Running Through Walls: Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Jim Del Favero, Head of Product at Figure, a fintech company using blockchain to help homeowners better tap their home equity, joins Venrock partner Brian Ascher to discuss what makes a great product manager. Del Favero reveals why great PMs focus on outcomes, not outputs, and critically think about the problem that needs to be solved. Del Favero and Ascher also talk through common mistakes PMs make, the engineering and PM relationship, and data-driven vs. years of experience decisions.

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Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.
  1. Thinking Long Term is the Greatest Gift
  2. Diversifying the Cap Table
  3. The Balancing Act of Drug Discovery
  4. Bust the Liars Without Elevating the Liars
  5. Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Running Through Walls: Culture and Connection

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).

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Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.
  1. Thinking Long Term is the Greatest Gift
  2. Diversifying the Cap Table
  3. The Balancing Act of Drug Discovery
  4. Bust the Liars Without Elevating the Liars
  5. Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Running Through Walls: Inclusion Comes First

Eric Brown, CEO of Dynamic Signal, joins Venrock partner Brian Ascher to speak about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Brown believes you can’t have great culture without putting inclusion first, which is why it was the first thing on his agenda as he stepped into his role as CEO of Dynamic Signal last year. Brown discusses some of the company’s initiatives, including the Mentorship and Access program, and shares how these programs have been received so far. Brown also shares the challenges of balancing family and work and how he had to purposefully make space for each of them to exist in harmony. 

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Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.
  1. Thinking Long Term is the Greatest Gift
  2. Diversifying the Cap Table
  3. The Balancing Act of Drug Discovery
  4. Bust the Liars Without Elevating the Liars
  5. Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Running Through Walls: NFL to VC

Ryan Nece is a former NFL player, Super Bowl winner, and now a venture capitalist at Next Play Capital. He joins Venrock partner Brian Ascher to chat about the transition from the field to the boardroom, including why so many professional athletes take an interest in venture capital and what elite athletes and successful entrepreneurs have in common. Nece shares the highs and lows of having a famous parent, football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, and his gratitude for the opportunities made possible by his upbringing. No stranger to adversity, he also discusses a challenging time battling injuries that almost ruined his career before it started. 

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Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.
  1. Thinking Long Term is the Greatest Gift
  2. Diversifying the Cap Table
  3. The Balancing Act of Drug Discovery
  4. Bust the Liars Without Elevating the Liars
  5. Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Running Through Walls: CMO’s #1 Job is Culture

Latane Conant, CMO of 6sense, joins Venrock partner Brian Ascher to chat about marketing strategy for B2B companies and the role of marketing in corporate culture. They discuss the “First Sip Club” which Conant started during the pandemic to stay connected to fellow SaaS marketers, and she shares how it has evolved to stay relevant in a rapidly changing environment. Conant also discusses her new book No Forms, No Spam, No Cold Calls: The Next Generation of Account-Based Sales and Marketing, which covers her distinct B2B marketing and sales philosophy, and gives advice for junior marketers looking to excel in their careers.

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Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.
  1. Thinking Long Term is the Greatest Gift
  2. Diversifying the Cap Table
  3. The Balancing Act of Drug Discovery
  4. Bust the Liars Without Elevating the Liars
  5. Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Running Through Walls: Rethinking Customer Success

Allison Pickens, former COO at Gainsight and co-author of “The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift” joins Venrock Partner Brian Ascher to discuss the new and increasingly important function of customer success for SaaS companies. They discuss how customer success differs from customer support, how working with customers has evolved, what startups should consider when making their first customer success hires, and common mistakes companies make when rolling out new programs. Recorded pre-pandemic, Pickens also shares how startups can make sure all functions are working together to support customer success with several examples that are relevant in today’s remote working environment.

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Want more? Here’s the latest from Running Through Walls.

Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.
  1. Thinking Long Term is the Greatest Gift
  2. Diversifying the Cap Table
  3. The Balancing Act of Drug Discovery
  4. Bust the Liars Without Elevating the Liars
  5. Healthy Skepticism in Product Management

Running Through Walls: The Ins and Outs of M&A Deals

Paul Koenig founded SRS Acquiom to make M&A deals more manageable for entrepreneurs. Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Koenig about what he’s learned from seeing thousands of deals, including best practices for shareholder reps, common misconceptions about due diligence, and trends in all-cash vs. stock offers. They also discuss how entrepreneurs can set the stage for a smoother M&A process when they first start the company and why having the right advisors is crucial.

Running Through Walls: COO vs. CEO

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Randy Womack, a seasoned executive who has served as both COO and CEO in several companies, including his current role as co-founder and CEO at Socrates.ai. They discuss the “Sheryl” effect, what to look for when hiring a COO, and when is the best time to introduce the COO role into a company. As CEO at Socrates.ai, he shares the difference between the two roles and discusses common misconceptions about what a COO really does.

Running Through Walls: Competing is for Losers

Chris Lochhead, a three-time Silicon Valley CMO, co-author of Play Bigger, and former entrepreneur, joins Brian Ascher of Venrock to discuss the importance of category design and marketing on this week’s episode of Running Through Walls. From having a provocative point of view to not accepting the status quo, Chris outlines what every business needs to do to become a category king. He discusses the right time to think about category design, whose job it is, and why concentrated campaigns called “Lightning Strikes” will grab the attention of consumers more effectively than traditional marketing.

Running Through Walls: How to Build a Sales Team

Steve Walske founded Parametric Technology Corporation in 1985 and is now on the board of several prominent Silicon Valley companies including Synopsys and 6sense. Venrock partner Brian Ascher talks to Walske about his unique formula for building a strong sales team and striking a balance between managing and empowering salespeople. Walske believes in efficiency above all else, and that means turning down opportunities until the company establishes a real sales presence in the area. They also discuss the truth about “bowling league syndrome” and why employee turnover doesn’t faze him.