My guest today is Garry Tan, founder and managing partner of early-stage venture firm, Initialized Capital. Before starting Initialized, Garry was a partner at Y Combinator, employee number 10 at Palantir, and co-founder of YC backed blog platform Posterous. Our discussion covers what’s missing in the investment world, how to best systematize venture investments, and what he learned from Paul Graham. Please enjoy my conversation with Garry Tan.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:45] - [First question] - Why he’s interested by software and the global brain
[00:06:23] - How the shift from global to local manifests in his investing and company activities
[00:11:42] - Ways to increase throughput that would benefit everybody in the investing world
[00:17:13] - What software he would build if there were no limitations and what happens at the systems level of securing deals at Initialize
[00:23:33] - Why there is no objective application process for early-stage capital and how much human judgment we can remove from approving funding
[00:26:49] - Shared characteristics amongst new inventions he finds favorable
[00:31:49] - Whether he’s able to evaluate an idea without a prototype
[00:33:33] - Why travel planning software was the worst idea of 2012 and what he sees as the bad idea of today
[00:36:06] - The most common reasons for failure in these types of businesses
[00:39:07] - Is big enabling technology shifts what manifests in successful outcomes?
[00:40:37] - The role of media and how it intersects with investing
[00:44:29] - What he attributes to the success of his firm and thriving in chaos
[00:48:11] - Would he press a button that would have made his childhood easy, and whether he’s met founders who haven’t come across adversity in their lives
[00:50:00] - His thoughts on the world today via the lens of his portfolio
[00:53:12] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him