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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
Thank you for having me, and I'm from the Boston area. After college, I went directly into a presidential campaign, which I recommend to anybody who has the opportunity to do it, regardless of what your political affiliation is, it's a great opportunity to meet a really, very broad range of people, and it built a great work ethic, I was working 100 plus hour weeks every week, and after that, I went to her Business School, Kennedy School of Government, got out, started a project ahead of the 2012 election called fantasy politics, fantasy football politics and the goal there was to get young people more involved in politics ahead of the 2012 election, had some phenomenal folks on board, ranging from, on the left, the treasurer of the DNC to on the right we had Arnold Schwarzenegger's political director of communications, and we did not do what we intended to do, instead of getting young people involved, we got older people who are already spending two hours a day on CNN and Fox News to spend four hours a day on politics, but it was a very fun ride on. Then, after that started a company out here that basically enabled people to figure out what career they wanted to go into and show them the school educational path to get there. It's a company called Path Source, sold into K-12, a little bit of higher education, adult education, expanded into direct to consumer and that got acquired by Academics tract in March 2017. And then shortly after that, I came on board here at 1984 Ventures as Partner.

What is your investment philosophy? What type of founding team, industry domains, business models, and stages do you invest in?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
We invest in seed-stage companies that are using software to tackle unsexy and antiquated industries. And when we invest, we do have a set of some thesis, but really, we're not thematic investors, we're opportunistic investors, and what I mean by that is we're less trying to look at every single company that fits a certain industry bucket. Instead, we're taking a look for companies that at the highest level are solving a screaming need for some type of customer, right, that there's some customer that just has an enormous problem, needs it solved and you as the company are able to solve that, and then beyond that, we're looking at team, market, product in that order. And to break that down, what we're looking for really phenomenal teams where you've got, ideally, somebody who has insight into a given industry and somebody with really fantastic technical skills tackling that industry. When I talk about market, I'm talking about an enormous market size of a minimum of $1 billion and ideally substantially larger than that, and then building a really terrific, compelling product, ideally, that when you put it in front of a customer, they say, wow, yeah, I would buy this. We invest in both B2B and B2C companies, It's about 70% B2B, meaning business to business and 30% B2C meaning business to consumer. And when we're looking at a business selling to another business, we're able to invest earlier on than business to consumer. And so and I'll sort of walk through why that is, in a minute. But we invest at pre-seed and seed-stage companies and we define that as in terms of evaluation. So we invested at up to a $15 million pre money valuation, meaning that the company is valued at 15 million before this round of capital before they take in this money and, but our norm is more in the sort of 5 to 8 million range, and when we're investing, there's usually 2-3 or 4-5 people on the team, so it's very, very early on, right? We're investing when there's a couple people in a garage, right? And so, that on the B2B side often they're generating 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 in revenue per month, but not always we have invested in companies where you have a business selling to another business, earlier than that. When they just have a product and what we'll usually do there is we won't invest solely based off of, they have a powerpoint and an idea, but if they've built a product and we can put that product in front of, a prospective customer and say, would you buy this and have the CEO pitch that prospective customer and then we've done this a few times where we have to find some customers for for the company, put the CEO on the phone, have the CEO pitch, then have him/her get off the call and say to the customer, Well, now that you heard that, would you buy this? That's the way to sort of validate demand. So that's sort of how we think about that piece. On the B2C side, it's a lot more difficult to validate whether a consumer company is going to succeed before they've launched then its with a B2B company, right? B2B company. If you're creating a product that makes the enterprise procurement simpler, right? You could go to a large B2B company or a large enterprise company and say, Hey, here's what this company is doing, if it solves this problem for you, would you buy it? And the answer is going to be yes or no. When it comes to direct consumers, consumers are just a lot more fickle, right? And so, for consumers, we don't really invest before the company has launched. And we really need to see very, very rapid revenue growth in order to come in and invest in consumer and usually that that sort of translates into somewhere in the range of 20% plus month over month revenue growth. For the first three or four months before, we'd really consider taking a serious look at the company

