Video Posts

Naval and Mark Suster recently gave the keynotes at the 7th Founder Showcase. Andrew Chen did a better job of describing Naval’s keynote than I ever will:

“People spend a surprising amount of time on things that will contribute little or no value to getting them to a seed round, and this talk is the best I’ve seen in terms of presenting the issues in its entirety.

“Naval broke down the 5 main qualities of an ‘exceptional startup,’ in the following order:

1. Traction
2. Team
3. Product
4. Social Proof
5. Pitch/Presentation

“And while all these qualities are important, Naval explained, the most important thing is to understand that: ‘Investors are trying to find the exceptional outcomes, so they are looking for something exceptional about the company. Instead of trying to do everything well (traction, team, product, social proof, pitch, etc.), do one thing exceptionally. As a startup you have to be exceptional in at least one regard.’”

Here are the video and slides:

Some of my favorite quotes from the presentation:

“If you can’t generate traction, do you really want to raise money?”

“If you need money to recruit the best, you’re not ready.”

“It’s easier to pitch a new investor than to convert one.”

“Capital is mobile, but capitalists are lazy.”

Andrew Warner recently did us the honor of interviewing Naval for Mixergy:

Video: Naval on Mixergy

Watch the video to learn about the secret history of Venture Hacks and see why Naval calls this the most thoroughly researched interview he’s ever done. I also sneak on the set for 5 seconds before they throw me off.

This Week in Venture Capital is awesome. I’ve watched every episode. The show is a mix of startup advice and startup analysis:

“Entrepreneur [now VC] Mark Suster and a rotating group of guest experts bring you weekly news and commentary on the top 10 recent venture deals and exits.”


This Week in Venture Capital (TWiVC) is a great way to get to know Mark and his guests without ever meeting them. And if you’re not in the Valley, TWiVC is a wonderful way to get a feel for Valley culture, even though the show is filmed in LA — Silicon Valley is a mindset, not a location.

Here’s a recent episode:

Video: TWiVC #6 with Jason Calacanis

Jump to 33:05 for a solid block of startup advice on:

  1. Your deck getting in the wrong hands. @ 33:05
  2. If this is your first time raising angel money… @ 38:13
  3. “VCs—when we fund raise—never ever are raising money. We’re pre-marketing until the round’s closed.” – Mark Suster @ 44:34

And if you see a guy named Farb Nivi on the site, that’s my brother (yes, I go by my last name):

Video: TWiVC #8 with Farb Nivi

One more thing…

Also check out TWiVC’s sister show, This Week in Startups with Jason Calacanis. The episode with Joel Spolsky is the best one I’ve seen so far.

Here are the latest videos from Venture Hacks TV (the best startup advice you can get while you’re folding the laundry). You can subscribe to VHTV via RSS, email, or Twitter.

1. John Doerr: The salesman for nerds



Video: Charlie Rose interviews John Doerr 



I’m going to keep my eyes on the videos coming out of TechCrunch Disrupt this week. The best talk on Monday was Charlie Rose’s interview of John Doerr.

I’ve always thought of John Doerr as a salesmen for nerds. And Doerr always looks at the big picture — I remember him talking about how the browser was going to be important again, well before Firefox emerged.

2. Gates convinces Jobs to give him 3 pre-release Macs


Video: Pirates of Silicon Valley


Watch how Gates manipulates Jobs hatred of IBM to get his way at 6:45.

Every entrepreneur should see Pirates of Silicon Valley. This made-for-TV movie from 1999 is amazingly well-done. It’s a dramatization of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak starting Apple; Bill Gates and Paul Allen starting Microsoft; and how Jobs and Gates collided.

The script and acting ring true. Wozniak writes that “the personalities were very accurately portrayed.” Steve Jobs actually invited Noah Wyle, the actor who portrays Jobs, to impersonate him at Macworld. And the negotiations are pretty realistic.

Watch the clip above and rent the movie if you like it — it’s cheesy but good.

3. This Week in Venture Capital with Jason Calacanis



Video: This Week in Venture Capital Episode 6 (Download) 

This Week in Venture Capital is a combination of startup analysis and startup advice from Jason Calacanis’ burgeoning ThisWeekIn empire. Mark Suster is the host. Jump to 33:05 for a solid block of startup advice on:

  1. Your deck getting in the wrong hands @ 33:05.
  2. If this is your first time raising angel money… @ 38:13.
  3. “VCs—when we fund raise—never ever are raising money. We’re pre-marketing until the round’s closed.” – Mark Suster @ 44:34

If you’re into startup analysis, check out the deal of the week, Stack Overflow, @ 1:00. Jason’s Q&A expertise shines through here. And here’s Mark’s recap of the episode.

Subscribe to VHTV via RSS, email, or Twitter. Do so immediately and without hesitation. How else are you going to get startup advice while you do the dishes. is our new blog where we collect the best startup advice on video. We’re starting it off strong with an hour of Q&A with Marc Andreessen from Stanford’s ECorner.

You can subscribe to VHTV via RSS, Email, or Twitter.


In the last week or so, we’ve noticed an increase in good startup advice on video. There’s TWiVC, GigaOM TV, SLLConf, TechCrunch TV, Stanford’s ECorner, and lots more.

Who has time to watch all this? You don’t. Neither do I. But I do have time to watch some of it while I’m brushing my teeth, folding laundry, and cleaning the toilet. If I watch it and like it, we’ll link to it on

Why Tumblr?

We’ve been using WordPress since the dawn of time but we’re trying Tumblr for VHTV. First, I just wanted to try Tumblr and see what it’s like. Second, Tumblr themes are badass. Third, topherchris’s blog sucked me into Tumblr. He’s Tumblr’s Editorial Director and general internet jackass. Everyone running a community should watch and learn from topherchris.

Update: A nice side effect to publishing on Tumblr is that people are now following us on Tumblr. That’s a new distribution channel for us.

Now, please head over to and watch pmarca in formal VC Wear:

Fred Destin tells me that Venture Hacks is too serious. He tells me that even The New Yorker publishes cartoons beside their articles about mass starvation in North Korea. And so, courtesy 1938 Media, we present:

Video: Ballmer reviews iPad

GigaOm TV released an interview with our Naval today. It’s pretty damn good:

Video: Naval on GigaOm TV

The topics aren’t new but I always learn something when I listen to Naval. He discusses the three traits you need to look for in a partner, how important it is to be in Silicon Valley, and lots more.

… a founder, a VC, and his Associate negotiate a down round. Very NSFW.

Video: Old Face Andre talks economics with Omar

Another business lesson from The Wire — about intellectual property: “It ain’t about right, it’s about money.”

Actually two dueling inspirational speeches. Very NSFW — contains, as they say, “strong” language.

Video: The Thick of It, Season 3 Episode 8, Ending speeches

Thanks to Fred Destin for suggesting we post some lighter fare once-in-a-while. And see why Mark Suster thinks inspiration is a critical piece of what makes an entrepreneur.

You’ll probably learn more from this clip than two years at Harvard Business School. From HBO’s The Wire:

(Video: The Wire)

I bet you didn’t know this is Obama’s favorite TV show.