December 6, 2019
0:51 Jason intros Josh Browder & DoNotPay 2:48 Starting DoNotPay in college 6:12 How much $ has DoNotPay saved citizens since launching in 2016? 7:46 Josh explains his product roadmap to Jason 15:14 DoNotPay's mission and how Wells Fargo scammed its customers 17:37 Josh takes us through DoNotPay's suite of features starting with the robot lawyer/chatbot 19:57 Josh describes the "Skip Waiting on Hold" feature 23:37 DoNotPay's "Contract Reading AI" 28:31 Benefits of capitalist markets when consumers are treated poorly 30:51 Thoughts on Facebook? 34:05 "Hidden $ Discovery" on DoNotPay 34:47 What is DoNotPay doing for immigration 41:59 Jason asks Josh about his father, Bill Browder life and book, "Red Notice" 48:47 What is the CCPA? How does it relate to DoNotPay? 54:59 Long-term vision of DoNotPay? 56:24 Full audio of Ryan Block's call with Comcast
December 3, 2019
0:44 Jason intros Luke and describes how he found out about Farmer's Fridge 5:01 How did Luke overcome barriers of making a vending machine feel like a restaurant 9:18 Luke's life before Farmer's Fridge 11:52 How Luke discovered the issues of distribution that led to Farmer's Fridge 16:18 Building the first Farmer's Fridge vending machine 23:48 Ideal locations for Farmer's Fridge machines & where the first machine was placed 29:35 How did Farmer's Fridge begin to expand and hit critical mass 34:22 Using sales data to craft the most appealing menu 37:00 Getting VCs interested 41:57 Who was the first bold VC to put $ in? How did they prove themselves to institutional firms? 46:27 Machine cost over time & maximizing inventory 49:56 How hardships made Luke fearless 51:30 "Startup cannibalism"??? & low-burn culture 54:27 Farmer's Fridge NYC expansion 58:27 How does Farmer's Fridge compare to fast-casual salad restaurants
November 29, 2019
1:04 Jason intros Alexandr 2:19 Alexandr shares his personal startup history 5:17 How & why did Scale start? 8:26 What is the best example of Scale in practice? What problem are they solving? 10:44 Video demo of Scale's platform 15:34 Acquiring the domain name & insights on the unique spelling of Alexandr 17:31 How does Scale deal with data-sharing between customers? 21:34 LIDAR vs. non-LIDAR... or both? 32:29 When will we have capable self-driving vehicles from Palo Alto to San Francisco? Over/under 2030? How will gov't regulations affect self-driving? 36:03 China vs. US in the race of self-driving 41:22 Explainability in ML 47:26 Does it matter that we sometimes don't know the answer to ML systems? 51:39 Should explainability have to be proven in ML? 55:13 How should inherently biased data-sets (like US justice system) be handled via ML? 1:00:00 Importance of focusing on higher-value work 1:02:41 Are dangers of AI overblown? 1:08:50 Will "General AI" happen in our lifetime? 1:12:26 What's the next major AI trend after self-driving? 1:23:46 Does Alexandr remember a time before the Internet? 1:26:35 Jason plays "good tweet/bad tweet" with Alexandr
November 26, 2019
1:06 Jason intros the Pegasus concept & Yousician's Chris Thür 3:52 Chris explains Yousician 5:22 How did Yousician start and what did Guitar Hero have to do with it? 11:02 Capitalizing on Apple's inclusion of subscriptions 16:00 What were the early days of Yousician like, and was it hard to raise $? 20:32 Is being based in Finland an asset? 27:00 Chris gives his best advice for founders 29:34 Does Chris feel pressure to take $ off the table through secondary shares? 30:45 What does Chris look for in investors and what motivates Finnish employees? 34:55 Jason & Chris talk speeding tickets in Finland 42:19 Chris demos Yousician and Jason sings along 45:25 Jason tries to get on the Yousician Cap Table 47:21 Why Jason believes Yousician will get to 10 million subscribers in the next few years
November 22, 2019
1:05 Jason intros Alex Mather 2:08 Why did Alex launch a paid subscription publication in a seemingly dying industry? 4:32 How & where did The Athletic start? What was their thesis? 6:32 What was early feedback like from investors? 15:57 Changing approach from ad-based to subscription-based writing 21:34 Why the NHL & MLB are great for The Athletic 22:43 How do they manage young writers? 26:52 What % of their spend goes to editorial? 33:00 Managing 500+ writers 36:20 What are some ways they manage engagement? 39:08 Twitter's impact on journalism 43:39 Scouting new talent & capitalizing on layoffs 50:10 What has the inflated valuations of BuzzFeed & Vox done to the digital media industry? 55:20 How is The Athletic handling Apple's app-store subscription explosion? 58:20 Apple's impact on the boom of incredible products in our society and how The Athletic translates that to editorial 1:01:56 Alex asks Jason: "Mayor of San Francisco or owner of the Knicks?" 1:03:47 Alex shares his thoughts on the NBA/China situation 1:12:01 How does Alex go about re-activating users who have churned? 1:12:42 What does The Athletic think about the prevalence of sports gambling in America? 1:14:55 Who is the most interesting NBA player right now? 1:16:01 Jason & Alex pick who they would start an NBA franchise with today 1:17:50 Jason plays "good tweet/bad tweet" with Alex
