In Depth-logo

In Depth

Business & Economics Podcasts

Welcome to In Depth, a new podcast from First Round Review that’s dedicated to surfacing the tactical advice founders and startup leaders need to grow their teams, their companies and themselves. Hosted by Brett Berson, a partner at First Round, In Depth will cover a lot of ground and a wide range of topics, from hiring executives and becoming a better manager, to the importance of storytelling inside of your organization. But every interview will hit the level of tactical depth where the very best advice is found. We hope you’ll join us. Subscribe to “In Depth” now and learn more at firstround.com

Welcome to In Depth, a new podcast from First Round Review that’s dedicated to surfacing the tactical advice founders and startup leaders need to grow their teams, their companies and themselves. Hosted by Brett Berson, a partner at First Round, In Depth will cover a lot of ground and a wide range of topics, from hiring executives and becoming a better manager, to the importance of storytelling inside of your organization. But every interview will hit the level of tactical depth where the very best advice is found. We hope you’ll join us. Subscribe to “In Depth” now and learn more at firstround.com

Location:

United States

Description:

Welcome to In Depth, a new podcast from First Round Review that’s dedicated to surfacing the tactical advice founders and startup leaders need to grow their teams, their companies and themselves. Hosted by Brett Berson, a partner at First Round, In Depth will cover a lot of ground and a wide range of topics, from hiring executives and becoming a better manager, to the importance of storytelling inside of your organization. But every interview will hit the level of tactical depth where the very best advice is found. We hope you’ll join us. Subscribe to “In Depth” now and learn more at firstround.com

Twitter:

@firstround

Language:

English


Episodes

How to find product/market fit before you start building — UserLeap’s Ryan Glasgow

7/22/2021
Today’s episode is with Ryan Glasgow, the founder and CEO of UserLeap, a product research platform that helps PMs, user researchers, and growth marketers launch microsurveys to uncover customer insights faster. Before founding UserLeap in 2018, Ryan was a PM and early team member at Weebly (which was acquired by Square) and Vurb (which was acquired by Snapchat). We start by rewinding the clock back to the 6-month period before Ryan started the company — when he was validating his idea and...

Duration:01:05:09

Nick Caldwell on the engineering cultures that power Microsoft, Reddit, Looker & Twitter

7/15/2021
Today’s episode is with Nick Caldwell, VP of Engineering at Twitter. Previously, Nick was at Microsoft for 15 years, eventually becoming GM of Power BI. Nick has also held roles as Reddit’s VP of Engineering and Looker’s Chief Product and Engineering Officer. Between Microsoft, Reddit, Looker, and now Twitter, Nick’s worked for companies with vastly different cultures. And in today’s conversations, we comb through the biggest lessons from each of these orgs. With Microsoft, we unpack...

Duration:00:58:57

“Everyone wants a silver bullet” — Selling lessons from Sam Taylor, of Dropbox, Quip & now Loom

7/8/2021
Today’s episode is with Sam Taylor, VP of Sales and Success at Loom. Previously, Sam was Dropbox’s first enterprise sales rep, and also served as Quip’s first sales leader. In today’s conversation, we dig into the key learnings from each stop in Sam’s career so far. Starting with his earliest experience at Dropbox, he walks us through his aha moment that sales is an insight driver — which includes his lessons on pricing and packaging, as well as plotting the feature roadmap as Dropbox...

Duration:01:01:42

The do’s and don’ts of scaling from dozens of employees to thousands — McKenna Quint

6/24/2021
Today’s episode is with McKenna Quint, who was most recently the Head of People at Plaid and also built and led the people team at Cruise Automation. Currently, she’s co-founder and general partner at Quint Capital, a seed-stage fund. In today’s conversation, we focus on the people challenges that inevitably crop up when you’re going from a couple dozen employees to a couple thousand. We start by discussing when startups should draw from established playbooks in the people space versus...

Duration:01:06:07

A look at one repeat founder’s frameworks for validating ideas — Pilot’s Waseem Daher

6/17/2021
Today’s episode is with Waseem Daher, co-founder and CEO of Pilot, a company that specializes in bookkeeping, tax prep, and CFO services for high-growth startups. In addition to Pilot, Waseem co-founded two other startups with the same group of co-founders, including Ksplice, which was acquired by Oracle in 2011, and Zulip, which was acquired by Dropbox in 2014. In today’s conversation, we pay particular attention to the earliest days of Pilot. Waseem takes us behind the scenes of the...