What information, statistics, or slide deck do you like to see in a founders' first email?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
So I'm a big fan of having an intro deck that you send ahead when you're trying to get on the radar screen of a VC and get your meeting, right? This doesn't have to be your full deck, but it can be seven slides that has kind of your sizzle. It says, here's what we're doing And by the way, we've got initial data that shows our traction is going up into the right and here's who we are, here's the team. It's a strong team for, xyz reason. And so I would ideally do that, and you want to when you're trying to get in the door and get that meeting, ideally, try and come in through a warm introduction through somebody who that investor knows. And when I was on the entrepreneurial side of things, I actually thought this was an exceptionally unfair way to look at the world, right, because some of us just don't have those connections and so, now, once I got onto the venture side of it, I was like, well, I'm not going to do things that way. I'm just gooing to open it up and I'll go on LinkedIn and I'll say, Hey, if you've got an idea, send it over to me. Well, behold, what I found out is that when people reached out directly with their businesses and pitches, that was actually tending to be a lot worse than the businesses and pitches that I got through contacts who knew what I was looking for, right? People would send me the social media companies that they were starting. Even though we don't look at social media companies, it's not disrupting an unsexy or antiquated industry. They send us companies that were crypto-based, where they're starting the latest and greatest cryptocurrency based business. And again, not something that we invest in. The folks who know us, know what we do invest in, and would only forward us those businesses that fit that description. And fit kind of the narrow box where we focus and so that that turns out to be true for a lot of different VCs, regardless of what they invest in, and so if you're reaching out directly you could get a response, but it's just gonna be a much taller hill to climb if you're doing that, then coming in through warm intro. Now, if you do reach out directly, personalize it, if you're sending out this generic email to 100 different VCs thinking that it's a numbers game, in that sense, you're not gonna get any replies. It is a numbers game, but each of those has to be exceptionally tailored. You need to come in and say, Hey, I saw this article that you wrote, thought it really spoke to me and here's how it connects to the business that I'm running. I saw this article about how the staffing industry is changing. I'm starting a tech-enabled staffing company, and I think that this is just an amazing fit for what you're looking for, that type of thing. And so, that's really how I would think about it and the type of data that I would include by the way in, that initial deck again is, make sure you've got revenue data. Make sure you've got a team and make sure you've got market size. The piece around market size, don't include that thing that you found in the McKinsey report that says, that this market is $30 billion. It's useless. Well, the only thing that matters is your TAM-Total Addressable Market. And what that is, the number of people who could buy your widget. Whatever your widget is, multiplied by the price of your widget, that is the only number that matters. The bottoms-up number, that says, here's the total revenue that you could potentially generate with your initial product in the U. S. in year one.

Can you walk us through the due-diligence process, and metrics you look for? What are the steps and a timeline from a founder's first email to cutting out a check?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
Yeah, the due diligence varies depending on how well we know the market, right? There are some industries where we've looked at a 100 companies and we know exactly where the next company that comes and pitches us sort of fits into that ecosystem, and there the amount of digging that we need to do into kind of the market and market dynamics is relatively minimal. And then sometimes somebody comes along and says, hey, we're building something to change the way that the bankruptcy market works and we're like, Oh, well, we haven't looked at the bankruptcy market. So we need to understand this better and really spend, instead of a couple of days, a couple of weeks talking to industry experts and really understanding those market dynamics better. So, one piece is looking at the market dynamics, and that's based on our level of industry knowledge. The second piece is going back to the filters that we look at of team, market, product. We're going to diligence the team, which means, both asking for reference checks but also reaching out to people who you've worked with or for in the past and to say, hey, are you able to give us any confidential feedback on this person? Right? Because ultimately at the stage of which we're investing, the team is so much more important than anything else, because the assumption at the end of the day is you're probably not going to come out of the gate with exactly the right business model. You're gonna pivot, you're gonna get things wrong. And the real question is, are you the right people to be able to iterate very, very, very quickly and figure it out before you run out of runway? So that's a big piece of it. And then it's validating the market demand, right? And so that that goes back to putting the entrepreneur on the phone with potential customers, having him or her pitch and then getting that customer feedback talking to your current customers, asking them about why they like the product about the nature of their need for the product, what were they doing before this, that type of thing. So those are really kind of what we look for. It's usually again, depending on our level of knowledge of the industry and our level of conviction. We've once invested the same day. Normally, that's not how we do it. Usually, it's somewhere in the range of two weeks to three weeks, during which time we're doing somewhere in the range of about three or four meetings with you, getting to know you, getting to know your team and getting to know the business customers etc..