November 19, 2019
1:08 Jason intros Andy Rachleff 2:20 Where is Wealthfront at currently? 4:44 How are traditional money managers allowed to get away with so much? 10:19 How has Andy dealt with becoming the elder statesmen at his company? 14:15 What are Wealthfront Cash Accounts? 18:27 Wealthfront's long term vision 23:49 What is high-revenue retention? How does Wealthfront maintain it? 27:44 How has Silicon Valley changed since Andy started at Benchmark? 32:10 Andy describes his greatest skill as an investor 35:30 What were the 1980's like in Venture Capital? 40:05 What do you call a VC who's never lost money? 55:01 Jason & Andy discuss how Silicon Valley is viewed in the present day
November 15, 2019
1:03 Jason's thoughts on the exploding DTC movement 4:10 How Jason discovered Eight Sleep 7:15 Jason intros Matteo Franceschetti 8:18 Matteo describes starting Eight Sleep and The Pod 15:48 What was Matteo's history before Eight Sleep 16:27 What did Matteo learn from his prior career in Solar Energy? 20:11 What has Matteo learned about users' sleep through data analysis 22:54 How does the thermo alarm work? 26:52 What is Eight Sleep doing with their sleep data? 29:36 What does the future look like for Eight Sleep? 36:50 What has Matteo learned about DTC marketing? 40:20 Dealing with returns 42:46 Which marketing channels does Matteo capitalize on? 46:30 What were Jason's instructions for reading Eight Sleep ads? 46:55 Are pop-up locations a possibility? 49:03 What is the endgame for smart-fitness products like Peloton & Tonal? 56:04 Eight Sleep's $40M raise
November 12, 2019
1:10 Jason intros episode 1000 + Brian Alvey & Lon Harris 3:58 "Money is the Root of All Evil" theme song 5:22 What were the first few episodes of TWiST like? 6:27 What is working with Jason like? 7:49 Tyler joins the show from Thailand and shares his history with TWiST 10:55 Brian gives his experience being the first guest on TWiST 11:59 Historic Clip: Gary Vaynerchuk on E24 18:12 History of podcasting as an industry 26:30 Historic Clip: Travis Kalanick on E180 29:54 What led to podcasting becoming a global phenomenon? 38:54 Historic Clip: Naval Ravikant on E244 42:31 How crazy was Jason in the early days of the show? 46:35 Historic Clip: Dave Goldberg on E251 47:55 Cultural shift in the general understanding of early-stage investing 53:44 Historic Clip: Chris Sacca on E291 58:36 Historic Clip: Chuck Johnson from a deleted episode 1:02:16 Historic Clip: Ed Catmull on E665/6 1:05:07 Jacqui explains how she booked Ed Catmull 1:11:24 Historic Clip: Aileen Lee on E988 1:14:52 Historic Clip: Jimmy Chamberlain on E491 1:21:43 What were "Insights from Tyler"? 1:22:47 Historic Clip: Greatest Insight from Tyler 1:25:51 Historic Clip: Peter Thiel on E525 1:27:27 Was the Peter Thiel/Gawker situation the greatest example of pettiness ever? 1:30:25 Historic Clip: Daniel Ek on E580 1:33:58 How has the perception of TWiST changed since the early days? 1:35:15 Historic Clip: Niklas Zennstrom & Sebastian Siemiatkowski on E583 1:39:57 Historic Clip: Peter Sunde on E765 1:43:23 What will the future of streaming & IP look like? 1:49:32 Historic Clip: Molly Wood on E969 1:51:05 What were the biggest changes from the last decade? 2:05:32 How has Jason changed as an interviewer? 2:09:50 Historic Clip: John Carreyrou on E828 2:11:55 Who should play Elizabeth Holmes in the upcoming movie? 2:13:02 Jason unveils the TWiST 1000 Cake and signs off and thanks everyone
November 8, 2019
0:53 Jason intros Brian Chen 1:15 Brian demos ROOM’s collaboration with Calm 2:42 How did ROOM get their domain name? 3:49 Upside & downside of open floor plans 5:52 Why ROOM manufactures the product in Indiana (for US distribution) & Portugal (for European distribution) as opposed to China 13:47 How did Brian convince VCs to invest in his DTC furniture business 18:13 What Brian thinks about ROOM’s defensibility 21:20 ROOM’s case studies with Density 26:20 How does Brian keep ROOM so capital efficient? 31:28 How does ROOM ventilate their booths? 34:58 Will ROOM raise another round or continue building off profitability? 36:49 What will ROOM’s next products be? 40:05 What would a Jason themed booth look like? 44:01 Alternative solutions for manipulating open floor plans
November 6, 2019
0:53 Jason intros Sajith Wickramasekara 1:40 What does Benchling do? 2:24 How did Sajith get into life science? 6:55 Benchling's value proposition for scientists 9:04 How do they charge? 10:43 Is Chamath Palihapitiya the most famous Sri Lankan in the US? 13:25 Why immunotherapy is the most exciting development in life science 19:00 3D Printing & harvesting organs in other species 20:50 Ethics of editing a human embryo 28:19 How did the scientific community respond to the embryo controversy 29:52 Breakthroughs in gene therapy 34:09 Defining the line between quackery & brilliance 42:37 Upside & downside of genetically modified crops 47:54 What is the best approach for breakthroughs in life science?
