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The best podcast episodes on Startups. For anyone working in a startup, or anyone interested in the incredible stories behind how people built companies like Instagram, and Facebook. Offering both practical advice and insights, as well as the stories for how many of the biggest startups got to where they are today. Add episodes you're interested into your queue below!

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The best podcast episodes on Startups. For anyone working in a startup, or anyone interested in the incredible stories behind how people built companies like Instagram, and Facebook. Offering both practical advice and insights, as well as the stories for how many of the biggest startups got to where they are today. Add episodes you're interested into your queue below!

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning


Turning a 'dog shit idea' into the #1 selling card game. Cards Against Humanity.

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"There is a difference between things that are necessary and things that are sufficient. Working hard is necessary, but it's not sufficient to be successful. No one is successful just because they kill themselves with work. It helps to separate the things that are necessary and the things that are sufficient. “People tend to dramatically overvalue their ideas and undervalue execution.” ""Ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” - Steve Jobs. A lot of what we do is an expression of your constraints. Who we are, what we choose to do, are for many of us because of the environment or constraints we have. It helps to be aware of what the constraints are, and then consciously choosing to work in some constraints, and to break free of others. Listen to this episode for an unique perspective on work and life from a card game creator."

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060 Cards Against Humanity Co-Creator Max Temkin

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Living legendary designer Max Temkin, co-creator of Cards Against Humanity (“a party game for horrible people”) talks about his ideas on design, company building, his work ethic—or lack thereof—and so much more.
Max’s Non-Existent Work Ethic
Max proclaims himself as a horrible procrastinator with no work ethic. He can never decide to do something and sit down to actually do it. Because of this, he has developed coping mechanisms to get him through last-minute clutch work.

This ties up with the philosophy of necessary and sufficient conditions that he personally believes in.

Working hard is necessary to keep a business running but it is never sufficient. Hard work needs to be coupled with critical thinking, team play and good energy to make legendary things possible.
“No one is successful just because they killed themselves with work.“ - Max Temkin
The Wild Medium: Design
Max says that it is incredibly difficult to break down what it means to be a designer.

After all, so many skills go into design.

There is design thinking, organization and empathy for the user, and then there are the technical skills like typography and color theory.

Because of the many skills that a designer can sink their teeth into, no designer is excellent at everything. It would take more than one lifetime to master them.

For example, Max has never understood color theory, so he stuck to black and white, which eventually became his brand.
“I’ve definitely come to suspect that for many people, what you might call their style is like the coping mechanisms they've developed to cover those holes in their skill set.” - Max Temkin
Building Small Things
Max says that people usually build things from the desire to make them just because it would be neat to do so. Some people would put up their creations for the people to decide their fate.

Some would build a company with the mindset of growing its worth into a billion dollars. Max believes that these ideas, however, are rarely delightful and rarely work. In contrast, allowing yourself to think small and unconstrained would help your ideas grow into huge phenomena.
“Very rarely does someone go, ‘I'm gonna change the world with this huge idea’ and then it works exactly as intended.” - Max Temkin
To hear more about design, gaming and the Do By Friday podcast from Max, download and listen to the episode.
Max Temkin is a designer.  

He is best known for co-creating of the #1 selling, category creating “adult party game” Cards Against Humanity.  

He also co-created, Secret Hitler, and Humans vs. Zombies.  

Max is also co-host of the popular podcast, “Do By Friday”.

Max’s Legendary Personal FAQ


Cards Against Humanity - Wikipedia

The Sun UK -  Cards Against Humanity set to be a shocking quiz show on Comedy Central

PR Week - Cards Against Humanity Gorilla Black Friday Marketing!

The New York Times - Letter of Complaint: Cards Against Humanity

SecretHitler.com HumansvsZombies.org

Do By Friday Podcast - Overcast

Do By Friday Podcast - iTunes

We hope you enjoyed Max Temkin on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
May 31 2019 · 1hr 34mins

Mel Liu

"We're not a photo sharing app" - Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram

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"""We're more than that, we're about people knowing each other and sharing moments in their life."" “When we buy a product, we essentially “hire” something to get a job done."" “Once you understand what jobs people are striving to do, it becomes easier to predict what products or services they will take up and which will fall flat."" This is called the 'Jobs To Be Done' framework, it not only applies to products, but for any problem we have, e.g. when you're managing someone, think about what the employees JTBD is. Listen to this episode to hear about how Instagram's use the JTBD framework to develop features and their story on being acquired by Facebook."

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Recode Decode: Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram

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Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why he's still working at Facebook five years after it bought his company for $1 billion. Systrom shares what he has learned from the executives there and why he insisted from day one that his new colleagues not call Instagram a "photo-sharing app" — which surprised Mark Zuckerberg. He also addresses allegations that Instagram has "copied" features from Snapchat, saying no tech product is completely original and that it's better for consumers if companies in the same space are constantly trying to one-up each other. Later in the show, Systrom explains why he feels personally responsible to make the internet a safer place, and what he's doing toward that goal.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 05 2017 · 1hr 9mins

Mel Liu

The single biggest decision you'll make is who's advice to take on what topic.