In a term sheet, what are typical terms for funding, cap table, governance, and liquidation? What should founders look out for in a term sheet?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
The world is changing when it comes to financial vehicles, right? It used to be 15 years ago, everybody did equity rounds, but for you guys when you're coming out of school and you're just doing you're raising your first round, the nature of what that raise looks like, and the financial vehicle that you use is different today to some degree, depending on where you are. On the West Coast, everybody uses what's called a Safe Note, and these were created by Y Combinator, which is the leading accelerator out there, and we'll get into safe note in a minute and talk through sort of pluses and minuses of each of these. But so West Coast, it's entirely safe notes there. Those are starting to gain much more prominence on the East Coast, but the East Coast, still, to some significant degree, uses convertible notes, and in the middle of the country, you still see equity rounds for your seed round with a fair amount of frequency. Now there are different ways to think about each of these. We are a big proponents of safe notes and their pre-money and post-money safes. We don't need to get too far into the weeds, but at the highest level, you could think about it in terms of time taken and legal expense. So for an equity round, you're spending 40 or $50,000. Put that round together, and that money is coming out of the money that you just raised. For a convertible note, you're spending 10 to $15,000. And for a safe note you printed it out off of the Y.C. web page and you use that. And you don't need to bring a lawyer into it whatsoever. If you do bring a lawyer into it, they're gonna try and mark it up and put all sorts of crap in there that doesn't need to be there. So don't use a lawyer. So that's sort of one way to think about. Another way to think about it is in terms of the amount of time that you spend on each of these. So for an equity round as well as to some, it's a little bit more complicated, with convertible notes. But apparently, with an equity round, you have to get everybody on the same page at the same time, right? So an equity round happens on a certain day, everybody signs deal gets done, it's over with and you move on, but to get to that point, let's say you've got Investor X and an investor Y who've committed, and they said, All right, we're gonna put in a total of a million dollars, but you want to raise 1.5 million and investor Z is over here and like, Oh, I don't know. I think I want to invest. But I'm still thinking about it. I need to talk to some more people. And while you're waiting for investors Z investors X and Y are like, why is it taking so long for this company to get this round together? Maybe there's actually a problem with this company, gives you this undeserved black eye, and they're like, maybe we should take another look at this company, and I don't know whether I really want to commit or maybe their fund blows up or if it's an individual, they're like, Oh, my dog ate my computer, and so I'm not doing any more investments. And so the longer a deal goes on, the more likely that that deal, something happens, and it becomes a lot harder to close. The benefit of safe notes from an entrepreneurial's perspective is, If you find investor X, Investor X says I'll invest 500,000 at this valuation and you sign that, they sign that and they wire the money the next day. And then you go to investor Y a week later, have them sign. You just layer these on and if you want to change the valuation, you don't have a board. You don't have anybody you have to ask, you just go do it. So from an entrepreneurial perspective, safe notes are just substantially more convenient and so that's sort of what I would tend to look for. The other piece of that is with equity rounds, often, those tend to come with the creation of a board, and you don't really need a boarded seed stage. You need a board once you raise your Series A, at the seed stage. What's that? Well, you're gonna be iterating through things at light speed. You don't. You shouldn't be asking for permission every time you need to iterate when you're a seed-stage company. So I would actually advise against having a board if you can avoid it. Some people like it, at seed stage. It's not necessarily optimal. Cap table, you should be expecting to give up somewhere in the range of, for sort of a proper seed, somewhere in the range of about 20 to 25% of your company. You should expect to do that basically in each major round of funding that does not include your sort of friends and family or angel round where it's somewhere, probably more in the 7 to 10% range Okay. There's not a lot of them, with a post-money safe from an entrepreneurial perspective, it gives you maximum convenience. The downside is that if you choose to raise your subsequent round of funding, also on a safe note, then the dilution from that round does not hit your previous investors. It hits your, it's solely to the company, but if you do your Series-A or your Series seed as an equity round, that's sort of a non-issue.

