Category Archives: Podcasts – Insights

Running Through Walls: Making Cars Smarter

Entrepreneur Bryson Gardner speaks with Venrock partner David Pakman about how his experience at Apple – where he worked on the iPhone and iPod – led to the creation of Pearl Automotive. Bryson shares his vision for Pearl and why you shouldn’t have to buy a new car to get the latest technology. They also discuss which aspects of Apple culture he emulates and which he purposefully avoids.

Bryson Gardner has over 20 years of experience developing consumer products, most recently at Apple. Founded in 2016, Pearl is dedicated to improving the more than 1.2 billion cars on the road today through advanced automotive technology that updates automatically to deliver ongoing feature enhancements.

Running Through Walls: Mightybells executive Gina Bianchini advises to focus on inputs

In this episode of Running Through Walls, I sit down with Gina Bianchini, CEO and founder of Mightybell. Gina is an expert in community building.

Many also know her as the co-founder of Ning, the largest social platform for communities that grew to 90 million monthly unique visitors and 300,000 monthly active networks.

We discussed the secrets to building healthy communities online, our experiences with “revisionist history” in Silicon Valley and how to build trust among teams. Gina also shares why sponsors, not mentors, helped her the most when first starting out in her career.

The online world is more interesting than the real world (1:14)
How to know when a product isn’t working (3:10)
The difference between mentors and sponsors (6:38)
Why the tech industry doesn’t celebrate failure (11:14)
When hiring, you can’t be half-in on somebody (13:46)

Key links:
NPR 5 Nerds To Watch In 2013

Running Through Walls: Grand Rounds CEO on healthcare startups and hiring

In this episode of Running Through Walls, I caught up with Grand Rounds CEO and co-founder Owen Tripp, one of the first successful technology entrepreneur crossovers to the fight against complexity and confusion in healthcare.

Prior to Grand Rounds, Owen co-founded and grew the company into the worldwide leader in online reputation and privacy management.

We talked about Owen’s goal to make everyone a medical insider, how they maintain a transparent culture and what he loves about Millennials. Owen also revealed his weakness in evaluating candidates and we discussed the prominence of women in healthcare IT. 

Why tech entrepreneurs are starting healthcare companies (3:16)

Why not to hire the overnight-success seeker (7:28)

What’s great about the Millennial generation (8:56)

Gender diversity leads to better decision-making (11:05)

Keys to maintaining transparency in a growing organization (12:22)

Key links:
Gender diversity study
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown


Running Through Walls: Dynamic Signal CEO Russ Fradin on how good businesses constantly pivot

For the inaugural episode of Venrock’s new podcast, Running Through Walls, I spoke with Russ Fradin, CEO and founder of Dynamic Signal, about his long history as an entrepreneur.

I have known Russ for years and was also an investor in Adify, where he was founder and CEO. Having founded 3 companies, today Russ also advises several other start-ups as a board member.

Our conversation covered a variety of topics, including lessons learned from Dynamic Signal’s early pivot, Russ’s contrarian view on fundraising, and why he’s the only CEO I know who answers every email he receives.

Takeaways from raising 25 venture rounds (3:11)

Why it’s not that challenging to be accessible (7:28)

How to build a good relationship with VCs (12:48)

Why it’s stupid to be stealth in the enterprise world (13:39)

The three things that matter the most about culture (16:43)