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Greymatter offers perspectives and stories from some of the world’s top technology entrepreneurs and business leaders. The featured company builders share personal and insightful lessons while shedding light on common, relatable challenges in the entrepreneurial journey. Greymatter is produced by Greylock Partners.
 
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In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced nearly every aspect of life online. Suddenly, everything was happening on Zoom. To the everyday consumer, Zoom might have seemed like an overnight success story. But Zoom CEO and founder Eric Yuan, who was founded the company in 2011 as an enterprise service, said they were able to meet the sudden surge i…
 
A re-broadcast of Reid Hoffman's discussion with his Blitzscaling co-author Chris Yeh on the pros and cons of two different courses of study: the standard business school MBA, or a degree in philosophy. Hoffman, who holds a philosophy degree from Oxford, shares why he generally views pursuing an MBA as an adverse signal for entrepreneurship. This e…
 
Members of Greylock's investing and specialist teams reflect on the past year, and look forward to the year ahead. They weigh in on the main startup trends, discuss sectors they are planning to spend more time on, and share personal stories about lessons learned, and plans for the coming year. You can read a transcript of this episode here: https:/…
 
After a brief period of hiring freezes and mass layoffs early in the pandemic, business has come roaring back, and competition for talent is now higher than ever. Demand for highly-skilled employees outstrips supply, and most CEOs and hiring managers say that finding, hiring and retaining great team members is among the top concerns that keep them …
 
As software and data management systems have evolved, so too have the cybersecurity threats targeting them. How can companies, government agencies, and individuals keep their data secure when risk is at an all-time high? Greylock general partner Asheem Chandna, New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth, and Rubrik CEO and co-founder Bip…
 
A re-broadcast of our episode featuring Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky. Chesky joined Greylock partner Reid Hoffman on Greylock's Iconversations speaker series to talk about how he guided Airbnb from an 80% loss within the first two months of the pandemic to a record-breaking IPO by the end of 2020; why Silicon Valley needs to redefine how …
 
Executive search firm Daversa Partners is working to change the reality of underrepresentation in tech. The firm has focused on increasing overall diverse representation for years, and is now launching a new program called Dreamscape that is dedicated solely to ensuring there is Black leadership on the boards and executive teams of the most importa…
 
Audio version of Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman's essay, "Human Nature in Vices and Virtues: An Adam Smith Approach to Building Internet Ecosystems and Communities," published on the Knight Foundation's website. Hoffman discusses how some of the most popular websites leverage some of humankind's less desirable attributes(e.g. "the 7 deadly s…
 
On the day of Nextdoor's public debut, Greylock general partner David Sze looks back on his experience working with the social networking startup. Sze knew Nextdoor co-founders Nirav Tolia, Sarah Leary, and Prakash Janakiraman before the company was formed in 2008. While he did not invest in their original concept called Fanbase, Sze was among the …
 
Greylock marketing partner Elisa Schreiber reads general parter Asheem Chandna's latest column for Forbes. In this column, Chandna discusses the changing dynamics of recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent in one of the most competitive labor markets of our time. You can read this essay at https://www.forbes.com/sites/asheemchandna/2021/10/28/how-…
 
As autonomous driving startup Aurora goes public via SPAC with Reinvent Technology Partners, Greylock general partner and Reinvent investor Reid Hoffman reflects on his experience working with the company as an investor and advisor. Hoffman joined the company's board when he co-led Greylock's Series A investment into Aurora in 2018. You can read th…
 
Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor talks with Greylock general partner Sarah Guo on Greylock's Iconversations series. During this discussion, Bret talks about lessons learned from his career as a product developer, two-time startup founder, and an operations leader within several large tech companies. He also talks about the high-profile acqu…
 
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has an instinct for disruption. He first cut his teeth at Disney, helped transform Amazon in its early days, and was the founding CEO of Hulu. In aggregate, his experience represents a clear knack for jumping at opportunities to transform media right at the moment when people are receptive to tide-turning change. Kilar s…
 
This episode is the audio version of the essay "Open Source vs Cloud Castles", by Greylock general partner Jerry Chen. In this essay (which is read by Greylock's head of content and editorial Heather Mack), Jerry continues his discussion of strategies startups can explore to compete – and win – against the Big 3 Cloud providers. This essay is part …
 
Steve Bartel and Nick Bushak, co-founders of recruiting platform startup Gem, join Greylock Head of Content & Editorial Heather Mack to discuss how they are solving a crucial pain point in the modern hiring ecosystem: providing a tool to proactively search for and manage relationships with passive talent. Gem, which was launched in 2017, now works …
 