How can founders reduce the risk of product-market fit? What are the common mistakes that founders make and how can they avoid those?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
The quickest way to get to product Market fit is, test and iterate. Build, test and iterate, right? And so you'll find these companies sometimes, they're like, I'm going to, I'm gonna architect this whole thing out. I'm gonna do so much customer research. I did months and months and months of customer research. And then I'm gonna go out and raise before I launch. And so, a year and a half after they started the company, they're going out to raise and investors look at that and say, Why the hell haven't you actually launched a product? You're gonna learn so much more about what your customer's want and what they're willing to pay for by actually giving them a pardon my language, but a mildly shitty product than by just researching what they want. Actually, we had this with a portfolio company that kept on saying, Oh, we've got to really perfect this product before we roll it out to our customers and we had invested pre-seed, it was a B2B company. I'm not going to say the name, but they kept on saying, Oh, this type of customer's going to need X,Y, and Z features. And we've just got to get it perfect before we roll it out because we've only got one shot and we kept on saying, look, just roll out an MVP, a Minimum Viable Product And see, to a small number of beta customers see what they say, and you're going to get some stuff wrong and then iterate on it and just keep going fast. Well, it took them an extra six months, and they finally rolled it out. And lo and behold, it turned out that they had the wrong customer, right? It turned out that, within this target market ecosystem they were going after customer X and they really ought to have been going after customer Y. Well, they figured, to their credit, they figured that out pretty quickly, switched over to customer Y, and ultimately the company's done phenomenally well and they're growing at light speed, its great, but they wasted six months, right? They could have figured this all out and saved a full half-year of time. If they just rolled that thing out with a crappier version of their product. And, they would've figured that out much, much faster. So the take away here is, don't wait. Just build something. Get it out to your customers, see what your customers saying, do and then iterate on that.

How do you set goals and track a startup's progress? How much do you get involved in the day-to-day operations? When do you intervene?

Summarized By: Karan Bhatia on Mon Sep 14 2020
So we don't, we as the VCs don't set goals and, we also don't take board seats by design, so it's up to the entrepreneur to set those goals at the seed stage. Once you're at a series A and you've got a board, it's a joint process. What we will do is advise on what you need to do, right? And so, what you'll usually hear is that you have to, as a goal, get to a million ARR. That's not really right. Now it's much more like 1.5 million, but sometimes it's actually less than a million, and what really determines it is a few things. Most important is growth. What VCs really invest in, is not what your ARR is, It is how fast you're growing and how big your market is, right? A company that is at 750,000 in ARR and ARR if you're not familiar with it, is Annual Reoccurring Revenue. If a company that's at 750,000 ARR and got there in six months is so much more attractive than a company that's at two million ARR and got there in three years because ultimately the nature of venture capital is that we are investing in companies trying to find a company that's going to be worth well over a billion dollars within a 10 year period. And in order to get there, you have to have lightning growth in a massive market. And so, the goals that you should set are around, How do I grow this exceptionally quickly? And when we, and so that's really what we're looking for, is Are you making the right hires? Are you making hires that will get you there, figuring out if the machine that you're building is not getting to that point and when I say machine I'm not talking about a physical object. I'm talking about the business that you're building is not doing what it's supposed to be in terms of revenue growth, then figuring out what, right? And so we'll sit down with the founders, work through things and, help them figure out from a strategy, tactics, hiring standpoint, what's missing? So we're not involved in on a day to day basis. We're really doing a call with our founders, probably once a month, we're kind of sitting down with them for an hour, seeing how things were going, seeing where we can be helpful, suggesting that they start working on raising their next round of capital before they think they need it, that type of thing.

