Reflections on early-stage investing as a new(ish) venture capitalist

Why distribution strategy should be part of product design

Don’t overstate the uniqueness

Incremental improvements aren’t sufficient

  • Snyk launched a security product designed for developers instead of security professionals. The result was a fundamentally different product experience and buyer persona. Incumbent players like Qualys and Rapid7 would have had to fully reinvent how they sell and to whom in order to reposition themselves against Snyk.
  • Twilio reinvented how companies embed telecommunications into their products. Instead of spending 12-plus months working with a telco like AT&T or Verizon to install an SIP trunking service and learn how to manually provision phone numbers, manage infrastructure capacity, and navigate archaic management portals, developers could simply embed telecommunications into their products with a few lines of code. For telcos to replicate this functionality, they’d have to reprice their offerings as commodities, restructure existing customer contracts, launch new product organizations, and replace or retrain their entire sales organizations. Not happening.

Product mindset = 🏆

More than anything else: The team matters most

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Investor at Vertex Ventures.

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Chase Roberts

Chase Roberts

Investor at Vertex Ventures.

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