11 Years of the USV Investment Team
As part of the hiring process for our two year analyst position, we asked everyone who has worked at USV in an investment team role to make a two minute video (the same thing we ask applicants to do). We asked them to answer these two questions – when did you join USV and how has your perspective on tech changed since then? Here’s a compilation of all of the two minute videos. In its entirety it is about 25 mins long.
11 Years of the USV Investment Team from Union Square Ventures on Vimeo.
Thanks for sharing. Andrew Parker’s insights = brilliant.
Extraordinary video! Appreciated comments from folks who talked about technology they were wrong about, comments about pattern recognition, about people networks being as important as technology networks and the spirit of transparency present in all these videos- which might even have been crisper as one minute videos. Think you’ve performed a incredibly useful service to the community in giving us this perspective. There’s also a wonderful optimism, energy and intelligence in all these contributions. Thank you, Fred! Well done.
USV is a team effort, which of course includes all of these people
Erik Erikson coined the term Generativity. He wrote: as we all reach and go beyond midlife, we are faced with a developmental dilemma: share and develop others or go it on our own. What Erikson believed was those who do not become generative, risk stagnation.
i want to vote on the new applicants. these people are too sane. madness makes money.
Ability to speak well (per my other comment) is important but certainly other things that can’t be gleaned from a video (without the ability to ask questions) would make that approach a biased data point that would overlook a good applicant.
there’s too much emphasis on ‘presentation’. as a proxy indicator it is unreliable.
Guess the mad part of the equation are the entrepreneurs.
i don’t think VCs excel at psychiatry.
Interesting when Gary Chou talks about the community at Etsy being significant (and I agree). But I thought that one of the complaints that I read about Etsy is that it has moved in the same directions as, say, airbnb  in that larger entities with mass goods have become core to the site and that etsy may have “lost the indie cred”. I wonder if this is just obvious and inevitable as the company grows. Airbnb same started as someone wanting to rent their place and now there are people who buy properties just to rent on airbnb.
that critique about etsy is made by a small minority of folks who wish Etsy would never change. it is not correct in the least
What’s unfortunate is that that minority has apparently been getting enough attention that I made the comment that I did. Separately I think they need to do more to publicize the https://www.etsy.com/pattern pattern product that they have started to offer.
Great videos. Don’t want to mention any names but I am partial to the people who appeared who showed a high degree of enthusiasm and energy level (some of them are still at USV but some have left). I wonder if the vetting process takes this quality into account.
Give me people with integrity, the company culture will mould the mindset.
The view and experience diversity each one of them have is very interesting, awesome group of people.I was not aware about hybrid companies such as Expa, mentioned by Eric Friedman, but I am very in line with the concept. There are so many common components, software and operational, that have to be built and put in place. Makes a lot of sense to reuse those components and knowledge. A ‘startup studio’ model enables that quite nicely.
Hey, Congrats to Bethany who was just married yesterday in Philly:http://marzcrystal.com/about/
yup. big day.
Nice. Some very thoughtful young people there.
Wow, a lot of wisdom packed into that 25 minutes. And such a great question. Really enjoyed Gary’s thoughts about having a personal thesis, Andrew’s comment about being more optimistic about change, and Christina’s thoughts on the power of individuals.Those comments echo what I would answer if someone asked me how my perspective has changed since starting to follow AVC and Continuations about four years ago.Watching USV’s perspective and focus evolve during that time has taught me so much and has really impacted my perspective on tech and the world. I’ve gone from thinking about what’s exciting right now to what’s exciting coming down the pipeline. More of a futurist mindset, if you will, combined with an increased optimism about the future. I’m really grateful for that.
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You & the USV partners must feel very proud of this alumni roster. Couple of quotes I liked, “the future is walking through your door every day”- Jonathan L. & “Everything is connected”- Brian W.Also, interesting that technology and “society” is a pervasive theme that was mentioned by several. This reflects what the USV partners are thinking about.
i am very proud of what they all have gone on to do. it is one of the things i am most proud of at USV
As I said in my guest post: “My biggest legacy is the network of people I’ve hired and what they’ve gone on to do.”Companies will change (like your Etsy post). People will change. But helping people grow is priceless.One of my partners who heads development just retired. The last thing he did and the thing that made him the proudest was passing the baton to junior guy who he developed into a senior over eight years.
Great group of people and clearly a great role. I am I bit disappointed that “design” is not mentioned once by any of the former or current analysts.I am not qualified for the job but if I were applying I would try to use some of the time at USV to study the role of design in society and try to work with portfolio companies to help them leverage design to make smarter products. I am not talking about the visual design only but about the role that design plays from anything to increase sales to stopping online harassment in social networks to the importance of brand as a company equity.In a world were design is becoming more invisible, voice, bots, ect., the role of design is even much more important right now.
+1 for the thesis. I think it’s one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from following USV generally and it has been very helpful in “aiming” where I want to go in my career.