Mar 3, 2020
Managing Director and Partner, Two Sigma Ventures - Villi
This week Villi Itchev joins Mike to discuss diversity in
experience, investment, entrepreneurship, remote work, and lessons
learned. Villi has a multi-fadeted background to include:
investment banking with Merrill Lynch, mergers and acquisition with
Salesforce, an executive with Lifelock, and head of strategy with
- How does Villi's background influence his approach to
investment and research?
- How have his experiences rounded out his thinking?
- How does venture continue to innovate and transform?
- Why is it a great time to be a founder?
- What are some common misconceptions around investment?
- How will venture continue to evolve?
- What options are there for various types of investment?
- Why do we get drawn into the idea that we need to take on
funding to build out to scale, or I'm less than?
- How will the future of remote work impact organization growth
- What inspired Villi's post on ARR being a vanity metric?
- How do you see the landscape of technology & software
evolving over the next 15 years?
- Massive transportation within venture. The competitive
nature of venture is commoditizing the asset class. A data
oriented approach is required.
- The ones that are standing still (just like any industry) are
- It's a great time to be a founder - it takes little investment
to get started and you can make a lot of progress on your own prior
to raising capital.
- There are an abundance of capital sources with different risk
- Best way to get started is family & friends. After you make
progress start to look at traditional Angel & Seed financing -
be honest with yourself about the type of company you are
- There are plenty of opportunities to build companies.
- There is nothing shameful in building something that will not
grow at venture scale.
- Think about how Mailchimp started - small ambition, focused
solution to an email template problem, that grew into something
greater than expected.
- Start building, start playing, start dreaming - see where it
takes you - chase your dream.
- It's a lot easier to get inspired when you interact with people
who have a common interest - leverage your communities, networks,
and the resources that are available.
- Shortage of talent, high demand for technology globally, will
lead to a shift in remote work, and create opportunities for growth
- the world is becoming smaller.
- Remote work will allow technology to spread much further.
- Bookings over ARR - a question you can ask - is your ACV
(annual contract value) growing or declining?
- Performance is measured by bookings growth.
- The last 20 years - we put success on the shoulders of the
customer. We transferred costs.
- This shifted to the vendor being responsible for success, as
payments shifted to overtime vs upfront.
- Cloud & SaaS changed the landscape of adoption
- Next 20 years - the software will make us better at our
- What does the next salesforce look like? It will be about
making the end-user better, within each core application.
- The intelligence will amplify capabilities.
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