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Greymatter

Greymatter offers perspectives and stories from some of the world’s top technology entrepreneurs and business leaders. The featured company builders share personal and insightful lessons while shedding light on common, relatable challenges in the entrepreneurial journey. Greymatter is produced by Greylock Partners.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Chronosphere | Cloud-Native Monitoring at Scale

Cloud native is the new order of business. But most existing monitoring technology is insufficient to contend with the complex, dynamic, and ephemeral nature of the modern cloud environment. That's why Martin Mao and Rob Skillington formed Chronosphere, a purpose-built platform to monitor cloud-native infrastructure and apps and enable organizations to make precise, data-driven decisions. In this episode of Greymatter, Martin and Rob sit down with Greylock general partner and Chronosphere board member Jerry Chen to discuss the company’s growth, the current state of cloud technology, and the challenges and advantages of starting a company just before the global crisis of 2020.

1hr 17mins

5 Jan 2021

Rank #1

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Sam Altman on Y Combinator and What Makes The Best Founders | Blitzscaling 02

This is session 2 of Technology-enabled Blitzscaling, a Stanford University class taught by Reid Hoffman, John Lilly, Allen Blue, and Chris Yeh. This class features John Lilly interviewing Y Combinator President Sam Altman.

1hr 12mins

2 Mar 2016

Rank #2

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Reid Hoffman | Conversation with Harry Stebbings of The 20 Minute VC

Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman in conversation with Harry Stebbings, host of the popular podcast The 20 Minute VC. In this episode, Reid and Harry pick back up from their conversation in November 2020 on Harry's show, discussing everything from Reid's earliest lessons as a young entrepreneur; investing in startups such as Airbnb; and up into the current environment of navigating political issues (and a pandemic ) while running a company.

41mins

13 Jan 2021

Rank #3

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Overview of the Five Stages of Blitzscaling | Blitzscaling 01

This is session 1 of Technology-enabled Blitzscaling, a Stanford University class taught by Reid Hoffman, John Lilly, Allen Blue, and Chris Yeh. This lecture lays out an overview of the course and provides a summary of the five stages of Blitzscaling.

1hr 13mins

2 Mar 2016

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Speed: The Most Critical Competitive Advantage with Reid Hoffman | Greymatter

From the 2019 SFELC Summit, Greylock's Sarah Guo and Reid Hoffman on blitzscaling massively valuable companies.  Getting to scale is a competitive and enduring advantage. Blitzscaling is how companies achieve this massive scale at incredible speed. This strategy utilizes a set of techniques to grow a customer base and revenue, raise financing, and quickly scale to a dominant global position in a market. In this episode of Greymatter, Greylock Partners Reid Hoffman and Sarah Guo share feedback for taking strategical risk, blitzscaling techniques for larger organizations, and counterintuitive rules needed to succeed.

36mins

15 May 2019

Rank #5

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Scaling Users, Products, and Growth Teams with Casey Winters | Greymatter

We talk about growth all the time in the context of startups. How they grow, how they attract users, how they engage users. In this episode of Greymatter, two of the top minds in growth, Greylock Partner Josh Elman and Greylock Growth Advisor Casey Winters, talk about scaling Grubhub and Pinterest, starting growth teams, how to think about SEO, and optimizing user onboarding. The podcast is packed with full-stack growth marketing strategy and tactics Casey has implemented in his career, and these lessons are widely applicable to any consumer startup scaling up.

37mins

15 Mar 2017

Rank #6

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Blitzscaling with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella & Greylock's Reid Hoffman | Greymatter

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Greylock Partner and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman share lessons learned from scaling Microsoft, LinkedIn and PayPal. Blitzscaling is the strategy that leading entrepreneurs have implemented to build strong, enduring companies. The techniques allow for startups and incumbents across any industry to scale at rapid rates and outdistance the competition.   This episode of Greymatter is a discussion from Greylock's Blitzscaling Dinner with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman. The two visionaries discuss the importance of consistency when scaling company culture, tactics to push forward new strategies with your board of directors, and steps to mitigate the unintended risks of blitzscaling. Greylock's invite-only event hosted CEOs, company founders and top CXOs to discuss the impact of blitzscaling across today's leading companies and ways that Microsoft is applying these techniques as an established company. Below are key takeaways and quotes from the discussion.

1hr 1min

13 Nov 2018

Rank #7

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Building An AI-Powered Society with AI Fund's Andrew Ng | Greymatter

Research advances over the past five years in artificial intelligence and machine learning have caused organizations of all kinds to look for ways to apply these powerful algorithms and techniques in their businesses. Eventually, AI could have the same impact that electricity had across all industries a hundred years ago by transforming industries, displacing existing jobs and creating new ones, and requiring massive policy changes. In this episode of Greymatter, Greylock’s Sarah Guo and Dr. Andrew Ng, one of the foremost leaders in AI discuss AI and ML techniques being used in industry today, areas of ongoing research, how companies can leverage this technology, and the broader impact on the future workforce.