Greylock executive talent partner Holly Rose Faith provides her playbook for recruiting and hiring high-level talent. Faith, who has helped land executive hires for startups such as Roblox, Nextdoor, and Databricks, says it all comes down to having a solid system in place for each step of the process. This episode is part of Greylock's Brain Trust …
 
Greylock has raised $500 million dollars dedicated to seed investing. This is the industry’s largest pool of venture capital dedicated to backing founders at day one. Greylock Head of Editorial Heather Mack reads the audio version of our post announcing the new capital. You can read the post here:By Greylock Partners
 
A re-broadcast of our episode featuring fintech startup Wisetack. The company, which was incubated at Greylock and launched in 2019, recently raised a $45 million Series B round. Wisetack provides financing platform for in-person services like home or auto repair businesses, enabling them to offer customers the option to buy now and pay later. Grey…
 
Filmmaker J.J. Abrams joins Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman for a discussion on the ways science fiction and real-world technology take inspiration from one another; how to recognize a good idea when you see one; and the gravity of being behind any innovation that affects society on a large scale. This interview was part of Greylock's Iconver…
 
Audio version of the essay by Greylock investors Corinne Riley and Jerry Chen entitled "Funding the Cloud Challengers." This essay, which is part of Greylock's Castles in the Cloud series, analyzes the top venture capital cloud investing trends since 2019. You can read the essay at https://greylock.com/greymatter/funding-the-cloud-challengers/, and…
 
Audio version of Greylock general partner Jerry Chen's essay "How to Break Up Big Cloud's Dominance," read by Greylock Head of Editorial Heather Mack. This essay, which outlines strategies startups can take to compete with the Big 3 cloud providers, is part of our Castles in the Cloud project. You can read the essay at https://greylock.com/greymatt…
 
The audio version of Greylock general partner Jerry Chen's essay introducing Castles in the Cloud, which is Greylock’s interactive project to map multiple data points of the cloud computing ecosystem — and plots new opportunities for success. Greylock marketing partner Elisa Schreiber reads the essay. You can read the essay at https://greylock.com/…
 
A re-broadcast of our episode featuring Ariel Investments president and co-CEO Mellody Hobson, who spoke with Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman as part of Greylock's Inconversations speaker series. Hobson is also the chair of the board of Starbucks Corporation as well as a director at JP Morgan Chase, and is an avid philanthropist and educator.…
 
Very few startups set out to compete with the biggest leaders in their industry - let alone those who are among the biggest companies in the world. But that doesn't mean it's not possible. In 2020, Greylock investor Sridhar Ramaswamy (who joined the firm following 15 years at Google) launched Neeva, a new kind of search company. The differentiator?…
 
PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada and Greylock general partner Sarah Guo discuss the importance of empathetic leadership, the value of automation in service of people, the effectiveness of trust and transparency as a means of corporate communication — and shares advice on how to build good relationships with your current and former employees, your exec…
 
Greylock investor Christine Kim shares the top five lessons she learned scaling product while working at Uber. Prior to joining Greylock in 2020, Christine spent five years at the ride-hailing business. where she led the product team that launched and scaled Uber Eats. The app started as a small pilot project that quickly caught on, and Uber Eats n…
 
Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman and his Blitzscaling co-author Chris Yeh pick up their conversation from last week on how philosophical study can have a great impact on an entrepreneur's career. This week, they focus on how a philosophy degree compares to a much more conventional business background: the MBA."There are two things that need to…
 
Greylock general partner and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman talks with his Blitzscaling co-author Chris Yeh about how a fundamental understanding of philosophy can be a powerful tool for entrepreneurship. Hoffman, who holds a master's degree in philosophy from Oxford University, outlines how studying philosophy helps people develop new frameworks…
 
If AI is to serve the collective needs of humanity, how should machine intelligence be built and designed so that it can understand human language, feelings, intentions and behaviors, and interact with nuance and in multiple dimensions? Stanford University computer science professor Dr. Fei-Fei Li and Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman discuss t…
 
A rebroadcast of our episode featuring Coda CEO and co-founder Shishir Mehrotra. The company, which saw a surge in usage during the Covid-19 pandemic and the widespread shift to remote work, recently closed $100 million Series D round. In this episode, which was recorded last year as part of Greylock general partner Sarah Guo's Work From Anywhere p…
 
From dealing with the notorious cold start problem of insufficient data to train models, to identifying the right business model for the product and the crucial need for early partnerships, applied ML companies grapple with an additional set of challenges from the beginning. Cresta CTO and co-founder Tim Shi and Abnormal Security Head of Machine Le…
 