What qualities and accomplishments does your team look for while hiring associates or interns? What is the interview process and what type of questions are asked?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
this may be disappointing, but we we don't really hire associates or interns where that there there are a lot of firms that do were of a mind set. So somewhat similar toe benchmark, which is one of the top Siris eight firms that we don't want a filter between the companies and the partners, meaning the role that associates and interns and analysts usually play is they go out and, you know, scour TechCrunch etcetera for for companies doing initial call with them. And if it's if it's of interest, uh, then they surface that to a partner who then does the following call. Well, we we kind of want our partners to be at that base level where we're seeing everything. We're all over the place on DWI really have the that the lay of the land. And frankly, we don't want to, on a personal level, lose that level of hustle that that gets us into the best companies, allows us to to get first look, um, and we we sort of pride ourselves on when we get that first look. No knowing the sort of potential for for a very successful company when we see it So, um, um, it's probably a sub optimal answer if I was in your shoes, but that's that's kind of how we think about it.

What helped you to stand out in your hiring process? How should someone prepare for an interview for a job like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
So So I I am not a great example of this, but I'll tell you how I got my job and then we'll walk through how you should think about getting years. So, uh huh. I had just sold my my company came on board, as as the executive vice president of the company that acquired mind and didn't really want to do ad Tech anymore. Was kind of trying to figure out what to do next and was having a conversation with a old friend of mine who had both been a good friend for the last decade. Ish Aziz Well, as a informal adviser on the sort of tail end of of my last company. So we had sort of had both business relationships and and a personal friendship, and he was like, Yeah, you know, I'm about to start this venture fund and we're about to do our first close. You won't come on board. And I said, Yeah, and so that's kind of how it happened on Do you know we gave it a try, and it turned out to be a really good fit and just a phenomenal experience. That's not normally how these things well is somehow how these things sometimes go, But you can get you don't have thio have a 10 year friendship with the venture capitalist in order to get a job in the industry? Other does does help. Uh, the the way that it often happens instead is you find companies for someone, right? You. The best way to prove that you're potentially good at this job is to be good at this job. On what I mean by that is wherever you were in school. Right now, there's probably people who are starting companies. They're probably people in your either in your network or even if they're not in your network. Just kind of a cross. That's certainly tons of companies are getting started every day across the US and so you can take a look at your school in your network. Who, starting companies, you can take a look more broadly, do the work that an analyst at a VC firm would do and look at the TechCrunch is and so on and and even, you know, try their product, reach out to them, ask questions, and then when you find things that are interesting, you've got, say, four or five firms that you would really like to intern with, get initial job with etcetera and you reach out to a partner one of them and say, Look, I recognize you're not not not gonna hire me off the bat. I'd like to prove myself to you by sending you companies on. Do you know if I send you enough really fantastic cos I'd love to have a more serious conversation, Um, and so and then he starts sending them companies. And the key thing is that on Lee, send them good companies, right? If you're there's, there's nothing more painful than getting get as as a partner in a VC firm than getting, uh, somebody who's constantly sending you companies and those air bad companies and the and I know a few people who do that, and it's Ah, uh, it's not going to get your job. Eso you know, if you send three phenomenal Cos it's so much better than sending you know five phenomenal companies and you know, 15 kind of crappy companies because that then suggests that you don't have the judgment to figure out which is which. So So that's, uh, that's kind of how I think about is start sending companies and start building that relationship by proving yourself