39mins

24 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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Reid Hoffman | Building Your Startup Board Pt. I

Part one of a two-part series by Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman on strategies to build a successful startup board. Too often, the conventional wisdom imparted to entrepreneurs is to treat board meetings as a necessary evil, part of the price you pay for raising money. True, many boards are dysfunctional, but when you build a great startup board, it will be a powerful tool that can help the CEO make the company successful.

41mins

19 Jan 2021

Rank #9

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Security and the Cyber Arms Race | Nicole Perlroth, Glenn Chisholm and Sarah Guo

Greylock general partner Sarah Guo discusses the ever-evolving cybersecurity risk landscape and how businesses and governments can proactively protect their data. She is joined by Obsidian Security co-founder and CTO Glenn Chisolm, whose company protects SaaS and cloud services, and New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth, whose book “This is How They Tell Me the World Ends:The Cyberweapons Arms Race” published in February 2021.

44mins

16 Feb 2021

Rank #10

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Driving Fast Growth in B2B Companies with Casey Winters and Naomi Ionita | Greymatter

Historically, there has been a clear divide of how to grow a B2B company and a consumer business. However, in the past 5 years, we have seen B2B companies shift from the traditional sales growth practice to techniques used by consumer startups, such as product driven growth initiatives, distribution through mobile App stores, free trials and lower price plans. Today’s leading companies like Atlassian and Twilio reached IPO levels without a traditional sales-specific approach and startups like Dropbox and Slack use growth tactics pulled right out of a consumer-oriented playbook.In this episode of Greymatter, Invoice2go VP of Growth Naomi Ionita and Greylock Growth Advisor in Residence Casey Winters discuss their experience with growth retention and monetization at B2B companies. They share insight on monetizing your product, best practices for converting your freemium users to paying customers and advice for preventing customer churn.  Both have a deep understanding of what drives user retention and paid conversion. Prior to Invoice2go, Naomi worked in mobile product management at Evernote where she founded and built the Growth team. Casey led acquisition efforts at Pinterest and ran marketing for Grubhub, where he helped the company grow from 30,000 users to over 3 million.

36mins

9 Aug 2017

Rank #11

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The Art of Interviewing 10x Engineers with Dan Portillo and Wade Chambers | Greymatter

Following their podcast on managing technical teams, Greylock Talent Partner Dan Portillo and Twitter Head of Revenue Engineering Wade Chambers pair up for another podcast on recruiting and interviewing engineers. Wade outlines the processes he’s developed through years of management and building out teams at Yahoo, Proofpoint, TellApart and now Twitter.

43mins

17 Aug 2016

Rank #12

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Building A Team Of Inspirational Leaders w/ Affirm CEO Max Levchin | Greymatter

From the 2019 SFELC Summit, Affirm Founder and CEO Max Levchin on leadership qualities and the early days of PayPal.What does it take to be a real leader? It's not about your title or past experience. Leadership is about taking care of the people within your organization and leading by example. In this episode of Greymatter, you'll hear from Ben Jun, CEO of HVF Labs and Max Levchin, Founder and CEO of Affirm. Max shares the one metric your organization should be tracking, leadership advice for new managers, and lessons learned from the early days building PayPal.Max is a serial entrepreneur, computer scientist, philanthropist, and active investor in more than 100 startup companies. He is the Founder and CEO of Affirm, chairman of Glow, and general partner at SciFi VC. All three of these companies were created and launched from his San Francisco based innovation lab, HVF (Hard, Valuable, Fun). Earlier, Max was one of the original Co-Founders of PayPal where he served as the CTO until its acquisition by eBay in 2002.This discussion took place at the 2019 SFELC Summit. SFELC is a curated community of 2500+ engineering leaders evolving the way leadership is implemented in the tech industry. Greylock Partners is the VC partner for SFELC, and sponsored the annual SFELC Summit which hosted top industry leaders to share management best practices and leadership advice.

25mins

23 Apr 2019

Rank #13

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Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann Fireside with Sarah Tavel | #ProductSF

At #ProductSF, Greylock's Sarah Tavel is joined by Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann to talk about the evolution of his roles as both CEO and product leader at a high growth company. Ben shares how thinks about distribution, hiring and scaling teams, and what makes a strong product manager.#ProductSF is a product-centric event hosted by Greylock Partners. The conference brings together a community of founders, PMs, and product leaders to talk about the challenges of building new, innovative products that change lives and create habits.