November 5, 2019
0:52 Jason intros Brian Halligan 1:35 Brian describes how his job has changed as HubSpot has scaled 3:33 Jason asks Brian about buying Jerry Garcia's guitar "Wolf" 4:42 Jason & Brian reminisce over Grateful Dead shows at Giants Stadium 6:36 How the Grateful Dead pioneered "Inbound Marketing" & inspired HubSpot 15:24 How Brian met his Co-founder Dharmesh Shah 17:04 The original idea behind HubSpot 19:18 Ray Ozzie's impact on HubSpot & Brian 25:34 Benefits of introversion 30:06 Succession planning in tech 33:24 Avoiding pot-holes as CEO 35:18 Importance of customer experience in 2019 38:45 Examples of creating a great end-to-end customer experience 49:43 How Brian keeps himself sharp & motivated 52:45 Managing employees from different generations in the "Glassdoor Era"
November 1, 2019
0:58 Jason intros Alex MacCaw 2:26 What is Clearbit? 8:53 What are some Clearbit use cases? 12:48 Benefits of cashflow positivity in terms of fundraising 15:39 How Jason felt about Alex Tew’s Calm investor updates 18:59 GDPRs effect on Clearbit and the industry as a whole 27:37 How did Alex go from anti-coaching to benefitting from a CEO coach? 32:49 Alex’s experience finding a CEO coach from Naval Ravikant 34:22 What did Alex learn about company building from his coach? 38:39 Clearbit’s therapy policy 44:10 Alex’s history before Clearbit 47:16 Jason describes his first business, “Jason’s Hot Tapes” 49:37 What is Clearbit X? 53:26 Alex gives advice to his younger self
October 30, 2019
0:55 Jason intros Lidia Yan 5:03 Lidia describes getting into the trucking industry and why NEXT focuses on "drayage" 13:29 How NEXT has revolutionized drayage shipping 18:22 What is a typical shipping broker's take rate 20:54 How does pricing work in the trucking industry? 27:28 How do trucking companies measure their driver's hours? 29:41 Issues within the trucking industry? 35:14 Did trucking lose employees to ride-sharing? 39:20 How NEXT compares to Uber Freight 44:50 Amazon's impact on the trucking industry 46:22 Trade war bringing inconsistency to trucking 48:41 How Lidia dealt with the challenges of being a woman starting a trucking company 50:47 Importance of getting to profitability early on
October 29, 2019
1:03 Jason intros Phil Libin from LAUNCH Scale 2019 1:51 Phil Libin on "The State Machine that Answers All Growth Questions" 32:40 Jason joins Phil on stage for Q&A 39:56 Jason intros Phil (NFX), Rebecca (Canvas Ventures) & Dave (Freestyle Capital) 41:34 Transitioning from founder to VC 44:08 How to let a founder know when they are headed down the wrong path 47:42 At what stage does a founder have to change their mindset? 49:49 Dave Samuel on Airtable CEO Howie Liu not taking his advice and succeeding anyway 52:21 How Rebecca Lynn recruited current LendingClub CEO Scott Sanborn in the early days 55:39 Should startups still relocate to the Bay Area under any circumstances? 1:03:40 How are VCs dealing with the influx in the number of startups over the past 10 years? 1:13:23 LAUNCH Scale Partner Talk: Lever CTO Nate Smith
October 25, 2019
0:48 Jason intros Rahul Vohra 3:21 Rahul gives a talk on building a "Product-Market Fit Engine" 29:42 Rahul takes questions from the LAUNCH Scale audience 37:28 Jason intros the "Future of Angel Investing" panelists: Ben Ling (Bling Capital), Clara Brenner (Urban Innovation Fund) & Jeff Clavier (Uncork Capital) 38:54 Has Silicon Valley reached peak entitlement? 41:44 Is "too much $ chasing too few companies" the new normal in VC 45:47 How important is price & valuation in decision making? 49:10 Importance of early revenue & strong board governance 52:28 How many of their biggest hits had multiple revenue models? 58:00 What is "venture-scale" in terms of growth rate? 1:02:40 How to train new associates to understand the importance of revenue quality? 1:09:13 LAUNCH Scale Partner Talk featuring Help Scout's VP of Sales Tim Thyne
October 23, 2019
0:50 Jason intros Tim Junio 1:44 Tim explains what Expanse does and how "attack surface inventory" is the first step in their cybersecurity platform 5:20 Tim explains the Dyn cyber attack 13:20 How many Fortune 500 companies have been blackmailed via cyber attack? 19:32 "White-hat" hackers impact on the cybersecurity industry 23:12 Human-made passwords are the weakest link 29:09 History of Russian interference 33:16 Why Gmail is good for cybersecurity 35:11 Tim's experience at the CIA 38:29 What worries Tim about potential election manipulation 45:38 Chinese infiltration via apps/tech companies 49:16 Christian Bale's rogue move was dangerous 51:17 Should Chinese-made routers be allowed in America? 56:16 Chances Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant have been compromised? 1:02:20 Is there foreign infiltration in major tech companies? 1:08:29 Jason & Tim go over the Snowden situation 1:17:49 How are government intelligence employees trained to avoid being compromised by foreign agents? 1:23:45 Working with Peter Thiel
October 22, 2019
0:41 Jason intros the #StartupTuneup with Urban-X companies 2:33 David Rodriguez pitches Food for All: food marketplace to reduce waste & help restaurants sell unused food 12:43 Jim Selevan pitches Pi-Lit: innovating transportation thru a wireless lamp system 26:33 Caroline Hansen pitches Hubbster: providing easy access to outdoor games & gear 41:24 Patrick O'Connor pitches 3AM Innovations: safety software for firefighters 50:52 Michael Lee pitches Evolve Energy: SaaS product that helps consumers save on energy costs thru AI 1:02:51 Urban Us Co-Founder & Partner Stonly Baptiste joins Jason to discuss the companies
October 18, 2019
1:45 Zander’s take on the recent volatility in the public markets 3:38 What are the lessons learned from the WeWork disaster in terms of corporate governance? 6:09 Importance of diversity on BoD 10:18 Where does WeWork go from here, and how will the situation resolve? 12:35 Why Venture investing is so skewed towards growth, and why the best investors focus on gross profitability 14:41 What is SurveyMonkey’s current business, and why did they go into Enterprise SaaS? 19:20 How listening to customers & employees drives growth 23:33 How Dave Goldberg discovered SurveyMonkey and turned it into the company it is today 25:47 How Zander wound up as CEO after Dave’s passing 28:51 Zander’s thoughts on a Direct Listing as opposed to an IPO 30:42 Getting Serena Williams on the Board of Directors at SurveyMonkey 35:12 Motivating & hiring Gen Z & Millennial employees 37:45 Yosiat from Odoo on integration enabling scalability
October 16, 2019
0:52 Jason intros Culture Amp's Didier Elzinga 2:44 How Didier's prior career in Visual Effects led him to start Culture Amp 8:24 Issues with yearly performance evaluations 14:15 Did Silicon Valley take culture too far? 17:35 What defines good culture? 24:24 Generational differences in workplace culture 28:30 How should companies view the gig economy in terms of culture and compensation? 37:12 How should compensation work in this era? 43:20 Didier demos Culture Amp 58:45 Jason gives Sir Charles positive/negative feedback 1:07:20 "Buying" culture and anti-fragility
October 15, 2019
0:51 Jason intros Aileen Lee 1:36 Aileen on her time at MIT, early bias against women in math 5:56 What brought Aileen to San Francisco & working at GAP in the early days of the Internet 9:40 Aileen on working for Mary Meeker & what makes her special 10:25 “All companies that leverage technology are not the same.” 13:10 What made WeWork attractive to investors in the early days? 17:54 How the market is skewed to reward growth 22:35 Thoughts on SoftBank increasing valuations 28:24 How Aileen got involved with Dollar Shave Club 31:07 Jason’s experience with Dollar Shave Club 32:07 “Crushing it” culture in tech 35:12 Aileen’s history at Kleiner Perkins 36:27 Being a woman in VC in the 2000s 41:12 Starting Cowboy Ventures 43:46 Diversity in tech 48:38 What are they working on at All Raise?
