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Sarah Tavel

20 Podcast Episodes

Latest 20 Jan 2022 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Greatest Hits: Investing in Marketplaces with Sarah Tavel and Nabeel Hyatt

Village Global's Venture Stories

We're re-releasing some of the best episodes from the podcast this summer.Sarah Tavel (@sarahtavel), partner at Benchmark, and Nabeel Hyatt (@nabeel), partner at Spark Capital, joined Erik on this episode.They discussed:- Why they love investing in marketplaces and the evolution of marketplaces over the last decade.- Why the wave of Uber For X startups didn’t take off.- How they evaluate marketplaces, and why founders get confused about “which race they’re running” when creating a marketplace startup.- Where they’re excited about seeing more marketplaces and which spaces they advise founders to avoid.- The impact of SoftBank and their analysis of the current crop of public marketplace companies.- Common mistakes they see founders making in marketplace startups.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

1hr 1min

11 Aug 2021

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#113 Sarah Tavel: The Value of Intellectual Rigor

The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

Sarah Tavel has spent the past four years as a general partner at venture capital firm Benchmark, after previously serving in the same role with Greylock Partners and as the first-ever product manager at Pinterest. In this episode Shane and Sarah how studying philosophy helped in her career as a venture capitalist, the value of intellectual rigor, her concept of the net-present value of pain, why every strength has a corresponding weakness, where executive boards go wrong, assessing the performance of a CEO, lessons of rapidly scaling at Pinterest, and so much more. -- Want even more? Members get early access, hand-edited transcripts, member-only episodes, and so much more. Learn more here: https://fs.blog/membership/ Every Sunday our Brain Food newsletter shares timeless insights and ideas that you can use at work and home. Add it to your inbox: https://fs.blog/newsletter/ Follow Shane on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ShaneAParrish

1hr 3mins

15 Jun 2021

Similar People

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20VC: Benchmark's Sarah Tavel on Why Chasing GMV Will Lead To The Wrong Direction, The 2 Crucial Tipping Points For Marketplace Adoption, Why UGC Plays Are Like Marketplaces & How To Determine Between Existential and Non-Existential Risk

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

Sarah Tavel is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the most successful funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Uber, Twitter, Dropbox, WeWork, Snapchat, StitchFix, eBay and many more. As for Sarah, prior to joining Benchmark, she was a General Partner at another globally renowned firm, Greylock, where she led deals in Sonder and Gixo. Pre-Greylock, Sarah was the first PM @ Pinterest where she led three acquisitions, launched Pinterest internationally, and was responsible for closing their $100m Series C financing. 20VC: Benchmark's Sarah Tavel on Why Chasing GMV Will Lead To The Wrong Direction, The 2 Crucial Tipping Points For Marketplace Adoption, Why UGC Plays Are Like Marketplaces & How To Determine Between Existential and Non-Existential Risk In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Sarah made her way from being the first PM at Pinterest to being a General Partner at one of the world's leading venture firms, Benchmark? 2.) What does Sarah mean when she says, "the small things are not the big things"? How does Sarah determine between existential vs non-existential risk? How does this impact the type of board member Sarah is? How has Sarah seen the best board members engage? Who are they? 3.) Why does Sarah believe that in marketplaces, chasing GMV will lead you in the wrong direction? How does Sarah think about good vs great when it comes to 1.) Average order values? 2.) Repeat purchase rates. 3.) NPS? 4.) Net revenue retention? How should they change with time? 4.) In marketplaces, what is a tipping point? What are the 2 crucial tipping points to be aware of? How can marketplaces ensure demand brings further demand? What can they determine from how demand engages with different suppliers? How does Sarah feel about feedback systems? 5.) Why does Sarah believe that UGC plays are like marketplaces? What lessons can be drawn from TikTok to suggest this? How does Sarah think about her biggest lessons when analysing the growth of DoorDash? What do many not see that is important to recognise? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode Sarah’s Favourite Book: Pachinko: The New York Times Bestseller As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

36mins

23 Nov 2020

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LP Show Preview: Consumer Investing Master Class with Sarah Tavel, General Partner at Benchmark

Acquired

On this preview of our most recent LP Show episode, Benchmark General Partner Sarah Tavel joins us for a master class on consumer investing. We start with why invest in consumer at all (given the inherent risks of its "hit-driven nature"), then deep dive on marketplace investing and wrap up with social, gaming and consumer transactional businesses. Big thank you to Sarah for sharing her immense knowledge on this topic, and to her partner (and fellow Acquired "master class lecturer" on enterprise investing) Chetan Puttagunta for introducing us and for making it happen! This episode is a preview of the hour-long LP-only show. You can sign up to become an LP and get access to the full episode (and much more) at: https://glow.fm/acquired/ Links to Sarah's blog posts: "Hierarchy of Marketplaces" posts: https://medium.com/@sarahtavel/the-hierarchy-of-marketplaces-introduction-and-level-1-983995aa218e "Hierarchy of Engagement" post: https://medium.com/@sarahtavel/the-hierarchy-of-engagement-expanded-648329d60804 Rocks, Sand, and Water Framework for Consumer Attention: https://medium.com/@sarahtavel/the-opportunity-and-risks-for-consumer-startups-in-a-social-distancing-world-a-framework-for-15f65e2fbdff

