Laura Chau (Canaan) – The Five Pillars of Social Media, Moving Towards Status and the Power of Grit

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Laura Chau is a Principal at Canaan. Canaan is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in visionaries with transformative ideas. Some of her current investments include Coterie, Curtsy, and Jumpcut. At Canaan, she focuses on consumer technology. She previously worked in Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations practice. She has also worked in sales and marketing functions within Kabam (acq. by Netmarble), Branch Metrics and Greenhouse, as well as working closely with Marie Kondo to launch the author’s product business.

Thank you Caitlin Strandberg for the introduction!

You can follow Laura on Twitter @laurachau.

In this episode, we focus on Laura’s chapter in Finding Genius by Kunal Mehta. Here is a link to excerpts of her contribution to the book.

In this episode you will learn – 

  1. What attracted Laura to work in startups and technology? What were some of the learnings while she worked at Kabam that influenced her as an investor and what attracted her to venture capital, specifically early stage investing? In the early stages, when there isn’t much data, what are some of the qualities that she looks for in founders?
  2. What’s her due diligence process? What makes consumer investing challenging compared to enterprise? What is some advice for founders that might live in secondary or tertiary markets? A recap of the five pillars of social media in her “Finding Genius” chapter. At what stage does social media hit saturation? How she thinks about privacy? The future and opportunity in social media? Consumer trends that she is most excited about? 
  3. What is one thing that she would change about venture capital? What is one book that inspired her personally and one book that inspired her professionally? What is her most recent investment and what makes her excited about it? What is one piece of advice that you have for founders of consumer companies?

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