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Why Early-Stage VCs Shouldn’t Place Bets

Episode description

Rob Go, Co-Founder of NextView Ventures, knows what the future of business looks like. In fact, he’s invested in it: As an early-stage VC, he’s backed many companies that made it big, including several that were later acquired by Microsoft, Twitter, and Google.

In this special episode, Rob shares his thoughts on what it takes to get traction for your product, why investors shouldn’t place bets, and what else he looks for in companies he invests in.                                                                                  

Want to see the live recording of this episode? Watch it here: http://bit.ly/RobGoTGS

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26:13

Victoria Ransom has never been afraid of doing things a little differently than her peers. She once left New Zealand suburbia to attend school in the …

The Surprising Benefit of Sharing Secrets: PostSecret’s Founder on His Decade-Long Social Experiment

May 17th, 2016

26:41

Meet Frank Warren, the person who likely keeps the most secrets in the world. In fact, he has a whole room in his house devoted to storing them. …

charity: water’s Founder on the Power of Naivety

May 10th, 2016

20:49

charity: water’s founder, Scott Harrison, spent 10 years as a club promoter before starting his nonprofit. Yet, over a decade later, he’s managed to help over 6 million people get access to clean water. How did he …

What NBA Legend Bill Walton Learned From the Most Influential Leaders in His Life

May 3rd, 2016

24:11

Bill Walton’s life is one of extremes. Back in the 80s, he was a talented player on the Celtics. After his illustrious sports career, he went on to win awards for his career as a sportscaster. He's also experienced some …

Making “The Message”: Why GE Took a Big Bet on Podcasting (And What’s Next)

April 19th, 2016

18:43

As the Chief Creative Officer of GE, Andy Goldberg led the charge in developing new stories on emerging platforms and broadening General Electric's …

How to Inspire Others to Make Bold Changes: Tips for Turning Your Vision Into Reality

April 12th, 2016

24:45

Part of being an exceptional leader means setting a solid vision for your team - and getting them on board to execute your vision together. But that …

Building LEGO: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Iconic Brand’s Growth

April 5th, 2016

26:01

For Michael McNally, working at LEGO was destiny. As a kid, he was a die-hard LEGO fanatic. So when he stumbled on a LEGO job listing as an adult, he …

Why the Best Managers Don't Have All the Answers

March 29th, 2016

22:57

When you're a manager, it can be tempting to always have an answer for your employees' questions. But it turns out, the best managers aren't always …

How to Build a Brand When No One Understands What You Do

March 24th, 2016

19:27

The first rule of branding is to nail down a solid story. But what if your story is extremely complicated and technical? That's the situation Mike …

The Happiness Equation: How to Design a More Fulfilling Life

March 19th, 2016

29:26

Most people think happiness is a destination. You work hard. You become successful. Then, you're happy. Rinse and repeat for a happy life...right? …

The Unconventional Habits of Highly Productive People

March 15th, 2016

34:34

How do they actually get so much done in a day? We've all had this thought run through our minds before. The person in question tackles a bunch of projects at work, spends time with family, nurtures their personal …

The Slow Growth Advantage: How This Food Truck Turned Overnight Fame Into Long-Term Profit

March 8th, 2016

21:08

James DiSabatino didn't set out to build one of Boston's biggest food trucks. In fact, he didn't have much of a plan at all. He just knew he wanted to sell grilled cheese, and a food truck was a relatively cheap way to …

Patagonia’s Rick Ridgeway: Eye-Opening Lessons for Working (and Living) Adventurously

March 1st, 2016

35:15

At Patagonia, transparency isn't convenient. "Transparency is telling the good and the bad," says Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia's VP of Environmental Affairs. "It is having the moxie to openly tell our customers and other …

Developing the Writing Algorithm: Can Computers Teach Us to Be Better Writers?

