A podcast by students of Stanford University's Business and Design Schools


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Andy Rachleff, co-founder of Benchmark Capital

Having backed everything from eBay and AOL to Jamba Juice and 1-800-Flowers, Andy is one of the world's most successful venture capitalists.

Download MP3 File | Subscribe via iTunes | Digg this | Transcript

Hi and welcome to our first podcast! To listen, just click the play button above.

In our first episode we are fortunate to interview famous venture capitalist Andy Rachleff. Andy is the co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, the legendary Silicon Valley firm which backed such huge successes as AOL, Juniper Networks, 1-800-Flowers, JambaJuice, Webvan, Ofoto, Friendster and eBay. The formation of Benchmark is famously chronicled in the bestselling book EBoys.

Andy's insights will be of interest to any (aspiring) entrepreneur or venture capitalist. Some choice quotes:
  • On getting in the door: "We never meet with companies that aren't referred or where we don't know the entrepreneurs."
  • On which type of people to back: "You can always hire execution, you can never hire vision."
  • On teaching entrepreneurship: "I don't believe entrepreneurs are created, I believe that they are born."
  • On Venture Capital: "It doesn’t matter how many losers you have, all that matters is how big your winners are."
  • On _______: "The world's greatest venture capitalist." (You'll have to listen!)
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Thanks for listening! (Next episode will feature Mark Leslie, founding CEO of Veritas.)

Update! Check out the transcript

- Matt



LemaLife said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LemaLife said...

I like the podcast, informative interview and seems like a very interesting guy.

Good luck with the series!

Shubaka said...

Good stuff guys, I like the format and the questions, maybe you could have a written version of the Podcast ?

Anonymous said...

Good interview. I think you can make it sound more "live" if the two of you introduce a pre-recorded interview and follow it with your perspectives on the topic.

Looking forward to the next episode!

Anonymous said...

For the written transcripts, consider using Amazon.com's MechanicalTurk (www.mturk.com)... Our classmate Andrea is an itern there this summer. Yay outsourcing...

brent said...

Hey guys...

Here are my thoughts on the show.

I expected this to be much more oriented towards business/mba types, but was pleasantly surprised to find the content was quite accessible to even non-business people like myself.

The format of the podcast was pretty good. One thing I would comment on about the format though, is that intro and many of the questions felt very scripted. I would prefer to see a more casual approach to the interview process. Definitely prepare questions ahead of time, but I would have liked to have heard conversation around the responses, rather than abruptly moving on to the next question. There was a little more engagement during the second half of the interview when Matt asked a few questions, and this felt a little more natural.

With regards to the quality of the show, it sounded pretty good for a first episode. I don't know what your hardware setup or location was, but you might want to consider investing in some higher quality mics and/or some accoustic padding for the interviewing location. There was a lot of echo and problems with sibilence (sounds made with the letters s, sh, th, etc.). These problems might be fixed through better micing or somre more post-processing of the audio.

I agree with Brian, it would have been nice to have gotten some commentary from the interviewers after the interview, about anything that may have surprised them, or thoughts on the interview itself.

Overall though it was a pretty enjoyable show, and the length felt nearly perfect. Good job guys.

(Oh, and I would say that posting to the blog under the name 'iinnovate' tends to have a less authentic feel than if we could see who actually wrote the post)

Anonymous said...

Loved his quote about not being able to hire vision.
Have read the book eBoys and loved it.
Well done on the show - look forward to listening to your others.
Will do a blog post at www.techuncut.com and send people to your blog.
Cheers - Clay

Anonymous said...

Grat Podcast! Andy is a brilliant guy and it comes through that what made him successful is his level headed approach. Great communicator as well!