The second part of our two-part conversation on working with the media. Forbes senior editor Alex Konrad joins Greylock marketing partner Elisa Schreiber and Greylock director of communications Kaitlin Durkosh to discuss how startup founders should think about building relationships with journalists; how journalists see their role amid the always e…
 
Forbes senior editor Alex Konrad has been covering venture capital and startups for nearly a decade. While many founders have learned how to work well with media, the learning curve is steep, and Konrad sees persistent miscommunication, misunderstanding, and misinformation between the two. Compounding the issue, today’s startup founders have to nav…
 
While many CEOs choose to stay out of the public eye during times of crisis, Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky has always opted for the opposite. It was no different during the Covid-19 pandemic, when travel came to a standstill and the company was forced to restructure. Chesky remained open, candid and transparent throughout the experience, a…
 
Show Notes This is the episode of Grey Matters that every person thinking about starting a business - or succeeding in their existing business - should listen to right now. The alternative may mean months or even years of focusing in the wrong direction. The age old question for entrepreneurs, "What should my business look like?" is one where the a…
 
Greylock partner Saam Motamedi is joined by engineering team leaders to discuss the wide-reaching topic of company culture. Wade Chambers, CTO and SVP of Engineering at Grand Rounds Health; Kevin Wang, VP of engineering at Abnormal Security; and Wei Gan, the co-founder and CTO of Ribbon Home, talk about the various ways they define and apply cultur…
 
Show Notes These week's news updates by Steve and Rachel will really give you something to sink your teeth into (pun intended). In a special episode focused on current events in business, social, and technology, you'll get informed even as you're wondering what exactly this world is coming to today. First up: Instagram adds a new Drops feature in i…
 
Stanford University economics professor Nicholas Bloom has been researching remote work and management for decades. The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the workplace provided a rare opportunity for a world-wide case study. Bloom joined Greylock general partner Sarah Guo on Greymatter’s Work From Anywhere podcast series to talk about the evolvin…
 
Show Notes Apps come and go, and our daily needs constantly evolve. There are probably a few apps you use on a daily basis that, while you may have never heard of them a year ago, you couldn't imagine living without today. In this episode of the Grey Matters podcast, Steve Dotto shares five apps that are his new "daily drivers:" tools that support …
 
When people ask Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman how he learned strategy, his answer is not that he studied in business school and earned an MBA, or that he read (and re-read) Machiavelli and Sun Tzu. His answer is this: “I played a lot of games.” The best games, Hoffman says, not only require skill and tactics, but they also incorporate uncer…
 
Show Notes What does the guy who lives and breathes productivity do to adapt focus when a pandemic hits? You're about to find out, and possibly feel better about the challenges and solutions you've experienced as the world turned topsy-turvy. In this episode of the Grey Matters podcast, Steve welcomes Mike Vardy, founder of Productivityist and auth…
 
To keep growth and user engagement up, most social platform avoid any features that could cause friction to the user. But Nextdoor is willing to take some risks. The company, which has taken on a greater role during the pandemic, has deployed tools that CEO Sarah Friar admits may impact growth, but are ultimately, "the right thing to do in order to…
 
If you're heard the term "passive income," you've probably also imagined yourself relaxing on a private beach while dollar signs float dreamlike above your head. It sounds amazing, but is passive income realistic? In this episode of the Grey Matters podcast, Steve Dotto challenges our perceptions of passive income, which may range all the way from …
 
To understand how some of the strongest brands are thriving with the omnichannel approach, Greylock general partner Mike Duboe hosted a wide-ranging discussion on Greymatter on what it takes to build the next generation of commerce companies with Color Capital co-founders Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino. The husband-wife team partner with companies…
 
Ever imagine how you look and then see a picture which jars you back into reality? How we spend our time - or think we're spending it - often works the same way: our perception can be way off from reality. In this episode of Grey Matters, Steve shares how you can honestly learn how you're spending or misspending your time and, more importantly, how…
 
The shift to ecommerce has been a natural progression for companies that sell everyday, approachable items like clothing and beauty products. But brands that sell pricey, technical and often highly variable products like skis, golf clubs and camping gear have historically struggled to make the online transition, as consumers tend to prefer in-perso…
 
Staring contest between you and a blank page... Ready? Set? GO! None of us enjoy the feeling of knowing we have something to share yet being unable to put what's in our brain into words on a page. Whatever our personal obstacles are, this episode of Grey Matters will reset your thinking and help you believe that writing whatever is inside you is po…
 
When finance teams have a greater influence on everyday operations, companies can more nimbly respond to economic events – both good and bad. That's why TraceHQ developed a platform that functions as a service desk for finance; providing visibility for teams to immediately see how their financial decisions impact their budget. It then gives finance…
 
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