February 23rd, 2016

20:25

Learning to write is a painful process. Here's how it typically goes: You spend hours crafting something you think will be a good piece. You submit …

The Power of No: 3 Leaders Discuss Their Most Difficult Decisions

February 18th, 2016

23:43

Some things in life are easy to turn down. Offered a boiling cup of coffee in the middle of the summer? That's an easy thing to pass on. But some decisions in life aren't so clear-cut. In this episode of The Growth …

How One Entrepreneur Built a Six-Figure Tech Company Without Knowing a Line of Code

February 16th, 2016

19:18

When Mike Wilner first set out to build his tech startup, there was a huge elephant in the room: He had no idea how to code. To make matters worse, the company didn’t have a technical founder, either. Not one to let his …

How ChefSteps Plans to Make You Fall in Love With Cooking Again

February 9th, 2016

23:54

For many, cooking is a chore. After a long day of work, you come home to throw together an easy-yet-healthy-enough meal. After whipping it up and …

Selling Snow: How One Couple Built a Booming Side Business From Boston's Biggest Blizzard

February 2nd, 2016

16:22

It was snowing. A lot. Boston was in the midst of a blizzard, receiving the most snow ever in recorded history. Kyle and Jessica Waring were stranded in their apartment, racking their brains for something to do. Then, …

ClassPass' Founder on the Twists & Turns of Growing the Popular Fitness Startup

January 26th, 2016

14:10

When Payal Kadakia quit her job at Warner Music Group, she didn't have a backup plan. She knew she wasn't happy in her job, but she wasn't sure what …

No Such Thing As Luck? 3 Entrepreneurs Dish on Their Biggest Breaks

January 21st, 2016

30:38

Most people would agree: Luck is an integral ingredient to success. The tough part is, getting lucky is all up to chance. You can't predict it. You …

What Great Bosses Do Differently

January 19th, 2016

35:31

When was the last time you held back valuable feedback for fear of being mean? We've all done this before. We think we're being kind. But, we aren't. Turns out, this behavior can have drastic consequences when you do …

How to Discover the Next Big Thing: Advice From Mozilla's CMO, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff

January 12th, 2016

26:28

We all want to be the one to uncover the next big thing - the next big app, the next big trend, the next big growth strategy. We take big bets. We tell our boss that surely this is the thing that's going to take off. If …

Everlane's Founder on Building a Transparent, Focused & Cutting-Edge Fashion Brand

January 5th, 2016

25:03

Everlane isn't like many other contemporary fashion brands. While others drive profits by discretely marking up low-cost goods, Everlane discloses the line-by-line costs for producing their products - and how much money …

Disrupting a Centuries-Old Industry: How Robinhood Plans to Upend the Financial Sector's Giants

December 29th, 2015

18:10

When you're up against companies with household names and centuries of experience, how do you win market share? It's simple: Find out what they don't …

The Realities of Scaling a Startup: Inside Wistia's 10-Year Path to 200K Customers

December 22nd, 2015

27:21

In the beginning, Wistia had just a few guys working out of an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It took them a year to make their first dollar, …

Lyft's CMO on Disrupting a Competitive Industry, Scaling Culture & Hiring Player-Coaches

December 15th, 2015

23:01

Pink mustaches. Fist bumps. A seat up front. These quirks help differentiate Lyft as the friendly, human option in an uber-competitive industry. And it's working. Today, the company is one of the fastest-growing …

Behind the Scenes With Zappos: How to Build a Lovable Company Culture

December 8th, 2015

28:13

Ah, company culture. It's the management buzzword du jour. And it's often the overlooked, compartmentalized, and misunderstood element to building a …

The Secrets to Becoming a Radically Honest, Passionate & Audacious Leader

December 2nd, 2015

23:03

Kai Kight's background is anything but typical. When he was three, he began learning the violin, later going on to perform in places like the White …

Mo Mustaches, Mo Growth: The Rise of the Movember Movement

November 24th, 2015

22:25

It began as a bet in a bar. A group of friends got together and decided to see who could grow the coolest mustache. Over a decade later, this bet has …

Growth Secrets From Canva: How the Design Startup Acquires 30K New Users a Day

November 17th, 2015

22:46

Visual content: Everyone knows they need it, but many people lack the skills or tools to do it well. That is, until Canva entered the picture in …

How to Compete With Google: Inside This Startup's Plan to Disrupt the #1 Search Engine in the World

November 10th, 2015

17:23

Would you ever start a company that competed with Google? Back in 2007, that's exactly what Gabriel Weinberg did. He created DuckDuckGo, an …

