at two-sided marketplaces, what are the key aspects you look for before investing (1) your time and (2) your money?
Divraj
Divraj@divraj · divraj.com
@mazzeo how will VR change media / news ? what will be some of the first applications ?
Lyle McKeany
Lyle McKeany@lylemckeany · growth marketer
@mazzeo I like to flip the "What advice would you give your younger self?" question on its head. So, what advice would your younger self give to you today?
Danielle Newnham
Danielle Newnham@daniellenewnham · Founder, The Junto Network. Author
In your experience, what are the biggest similarities / differences between Hollywood and world of tech?
Cody Bierman
Cody Bierman @codybierman77
@mazzeo Hi Matt, thanks so much for doing this AMA! What do you think we will see go mainstream in our society first: Drones, Bitcoin, or Autonomous Cars? Which one are you most excited for? If you ever have the time, We'd love to have you come speak at General Assembly here in Los Angeles.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hi @mazzeo great to meet you here. I have 2 questions 1) Whats the story behind the name lowercase capital find it a really clever one. 2) Every startup tries to disrupt an existing industry which one according to you has been able to disrupt the most rigid industry successfully. Thanks!
Justin Scheetz
Justin Scheetz@justinscheetz · Founder, Boxy Studio
@mazzeo Hey Matt! What's the MOST important and LEAST important criteria you look for when deciding to take a new startup under your wing?
Hey @mazzeo thanks for doing this. I have two questions for you: 1) What are your favorite books and tech blogs to read? 2) What investment that you made in the last year are you most excited about?
Ivan Raiklin
Ivan Raiklin@ivan_raiklin
@mazzeo best Sushi in San Fran next time I am there and can I buy you dinner?
Matt
Matt@matsag123 · Strategy
Hi @mazzeo, it seems you've done very few investments in healthcare. Why is that? Thanks!
Casey Ayars
Casey Ayars@caseyayars · VP, Victory Agency
@mazzeo What recent purchase of $100 or less has had a significant positive impact on your life?
Moritz Lampkemeyer
Moritz Lampkemeyer@moritzlampkemeyer · content & marketing @FastBill.com
@mazzeo What top personal skills do you expect from startup founders?
Rob Bye
Rob Bye@robjbye · I build products and companies
We design physical products for startups. What do you think the main difference/challenges between a physical vs digital startup is?
david grossblatt
david grossblatt@dmgrossblatt · Coach @foundersdojo
New Tech and new media has elevated the SF bay area. Recently we have been hearing more about Silicon Beach and tech happening in LA. Will Los Angeles take over as the Alpha CA city again? If so when?
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
@mazzeo Lowercase seems like a two man powerhouse with just you and @sacca running it... I can only imagine you have discussed expanding the team, how have those convos gone?
Andrew Lee
Andrew Lee@2drewlee · CEO @PurseIO
Hi Matt, do you have a view on Bitcoin / blockchain? What's kept Lowercase from investing in that space?
Kelly Taylor
Kelly Taylor@ktinboulder · Product at U.S. Digital Service
@2drewlee @mazzeo - and do you see Blockchain playing a role in content distribution / copyright a few years from now?
Mubashar Iqbal
Mubashar Iqbal@mubashariqbal · I design, I develop, I make.
How much, if any, consideration do you put on the location of Startup when thinking about investing in it?
Dylan Smith
Dylan Smith@dielawn714 · Founder
@mazzeo Real question, this time around : If your startup is a service, and you plan on scaling and being profitable from the beginning, what would YOUR motives or reasoning be, behind looking for VC or Angel funding? What would you do with the money when you technically don't need it?
Dre Durr💡
Dre Durr💡@dredurr · Growth is the only thing that matters
@mazzeo You are the first live AMA for ProductHunt! You are kinda a big deal So I am going to ask you 2 questions you can only answer on video. 1. What does the homescreen of your smartphone look like? 2. What is in your pocket right now?
Marc Seitz
Marc Seitz@mfts0 · CTO at @Hackerbay
For everyone that missed the live video AMA with @mazzeo, here’s the direct link to Blab where you can replay it =) https://blab.im/product-hunt-pro... I love Blab!!
Avery Haskell
Avery Haskell@averyhaskell · Stanford Computer Science
Matt, what does it mean to be a hustler?
Sol Weinreich
Sol Weinreich@solfrombrooklyn · Founder MINR
Hey, Matt, it's great to see you here on Ph/Blab. What's​ the one investment you're most proud of and how did you find the deal?
Vinay Mimani
Vinay Mimani@wiredmau5 · Founder : trbble
@mazzeo Hi Matt! If "someone" were to pitch a music discovery website to you, is there something specific that would get you excited, for example maybe a gamification angle to it, or a more "Twitter" like setting. Also, what's doing the rounds on your playlist currently? Thanks for your time.
