Sarah Tavel

Partner at Greylock investing in consumer businesses and the consumerization of IT

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON December 15, 2015


Sarah Tavel@sarahtavel · General Partner, Benchmark
Hi – my name is Sarah Tavel, partner at Greylock partners. Before Greylock, I was one of 35 first employees at Pinterest where I drove product for search, recommendation, machine vision and pin quality, and led three acquisitions when the company scaled through a period of hyper growth. I can speak to everything from investing to scaling companies in both enterprise and consumer. I’m delighted to be here – ask me anything!
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Sarah! Why did you decide to move from product to VC? (this is something I considered before starting Product Hunt)
Nick Creegan@njcreegan
@sarahtavel Hi Sarah, thanks for joining! When you joined Greylock Partners, David Sze and James Slavet said that you “saw things in Pinterest that [they] missed”. How do you protect your beliefs in a product, like Pinterest, among those that do not share your vision? And what are your top recommendations for persuading others of the merit of those ideas?
River Place@riversplace · Co-founder & CEO of Hiccup
Can you please go a little more in-depth on Pinterest scaling through that period of hyper growth. Roadmap? Timeline? Key takeaways? Thank you!
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
What's the most common mistake companies make when scaling?
alex kwon@alexyoungkwon · oneminute
Sarah! Early stage investing, from what I hear, is a leap of faith. What about a team, or a product, makes you take that leap?
Kingsong Chen@kingsongchen · Dev
Hi Sarah, what are some interesting ways you have seen network-effect business attract users?
Phil Nguyen@p_ngu · The Daily Water Cooler + Vettery
Hey @sarahtavel! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions. Have two questions for you: 1. Loved your writing on dollars vs. minutes (, but noticed you focused on Series A funding. Does the investor shift towards "dollars" away from "minutes" still apply for later stage companies too? 2. Regarding your other writing on GIFs (, what's your favorite GIF?
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hi! Having focused on consumers this much, what do you think are the things that drive people to action? (donate, buy, share)
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@sarahtavel What is the craziest thing you've seen in a pitch?
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Is there anyone in the world of VC that you envy? Not for their success, but rather an intangible you maybe wish you had.
Vazgen Hakobjanyan@vhakobjanyan · Co-founder @
Whats your opinion on scaling teams in growth stage companies ? What is your advice/experience to it right ?
Rui Delgado@rui · Tech Entrepreneur • Consultant • TV Nerd
@sarahtavel What do you think would be the priority at Greylock Partners in 2016? Are you looking to invest more in ecommerce-related tech companies?
Felix Do@felixwdo · Graphic Designer, Apttus
@sarahtavel Thank you for doing this. I am currently working on a web app involving Non-profits/Charities and athletes (whether that be professional or amateur). It has been difficult to reach out and get a response from decision makers of non-profits (only few have responded to my LinkedIn messages), do you have an idea of how and which form of contact is appropriate? Thanks in advance.
Arpit Gupta@arpitgupta · Product Manager
@sarahtavel What are some of the conferences/events that you really like to attend and recommend others to attend as well?
Steven Cruz@thecruziest · Finance, Shapeways
What led you to go back into the venture world (since you originally left Bessemer to join Pinterest) ?
Cobby Amoah@cobbyamoah · CEO, Peach
@sarahtavel what are your thoughts on BYOD in healthcare in regards to patient data safety and does Greylock support startups built on BYOD in healthcare?
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What are your favourited books?
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@sarahtavel What are you most proud of across your career to date? What has surprised you most about the different roles and path you've taken?
Tobe ET@tobeet5
can you talk a little bit about your experience in seed funding in Greylock ?