October 12, 2019
0:51 Jason intros Upgrade CEO Renaud Laplanche 2:07 Renaud goes over the idea of his previous startup, LendingClub, and taking it public 9:57 What happened at LendingClub after the IPO? 11:18 What is Upgrade? How did it grow out of LendingClub? 12:40 Are credit scores an outdated metric? 14:11 What is the Upgrade Card? 15:30 Are modern credit card companies sinister in their approach? 24:54 Renaud's thoughts on Crypto 27:40 Where does Upgrade's lending capital come from? 31:22 Are we approaching a downturn after an unprecedented period of growth? 37:28 What goes into a great credit score 42:50 What has changed in startups since Renaud started his first company in 2000? 51:25 What keeps Renaud going after two successful exits as a founder?
October 11, 2019
1:00 Want to work at LAUNCH? 2:28 Jason intros StockX's Josh Luber 3:14 When did the sneaker crazy start? 6:37 What is StockX? 9:19 What should Jason wear courtside? And why not Kawhi's? 14:13 Most $ Josh has spent on pair of sneakers? What were they? 18:15 What is StockX's take on a standard transaction? 18:44 Meeting Co-founder & Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert 19:58 Attracting Mark Wahlberg, Eminem, etc. as investors 22:55 Attracting SV firms vs. attracting famous investors? 29:39 What was Josh's background before StockX? 34:22 Finding investors who understood his space 36:36 How do IPO's (Initial Product Offerings) come into play on StockX? 41:35 StockX's future priorities 42:03 Value of authentication 48:37 Selling on StockX
October 9, 2019
1:00 Jason intros #AskJason and today's questions 1:47 How to differentiate a great founder from an okay one? - Darius 7:40 Dealing with the lack of updates as a syndicate Angel Investor? - Said 15:54 Bomani calls in and asks Jason about raising through crowdfunding 22:20 What will the new ideal makeup of a founder be after recent events (WeWork, JUUL, etc.)? - Patty 28:29 Peter calls in and asks Jason how Angel Investing changed since "Angel" was released 44:43 Alexandra calls in and asks Jason how to stand out in a slow-to-adapt market
October 4, 2019
0:47 Jason intros Catharine Dockery 4:29 How Catharine came up with Vice Ventures 7:00 What was the response when Catharine began raising her first fund? 7:19 What does harm-reduction mean for Vice Ventures? 9:21 Getting Marc Andreessen to invest in her fund 13:32 Strangest emails Catharine has received since starting Vice Ventures 16:01 Investing in cannabis 20:15 Investing in psychedelics 26:33 Investing in gambling 31:16 Who are Catharine's typical LPs? 32:15 Investing in alcohol 39:33 Investing in sextech 44:06 Vice Ventures strong thesis against harming others 47:22 Is Vice Ventures hiring?
October 4, 2019
0:51 Jason intros Shan-Lyn Ma 3:17 Starting Zola and competing in a crowded space 5:14 Jason and Shan go through LAUNCH President Sam's Wedding Registry live on air 6:30 How Zola's registry and business model work 9:10 How does Zola look at Amazon's wedding lists 14:29 What has changed in wedding demographics, and how does Zola keep up? 21:26 Jason and Shan share thoughts on romantic proposal locations 25:37 How working for Kevin Ryan at Gilt impacted Shan 33:27 Shan's insights on keeping employees focused, balancing growth and profitability 39:28 What do the next few years look like for Zola? 42:20 Wedding SEO competition 46:33 Raising moral standards in tech 50:19 Shan's thoughts on being underestimated as a female founder 54:01 How the NYC tech scene has changed over the past 10 years
October 1, 2019
1:10 Jason intros Hong Quan from Karmic Bikes 2:55 What is the OSLO bike? 4:10 Why are there separate classifications for e-bike laws? 9:15 What does OSLO cost? 12:35 How Karmic bikes are different 14:55 Why e-bikes haven't taken off in the US? 16:52 Is Palo Alto the most bike-friendly city in America? 17:28 Hong shows the OSLO Kickstarter Video 21:45 Why not go the scooter route? 27:34 Hong raps for Jason (yes, really) 33:06 Open Office Hours with Jason 33:18 Jason intros Mark from ZenSports, a P2P sports betting startup 40:22 Mark asks Jason how to attract investors as a "Vice tech" company
September 27, 2019
1:00 Jason Demant intros Roy Bahat 3:14 Roy's thoughts on raising venture capital 4:14 Debunking the myth of pitching VCs 9:24 Two questions VCs ask themselves after hearing a pitch, and how founders can apply them 15:33 The startup paradox 18:04 Does Bloomberg Beta keep up with companies they passed on? 19:51 Selection bias in Silicon Valley 25:32 Why Angel $ from venture-backed founders is so valuable 28:30 Top reasons Roy rejects companies 31:38 Importance of trust founder-investor relationships 34:41 How Roy thinks about valuation & pricing 40:13 Understanding how investors make money 44:18 Roy's thoughts on pitch decks 47:45 How to tell if a VC is interested based on emails 49:40 Pre-qualifying VCs based on your business 51:04 Importance of Founders taking secondary 54:00 How does Roy process upside? 55:40 Roy's views on the future of work regarding creatives 1:01:10 Difficulty of raising different rounds 1:02:00 Investment thesis of Bloomberg Beta 1:05:50 Dealing with rejection from VCs 1:07:40 Raising children in the technological age
September 25, 2019
0:51 Jason intros Mattieu Gamache-Asselin 2:52 Changing from ScriptDash to Alto Pharmacy 4:19 Meeting and working with Twitch founder Justin Kan in the early days of Alto 6:51 Message to HBO’s Silicon Valley writing room 7:26 Working out of Justin Kan’s house 8:15 Why are pharmacies broken? How is Alto fixing them? 14:25 How did Alto’s team architect a 1.0 version of their pharmacy? 21:44 US Healthcare is broken due to bad incentive structures 28:23 Does Alto compare to Hims and Roman? 32:24 What are Alto’s profit margins? 35:00 This Week in Cinema: It’s a Wonderful Life 39:07 Maintaining balance between being scrappy/aggressive while also abiding by all medical regulations 39:54 How has Alto scaled so far? 45:55 Who is responsible for the opioid crisis? 51:24 What is Alto building to combat the crisis? 53:27 Trading short-term gain for long-term gain 56:56 How Alto was initially received among investors 1:01:03 This Week in Cinema: The Mission 1:04:30 What skill does Matt think many founders lack? 1:07:02 Operational excellence in former Amazon executives 1:13:49 #1 Lesson that Matt has learned since becoming a founder
September 24, 2019
1:14 Jason intros Open Office Hours 2:40 Jean-Loïck from Serendipia asks Jason about understanding the investors in his market 12:44 Sophie from Resprana joins Jason and demos her air filtration nose buds 23:35 Sophie asks Jason how to prove to investors that her business is venture scale 36:34 Eugene from ZYRL asks Jason how to balance growth & spend while raising 46:50 Omar from Steps joins Jason and asks how to change consumer behavior via advertising
