E249: Rob Hayes of First Round Capital on This Week in Startups



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On This Week in Startups, Uber VC Rob Hayes of First Round Capital stopped by the program to offer his investor’s insight on the state of startups. Discussed were his investments in Mint and Uber, his best advice for young entrepreneurs and what he thinks founder need to succeed.

1:00-2:15 Welcome everyone, with me today is Rob Hayes of First Round Capital.
2:15-4:00 Thank you to eMinutes for sponsoring the show. If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, contact eMinutes for free incorporation services!
5:00-5:30 Your speciality is getting into deals early, yes?
5:30-7:30 What is the average fund size?
7:30-8:30 Were Josh and Howard visionaries when they decided on this fund size?
8:30-11:30 What’s different about what you guys do than the Sequoia Capitals of the world?
11:30-13:30 When startups raise a huge fund without anyone in charge, what problems does that cause?
13:30-15:30 Tyler: Breast augmentation is a leading indicator of a bubble.
15:30-19:15 Was Instagram a “bubble-like” purchase, in your mind?
19:15-22:45 What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs, go for growth or go for revenue?
22:45-25:45 Thank you to Trada for supporting TWiST! Everyone thank @Trada!
25:45-29:15 What are the things you look for that make you want to invest in companies?
29:15-30:45 When you’re not going to invest in something, how do you tell the person know?
30:45-34:15 Rob explains his process working with Mint.com’s Aaron Patzer.
34:15-36:00 What was your biggest hit? Uber? How did you get them?
36:00-37:00 What are some of First Round’s other big hits?
37:00-38:15 Is Jack Dorsey a genius?
38:15-43:30 If you were on the board of Apple, would you give a stock dividend or purchase companies?
43:30-46:30 It’s time to play “Guess the Fake Startup” with Kirin Kalia of LAUNCH.
46:30-53:15 Jason, Tyler and Rob review the startups for consideration.
53:15-54:00 LearningTrails.com is the fake startup!
54:00-56:30 What’s the most important trait for an entrepreneur to succeed?
56:30-59:45 Is a certain humility necessary?
59:45-1:00:45 If you’ve made enough money that you don’t have to work, why do you still do what you do?
1:00:45-1:02:45 How much harder is it to be a founder than it is to be a VC?
1:02:45-1:04:45 Why is First Round’s reputation so good?
1:04:45-1:06:00 Have you ever funded someone who emailed you cold?
1:06:00-1:08:30 What’s your biggest miss?
1:08:30-1:10:00 What’s your take on the YCombinator bubble?
1:10:00-1:11:15 Tyler: Is Silicon Valley losing its grip as “startup mecca”?
1:11:15-1:11:45 Thank you to our friends at eMinutes and Trada.
1:11:45-1:13:00 Rob, thank you for joining us today. And remember, TWI is still looking for a CEO. If you’re a samurai CEO, email jason@thisweekin.com. We’ll see you next time!

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Keep up with the latest from our sister company, LAUNCH:

Jason: @jason
Tyler: @steepdecline
Rob: @robhayes
Trada: @trada
eMinutes: @eminutes

Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!

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