Where This VC Helps Put $3.7B Worth of Capital And Five $100M+ Companies He Loves

Adam Valkin

In Episode #299, Nathan interviews Adam Valkin, managing director at General Catalyst partners. General Catalyst have invested in tech startups such as Air BnB, Stripe, Kayak, and ClassPass. Adam’s worked with top venture capital firms in Europe and the States, was the CEO of LoveFilm, and has many years of experience investing in startups. Listen in for a fascinating conversation on the future of online gaming, the process of investing in tech start-ups, and why it’s better to disrupt than be disrupted.

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Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – Good To Great
  • What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Bezos
  • What is your favorite online tool? — GIPHY
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —That it’s a young person’s world. In your 20s, everything is possible for you. Don’t wait.

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Adam Valkin General Catalyst

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:33 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 02:43 – Welcoming Adam to the show
  • 03:10 – How did Adam get started in venture capital?
  • 03:40 – Got involved with European internet companies, looking for a new frontier
  • 04:17 – After the dotcom boom, he helped incubate LoveFilm in 2003
  • 05:10 – Was asked to be the CEO of LoveFilm, which he did for 2 years
  • 06:40 – After iOS, Android, and social media in 2008, it became possible for entrepreneurs to rapidly develop a global reach
  • 09:45 – “It’s difficult to break into content-rich areas like online film, because of the strength of big providers.”
  • Companies like FlowSports are doing interesting things
  • 11:00 – Adam worked with Excel, a venture capital firm based in London
  • 11:50 – “I’ve always had more fun with disruption”
  • 12:30 – Moved from Endemol to Excel after realising he wanted to be on the disruptor’s side
  • 13:41 – Working with Hailo, a company trying to help commercial taxis catch up with Uber
  • 16:45 – Moved back to the US in 2012 and began working with General Catalyst
  • 17:40 – Met Payal, founder of ClassPass, in the very early stages of growth. Watched for a year and invested at the end of 2014 – highly successful.
  • 19:45 – Currently investing in Super Evil Megacorp
  • 20:30 – Super Evil Megacorp is a mobile game developer who believe the future of gaming will be driven by mobiles
  • 21:35 – Believes that core gaming will be on mobile devices in the future
  • 23:27 – The CCP investment: What’s Adam’s take on virtual reality?
  • 24:33 – CCP developed EVE: Valkyrie – one of the most celebrated VR games
  • 25:30 – EVE is driven by a subscription model
  • 27:00 – When did Adam get involved with GIPHY and what’s the experience been like?
  • 28:30 – Connect with Adam on Twitter and Facebook
  • 31:30 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. When you’re young, don’t wait. Go and make things happen.
  2. It’s more fun to be the disruptor than the establishment.
  3. Know when the party’s over; be willing to move to new frontiers.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.