The future of seed stage VC with Tige Savage
Nov. 26, 2019, 9 p.m.
On this episode Abadesi talks to Tige Savage, co-founder with Steve Case of Revolution, and managing partner of Revolution Ventures. He was formerly VP of Time Warner Ventures and got his start at age fourteen working at a computer store, where he helped create a community for customers before there was a commercially available internet.
In this episode they talk about...
How to think about whether to raise capital
“Work on product-market fit, identity what you’re good at, be willing to back away from what you’re bad at, and continue to iterate over time. Don’t over-capitalize yourself until you believe you have something that works. Then make the decision on whether to take on other people’s capital.”
Tige talks about why they intentionally focus on markets and companies outside of Silicon Valley, and how this has benefitted them. He says that it’s been fifteen years to their “overnight success” at Revolution and talks about how he got into the venture capital game in the first place. He also talks about why the thought process when raising capital from LPs for a venture firm is similar to the process of thinking about raising money from investors for your company.
The future of direct-to-consumer and Tige’s breakdown of a number of companies and industries
“If my kids were to go back thirty years and see how things were purchased back then, they would be astounded at the friction that’s in the system. The companies that understand ways to deliver to consumers what they want when they want with the least amount of friction are finding the most success and the incumbents that don’t do that have been or will be threatened.”
Tige says that it’s “never been a better time to be a consumer.” They’ve invested in a number of different DTC companies and Tige breaks down the market opportunity and why the founder and the idea were a great fit for each of them. He gives his analysis of why DTC is flourishing, including why the millennial generation has fuelled the DTC boom. He talks about some of the unique ways that these startups are taking what have traditionally been online sales techniques and applying them to offline products. He also explains what he wants to see in the future in the space, and what will end up being disrupted.
How to scale a startup
“Companies have political environments, so my advice always is call it like you see it and don't play the game. There are people who are very political and play the game and indeed have succeeded simply by dint of that capability. My advice is not to be that person, to be as authentic as you can, and to call it out when it's time to call it out. If you do that, you've got to be awfully confident in what you're bringing to the equation, because if you're not playing the game, you better be delivering the goods.
He explains how running a seed-stage company as CEO is different from running a larger enterprise as CEO. He talks about the ways that a leader needs to grow along with the company, as “you go from pure hustle to a larger business.” Tige gives out some of his unorthodox leadership tips and talks about why it’s important to also upgrade the management around you when you’re CEO of a fast-growing organization. He also explains why it’s okay if a company’s management doesn’t necessarily have the answer to every question that’s asked of them, even if it feels as though they need to.
Tige also talks about some of his favorite products.
Companies and Products Mentioned In This Episode
AirPods Pro — New AirPods with active noise cancellation
Apple News + — An immersive news experience.
Bloomscape — Living room ready plants delivered to your door.
Bright Cellars — The monthly wine club with the best wine for you.
Framebridge — Online custom framing.
Garmin InReach — Explore anywhere, communicate globally.
Policygenius — Compare and buy insurance online.
PowerCube — The smallest multi-functional power distributor