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13 Lessons from Aydin Senkut (Founder & Managing Partner @ Felicis Ventures)

Aydin Senkut is the founder and managing partner at Felicis Ventures. He originally started as a โ€œsuper angelโ€ before founding Felicis in 2005. He has been responsible for investments in companies like Shopify, Fitbit, Credit Karma, and more. Here are lessons from his career.

Aydin Senkut is the founder and managing partner at Felicis Ventures.ย 

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He originally started as a “super angel” before founding Felicis in 2005. He has been responsible for investments in companies like Shopify, Fitbit, Credit Karma, and more.ย 

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One of the main takeaways we had from studying Aydin is his commitment to focus. Everybody today chases after a new shiny object every other week. He has noticed the winners in his portfolio and overall network are those that say “no” to everything else and focus on a singular task at a given time.

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Here are some of the other lessons, quotes, and readings from Aydin.

13 Lessons from Aydin Senkut (Founder & Managing Partner @ Felicis Ventures)

Lessons from Aydin Senkut

  • The expansion of the VC ecosystem in the US has resulted in a growth mindset for founders where they are incentivized to raise new rounds every 12-18 months. This is not the case in many other countries, and bootstrapping sustainable businesses is far more common outside of the US.

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  • You can tell a lot about a founder based on the quality of the person that referred them to you. Better referrals = better deal flow.

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  • The next great mobile opportunity will be subscription-based. This has already happened on the B2B side, and now many B2C founders have adopted the same growth playbook going after a different audience.

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  • Pitches should be dialogues, not monologues. If you want to bore somebody, lecture at them.

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  • People loving adding more things in order to scale rarely think what to take out in order to scale easier. More is usually less.

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  • The more simple your product, the easier it should be to sell. Aydin and Felicis will not invest in anything that takes 10 Powerpoint slides to explain.

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  • Engineering serendipity is one of the roles of good investors. The better connected you are, the easier it is to connect the right people in your network at the right time.

Quotes

โ€œMajority of people I see are focused on doing too many things all at same time, and most successful people are focused on doing fewest things that matter but do it 105-110%.โ€

"The most dangerous takeaway is for every founder to think that they are one of those few companies that can dictate terms even under these circumstances and this market.โ€

โ€œThe best way to counter [down rounds] is for companies to be a lot more hawkish on cash management."

โ€œNarratives usually are A happened because of B. More important is concept of โ€œover timeโ€ or โ€œrepeatedlyโ€; ie: to succeed: do something hard (repeatedly); stick to your core values (over time); it is this consistency that makes the difference, not just the one time.โ€

โ€œWhat is one thing we didnโ€™t ask or bring up to truly understand the full potential here?โ€

โ€œThe best way to utilize venture capital is...finding the people that have the right connections, network and experience...Otherwise it's just like going to the bank.โ€

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