How would new industry developments affect the job market? What skills, majors, and upcoming job roles would you encourage students to consider?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
uh, new industry developments. You mean in in venture? Presumably right. Eso You know, they there are a couple of of things that might that that could impact the industry. Uh, writ large, right. The venture industry sort of waxes and wanes, and but generally it's it's been expanding over time. And I think I think what your oral you're seeing right now is that there's there's a fair amount of capital going to a later stage and eventually they'll switch and it'll move towards, um, you know, seed in an earlier stage. It turns out, by the way, that when you take a look at the industry writ large, the risk reward ratio looks best at sea stage. But I don't think word of that is necessarily filtered out. But what When, when I think about things that could could potentially be game changing in the industry, I'd say that the most interesting thing that I've been keeping an eye on is the application of a i N M l two picking companies, and that that's something that one of these things where if you talk to a lot of VCs, they sort of say, uh that no, it takes so much judgment. And if you you gotta you gotta be able to look the entrepreneur in the eye and and see their soul and and and figure out whether this person's got it. I don't really think that's the case. Um, right. You know, if you ask taxi drivers before uber whether they could be replaced, they would have said no, of course not. You know, nobody could know the map of of Boston the way that I dio. But lo and behold, uber has done just fine. Well, that well, well, with the number of caveats. Um, but, you know, the take away there is a I is moving into a lot of different areas and it might move into venture their real challenge. There is lack of data you need to be able to train a model and outcomes in in venture capital are are very hush hush, right. But if you try and take a look at how much X y or Z company sold for in order to, you know, be able to train a AI model on hey, this set of inputs leads to this type of output. Well, you can't find out very often. What the output iss. We can't find out how much that company sold for. And just knowing that soul doesn't tell you anything useful. Um, and so that I think, has been the thing that's prevented, um, that this space from really being over taken, but that that may change over time. Uh, separately, I think you were asking about kind of skills and majors and Andi, that type of thing. Look, I come from a liberal arts background. It was the most useless, um, degree that one could have gone. I was in this weird high honors college. You could design your own major. I chose the name of my major three months before he graduated. It was environmental policy, politics and law. I could have called it rocket science. Uh, they, you know, call it whatever I wanted, but the in terms of what's going to be most useful to you, I would say, uh, computer science, right. But it also gives you the greatest range of options in terms of what you you end up doing next. Um, you know, if you have a computer science degree, you you can, uh, to to some degree for now, write your own ticket. You know there's there's all of these no code startups that that air coming out that may change the way things work. But I think, ah, computer science degree for the next 20 years or so at least will will continue to pay dividends and within this industry will be very useful and and just understanding and it, you know, deep core level what a company is building.

How did you set the scope for your minimal viable product? How did you get to product-market fit? How did your product evolve over time?

Based on experience at: CEO, PathSource
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
mhm. Frankly, we we did not learn as quickly as we should, have we? We We built a product fairly quickly, started selling it into K 12 and and that was that. The speed to which we got to market was good. The the speed at which we made the decision that we were not in an optimal market was not we We sold in the K 12 and we were, and and again high level with path source Did is we built a a suite of tools that enabled initially students eventually everybody to figure out what type of career they wanted to go into show them a school educational path to get there. We also built a A skills based curriculum and a bunch of really cool things around that, Um and you know, we got in this very sizable district's ranging from San Francisco to Chicago, etcetera on dat ze. But it was it was painful. The sale cycles into K 12 were exceptionally slow. Um, and the amount of money for a product like what we were building just wasn't actually all that much. We we were wrong about the size of the budgets that were that were available on DSO. It took us a while to realize that because, you know, we were getting into these these large district's and so we sort of looked at that and said, Well, you know, these districts will act as reference customers for other districts, etcetera. But eventually, you know, we really came to realize that we this was just not going to yield venture scale growth, Um, and so that that eventually got to expand on into, um, working with colleges, working with adult, that we became the career arm of the G D. So every, um, you know, every adult ed student in the country was getting access to our our tools through the G D on D eventually via B two c direct to consumer through ah sweet of APS. We by the time we sold way, actually had 16 top rated APS throughout the APP store. You know, the, um, taught that the number one career app in the APP store etcetera on dso that that's sort of the the evolution that we went through is, uh, just looking at theory, rate of growth and and saying all right is this rate of growth going to get us to our next round of financing. And is it going to get us to, um, you know, ah, compelling exit within a reasonable period of time for ourselves and our investors. And, you know, when the market where we started k 12 the answer is no. But as we as we really started expanding into thes other areas, we saw boom, boom, boom faster and faster rates of growth and, you know, eventually got to where we really wanted to be. Um, but it was, you know, you just have thio not look at the world through rose colored lenses, and, uh, and make that decision, Aziz quickly as you can.