V.S.VIVEK
V.S.VIVEK@vsvivek93 · Unoccupied
@mazzeo Hello! Thank you For taking out time for this. What was the criteria for funding Gimlet media when Alex offered only the idea and the roadmap to you? Do VC firms consider a startup in its ideation stage with a complete roadmap, is it worth the shot ? And lastly, What do you look in a entrepreneur before forming a relationship with them?
Justin F Harris
Justin F Harris@justinfharris · Co-Founder, Beehive
Hello @mazzeo Thanks for doing this AMA, amazing work with your career and Lowercase. How do you think your background with CAA and media has helped you ? When do you prefer for companies and founders connect with you to get on your radar?
Phillip Yang
Phillip Yang@geekyyang
Hi @mazzeo - Thanks for doing this. As a VC at Lowercase, what would you say is the best approach for entrepreneurs to seek out yourself or Chris Sacca? Also, second question: Thoughts on Chris's beard? It seems to be more and more mesmerizing? :)
Joe Beninato
Joe Beninato@beninato · CEO, FounderLine
@mazzeo Has Lowercase done any investments in the "conversational commerce" space? For example Magic, Assist, Operator, etc. What's your take on that area of text-based assistants and commerce?
Kevin Bastien
Kevin Bastien@kevinjbastien · iOS Engineer @ Nike
Hey! @mazzeo thank you for doing this AMA. How did you get started in VC? and how did you become a managing director at Lowercase?
Ivan Raiklin
Ivan Raiklin@ivan_raiklin
Cant see from mobile? Bummer. Wanted to give a shout out to @mazzeo for being a pioneer!
Craig Stanford
Craig Stanford@craigstanford · Co-Founder & VP of BizDev @ StageHound
What are your top three sushi spots in LA? In SF?
Anwaar Ansari
Anwaar Ansari@anwaaramjad · Student
@mazzeo Are there any investment opportunites you regret missing?
Jacob Catalano
Jacob Catalano@jgcatalano · Founder
@mazzeo what are some KPIs you look for when investing in a consumer app at the seed stage?
Adam Marx
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
Hey @mazzeo thanks for doin the AMA! A lot of VCs and journalists say they look for "out-of-the-box" thinking and teams; what would be something about a team that you would find "out-of-the-box" but also intriguing/attractive?
Danny Espinoza
Danny Espinoza@abcdannye · Founder @looksyvideo
Hi @mazzeo chatted with you live on MK at SXSW and was impressed by your approachability, interest in hearing pitches and doling out free advice :) do you think these qualities help set Lowercase apart from other similar firms? What is your secret sauce?
dovey
dovey@doveywan · Investor - Danhua Capital
@mazzeo hey Matt, is Chris still picking deals? how come you guys can manage and scan so many early stage deals with only 2 partners? do you really sleep??? We started our first fund with 90+M asset understand management and still learning how to be on top of everything since our team is very small (4 of us)
Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M.@leasemolina · Tech & music for life. Boring Attorney.
Hi @mazzeo. What was your first job?
Jonny Miller
Jonny Miller@jonnym1ller · Cofounder @Maptia
@mazzeo what's one thing that you have changed your mind on in the past year?
Aashay Mody
Aashay Mody@aashaymody · Growth @ Astro
how important do you think it is to have founded/worked at a startup before joining the VC game?
Alisha Ramos
Alisha Ramos@alishalisha · Product Design Director @ Vox Media
Hi Matt. Is it a must for a team at the seed stage to have a working prototype when seeking funding from early stage investors? If not, what do you look for?
Dylan Smith
Dylan Smith@dielawn714 · Founder
@mazzeo Do people tell you all the time, that you look like the silicone valley version of Macklemore?
@ThoriumWealth
@ThoriumWealth@thoriumwealth · President Thorium Wealth Management
@mazzeo What level of revenue potential do you look for in a potential investment?
Josh Boldt
Josh Boldt@joshboldt · Dev Intern, Astronomer
@mazzeo What is the coolest trend you are interested in right now?
@ThoriumWealth
@ThoriumWealth@thoriumwealth · President Thorium Wealth Management
What is the best lesson you have learned from one of the misses that you were really excited about?
Emil Sheth
Emil Sheth@esheth
How has LC managed to stay so lean (as a team) and get into so many amazing deals and scale the business to extraordinary levels?
Abhishek Jain
Abhishek Jain@abhij89 · Software Developer at Triberr
@mazzeo Hey Matt, can you please suggest what is the good time to start pitching the start up idea to investors? Is there a criteria or we can just start presenting even if it isn't developed?
Rakesh Agrawal
Rakesh Agrawal@rakeshagrawal · Founder, SnapStream + Investor
What do you think about investment opportunities outside of the typical cities of Silicon Valley, LA, New York, Seattle, etc?
John Reynolds
John Reynolds@reynolds_wrap · director
hey @mazzeo: have a VC seasonality" question. Is there actively investing window for new capital vs slow period when to stay away...how can an outsider determine when the ideal "timing" window to reach out to VCs ...thx