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A company becomes the people it hires, not the plans it makes. Experience doesn't matter. The rate of learning matters. Many of these principles for startups can be applied to your own life. Ultimately, everything we do requires our ability to learn, the ability to learn is the foundational skill that we develop all our other skills off. In our lives, we need to find the right people (mentors, friends, etc) or right resources (podcasts, books, etc) to learn from. Listen to this episode to hear Vinod Khosla's thoughts on all things startups.

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#107 - Vinod Khosla and Sam Altman

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Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. Previously he was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors.

How to Build the Future is hosted by Sam Altman.



00:30 - Vinod’s intro

01:20 - A zero-million-dollar company vs a zero-billion-dollar company

4:20 - What percentage of investors in Silicon Valley are good long-term company builders?

4:50 - Who has earned the right to advise an entrepreneur?

6:50 - Which risk to take when

7:20 - Helpful board members

8:15 - Who to trust for what advice

11:00 - First principles thinking and rate of change

13:00 - Evaluating a candidate in an interview

14:15 - How much should a founder have planned and how ambitious should a founder be?

16:30 - Recruiting great people

19:00 - Building a phenomenal early team

20:20 - Being generous with early employee equity

27:00 - Gene pool engineering

27:18 - The art, science, and labor of recruiting

28:20 - How founders should think about investors

31:00 - Doers vs pontificators

32:00 - What does Vinod want to do in the next ten years?

32:10 - Reinventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology

Jan 09 2019 · 35mins

Mel Liu

"The only way to win is to be contrarian and right."

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Most of what we know and do, is often derived from someone, or something else. This often works, but in order to make sure that you're doing the right thing, you must first properly understand the context and fundamentals in which what you derived is appropriate. That's why 'reasoning by first principles' is often used. 'Don't reinvent the wheel, just realign it.' Learn from others, but adapt when the circumstances are different. In this episode, Superhuman founder walks through how he applied a contrarian approach to figuring out 1. pricing & 2. launching, and got it right.

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Superhuman (with CEO Rahul Vohra)

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Please take the 2019 Acquired Survey. It takes 5-10 minutes, helps us immensely, and you may win a pair of new AirPods or a free 1-year subscription to the LP show! http://acquired.fm/survey

We wrap up Season 4 with a very special (and accidental!) episode, a conversation with the CEO of Superhuman, the red hot email productivity app which just announced their $33m Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz. While originally intended as an LP episode, we felt Superhuman would provide the perfect bookend to our “modern enterprise productivity trilogy” following our Zoom and Slack episodes. We hope you enjoy the conversation with Rahul as much as we did, and we’ll see you later this summer for Season 5!



Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! https://glow.fm/acquired/ (works best on mobile)

Jun 27 2019 · 1hr 16mins

Mel Liu

Why your startups early hires are actually cultural co-founders.

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Your first 150 hires, make or break your business. This is because they're the ones that help you build and develop your culture, and culture, self perpetuates in 2 ways, assimilation and association. Assimilation occurs when each person that joins the company upholds the culture. Association occurs because when you're hiring a person, you're also hiring their network. Listen to the episode for more insights why hiring is so important.

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30. The elusive formula for great hiring, w/Workday's Aneel Bhusri

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Your first hires are your cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. That's why Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first 500 employees. Today, with 8,000+ employees and $2b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. Learn the interview questions that can help you find the right employees to build your culture. With cameo appearances by Danny Meyer (founder, Shake Shack), Arianna Huffington (founder, Thrive Global), Michael Bush (CEO, Great Place to Work) and Joyce Nethry (founder of Jeptha Creed Distillery).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/aneel-bhusri-the-elusive-formula-for-great-hiring/

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

Nov 05 2018 · 40mins

Mel Liu

Startups advantage = Agility + ability to make non-consensus concentrated bets with incredible focus.

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The way you become a great Venture Capitalist is to accept that the only way to figure out the future of the world is to find incredibly talented, smart original thinkers and back those people. It's hard to be a successful founder without being a fast mover and being decisive.

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Sam Altman on Loving Community, Hating Coworking, and the Hunt for Talent

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Founders aren’t superheroes, says Sam Altman.They may play extreme sports, respond to emails within seconds, and start billion-dollar companies, but they are rarely the product of extraordinary circumstance. In fact, they tend to be solidly upper-middle class, reasonably smart, and with loving parents. 

So would Sam fund Peter Parker? What about Bruce Wayne?

Tyler and Sam discuss these burning questions and more, including what’s wrong with San Francisco, Napoleon’s underrated skill, nuclear energy, the greatest invention of the Industrial Revolution, his rant against coworking spaces, UBI and AGI, risk and regret, optimism and beauty, and why venture capitalists don’t have superpowers either.

Transcript and links

Follow Sam on Twitter

Follow Tyler on Twitter

More CWT goodness:





Feb 27 2019 · 1hr 8mins
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How to Plan an MVP by Michael Seibel

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YC CEO and Partner Michael Seibel shares his approach to building an MVP and getting your first users as a pre-launch startup.

