August 5, 2020
Speed is often the secret weapon, especially when adjusting to and tackling a crisis. Credited with launching the Lean Startup movement, eight-time entrepreneur-turned-educator Steve Blank joins NFX partner James Currier and shares counterintuitive advice for how startups should be thinking right now. Steve says "don't waste a good crisis" and discusses how to find opportunity in disruption. He's changed how startups are built, how entrepreneurship is taught, how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate. Startups specifically need to speed up and put the pedal to the metal. It’s tough love time - if anyone at your organization is still operating under the old normal, consider one of the two P’s - pivot or part ways! Listen to how Steve breaks down how Founders can navigate an extended crisis and why now is the time to innovate. Read more at -
August 4, 2020
As a Founder, having a strong sense of direction, purpose, and context for what you are doing every day gives you an advantage. Finding the deeper meaning gives you speed and power. Your work matters. But to see how it does clearly requires us to step outside of the caves of our day-to-day lives of running startups to understand how we all got here, and where we're going. There is a rich history you are building upon, and your work - whether a corner or floor of the cathedral - is a foundation that others will build on as we collectively build the future. Dyson is an exceptional mind. His perspective brings light to our greater purpose in building new technology. Read the full essay here -
July 31, 2020
Garrett Smallwood (CEO of Wag!) joins NFX partner James Currier to share his thoughts on profitable and efficient management of companies, thoughtfully operating before and after COVID-19, and shifting your mental models to adapt to your current situation. Garrett has earned all the badges — having sold his company to Wag!, operating as VP of Product, Partnerships, and Corp Dev, before building the roadmap to CEO. Garrett's current roadmap at Wag! is centered around operational excellence, strategic advantages through services and density, how to navigate through uncertainties, and the importance of thinking deeply about the way you build your company.
July 13, 2020
Twitter and Slack are two of technology’s most talked-about companies. They are both category-defining products marked by hypergrowth, each amassing a large base of deeply loyal users and a valuation of more than $20B. But Founders rarely get access to the product decisions being made behind the scenes, or the strategy and frameworks that guided them. April Underwood was instrumental at both companies, first as Director of Product at Twitter and then as Chief Product Officer at Slack. She is a powerhouse product leader with an unusual depth of experience in growing both B2C and B2B products from 0 to 1 to ubiquity, and building world-class product teams along the way. April joins the NFX podcast to offer inside stories and lessons learned from leading product at Twitter and Slack. Founders and product leaders everywhere will benefit from the 3-part framework she developed at Slack for hiring great PMs, her insights about leveraging early adopters, and how product CEOs can stay close to their product teams without slowing them down. Read the full essay -
June 30, 2020
In this episode of the NFX Podcast, Keith Rabois and James Currier examine the rule deviation behind some of technology's greatest startup feats — PayPal, Square, Yelp, and even Apple, Tesla, and SpaceX. They discuss: - The 5 People You Spend the Most Time With: It's easy to be a contrarian. It's hard to be right. What are the environmental and psychological factors needed to really think for yourself? - The Extreme 1% of the Bell Curve: A framework for rule deviation that leads to invention, not replication. - Being a Founder is Like Chewing Glass: The 3 biggest factors Keith cites that made the early PayPal team so strong, going on to create YouTube, Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yammer, & more. - Counterintuitive KPIs that Transformed Yelp, PayPal, & Square: The non-obvious (even ridiculous-at-first) KPIs that changed their trajectory. - & much more Read the essay -
June 18, 2020
Rahul is the founder and CEO of Superhuman where he and his team are building the fastest email experience in the world. Before Superhuman, Rahul founded Rapportive, which was acquired by LinkedIn in 2014. We’re bringing you an NFX Keynote podcast that gives you a deep dive into Rahul Vohra’s mind. His strategic thinking on product-market fit is verging on legendary, and in this episode, Rahul shares his biggest learnings about customer onboarding, why products should be designed like games, and the frameworks he wants every founder to know about pricing and positioning.