14mins

7 Jul 2020

Most Popular

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225. Crisis Coverage w/ Sarah Tavel - Consumer Marketplace Investing; Why Aggregate GMV is a Red Herring; and Minimum Viable Happiness as the Key to Market Leadership

The Full Ratchet: VC | Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startup Investing | Fundraising | Crowdfunding | Pitch | Private Equity | Business Loans

Sarah Tavel of Benchmark joins Nick on a special Crisis Coverage installment to discuss Consumer Marketplace Investing; Why Aggregate GMV is a Red Herring; and Minimum Viable Happiness as the Key to Market Leadership. In this episode, we cover: Background and path to venture? Quick overview of the thesis and your focus at Benchmark What are your thoughts on platform VC? What tactics or approaches do you use in the process of “scaling your founder”? You sit on the board of some companies, such as HipCamp, that have been greatly affected by the pandemic -- What are some of the creative responses you've seen from portfolio companies? Is there anything fundamental to Marketplace businesses that you think will shift as a result of the crisis and changes in consumer behavior? In the food delivery space, we recently witnessed DoorDash unseating the larger incumbent: GrubHub, with the greatest market share. DoorDash started after PostMates and years after Grubhub... how'd they do it? Do you currently see or do you predict more situations where a startup capturing more supply will lead to displacement of a large tech company as mkt share leader?... if so, in what markets? Recently, you published a series of newsletters talking about the hierarchy of marketplaces... first off, what are the three phases that you've outlined here? Why is a push to aggregate GMV across many markets, less important than dominance in one market? What is Minimum Viable Liquidity? How do you define/measure happiness? At what levels do you know you've reached MVL or MVH? Level 2 of your Marketplace framework... Can you talk about what it means for a marketplace to “tip” and how do marketplace based businesses achieve this? Is there something specific that happens w/ the metrics of a businesses that show that the marketplace is tipping? Do different stages of fundraising map to these phases? The third phase you refer to is the 'Outrun' phase... walk us through the main focus areas in this phase. Homogeneity of the buy-side as a negative... can you expand on this? How does your evaluation of a marketplace based business differ whether it’s a b2b company or a b2c company, if at all? Let's say you are approached to invest in a Consumer Marketplace company with $10M in GMV, a 25% take rate, and 20% MoM growth for the last 6 months. Catch is you can only ask for 3 data points to make your decision. What 3 questions do you ask for? To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes. Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

47mins

21 May 2020

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Sarah Tavel - Consumer & Marketplace Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.168]

Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

My guest this week is Sarah Tavel, a general partner at Benchmark, working alongside past guests Bill Gurley and Chetan Puttagunta. Sarah has a long history as both an investor and as an operator.  She was an early product leader at Pinterest before joining Benchmark. Sarah has become one of my go-to resources for topics like networks, consumer technology, and marketplaces among many other topics. I’ve used her framework for how to think about client engagement, company data, and marketplace liquidity and quality over and over again in my business life. I’m so excited to finally have her on the show.  Please enjoy our conversation. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes 1:24 – (First question) - Lessons learned from watching the food delivery space 5:44 – Hip camp and how they are thinking about the space rental sector             5:45 - The a16z Marketplace 100 7:47 – Valuing private companies vs public companies 9:37 – Building marketplaces 14:24 – Tipping a market             14:30 – Bill Gurley Podcast Episode 18:09 – How to incorporate reputation scores into a network 19:55 – Search ranking as a tool for marketplaces 21:00 – Size of marketplaces vs their competitors 22:15 – Niching of marketplaces             22:21 - Chetan Puttagunta Podcast Episode 23:26 – State of the consumer social sector 27:50 – The LinkedIn problem and how she would build a social platform 30:42 – Things that are piquing her interest in the consumer space 32:20 – Lessons learned about scaling while working at Pinterest 38:42 – Pricing and the marketplace 41:25 – Identifying and optimizing a Core Action in a digital business 44:18 – Accruing benefits and mounting losses as part of the product design 47:48 – Her investment in Reci 52:18 – How should companies gather the best data from their business 56:03 – Lessons to SaaS investing 56:29 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Sarah 57:45 – Most interesting philosophy lesson             58:09 – Creating a Kingdom of Ends Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