Aug 01 2019 · 25mins
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20VC: Benchmark's Peter Fenton on How To Differentiate Between Good & Great VCs, Why Ownership Is A Bigger Determinant Of Returns Than Valuation & What Makes A Truly Exceptional Board Member

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Peter Fenton is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the world's leading VC funds with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, eBay, WeWork, Yelp and many more revolutionary companies of the last decade. Peter himself sits or has sat on the board of Twitter, previous guest Cockroach, Optimizely, New Relic and ZenDesk just to name a few. Prior to Benchmark, Peter was a Managing Partner @ Accel. It is clearly not just me that has a man crush on Peter though as he has been named to Forbes Midas List for many consecutive years with the last list placing Peter as No 3 in the world.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Peter made his way into the world of VC with Accel and came to be a General Partner @ Benchmark?

2.) How does Peter differentiate between the good and the great VCs? How can VCs use hyper-curiosity and hyper-competitiveness to improve their investing ability? Why does Peter not believe that operational experience is a necessity pre-VC?

3.) How does Peter view the importance of valuation in the investment decision making process? How much of a role does it play for him and what is his psychology around valuation, especially with regards to ownership levels?

4.) Why is Peter amused when he hears other investors say they must 'invest in big markets'? What were his big takeaways from watching the investment and hyper-growth journey of Snapchat? How did that influence his view on markets?

5.) Peter has previously said that he is a 'student of great board members'. What are the commonalities among the truly great board members? How do they engage and interact with the entrepreneur? How do they get the most out of their fellow board members?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Peter's Most Recent Investment: Zen.ly

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Peter on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

eShares is the No 1 Cap Table Management platform, allowing for equity management, 409A valuations, and liquidity, all in one place. eShares is made for companies of all sizes with over 5,000 trusted customers including the likes of Squarespace, Kickstarter, and DoorDash just to name a few. To try out the must have service of the industry, simply head over to esharesinc.com it is a must.

Fond is the employee engagement suite with 3 core products, rewards: a recognition platform for rewarding achievements and milestones, perks: a premium corporate discounts program to show employees you care about them and then finally engagement IQ, a free employee engagement survey that allows you to measure the health of your organization. To check it out head over to fond.co

Jun 19 2017 · 33mins
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Bill Gurley – All Things Business and Investing - [Invest Like the Best, EP.137]

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My guest this week is Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital and one my favorite investment thinkers. As you’ll hear, despite enormous success through his career, Bill is clearly still in love with business and investing. Where many might discuss past glories, I’ve been incredibly impressed with how both Bill and his partners emphasize the current portfolio and market landscape. I’m thankful to have had the chance to speak with him in this format. I hope you 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

1:13 - (First Question) – The idea of increasing returns

            1:21 – Competiting Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-in By Historical Events

            2:07 – Complex Systems Theory – Santa Fe Institute

4:35 – Markers that could be a sign of network effect in a company

6:27 – The opportunities for companies to capture network effect

8:46 – Are there certain teams/leaders that are more conducive to leading a network effect company

11:55 – Liquidity quality

13:35 – How important is the revenue model at the beginning

15:59 – Fascination with Nextdoor

            17:56 – Paradox of Choice

18:39 – Finding opportunities

20:17 – Potential marketplaces and assets that could be commoditized

            20:20 – All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces

21:39 – Usage yield on the world’s assets

23:50 – Has technology changed the world of value investing

26:28 – Hyper niche marketplaces

27:52 – Challenges of labor marketplaces

30:12 – User generated content businesses

32:44 – People who are capable of building UGC businesses

33:16 – His interest in Discord

34:31 – Factors of a healthy marketplace

37:57 – Fools’ gold in marketplace businesses

39:04 – How influx of cash is impacting the marketplace business landscape

            40:43 – All Revenue is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club

43:20 – How does the influx of money into the space impact him

46:44 – Spending money to attack top brands

50:32 – Regulatory capture

53:36 – His thoughts on the IPO market

57:49 – How did he realize this was his passion

1:00:42 – Qualifying his passion

1:01:52 – Favorite thing about working with entrepreneurs

102:48 – Honing your craft

1:04:33 – Making yourself a good mentor

1:05:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

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

Jul 02 2019 · 1hr 8mins
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Build a more human internet — w/ Caterina Fake (Host of “Should This Exist?")

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How do you build a thriving online community? One human connection at a time. Caterina Fake is the host of our spinoff series "Should This Exist?” and she knows: Whatever you are when you're SMALL — gets amplified as you grow. So if you're building any kind of community (e-commerce, crowd-funding, social media), emphasize the human, and be careful what you cultivate. Caterina cofounded the pioneering photo site Flickr and helped build companies like Etsy, Kickstarter, Stack Overflow, and even Blue Bottle Coffee from their beginnings. Her wise words for every founder: You have has a responsibility to shape the community from day one -- because the tone you set is the tone you’re going to keep, even as you go viral.

Mar 05 2019 · 40mins