June 8, 2020
Biology is the new frontier. At NFX, we’ve been investing in this space. And in this episode of the NFX podcast, we talk to Trevor Martin, the CEO and Co-Founder of Mammoth Biosciences, an NFX company, that is now the largest repository of CRISPR IP in the world. They are developing the Google of biology where they will help anyone find what they are looking for in the genome. They are also working on a rapid COVID-19 test that uses CRISPR. Today we will talk about the cutting edge of what’s happening and why the future will be defined by biology. Read more at -
May 18, 2020
This is the insider story of Houseparty. In the last two months, the video app has grown 1600% to become the #1 social app in 82 countries, including the U.S., with hundreds of millions of users. Its success, however, has been many years and trials in the making. In this episode, early investor & advisor James Currier joins Ben Rubin, the Founder of Houseparty to share the insider story of how the product went from zero-to-one to ubiquity. It’s the real story that most founders never get to hear. This episode is about the ups and downs of building Meerkat & Houseparty, and about his new work communications network, /Talk (Slash Talk). This is a masterclass in product, pivots and perseverance that every Founder will benefit from.
May 4, 2020
Today Josh Elman & James Currier discuss the history of social media, where it is today, and the next wave of social companies that may be a result of the current lockdown situation. Due to the massive behavioral changes over the last few months, Founders may have room to build and the 'Golden Age' of social media might see a resurfacing. Josh Elman has run product for top-tier companies like Robinhood, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and was a partner at Greylock. In this episode, we discuss: - A brief history of social media - The behavioral changes from COVID-19 - The 'New Wave' of social media platforms - The opportunity for founders to build companies - How social products reshape the human connection Be on the lookout for new episodes on The NFX Podcast and read more NFX content at -
April 30, 2020
Working with network effects in our 100+ portfolio companies makes it impossible not to notice how the same mechanisms and math that create near-destiny for companies also create near-destiny for us as individuals. It’s mind-blowing once you see it. We will get to how the network force should guide your decision making in the 7 crossroads of your life, including: What Family You’re Born Into, your High School Network, your College Network, your First Job, Marriage/Choosing a Life Partner, Where You Live, and Reassessments. We all think we make these choices ourselves. It certainly feels like we’re in full control. But it turns out that our choices — both in our startups and in our lives — are more constrained than we think. Our networks are our most valuable resource. They are the way our lives express themselves. Those networks are made up of all the people you care about, the people you, inspire, move, and help to live their best lives.
April 16, 2020
Today Reid Hoffman & James Currier discuss the path ahead for Founders in a post-COVID world. What you need to learn and unlearn to get your company through a crisis, frameworks for the tough decisions Founders are facing today and the way they see the world changing forever - opening new opportunities for savvy founders. Reid is the co-Founder and was the executive chairman of LinkedIn, and is now a partner at Greylock. In this episode, we discuss: - How to be human first - The VC landscape post-COVID - How to make decisions around risk - The mental patterns Founders should unlearn - Founders & frugality - Silicon Valley's involvement in COVID-19 - Zero-sum thinking Be on the lookout for new episodes on The NFX Podcast and read more NFX content at -
April 7, 2020
Today we’re talking with David Sacks & Pete Flint about how to lead a company through an unforeseen downturn, and what it takes to adapt and survive in an unpredictable economy. David is a general partner at Craft Ventures and previously a Co-Founder of PayPal & Yammer. Both David and Pete founded iconic companies and led them through unstable markets to emerge with high growth and success. In this episode, we discuss: - The Founder mindset during a downturn - The Investor mindset during a downturn - Tactics/frameworks for founders - Happy Talk vs Hard Talk - Silicon Valley during COVID-19 Be on the lookout for new episodes on The NFX Podcast and read more NFX content at -
March 18, 2020