Duration:01:06:48

Killing stories and creating categories — Comms tips from Shannon Brayton’s 25+ years in tech

6/10/2021
Today’s episode is with Shannon Brayton, a Silicon Valley veteran with more than two decades of experience shaping corporate narratives and leading teams at companies like LinkedIn, OpenTable, eBay, Yahoo!, and Intuit. She recently joined Bessemer as the venture capital firm’s first-ever CMO. In today’s conversation, Shannon shares the comms and leadership lessons she’s picked up along the way. In addition to sharing her broader philosophy around the role of comms and her thoughts on why...

Duration:00:58:56

People leaders aren’t the CEO of culture, they’re product managers — Credit Karma’s Colleen McCreary

6/3/2021
Today’s episode is with Colleen McCreary, the Chief People Officer at Credit Karma. With more than 20 years of experience in HR, operations, recruiting and M&A, Colleen has headed up the people function at companies such as Vevo, The Climate Corporation, and Zynga. She’s also seen the early-stages and scaled through multiple IPOs and acquisitions, which means she has a great perspective on the people problems founders tend to run into as their businesses grow. We kick this conversation...

Duration:01:08:09

Go unreasonably deep on complex problems and build with naivety — Bowery Farming’s Irving Fain

5/26/2021
Today’s episode is with Irving Fain, founder and CEO of Bowery Farming. Bowery is a modern farming company that grows produce indoors, free from pollutants and using significantly less water and space. Just this week, the company announced a $300 million Series C round, the largest private fundraise to date for an indoor farming company. Bowery’s mission to democratize access to fresh, locally grown food. It’s no doubt an extremely complex problem, so it might surprise you that its...

Duration:01:07:52

The story behind Slack’s marketing and the leap from marketer to CEO — Abstract’s Kelly Watkins

5/20/2021
Today’s episode is with Kelly Watkins, CEO of Abstract, a platform for structure and transparency in the design process. In joining Abstract last year, Kelly is one of very few folks from a marketing background to take on the CEO seat. She brings a wealth of experience leading incredibly high-performing marketing teams for Slack, Github, and Bugsnag. In today’s conversation, we start by reflecting on her first year as CEO. She shares her alternative to yearly planning, borrowing from...

Duration:01:02:30

Ask why it won’t work — Rick Song’s lessons from Square and building from 0 to 1

5/13/2021
Today’s episode is with Rick Song, the co-founder and CEO of Persona, a platform that enables companies to create the ideal identity verification experience for their customers. Before founding Persona in 2018, Rick was an engineer at Square for 5 years, and an early team member at Square Capital. Rick is at an exciting inflection point in his journey of building from zero to one — just last week, Persona shared that they’ve raised a $50 million Series B round. The company plans to double...

Duration:00:57:31

Product Pitfalls From 0 Customers to the Messy Middle and IPO — Eric Berg on Okta, Intel & Fauna

5/6/2021
Today’s episode is with Eric Berg, CEO of Fauna, which is an adaptive operational database platform. In joining Fauna as its CEO in the summer of 2020, he brought a wealth of experience as a product leader. Most recently, he was the Chief Product Officer at Okta, scaling the company from 10 employees and zero customers to its eventual IPO in 2017. He started his career in product at Intel, working under the legendary Andy Grove, as well as a five-year stint as a product leader at...

Duration:01:01:57

After leading product & growth teams at Instacart, Wealthfront & LinkedIn, Elliot Shmukler is tackling zero to one as founder & CEO of Anomalo

4/29/2021
Today’s conversation is with Elliot Shmukler, founder and CEO of Anomalo, which is a platform that validates and documents all of your data. Elliot founded Anomalo after a storied career as a product and growth leader at some of the most interesting companies around. Most recently, he was Instacart’s Chief Growth Officer, driving fast and profitable growth and geographic expansion. His jam-packed resume also includes stops at Wealthfront as the VP of Product and Growth and as a product...