September 20, 2019
1:09 Jason intros the Kotaro Chiba, the "Jason Calacanis of Tokyo" 7:09 Ted from Homma pitches a millennial-targeted modernized homes 17:28 Dustin from Junify pitches SaaS for "desk-free" workers 28:52 Satoshi from Wondershake pitches women’s lifestyle app development 41:31 Hikaru from hackjpn pitches an investor evaluation database 50:47 Naomi from Infostellar pitches connecting space satellites & antenna owners 1:01:04 Lu from Takemepay pitches a food services app for international visitors
September 18, 2019
0:52 Jordan's inspiration for Standard Cognition 1:18 How Standard Cognition works 4:45 Scaling by removing friction from shopping 5:33 What kind of cameras does Standard Cognition use? 7:46 The purpose of the Standard Store 9:02 Onboarding store items to the system 13:00 Can Standard Cognition's system recognize actions? 13:45 Expanding Standard's system to other use cases 17:15 How their cameras recognize theft 22:54 Reaction to the Standard Store? 24:50 How does a store with autonomous checkout protect itself from smash & grab burglary? 29:50 Desire to adopt this technology throughout the retail industry 34:40 What autonomous checkout can do for society? 40:10 Standard Cognition is currently in "Shadow Mode", when will they officially launch in stores? 41:33 Competing against Amazon Go 46:35 How delivery plays into Standard Cognition's plan 47:05 How do big-box retailers look at the autonomous checkout movement 50:09 Reflecting on Jordan's time at the SEC
September 17, 2019
0:47 Jason intros Valerie and Shoot My Travel 3:33 Valerie tells Shoot My Travel's founding story 6:00 How does Shoot My Travel help insta-husbands? 8:50 How to get on Shoot My Travel's photographer platform 12:39 How Valerie and Jason met 13:20 Valerie explains the interview process for the LAUNCH Accelerator 16:56 What Valerie learned throughout the Accelerator 19:20 Building a global business with minimal funding 23:50 Valerie rates Jason as an investor 24:47 How notable lead investors make companies more appealing 25:15 Jason explains how The Syndicate works ( 28:20 Shoot My Travel's company culture 30:38 What is Shoot My Travel's next move in terms of fundraising 31:48 Valerie gives advice to her younger self 39:55 How Valerie commuted back & forth to Miami during the Accelerator 42:06 Jason describes the LAUNCH Accelerator program 45:20 "Delighted customers solve everything." 47:00 Jason reads Shoot My Travel customer reviews
September 13, 2019
1:15 Jason intros Kristen 2:56 Differences between casual, mid-core and hardcore mobile games 10:40 Mobile gaming’s monetary scale 12:30 Demanding excellence at MZ 14:00 How Kristen handles work/life balance 18:00 Mobile games going international, licensing v. building organic brands 27:44 Getting Arnold Schwarzenegger & other celebs in MZ ads 41:55 Kristen’s path to MZ 43:10 Handling layoffs with direct honesty 45:25 Crypto resembling the early days of the Dot-com Era 53:30 Jason and Kristen go back and forth on WeWork problems 1:02:10 Being a female CEO in the gaming industry
September 12, 2019
2:30 Stuart explains Grove Collaborative's mission 6:50 Bringing natural products to under-served markets 12:35 Supply-chain diligence necessary for a Certified B Corp 16:20 What is a Certified B Corporation, and how did Grove stay investable early on? 22:50 Navigating being a B Corporation while maintaining profitability 28:30 Competing against Amazon 37:00 Are traditional CPG companies starting to become more eco-friendly? 47:05 How Stuart was as a first time founder 53:05 Jason & Stuart discuss factory worker treatment 57:40 Societal benefits of proper compensation
September 10, 2019
1:00 Jason intros Vlad Magdalin and the "No-Code Movement" 3:10 Jason explains the "Pegasus" movement 4:34 Vlad shares his founding story 14:21 Turning "No" into "Yes" from investors 18:50 How it felt when Webflow became profitable 25:45 Capitalism v. Socialism 39:55 How is Webflow planning to scale their new round? 48:30 Dad jokes
September 6, 2019
1:00 Jason intros the Toptal situation and Amir 3:00 Amir on breaking the Toptal story 3:20 Frequency of compensation issues in startup funding 13:45 Jason explains convertible notes 16:10 Did Taso Du Val know what he was doing? 22:00 How can Toptal investors cash out? 29:15 What do LPs think of SAFE agreements and convertible notes? 30:20 Toptal is a cautionary tale for employees & investors 35:59 Jason’s thoughts on convertible notes/SAFE agreements 57:40 Jason’s main takeaway from the Toptal situation 1:07:15 How Jason would fix equity issues at Toptal 1:08:58 Jason intros former Toptal employee Scott Ritter 1:11:03 Scott’s thoughts on missing out on equity as one of the first Toptal employees 1:12:28 Taso Du Val as a boss and co-worker 1:14:15 Were there stock option promises made to employees? 1:20:55 Taso Du Val’s thought process on equity 1:25:10 Jason explains why he is so upset about this issue 1:27:45 Scott describes what attributed to Toptal’s rapid growth 1:31:40 Jason introduces #boycottToptal
September 4, 2019
0:50 Jason introduces The Next Unicorns 3:30 Founding Checkr through the gig economy 4:28 Creating the first API for background checks 13:09 Solving the "False Positive" issue in background checks 15:10 Are gig economy companies doing enough in their vetting process? 19:07 Parsing felons through Checkr 28:20 Would Daniel hire someone with a violent criminal history? 32:13 Does Daniel feel pressure for Checkr to IPO? 37:25 How should gig economy workers be classified? 40:15 Growth vs. profitability 47:55 How Daniel is dealing with going from employee to boss 50:30 Changing roles of the modern tech CEO
September 3, 2019
2:45 What is Revel? 8:00 Losing friends as you age 18:05 Revel's pricing model 20:47 Who does Revel resonate with most? 23:10 Helping women over 50 with loneliness 33:25 How Revel uses virality to scale 36:58 Revel hosts using the platform as a second source of income 39:05 Will Revel get into physical spaces? 49:43 Leonardo from Send4 on Open Office Hours with Jason 54:37 Scaling growth in a B2B SaaS product
August 31, 2019
1:19 Jason Intros the panelists 3:08 WeWork IPO chaos 10:06 Comparing Ray Kroc and Adam Neumann 16:15 Founder lessons from WeWork mess 24:45 Worst part of the WeWork IPO 27:24 Peloton IPO 28:10 Is Peloton elitist? 31:30 Peloton’s high margin hardware business 34:35 Jason and guests play “Company A or Company B” 37:51 Will Disney+ unseat other streaming giants? 45:45 Joi Ito and Jeffrey Epstein 46:52 Jason tells his Jeffrey Epstein story 58:55 How high up does the scandal go? 1:08:34 TikTok’s influence over millennial/gen Z Americans 1:14:49 What is the Long Term Stock Exchange? 1:21:27 Is Juul bad?
