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Robert Wright (@robertwrighter), author of Nonzero, The Moral Animal, Why Buddhism Is True, and others, joins Erik on this episode. They discuss: - The common theme of exploring the meaning of life that Robert says runs through all of his books. - Whether global governance could be feasible and how positive-sum thinking can play a part in reducing hostilities between nations. - Why consciousness gives life meaning. - How to deal with the quest for status. - The emotional manipulation that political leaders employ. - Why we shouldn’t rush to bring in new technologies before we know the consequences. - Why evolution has not programmed us to be happy. - How to deal with tribalism. - Why people say that “to explain something is to excuse it” and why not thinking that way can bring about a more compassionate world. 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, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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Erik is joined on this episode by Glen Weyl (@glenweyl), founder of RadicalxChange and co-author of Radical Markets, and Tomer Kagan (@Gradish), co-founder and CEO of Merit. They discuss: - What they’re working on in the space and how it will change how identity works in the future - How to think about what makes up someone’s identity, including elements that are self-declared and those that can be independently verified - Glen’s point that the internet is missing two crucial elements: a truth function and a dignity function - How the world will be different if their projects succeed - Pseudonymous identities - The problem with large-scale identity or reputation systems, like the Chinese government or Uber have created - Why blockchain is the wrong answer to the right question when it come to identity, and the idea that “most truth is local, not global” - What they are still trying to figure out in the space 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, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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Erik is joined on this episode by Trae Vassallo (@trae) of Defy and Lee Edwards (@terronk) of Root Ventures. They talk about: - How their backgrounds and unique experiences have informed their perspectives on investing - Whether venture capital should go back to funding technical risk - Their advice for funds and how Trae has seen investing strategies come and go over time - Why there are big opportunities in areas VCs don’t know much about, like logistics, warehousing, or agriculture - Why Trae doesn’t differentiate between consumer and enterprise businesses - Their requests for startups in the space 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, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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Mike Elias (@harmonylion1), crypto consultant, joins Erik on this episode to talk about idea markets. They discuss: - How he came up with the idea - Examples of how this could be implemented in the real world - The problems with the incentives of the world’s media - Why it’s “impossible to kill an idea with force” - How an idea market is like a mix of the Nasdaq and Reddit - Why, as a society, we want to search for the ideas that are both “outrageous and true” - Why William James said that we should measure ideas primarily by their usefulness 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, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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Erik is joined on this episode by Alex Taussig (@ataussig) of Lightspeed, and Pete Flint (@peteflint) of NFX. They talk about: - The evolution of marketplaces over time, including a comparison of the characteristics of eBay and Lyft at the time they went public. - Why the next wave of marketplace businesses will be in financial services, and why they require a unique team with a specific set of experiences. - Examples of existing startups that are working in this space, as well as their requests for startups. - The pros and cons of ISAs, and their potential impact. - Conversational commerce, and why it didn’t live up to the hype. - How healthcare and other heavily regulated markets might be be attacked by entrepreneurs. 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, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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Erik is joined on this episode by Mike Maples (@m2jr) of Floodgate. The talk about: - The difference between fake growth and real growth, and how to know which one your company is experiencing. - Why fake growth has taken hold in so many companies in the Valley, and its broader systemic causes. - The difference between value hacking and growth hacking. - Why once you’ve entered the growth stage, it’s next to impossible to go back to the value hacking stage. - His thoughts on the Thiel vs. Rabois schools of markets. - His tips for growing SaaS companies. - How to think about incumbents. - Why a pivot is not the same thing as a mulligan. - The reasons for the fact that, in his opinion, there is too much money in VC. - Why companies are staying private longer. 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.
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Alex Bangash (@AlexBangash), founder of Trusted Insight, joins Erik as part of our LP series. They talk about: - The myth, according to Alex, that there are such things as “good pickers” in venture. - The fact that in venture, the traditional investment model is turned on its head — assets are picking managers, rather than the other way around. - Why “the structural advantage of the big funds has all but disappeared” and why he cringes when someone tells him they want to be the next Benchmark. - How he is trying to disrupt the entire venture model by democratizing access to capital. - Why he’s bullish on the studio model and which kinks still need to be worked out. - Where the next big thing in VC will come from. - What he means when he says he’s “trying to bring a tennis racket to a basketball game” when talking about whether star GPs could be thought of as analogous to big NBA free agents. 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.
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Michael Kim (@MKRocks), founder and managing partner of Cendana Capital, joins Erik on this episode to talk about what LPs look for in venture funds and the future of the industry. They discuss: - The reasons for the proliferation of seed funds over the past few years. - The rise of the "super angels." - Why portfolio construction is so important to Cendana when they're looking at a fund. - How he evaluates a fund to see whether their thesis can generate the right returns. - Why he’s “not looking for the ETF of seed investing.” - In which geographies they’re looking for emerging fund managers. - The rise of YC and the economics of accelerators. - What the next 5-10 years will look like for the industry, including whether there’s a “reckoning” ahead. 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.
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Erik is joined on this episode by Beezer (Elizabeth) Clarkson (@Beezer232), managing director at Sapphire Ventures, and Chris Douvos (@cdouvos), founder of Ahoy Capital. They talk about: - The state of the venture industry and the industry from the LP perspective. - Why venture is “either all about access or audacity.” - How LPs pick which funds to back. - Whether there is too much capital in the venture capital asset class. - What “dilettante capital” is and why there are more “clowns” in the industry than ever for whom lightning struck in the form of an outlier investment. - The three main ways that venture funds are differentiated. - Why succession is always a threat in venture and how good firms have been able to manage when a GP "calls in rich." - Why a good venture firm operates like a basketball team and a bad one operates like a tennis team. - The difference between building a firm and deploying capital. - Some impromptu book recommendations of classic works on California. 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. Colin Campbell was our audio engineer for this episode and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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On this special live episode of Venture Stories, Bill Gates was interviewed at San Francisco’s Exploratorium by Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite. We are honored to have Bill Gates, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, among our small group of luminary LPs whose financial capital and engagement power the next wave of Village Global founders.  They covered: * Gates’s entrepreneurial journey starting Microsoft, including the most important turning points in the early years of the company. * His thinking on work-life balance for founders and what he would do differently if he was starting again. * His “greatest mistake of all time.” * What he’s learned from the next generation of founders. * His perspective on the current tech landscape. * His views on philanthropy, global development, education, and much more. 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, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

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