Duration:01:05:34

A deep-dive into product-led growth & self-serve strategies — Notion’s & Dropbox’s Kate Taylor

4/22/2021
Today’s episode is with Kate Taylor, who recently joined Notion as their Head of Customer Experience. Previously, Kate spent 8 years at Dropbox, leading their SMB revenue and scaled sales operation before leaving in 2020. Prior to that, she started her career as a sales rep at Salesforce. In today’s conversation, Kate shares a wealth of advice for building out product-led growth and self-serve motions. She shares tons of nuances around going up market, competing with sales and product...

Duration:00:57:08

Setting up the people function and training for empathy — Lambda School’s Mark Frein

4/15/2021
Today’s episode is with Mark Frein, the Chief People Officer & Head of Alumni Programs at Lambda School. Previously, Mark served as the Chief People Officer at both InVision and Return Path. He also ran his own leadership development consultancy and taught on HR topics as an adjunct professor. Mark has an invaluable perspective and tons of advice to share after setting up several people orgs in a range of different companies. In this conversation, Mark shares his approach to the CPO role...

Duration:01:07:19

How Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta Parses Through Mountains of Advice as a First-Time Founder

4/8/2021
Today’s episode is with Marco Zappacosta, co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack. He’s spent the last 13 years building the company into a billion-dollar business — and it’s his first and only job after graduating college. In today’s conversation, Marco dives into the company milestones that require a return to first principles versus pulling from a tested playbook, and the mental models he leans on when parsing through the mountains of advice he gets as a first-time founder and CEO. He connects...

Duration:01:07:44

Building engineering orgs and new products at Segment, Dropbox & Facebook — Tido Carriero

4/1/2021
Today’s episode is with Tido Carriero, the Chief Product Officer at Segment, a customer data platform which was recently acquired by Twilio. Before that, he built out the engineering teams that worked on the core product and the initial business product at Dropbox. Tido started out his career in 2008 as an early member of the Facebook ads engineering team, and went on to become an eng manager on the Pages team, a transition from IC to leadership that he talks about in this episode. In...

Duration:00:57:58

Essentials to engaging employees & developing high-quality managers — Qualtrics’ Russ Laraway

3/18/2021
Today’s episode is with Russ Laraway. After starting out in the Marine Corps, Russ made his way into the world of startups, joining Google in 2005 where he led teams for 7 years and was recognized as one of the company’s best managers. Russ then went to Twitter, where he founded and ran the SMB advertising business. Afterwards, he teamed up with Kim Scott to co-found Candor, Inc to help people implement the concepts from Radical Candor and have better relationships at work. In 2018, he...

Duration:01:11:26

CEO Jeff Lawson Reflects on the Peaks and Valleys of Twilio’s Growth Story

3/11/2021
Today’s episode is with Jeff Lawson, co-founder and CEO of Twilio. He’s spent the last 13 years building and running the company, including leading through a successful IPO in 2016. In today’s conversation, Jeff looks back on some of the peaks and valleys in Twilio’s journey, and his own evolution as the CEO. He dives into some of the initial wins, like going against conventional wisdom to launch a second product in the early days of Twilio. He’s equally game to unpack some of the...

Duration:01:04:22

Treat Operational Debt like Tech Debt — Leah Sutton on Elastic’s Distributed Work Playbook

3/4/2021
Today’s episode is with Leah Sutton, SVP of Global HR at Elastic. Leah’s been in the HR space for over 20 years, and now leads everything from HR operations to recruiting and employee engagement for Elastic’s fully-distributed employee base, which includes over 2,000 spread across 40 countries and 48 states. In today’s conversation, we look closely under the hood of what Leah calls Elastic’s “distributed by design” company DNA. She walks us through her learnings tackling challenges...

Duration:00:57:22

“My product is the company” — Kevin Fishner on how startups can build better systems

2/25/2021
Today’s episode is with Kevin Fishner, Chief of Staff at HashiCorp. As the first business hire at the cloud infrastructure automation company, he previously built out the sales, marketing and product management teams. Now as chief of staff, he’s focused on building a strong foundation of company-wide systems, now that the team has grown to over 1000 people. In today’s conversation, Kevin shares a detailed look at how they run meetings, set and track progress toward goals, and make decisions...

Duration:01:13:25