August 27, 2019
1:33 Crystal from Healthiest 5:13 Growing users to appeal to investors 20:12 Adam from Yuma 26:39 Raising $ or innovating production 38:27 Claire from Online Profile Pros 43:45 Hype vs. traction in the Seed stage 58:32 Karen from Perceive 1:00:02 "Dead people don't buy ice cream."
August 20, 2019
2:39 What is charity: water? 12:43 Rachel’s birthday story 34:23 Working with local governments 46:19 Funding charity: water through “The Well” 1:01:39 Creating “The Pool” and how Scott uses startup tactics to run his non-profit 1:10:31 How Scott almost quit after not meeting yearly goals
August 16, 2019
1:08 How Jason met Kim while she ran Google AdSense 4:01 What Kim learned from working with Sheryl Sandberg 14:40 Does Google regret losing Sheryl Sandberg? 21:24 Why the lack of Psychological Safety in today's business landscape? 35:43 How much should experience matter when evaluating salaries? 42:15 Kim takes Jason through some Radical Candor best practices
August 13, 2019
1:37 What is PodShare? 5:16 PodShare's real estate triangle 15:40 Is PodShare a venture scale business? 32:08 What do potential investors think of PodShare? 44:43 What Elvina has learned since starting PodShare in 2012?
August 6, 2019
3:35 Sophia's journey from scrappy dumpster-diver to building Nasty Gal 13:03 Mistakes and lessons from Nasty Gal 18:40 Why she started Girlboss 30:27 Growth of female founders since Sophia started Nasty Gal 39:52 Building Girlboss from a business perspective
July 30, 2019
The Future of Angel Investing with Paul Judge (TechSquare Labs), Elizabeth Yin, (Hustle Fund), Shaun Abrahamson (Urban Us); The Metrics that Matter with Allen Chen, Co-founder & CEO of Fitbod @ LAUNCH Festival Sydney
July 26, 2019
Hipcamp CEO & Founder Alyssa Ravasio announces new $25m raise from Andreessen Horowitz to scale her camping, glamping & outdoor recreation platform, shares insights on developing talent, staying on mission, the importance of brand, & evolving as an entrepreneur from being the solution to building it
July 23, 2019
Matt Horiuchi, Director of User Acquisition at Calm, breaks down "Growth, Paid Marketing & Attribution": best strategies for understanding LTV/CAC, where your customers are coming from, most effective channels, creating the right messaging, & optimizing competitive analysis @ Founder.University
July 18, 2019
Episode Ten: Scaling Your Startup, "Culture": Jason Calacanis & LAUNCH Managing Directors Jacqui Deegan Ashley Whitehurst go through creating your culture, hiring, diversity & inclusion, high performance, scaling culture, work environment & tools 3:15 Creating your culture 18:00 Hiring 26:18 Diversity, inclusion & non-harassment 40:27 High performance 50:04 Scaling culture 58:33 Work environment 1:04:45 Tools
July 12, 2019
4:20 Why Gentry built Mailbox 16:25 Optimizing email for mobile 24:36 Best aesthetic designs in tech today 45:15 Origins of Navigator 48:52 Gentry demos Navigator 1:03:54 Importance of seating arrangements in board meetings
July 9, 2019
4:03 What is Neyborly? 12:12 Ben's experience at Founder.University 15:00 Understanding numbers for founders seeking $ 19:34 Building connections through the LAUNCH Accelerator 28:34 Creating market-networks 34:27 Raising through Jason's Syndicate 45:27 Neyborly's rollout plans 48:45 Meeting with David Sacks and securing his investment 57:57 Solving the problems with modern retail
July 5, 2019
4:32 Why Jason passed on investing in MasterClass & landing Dustin Hoffman as 1st instructor 8:53 Bridging the gap between professional entertainment and online education 13:18 Ideal target customer & company mission 26:00 Why Steph Curry was the perfect MasterClass instructor for basketball 33:31 How David negotiated domain name 46:32 David's shares how his grandmother, who fled Poland from the Nazis, gave him the gift of appreciating education
July 3, 2019
Facebook content moderation (2:36) Is Facebook responsible for the sensitivity of its employees? Jony Ive leaving Apple (16:12) Is Chrome OS coming catching up to Apple? Libra / @Libra_ (19:45) Audacity is the currency, Zuckerberg still has guts, Jason is meta-trolling Zuck Libra use cases (33:18) Content micropayments Incoming Cultural/Societal Changes (41:48) End of physical labor, 100% immersive VR, sensory enhancement implants Is China using TikTok to spy on US citizens? (1:07:20) Jason gives a message to Trump
July 1, 2019
E31: "Angel" podcast: Samantha Wong, Partner at Blackbird Ventures (Canva, Culture Amp), shares insights on the growth of Australia's startup ecosystem, valuations outside of SV & benefits for investors, focusing on deep tech & "science nonfiction," backing founders with an unstoppable force, & how immigration laws impact entrepreneurship
June 28, 2019
Ethos Co-founder & CEO Peter Colis makes life insurance accessible to everyone, leverages data to eliminate friction & simplify the traditional complications, enables 99% of customers to obtain an affordable policy in 10 minutes with no medical exam or blood test
June 25, 2019 co-founder & CEO James Peng shares insights from scaling his global self-driving unicorn, developing Level 4 & 5 autonomous tech to make any car operate safely in all conditions without human intervention, visions for trucking & ride-hailing, creating collaboration between U.S. & China, how the cultures compare, & other lessons innovating in our driverless future
June 24, 2019
"Angel" podcast: Part 2. Dave Morin of Slow Ventures (250+ investments inc. Slack, Pinterest, Twitter), shares insights on favorite business models & products, backing founders with a tangible sense of inevitability, the rise of two internets, democratization of passion, & an optimistic future with the advancement of self-care tech
June 21, 2019
HackerOne CEO Mårten Mickos shares insights on how he grew his bug bounty army to 400,000 strong by providing a path to hack for good, most common security vulnerabilities, worst security breaches, hacking the Pentagon, protecting the open source that unites us & scaling a company culture that defaults to disclosure
June 19, 2019
"Angel" podcast: Dave Morin of Slow Ventures shares insights from 250+ investments (Slack, Pinterest, Twitter), architecting Facebook & building Path, promoting mental health with Sunrise, combatting the internet's true tax of depression & how founders can get help - Part 1
June 18, 2019