1hr

7 Apr 2020

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E35: “Angel” Podcast: Sarah Tavel, Partner at Benchmark shares insights on getting recruited by Peter Fenton, disrupting VC gender norms from the inside, transitioning from operator to investor & more

This Week in Startups

0:50 Jason intros Benchmark's Sarah Tavel 1:20 Aside from Slack, what other companies grew like consumer-facing but charge like enterprise? 3:19 How was Sarah recruited to Benchmark? How is Benchmark different from other major VC firms? 12:04 Limited upside of talking to the press in 2020 17:30 Growing up in NYC and going to Harvard 21:30 Jason on becoming a "Don't touch the thermostat" dad 23:58 How did the offer from Peter Fenton go down? What drew Sarah to Benchmark? 28:36 Sarah's thoughts on disrupting VC as a woman from the inside & from the outside 37:30 How going from operating to investing is trading stress for anxiety 40:51 Jason and Sarah discuss their most personal & significant investments: Calm & Pinterest 47:26 How Pinterest's business model was a mold of Facebook and Google 49:45 Jason tells regulators how to stop Google 58:14 Investing in Chainalysis & Crypto infrastructure 1:12:44 Are the best companies polarizing? 1:16:30 Investing in Hipcamp 1:29:43 Marc Andreessen asks Sarah a question

1hr 33mins

26 Feb 2020

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E35: “Angel” Podcast: Sarah Tavel, Partner at Benchmark shares insights on getting recruited by Peter Fenton, disrupting VC gender norms from the inside, transitioning from operator to investor & more

This Week in Startups - Video

0:50 Jason intros Benchmark's Sarah Tavel 1:20 Aside from Slack, what other companies grew like consumer-facing but charge like enterprise? 3:19 How was Sarah recruited to Benchmark? How is Benchmark different from other major VC firms? 12:04 Limited upside of talking to the press in 2020 17:30 Growing up in NYC and going to Harvard 21:30 Jason on becoming a "Don't touch the thermostat" dad 23:58 How did the offer from Peter Fenton go down? What drew Sarah to Benchmark? 28:36 Sarah's thoughts on disrupting VC as a woman from the inside & from the outside 37:30 How going from operating to investing is trading stress for anxiety 40:51 Jason and Sarah discuss their most personal & significant investments: Calm & Pinterest 47:26 How Pinterest's business model was a mold of Facebook and Google 49:45 Jason tells regulators how to stop Google 58:14 Investing in Chainalysis & Crypto infrastructure 1:12:44 Are the best companies polarizing? 1:16:30 Investing in Hipcamp 1:29:43 Marc Andreessen asks Sarah a question

1hr 33mins

26 Feb 2020

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Sarah Tavel, Partner at Benchmark shares insights on getting recruited by Peter Fenton, disrupting VC gender norms from the inside, transitioning from operator to investor & more | Angel S4 E4

Angel | hosted by Jason Calacanis

0:50 Jason intros Benchmark's Sarah Tavel 1:20 Aside from Slack, what other companies grew like consumer-facing but charge like enterprise? 3:19 How was Sarah recruited to Benchmark? How is Benchmark different from other major VC firms? 12:04 Limited upside of talking to the press in 2020 17:30 Growing up in NYC and going to Harvard 21:30 Jason on becoming a "Don't touch the thermostat" dad 23:58 How did the offer from Peter Fenton go down? What drew Sarah to Benchmark? 28:36 Sarah's thoughts on disrupting VC as a woman from the inside & from the outside 37:30 How going from operating to investing is trading stress for anxiety 40:51 Jason and Sarah discuss their most personal & significant investments: Calm & Pinterest 47:26 How Pinterest's business model was a mold of Facebook and Google 49:45 Jason tells regulators how to stop Google 58:14 Investing in Chainalysis & Crypto infrastructure 1:12:44 Are the best companies polarizing? 1:16:30 Investing in Hipcamp 1:29:43 Marc Andreessen asks Sarah a question

1hr 33mins

26 Feb 2020

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The Next Era of Consumer Social with Sarah Tavel and Ben Rubin

Village Global's Venture Stories

Sarah Tavel (@sarahtavel), partner at Benchmark, and Ben Rubin (@benrbn), founder of Houseparty and Meerkat, join Erik on this episode.They discuss:- Where the white space is in social and the possibilities for vertical-specific social networks.- Why Facebook looks to young people today the way Yahoo! looked to Sarah’s generation.- What participatory social looks like and how to solve the problem of presence.- Their ideas for new social networks.- What Twitter could have been.- How social interacts with gaming, audio, dating, and other spaces.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Grace Chen is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

1hr 13mins

16 Jan 2020

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