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196. Creating Unfair Advantages, Surviving Founder Burnout and Driving Successful Exits (Courtney Reum)
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Courtney Reum of M13 joins Nick to discuss Creating Unfair Advantages, Surviving Founder Burnout and Driving Successful Exits. In this episode, we cover:
- Backstory/path to venture
- Tell us about your experience being an investor at Goldman Sachs and working with brands like Procter & Gamble, Under Armour and Vitamin water. What are some takeaways you got from that experience that influence you today?
- You and your brother founded VEEV Spirits which became the first line of organic ready-to-drink cocktails. VEEV received the Technomic Fast 50 Award and was named an Inc. Magazine 500 Fastest-Growing Companies in the U.S. What are some key factors that helped you establish such a successful brand? Tips for founders?
- Tell us about the approach you used to raise capital for Veev?
- Tell us the story behind founding M13. What was your vision for the firm early on?
- What is your current focus/thesis at M13? Tell us about your “repeatable playbook” approach.
- You took some big risks investing early in companies like Lyft, Ring, and Slack, which of course has paid off. Can you share with us some key points as to why you invested and how you were able to get conviction so early on?
- I want to switch gears and talk a bit about your book that you and your brother, Carter, wrote “Shortcut Your Startup.” The book is focused on separating yourself from the pack and flipping traditional startup advice on its head to provide an empowering toolkit for founders. Can you dive into that toolkit and a brief summary of the book?
- The benefits and biggest challenges to working with your brother?
- One of the topics in the book I thought was interesting was “obsessively take advantage of your unfair advantages” tell us about what this means and how founders can implement it.
- Another topic I want to ask you about was “Success doesn’t equate to a successful exit” - What does lead to a successful exit and how do you gauge that you're on the right track?
- You also talk about “getting into the trenches” and “knowing if you're a speedboat or a sailboat” in the book. Can you give us some insight on these topics and why they’re important?
- From your experience, what do you think contributes most to founder burnout and how do you avoid it?
- What advice would you give CEOs or other C-suite executives to keep employee morale high and help their employees thrive?
- What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a founder and that you commonly see founders face today?
- You have a passion for startups that are thinking about what consumers don't even know they want -- maybe for 10-20 years. Yet, in the future can't imagine living without. How do you vet a startup investment with such nascent consumer demand?
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