Jim Scheinman is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Maven Ventures, a leading seed stage consumer VC with investments in the likes of AngelList, WealthFront and Altspace. Prior to founding Maven, Jim was a pioneer in the early days of the social media revolution as Head of Business Development and Sales at the first social networking site, Friendster. However, in 2005, Jim left Friendster to join co-founders Michael and Xochi Birch to launch Bebo as the first employee and Board member. Bebo later went on to become a unicorn for Jim, however, that was not his only unicorn as he was also an investor in Tango ($bn valuation) and NBCi (IPOd for 6bn.)
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1.) How Jim made his way into startups and the investing industry?
2.) What was it like being in the midst of the social media revolution as it was taking place? How does Jim view the social scene today? Why does Jim think there is skepticism to investing in social?
3.) On consumer mobile Fred Wilson stated: ‘doing anything in the consumer mobile space is super hard. i can’t think of many consumer mobile apps that have gained massive traction and sustained it. can you?’ So why is the space so hard? Is it not a monopoly play with the dominant incumbents?
4.) How has Jim seen the consumer landscape develop over the last decade with the rise of mobile? How can you tackle the distribution challenges inherent within mobile? Does Jim agree that with mobile consumer product market fit is no longer enough to gain a large user base?
5.) What are the core elements of building a successful consumer business? What are the challenges? Is there a pareto’s principle on this, with 20% determining 80% of the returns?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Jim’s Fave Book: The Boys In The Boat
Jim’s Most Recent Investment: HomeMade