Mike Ghaffary, General Partner at Canvas Ventures, shares "Strategic Advantages" @ Founder.University & shows how startups can identify, evaluate & strengthen defensibility in their markets
June 14, 2019
E946: Part 2! Jerry Colonna, legendary investor & executive coach, shares new book, “Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up," insights on absolute complicity in creating our own conditions & strategies we need to overcome self-imposed limitations in business & in life
June 12, 2019
Scaling Your Startup, "Delighting Your Customers": Talking to customers, tracking NPS & product-market fit, maintaining focus, getting feedback, tactics & tools for customer success with Jason Calacanis & LAUNCH Managing Directors Jason Demant & Jacqui Deegan -- E9 of 10-ep miniseries
June 11, 2019
Jerry Colonna, legendary investor & executive coach, shares new book, “Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up," insights on absolute complicity in creating our own conditions & strategies we need to overcome self-imposed limitations in business & in life - Part 1
June 10, 2019
"Angel" podcast: Ryan Hoover, Founder of Weekend Fund & Product Hunt, shares lessons from building his early-stage fund, harnessing excitement for new markets, betting on founders with strong perspectives & unique qualities, & bringing his expertise & passion for creating communities to venture capital
June 7, 2019
Qualtrics CEO & Co-Founder Ryan Smith shares insights from building his data powerhouse, bootstrapping to profitability, refusing VC & foregoing IPO to sell for $8b, keeping focus, going all in, democratizing information & creating the new category of experience management
June 4, 2019
#StartupTuneup @ Founder.University: 9 founders pitch to Jason & Dave Samuel of Freestyle Capital on AI transport platform, content creation, keto cookies, adventure subscription, restaurant delivery, on-demand consulting, video & event marketing
June 3, 2019
Mamoon Hamid, Partner at Kleiner Perkins & expert early investor (Slack, Box, Intercom) on evolving from growth to venture, lessons from founding & leaving Social Capital, exceptional founder qualities, wisdom of complementary teams, & the winning formula of hard work & timing
May 31, 2019
#AskJason Call-in: Getting ready for investment, social media transparency & brand protection, finding angels that bring value, common pitching mistakes, intangible qualities investors look for in founders & more
May 29, 2019
Episode Eight: Scaling Your Startup, "Marketing": Jason Calacanis, LAUNCH Managing Director Jacqui Deegan & LAUNCH President Samantha August go through finding North Star, social channels & content to grow audience, retargeting, converting customers & understanding marketing tools
May 28, 2019
Canva CEO & Co-Founder Melanie Perkins shares insights from growing her Australian college startup into a global unicorn with over one billion designs & 15m monthly active users, breaking into Silicon Valley, landing the first investment from Mary Meeker's Bond, & realizing her vision to be one of the world's most valuable companies, doing the most good one can do
May 27, 2019
Ben Ling of Bling Capital (prev. Khosla Ventures), shares strategies from 100+ investments & 9 unicorns, qualities of great founders & teams, assessing market opportunities, the art of startup valuations, Google's early days, the future of AR/VR, & lessons from leading change in consumer behavior
May 24, 2019
TripActions Co-Founder & CEO Ariel Cohen shares insights from growing his business travel unicorn 600% YOY, harnessing AI & ML to upend antiquated infrastructures, the art of finding product-market fit & scaling rapidly with core values & culture built on service & efficiency
May 23, 2019
Episode Seven: Scaling Your Startup, "Fundraising: Diving into the Details": Jason Calacanis & LAUNCH Managing Directors Ashley Whitehurst & Jason Demant walk through ideal numbers, finding investors, refining your deck, what to do during & after your first meeting, term sheets & due diligence
May 21, 2019
#StartupTuneup with Urban-X: Founders innovating in construction robotics, shuttle service, AI & real-time heavy equipment optimization & electric car subscription get candid feedback from Jason
May 20, 2019
"Angel" podcast: Chris Redlitz, General Partner of Transmedia Capital, shares success of The Last Mile program teaching tech to incarcerated populations, insights from investing/advising in 90+ startups, nurturing networks & deal flow, evolution of syndicates, urgency of smart money first, & backing founders with passion, presence & perseverance
May 17, 2019
Segment Co-Founder & CEO Peter Reinhardt shares insights from pioneering customer data infrastructure (CDI) to unseat CRM, lessons from first failed product launch & critical pivots, the importance of customer pain as your startup's North Star, & building the unicorn that actually protects customer privacy
May 16, 2019
Episode Six: Scaling Your Startup, "Staying Lean": Jason Calacanis, LAUNCH Managing Director Jason Demant & LAUNCH President Samantha August go through creating a low-burn culture, raising for runway, optimizing with hacks, firing fast & what to do when it hits the fan
May 15, 2019
Episode Five: Scaling Your Startup, "Sales": Jason Calacanis, LAUNCH Managing Director Jacqui Deegan & LAUNCH President Samantha August go through hiring salespeople, ideal compensation, prospecting, nurturing & closing leads, upselling & utilizing sales tools
May 14, 2019
Founders present their most pressing challenges: B2B pricing, focusing on customer retention v. traction, scaling on-boarding, upselling, productizing advice
May 13, 2019
Mitch Kapor, Partner at Kapor Capital, shares stellar return results of their portfolio's first-ever Impact Report, investing with purpose to close gaps & back entrepreneurs with distance traveled, insights on Uber's IPO, fixing the gig economy, promoting diversity in Silicon Valley & creating long-term value v. short-term gains
May 10, 2019
JFrog Co-Founder & CEO Shlomi Ben Haim shares lessons from growing his DevOps unicorn, helming massive growth, hitting essential milestones from Series A through D, integrating valuable acquisitions, & leading the future of security
May 9, 2019
Episode Four: Scaling Your Startup, "Team": Jason Calacanis, LAUNCH Managing Director Ashley Whitehurst & LAUNCH President Samantha August walk through first hires, outsourcing, HR, org structure, compensation, firing & other tough choices you face when you scale.
