Lee Hower (NextView Ventures) – Making Good Decisions Fast, Going With Your Gut and Why Trust at the Early Stages Is Vital

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Lee Hower is the Co-Founder and Partner of NextView Ventures. NextView is a high-conviction hands on seed-stage VC firm that invests in founders who are redesigning the everyday economy. Some of their investments include Grove Collaborative, Skillz, Plastiq, Attentive, LetGo and TapCommerce. Previously, Lee was an early employee at Paypal and served as the Director of Financial Services. He then went on to co-found LinkedIn and serve as a Principal and Venture Partner at PJC.

Thank you Gautam Gupta for introducing me to Lee!

One of Lee’s blog posts that we discuss on the show is Denouement. All of Lee’s and NextView’s blog posts are available here.

One book that inspired Lee professionally is Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. One book that inspired Lee personally is Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordoff

If you would like to keep up to date with Lee, you can follow him on Twitter @leehower. To follow along behind the scenes of the show, you can follow @mikegelb and @consumervc.

In this episode you will learn –

  1. What attracted Lee to work in technology and what was it like working with the Paypal Mafia? What were some of the learnings from those moments and what led him to co-founding LinkedIn? Is operational experience important to an investor?
  2. What are some of the qualities in a founder that he focuses on and look for? His due diligence process? How does he think about portfolio construction at the seed level? What are data points when it comes to consumer companies that you most focus on in the early stages? What he means by the everyday economy? How he thinks about today’s venture capital era and why he refers to it as the denouement era? 
  3. How does he think about the future of venture capital in the new decade? What are some consumer trends that he is most excited about?
  4. What is one thing that he would change when it came to venture capital? What is his most recent investment and what makes you excited about it? What’s one piece of advice for early stage B2C founders?

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