32mins

6 Dec 2016

Rank #14

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Scaling Up Snapchat with Casey Winters and Julie Zhou | Greymatter

Snapchat’s public offering marked the biggest U.S. tech IPO since Alibaba in 2014. This milestone has put a spotlight on the social media company, with public investors digging into their long term growth potential and path to profitability. One of the increasing concerns about Snap is user growth. While Snapchat boasted 50M new daily actives users in 2016, their growth slowed down considerably at the end of the year, only adding 5M new users in Q4. This halt coincided with the launch of Instagram Stories, which many believe to be the biggest threat to Snapchat’s outlook. In 2017, Facebook has doubled down on their assault on Snap with more competitive products including Messenger Day and their new camera, featuring disappearing messages and the ability to add masks, frames and filters. In our latest Greymatter podcast, we asked two experts to dissect different dimensions of Snapchat’s growth. Greylock Growth Advisor in Residence and former Pinterest Product Lead for Growth Casey Winters teamed up with former Yik Yak Director of Growth Julie Zhou to dig into whether Snapchat is at risk of losing their millennial core market, if they need to change their unique UX to move upmarket to older users, if they should be allocating resources to continue engaging with influencers, and what things they should be thinking about to scale on an international level.

36mins

31 Mar 2017

Rank #15

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Michael Dearing on Capitalism, Creativity, and Creative Destruction | Blitzscaling 03

This is session 3 of Technology-enabled Blitzscaling, a Stanford University class taught by Reid Hoffman, John Lilly, Allen Blue, and Chris Yeh. This class features a guest lecture by venture capitalist Michael Dearing, the Founder of Harrison Metal, who is then interviewed by Reid Hoffman.

1hr 19mins

2 Mar 2016

Rank #16

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How To Inject Speed and Transparency Into Your Startup with Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha | Greymatter

For startups, it's all about being the first to get to scale in a competitive market. Startups that build solid company practices around speed, transparency and market discovery can rapidly go to market and quickly defeat larger incumbents. This episode of Greymatter features Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha (https://www.rubrik.com/company/about/#founders-modal) and Greylock partner Asheem Chandna (https://www.greylock.com/team/#asheem-chandna). The two enterprise tech leaders share actionable advice to inject speed into your startup, tips to implement radical transparency throughout your company, and strategies for due diligence of your product/market fit.Both Bipul and Asheem have a deep understanding of what it takes to start and scale the next generation of enterprise-focused tech companies. Today, Rubrik (https://www.rubrik.com/) is considered the fastest growing enterprise software company; in just a few years, the company has a $300M global run rate and more than 800 employees. At Greylock, Asheem has incubated and invested in more than dozens of technology companies, many of which have gone public or have been acquired in strong M&A outcomes including Palo Alto Networks (PANW), AppDynamics and Skyhigh Networks.

37mins

2 May 2018

Rank #17

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Patrick Collison on Hiring at Stripe and the Role of a Product-Focused CEO | Blitzscaling 11

This is session 11 of Technology-enabled Blitzscaling, a Stanford University class taught by Reid Hoffman, John Lilly, Allen Blue, and Chris Yeh. This class features John Lilly interviewing Patrick Collison, the Co-Founder of Stripe.

1hr 19mins

2 Mar 2016

Rank #18

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Scaling AI Technology In Health Care with Notable Health CEO Pranay Kapadia | Greymatter

Notable CEO Pranay Kapadia and Greylock Partner Jerry Chen on building a health care company for the next generation. The healthcare industry is undergoing a digital transformation as emerging technologies are revolutionizing patient care in new and exciting ways. Artificial intelligence, specifically, is poised to become a transformational force in health care. As data becomes more available, machine learning and AI solutions can automate repetitive tasks to increase productivity and allow doctors to focus on what matters most: the patient.In this episode of Greymatter, Notable Health CEO Pranay Kapadia and Greylock partner Jerry Chen discuss characteristics to look for in a founding team, how to successfully partner with large enterprises, and AI trends in the healthcare industry and beyond.

51mins

4 Dec 2018

Rank #19

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From Startup to Scaleup with Reid Hoffman and Sam Altman | The Scaleup Offsite 2017

Silicon Valley is home to many of the fastest growing and most well known startups in the world. In this fireside, Reid Hoffman from Greylock Partners and Sam Altman from Y Combinator share their perspectives on how Silicon Valley companies effectively blitzscale, how to think about hiring when a startup is growing quickly, and why culture is so connected to the success of a company. This fireside was recorded at The Scaleup Offsite, an event focused on scaling companies co-hosted by Greylock Partners and YC Continuity.

38mins

31 May 2017

Rank #20