May 8, 2019
The post E929: Scaling Your Startup, “Business Model & Turning on Revenue”: Charging customers, revenue streams, unit economics, considering competitors, key metrics & more to build your business, with Jason Calacanis & LAUNCH Managing Directors Jason Demant & Jacqui Deegan — E3 of 10-ep miniseries appeared first on This Week In Startups.
May 7, 2019
Adam Foroughi, AppLovin Co-Founder & CEO, shares insights on the mobile gaming boom, early bootstrapping to profitability, massive opportunities in 5G, handling fraud, privacy, parenting, commitment to culture & other lessons from building his app-discovery unicorn
May 6, 2019
The post E23: “Angel” podcast: Matt Ocko, Managing Partner of Data Collective, invests in deep tech with an algorithmic edge, shares decision-making in difficult markets, building a world-class team, the state of Seed in 2019, being brave & taking risks to create a utopian future appeared first on This Week In Startups.
May 3, 2019
Melody McCloskey, Founder & CEO of StyleSeat, shares the goals, product & measurement strategies in growing her beauty & wellness marketplace to 18m clients in 16,000 cities across the US @ Founder.University
April 30, 2019
Casey Neistat, Legendary Vlogger & Founder of 368, shares journey from leaving home at 15 to leading YouTube’s creative pioneers, the evolution of social media & continued quest for authenticity, challenges of success, cultivating gratitude, & starting a new community for artistic collaboration
April 29, 2019
Charles Hudson, Managing Partner of Precursor Ventures, shares strategies on the great rewards & risks of pre-seed, betting on founders with unique insight, analyzing market structure vs. size, importance of mobilization to increase SV diversity, & the art of making early deals without data
April 26, 2019
Founder.University #StartupTuneup: 6 startups innovating in online fitness, data-less tipping, rapid customized merch, rechargeable batteries, smart investments & cross-border ecommerce get candid feedback from Jason & Julie Lein, Urban Innovation Fund
April 23, 2019
The post E924: Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig on early days innovating in internet publishing, journey from executive to entrepreneur, insights on IPO experience, dangers of information abuse, the changing college landscape, & how prioritizing students & optimizing tech creates affordable, accessible education appeared first on This Week In Startups.
April 22, 2019
In Season 3 premiere of "Angel," 500 Startups Co-founder & Managing Partner Christine Tsai shares lessons from her fund's 10 unicorns & 2200+ startups across 74 countries, insights on what it takes to be a successful founder, achieving 26% of portfolio led by women, her greatest hits & misses, the vilification of tech, & strengthening mission & leadership through adversity You already know LinkedIn as world’s largest professional network. It's ALSO a better way to find great talent. Go to and get a $50 credit toward your first job post. Terms and conditions apply. The Embroker Startup Program helps startups secure the most important lines of insurance, at a lower cost, and with less hassle. For guaranteed 10% off on premiums (& up to 20% depending on quote) go to
April 19, 2019
All Turtles Co-founder & CEO Phil Libin (prev. Evernote) launches Sift news therapy to promote understanding over anxiety, shares model for innovation at his AI multi-product startup, insights on failing efficiently, the future of health & work, & what it takes to make a world-class app
April 18, 2019
"Scaling Your Startup" is a special 10-episode TWiST series that will add jet fuel to your startup rocketship, as Jason shares what he’s learned as an early investor in 200+ startups and 7 unicorns (Uber, Thumbtack, Robinhood, Our second episode is "Communication," as Jason, LAUNCH President Samantha August & LAUNCH Managing Director Ashley Whitehurst share essential tools, tips, and tactics for founders to most effectively communicate with investors, their team, and each other.
April 16, 2019
Confluent Co-Founder & CEO Jay Kreps shares insights from building his data streaming cloud platform unicorn, new partnership with Google Cloud, learnings as lead engineer at LinkedIn, & the future of innovation in enterprise
April 12, 2019
Rally Rd. Co-Founder & CEO Chris Bruno turns collectible cars into stocks, shares vision of product expansion to make high value assets accessible to everyone & create a new generation of excited, diversified investors
April 11, 2019
"Scaling Your Startup" is a special 10-episode TWiST series that will add jet fuel to your startup rocketship, as Jason shares what he’s learned as an early investor in 200+ startups and 7 unicorns (Uber, Thumbtack, Robinhood, Our first episode is "Funding Your Company," as Jason and LAUNCH Managing Directors Jason Demant and Ashley Whitehurst tell you what you need to know to raise the round right. Thanks to our partners, Eight Sleep and Zendesk for making this mini-series possible!
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