Succeeding on Medium: How the Hottest Publishing Platform Rewards Quality Content & Conversation

November 3rd, 2015

25:10

In a world where attention spans are shortening and there's more and more content than ever, how should a company grow its brand online? Enter …

How to Become an Influential Leader: Tips on Hiring, Growth & Management From Charlene Li

October 27th, 2015

27:58

Technology has completely changed the way people work -- especially leaders at high-growth companies. How should managers approach hiring, growth, …

How to Make Your Own Luck: Problogger's Founder on the Secrets to Success (Live at #INBOUND15)

October 20th, 2015

12:46

It all started with an email from a friend, mentioning this thing called a "blog." Darren Rowse learned of this new trend taking the internet by storm - and he wanted to try it to build a business. Thirteen years later, …

Embracing Doubt & Other Leadership Lessons From a Former Executive at LinkedIn (Live at #INBOUND15)

October 13th, 2015

20:59

It's natural to be afraid of doubt - especially when you're leading a team. You want to be the calm, cool, and collected leader ... but inside you're …

Todd Rowe, Google’s Managing Director, on Creating a Culture of Innovation (Live at #INBOUND15)

October 6th, 2015

9:36

Ever wonder why Google is so successful? According to Todd Rowe, Managing Director at Google, it all comes down to placing big bets on smart people - …

Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal, Live at #INBOUND15

September 29th, 2015

10:33

The year was 2006. Sophia Amoruso was sitting in her apartment in a bathrobe and selling vintage clothes on eBay. She was the “one man band” behind Nasty Gal: She found the vintage clothes, styled the outfits, modeled …

Jonah Peretti, Founder of BuzzFeed & The Huffington Post, Live at #INBOUND15

September 22nd, 2015

11:02

On this live-recorded episode from INBOUND 2015, Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed & The Huffington Post, joins us to chat about BuzzFeed's insane growth and how viral content spreads.

Marc Maron Live at #INBOUND15

September 16th, 2015

12:10

Comedian and podcaster Marc Maron joins us on this episode of The Growth Show -- the first in a series of live interview's from INBOUND 2015.

Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary

August 31st, 2015

32:41

The founders of Clif Bar could have sold the company for $120M in 2000. Most people would have taken that offer, but instead, Clif Bar wanted to …

Re-Thinking the Way We Work with Basecamp CEO Jason Fried

August 25th, 2015

27:30

Jason Fried is the founder and CEO of Basecamp, the co-author of Getting Real, Remote, and The New York Times Bestseller REWORK. He’s a frequent speaker on management, leadership and is always challenging the status quo …

Ghostery CEO Scott Meyer

August 18th, 2015

32:58

Scott Meyer is the CEO of Ghostery, a technology company that allows consumers and businesses to create safer, faster, and more trusted digital …

The Heady Topper Craze

August 10th, 2015

25:17

John and Jen Kimmich are the owners of the Alchemist Brewery. Their most popular beer, Heady Topper, has become a sensation up and down the East …

Sue Heilbronner, CEO, MergeLane

August 3rd, 2015

35:00

Sue Heilbronner is the CEO and Co-Founder of MergeLane, a startup accelerator in Boulder, CO that discovers, accelerates and invests in exceptional …

Gimlet Media Co-Founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber

July 27th, 2015

33:16

Last year, former This American Life producer and Planet Money co-host Alex Blumberg launched a business of his own: Gimlet Media. In true journalistic fashion, Alex decided to document the entire process of starting …

Harry's Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jeff Raider

July 21st, 2015

25:37

Jeff Raider is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Harry’s. Harry’s is on a mission to make the shaving process easier: all you have to do is enter the number of blades you want and how often you want to get them, and Harry's …

Blue Bottle Coffee CEO James Freeman

July 13th, 2015

25:31

James Freeman is the founder and CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee, a coffee roaster and retailer headquartered in Oakland, California. Blue Bottle has cafes in San Francisco's Ferry Building, New York's Rockefeller Center and …

How 90+ Cellars Became the Fastest Growing Wine Brand in the U.S.

