The Soaked by Slush podcast brings you timeless advice on company-building from some of the most iconic founders and investors in the world. We ask ‘how’ over and over again to uncover the first principles that have built some of the most successful technology companies of our time. The podcast is produced by Slush – the world’s leading startup event and a global not-for-profit movement on a mission to create and help founders that change the world.
#9 Jeppe Rindom, Pleo CEO & Co-founder | Pre to post P/M fit with a Danish unicorn
27:58Jeppe Rindom is the Co-founder and guiding hand of Pleo- The corporate card and expense claim company and the fastest to reach the €1bn valuation in Denmark. Jeppe dives deep with Mikko Mäntylä into the granular details of how to define your problem space, some key ways to create investor FOMO, and what he believes is a counterintuitive company-building truth.
#8 Sonali de Rycker, Partner at Accel | Foundational lessons in building legendary companies
30:25Sonali de Rycker is a true icon of European venture. In her fourteen years with Accel, she has made early investments in success stories ranging from Spotify to Avito, Hopin to Kry and Monzo to Sennder. Together with Sonali, we explore everything that more than a decade of backing the greats of European tech has taught her about the formative choices that build legendary tech companies.
Gå ikke glip af nogen episoder af “Soaked by Slush Podcast” - abonnér på podcasten med gratisapp GetPodcast.
#7 Cristina Cordova, Partner at First Round | Operator lessons from a decade at Stripe & Notion
23:34Cristina Cordova spent a decade leading partnerships at two of the most iconic tech success stories of the past decade – Stripe & Notion – before joining First Round Capital in March of 2022. Today, we discuss tactical company-building lessons that that her decade as an operator taught here.
#6 Des Traynor, Co-founder & CSO of Intercom | The surprising principles that built a €1B+ customer comms business
27:24Today, we speak to Des Traynor of Intercom about problem selection, pricing, using principles to scale yourself as a leader, and maintaining alignment as an organisation grows. Des is one of the most succinct communicators in European tech. He didn't disappoint on the episode. Throughout it, you'll come across surprising, unique principles and heuristics that have helped Des propel Intercom into €1B+ business it is today.
#4 Guy Podjarny, Co-founder & President of Snyk | Lessons in scaling from a €8B business
27:31Guy Podjarny is Co-founder and President of Snyk – the €8B developer-first security platform. Together, we unpack tactical considerations that go into scaling a business – especially one with a product-led, freemium-based go-to-market. Guy started Snyk with his co-founders Assaf and Danny in 2015, spent four years as CEO, and migrated into his current role of President in 2019. Built dually in Tel-Aviv and London, and later in a distributed fashion around the world, Snyk is a platform that enables developers to automatically detect and fix vulnerabilities in their code and stack. Today, Snyk employs 1200 people is valued at closer to 8 billion euros. They’ve got there by raising a whopping 1.3 billion euros from iconic investors like Accel, GV, Coatue, Tiger Global, Addition, Blackrock and so many more. --- 1:11 What are the most important traits to have within a founding team? 2:17 What should non-technical founders spend time on in the early days? 3:23 What are the humane characteristics of great founding teams? 4:51 How do you know to stop pursuing a given idea? 6:16 Snyk's most critical milestone in the first month, quarter and year? 9:28 Why should you launch a crappy product early? 11:36 With a product-led go-to-market, which systems ensure deep learning? 15:09 Why did you choose a product-led go-to-market? 18:11 What are the signs that you should hire a professional CEO to replace you? 20:12 What can an exceptional external CEO bring to the table? 21:42 Having been acquired in the past, what do you optimize for acquiring companies? 24:22 How do you judge when to say yes and when to say no? 25:02 What do founders underinvest in early on? How about the inverse of that? 26.18 What is one important truth about company-building that very few people would agree with?
#3 Deena Shakir, Partner at Lux Capital | Investing in a better future
29:56Today on the Soaked by Slush podcast, we're joined by Deena Shakir, Partner at Lux Capital – the notoriously frontier tech focused fund. We cover topics ranging from recognizing iconic entrepreneurs early to Deena’s efforts to write a children’s book about a young girl who starts a company. Deena herself has the most fascinating of backgrounds. She is a first-generation daughter of Iraqi immigrants and she self-funded her way through Harvard and Georgetown. After kicking off her career in media, she moved to public service, working for Hillary Clinton’s office during the Obama administration, and eventually ended up leading product partnerships at Google before jumping into venture– first at GV and later Lux. At Lux, Deena invests in transformative technologies improving lives – especially in women’s health, digital health and the intersection of those. She has led investments in some exceptional companies from Maven Clinic to Ramp.
