Community, capital, and the future of venture with Jacob Peters (General Partner @ House Capital)

  • Communities hack their own distribution giving them an unfair advantage. Everybody is competing on attention, and building traffic is way harder than building a product today. Communities create distribution opportunities that are otherwise not available to its members.
  • Silicon Valley is no longer SF-based, and today you can bring all the same benefits without forcing companies to move. The secondary effects of this are still unfolding, but the obvious impact is that more companies are becoming investable (funds can’t use location as a reason not to pursue a deal anymore).
  • a16z built a brand by focusing on media before others. Now this wins them deals that others won’t have access to.
  • Physical spaces are a marketing tool. If you can occupy cool venues, you attract attention to what you’re building. This all plays back to the first point of winning attention and gaining distribution.
  • Community, capital, and media are the pillars of great companies. The largest funds today are investing a massive amount of resources to building / maintaining their communities and media so that they can maintain and grow their capital base.
  • Any time you have undifferentiated products, branding becomes more and more important.
  • Founders have all the leverage today across all industries. Gatekeeper power declines by the day.
  • The founder community space is incredibly crowded; to stand out, you have to offer something different. We’ve talked about this with previous guests, but a Slack group alone is not enough to get people to show up, and it’s definitely not enough to keep them around.

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