July 6th, 2015

28:25

90+ Cellars is the fastest growing wine brand in the U.S. yet they don’t own any vineyards, they don’t plant any grapes, and they don’t even own any wineries. Kevin Mehra (President) and Brett Vankoski (Vice President) …

Codecademy CEO Zach Sims

June 29th, 2015

22:13

With only one year left until graduation, Zach Sims decided to drop out of Columbia in 2011 to start Codecademy. Fast forward to 2015 and Codecademy …

Elon Musk Biographer and Businessweek Writer Ashlee Vance

June 22nd, 2015

31:06

Veteran tech journalist Ashlee Vance (NYT, Businessweek) joins Mike to talk about Ashlee’s best-selling biography of Elon Musk. Ashlee goes behind …

theSkimm Founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg

June 15th, 2015

27:41

Carly and Danielle quit their jobs at NBC News without a product and only two months worth of savings in their bank accounts. Today, they’re the founders of theSkimm, which has been called Oprah’s must-read newsletter. …

Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat on the Future of Publishing

June 8th, 2015

31:48

We’ve got two special guests on this episode of The Growth Show: Harvard Business Review Group Publisher Josh Macht and Venturebeat Editor-In-Chief Dylan Tweney. Dylan steps in as host and talks to Josh about the future …

How an Event Grew from an Idea to 10,000 Attendees

June 1st, 2015

16:31

If you've ever thought about running an event for your business, you don't want to miss this episode. Mike sits down with HubSpot's VP of Brand & Buzz Cindy Goodrich to talk about how INBOUND grew from a small …

Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer, HubSpot

May 31st, 2015

30:15

When Mark Roberge joined HubSpot in 2007, he had never run a sales team and was not familiar with the conventional techniques that sales managers used to drive and inspire their teams. So he stuck with what he knew how …

Ask Mike Anything

May 29th, 2015

26:28

Mike answers your questions on this special episode of The Growth Show — including how his team maintains a startup mentality, the right way to pay …

Michelle Miller, The Underwriting

May 25th, 2015

29:03

In 2013, Michelle Miller left her job at JP Morgan to write a story about Wall Street and Silicon Valley called The Underwriting. She knew nothing about publishing or marketing a book but knew she wanted to do something …

Ministry of Supply CEO Gihan Amarasiriwardena

May 20th, 2015

31:06

Imagine wearing a dress shirt that didn’t make you sweat on your commute to work? Launched out of MIT, Ministry of Supply has set out to do just that: create clothes for work that behave like clothes you’d wear to the …

Boston Red Sox SVP of Brand and Marketing, Adam Grossman

May 17th, 2015

26:55

The concept of growth is a little different when you run marketing for a professional sports team. For Adam Grossman, SVP of marketing and brand development for the Boston Red Sox, success is often dictated by two …

Brandee Barker, Facebook’s First PR Executive

May 11th, 2015

41:00

Brandee Barker was hired in 2006 as Facebook’s first head of communications. While at Facebook, she led the PR strategy around their investments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships and product announcements, including …

Product Strategy with Intercom Co-Founder Des Traynor

May 7th, 2015

20:53

Des Traynor is one of the best in the business when it comes to product strategy and managing growth. He joins HubSpot’s Meghan Keaney Anderson on this bonus episode of The Growth Show to talk about why product strategy …

Seth Godin

May 4th, 2015

27:46

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, a marketer, an author and a speaker. People have called him the godfather of modern marketing and the best marketing …

Warby Parker Co-Founder Neil Blumenthal

April 27th, 2015

28:02

Neil Blumenthal and his friends (later turned co-founders) were tired of paying outrageous prices for their glasses, so they did what any crazy and …

Meerkat Founder Ben Rubin

April 24th, 2015

30:44

Two months ago, Meerkat didn’t even exist. Today, the live-streaming app has over 700,000 active users, including celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Madonna. Meerkat founder Ben Rubin sits down with HubSpot CMO Mike …

SoulCycle VP of PR & Brand Strategy Gabby Cohen

April 22nd, 2015

17:24

SoulCycle has evolved into one of the fastest-growing fitness sensations of all-time — the result of a cult-like following that they’ve built that’s …