#2 Quentin Clark, ex-Dropbox CTO & MD at General Catalyst | World-class product & engineering leadership
26:41When it comes to building legendary engineering and product organizations, there really aren’t many people more experienced than Quentin Clark. Having spent 20 years moving up the ranks at Microsoft, Quentin went on to become CTO at two legendary software companies in SAP and Dropbox. These days, Quentin looks for next-generation products at General Catalyst, and sits on the boards of some exceptional startups like Coda, Commure, Hopin, Minio, and Aviatrix. In this episode, we unpack what Quentin has learn about leading and scaling technical organisations for world-class outcomes. Note: Any mention of or reference to any specific company is for discussion and illustrative purposes only and is not a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. The views and opinions expressed by the speaker are their own as of the date of the recording and not of General Catalyst. These views should not be relied on as investment or financial advice of any kind. --- 0:50 What has made Microsoft such an exceptionally enduring company? 2:49 How does Microsoft circumvent the Innovator’s dilemma? 4:29 What characteristics are non-negotiable in good CEOs? 6:16 When have you been most surprised by a trait of an individual CEO? 7:05 What separates truly exceptional CTOs from good CTOs? 9:08 How do you balance input from your sales team with long-term vision in your product roadmap? 11:13 What are the signs that you should replace your technical co-founder with an experienced hire? 12:43 What have you learned about finding and evaluating great technical talent? 14:19 What do great technical co-founders look like? 16:15 How should you think about the structure of your technical organization? 18:33 For a CTO, what really changes when the company scales from 5 to 50, and 50 to 500 people? 21:12 What are the 3 most common root causes of company failure? 22:46 What do founders think matters in the early stages that doesn’t? 23:45 What are the most insightful questions you ask when being pitched by founders? 24:43 What is one important truth about company-building that very few people would agree with?
#1 Alex Bouaziz, Co-founder & CEO of Deel | Building a €5B business in 3 years
24:57In just over three years, Alex Bouaziz has scaled Deel to more than €5B in valuation and 700 employees across 60+ different countries. In the episode, we discuss the principles, systems and choices that have put him and Deel on that trajectory of true hypergrowth. This episode marks the first in a new era for the Soaked by Slush podcast, in which we will laser focus on company-building advice, interviewing some of the most iconic founders and investors of our generation to uncover the first principles behind the companies they have built. --- 0:42 Without which habit would you not be where you are today? 1:27 If you got to relive your early 20s, what would you spend more time on? 2:03 What are you inherently better at than most founders? What have you had to painfully cultivate? 3:15 What systems do you have in place at Deel to mitigate your lack of a knack for documentation? 4:31 Can you choose to become a founder first, and come up with ideas second? 6:11 When and why did you give up on your first company, Lifeslice? 7:51 Because of your experience at Lifeslice, what did you do differently in the early days of Deel? 9:32 How can I as a prospective founder understand whether I’m better at B2B or B2C? 10:46 How did you concretely listen to customers and iterate on the product early on? 12:50 How can you ensure that your speed of execution ripples down the organisation? 15:10 As their companies scale, how should founders manage their own responsibilities? 16:49 A common aphorism is that companies need a different CEO for each stage of growth. What are those phases? How should you adapt? 18:20 When should you promote people into leadership positions? When should you hire externally? 19:40 If you showed me your calendar, what would I find most surprising? 20:37 Who do you go to for advice? 21:53 What is the most impactful question you’ve asked the CEO of another company? 22:59 What is an important truth about company-building that few people would agree with?
In Conversation With Robert Lacher, Founding Partner at Visionaries Club | What would a founder's ideal VC look like?
38:00Hi folks. Slush 2021 happened, and we had the opportunity to record some fun and interesting episodes on location. This week’s guest is Robert Lacher, an entrepreneur and Founding Partner at the Berlin-based VC Visionaries Club. Robert is a central figure in the European VC-scene, and is an excellent brain to pick about what entrepreneurs should think about when shopping for investors nowadays. Being a recent former entrepreneur, he himself has sought out to build a VC from his perspective of what would be most useful to founders. In this episode, we will delve into these perspectives, from personal chemistry to access and network. And we talked about Europe too, of course. Expect to learn: Why access and network means more than ever What is Robert’s unique take on Europe’s strengths in entrepreneurship? Why is the personal relationship between investor and founder important? “VCs are all about upside, not about downside” Timestamps: 1:06 Start 1:40 Intro for Robert Lacher and Visionaries Club 4:25 On the value VCs can provide to entrepreneurs these days 6:42 How has access and network changed in Europe? 11:58 Why Europe, why now? 15:19 How should entrepreneurs think about VC fit? 18:50 The role of network and access 22:20 The personal relationship between VC and Founder 27:15 Can that relationship be too close and friendly? 31:15 On failing 33:55 Curating the VC setup — Find out more about Capchase on capchase.com/slush