Dull name, amazing content. Harry Stebbings started the 20VC podcast in 2014 (when he was only 18) and has grown it into a phenomenon in its own right making it into one of the best venture capital podcasts out there. Over the years he has interviewed a variety of dealmakers, including people as elusive as John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins) and Brad Feld (Techstars). The format is punchy, fast (audio is actually played back at >1x speed) and candid (watch out for the occasional f-bomb). Every podcasts follows the same lay-out: three minutes on the person’s background, 15 minutes on business, then a series of personal questions to finish. Harry has since expanded into broader areas (20Growth growth and 20Sales) focused on more specific start-up topics. Amusingly, the podcast's duration has now expanded significantly beyond the original 20 mins ranging up to 1h.
Harry also runs Stride.VC, a VC fund co-founded with Fred Destin in 2018 and subsequently his own fund (20VC Fund) in 2020. Follow him on Twitter at @harrystebbings.
Reid Hoffman needs little introduction, having founded LinkedIn, which was listed and subsequently taken over by Microsoft for $26bn. He is currently a partner with Greylock Partners and is one of the most influential personalities in the world of tech and start-ups.
Masters of Scale started in 2017 and in each episode Reid acts as the host, introducing a business concept or theory and proving it out through the conversation with his guest. He has interviewed a range of heavy hitters including Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Ray Dalio (Bridgerwater) and Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook). In contrast to 20VC, the episodes are professionally produced (they are actually done by a company called WaitWhat) making it one of the best VC podcasts purely from an audio production point of view. This does however result in a sometimes formal and institutional feel to the series.
You can follow Reid on Twitter at @reidhoffman
The show started in 2015 by Ben Gilbert (Pioneer Square Labs) and David Rosenthal (VC investor) as a project of passion with the goal of exploring what made great acquisitions successful. It has since outgrown its name, expanding beyond corporate transactions and covering tech companies, institutions or VC fundamentals.
Acquired has been a top technology podcast on iTunes and has featured founders and investors such as Scott Dorsey (High Alpha), Scott Belsky (Behance), and Alfred Lin (Sequoia). Compared to Master of Scale, you can expect far less high flying celebrities, however far more educational deep dives on particular topics (e.g., overview of the history of EPIC games or a tech-in on Ethereum). Episode lengths vary but are generally longer and can go for up to 3h.
FTR was started in 2014 by Nick Moran (founder and General Partner of New Stack Ventures). The content is far more investor focused and is great for keeping up with the latest industry trends, predictions and general VC Twitter gossip. As evidenced by the podcast's name, there is a lot of jargon, making it one of the best venture capital podcasts for those looking to break into this industry as a career. Some of the episodes are extremely punchy (e.g., 10 mins) however can range up to 45m in duration.
Follow him on Twitter at @thefullratchet
As far as venture capital podcasts go, we're always weary of promoting ones that are backed by a particular fund (and thus support their portfolio and have an inherent bias), but it would not be a top 5 list without Andreessen .. the content is just too good.
The a16z podcast is great if you want to learn about a range of tech-related topics. There is no sequence or consistency between episodes and the podcasts change interviewer, interviewee, and format for each episode.
However they do cover and extremely wide range of content and are generally quite thoughtful and academic about their approach mixing technology with business and investing considerations, making it one of the top venture capital podcasts out there. a16z are currently undergoing a massive web3 / crypto obsession, which is heavily reflected in the mix of the content, however this will eventually change to the next big thing in the future.
You can follow the firm at @a16z
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