TaskRabbit invented the gig-economy in 2008 with a marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand for everyday tasks. Stacy Brown-Philpot became CEO of TaskRabbit in 2016 and led the company through its acquisition by IKEA in 2017. In this episode, we discuss: - Leadership changes - Growth vs. profitability - Competition - Exits - Expanding - Regulation Be on the lookout for more Iconic Marketplace episodes on the NFX podcast in the near future and read more NFX content at -
January 29, 2020
After raising venture capital from NFX, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and Precursor Ventures, CEO & Co-Founder Iman Abudzaid made her fundraising learnings, methodology, and frameworks public for the benefit of Founders everywhere. Topics discussed with Iman include: - When to fundraise - Fundraising amount & goals - Personal insights & learnings - Personal fundraising process - Traction & metrics - Evolution of the pitch deck - And much more Incredible Health - TechCrunch article - Signal - The Brief - To read more essays and content on fundraising, network effects, growth, and frameworks visit -
November 11, 2019
Marco Zappacosta (Co-founder & CEO of Thumbtack) talks with Pete Flint (NFX & founder of Trulia) about what it takes to build a billion-dollar marketplace and the lessons he's uncovered along the journey. They discuss how they solved the chicken & egg problem, what he would have done differently as an early-stage marketplace, fundraising lessons, and how short-term metrics can actually hinder long-term retention. Read more essays from NFX -
October 28, 2019
As Founders ourselves, we started 10 venture-backed companies that exited for over $10 Billion. During that time as Founders and now as VCs, we’ve seen 16 counterintuitive lessons in pitching VCs that increase your odds of success. Today we’re sharing them for the benefit of the entire founder community. Learn more at - Start your Company Brief at -
October 8, 2019
About 2 years ago, Intuit Founder Scott Cook came to NFX to meet with James Currier to discuss their shared interest in network effects. It was one of the most compelling conversations James has had with anyone on the topic, and so we recently visited the Intuit HQ in Mountain View, CA to continue the conversation. Today we're making it public, for the benefit of Founders everywhere
August 22, 2019
Growth comes from adopting the right psychology. The right mindset. From an approach you bring to your daily work consistently for years. In this episode of The NFX Podcast, James Currier shares the five hallmarks of high-performance growth psychology. Follow @NFX on Twitter To read our essay on the The Psychology Of Startup Growth, visit - To read more NFX Essays visit -
August 22, 2019
It’s often said that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. We disagree. This might be true at later stages, but at the initial stage of a startup, the core idea makes a huge difference. Small changes in your initial idea/direction will make a big difference to where you end up. In this episode of The NFX Podcast, James Currier uncovers the hidden pattern to great startup ideas. Follow @NFX on Twitter To read our essay on the The Hidden Pattern to Great Startup Ideas, visit -
August 21, 2019
Startups that grow into transformative companies do two things: (1) they nail the basics and (2) they cultivate the right habits (core operating principles). In this episode of The NFX Podcast, James Currier lists 9 habits that get investors to lean in and take special notice. Follow @NFX on Twitter To read our essay on the 9 Habits of World Class Startups, visit - For more NFX essays, visit -
June 18, 2019
They were rejected by 200+ investors. They were turned down by every single payment processor in the country. They discovered they were in violation of USPS regulations, and almost ran out of money. Yet today, Poshmark is one of the most successful marketplaces of all time. Be on the lookout for more Iconic Marketplace episodes on the NFX podcast in the near future and read more NFX content at -
May 2, 2019
James Currier of NFX outlines 5 important lessons you can learn from Uber and their growth over the last 10 years. Check out our past Inside the Marketplace episode on Lyft here -
March 25, 2019
Pete Flint & James Currier of NFX discuss Lyft's upcoming IPO, the defensibility of the ridesharing business model, and what Lyft should do next. Check out our past Inside the Marketplace episode on Lyft here -
February 13, 2019
"Why Growth Hacking Is Broken" - Pete Flint & Andy Johns by NFX
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