Who were your early users? What marketing channels, approaches, and marketing tools did you use to contact users? What worked and what didn't?

Based on experience at: CEO, PathSource
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
K 12 school district's We we reached out to them in in a pretty broad range of ways. We attended conferences. We did direct outreach. We, uh, network like hell reached out to through one customer and ask them for referrals to other customers and and all these things worked. One of the challenges that we realized in K 12 is that it is a sort of a classic old boys network where literally the, uh, the large one of the largest companies, I believe the largest company in in education still is is Pearson. And they have these sales people who have been golfing with the assistant superintendents in charge of curriculum for the last 10 or 20 years. And so they come in and say, You know, hey, a John Hey, Janet, I've I've got this new thing. You should buy it. And those purchases often happen based off of relationship as opposed to off of efficacy on dso you know. Also, we ended up hiring people who had those 10 20 year relationships, and so that ended up helping as well. Eso So so you know, you sort of learn what Ah what what works and and how that buying process functions. And, you know, the key thing is to really understand your your sales funnel assed quickly as you can.

What were the major exciting and memorable moments? Were there also any moments that almost got you to quit? How did you get past them?

Based on experience at: CEO, PathSource
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
what? So when you get a major sale, it's It's this phenomenal moment. And for us we were doing path source both because of the find potential financial return, but also because this was this was a social impact business, right? It was something that my co founder and I deeply, deeply cared about, Um, and wanted to change people's lives on dso any. Any cell that we got made a huge difference. The This was a phenomenally rated app. It still is. Even though I'm no longer I haven't been involved in the company for years. I'll still from time to time go take a look at the APS reviews on the APP store because it was it was just wonderful to wake up in the morning. And you go and take a look at some of your new new reviews and see people say this change my life, right? And so that that was just this. It made me want to get up and and g o kill myself Thio to get this thing to work and to get into the hands of more people every morning

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts in each of your college programs?

Based on experience at: MBA, Business Leadership, Harvard Business School
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
So School college did not prepare me particularly well for my career. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot. It was very interesting, but I I fully expected that I was going to be an environmental lawyer, and I targeted my entire college experience around that. And then I graduated and applied today. Some law schools got in and was about to go. And then I sort of said, You know, I should probably go do an internship in law before I go spend three years and $150,000 on this. And so I did. And it was the best decision I ever made because I within uh, probably a week realized that this would have been a horrendous decision that I I really didn't like. The job would have been good at the job in every which way. Uh, if I'd gone to law school, I would have been miserable. And by the way, uh, I. Since then, I have come across so many lawyers who regret the decision to become lawyers. In fact, one of our first hires at Path source was somebody who joined us because she said, I wish I had this when I was when I was in college, because I ended up going to law and realizing that it wasn't a good fit for me. And now I've got all this law school debt and just wasted years. So, uh, you know, one of the takeaways here is do as main internships is you can industries that you think you might want to go into early on to understand how those industries were, uh, to take advantage of faculty, spend a lot of time with them. I certainly did. I, the faculty who I spent a lot of time with, did not actually end up being relevant for my career. But I'm still friends with some of them, and it really was very powerful. And finally, you know, just looking forward for you guys. Thio to the possibility of grad school, you know, look, between Ah, you, me. And you know, however many people are watching this, um uh, Harvard Business School was was a terrific experience, and it was a terrific experience, in part because of, uh, just really phenomenal faculty who did a great job teaching, but also because of really phenomenal students who also did a great job teaching them that they the nature of the case study method which is what they used teach there is they the students teach each other and they all came in with, you know, really great experience. The opposite was true, actually at the Kennedy School to some degree where you had all of these really big name professors who could not teach very well on DSO It matters matters a lot to find faculty who are great teachers, as opposed to faculty who are big names Unless you're you're taking their class because you want them to connect you with somebody.