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The Twenty Minute VC: Josh Stein, Partner @ DFJ

Why VCs must adapt to their founders

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Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@dfjjosh is Partner @DFJvc where his current board responsibilities include Box (NYSE: BOX), Chartbeat, @LaunchDarkly, LendKey, @SugarCRM, and previous guests with me on @SaaStr in Periscope and Talkdesk. He is also actively involved with the firm’s investments in @AngelList, @Doximity and @Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) just to name a few. Prior to joining DFJ, Josh was a VP at Telephia, where he managed a group providing strategic analysis and information to the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Previously, Josh was a co-founder for ViaFone (NYSE: SY), a DFJ portfolio company and a leading provider of wireless enterprise applications. Josh met the DFJ team when the firm co-led ViaFone’s Series A investment. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Josh made his way from the world of operations to Partner @ DFJ? 2.) How does Josh analyze the VC/ Founder fit? How does Josh look to build trust and transparency in that relationship? What is an example of how Josh has changed his style to fit the character of an entrepreneur? 3.) Question from @GSands: What did Josh see in the early days of @BoxHQ with a young Aaron @Levie, what was it that made him so excited? 4.) Question from @MamoonHa @Social Capital: Looking at Box today, what will it take for Box to 10x their value? What needs to happen in the market? What needs to happen to the product roadmap? 5.) Question from @JasonLk @SaaStr: How is it that we are seeing companies like TalkDesk and Twilio grow at a rate never seen before in today’s SaaS environment? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Josh’s Fave Blog: TermSheet by @eringriffith Josh’s Fave Book: Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success Josh’s Most Recent Investment: LaunchDarkly by @edith_h
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Harry Stebbings
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@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@dfjjosh is Partner @DFJvc where his current board responsibilities include Box (NYSE: BOX), Chartbeat, @LaunchDarkly, LendKey, @SugarCRM, and previous guests with me on @SaaStr in Periscope and Talkdesk. He is also actively involved with the firm’s investments in @AngelList, @Doximity and @Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) just to name a few. Prior to joining DFJ, Josh was a VP at Telephia, where he managed a group providing strategic analysis and information to the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Previously, Josh was a co-founder for ViaFone (NYSE: SY), a DFJ portfolio company and a leading provider of wireless enterprise applications. Josh met the DFJ team when the firm co-led ViaFone’s Series A investment. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Josh made his way from the world of operations to Partner @ DFJ? 2.) How does Josh analyze the VC/ Founder fit? How does Josh look to build trust and transparency in that relationship? What is an example of how Josh has changed his style to fit the character of an entrepreneur? 3.) Question from @GSands: What did Josh see in the early days of @BoxHQ with a young Aaron @Levie, what was it that made him so excited? 4.) Question from @MamoonHa @Social Capital: Looking at Box today, what will it take for Box to 10x their value? What needs to happen in the market? What needs to happen to the product roadmap? 5.) Question from @JasonLk @SaaStr: How is it that we are seeing companies like TalkDesk and Twilio grow at a rate never seen before in today’s SaaS environment? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Josh’s Fave Blog: TermSheet by @eringriffith Josh’s Fave Book: Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success Josh’s Most Recent Investment: LaunchDarkly by @edith_h
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
Great episode from @harrystebbings this week. One of the things that I love about @dfjjosh's perspective is his understanding that part of his job is to acclimate to what each of his founders needs. Flexibility, and being attuned to different roles in different scenarios, is a winning mindset. It tells founders that their vision and strategy play key roles, without losing the advisory aspect of the relationship which is so critical. Particularly enjoyed Josh's discussion of working with @levie on @BoxHQ. So much of mutually beneficial relationships is being able to see and accept someone who operates almost parallel to your style, and being able to make that difference work for the company in a bigger way. As Josh points out, even if this leads to a difference of opinion, it's important that there's active communication (what he calls "listening and then internalizing") and the ability to avoid making the same mistakes multiple times. Diving deeper into discussions on what made the Box founders attractive, several major themes present themselves: 1) Clear intellect 2) Palpable passion for their product 3) Drive, drive, drive This episode has really been one of the highlights of my week so far.