Product Hunt's Ryan Hoover and Erik Torenberg

April 17th, 2015

27:34

Product Hunt started as an email newsletter in 2013 about founder Ryan Hoover’s favorite new products. Today, Product Hunt has become the place to discover what’s next in tech -- everything from new products to apps, …

Blue Apron Founder & CEO Matt Salzberg

April 13th, 2015

27:14

Blue Apron is one of the fastest-growing food delivery businesses. Each week, they send customers a box that includes recipes and the ingredients needed to create high-quality, fresh meals. And these aren’t just your …

Apple Watch Special: Silicon Valley Veteran Philippe Kahn

April 9th, 2015

28:49

You may not have heard of Philippe Kahn, but you’re definitely familiar with his work: he’s credited with creating the first camera phone and sharing …

Airbnb's Growth Philosophy & Why It's Better to Have 100 People Love You

April 7th, 2015

25:59

Airbnb has already overtaken major hotel companies in terms of its valuation, and their growth could have them on pace to book more guests than …

Slack CMO Bill Macaitis

March 31st, 2015

25:16

Bill Macaitis knows a little bit about growth. In his time as Zendesk CMO, he helped take the company from venture-funded startup through an IPO …

Christine Tsai, Founding Partner, 500 Startups

March 24th, 2015

28:05

Christine Tsai is one of the founding partners of 500 Startups. Prior to 500, Christine spent eight years at Google working on AdSense, Google Analytics and YouTube. She joins HubSpot’s Katie Burke on this episode of …

Executive Coach & Former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK Cameron Herold

March 17th, 2015

29:49

Most people would be thrilled to build one $100 Million business. Cameron Herold has built three, including 1-800-GOT-JUNK, the worlds-largest …

The Podcast Resurgence with Marketing Over Coffee’s John Wall

March 12th, 2015

22:59

John Wall, host of Marketing Over Coffee - one of the most popular and longest running marketing podcasts - joins HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe to talk …

Why Beth Doane Left the Fashion Industry to Change It & The Story Behind Raintees

March 10th, 2015

22:21

After years running a company in the fashion industry and witnessing environmental pollution and human rights violations, Beth Doane had finally seen …

Inside the Mind of a Great Leader: What Boston's Chief of Staff Learned from Arianna Huffington

March 2nd, 2015

27:02

17 years ago, Dan Koh kicked off his career in public service by working in sting operations designed to crack down on cigarette sales to minors. He …

A VC's Advice on Content, Cash & Churn with Tomasz Tunguz

February 24th, 2015

25:24

Tomasz Tunguz is a partner at Redpoint Ventures and former Product Manager at Google. Tomasz is best known for his data-driven blog posts about the key questions facing startups including how to fundraise, startup …

5,000 Tattoos, and $75M in Revenue: Inside Tough Mudder's Rapid Growth

February 17th, 2015

26:36

Will Dean is the founder and CEO of Tough Mudder. Dean came up with the idea for Tough Mudder while at Harvard Business School and at the time, …

Guy Kawasaki on Unconventional Social Media Strategies

February 10th, 2015

46:03

Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple and now Chief Evangelist at Canva joins us to talk about his latest book, The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, and a few of his unconventional social media …

How Shopify Grew 10X in 3 Years

January 29th, 2015

On this episode of The Growth Show, HubSpot’s Mike Volpe and Meghan Keaney-Anderson sit down with Craig Miller, Chief Marketing Officer at Shopify, …

David Skok, Matrix Partners (Pt. 2)

January 29th, 2015

Part 2 of Mike Volpe's interview with David Skok, General Partner, Matrix Partners and four-time entrepreneur.

David Skok, Matrix Partners (Pt. 1)

January 29th, 2015

32:21

On this episode of The Growth Show, HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe sits down with David Skok from Matrix Partners. Skok started his first company in 1977 at …

The Naked Brand and the Importance of Truth in Advertising & Marketing

January 29th, 2015

45:18

On this episode of The Growth Show, HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan & VP of Marketing Cindy Goodrich chat with Jeff Rosenblum, the writer, director, and executive producer of The Naked Brand, a documentary that looks at …

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